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Theory of Steam Generation

Progressive Development of Power Generation through


Steam Generation

The Theory of Producing Steam


Water boils and evaporates at 100C under atmospheric pressure.
By higher pressure, water evaporates at higher temperature - e.g. a
pressure of 10 bar equals an evaporation temperature of 184C.
During the evaporation process, pressure and temperature are
constant, and a substantial amount of thermal energy is used for
bringing the water from liquid to vapour phase.
When all the water is evaporated, the steam is called dry saturated.
In this condition the steam contains a large amount of latent heat.
Further heating of dry saturated steam will lead to increase in
temperature of the steam.
Superheated steam.

Steam generator versus steam boiler


Opposite the principle of the steam boilers, the water in the
steam generators evaporates inside the tube winded up into
serial connected tube coils.
The feed water is heated up to the evaporation temperature and
then evaporated.
The intensity of the heat, the feed water flow and the
size/length of the tube are adapted, so that the water is exactly
fully evaporated at the exit of the tube.
This ensures a very small water and steam volume (content of
the pressure vessel).
Thus there are no buffer in a steam generator, and is it
temporary overloaded.
The advantages using a steam generator compare to
conventional steam boilers.

Easy to operate - normally no requirement for boiler


authorisation
Rapid start-up and establishing full steam pressure
Compact and easy to adapt in the existing machinery
arrangement
Price attractive - especially at low steam rates.
The advantages using a steam generator compare to
conventional steam boilers:
Easy to operate - normally no requirement for boiler
authorisation
Rapid start-up and establishing full steam pressure
Compact and easy to adapt in the existing machinery
arrangement
Price attractive - especially at low steam rates.

Progress in Rankine Cycle Power Generation


Year

1907 1919

1938 1950

1958 1959

1966

1973

1975

MW

20

30

60

120

200

500

660

1300

p,MPa

1.3

1.4

4.1

6.2

10.3

16.2

15.9

15.9

24.1

Th oC

260

316

454

482

538

566

566

565

538

Tr oC

--

--

--

--

538

538

566

565

538

FHW

--

5.1

4.5

3.4

3.7

3.7

4.4

5.4

5.1

~17

27.6

30.5

35.6

37.5

39.8

39.5

40

Pc,kPa 13.5

h,%

--

Steam Generation Theory


Within the boiler, fuel and air are
force into the furnace by the
burner.
There, it burns to produce heat.
From there, the heat (flue gases)
travel throughout the boiler.
The water absorbs the heat, and
eventually absorb enough to
change into a gaseous state steam.
To the left is the basic theoretical
design of a modern boiler.
Boiler makers have developed
various designs to squeeze the
most energy out of fuel and to
maximized its transfer to the
water.

Water enters the boiler, preheated, at the top.


The hot water naturally circulates through the tubes down to the lower
area where it is hot.
The water heats up and flows back to the steam drum where the steam
collects.
Not all the water gets turn to steam, so the process starts again.
Water keeps on circulating until it becomes steam.
Meanwhile, the control system is taking the temperature of the steam
drum, along with numerous other readings, to determine if it should
keep the burner burning, or shut it down.
As well, sensors control the amount of water entering the boiler, this
water is know as feedwater.
Feedwater is not your regular drinking water.
It is treated with chemicals to neutralize various minerals in the water,
which untreated, would cling to the tubes clogging or worst, rusting
them.
This would make the boiler expensive to operate because it would not
be very efficient.

On the fire side of the boiler, carbon deposit resulting from improper
combustion or impurities in the fuel can accumulate on the outer
surface of the water tube.
This creates an insulation which quickly decrease the energy transfer
from the heat to the water.
To remedy this problem the engineer will carry out soot blowing. At a
specified time the engineer uses a long tool and insert it into the fire
side of the boiler.
This device, which looks like a lance, has a tip at the end which "blows"
steam.
This blowing action of the steam "scrubs" the outside of the water
tubes, cleaning the carbon build up.
Water tube boilers can have pressures from 7 bar to as high as 250
bar.
The steam temperature's can vary between saturated steam, 100
degrees Celsius steam with particle of water, or be as high as 600 650 degrees Celsius, know as superheated steam or dry steam
The performance of boiler is generally referred to as tons of steam
produced in one hour.
In water tube boilers that could be as low as 1.5 t/hr to as high as
2500 t/hr.