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Jack A. Fuller and Louise S. Ayre,
“The Efficiency and Performance of Atmospheric Fluidized Bed Combustion Plants,”
Volume 34, Number 1
THE EFFICIENCY AND PERFORMANCE OF ATMOSPHERIC FLUIDIZED BED COMBUSTION PLANTS
Jack A. Fuller and Louise S. Ayre*
tmospheric fluidized bed combustion (AFBC) boilers are an advanced technology that provides both a viable and reliable alternative to other power generation technologies with benefits of fuel flexibility and low emissions.1 This research focuses on analyzing plant-level data from an AFBC boiler survey. Sponsored by the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO), the purpose of the survey is to assist the owners, operators, and developers of AFBC plants in assessing and improving their own level of competitiveness so that, with time, higher levels of performance and efficiency may be achieved within the industry.
*Jack A. Fuller, Professor of Decision Analysis and Operations Management, College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University (Morgantown), earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University, a master’s in business administration from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Arkansas. Earlier, the author held teaching and administrative positions at California State University, Los Angeles, University of Oklahoma, and University of Northern Iowa and has served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy, Ashland Coal, Inc., and West Virginia Re-Refining, Ltd., among others. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Energy Resources Technology, The Journal of Energy Engineering, The Business Review, The Journal of Business and Economics Research, The Energy Journal, and Energy Studies Review, as a sampling. Louise S. Ayre is a Research Assistant in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University. She has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and business management from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Australia. As part of her graduate study, the author is currently designing and testing a nitrogen oxide absorber system for treating the exhaust of diesel marine engines. The Journal of Energy and Development, Vol. 34, Nos. 1 and 2 Copyright Ó 2011 by the International Research Center for Energy and Economic Development (ICEED). All rights reserved.
THE JOURNAL OF ENERGY AND DEVELOPMENT
Benchmarking Business performance is a complex phenomena requiring multi-factor performance measurement to gain an accurate understanding of competitiveness; accordingly, a variety of performance indicators were investigated by the survey.2 Key priorities in the power generation industry are cost efficiency and operational performance; the data collected by the current survey therefore concentrated on operational and technical topics.3 Analysis of the survey data yielded competitive benchmarks, which permit collaboration between plants within the industry so that they may better understand and analyze their environment.4 Realizing the full potential of benchmarking requires utilizing the correct methodology.5 It is most effective when done on a continuous basis as this allows for attaining best practice and innovation, which is essential for success.6 The collection and analysis of AFBC data annually by these CIBO studies provide an opportunity for AFBC plants to continuously monitor and achieve improvement in their operations.7 Benchmarking’s most important aspects are found in the story behind the data rather than the actual data. Accordingly, this study endeavors to identify current trends and future directions within the AFBC boiler industry.8 Benchmarking should be viewed as an investment that generates enhanced revenue from implemented improvements.9 It enables management to clearly focus and hone in on what their strategic goals are for a plant. Revision of strategic plan objectives facilitates improvement in areas that have been identified as requiring performance improvement relative to other plants in the industry. The benchmarks found in this paper serve as a tool that can help to establish where competitive gaps and technological opportunities exist within an AFBC plant. Owners and operators may then use this information to realign their current operations to respond to these shortcomings.10 Improvement opportunities that are highlighted by performance indicators likely will require further analysis to find the problem that is causing the indicator to be low and thereby pointing to potential solutions. This also may require studying other companies to see how they handle the issue.11
Competitive Advantage Competitive advantages may be sought through innovation and adopting new management practices like total quality management, just-in-time, and worker empowerment, which provide the foundation for cost reductions, improved quality, and reduced lead times.12 Technological innovation is a vital contributor to industrial competiveness; benchmarking allows a company to design its process flow and formulate its research and development (R&D) strategy in a way that best makes use of this relationship. Competitive advantage also can be acquired through identifying performance targets and the creation of goals to utilize the
ATMOSPHERIC FLUIDIZED BED COMBUSTION PLANTS
least possible resources.13 The implementation of any new operational strategy needs to be carefully thought through with the benefits weighed against the costs; the competitive benchmarks provided here assists in this analysis.14 Common Traits of Efficient and Productive Plants Efficient and productive plants consider organization, facilities, and maintenance as interdependent components. Communication and cooperation through all job levels are imperative. Life-cycle costing is utlized by top performers. Maintenance events are viewed as an opportunity to upgrade and life-cycle cost analyses are used to ensure that the best financial decisions are made. Lower level workers are empowered and enabled, using them as a value-adding resource so that supervisors and technical personnel are less involved in the low-rung decision making. Naturally, this requires proper training and results in fewer management levels.15 To obtain most favorable results from benchmarking, best practices should be sought from other industries and countries.16 Pacesetters in the petrochemical industry are reliability focused rather than repair focused, causing them to make action plans for permanent repairs and developing long-term preventative solutions. Their focus is on economics, minimizing expenses, and optimizing revenue while taking responsible risk. Record taking is thorough; all events are examined for causes; and plans are created to avoid repeat problems. Employees are deliberately engaged with their work through empowerment and are allocated accountability.17 Innovation Innovation within the AFBC industry may lead to reduced costs associated with this low carbon-emitting technology, thereby making it more competitive within today’s incumbent fossil fuel market.18 The resulting new technologies developed by innovation will cause an average cost reduction and increase in performance and, hence, plant value will persist over time. Companies failing to innovate and keep up with current advancements face being forced out of the industry by betterperforming firms.19 Current innovations within the AFBC industry include in-situ catalytic nitrogen oxides (NOx) abatement, AFBC modeling, and carbon dioxide (CO2) postcombustion capture.20 Modeling is used to optimize circulating fluidized bed (CFB) combustion, minimize emissions output, and also may be used for the optimal design of future plants. Modeling of FBC units continues to develop, thereby gaining more realistic representations of actual operations.21 Ash handling costs are being minimized by selling or giving it to the combustion by-products market for use in products like ready mix concrete and by using it to back-fill mines. Every ton that is sold or transferred to another firm is one that does not need to be landfilled.22
8. although the previous year’s data also were requested so as to perform some multi-year analysis. 27 circulating fluidized beds. an average of 4.16 full-time management staff per megawatt-hour. plant size ranged between less than 7 megawatt (MW) through greater than 450 MW in capacity. The range of boiler efficiency was between 75 percent and 93 percent. Boiler Heat Rate and Efficiency The average net heat rate per boiler for plants below 40 MW was 11.093 Btu for plants greater than 40 MW.62 fulltime staff per megawatt-hour (MWh) and 0. and five bubbling fluidized beds. The survey was sent to CIBO members and firms who operated an AFBC on-site in 2008. The average calcium to sulfur (Ca/S) ratio used by boilers was 3. and two use biomass.5.23 Five of the plants use a secondary fuel source. these sources include pet coke and tires.1 man-days of lost time accidents was experienced by survey respondents in 2007. ranging from 0. Eleven of these plants use coal as their primary fuel source. This allowed for data from 32 boilers to be analyzed (plants had up to five AFBC boilers on-site). (It should be noted that this is on a per-plant basis as opposed to a perboiler basis.) On a per-boiler basis. Of the respondents. Plants had an average of 0. Plants below 40 MW had a slightly lower average efficiency of 85 percent and plants above 40 MW had a mildly higher average performance of 87 percent boiler efficiency. An average of 24 percent of fly ash and 20 percent bottom ash is sold to third parties. Overall.9 to 10. The primary data collected related to year 2007 operations. this value ranged from 0 through 1.114 THE JOURNAL OF ENERGY AND DEVELOPMENT The Survey Data for this research were collected by means of a survey. Plant Availability A competitive benchmark for the percent of time the plant was available was created. three use petroleum coke (pet coke).787 million Btu. an average of 69 percent of fly ash and 77 percent of bottom ash is used for beneficial purposes.351 British thermal units (Btu) and 13. the average boiler efficiency was 86 percent. Tables 1 through 3 present a summary of the benchmarks created for the year of 2007.165. Overall. six use gob. 26 percent had made significant modifications to their boilers in the past year. This was calculated by subtracting the total outage hours for a given plant . The average amount of steam used in 2007 by customers for purposes other than to generate electricity was 120.831 million Btu across all respondents. Of the 22 plants that responded.
A benchmark for percentage of forced outage . plants built pre-1990 were available for an average of 90 percent of the time. Unexpectedly. Data taken for the three years preceding 2007 also follow this trend. Plants utilizing coal were available for an average of 86 percent of the time. The percentage time availability of plants was averaged overall. by fuel type and by boiler age. and by the age of the boiler (pre-1990 and post-1990). The plant forced outage hours were then averaged with all plant data and also separated into their respective groups (fuel type and age of boiler) and averaged. which were available for an average of only 87 percent.ATMOSPHERIC FLUIDIZED BED COMBUSTION PLANTS Table 1 LIST OF BENCHMARKS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 115 Total gross boiler heat rate in British thermal units (Btu)/gross kilowatt-hour (kWh) (per boiler) Total net boiler heat rate in Btu/gross kWh (per boiler) Boiler efficiency in percent (per boiler) Steam used by customers for purposes other than to generate electricity in million Btu Percent fly ash used for beneficial purposes (per boiler) Percent fly ash sold to third parties (per boiler) Percent bottom ash used for beneficial purposes (per boiler) Percent bottom ash sold to third parties (per boiler) Calcium to sulfur (Ca/S) ratio (per boiler) Number of full-time staff per million megawatt-hours (MWh) Number of full-time management per million MWh Man-days of lost time accidents in 2007 Percent of time boiler/plant available Percent of outage hours that were forced Percent of outage hours that were boiler related in 2007 from the total hours in one year and dividing this value by the total hours in one year. the overall average time that plants were available was 88 percent. Forced Outage Hours The average percentage of outage hours that were forced were calculated for all plants. by primary fuel type (coal and gob plants only). This was higher than plants commissioned post-1990. and plants using gob as their primary fuel were available 94 percent of the time. where the availability of plants using gob has been higher than those using coal. This was achieved by subtracting the planned outage hours for each plant from their total outage hours and dividing this value by their total outage hours. In 2007.
Plants commissioned pre-1990 and post-1990 had 45 percent and 37 percent. To find the average percentage of forced non-CFB-related outage hours. Overall in 2007.202 85% - 40 MW Net or Greater 13. the planned CFB-related outage hours was subtracted from the total CFB-related outage hours.378 87% - hours by CFB relation was calculated as well. Annual data taken from 2004 through 2007 show that plants using coal as their primary fuel consistently have more forced outage hours than those plants using gob.787 69% 24% 77% 20% 3.333 86% 120.1 Below 40 Megawatts (MW) Net 11.619 13. To find the average percentage of forced CFB-related outage hours. of their total outage hours forced.62 0.093 14. Data taken from previous Table 3 BENCHMARK RESULTS: BENCHMARKS 13 – 15 Group Benchmark 13 14 15 Overall 88% 40% 91% Coal 86% 41% 90% Gob 94% 39% 89% Pre-1990 90% 45% 88% Post-1990 87% 37% 94% .5 0.351 13. an average of 40 percent of the total outage hours experienced by AFBC plants was forced. The average percent of forced outage hours for coalfueled boilers was 41 percent and the benchmark for gob-fueled plants was 39 percent. the forced non-CFB-related outage hours was divided by the total non-CFB-related outage hours and averaged for all plants. this value was then divided by the total CFB-related outage hours and averaged for all plants.16 4.116 THE JOURNAL OF ENERGY AND DEVELOPMENT Table 2 BENCHMARK RESULTS: BENCHMARKS 1 – 12 Group Benchmark 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Overall 11. respectively.
only the percentages corresponding to that category were averaged. plants commissioned post-1990 had an average of 94 percent of their outage hours caused by boiler-related issues. Data from 2002 through 2007 show that plants commissioned pre-1990 generally have a lower percentage of their outages caused by boiler-related issues. and 90 percent. Contributors to Forced Boiler Outages Data on the factors contributing to forced boiler outages as a percentage of total forced outage hours per plant were collected. forced. To calculate the overall average percent of boiler-related outages. This confirmed that issues with auxiliary systems of the plants surveyed contribute to significantly more of the forced outage hours than CFB-related issues.ATMOSPHERIC FLUIDIZED BED COMBUSTION PLANTS 117 years show no clear relationship between the age of the boiler and the percentage of forced outage hours. while plants commissioned pre-1990 had an average of just 88 percent.. Of the total forced outage hours.e. forced outage hours are caused by nonCFB-related issues significantly more than CFB-related issues). These results were calculated by dividing the number of forced outage hours caused by an individual factor by the total forced outage hours for each plant. Boiler-Related Outage Hours Data collected with the survey investigated boiler-related outages (overall. This value was then averaged for all plants in each category. The benchmark for planned outage hours that were boilerrelated was calculated by dividing the CFB-related planned outage hours by the total planned outage hours for each plant and then averaging these values. Plants that use coal as their primary fuel had only slightly higher boiler-related outage hours than plants using gob fuel. forced. and planned percentage of outage hours that were boiler-related in 2007 were 91 percent. where boilers using gob fuel had their average boiler-related outage hours approximately 10 percent higher than boilers using coal. This is inconsistent with annual data taken from the past three years (2004-2006). respectively. and planned) by fuel type and by age of boiler. In calculating the percent of outage hours that were boiler-related by fuel type and age. an average of 36 percent was CFB-related and 54 percent were non-CFB-related. 90 percent compared with 89 percent. In 2007. 80 percent. These percentages were averaged to provide an overall average percent of boiler-related outage hours. The CFBrelated forced outage hours for each plant were divided by the total forced outage hours and averaged to yield the average percent of outage hours that were boilerrelated and forced. The average overall. The annual data from 2002 through 2006 also confirm this trend (i. the CFB-related outage hours were divided by the total outage hours for each plant. .
other CFB-related. Annual data taken from 2002 through 2007 consistently show that tube leaks are the most significant cause of forced outage hours. For example. and generator outages had the next highest contribution to forced outage hours with an average of 11 percent.118 THE JOURNAL OF ENERGY AND DEVELOPMENT Table 4 CONTRIBUTORS TO FORCED BOILER OUTAGES AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL FORCED OUTAGE HOURS PER PLANT 2002 to a 2007 CFB-Related 39% 22% 5% 4% 1% 0% 3% 10% 1% 8% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0% 3% 0% 0% 0% Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Contributor 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Tube leaks 39% 38% 39% 26% 23% 32% Steam/Turbine/Generator 13% 19% 4% 19% 10% 11% Electric/Utility 3% 5% 11% 6% 16% 9% Other CFB-related 4% 13% 6% 10% 3% 9% Fuel supply 0% 0% 0% 7% 8% 7% Internals 7% 4% 1% 2% 4% 5% Ash 5% 6% 1% 2% 1% 5% Air & gas 7% 5% 13% 7% 15% 4% Misc. All other categories (electric/ utility. internals. This is accomplished by enabling them . fuel supply. and developers in assessing and improving their level of competitiveness. Steam. operators. and miscellaneous boiler) on average each contributed to less than 9 percent of the total forced outage hours. turbine. in 2007 tube leak-related issues caused an average of 32 percent of the total forced outage hours. externals 0% 0% 11% 8% 3% 0% Other non-CFB-related 1% 1% 3% 1% 7% 0% Personnel errors 0% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% Burners 1% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% Distributed control systems 0% 2% 2% 2% 0% 0% a CFB = circulating fluidized bed. boiler 3% 0% 0% 2% 2% 4% Fuel crush 8% 5% 7% 8% 7% 4% Controls 6% 0% 0% 1% 0% 3% Piping systems 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 2% Controls/Relays 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% Emissions control equipment 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% Fuel quality 0% 0% 1% 0% 0% 1% Electrical 2% 0% 1% 0% 0% 1% Misc. Conclusions Competitive benchmarks for AFBC boilers were developed from survey respondent data to assist plant owners. Table 4 presents a full list of the factors that contributed to forced boiler outages over the years 2002–2007.
May 2000. 10 . S.ATMOSPHERIC FLUIDIZED BED COMBUSTION PLANTS 119 to establish where competitive gaps and technological opportunities exist within their plants. and Ismail Sila. Smulders. 5 4 Steve Minter. 6 Y. op. fuel sources. 58-61.’’ European Journal of Operational Research. This research is considered important as it permits collaboration between plants. ‘‘Atmospheric Fluidized Bed Combustion (AFBC) Plants: An Operations and Maintenance Study. so that they may realign their current operations to enhance their performance in areas where they fall short of industry standards. December 2001. Zairi. ‘‘Examining the Effects of Contextual Factors on TQM and Performance Through the Lens of Organizational Theories: An Empirical Study. Chiu Mok.’’ Journal of Energy Resources Technology. 423-35.’’ The Business Review. pp. 2 Jian Cheng Guan.. ‘‘Atmospheric Fluidized Bed Combustion (AFBC) Plants: A Performance Benchmarking Study. 189-97. Jack Fuller. 971-86. Wireman. ‘‘Benchmarking for Success. Jarrar and M. ‘‘Energy Production Concerns: A Multi-Year Perspective.’’ Journal of Operations Management. ‘‘Future Trends in Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage: A Global Survey. pp. 46-51. Zhu ‘‘Multi-Factor Performance Measure Model with an Application to Fortune 500 Companies. August 2008. Harvie Beavers. pp. which should ultimately lead to higher levels of performance and efficiency within the industry. 12. May 2006. and Y. Jack Fuller and Robert Bessette. and J. and Ning Ma. Jarrar and M. op. cit..’’ Chemical Engineering. and T. Richard Yam. Patil and Bart M. NOTES Rajiv Banker and Inder Khosla.’’ Journal of Operations Management. June 2006. ‘‘CFB: Technology of the Future?’’ Power Engineering. Patil and B. 8 9 7 S..’’ Journal of Energy Engineering. summer 2007. and Robert Bessette. 54-6. Minter. pp.’’ Energy Studies Review. pp. Zairi. October 2009.’’ European Journal of Operational Research. 58 (2004). pp. and Harvie Beavers. Patil and B. Wireman. op. Several benchmarks demonstrated trends and differences among plant size. 24-38. 3 Shekhar S. vol. ‘‘Operations Benchmarking in the Fluidized Bed Power Generation Industry. May 2008. and Donald Bonk. Abhishek Srivastava. cit. and Steve Blankinship. pp. pp. 2 (2004). January 2007. Harvie Beavers. ‘‘Benchmarking or Performance Measurement: Which Is Right for Your Plant?’’ Plant Engineering. 83-109. Y. ‘‘Economics of Operations Management: A Research Perspective. Smulders. 906-12. ‘‘A Study of the Relationship Between Competitiveness and Technological Innovation Capability Based on DEA Models. pp. op.. cit. June 1995. 150-53. Jack Fuller. cit. vol. Jack Fuller. pp. pp. Zairi. no. cit. T. 1 S.’’ Total Quality Management. ‘‘How Good is Your Benchmarking?’’ Industry Week. cit. pp. and boiler age. Jarrar and M. 105-24. 143-52. Smulders. December 2005. op. op.
Korovesis. cit. Scheffknecht.’’ Particuology. Wireman.’’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2003. K. E. L. pp. Schimmoller. 87-90. Hawthorne. A. ‘‘Reactive Gas-Solids Flows in Large Volumes: 3D Modeling of Industrial Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustors. ‘‘America’s Energy Innovation Problem (and How to Fix It). June 28. Patil and B. N. Querol. cit. op. op.mit. ‘‘Ameren Embraces Benchmarking as a Core Business Strategy. Moreno. op. vol. C.pdf. and L. cit. Whitlock. 12 13 14 R. and T. 2010. Minter. Hernu. Khosla.. N. Kumar. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wischnewski. op. and N. 16 17 15 S. R. Marcio Souza-Santos. Bidwe. op. and J. Khosla. Steenari. 1 (2010). Yam. 27-30. December 2002. Hartge. Souza-Santos. B. Industrial Performance Center. Werther.’’ Power Technology. op. Petroleum coke (pet coke) is a solid fuel derived from oil refinery coker units or other cracking processes. and T. Industrial Performance Center Working Paper 09-007 (Cambridge. Charitos. Tran. Lederer and S. Gob is a fuel that is actually a waste material produced in coal mining. 67-77. ‘‘Economics of Total Quality Management. Richard Lester. 106-18. Ma. vol.’’ Power Engineering. 2 (2009). October 2008. Ratschow. B. pp.’’ Hydrocarbon Processing. and X. Plourde. Kilpinen. and P. 117-27. Lederer and S. Rubin. Eranen. April 1. Mok. ‘‘Fly Ash Utilization for the Development of Low NOx Bed Materials. December 2007. R. available at http://web. pp. op. ‘‘Comprehensive Simulator (CSFMB) Applied to Circulating Fluidized Bed Boilers and Gasifiers. 8. R. pp.edu/ipc/research/energy/pdf/EIP_10_003. C. Smulders. cit. J.120 THE JOURNAL OF ENERGY AND DEVELOPMENT 11 C. P. cit. Guan. Rhee. K. 22-28. and G. no. A. pp. cit. B. op. op. Wireman. 353-67. ‘‘Performance Benchmarking Update: Expectations and Reality. P. cit.’’ Journal of Operations Management. cit. S. 21 22 M. Wireman. Jessop. pp.’’ The Open Fuels & Energy Science Journal. Schuster. op. 2009).’’ The Open Chemical Engineering Journal. ‘‘Hydrodynamic Analysis of a 10KW Calcium Looping Dual Fluidized Bed for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture for Coal. June 1995. 18 19 R. Lester. op. R. 23 . cit.. Bloch and M. and T. Bruzina. H.’’ Power Engineering. Banker and I. L. 20 A. B. cit. Banker and I. Rhee. pp. ‘‘Coal and Ash Handling: In Search of Cost Savings. cit.
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