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BOILER AND HEATER OPERATIONAL CONTROL It is necessary to operate a boiler with more air than is theoretically needed to burn

all the fuel. Burner controls are therefore always set to provide some amount of excess air in all operating scenarios, typically from two to five percent O2 in the flue gas. Excess air incurs a heat loss; it enters the combustion system at ambient temperature and leaves at stack temperature. Therefore, reducing the oxygen level in the flue gas will reduce the heat loss. Tip: Typically, reducing oxygen in the flue gas by 1% increases boiler efficiency by about 2.5%. Controlling excess air is the most important tool for managing the energy efficiency and atmospheric emissions of a boiler system. It is important to keep in mind that the air-to-fuel ratio is based on mass, not volume. The mass of air supplied to the mass of fuel being used (e.g. on a kilogram-to-kilogram basis) must be controlled. The density of air and gaseous fuels changes with temperature and pressure, a fact that must be taken into account in controlling the air-to-fuel ratio. For example, if pressure is fixed, the mass of air flowing in a duct will decrease when the temperature increases. The controls should therefore compensate for seasonal temperature variations and, optimally, for day and night variations too (especially during the spring and fall, when daily temperature variations are substantial). Similarly, the mass of natural gas flowing through a pipe will fall if the pressure in the supply pipe drops. (This may happen when the fuel flow to a second boiler increases.) Constant flow of liquid fuels, although less influenced by temperature, still depends on steady supply pressure to a valve maintaining a constant position. If pressure increases (e.g. when a second pump is started), the oil flow for a given valve position will also increase. Variations in pressure and temperature can be corrected by sophisticated air and fuel control systems. Such systems can be expensive, so simpler systems are often used to avoid the expense. They are less precise and are set up with larger margins of excess air to avoid insufficient air conditions. They cannot ensure optimum continuous operation. Due to the higher heat losses (i.e. lower energy efficiencies) associated with the cruder control systems, it pays to evaluate the economics of investing in a high-quality control system. For existing combustion equipment, measuring and minimizing excess air is the primary way to optimize boiler and heater efficiency. Optimizing excess air (also referred to as O2 control) means adjusting burner airflow to match fuel flow. Burner settings, initially calibrated during burner commissioning, should be reviewed regularly. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a sensitive indicator of incomplete combustion; its levels should range from zero to, perhaps, 50 parts per million (ppm) by volume, rather than the usual environmental limit of 400 ppm. Each boiler house should have accurately calibrated analysers for measuring O2, CO and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Types of air and fuel controls On-off and high-low controls The use of on-off and high-low controls is limited to processes that can tolerate cycles of temperature and pressure, such as heating applications. Mechanical jackshaft controls The simplest type of modulating burner control is used in small burners, where the cost of more complex systems cannot be justified. These controls cannot measure airflow or fuel flow; the play in the jackshaft and linkages needs settings with higherthan-necessary excess air to ensure safe operation under all conditions. The range of oxygen control (oxygen trim) is limited. The control response must be very slow to ensure that the burner reaches a steady state before the oxygen trim acts.

Parallel controls Separate drives in parallel controls adjust fuel flow and airflow, taking their signal from a master controller. The operator can adjust the flows individually and override the automatic control settings. These controls are usually applied to older, medium-sized boilers equipped with pneumatic controls. Their performance and operational safety can be improved by adding alarms that indicate if an actuator has slipped or calibration has been lost. Also, an additional controller can be added to provide oxygen trim. Parallel controls have similar disadvantages to mechanical jackshaft controls. Cross-limiting control Usually applied to larger boilers, cross-limiting control can sense and compensate for some of the factors that affect optimum air-to-fuel ratio. This control measures the flow of air and fuel and adjusts airflow to maintain the optimum value determined during calibration tests. Flue gas composition can be monitored and used in air control. Operations are safer when airflow cannot drop below the minimum needed for the existing fuel. They are also safer when fuel flow cannot be increased more than the existing airflow can burn. Oxygen trim is possible but, again, it has a limited range of adjustment. It must also respond slowly enough to allow the primary controls to reach equilibrium. Automatic control of excess air (oxygen trim) The high cost of purchasing and installing an oxygen analyser limits the use of oxygen trim controls to large boilers. It increases energy efficiency by one to two percent. For very large boilers, where efficiency gains of 0.1 percent mean significant annual savings, these controls usually measure CO as well.

TOPIC : Boiler

The quality of a boiler is judged by its system efficiency calculate . But different norms of how to make comparison difficult and

confuse the issue

In this first installment of our tool kit, we will attempt to learn the following:

Understanding different methods to calculate system efficiencies. Knowing the difference between the lower and higher heating value of a fuel. Appreciating the difference between the direct and indirect method of measuring the system efficiency. Establishing a list of losses. Understanding the basic mathematics behind efficiency calculations. Converting between norm efficiencies.

Definition of System Efficiency A boiler is an equipment that is sold with a guaranteed system efficiency. Some people call it design efficiency to distinguish it from the operational efficiency.

For instance saying a boiler has a guaranteed efficiency of 83% means 17% of the energy input in the boiler (mostly fuel energy) is lost and is not used to generate steam. The trouble with this practice is that there are several norms how to determine and calculate efficiencies. Based on the norm efficiency the same boiler may have at least two design efficiencies.

Any consultant involved in boiler testing should therefore have at least some understanding how thermal efficiencies based on measured data, are calculated. The most basic equation everybody agrees is


Adsorbed Energy

heat Input

= =

Eout Ein

The =

energy The

the energy

feed going

water into


picked the

up. boiler.

There is no disagreement of what "adsorbed heat" means. It is the energy needed to convert feed water entering the boiler at a specific pressure and temperature to steam leaving the boiler at a specific pressure and temperature. This includes the energy picked up by the blow down and not converted into steam.

Disagreement among national norms exist of what is considered an "energy input".Unfortunately any fuel has two widely published energy contents. They are:


The Higher Heating Value (HHV), also called Gross Calorific Value (GCV) The Lower Heating Value (LHV), also called the Net Calorific Value (NCV) functional relation between HHV and LHV is


is the mass of water (in kg) generated by one kg of fuel during the combustion process, and

with H = weight percent of Hydrogen in the fuel

xH2O = weight percent of physically bound water in the fuel.

It is assumed that all water is evaporated at 25C (the temperature of the systemboundary). A fuel contains physically and chemically bound water. Drying the fuel can drive off the physically bound water, while the chemically bound water is formed through the reaction of Oxygen with the atomic Hydrogen of the fuel. Contrary to common believe and the notation in the American norm, there is no molecular Hydrogen ( H2) or Oxygen (O2) in the fuel.

The LHV is always smaller than the HHV.Table 1 gives an overview of how much LHV and HHV differ. See Table 1. Table 1.

FUEL TYPE Light fuel oil Coal A Wood, very dry (10% H2O) Wood, freshly cut (70% H2O) LPG (90% Propane) Carbon, C Bagasse (50% H2O) 44.003 21.693 17.739 5.913 50.250 34.095 9.855


LHV % CHANGE 41.255 20.236 16.308 3.808 46.256 34.095 7.974 6.24 6.72 8.07 35.61 7.95 0 19.08

MJ/kg MJ/kg

It should be noted that the adsorbed heat is a measured value and does not depend on the fuel energy input (LHV or HHV). How much heat the feed water can adsorb is a matter of boiler design and operation.

For example, assume 1 ton of light fuel oil is fired in a boiler and the adsorbed heat has been measured as 36,500 MJ. Using either the HHV or LHV as energy input we have

This boiler if tested by the German norm will be advertised with a design efficiency of about

= 88% because this = 83% input.

norm uses the LHV for calculation, while the same boiler sold by an American company would have an because the American norm uses the HHV as a basis for the energy

Due to the large difference, internationally known boiler manufacturers report both efficiencies in sales brochures. Another method to avoid any misunderstanding is to report the rated capacity in MW and the associated fuel consumption based on a given HHV or LHV of the fuel.

NOTE 1: Calculating the thermal efficiency directly as suggested in equation (1) and (2) would require to simultaneously measure the fuel flow, the steam flow, and the feed water flow. The procedure does not only involve measuring flows (kg/h or m /h) but also to record the fuel temperature and pressure of the steam and feed water.

With solid fuel fired boilers it is impossible to measure the fuel flow correctly. The direct method is therefore used very seldom to determine the efficiency of a boiler in the field. It is used as confirmation of the measured losses if fuel, feed water and steam meters are installed.

NOTE 2: Most performance testing and commissioning of smaller and medium sized boilers is done by the indirect method measuring the losses and calculating the efficiency as

This is the preferred choice, because the method is based on the measurement of losses and shows opportunities to reduce them.The HHV of the fuel is used as the relevant energy input.

NOTE 3: In case of a performance contract, verification of fuel cost reduction should be done by the direct method. This implies that performance contracting of solid fuel fired boilers is complicated due to difficulties in measuring fuel flow.

NOTE 4: The correct derivation of the efficiency equation for the indirect method is

In hot water boilers that may have stack gas temperatures below 90 o C, we observe system efficiencies of larger 100% if the LHV is used as energy input in the direct method calculation. It is therefore recommended to avoid the LHV as energy input, because it would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics which says the energy output of a system (boiler) cannot be larger than the energy input. In other words it is not possible to create energy in a boiler. The Losses Using the direct method one does not have to list losses because they dont enter into the calculation. With the indirect method an agreement of what we consider a loss must be reached. The most logical way to do this is to draw a system boundary around the boiler and declare all energy flows (except steam) that leave the boundary a loss. A sample list of losses is 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. The chemical energy of unburned carbon monoxide (CO) in the stack gas. The sensible and latent heat of the dry stack gas and the water in the stack gas. The radiation and convection losses from the boiler surface. The blow down losses (Optional. Some norms dont consider it). The sensible heat losses of the residue (ash). The unburned carbon losses (LOI) in the residue. All other combustible gases and solids in the stack gas such as Higher Hydrocarbons (C n Hm), H2, and solid carbon (C).

Only losses 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are measurable without too much effort and complications. One mainly tries to reduce losses 2 and 6. Loss 6 is important in solid fuel fired boilers. There are a few other losses, such as steam used for oil preheating and atomization in larger installations fired with "Bunker C" oil. Percentage fuel savings All our efforts to reduce energy consumption should be expressed in terms "percentage fuel saved". In case the efficiency of a boiler is determent and measures are recommended to increase efficiency from an "as is" situation to an new improved efficiency the percent savings of fuel consumption are given as

In the literature you may find all permutations of this equation such as










Note that S1 = -S4 and S2 = -S3 Let us assume that the as is situation is given as

Reducing losses means for the same level of energy output Eout less energy input Ein is needed. Consequently


Ein is the amount of energy saved. A positive number. Applying equation S 1 will lead to

Consequently S1 is the only correct equation. A positive number means fuel savings while a negative number means additional fuel consumption. In another issue it will be explained that the above equation cannot be used to calculate fuel savings from reduction of blow down or condensate return, since both are not considered losses.

Reference :

Boilers Operation Philosophy

The primary function of the boiler is to produce the steam in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of the plant. In order to do this, the boiler requires fuel, air and water at all the times during operation. The heat released during the combustion of the fuel produces steam from the water. In most cases, the steam is heated further before leaving the boiler. This process is continuous for the entire period that the boiler is in operation. The amount of steam varying according to the load changes. In order to change the steam output, the boiler must change the rate of the air and fuel combustion and rate of water flow proportionately. In order to respond to these changes accurately and efficiently, various control systems are used on the boiler.

Steam Boiler

Main Parts: FD Fan : It sucks the air from the atmosphere and give for combustion chamber. Air Fuel Ratio is 1Kg of Gas needs 10kg of air & 2.5kg of the access air. Steam Heater: Steam heater will be used only during oil firing to increase the inlet air temperature to the boiler. Air Pre-Heater: It uses to make a heat exchange between hot flue gas going out and inlet cold combustion air to the boiler. Burners:

The burner is the device that permits controlled burning of fuel inside the furnace. The burner mixes the fuel with the required amount of air and directs the flame into the combustion area. Each boiler has six burners. The burner comprises of gas burner and oil burner with atomizing steam connection. Burner consists of: Air Register: used to give an enough quantity of air to the burner for good combustion. Ignition Gun: used to give ignition spark to the burner for firing. Flame Detector: used to monitor the flame. Cooling Air Fans: There are two cooling air fans are used to cool the burners and surrounding equipments like flame detector, oil firing gun, gas burners. Gas Supply Line: Fuel gas comes from fuel gas reducing station, which maintains constant fuel gas pressure. In case of failure or low header pressure line 2 takes over and keeps the header pressure to the required pressure. Fuel Oil Supply Line: Fuel oil comes from fuel oil tank, through F.O transfer pumps it comes to oil system. Fuel oil is maintained at 5-bar pressure by PLC control and F.O is supplied to fuel oil supply pumps which boosts to 22 bar pressure. De-aerator: It used to remove the oxygen and any other gases which contents in the water. Deaerator is used to store the water, which is feed pump inlet for each boiler. Feed Water System: Treat the water by removing dissolved solids and dissolved gases.

Steam Drum: The primary purpose of the steam drum is to separate the steam from the boiler water. Super Heater: They are used to increase the steam temperature before it leaves the boiler. Economizer: The economizer is used to heat the boiler feed water before it enters the steam drum. Soot blowers: The unburned carbon is called the soot. In order to remove the soot and ash deposits during operation, soot blowers are installed in the various locations in the furnace. Waste Heat Recovery Boiler (WHRB):

The function of the waste heat recovery boiler is typical to the normal boiler 1 and 2, but there are some differences in operation modes, burners and fuel. Operation modes: Exhaust mode: this mode is used in normal operation by using flue gas, which is coming from Gas Turbine Generator ( as well as supplementary firing by burners. In this case the bypass stack damper and combustion air FD fan are closed and boiler inlet damper (BID) is opened. Island mode: this mode is typical to independent operation mode because burners only operate the boiler. The boiler is separated from flue gas from GTG by close boiler inlet damper (BID) and open bypass stack damper and combustion air FD fan. Burner group: There are seven burners are grouped in three groups as the following: 1. Group I: burner elements 3 and 5. 2. Group II: burner elements 1, 4 and 7. 3. Group III: burner elements 2 and 6. Each burner is consist of: 1. Pilot burner. 2. Flame detector. 3. Cooling air. 4. Spark. Sealing air fan: The function of sealing air fan is to seal and protect FD fan from heating up by flue gas in exhaust operation mode. Also it seal bypass damper from flue gas leakage to the stake at exhaust mode. The WHRB protection system will trip the boiler when the seal air pressure less than 20 mBar. BURNER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (BMS): The B.M.S. is the system, which decides and takes appropriate action according to the safety and protection of the boiler. Example: Fuel Gas pressure coming Low or Low /Low according to set point, Boiler will trip by the protection logic through BMS when there is low/low alarm. TRICONEX PLC: Receives three different inputs for each of the measured variable. Any one differs from the other two readings, PLC generates a discrepancy alarm and as soon as second measured variable differs from the set point defined in the PLC, a trip alarm is generated and the boiler shuts down for safety and protection of the equipment. This is called two out of three voting system.

INTERLOCK SYSTEM: Interlocks are devices that sense off-limit operating conditions related to the start-up or shutdown of the boiler. These devices act to permit a sequence of control actions when starting or shutting down the boiler. In this application, they are called permissive interlocks. Other interlocks cause a shutdown sequence of control actions. In this application, they are called tripping interlocks. All permissive to start and tripping signals will mention in the protection system title of this report. PROTECTION SYSTEM: To prevent or to save the plant from any damage, we use Protection Logic to perform the following: Warn the boiler operator of hazardous operating conditions. Protect the equipment from damage. Ensure that the equipment functions in the proper manner. Shut the equipment down when unsafe conditions occur or when operating limits are exceeded. Boiler Protection & Sequence Boiler Start Up Start burner 1 Release start up burner 1 Sequence burner 1 sequence fail reset Boiler purged Protection stop Burner 1 oil presale Burner 1 gas presale Condition to step 02 Condition to step 03 Condition to step 04 Condition to step 05 Fuel gas. Quick shutoff valve step 07 Condition to step 08 Condition to step 09 Ignitor on Burner 1 oil on Burner 1 gas on Condition to step 13 Sequence burner 1 on (End Feedback) Release start up burner 1 Set air flow to ignition start position from burner 1 Reset Ignition set point from burner 1 Boiler Protection Active Fuel gas vent valve close Fuel gas quick shutoff valve close Gas burner 1 select Atomizing steam open Fuel oil quick shutoff valve close Fuel oil quick shutoff valve close oil burner 1 select Oil scavenge valve opened Air slide UV291A open

Flame monitor off Ignitor not on Start up sequence fail Stop sequence fail Gas burner select Sequence burner guide gas protection active Oil burner select Sequence burner guide oil protection active Burner 1 sequence reset Burner 1 start sequence running Burner 1 stop sequence running Burner 1 on

Shut Down Inputs: Boiler drum level low Furnace pressure high Control air pressure low Flue gas damper not open Damper before air heater not open Emergency Push button (console) Emergency Push Button (DCS) Emergency Push Button ( Ground Level) Emergency Push Button (Boiler Top) Emergency Push Button (9m Level) 24VDC to Solenoid Operate Valve failure Cooling air pressure low Fuel gas pressure high Fuel gas pressure low Fuel oil pressure low Fuel oil temperature low Atomizing steam pressure low Scavenger steam pressure low Combustion air flow low Low fuel gas flow Low fuel oil supply flow FD Fan on Combustion air is excess of the set point Boiler Start Permissive Signal 1. At lease one oil/gas burner on. 2. Fuel oil / gas control valve closed. 3. Remote selected. 4. Fuel gas selected. 5. Boiler purged. 6. Burner start/ stop sequence not running. BOILER CONTROL SYSTEM The basic objective of the boiler control system during normal operation is to maintain constant steam pressure at the steam header going to the plant. In other words the primary control command originates with the steam pressure in the lines downstream from the secondary superheater. All other control signals will follow from the measurement and desired response to the steam pressure. At the same time all control loops are designed for

safe operation and will shut the systems down in the event of operating problems. The boiler control system must perform the following functions: Provide feed water to the boiler. Maintain steam output pressure. Provide combustion air to the furnace. Provide fuel to the burners. Provide draft to the furnace, flue and stack. Provide blow down of the drums. The flow of feed water entering the boiler must equal the flow of steam and blow down water leaving the boiler. Also the feed water control system must maintain the feed water, the steam flow rates and the steam drum level at the same time, which was called threeelement control system. The burner management system (BMS) and Programmable Logic Control (TRICONEX PLC) controlled the boiler control system. DRUM LEVEL CONTROL SYSTEM: The steam flow transmitter that is compensated for pressure, temperature and the feed water flow transmitter, gives signals to the steam and water flow computing relay. The two signals are balanced each other in the computing relay. Any change in the flow rates will be transmitted to steam flow, water flow and drum level computing relay. The level transmitter, compensated for pressure and temperature, at the steam drum also sends a signal to this relay. At this point, the signal from the level transmitter is balanced with the signal from the signal from the steam flow/water flow relay. Any difference between the two signals is transmitted through the manual/automatic selector switch to the feed water control valve. This signal positions the valve to provide the rate of feed water flow equal to the steam flow rate, while maintaining the steam drum level at the same time. Blow down control normally uses the conductivity of the boiler water to establish the blow down flow rate. AIR AND FUEL COMBUSTION CONTROL SYSTEM: On the fireside of the boiler the primary control functions are to: Control combustion airflow to the burners Control fuel flow to the burners Control furnace draft and flue gas flow These functions are also closely related and must be kept in proper balance to maintain the correct firing rate and combustion gas flow to the furnace which controls the steam pressure at the steam header. The airflow must be kept in proportion to the steam flow. This is because, there is a direct relationship between the energy input (fuel and air) and the energy output (steam). By keeping the steam flow/air flow ratio at the proper value, maximum combustion efficiency can be maintained.

13. Developed bootable floppies for PMS PPSV initialization Background:

In plant operation Bootable floppies, which are essential for PMS system, are rapidly becoming defective due to aging. Only two nos. of bootable floppies are available for six systems. The PPSV (Pre-processing Station has provision to boot Process Management System) from 3-1/2 inch floppy drive. (Make: TEAC- FD235HF). The floppy drive is bundled with SCSI controller (MAKE: OMIT 3500). The drive and controller are unique and not available in the market. The bootable floppy contains the critical boot program. We have contacted BHEL, Motorola (OEM) and various other vendor globally but replacement is not available for the defective part. Nowadays these components are not being manufactured. Also no support is available from Motorola on VERSADos operating system, which has become obsolete.

Non availability of Process Management System to the operator. Operator will not be able to do effective process control as well as o peration. Jeopardise the safety of plant equipment.

Root Cause:
Aging of bootable floppies on account of continuous us for 10 years. Operating system VERSADos residing in the has become obsolete.

Corrective Action:
Sufficient nos. of bootable floppies developed jointly with BHEL. Successful efforts made to find method of making

Effectiveness Of Corrective Action: Sufficient nos. of bootable floppies are available & availability of PMS is ensured. Measurable Benefits: 100% Availability of PMS, which is vital for O & M, is ensured.
Deferred the expenditure in the order of Rs. 2.5 crore till reasonable solution is found. Page 17 of 18

14. Operation of ACW / ACW Pumps through DDC Logic along with Auto pickup scheme. Background:
Operation Of ACW / ECW Pumps Is Possible Only From The Local Panel. Local Panel Is At 0 Mtr. While Control Room Is Located At 13.5 Mtr.

During Emergency Of Tripping Of Ecw Pump, It Is Not Possible For Control Room Operator To Start The Pump Immediately. This May Lead To Unit Tripping And Loss Of Generation.

Reasons for taking up the plan:

ACW / ECW Pumps are critical auxiliaries of plant.

To save the units from tripping in case of failure of ACW /ECW pump. Parallel operation was provided in PCR-2 from local panel, which involved abundant cabling. These pump were operating through relay logic. These systems require regular maintenance. Auto pickup facility of standby pump was not available.


1.Operation Of ECW / ACW Pumps Is Not Available From Control Room. 2.Vendor Does Not Supply The Scheme Of Remote Operation Since Commissioning.

Corrective Action:
Scheme Has To Be Prepared And Approved. Implementation Shall Be Done During Opportunity. Signals Like MCC Disturbance , Pump Auto Selection, Command On To Pumps Are Configured In SOE or Each Pump.

Purpose / envisaged benefits: Auto pickup facility of standby pump is provided through DDC. All cabling is done directly from individual breaker of each pump to control panel in PCR-2. This has
reduced the cabling, which in turn shall reduce maintenance and increase reliability of system. Protections and permissive like MCC disturbance are provided through DDC which will ensure safe operation of pumps. Critical events like MCC Disturb / Command ON of each pump is hooked to SOE for monitoring and event analysis. Existing spare cable from local panel to PCR-2 can be utilized for same modification in U-1. Avoidance to one unit trip can lead to direct savings of Rs. 20 Lakhs. and preventing to inconvenience to customer

Measurable Benefits:
1. Operator Shall Have The Operational Control Of The Pumps From Remote. 2. In Case Of Emergency Operator Can Take Appropriate Action. Immediately. 3. Possible Unit Trip On ECW / ACW System Failure Shall Be averted. Page 18 of 18

(Trend Setter Project 1) Reduction in Boiler Tube Failures 1.0 Introduction:

The power sector demand and supply balance in the country is always tilted towards demand. The demand outstrips supply by a substantial margin. And the peak demand supply gap is substantially higher than base demand supply position. In such a condition the availability of a generating capacity is very vital. A generating station in healthy condition not only supplies electricity to end-users but also provides stability to regional grid system for its proper functioning. In Indian power sector, coal based thermal power generating stations operate as base load stations and they provide major chunk of the demand. Hence their availability is highly desirable. These power plants have to undergo certain regulatory outages as well as outages for necessary maintenance. These outages are termed as planned outages. And all the other outages, which cause unit outage, are forced or unplanned outage. A typical classification of forced outage is shown below (Refer Fig: 1). As it is clear that the major reason for forced outage is tube leaka

ge pressure parts.



A coal based thermal power plant of the size of DTPS would loss its availability by about 1.65 %, if it experiences one tube leakage every 6 months in each of its unit. This would be equivalent to a direct generation loss of 72 MUs and a direct revenue loss of Rs.215 Million for DTPS. Each start up of boiler / turbine after attending the problem would result in consumption of large quantity of oil, coal and DM water. The start / stop due to the frequent tube leakages would affect the long-term life and performance of boiler and turbine. And in case of frequent leakages boiler parameters may also be need to be restricted to lower value compared to design parameters and this would result in continuous loss in heat rate.

2.0 Root Cause of Tube Failures:

The boiler pressure parts are subjected to very high steam pressures and flow internally and high temperatures and abrasive environment externally. Hence they are likely to fail and cause a forced outage. India has huge reserves of coal that can be used for power generation. But the quality of coal is poor due to very high proportion of highly abrasive ash content. The ash content is as high as 45 % in Indian coals. The inherent nature of power generation process is such that the boiler pressure parts get a continuous exposure towards high temperature flue gases containing abrasive ash. This erosion leads to tube thinning process, which ultimately results in boiler tube rupture causing a forced outage.

3.0 Classification of Tube Failure Causes:

A typical classification of boiler tube failure causes is shown below (Refer Fig: 2). This picture shows clear majority of tube failure cases due to erosion and welding failures. Page 2 of 24 A coal based thermal power plant of the size of DTPS would loss its availability by about 1.65 %, if it experiences one tube leakage every 6 months in each of its unit. This would be equivalent to a direct generation loss of 72 MUs and a direct revenue loss of Rs.215 Million for DTPS. Each start up of boiler / turbine after attending the problem would result in consumption of large quantity of oil, coal and DM water. The start / stop due to the frequent tube leakages would affect the long-term life and performance of boiler and turbine. And in case of frequent leakages boiler parameters may also be need to be restricted to lower value compared to design parameters and this would result in continuous loss in heat rate.

2.0 Root Cause of Tube Failures:

The boiler pressure parts are subjected to very high steam pressures and flow internally and high temperatures and abrasive environment externally. Hence they are likely to fail and cause a forced outage. India has huge reserves of coal that can be used for power generation. But the quality of coal is poor due to very high proportion of highly abrasive ash content. The ash content is as high as 45 % in Indian coals. The inherent nature of power generation process is such that the boiler pressure parts get a continuous exposure towards high temperature flue gases containing abrasive ash. This erosion leads to tube thinning process, which ultimately results in boiler tube rupture causing a forced outage.

3.0 Classification of Tube Failure Causes:

A typical classification of boiler tube failure causes is shown below (Refer Fig: 2). This picture shows clear majority of tube failure cases due to erosion and welding failures. Page 2 of 24

But the welding failures for the jobs done during erection work in past is not preventable during the O & M phase. So we have taken preventive measures for welding joints being made at our end. We ensure 100 % radiography and use of highly skilled high-pressure welders. This has resulted in no welding joint failure of the joint made at our site since 1997. Hence the focus gets shifted towards prevention and control of erosion related failures.

4.0 Initial Innovative Strategy for Erosion Reduction:

The cause of erosion is known and we undertook some preventive measures right at the beginning of the operations of DTPS. We pioneered the concept of blending the low qualityhigh ash Indian coal with high quality imported coal having very low ash proportion. Thereafter we also improved the quality of available Indian coal by establishing a coal washery near pithead and washing the low quality Indian coal and reducing its ash proportion by about 10 %. And again blended this better quality Indian coal with high GCV Low ash imported coal. Page 3 of 24 These efforts gave us good results and this is evident from the statistics of tube failure cases for DTPS vis--vis that of NTPC a leader in Indian power generation sector. NTPC mainly uses indigenous coal having high ash content. And even after rigorous preventive measures the rate of tube failures is high (refer fig: 3). This clearly shows advantage of use of blended coal over the use of Indian coal. And now the practice of coal blending is being adopted by progressive utilities all

over the country. The innovative practice of coal blending was started way back in 1996 and it has given very good results for DTPS.

5.0 Continuous Improvement through further Innovation:

But after year 2002 we thought of having further improvement in the boiler performance and wanted more reliability / availability. As the demand of Mumbai suburban region was growing at a faster rate, high availability and reliability of boilers at a much higher loading was becoming a necessity. The blended coal has still an ash content of @ 25% and that again causes erosion but at a lower rate. This erosion also ultimately leads to boiler tube leakage and unplanned forced outage. The use of 100 % imported coals of 1-2 % ash content is techno economically unviable as the boilers are not designed accordingly and cost of generation also would be highly subjected to cost of imported coal. Page 4 of 24

5.1 Prevention of Erosion Conventional Techniques:

There are prevalent industry wide practices of erosion prevention or reduction. 1. Thicker tubes 2. Shielding But these techniques have disadvantages. All the areas of boiler are not easily approachable. Hence in such areas it is difficult to provide shielding. Also provision of shielding in some areas would disturb the established gas flow pattern. And more flow may get directed towards newer zones making them more erosion prone. Provision of thicker tubes need to be done right at the design stage for erosion prone zones. But these would result in comparative inefficient heat transfer process. Hence discussions with industry experts, recommendations of OEM and our own past experiences led us to thinking about having some protective layer over the tubes exposed to highly abrasive, high temperature and high velocity ash laden flue gases. Our past experiences and those of NTPC showed some clear trends of vulnerable zones of boiler. The boiler tubes in these zones were subjected to more erosion compared to rest of the internals. The areas may be different from one boiler to another due to different flow patterns, gas distribution, misalignments in tube rows, vicinity of soot blowers, etc. As having a protective layer over complete boiler internals would not be technically and economically feasible, the vulnerable zones of the boiler were identified and decided to give a protective anti erosion layer. As an improved practice to monitor vulnerable areas of the boiler, we started doing a regular extensive tube thickness survey for the boiler. The results of these surveys and failures of boiler tubes due to erosion were showing similar trends (refer Fig: 4 & 5). Page 5 of 24

5.2 Technology of HVOF Process: Selection of the process:

In market there are many technologies available for surface coating. 1. Wire Flame spray 2. Arc wire spray

3. Powder Flame spray 4. Plasma spray But, in the above-mentioned surface coating technologies, temperature used for the spraying as well as base metal temperature goes more than 600 C, which may lead to change in microstructure of the metal.

5.3 High Velocity Oxy Fuel (HVOF) Process:

The process is designed to give high level of coating density and adhesion to the substrate and can handle coating materials in powder form such as tungsten carbide / cobalt, chromium carbide / nickel chrome, triballoy and inconel. This process gives very dense and high adhesion deposits, and has application in space, defense, chemical, petrochemical, and power generation and aircraft industries. As, in this HVOF process, temperature of base metal is not crossing more than 300 deg C, hence microstructure of the base metal is retained. Also, advantage of this process is that porosity is very low & adhesion is very good. And hence the technology of HVOF for anti erosion coating was selected.

5.4 Implementation:
We have decided to replace the eroded tubes by surface coated tubes in phased manner. The reason for carrying out the replacement job in phase manner was some selective replacement could be done due to limited time span of the O / H and it would also provide an opportunity to evaluate the performance of the coated tubes. Page 7 of 24

Phase I:
In DTPS, water wall tubes near burner panel are the most erosion prone area. Of the total number of tube leakages due to erosion, 60% occur in water wall tubes. Hence we replaced these eroded tubes by surface coated tubes during overhaul of U # 1and 2 during their respective overhauls. Cost incurred during the implementation of Phase-I was Rs 2.3 Million.

Phase II:
The second most erosion prone area is economiser tube. Of the total number of tube leakages due to erosion, 15% occur in economiser tubes. As above phase 1 replacement is showing very good results, we are planning to replace eroded economiser tubes by surface coated tubes during the next proposed overhaul. Page 8

Location of Erosion prone areas in DTPS Boiler

6.0 Conclusion:
From the trend shown (Fig-7) here it is very clear that there has not been a single tube leakage since 2003 in the areas where it was highly probable due to high erosion patterns observed in past. The strategy of tube coatings has helped us with improving our availability(Fig-9) and also maintaining the high loading factor(Fig-10).

We have been able to operate DTPS units at a record availability and loading factor and maintain yearly plant loading factor at more than 100 % with lowest heat rate(Fig-8) in India since 2003-04. The resultant heat rate is lower by 2.54 % from the base value of 2320 Kcal/ KWH in 200102. The project of providing additional protection to boiler tubes in vulnerable areas can be very easily replicated across the industry. It can be applied to large utility boilers as well as smaller industrial boiler the benefits to the consumer would be immense as mentioned earlier. Page 10 of 24

Direct Benefits:
(a) In case of a tube leakage DTPS looses revenues of Rs. 18 Million for this loss of generation. This loss of generation needs to be bought from external sources at a much higher rate than the generation cost of DTPS. Hence prevention of one tube leakage helps the company to continue to provide subsidy or lower tariff to retail consumers. (b) Also start up after each tube leakage consumes on an average 1. 75 Kilo Litters oil 2. 50 Tonnes of coal These resources are consumed without generating electricity. Hence it is a direct loss. This direct loss costs are more than Rs 1 million for DTPS. Also these processes generate additional green house gases. Hence prevention of one tube leakage provides benefit in terms of 1. Lower tariff to consumers 2. Lesser pollution & resource conservation to society at large

(Trend Setter Project 2) Reduction of Boiler Exit Flue Gas Temperature

The Indian power sector has always been operating in the deficit regime. The customer has been facing the brunt of the impact. The power costs and availability of quality power are the major issues for the customer. And the suppliers have been charging for availability and reliability. In the regions where players other than state electricity boards are supplying the power directly to the end user, they have been charging a premium for the consistent supply. Hence the power availability, quality and ultimately the cost are the three issues, which the customer has been dealing with to control his own costs. In India, the coal based thermal power plants are the backbone of the power generation sector. Out of total generation more than 70 % is being met by the coal based thermal plants. The soaring cost, unreliability of supply, dependency on other countries has made oil and gas power plants not viable. Almost all of existing oil and gas-based power plants are either idle or running with reduced capacity. Non-fossil / renewable energy based power is considered an alternate due to its environmentally clean power and non-exhaustive primary energy source. But commercially and economically it is not viable due to high capital investment. Hence efficiency of the coal-based power plant plays a major role in the costs of power available for consumption. The basic coal based power generation plants operate on the modified Rankine cycle. Here there is a lot of scope for inefficiencies. Or inversely there is a lot of scope for improvement in the operating efficiency. Page 13 of 24

Analysis of Boiler Efficiency: The steam generator is the heart of any coal based thermal power station. The boiler operations play a major role in maintaining and improving the efficiency of the power generation cycle and they affect the power costs. Following graph shows a breakup of design efficiency of DTPS boiler.

And the 2 figure shows the typical breakup of actual boiler operation for DTPS.

As it can be seen from the figure that that dry & wet flue gas losses and the unburnt carbon losses are the major losses. The efforts of DTPS O & M team were focused on these losses as the boiler efficiency can be greatly improved by reducing these losses. Page 14 of 24

The wet flue gas losses are mainly dependent on the characteristic of the fuel and they cannot be controlled. While the dry flue gas losses are controllable as they mainly depend upon Flue gas volume Flue gas temperature The innovative strategy for boiler efficiency enhancement was implemented in two phases.

1 phase involved control of excess air. All the boiler engineers know that every percent reduction in residual Oxygen (after air preheater) improves the heat rate by 0.3%. But this thumb rule cannot be applied blindly. The combustion of coal in huge quantity is needs a highly controlled environment for safe and efficient result. DTPS operations concentrated in controlling oxygen by checking CO in exit flue gas. The investment was done in CO measurement equipment. The CO measurement also posed a great challenge not only in measurement but also in sustaining the validity of these measurements. The original location of the sensing elements, as suggested by the OEM, was highly prone to problems. Hence it was shifted to 70-meter height in the flue gas stack. This helped in establishing the reliability of the measurement of flue gas CO content an eventually the reduction in excess air to an acceptable level. The next step was to improve the measurement of residual Oxygen in the flue gasses. The flue gas duct of a 250 MW boiler is huge equipment. And to control the combustion on the basis of a single point measurement of Oxygen cannot give accurate results. So to start with additional investments were made for procuring and commissioning additional Oxygen sensors. So the residual Oxygen measurement was done based on multiple sensors. DTPS boiler operators have been given a target to maintain the excess air level < 12% with CO levels at < 50PPM in hourly average as a part of their own functional level objectives. This strategy of involving desk engineers has given very good results. For the whole of last financial year 2005-06 the average excess air was maintained at 12.3 %. The trend of monthly average excess air as measured by online instrumentation is shown below.





The Problem: The other factor affecting the flue gas losses is the temperature of exit flue gases. For every 1 C rise in exit flue gas temperature the heat rate deteriorates by 1 Kcal / Kwh. Almost all the coal based thermal power stations have a problem of high exit flue gas temperature. The APH exchanges heat between the flue gasses coming out of the boiler and gives it to primary/secondary out of the boiler and gives it to primary/secondary air. But this is not the only equipment, which affects the exit flue gas temperature. The flue gas temperature is affected by Condition of air pre heater. Condition of furnace heat transfer surface cleanliness Condition of fuel firing equipment The problems of these equipments are generally dealt with during overhauls and rectified to an extent. These losses can be controlled by way of use of good O & M practices like Regular soot blowing of Air preheater Soot blowing of furnace heat transfer surfaces by use of water wall & long range soot blowers Replacement of air heater baskets Reconditioning / replacement of coal burners Regular cleaning of furnace

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But the problem still cannot be eliminated and it becomes a part of day-to-day O & M activity. DTPS also has been facing the problem of high exit flue gas temperature. Analysis of the Problem at DTPS: The following schematic diagram shows the coal milling system of DTPS. Figure 3: