FOSTER WHEELER ENERGY INTERNATIONAL Services Division TECHNICAL PAPER

WALL FIRED LOW NOx BURNER EVOLUTION FOR GLOBAL NOx COMPLIANCE
FW AUTHORS: Tom Steitz Manager, Firing Systems John Grusha Director, Firing Systems and Product Development Ross Cole Combustion Engineer

The 23rd International Technical Conference on Coal Utilization & Fuel Systems March 9-13, 1998 Clearwater, Florida USA

This technology is applicable for the EPA’s Title IV. rugged and reliable solution to achieve low NOx levels at optimum unit efficiency. It is also ideally suited for new/retrofit industrial and utility plants worldwide. Primary Air/Coal Jet Control was an addition to the Controlled Flow burner as well. thus inhibiting fuel Nitrogen conversion to NOx. Secondary air register. or air staging. limiting the formation of “thermal NOx” within the flame. In this market. This air staging controls fuel bound nitrogen from mixing early with secondary air. including. was developed in the early 1970's and first installed in 1976. The IV burner is depicted in Figure 1. Utilities and Industrial users demand high value solutions and equipment to generate clean. Foster Wheeler First Generation LNB (1976) . Significant capital and maintenance cost advantages are available with superior performance. It allows for the ability to control the exit characteristics of the primary air and coal jet without changing primary air flow. Foster Wheeler Turbulent Burners (pre 1971) . This is a necessity when striving for optimum mixing for low NOx in an open windbox arrangement. The burner was installed in two separate modules. this sleeve damper automatically adjusts for the proper air flow per burner. This Vortex Series/Split Flame (VS/SF) LNB satisfies these demands by providing a less complex.CF Burner FW’s 1st generation low NOx Burner. this controlled mixing reduces peak flame temperatures. designed to mix the fuel and air as rapidly as possible to maximize combustion efficiency. A comparison of these two burners. Foster Wheeler (FW) has been a leader in the development and advancement of this technology over these years. INJECTOR WINDBOX AREA Figure 2 Many of the proven mechanical features and sizing criteria from the turbulent IV burner were carried through into the CF LNB. A sleeve damper shroud and was placed over the entire air register assembly in order to balance and modulate air flow on a per burner basis. the Controlled Flow (CF) LNB depicted in Figure 2. The low NOx concept was to divide the secondary air flow stream into two distinct paths to produce air separation from the coal. When burners are placed in and out of service. This is a unique feature found only on Foster Wheeler’s low NOx burners. a) Single Air Zone b) Multiple Radial Blade register vanes. In addition. B. conventional wall fired coal burner designs consisted of a highly turbulent mixing burner. REGISTER Intervane Burner Figure 1 . environmentally friendly electricity. consisting of: 1. Phase II Acid Rain retrofits in addition to imminent Title I Ozone retrofit regulations. The intent of this paper is to present the development and commercialization path of a new Foster Wheeler Low NOx Burner (LNB) designed specifically for a deregulated Utility Market and Industrial applications. within the near burner throat area.ABSTRACT Low NOx Burners for wall-fired boilers have substantially evolved since their inception in the early 1970's.IV Burner Prior to the advent of low NOx requirements. COAL BURNER DESIGN EVOLUTION A. This manual adjustment gives the boiler operations personnel the on line flexibility to stabilize and optimize firing for a wide range of coals with a single burner design. FW’s turbulent Intervane (IV) burner was one of the most efficient burners available in the power industry. in addition to later generations of FW LNB’s is depicted in Table 1. linked together c) Large overall diameter d) High swirl efficiency e) Low Secondary Air pressure differentials Fuel Injector a) A tangential scroll inlet for optimum coal distribution and swirl b) An open ended nozzle for optimum mixing with the secondary air c) An inner barrel to house ignitor/main fuel THROAT 2.

Spreading out the burner pattern to accommodate the register. it became a challenge to fit the full size Controlled Flow register into some older boilers where the burners were more closely spaced. FOSTER WHEELER SECOND GENERATION LNB (1979) . Thus. The patented design segregates the coal into multiple concentrated streams producing a fuel staging effect which inhibits NOx formation. The Split Flame fuel injector was a major advancement in controlling NOx from the burner alone. either horizontally or vertically. became a costly undertaking and not always possible within the given constraints of retrofit applications. It is installed on over 100 units worldwide firing all types of fuels. As retrofit opportunities increased in the late 1980’s. the Controlled Flow/Split Flame (CF/SF) Burner. The burner air flow paths for this design are depicted in Figure 5.TABLE 1 Foster Wheeler Burner Designs A IV <1971 2 B CF 1976 2 C CF/SF 1979 2 D IFS 1991 2 E PF/SF 1994 1 or 2 F VS/SF 1997 1 or 2 Burner Type Year Number of Modules Register # Air Zones Blade type Flow Path Relative Register Diameter Swirl Efficiciency dP Fuel Injector Inlet Exit tip Relative IB Diameter Ignitor/Main Fuel NOx Reduction Potential IB . It is the key component of Foster Wheeler’s low NOx burner technology. a multi-port Split Flame nozzle (Figure 4) was added to the end of the fuel injector of the CF burner. promoting the reaction of fuel bound nitrogen to form harmless gaseous N2. FW introduced its 2nd Generation of Low NOx Burners. The material utilized for the split flame tip is a high nickel chromium alloy casting to protect it from the high radiant heat fluxes in the burner zone. This burner is depicted in Figure 3.Axial Blades 50-65% Ann -Secondary Air Annulus C. more than doubling the NOx reduction potential of the CF burner.Inner Barrel 1 Radial Series 100% high low 2 Radial Series 120% high low 2 Radial Series 85% or 120% high low 2 Radial Series 85% or 120% high low 2 Radial Parallel 75% high low 2 Axial Parallel 65% high low scroll open 100% IB scroll open 65% IB scroll split 65% IB scroll split 65% IB or Ann scroll or elbow split 35% IB or Ann scroll or elbow split 20% IB or Ann Uncontrolled up to 30% 50-65% 50-65% 50-65% A . The coal separation forces fuel devolatilization in very low O2 concentrations. FW began down- Figure 3 . The Split Flame nozzle accomplishes additional NOx reduction by internally fuel staging the coal. In essence.CF/SF In 1979.

When downsizing. See Figure 6. the widths of the inner and outer register blades were elongated to maintain a similar free area and pressure drop compared to the full size registers. The register diameter itself was reduced by 30% with this design (Refer to Table 1).sizing the register assembly to fit into existing burner spacing. Coal Nozzle Comparison Split Flame (SF) Figure 4 Internal Fuel Staged Nozzle (IFS) Figure 5 .

Figure 6 .

Down Sized Performance Comparison For Identical Heat Liberation Burners Boiler OEM FW RS Heat Lib.Full Size vs. the swirl is removed from the inner air zone. customers continued to demand high value NOx Reduction Systems. developed in 1996-1997 for the FW’s next generation of LNB’s. % 12 12 # of LNB’s 12 8 Dozens of units have been retrofit with down-sized Controlled Flow registers with equal or better performance. The IFS burner was installed in 40 Utility units during Phase I of the Clean Air Act for Acid Rain. replaced with a simple conical air flow damper.44 Unit Size 180 120 Dt. in 42 41 UBC. Parallel Flow Split Flame (PF/SF) Low NOx Burner Figure 7 The fuel injector for the PF/SF burner is also reduced in size by limiting the size of the inner and outer barrel diameters. FW introduced the Internal Fuel Staged (IFS) Low NOx Burner. FW was prepared for this market with the introduction of the less complex and simpler to operate Parallel Flow/Split Flame (PF/SF) LNB (Figure 7). FOSTER WHEELER FOURTH GENERATION LNB (1994-CURRENT) . the scroll-less inlet. depending on space requirements. The configuration of the split flame tip was adjusted to increase the number of coal ports from four to six and to add an internal swirl zone.PF/SF As competition increased at the end of Phase I of the Clean Air Act. FOSTER WHEELER THIRD GENERATION LNB (1991-1995) . The inner air flow path is adjusted from a series to a parallel flow path. E. The scroll inlet was maintained for early versions of this burner. Figure 6 depicts a comparison of the Controlled Flow (Series Path) and Parallel Flow Registers.43 0. This burner utilized the proven CF register in combination with a revised fuel injector.TABLE 2 .IFS BURNER In 1991. Ignitors could be located down the center inner barrel or could be sighted through the secondary air annulus to save space in the burner. D. has been adapted to subsequent PF/SF and other contracts (Table 3): . MMBtu/hr 150 150 Register Diam. These differences are depicted in Figure 4. Refer to Table 2 for a summary of two near duplicate FW LNB applications. However. in 93 64 NOx lb/MMBtu 0. Based on laboratory and field results. the only difference is that the first unit was designed for full-size registers and the second for down-sized registers. fixed swirlers can be added to the inner zone as needed. For certain fuels. Both full size and down-sized CF registers were used with the IFS burner. The inner register assembly is moved away from the fuel injector allowing even smaller diameter registers without a sacrifice in performance.

The more compact and simple current designs offer many fabrication. this market demand. This single piece module is illustrated in the PF/SF burner of Figure 6 and is depicted in the photograph of Figure 8. Figure 8 F. The reduced diameter and weight of the register and fuel injector allows for easy rigging of a single piece module . Only the air/fuel delivery system has been optimized. it’s design continues to provide users with the rugged and reliable features known of Foster Wheeler Low NOx Burners. VORTEX SERIES/SPLIT FLAME LOW NOx BURNER This Vortex Series/Split Flame (VS/SF) Low NOx burner is depicted in Figure 9. It is designed to reduce manufacturing costs and simplify installation. the “business end” of the burner. the PF/SF burner possesses the attractive option of being fabricated and installed as a single piece module. velocities. and is more operational and maintenance friendly. the demand continued for high value. By 1996. The performance of the previous generations of FW LNB’s had been at or above industry levels. The configuration is even smaller and less complex than previous designs. FOSTER WHEELER FIFTH GENERATION LNB (1997-CURRENT) . Thus. This includes the same throat aerodynamics. It was desired to maintain equal or improved performance of these burners compared to previous LNB designs. installation and maintenance advantages over it’s predecessors with reliable and competitive emissions and combustion performance. Figure 6 illustrates the evolution of FW LNB technology over the past 22 years. remains the same as the established previous designs. cost effective NOx solutions. and mixing patterns as the previous LNB design(s). The register is mated to the established FW Split Flame Coal Nozzle which is adaptable to most OEM axial or tangential coal nozzle inlets. The “Vortex” implies the type of air flow pattern the register produces. It can be installed as a one-piece module saving installation costs. Most importantly. FW responded by developing the New Vortex Series/Split Flame (VS/SF) burner. It was developed and designed employing the latest Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. reliable manner. where the actual fuel/air mixing and combustion is initiated. but delivering the air and fuel in a more simple.Scroll-less Burner Applications Current Burner Cell New Blr New Blr KVB KVB Unit Size 1300 120 120 175 175 OEM B&W FW FW RS RS FW Burner PF/SF VS/SF VS/SF CF/SF CF/SF # of LNB’s 88 8 8 18 18 To reduce installation costs and down-time.TABLE 3 . it was apparent that a new LNB design was required to meet .this allows for true “plug-in” retrofits from the burner front.VS/SF As deregulation rapidly descended on the Utility Market in the USA.

the sliding inner air cone. only one automatic adjustment is necessary “on line”. Figure 10 .the automatic sleeve damper.Figure 9 DEVELOPMENT OF VORTEX SERIES LNB The most noticeable difference between the Vortex Series and the previous FW Low NOx burners is the method used to induce swirl to the outer zone air flow. The split stream coal nozzle remains as an integral component of the Vortex Series Burner. While the FW CF (Series flow) and Parallel style register burners have numerous adjustable vanes radially positioned to produce the swirl. and inner sliding tip are one-time adjustments during commissioning which operate as fixed dampers over the life of the boiler. and the sliding fuel injector tip. The outer air register. No complex links. the Vortex Series design uses an adjustable “one piece” axial swirler to induce swirl and provide flame shape control (See Figure 10). the sliding outer air swirler. As in all FW LNB designs. commonly used on other burner designs. The VS/SF has four linear adjustments . or control rings. This less complex arrangement reduces the number of “moving” components from approximately twenty to only one. It is the burner sleeve damper for individual burner air flow control. turnbuckles. inner air register. unless a major fuel or operational change warrants re-adjustment. exist with this burner.

The capability to adjust air flow provides flame shaping as well as fuel and air mixing control. This aids in establishing a flame front near the coal nozzle tip. NOx emission reductions greater than 50% have been demonstrated worldwide on both types firing a wide range of coals.Moderate Swirl Figure 11 . The plastic model was a full size replica of the burners used at FW’s Combustion and Environmental Test Facility (CETF) in Dansville. The single phase flow pattern results validated the computer generated results. This supported proceeding to single phase flow modeling. A key requirement of any low NOx burner register is to produce a strong swirling air flow pattern exiting the burner throats. The surrounding swirling air shears the coal jet around its circumference. The recirculation pattern within this swirling vortex reduces the velocity and penetration of the coal jet. the swirl allows a gradual entrainment of fuel and air to complete carbon burnout. NJ. prevents the complete conversion of fuel bound nitrogen to NOx. the axial swirl register was conducted.Full Swirl Retracted Axial Swirler Retracted . in the combustion process. This testing entailed comparing aerodynamics of a radial vane parallel register and a radial vane register modified with an axial swirler. The expanding temperature profile predicts a “flared out” flame pattern. both radial and axial swirl registers can produce the air flow patterns necessary for achieving stable flame combustion. swirl numbers. turndown. SINGLE PHASE FLOW MODELING To quantify the capability of the axial swirler register. Several different techniques were applied to quantify the swirl patterns. reducing emissions and maximizing combustion efficiency. Based on these results the axial swirl design was shown to have significant swirl control. The results of the CFD modeling phase showed good flow pattern correlation to other successful low NOx registers.RADIAL BLADES VERSUS AXIAL BLADES Based on an industry experience with low NOx burners. The coal. recirculation patterns and velocities. and emissions. coupled with a well defined internal recirculation zone. CFD modeling of Inserted . The flame shape of Run 1 of Figure 11 depicts the predicted temperature profile with the swirlers fully inserted. a plastic burner was constructed and extensively modeled in single phase air flow at FW’s research labs in Livingston. which ignites and devolatizes under fuel rich conditions in this inert recirculation zone. Computational combustion dynamics modeling showed that an axial swirler can provide significant flame shape control. NY. Run 2 depicts a flame profile for a retracted swirler and less swirl. This type of profile results with high swirl. while radially stratifying the flow with its angular momentum. COMPUTER FLUID AND COMBUSTION DYNAMICS MODELING As part of the Vortex Series development program. Later.

Again validation that an axial swirler produced positive performance. the unit could only be operated with all ignitors in service.PROOF OF CONCEPT As the next step in the validation process. or are undergoing retrofit. NOx reductions of 50-65% can be achieved with burners only. The result was improved flame stability throughout the load range with no degradation in NOx or combustion efficiency. The VS/SF burner is in fabrication for two Utility contracts. Seven boilers totaling 2200 MW and over 160 burners have been. axial swirlers were installed in the outer zone of two FWEC. Figure 12 . this program followed an extensive test program on the Parallel register. FW has responded and systematically developed it’s current Parallel Flow/Split Flame (PF/SF) and Vortex Series/Split Flame (VS/SF) burners. with the PF/SF burners. Results showed that the less complex Vortex Series/Split Flame Low NOx Burner design produces slightly better emissions performance to the previous LNB designs. gas cofiring and effects of overfire air were tested and found to be adequate. Foster Wheeler is already looking ahead to the next generation of Low NOx burners. Operational facets such as ignitor performance. They possess simple adjustment devices. validating results from previous studies of the Vortex Series burner. To meet the changing low NOx burner market requirements. without ignitors in service. Previously. radial vane parallel register low NOx burners at FW’s CETF. Foster Wheeler’s high performance Low NOx Burner designs have evolved since NOx limits have been enacted world-wide to control Acid Rain and Ozone formation. Market forces have demanded that FW’s first generations of LNB designs be reengineered to be less complex. To provide a direct performance comparison. with minimal impact on UBC and unit operation Foster Wheeler low NOx burners are readily adaptable to any OEM boiler. They can be installed one-piece modules to save valuable outage time and costs. the concept was applied to an actual field installation on a 25 MWg unit as a possible solution to flame instability when firing a high moisture lignitic type coal. CONCLUSIONS In summary. Foster Wheeler has continued to make a commitment to be a leader in this technology. Figure 12 depicts the comparative NOx and UBC trend for two burners. and are designed with the latest 3D CAD/CAM modeling techniques. These burner will provide even greater performance advantages through improved fuel/air mixing and balances as well as swirl control. turndown. Over 60 parametric test conditions were run evaluating numerous performance aspects on several fuels ranging from low volatile to medium and high sulfur eastern bituminous. yet reliable and rugged while and achieving superior NOx and unburned carbon performance. FULL SCALE COMBUSTION TESTING AT CETF As a final step in the development process. Installing fixed axial swirlers allowed operation at MCR. full scale testing of two 35 MMBtu Vortex Series/Split Flame Low NOx Burners was conducted at Foster Wheeler’s CETF. They can mate to almost any coal conduit arrangement and burner inlet. Next.