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Experimental investigation on a 600 MWe

supercritical boiler with the technology of less-oil


ignition

Gonggang Sun
College of metrology and measurement engineering
China Jiliang University
Hangzhou China
sungonggang98@gmail.com

Lin Zhu
College of metrology and measurement engineering
China Jiliang University
Hangzhou China
48378720@163.com

Zuohe Chi
College of metrology and measurement engineering
China Jiliang University
Hangzhou China
chizh@cjlu.edu.cn

Yihong Wang
College of metrology and measurement engineering
China Jiliang University
Hangzhou China
king-yh@163.com


AbstractExperimental studies were carried out on a 600
MWe supercritical boiler that was ignited by the technology
of less-oil ignition. The variation of steam temperature and
pressure, wall temperature of heat exchange surfaces and
combustion status were investigated. Test results
demonstrated that the pulverized coal is able to be
combusted fully and stably in the less-oil ignition combustor,
and the wall temperature of the combustor remains less than
300
o
C. It was also shown that the wall temperature of heat
exchange surfaces is also not overheated, which expands
uniformly, and the rising rate of the steam temperature and
pressure satisfies the requirement of operation rules. In
addition, compared to the cases using conventional ignition
techniques, the economical benefit by employing the
technology of less-oil ignition is pronounced.
Keywords-supercritical boiler; cold starting; less-oil
ignition; economical analysis
I. INTRODUCTION
Oil-saving ignition technology has been extensively
studied due to the large consumption of oil during boiler
start-up and pulverized coal combustion stabilization with
the conventional coal burning method. In a conventional
pulverized coal combustion boiler, oil which is delivered
by the oil-gun (OG) is primarily used to pre-heat the
furnace. When the radiation from the flame and heat
exchange surfaces can give the coal particle sufficient
energy, then coal is fed by primary air and burned with
secondary air, so stable combustion is sustained in the
boiler. Meanwhile, during burning of low-quality coal or
at the reduction of boilers capacity, it is also necessary to
introduce additional thermal energy such as oil into the
system to support stable combustion. Therefore, many of
the liquid fuel are consumed in these above processes.
In order to achieve certain savings of liquid fuel, a
great number of efforts have been made to investigate and
develop the technology of oil-saving ignition, i.e.,
plasma-aided ignition technology[1-2], high-temperature
air ignition technology[3-4], laser-heated ignition
technology[5] and induction-heating ignition technology
[6-7]. For the plasma-aided ignition technology, methods
of both numerical simulation

[8-9] and the full-scaled trials

[10-11] had been employed to study the plasma supported
coal combustion. Chen et al. [12] and Nie et al. [13]
investigated the high-temperature air ignition technology
used the CFD simulations and experiments, respectively.
Note that all the four above-mentioned technologies are
free of utilization of oil in assisting the ignition. However,
some shortcomings for oil-free technologies, when facing
the engineering applications, are found, such as too high
operating costs, frequent maintenance during operation
and lack of system stability et al. Recently, a less-oil
ignition technology (LOIT) has been proposed, which
have the advantages of low operating costs, high
oil-saving rates, maintenance-free and good performance
in stability. Chi et al. [14] and Fu et al. [15] had a
simulation to study the characteristics of coal combustion
in the burner of LOIT. However, the authors are unaware
of any published work on an engineering application of the
LOIT in utility boilers, especially in supercritical boilers.
Hence, to study the performance of combustion and
stabilization in a supercritical boilers retrofitted by LOIT,
the variation of steam temperature and pressure, wall
temperature of heat exchange surfaces and combustion
status are investigated in this paper during the process of
the 600 MWe supercritical boiler cold start-up.
II. EXPERIMENTAL FACILITIES
The rest of this paper is consisted of three sections.
The retrofitting program of the boiler and test programs
are described in the next section, which are followed by a
detailed presentation and discussion of the experimental
results. Some concluding remarks are finally drawn based
on the foregoing analysis.

Figure 1. Schematic layout of the utility boiler.
A.. The Less-oil burner
For oil-saving during the boiler start-up and
combustion stabilization, the boiler was retrofitted with
the LOIT and four primary air nozzles at Level B were
replaced by the Less-oil burner (LOB) that was sketched
in Fig.2.
In the duct of the LOB, pulverized coal with the
primary air, which flows through the concentrator installed
near the wall of the burner and be concentrated centrally,
ignites and combusts intensively in the first-stage firing
chamber with the high-intensity oil flame of the less-oil
gun (LOG) in which the oil for igniting the pulverized coal
is atomized and combusted in an adiabatic chamber firstly.
The pulverized coal ignites in the first-stage firing
chamber and high-temperature gas flue is then directed
into the second-stage firing chamber to ignite pulverized
coal in it. Finally, as the principle of energy amplification,
pulverized coal in the duct of the LOB is ignited all and
the purpose of oil-saving is achieved.
- The cross sectional area of the LOB should be
equal to the one of the original burner so that the
momentum of the flow at the exit of the burner
can keep equivalent before and after the retrofit.
- For a given quality of coal, the ignition of
pulverized coal stream is obviously related with
the concentration of it. Therefore, to increase the
concentration of the pulverized coal has great
influence on the reduction of energy for heating
the coal particles and good at raising the burnout
of the pulverized coal.
- The concentrators should have good effect on
concentrating but little effect on increasing the
resistance of the burner. In general, the
concentration of the pulverized coal in the
first-stage firing chamber could be double than the
average of the pulverized coal concentration in the
primary air-coal mixture ducting.
- Measurements such as cooling film should be
taken to make sure that the wall of the LOB is safe
during the LOB in operation.
Tab.1 lists the specific operating parameters during the
operation of the supercritical boiler with the LOIT.
According to the basements mentioned above, the exit
of the LOB is similar to the original burner before the
retrofit in area. Output of each LOG equipped in the LOB
at Level B is 60kg/h and resistance of the LOB is 600Pa
on the condition that the primary air-coal mixture flow
velocity is 25m/s according to the calculation. The type of
oil atomization employed a mechanical method that has a
good adaptability and stable atomization performance at
variation of oil pressure over a wide range from 0.5MPa to
2.0MPa.
B.. Fuel qualities
The coal used in the experiments is a Chinese
bituminous coal, of which the proximate and ultimate
analysis data are given in Tab.2.
III. METHODS
During the boiler start up with the LOIT, the
parameters of operation were recorded at intervals of 30
minutes such as temperature and pressure of primary
steam, wall temperature of heat exchange surfaces and
LOBs. To detect the combustion status, fly-ash was taken
every 60 minutes before electrostatic precipitator by
isokinetic sampling system. The rectangular flue gas duct
was divided into 36 uniform sections and the sampling
point was located at the center of each uniform section.

Figure 2. Schematic diagram of the LOB.
TABLE I. BOILER OPERATING CONDITIONS
Boiler Operating Conditions Oil Type 0 # Light Diesel Oil
Oil pressure ( MPa ) 1.20
Oil-flow rate of the less-oil gun ( kg/h )
60.0
Resistance of the less-oil burner ( Pa ) 600.0
Primary air temperature (
o
C ) 76.0
Primary air velocity ( m/s ) 25.0
Primary air ratio ( % ) 19.8
Secondary air temperature (
o
C ) 345.0
Secondary air velocity ( m/s ) 57.0
TABLE II. SPECIFICATION OF COAL USED IN THE EXPERIMENTS
Proximate Analysis ( As Received )
Moisture ( % )
13.00
Ash ( % ) 14.00
Volatile ( % ) 25.55
Fixed carbon ( % )coal 47.45
Ultimate analysis ( as received )
Carbon ( % ) 58.04
Hydrogen ( % ) 3.62
Oxygen ( % ) 9.94
Nitrogen ( % ) 0.70
Sulfur ( % ) 0.70
Heating Value ( as received )
Gross calorific value ( kcal/kg ) 5330
Particle size distribution
R
90
( % ) 20
IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
A.. The rising procedure of steam temperature
At the beginning of the boiler cold startup, it was
taken some minutes to start blowers, introduce the
auxiliary steam for heating the air and regulate the
ventilation of the pulverizer which grinds the coal for the
LOB of Level B. At the same time, four LOGs were
ignited and a high-temperature fire-core was formed in
the first-stage firing chamber. When the pulverized coal
was delivered by the primary air to pass through the LOB,
they were ignited rapidly in the way as described above.
The whole boiler startup procedure continued about 6
hours. Fig.3 illustrates the heating-rate of primary steam
which is required by the operation rules and obtained
during the actual operation of the boiler startup after the
retrofit. For the operation rules, the heating-rate of
primary steam was 1.6667
o
C/min at the beginning of the
boiler cold startup and dropped to 0.8333
o
C/min before
the steam turbine running. When the speed increase of the
steam turbine finished, the heating-rate of primary steam
then increased from 0
o
C/min to 0.6667
o
C/min for the sake
of grid connected operation.
After that operation, although it dropped to 0
o
C/min in
a short period of time, the heating-rate of primary steam
jumped to 1.6667
o
C/min and maintained this status until
the end of the boiler cold startup.
By comparing, it is found that the heating-rate of
primary steam obtained during the actual operation
exhibits nearly similar trend with that required by the
operation rules. The maximum value of the heating rate of
primary steam obtained during the actual operation was
1.5333
o
C/min, which was less than the one required by
the operation rules.
B.. The rising procedure of steam pressure
Fig.4 illustrates the pressure-rate of primary steam
which is required by the operation rules and obtained
during the actual operation of the boiler startup after the
retrofit. For the operation rules, the pressure-rate of
primary steam was 0.0847MPa/min at the beginning of
the boiler cold startup and then jumped from 0MPa/min to
0.2963MPa/min at the end of the boiler cold startup.

50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
Rules required
Actual operation
Time interval (min)
H
e
a
t
i
n
g
-
r
a
t
e

o
f

p
r
i
m
a
r
y

s
t
e
a
m

(
O
C
/
m
i
n
)

Figure 3. Heating-rate of primary steam required by the operation
rules and obtained during the actual operation.
In contrast, the pressure-rate of primary steam
obtained during the actual operation changed smoothly
and the maximum value of the pressure-rate of primary
steam was 0.06013MPa/min which is far less than the one
required by the operation rules.
50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
-0.05
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
Rules required
Actual operation
Time interval (min)
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
-
r
a
t
e

o
f

p
r
i
m
a
r
y

s
t
e
a
m

(
M
P
a
/
m
i
n
)

Figure 4. Pressure-rate of primary steam required by the operation
rules and obtained during the actual operation.
C.. Wall temperatures of the LOB and the utility boiler
During the LOB in operation, due to combustion of
pulverized coal, a large number of heat released in the
burner. Thus, it is necessary to investigate the safety of
the LOB when it is put into use. The variation of wall
temperature of the LOB during the operation is displayed
in Fig.5.
Obviously, until the end of the boiler startup, the wall
temperature of all LOBs was no more than 300
o
C. It is
evident that the cooling film has a good effect on cooling
the wall during the LOB in operation and the LOB can
operate steady and safe.
For the purpose of the safety of the utility, it is also
important to investigate the expansion feature of the
boiler during the LOB in operation; especially the water
wall employs spiral tubes. The variation of wall
temperature of the spiral tubes outlet as the boiler
start-up is presented in Fig.6. It is seen that the heat
exchange surfaces absorb heat and expand uniformly;
wall temperature of the spiral tubes outlet of the front
wall, rear wall and side wall has little difference between
them and the maximum value of it is less than 10
o
C.

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
50
100
150
200
250


W
a
l
l

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
O
C
)
Time interval (min)
No.1
No.2
No.3
No.4

Figure 5. Variation of wall temperature of the LOB.

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
100
120
140
160
180
200
220
240
260
280
300

W
a
l
l

t
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

(
O
C
)
Time interval (min)
front wall
rear wall
side wall

Figure 6. Variation of wall temperature at the exit of the spiral tubes
of the water wall

50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
0
15
30
45
60
75

Unburned carbon in ash
Burnout
Time interval (min)
U
n
b
u
r
n
e
d

c
a
r
b
o
n

i
n

f
l
y
-
a
s
h

(
w
t
%
)
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
B
u
r
n
o
u
t

(
w
t
%
)

Figure 7. Variation of the coal burnout rate.
D.. Burnout rate of coal
The burnout of coal is defined as
% 100
) 100 / (

+
- - +
= u
C V
FA A C V
W W
W W W W |
(1)
where is the coal burnout rate, WV, WC, WA and WFA
represents the weight fraction of volatile, char, ash, and
fly-ash, respectively. is a constant which is fixed at =0.9.
Fig.7 depicts the variation of the unburned carbon in ash and
the coal burnout rate in the process of the boiler cold startup.
At the beginning, because the furnace was totally cold, the
unburned char in fly-ash is higher than 70% and the coal
burnout is lower than 94% correspondingly. However, as the
heat absorbed from the furnace increased, the coal burnout
rate increased from less than 94% to more than 98% and was
up to 99.5% at the end of the boiler startup. It is clearly shown
that the pulverized coal is able to be combusted fully and
stably in the LOIT combustor.
E.. Analysis of the economical benefit
The oil-saving efficiency is calculated as:
100%
OG LOG
OG
C C
C

O = (2)
Where is the oil-saving efficiency, COG and CLOG
represents the oil consumption for boiler cold startup using
the conventional ignition method and the less-oil ignition
method, respectively.
Tab.3 lists the output of the OG and the LOG, the number of
the gun put into use and its run time. Obviously, by
calculation, the oil-saving efficiency obtained after the retrofit
is 98.3%.
TABLE III. COMPARISON OF THE ECONOMICAL BENEFIT

Less-oil
Ignition
Traditional Ignition
Output of the oil-gun ( kg/h ) 60 3575
Number of the oil-gun 4 4
Time in operation ( h ) 6.5 6.5
Oil-saving efficiency ( % ) 98.3
V. CONCLUSIONS
An experimental investigation on a 600MWe supercritical
boiler that was ignited by the LOIT was presented. Based on
the foregoing analysis of the experimental results, some
concluding remarks can be drawn as follows:
- For the utility boiler firing a bituminous coal, the
rising rate of primary steam temperature and pressure
can satisfy the demand of the operation rules after the
retrofit of the LOIT. The heat exchange surfaces
absorb heat and expand uniformly, and the safety of
the utility boiler can be well guaranteed.
- The pulverized coal is able to be combusted fully and
stably in the less-oil ignition combustor and the wall
temperature of the LOB remains less than 300
o
C in the
whole process of the boiler startup.
- The burnout rate of coal was relative low at the
beginning of the boiler startup because the furnace was
in a full cold state. As the heat absorbed from the
furnace increased and the combustion condition
improved, the coal burnout rate increased significantly
and rapidly.
- The technology of the less-oil ignition represents a
significant economical benefit and more than 95%
oil-saving efficiency can be achieved during the boiler
start-up for the utility boiler firing a bituminous coal.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Project is supported by the Science and Technology
Research Program of Zhejiang Province, China. (No.
2008C11034)
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