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Technical Paper


B&W IR-CFB: Developments, Projects

and Experience

M. Maryamchik
D.L. Wietzke

Babcock & Wilcox

Power Generation Group, Inc.
Barberton, Ohio, U.S.A.

Presented to:
Coal-Gen 2010

August 10-12, 2010

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
B&W IR-CFB: Developments, Projects and Experience

M. Maryamchik
D.L. Wietzke
Babcock & Wilcox
Power Generation Group, Inc.
Barberton, Ohio, U.S.A.

Presented to: BR-1840

Coal-Gen 2010
August 10-12, 2010
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Abstract separator. The primary stage is an impact solids separator

located at the furnace exit collecting the bulk of the solids (95
The paper provides an update on Babcock & Wilcox
to 97%) that are then returned to the furnace by gravity. The
Power Generation Group, Inc. (B&W PGG) Internal
primary separator is arranged as an array of U-shaped verti-
Recirculation (IR) circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) boiler
cal elements (U-beams). The secondary separation stage,
operating experience, new commercial projects, and devel-
typically a multi-cyclone dust collector (MDC), is located
opments in boiler design and process. Evolvement of the
in the lower gas temperature region of the boiler convection
two-stage solids separation system design and its effect on
pass, i.e., 480 F to 950 F (250 C to 510 C).
the boiler performance, operation and maintenance features
The U-beam separator design has evolved through several
is highlighted. Among those features are reduced furnace
generations (Fig. 1), starting with 11 rows installed external-
size requirements, improved turndown capabilities, lower
maintenance costs and power consumption. Availability
data for projects in the U.S. and India (those by a B&W
PGG technology licensee) is presented. Information on the
latest generation of B&W PGG CFBs featuring segmented
U-beams for primary solids collection with “hopperless”
internal recycle is described. Two of the latest-generation
B&W PGG CFBs are in commercial operation, one is cur-
rently going through commissioning. The largest B&W PGG
IR-CFB units sold to date (2 x 135/150 MWe with reheat)
are described in detail. To achieve the required amount of
in-furnace heat absorption in higher capacity CFB boilers,
B&W PGG patented a concept and is developing the design
of an in-bed heat exchanger (IBHX). The IBHX allows
control of the bed temperature in the furnace as well as
steam temperature in the superheater and reheater surfaces.
Besides facilitating CFB size increase, IBHX advantages
include affordability of higher steam temperatures and firing
fuels with elevated potential for high temperature corrosion
of heat transfer surfaces.

B&W PGG IR-CFB boilers feature a two-stage solids Fig. 1 U-beam separator design generations.

Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group 1

ly to the furnace with solids recycle through non-mechanical Design features
controllable L-valves, to the current design featuring a total
The design of a solids separator is the core of CFB
of 4 rows, two of which are located in the furnace. While
combustion technology since it has major impact on the
each U-beam in earlier designs was made as a single piece
boiler layout, cost, fuel and sorbent utilization, operational
hung from the top, in the current design it consists of seg-
flexibility and reliability. In all these aspects B&W PGG
ments, each segment being supported independently from
CFB boilers with the two-stage solids separation provide
a water-cooled tube (Fig. 2).
the following design features:
During the same period, the design of the MDC separa-
tor has been improved for better efficiency, reliability and
maintainability. MDC solids recycle system has evolved High solids collection efficiency
from dense-phase pneumatic transport to gravity conveying.
The collection efficiency of the two-stage solids separa-
Operating experience of IR-CFB boilers has clearly
tor is intrinsically high due to the greater efficiency of the
confirmed their efficient performance and high reliability
MDC. Higher solids collection efficiency helps to achieve
and availability.
greater inventory of fine circulating particles in the furnaces
that provides: a) higher furnace heat transfer rate, b) ability
to better control furnace temperature, and c) better carbon
and sorbent utilization due to the increased residence time
of fine particles.

Controlled furnace temperature

The furnace temperature is controlled in response to load
changes and variations of fuel and/or sorbent properties
by controlling the solids recycle rate from the MDC. The
recycle rate at high boiler loads is set to achieve the upper
furnace density required to maintain the target furnace tem-
perature. At low loads, the recycle rate directly controls the
dense bed temperature.

Low auxiliary power

The auxiliary power requirement is lower for impact
separator-type boilers since the total pressure drop across the
two-stage separator (U-beams + MDC) is only 4 in. wc. (1
kPa). In addition, high-pressure air blowers for fluidization
of returning solids are not needed.

Uniform gas flow

The gases exiting from the furnace to the U-beam
separator across the furnace width provide for a uniform
two-dimensional gas flow pattern. This allows placement of
in-furnace surfaces as needed over the entire furnace height
and width, including the region adjacent to the rear wall in
the upper furnace. This allows selection of the furnace height
based on combustion and sulfur capture considerations
rather than heating surface requirements. Combined with
high collection efficiency of the two-stage solids separator,
this allows reduced furnace height.

High solids separator reliability

U-beams and MDC have high reliability and low mainte-
nance since they do not include any maintenance-intensive
components such as refractory, loop-seals, expansion joints,
vortex finders, etc. The U-beam design that has evolved
Fig. 2 Segmented U-beam particle separator. through 24 years of operating experience has proven to

2 Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group

require no maintenance. Ten-year experience with upgraded Operating experience
MDC internals made of ceramics also proved to be essen-
This paper continues updating long-term availability of
tially maintenance-free.
CFB units supplied by B&W PGG (Table 1), earlier high-
lighted in the paper by Maryamchik and Wietzke, 2005, and
Minimal refractory use its licensee in India (Table 2). B&W PGG has a longstand-
ing relationship with Thermax, Inc., in Pune, India (a.k.a.
The amount of refractory used in B&W PGG CFB boilers
Thermax Babcock & Wilcox, or TBW), through licenses
is 80 to 90% less than that used for similar capacity CFB
of industrial boilers, CFB boilers and subcritical utility
boilers with non-cooled hot cyclones and 40 to 50% less
boilers. TBW has been very active in the CFB market and
than CFB boilers with cooled cyclones. For B&W PGG CFB
has successfully sold 28 CFBs in India and three in Yemen.
boilers the start-up time is not limited by rate of temperature
Twelve of these units are in commercial operation, while the
rise of the refractory.
rest are in various stages of design, fabrication, construction
and commissioning.
Low maintenance
A distinct feature of B&W PGG IR-CFB is low mainte- New commercial projects
nance. Among the factors contributing to this feature are:
low overall amount of refractory, Reduced Diameter Zone Successful operation of the existing B&W PGG CFB
(RDZ) design (Fig. 3), low furnace exit velocity, and an units is accompanied by a substantial increase in the number
absence of hot expansion joints. of new units coming online in recent years (Table 3). Two
of the units (AGP and Alunorte) featuring the latest design
of the U-beam particle separator (Fig. 2) are in commercial
Dynamic load change operation. The design and performance characteristics of
Dynamic load change response is achieved due to the ab- these units were described earlier (Maryamchik, 2008).
sence of massive refractory and the ability of furnace inven- The highest capacity IR-CFB units are sold for Meen-
tory adjustment using variable ash recycle from the MDC. akshi Power in Krishnapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. The
units are designed for firing Indian and Indonesian coals
(moisture = 25 – 45%, ash = 5 – 19%, sulfur = 0.6 – 0.7%,
Wide turn-down ratio HHV = 5700 – 8600 Btu/lb). The main boiler performance
A wide turn-down ratio (5:1) without auxiliary fuel is characteristics are provided in Table 4 and its arrangement
possible due to the selection of furnace velocity and control- is shown in Fig. 4.
lable solids recycle.

Table 1
Plant Availability
(all data in % of total time available)
Ebensburg CFB SIU CFB
1991-2003 (reported 1997-2003 (reported
2004-2009 2004-2009
in 2005 paper) in 2005 paper)
Boiler forced outages 3.3 2.0 1.6 1.9
BOP forced outages 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.5
Planned outages 5.7 3.1 5.7 2.0
Plant availability 90.5 94.7 92.6 95.7

Table 2
Plant Availability
(all data in % of total time available)
Kanoria 1 Kanoria 2 Indian Rayon Saurashtra Cement
(commissioned in (commissioned in (commissioned in (commissioned in
1996) 2005) 2006) 2008)
Years reported 1997-2010 2006-2010 2007 – 2010 2009 – 2010
Plant availability 90.55 93.91 96.26 93.11

Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group 3

Table 3
Recent B&W PGG CFB Boiler Experience
Steam Op. Steam
Startup Customer and No. of Output Flow Pressure Temp
Mfg by Eng by Fuels
Year Plant Location Units MWt KPPH psig Deg F
TPH bar Deg C
Meenakshi Power B&W/ 374 1091/886 2020/378 1004/1004
2011 Lic. 2 Indonesian & Indian coals
Andhra Pradesh, India Lic. (w/ RH) 495/402 139/26 540/540

Jaiprakash Associates 551 1595 1004

2011 Lic. Lic. 4 180 Coal, Washery rejects, Petcoke
Churk, UP, India 250 110 540

My Home Cement 529 1580 1004

2011 Lic. Lic. 1 173 Coal, Washery rejects
Andhra Pradesh, India 240 109 540

Bajaj Hindustan, Ltd. 417 1580 1004

2011 Lic. Lic. 4 137 Coal
Uttar Pradesh, India 190 109 540

National Sugar
187 943 905
2011 Company Lic. Lic. 1 69 African coal
85 65 485

National Cement
2010, 159 1276 968
Company Lic. Lic. 2 52 African coal
2011 72 88 520

Indian Metals & Fer-

2010, roAlloys 529 1450 1004
Lic. Lic. 2 173 Coal, Washery rejects
2011 Choudwar, Orissa, 240 100 540

2010, Kamachi Sponge & Iron 331 1378 959 Coals, Char, Washery rejects,
Lic. Lic. 2 109
2011 Chennai, India 150 95 515 Petcoke

Great River Energy 805 1780 1006

2010 B&W B&W 1 275 Lignite
Spiritwood, ND 365 123 541

Arkansas River Power

360 1586 990
2010 Authority B&W B&W 1 125 Coal
163 109 532
Lamar, CO, USA

242 928 905
2010 Chanda, Maharashtra, Lic. Lic. 1 89 Coal, Washery rejects
110 64 485

BILT Power
353 943 896 Indian & imported coals, Bam-
2009 Ballarshah, Maharash- Lic. Lic. 1 128
160 65 480 boo dust, Sludge
tra, India

300 150 1006

2009 AG Processing, Inc. B&W B&W 1 87 PRB coal
136 10 541

Aluminum do Norte do
B&W/ 750 1325 909 Bituminous coal (high volatile);
2009 Brazil, SA Lic. 1 270
Lic. 340 91 487 Light oil (diesel) for startup

GHCL, Ltd. 276 1508 950 Indonesian coal, Lignite,

2009 Lic. Lic. 1 89
Veraval, Gujarat, India 125 104 510 Petcoke

UltraTech Cement, Ltd. 253 1435 1004

2008 Lic. Lic. 1 83 Indian coal, Washery rejects
Maharashtra, India 115 99 540

Grasim Cement 254 1415 1004

2008 Lic Lic 1 83 Coal, Lignite, Petcoke
AP, India 115 97 540

Saurashtra Cement 242 1250 968

2008 Lic Lic 1 80 Coal, Lignite, Petcoke
Rajasthan, India 110 86 520

UltraTech Cement, Ltd., 254 1415 1004

2008 Lic Lic 2 83 Coal, Petcoke, Washery rejects
Hirmi, CG, India 115 97 540

Industries 224 1400 1004
2008 Lic Lic 2 73 Coal, Lignite, Petcoke
Kotputli, Rajasthan, 102 96 540

Indian Rayon & Ind. 231 1280 950 Lignite, Petcoke,

2006 Lic Lic 1 76
Veraval, Gujarat, India 105 88 510 Indonesian coal, Oil, Gas

Kanoria Chemicals, Ltd. 242 972 905

2005 JV JV 1 89 High ash coal
Renukoot, UP, India 110 67 485

Konya Sugar Corpora- 165 622 806

2004 Lic B&W/Lic 2 55 Lignite
tion, Cumra, Turkey 75 43 430

4 Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group

Table 4
Meenakshi CFB Performance Characteristics per Project Specification
Main steam flow @ MCR, klb/hr (t/hr) 1091 (495)
Reheat steam flow @ MCR, klb/hr (t/hr) 886 (402)
Main steam pressure, psig (barg) 2020 (139)
Reheat steam pressure, psig (barg) 378 (26)
Main steam temperature, F (C) 1004 (540)
Reheat steam temperature, F (C) 1004 (540)

The furnace and horizontal convection pass enclosure segments supported from a water-cooled tube. The design
are top-supported and made of gas-tight membrane walls. allows independent thermal expansion of each segment.
Fuel is fed to the lower furnace through the front wall us- The U-beam segments are made of stainless steel material,
ing air-assisted chutes. Limestone is injected pneumatically which has proved suitable for U-beam fabrication in previous
through multiple points uniformly across the width of the B&W PGG CFB projects. Solids collected by the U-beams
furnace near the bottom. Startup fuel (light diesel oil) is fall downward along the beams and return to the furnace
fired using burners mounted on the rear wall. Separate fans directly (from the first U-beam row) or by sliding along the
supply primary and secondary air. The bulk of the primary U-beam zone floor.
air is introduced through a grid of bubble caps at the furnace Superheater and reheater banks are located downstream
floor. The main portion of the secondary air is fed through of the U-beams followed by the economizer.
nozzles at the front and rear furnace walls. Bottom ash is The second stage of the solids collection system, a
removed through fluidized-bed coolers. multi-cyclone dust collector (MDC), is located immediately
The furnace contains full-height water-cooled panels, downstream of the economizer. Further downstream in the
or division walls, and steam-cooled wing walls. The lower gas pass the MDC is followed by the tubular air heater. The
furnace is protected from erosion and corrosive conditions air heater is side-split for primary and secondary air. After
by a layer of low-cement, high-strength refractory. The the air heater, gas flows through an electrostatic precipitator
membrane tubes at the upper edge of this refractory are (ESP), and an induced draft (ID) fan to a stack.
protected from erosion by the patented Reduced Diameter Solids collected by the MDC are recycled back to the
Zone (RDZ) design (Fig. 3). furnace through recycle lines utilizing conveyors and gravity
The U-beam particle separator (Fig. 2) system is com- feed. Controlling the MDC solids recycle rate allows precise
prised of four rows (two in-furnace and two external) of and effective furnace temperature control.
U-beams. Each beam consists of about 4-foot (1.2 m) Because the fuel specified for this project features rela-
tively low ash and low sulfur content, solids input with the
fuel ash and limestone may not be sufficient for maintaining

Fig. 3 Reduced Diameter Zone (RDZ) design for erosion protection Fig. 4 General arrangement of 150 MW Meenakshi Power CFB boiler.
at the upper refractory edge.

Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group 5

furnace solids inventory required for the furnace tempera-
ture control. Therefore, the unit is equipped with an inert
bed material feed system. This system allows the input of
inert bed material to the furnace as directed by the boiler
controls. To minimize, or eliminate, the need for external bed
material, e.g., sand, the inert bed system includes recycle of
the bottom ash as well as MDC and air heater hopper purge
back to the inert bed silo, from where the bed material is
metered to the furnace.

New developments in B&W PGG CFB


In-Bed Heat Exchanger

As use of CFB boilers moves from industrial to utility
applications, a higher fraction of the boiler heat duty goes
to superheat (and reheat, where applicable). With relatively
low gas temperatures leaving a CFB furnace, available gas
heat capacity in the convection pass is not adequate for
providing required superheater and reheater heat absorp-
tion. Therefore, more of the relevant heating surface must
be placed in the furnace. Higher boiler capacities typical
for the range of utility-sized units feature a reduced furnace
enclosure surface-to-volume ratio compared to that of the
industrial-sized units. This is another factor driving an in-
crease of the required area of the in-furnace heating surface.
At some point, using wing walls and division walls
(common design features in industrial-sized B&W PGG
IR-CFB units) becomes inefficient or inadequate for the
required in-furnace heat absorption. The required amount of
in-furnace heat absorption (including superheat and reheat
duty) can be achieved with the B&W PGG-patented in-bed
heat exchanger (IBHX). A design version of an IR-CFB
boiler with IBHX is shown in Fig. 5. Other versions in the
patent include alternate locations in the furnace bottom. Fig. 5 Example version of the B&W PGG-patented in-bed heat
Part of the lower furnace is “fenced-out” by an enclosure exchanger (IBXH).
providing separation from the surrounding CFB on the sides
while keeping the top open. In the version shown, the sepa-
of the bed temperature in the CFB furnace. The IBHX also
rating enclosure is partially comprised of the tubes forming
allows control of the corresponding steam temperature in
the CFB furnace enclosure walls and partially comprised
the sectioned superheater and reheater surfaces.
of the designated in-furnace panels. The latter also divides
the IBHX into separate sections. Tube banks of a particular
heating surface (such as superheater, reheater or generating Conclusion
surface) are placed in each of these sections, one type of
surface for a given section of an IBHX. The fluidizing air Highlighted operational experience, commercial activity
flow rate to each section is controlled separately maintaining and technical developments illustrate the status and trends
a low-velocity bubbling fluidized bed. of B&W PGG IR-CFB technology.
Bed material fills the IBHX through its open top from
the CFB furnace and is discharged back to the CFB from
the bottom area of the IBHX. By controlling the discharge
rate, the material throughput in the IBHX is controlled. The
throughput rate affects the temperature differential between
the bed material and heating surface in a given section of an
IBHX, thus controlling its heat absorption. Controlling heat
transfer in the sections with generating surface allows control

6 Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group

1. M. Maryamchik and D.L. Wietzke, Proceedings
of 18th International Conference on Fluidized Bed
Combustion, ASME, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May
22-25, 2005, FBC 2005-78004.

2. M. Maryamchik, Proceedings of the 9th International

Conference on Circulating Fluidized Beds, Hamburg,
Germany, May 13-16, 2008.

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a Babcock & Wilcox company
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