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Efficiency and Reliability

Resolving the Efficiency/Reliability Cooler Conflict Dr. M.C. Clark, Whitehopleman

Introduction
The Quadtek Spyrometer® supplied by Imaging and Sensing Technology is a combination of an excellent video image of the material bed in a cement kiln grate cooler, and a scanning pyrometer which measures the temperature in 32 zones within the image. The kiln operator is able to move and re-size the temperature measurement zones, and can select maxima, minima, or averages of the temperatures within the zones, all of which can be trended. This allows the temperatures at a number of positions on the clinker bed to be monitored. The operator can see exactly the point where each temperature is being measured; and the temperature progression along the first grate can be monitored. Any tendency for red rivers, dust generation or the cooler filling can be observed.

possible, which inevitably involves shortening the residence time of the clinker in the cooler. This conflict is represented graphically in Figure 1. It is through assisting the kiln operator in the resolution of this basic conflict that a Spyrometer installed in the grate cooler can be of significant benefit.

A Spyrometerbetween US$50,000 installed in a grate cooler will cost
65,000 and this must be justified by benefits to the kiln operator and operating cost savings. The intention of this paper is to discuss the means by which such benefits will arise. In a cement kiln grate cooler there is a basic conflict between efficiency considerations and reliability considerations. Efficiency of a grate cooler involves two

functions (i) the recovery of heat from the clinker entering the cooler, and (ii) the cooling of the clinker. In essence, maximizing these efficiency considerations amounts to increasing the residence time of the clinker in the cooler. The cooler also fulfils the key role of transporting the clinker away from the kiln. Reliability of the complete kilncooler operation is maximized by transporting the clinker away as quickly as

Figure 1. Efficiency: Reliability conflict solution.

Conventional Grate Cooler Control
The efficiency:reliability conflict described above is well known in the cement industry and a standard process control response has evolved to solving the problem. Cooling air is blown into the chambers below the clinker grate, from where it exits through the grate and the bed of clinker being moved along the grate. This is the means by which the clinker is cooled and the thermal energy is recovered from the clinker. The pressure under the grate of the cooler is monitored and is taken to be directly proportional to the thickness of the bed of clinker on the grate. When the load of clinker entering the cooler increases the bed thickens and the pressure under the grate rises. The control response is then to increase the speed of the grate to transport the additional clinker away from the kiln. The reverse process takes place when the amount of clinker entering the cooler lessens. The clinker bed thins out and the pressure under the grate falls, with the control response being to slow

The Spyrometer is providing the missing information to solve the efficiency: reliability conflict. The pressure under the grate is proportional to the resistance of the clinker bed to the flow of air through the bed. Sometimes the pressure under the cooler grate is changing because the size distribution of the clinker is changing rather than the thickness of the clinker bed. The cooling of the clinker and the recovery of thermal energy from the clinker can be optimized in a way. Thermal efficiency of the kiln/ cooler system inevitably suffers. In the worst cases. can become a hindrance to the kiln operator. Irrespective of the experience level of the operators they are making inferences as to the real situation in the cooler. The kiln operators then naturally operate cautiously and run the cooler with a thin bed to ensure kiln and cooler keep run- .the grate down and retain the clinker on the grate for longer in order to build up the bed depth. Spyrometer shows the true conditions in the grate cooler. Operators can adjust the air flow of the fans blowing cooling air into the under-grate chambers to adjust this temperature progression. In this situation move the fine clinker out of the cooler. which is impossible without a Spyrometer. Fine clinker presents a greater resistance to air flow through the bed than does coarse clinker. as there is a frequent need to switch to manual control. thereby satisfying the reliability criteria of the operation. In both cases inferences of the true situation in the cooler need to be made. and in these situations have to switch the grate speed into manual control. Figure 2. A Spyrometer in the Cooler With a Spyrometer installed in the cooler the operator can augment the under-grate pressure and burning zone temperature information with a video image of the real situation in the cooler. control solution is often extremely unpopular with kiln operators. This resistance is related to the size distribution of the clinker in addition to the thickness of the clinker bed. The operator augments the information from the pressure under the grate with experience and intuition taking into account the broader kiln conditions and particularly the kiln burning zone temperature. The confidence the Spyrometer installed in the cooler gives to the kiln operator is probably the greatest contribution which it can make. Concerns that the cooler might be filling can be set aside. With a Spyrometer the progression of the surface temperature along the bed of clinker can be observed. This apparently straightforward process the control response of the grate speed control loop is inappropriate. and needs to be monitored. Solving the efficiency:reliability conflict remains a problem whether the grate speed is controlled via the automatic loop or manually by the operator. The root of the problem is that the pressure under the grate of the cooler is not directly proportional to the thickness of the bed of clinker on the grate. Kiln operators are intuitively aware that there are occasions when the control response is inappropriate. The air then blows vent holes through the clinker bed and the pressure under the grate falls rapidly. An automatic control loop which does not always make the correct response. and the thickness of the bed of clinker can be increased with confidence. This is where a Spyrometer can make a significant contribution to kiln reliability and thermal efficiency. a heavy load of fine clinker on the cooler grate can increase the resistance to air flow to such an extent that percolation of cooling air through the bed is no longer possible. The control loop then slows the grate to minimum speed when the appropriate response would be to increase the speed of the grate to ning. and sometimes creates more problems than it solves. but the benefits do not stop with this confidence. The grate can stall with a heavy load of clinker on the grate leading to a kiln stoppage. Thermal efficiency of the kiln and cooler can be increased without worrying that the cooler may fill and cause a kiln stop. Where this is a common occurrence then the loop can fall into disuse. The conflict between efficiency and reliability of the cooler is then addressed by selecting an under-grate pressure setpoint for the grate speed control loop which gives an acceptable compromise between thermal energy recovery and ensuring the clinker continues to be transported away from the kiln.

Spyrometer in a Direct Aerated Cooler The clinker cooler is an area where great efforts have been made by the suppliers of cement manufacturing equipment to improve the efficiency of cement manufacture through reduced energy con- of static grate plates are installed at the front of the cooler and a layer of cooled clinker sits permanently on this section of the grate. A Spyrometer installation in a grate cooler can therefore be expected to give an attractive return on investment. The visual image from the Spyrometer allows the onset of snowman formation to be detected and remedial action to be taken by the operators before interruption of the process becomes necessary. This can be provided by Spyrometer or an infra-red scanner. These improvements provided by a direct aerated cooler do not mean that there is no role for a Spyrometer in such coolers. The temperature information provided by Spyrometer allows the operators to optimize heat recovery and cooling in a direct aerated cooler. In conclusion a Spyrometer installed in a conventional or direct aerated cooler provides a unique combination of visual and temperature information. Direct aerated coolers are designed to operate with a thick bed of clinker on the front grate of the cooler. Figure 3. The monitoring of heat recovery and clinker cooling remains reliant . The reliance of direct aerated coolers on a thick bed of clinker can lead to problems with snowman formation at the front of the cooler. High temperature clinker presents a safety sumption and costs of cement manufacture. Fresh high temperature clinker slides over this cooled layer and hot clinker does not come into contact with grate. This means of aerating the cooler can improve the thermal efficiency of the kiln/cooler system by more than 5%. Conclusion The installation of a Spyrometer in a conventional grate cooler provides the combination of visual and temperature information to allow kiln operators to resolve the conflict between efficiency and reliability considerations in the operation of the cooler. The air flow of the cooler fans and the distribution of that air can be adjusted to optimize the heat recovery and cooling of the clinker. At the same time the visual information allows the onset of snowman formation in these modern coolers to be detected before the reliability of kiln and cooler operation is compromised. Rows on knowledge of the progression of temperature along the clinker bed in the cooler. Provision of this information allows the operators to improve the efficiency of the kiln process and by this means an attractive return on investment is generated from the installation of a Spyrometer. and optimize the air flow of the cooling fans can be expected to achieve more than a 1% kiln fuel saving. The combined effects of giving the kiln operators the information and confidence to increase the clinker bed depth. This allows the efficiency and reliability of the cooler and kiln system to be significantly enhanced generating an attractive return on investment. Grate plate wear is significantly reduced and mechanical reliability of the cooler is enhanced. Temperature progression along surface of clinker bed can be optimized. hazard for personnel and can present a fire hazard on rubber belt conveyors feeding cement mills out of clinker storage. The visual image from the Spyrometer provides an additional benefit.On a 3000 tonnes per day cement kiln a 1% saving in kiln fuel is sufficient to generate a return of investment for a Spyrometer of less than 1 year. High temperature clinker also adversely affects the efficiency of these finish grinding mills. These coolers also address the reliability problem of conventional grate coolers. There are also non-quantifiable benefits to installing a Spyrometer in a grate cooler. In this way an even distribution of air through the clinker bed can be achieved improving heat recovery and the cooling of the clinker with a lower volume of air. Optimization of the cooling of the clinker will reduce the incidence of red hot clinker exiting the cooler. rather than being blown into a chamber beneath the grate. All cooler suppliers now offer a direct aerated cooler where the cooling air is passed through the grate and the bed of clinker via air beams.

please feel free to contact the Sales and Marketing department at: Imaging and Sensing Technology 19501 144th Ave NE.Contact IST For more information concerning clinker cooler applications and the integration of the Spyrometer.com Web: www.istimaging.com ©2004 by IST. Spyrometer is a registered trademark of IST . #F1100 Woodinville WA 98072 USA Phone: +1-425-881-0778 Fax: +1-425-869-0667 E-mail: sales@quadtek. All Rights Reserved .