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written by: Dr V T Sathyanathan • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher Furnace sizing is a very important for a successful boiler design. The variation in boiler furnace size can upset the performance drastically. Oil and gas fired units have more uniform sizes, but the coal fired units have large variation. Chemical recovery boiler furnace is sized for drying fuel.
Boilers designed to generate steam for both industrial and power generation applications use fuels like coal, oil and gas. Fuel characteristics have a great impact on boiler design. The furnace designed in a boiler must be so sized that the furnace outlet temperature is predicted and achieved within reasonable limits. The furnace outlet temperature is the basis for further heat transfer surface design. It is seen that the furnace size varies considerably between coal fired boilers and oil and gas. The variation between oil and gas fired boiler furnace size is to a smaller extent only. Design criteria for boilers To understand why the furnace size varies between different fuels, we have to have a broad idea about the design criteria for boilers.
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First we should know the energy input level, this will depend on steam flow, feed water temperature, pressure and temperature of steam, and an assumed efficiency of boiler based on experience. The energy absorption level needed in boiler and other heat transfer system will have to be defined or worked out. Based on the fuel given, for design calculate the fuel quantity, air and flue gas flow required. Now determine the size and shape of furnace which will require knowledge of burner size, other combustion systems, emission requirements, ash handling, furnace outlet temperature limitation, etc. Design superheaters, reheaters, economizers, and air heaters so that the second pass can be finalized. Care must be taken to size the heat transfer areas such that any requirement due to fouling and the erosive nature of fuel is addressed. Design the desuperheating requirement, location and number of equipment for cleaning of pressure parts. Boiler enclosures, supports, piping, expansion guides, and movements are all to be designed and checked. The code to which the boiler is designed is very important and has to be adhered.
It is to be remembered that among coal fired boilers themselves. etc. Being a solid fuel. . The furnace heat loadings can also be maintained much higher due to near zero % ash. The very low % of oil ash needs to be addressed from point of view of high temperature corrosion in heat transfer surface.Coal fired boiler The coal fired boiler furnace size is generally higher in volume by 20 to 35 %. As a very general rule the volume of oil fired boiler furnace will have only 65 % of volume of a coal fired boiler furnace. Even though the adiabatic flame temperature is higher than oil. depending on coal types. Gas fired boiler furnace When compared to oil. higher second pass gas velocity. the practically obtained flame temperature is much lower around 1700 degree Celsius. Normally about 20 % ash is collected as bottom ash in coal fired boiler. oil and gas fired boiler furnace is shown. ash characteristics. the EPRS (Effective Projected Radiant Surface). The ash deposits on the walls reduce the effectiveness of heat transfer and this is lower in the case of coal fired boilers. this leads to conservative sizing by designers. There are three furnace heat loading adopted by designers. Just to give an idea. All these factors reduce the furnace size further and result in the lowest furnace size for a similar capacity boiler. when compared to an oil fired boiler. As it is not possible to have an accurate analytical solution for heat transfer in a steam generator furnace. The ash in coal needs to be addressed and hence the rule of thumb is to keep the furnace outlet temperature lower than initial deformation temperature of ash by 50 degree Celsius. The oil and gas fired boilers have nearly flat furnace bottoms. The bottom ash handling requirement increase the size of coal fired boiler. Oil fired boiler furnace Oil flame emissivity is higher than coal flame and so results in higher furnace absorption. this factor also influence the furnace size to the higher side. This allows still higher heat loadings in the furnace. This is a very rough comparison and is for a specific nature of coal. the reactivity. etc. the plan area and the volumetric. the burner size and numbers go up when compared to oil or gas burners. these loadings are much lower for coal fired boilers. o o o o o o o o o The reactivity of coal is much lower than oil and hence need more residence time. The factors that increase the furnace size are many. The lower flame temperature needs more radiant surface to be provided. gas is a much more reactive and cleaner fuel. By virtue of experience and field results from boilers. the furnace sizes will vary considerably depending on the age of the coal. a size comparison between coal.
Coal Analysis for Boiler Designers written by: Dr V T Sathyanathan • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 7/3/2009 Hydrocarbon fuels are the major source of energy for power and process steam generation. Formation of coal has vast impact on boiler design. and a variety of other applications. The completion of combustion is another very important factor in boiler design. can change considerably if the coal being used is substantially different from that for which the boiler was designed. the Gondwana coals are different from American and European. When designing a boiler. the carbon hydrogen ratio decides the quantity of combustion air. and this changes the furnace behavior. and the way in which these hydrocarbon behave can be different from one coal to the other. and further heat transfer surface sizing will depend on furnace outlet temperature. Why is coal different? o o o o o All fuels are hydrocarbons Gas and oil have defined hydrocarbons and structure. and ultimately the entire unit. fuel analysis plays a major role. and coal takes a major share in this. This will depend on how the hydrocarbon rings are formed and bonded. Flame temperature is dictated by the chemical composition of the fuel. The boiler designed for gas fuel will have the smallest furnace size. The performance of the boiler. (Coal formation theories). This will depend on its reactivity and formation. The chemical characteristics of the fuel decide many aspects of boiler design. and the boiler designed for coal will have the biggest size. The world's thermal power is mainly dependent on coal as its fuel. If the coal burns slowly requiring more residence time then the SH and RH (superheater and reheater) behavior . What is fuel? o o o Any combination of organics and inorganic material which during chemical reaction or transformation gives out large amount of heat is called fuel Fuel can be hydrocarbon fuel and non-hydrocarbon Industrial fuels have heat values from as low as 500 kcal/kg to as high as 11000 kcals/kg Heat generated by fuel is used a boiler to generate steam for process. which means C & H in fuel does not vary much Coal is a heterogeneous fuel and has only an assumed structure – C & H vary highly C & H in Coal can be only be known if you do an ultimate analysis. power generation. Boiler furnace design will depend more on fuel characteristics. Why is consistency in hydrocarbon important for boiler o o o It starts from combustion air calculation.
The unknown are Petrographic analysis. and Ash analysis. reducing the boiler efficiency. Steam generator performance is greatly influenced by the coal/ash properties. load limitations. The behavior of the ash during the combustion process and managing the coal-ash are the major issues in boiler design. Ultimately all these will result in higher gas outlet temperature. Major effects of fuel on boiler design o o o A wide range of coal properties can lead to oversized pulverizing/firing equipment which will in turn lead to a limitation on turn down and a possible increase in auxiliary power consumption. . boiler availability loss due to slagging and fouling. tube failure increases. to get the rated outlet temperature. This will lead to large injection in SH and/or RH which will reduce the life of the tubes and also reduce boiler efficiency. and plant heat rate reduction. Slagging and fouling analysis. etc. maybe only marginally. Lack of consistency can lead to loss of the capability to generate when the ash level increases beyond a threshold of the fuel preparation system capacity. HGI. All unknown become known only after the combustion of coal in the boiler furnace and at the cost of boiler performance. and fouling in convection passages are some of the major issues to be dealt during operation of the boiler. if it increases will increase fuel requirement. Reactivity. Oversizing of pulverizers and air heaters to handle occasionally high moisture coals will require excessive tempering air when handling normal moisture coals. Changes in coal property result in efficiency variation and the designer may not be able to demonstrate the guarantees. This can also lead to limitations on the fuel handling system. Ultimate. This can also result in changes in power consumption. heat transfer upsets. The amount of unburned material in fly ash and bottom ash of the boiler can change.o o changes when compared to the fast burning coal. Calorific Value. which can be difficult at times. The known are the coal Proximate. There are known and unknowns with coal during combustion. and. Deposition and slagging. This will also increase the furnace size and the SH and RH will need to be sized properly.
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