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Supervised by Mr. Irfan Balouch
Mr. Ghulam Sagheer (14A2-210089) Mr. Ghulam Fareed (14A2-210090) B. Tech. (Pass) (Mechanical)
Preston University, Islamabad
Boiler Operation & Control
A boiler operates using the feed water system, the steam system, the fuel system and the draft system. The feed water system supplies water to the boiler. The steam system controls and directs the steam produced in the boiler. The fuel system supplies fuel and controls combustion to produce heat. The draft system regulates the movement of air for combustion and evacuates gases of combustion.
Water, steam fittings and accessories are required to supply and control water and steam in the boiler. Boiler fittings or trim are components such as valves directly attached to the boiler. Accessories are pieces of equipment not necessarily attached to the boiler, but required for the operation of the boiler.
Boiler Operation & Control
Chapter 1 Common devices used for boiler operation
Boiler Operation & Control
1. They should open to re lease pressure when pressure inside the boiler exceeds the maximum allowable working pressure or MAWP. A spring exerts pressure on the valve against the valve seat to keep the valve closed. Devices used for boiler operation Safety Valves are the most important fittings on the boiler. Safety valves are installed at the highest part of the steam side of the boiler. This drop in pressure is the blow down of the safety valve. The number of safety valves required and the frequency and procedures for testing safety valves is also specified by the ASME Code. the pressure forces the valve open to release.1. No other valve shall be installed between the boiler and the safety valve. 1. Safety valve capacity and blow down is listed on the data plate on the safety valve. Spring loaded safety valves are the most common safety valves. The safety valve will remain open until sufficient steam is released and there is a specific amount of drop in pressure. When pressure inside the boiler exceeds the set popping pressure. Boiler Operation & Control 4 . Safety valve capacity is measured in the amount of the steam that can be discharged per hour. Adjustment or repairs to safety valves must be performed by the manufacturer or an assembler authorized by the manufacturer.
1. 1. Water hammer is a banging condition caused by hydraulic pressure that can damage equipment. If water flows back from the boiler the valve closes. Water in the boiler must be maintained at the normal operating water level or NOWL. Water columns for high pressure boilers consist of the main column and three tricocks. They isolate the boiler from feed water accessories. or if the check valve malfunctions.2. High and low water alarms or whistles may be attached to the top and bottom tricocks. Feed water Valves control the flow of feed water from the feed water pump to the boiler.1. Isolation valves located at the top and bottom permit the changing of gage glasses. 1. Water fittings and accessories control the amount. The feed water check valve is located next to the feed water stop valve and prevents feed water from flowing from the boiler back to the feed water pump. Water columns are located at the NOWL.5. Water Column minimizes the water turbulence in the gage glass to provide accurate water level reading. Feed water stop valves are globe valves located on the feed water line. with the lowest part of the water column positioned at least 3" above the heating system. Carryover occurs when small water droplets are carried in steam lines. Boiler Operation & Control 5 . The Gage Glass is used to visually monitor the water level in the boiler. Carryover can result in water hammer. High water conditions can cause carryover. pressure and temperature of water supplied to and from the boiler. When water is fed to the boiler it opens. Low water conditions can damage the boiler and could cause a boiler explosion.3. 4. The feed water stop valve is positioned closest to the boiler to stop the flow of water out of the boiler for maintenance. The feed water check valve opens and closes automatically with a swinging disc.
Makeup Water replaces boiler water lost from leaks or from the lack of condensate returned in the boiler. Makeup water is fed manually or automatically.6. Blow down Valve at the bottom of the gage glass is used to remove sludge and sediment. If water comes out of the top tricock. Boiler operators must know how to supply makeup water quickly to the boiler in the event of a low water condition. there is a high water condition in the boiler. water must not be added to the boiler. Boiler Operation & Control 6 . If the boiler has both. Secure the fuel immediately. If water comes out of the middle tricock. Adding water could cause a boiler explosion. If steam comes out of the bottom tricock. the manual always bypasses the automatic system. the gage glass is not functioning properly. As the water level rises. All boilers must have two methods of determining the boiler water level. the valve in the city water line is open. If the water cannot be seen in the gage glass. 1. water may be safely added to the boiler. Manual systems feed city water with a hand operated valve. The gage glass serves as the primary method of determining boiler water level.1. Tubular gage glasses are used for pressure up to 400 psig. The middle tricock is located at the NOWL. If the float drops from a low water level. the float rises to close the valve.7. If water comes out of the bottom tricock. Automatic systems feed city water with a float control valve mounted slightly below the NOWL. Boilers can have both manual and automatic systems. the tricocks are used as a secondary method of determining boiler water level.
Switches in the low water fuel cut off are wired to the burner control to shut off fuel to the burner when the water level drops in the chamber. Low water fuel cut offs are available with or without an integral water column. The correct water level is maintained with a feed water regulator. Feed water Regulator maintains the NOWL in the boiler by controlling the amount of condensate return pumped to the boiler from the condensate return tank. but boiler water level must still be checked periodically by the boiler operator.8. Low water fuel cut offs must be tested monthly or more often depending on plant procedures and requirements. The float senses a drop in water level. Low Water Fuel Cut Off shuts off fuel to the burner in the event of a low water condition in the boiler. Feed water Pumps are used with feed water regulators to pump feed water to the boiler.10. Low water fuel cut offs operate using an electric probe or a float sensor. Pressure must be sufficient to overcome boiler water pressure to maintain the NOWL in the boiler. 1. Feed water pumps may be reciprocating. centrifugal. Boiler Operation & Control 7 . The low water fuel cut off is located 2" to 6" below the NOWL. Feed Water Regulator 1.9. For maximum safety.1. plants having one team driven feed water pump must have a back up feed water pump driven by electricity.
Feed water Heaters heat water before it enters the boiler drum to remove oxygen and other gases which may cause corrosion. Feed water heaters are either open or closed.13. Discharge pressure is dependent on impeller speed. They are the most common feed water pump. The casing directs water from the impeller to the discharge piping. They are located above the feed water pump to produce a positive pressure on the suction side of the pump. 1. They are limited in capacity and are used on small boilers.12. Centrifugal force moves water to the outside edge of the rotating impeller. Reciprocating feed water pumps are steam driven and use a piston to discharge water to the feed water line.Feed water Pump 1.11. 1. Open feed water heaters allow steam and water to mix as they enter an enclosed steel chamber. 1.14. Closed feed water heaters have a large Boiler Operation & Control 8 . Turbine feed water pumps are steam drive n and operate similarly to centrifugal feed water pumps. Centrifugal feed water pumps are electric motor or steam driven.
reduce chemical concentrations or drain the boiler. For example: on a low pressure boiler. and maintain the required steam pressure in the boiler. Steam and water do not come in contact. Bottom Blow down Valves release water from the boiler to reduce water level. the screw valve is opened next and takes the wear and tear from blow down. The range of these gages should be 1-1/2 to 2 times the MAWP of the boiler.15. Pressure Gauge Boiler Operation & Control 9 . 1. control steam flow. remove sludge and sediment. Steam Fittings & Accessories remove air. They are located on the discharge side of the feed water pump. During blow down the quick opening valve is opened first. the screw valve is closed first and the quick opening valve is closed last. Two valves are commonly used. 1.number of tubes inside an enclosed steel vessel.16. After blow down. Water is discharged to the blow down tank. Steam fittings are also used to direct steam to various locations for heating and process. 1.17. a maximum steam pressure on the pressure gage reads 30 psig as the MAWP is 15 psig. Steam Pressure Gauges and vacuum gages monitor pressure inside the boiler. a quick opening and screw valve. A blow down tank collects water to protect the sewer from the hot boiler water. but feed water goes through the tubes and steam is allowed in the vessel to preheat the feed water.
18.19.1. Steam Valves commonly used include a gate valve used for the main steam stop valve and the globe valve. This provides quick information to the boiler operator. The position of the stem indicates whether the valve is open or closed. This should never be used as a main steam stop valve. Globe Valve Boiler Operation & Control 10 . The globe valve controls the flow of steam passing under the valve seat through the valve. 1. This is an outside stem and yoke or OS&Y valve. This change in direction causes a decrease in steam pressure. The valve is opened with the stem out and closed with the stem in. The main steam stop valve cuts the boiler in online allowing steam to flow from the boiler or takes it off line. A globe valve decreases steam flow and can be used to vary the amount of steam flow.
Steam Traps remove condensate from steam in lines from the boiler. the thermostatic and the float thermostatic. When the temperature drops below steam temperature. As condensate fills the steam trap the bucket loses buoyancy and sinks to open the discharge valve.1. Steam traps commonly used include the inverted bucket. Steam Trap Boiler Operation & Control 11 . Steam traps are located after the main steam header throughout the system. As the fluid boils vapors expand the bellow s to push the valve closed. Steam traps work automatically and increase boiler plant efficiency. The thermostatic steam trap has a bellows filled with a fluid that boils at steam temperature. Condensate is drawn out by return vacuum. the bellows contract to open the valve and discharge condensate. A variation of the thermostatic steam trap is the float thermostatic steam trap. The steam holds the bucket up. They also prevent water hammer by expelling air and condensate from the steam lines without loss of steam. A float opens and closes depending on the amount of condensate in the trap bowl. In Steam Trap the inverted bucket steam trap steam enters the bottom flowing into the inverted bucket.20.
1.21. Steam Strainer 2. Scale or dirt can clog discharge orifices in the steam trap. Steam pressure gages and vacuum gages are used to indicate the pressure inside the boiler. Steam Strainers remove scale or dirt from the steam and are located in the piping prior to steam trap inlet. The gage glass is used to visually monitor the water level in the boiler. SUMMARY OF DEVICES USED The safety valve is the most important fitting on the boiler. Steam strainers must be cleaned regularly. Boiler Operation & Control 12 . Tricocks are used as a secondary device for determining water level in the boiler. Makeup water replaces water lost from leaks or lack of condensate return to the boiler. The low water fuel cut off shuts off fuel to the burner in the event of a low water condition.
CHAPTER 2 BOILER OPERATION Boiler Operation & Control 13 .
Change furnaces over every twenty minutes. 3. Boiler Operation & Control 14 . Then fit top manhole door. After about one hour start to circulate the boiler by means of auxiliary feed pump and blow down valve connection. By-pass air heater if fitted. 6. Nuts on manhole doors and any new joints should be nipped up. At the end of this time set fires away in all furnaces. and carried out in a satisfactory manner. Set one fire away at lowest possible rate.2. or by patent circular if fitted. etc. Examine all internal pipes and fittings to see that they are in place. 11. have been removed. and steam pressure slowly raised during the next 7-8 hours to within about 100 kN/m' of the working pressure. raising the temperature of the boiler at a rate of about 6°C per hour. mixed with water. Use the smallest burner tip available. Circulating the boiler can now be stopped. continue firing at lowest rate until the boiler is well warmed through especially below the furnaces. Ensure that all tools. blow down line. etc. Test the water gauge. 10. 2. 7. and properly fitted. Running or blowing out a small amount of water at this stage will assist in promoting natural circulation if no other means is available . 8. If possible hot water heated by means of a feed heater should be used. If no means of circulation is provided. 12. Fit lower manhole door. See that all blanks are removed from safety valves. Then carry out the following procedure: 1. 13. Check that the blow down valve is clear. 5. Fill boiler with water to about one-quarter of the water level gauge glass. Close the air vent. Make sure air vent is open. 9. The initial dose of feed treatment chemicals. Check external boiler fittings to see they are in order.1 Process of raising steam from cold in a Scotch boiler If the boiler has been opened up for cleaning or repairs check that all work has been completed. can be poured in at the top manhole door at this stage if required. 4. Continue circulating for about four hours. still at the lowest rate. Water draw n off at the salinometer cock can be used to check water temperature below 100°C.
This is due to the fact that water is a very poor conductor of heat.2. Do not allow equipment to be taken out of operation for reasons which could reasonably be rectified.The boiler is now ready to be put into service. 2. If circulation cannot be carried out. About 12 hours should be allowed for the complete operation provided some means of circulating the boiler is provided. with any known deviations from normal operating procedures noted for immediate reference. Boiler Operation & Control 15 . which an alert should be recognized. General precautions for optimum running and safety regulations Ensure that all boiler and associated safety shut-down devices are maintained in full operational condition. and then taken corrective action before the situation gets out of hand. All alarm and automatic control systems must be kept within the manufacturer's recommended operating limits. and tested at regular intervals so as to be ready for instant operation. the steam raising procedure must be carried out more slowly.3. If steam is being raised simultaneously on more than one boiler. General Precautions to be noticed on a working boiler There are various items to be inspected on a running boiler such as all the individual equipment operating control signals. Any deviations that are unnoticed may build up to potentially serious conditions. and can lead to leakage and 'grooving' of the end plate flanging . Rarely do emergency conditions arise without some previous indication. and heat from the furnace will be carried up by convection currents leaving the water below the furnace cold. They must be checked regularly so as to become aware quickly of any deviations from the norm. investigated. flow rates. for about ten minutes each. taking about 18-24 hours for the complete operation. This will lead to severe stresses being set up in the lower sections of the circumferential joints of the boiler shell if steam raising is carried out too rapidly. All control room check lists must be kept up to date. temperatures and general load conditions. 1. use the feed pump to circulate each boiler in turn. 2. 2.
8. High performance water tube boilers demand high quality feed water. Do not allow steam and water leaks to go un-corrected as. so do not tolerate any deterioration of feed water conditions. No attempt should be made to approach the site of leakage directly. This not only improves the work environment. must be kept clean. Follow correct flashing-up Boiler Operation & Control 16 . but the defective system should be shut down as soon as is practicable and the leakage rectified. Thus all spaces. Automatic control loops do not think for themselves. high temperature steam. 10. 7. and rectify the fault. Store any necessary stocks of combustibles remote from sources of ignition. tank tops etc. 9. This can result in their final control action being incorrect. immediately trace the source of any contamination. Always be alert for conditions which increase the potential fire risk within the engine room: the best method of fire fighting is not to allow one to start. or where it becomes necessary to use manual control. apart from reduction in plant efficiency. Maintain all oil systems tight and free from leaks and overspills. reduce operating conditions so as to increase acceptable margins of error.3. 4. dry. In situations where the automatic control of critical parameters is not dependable. as even minor leaks will rapidly deteriorate. and subjected to external irregularities will still try to perform as normal. 5. they also lead to increased demand for extra feed with an inevitable increase in boiler water impurities. but also makes for the early detection of any leakage and encourages early repair. 6. and well lit. or to some other piece of equipment being overworked in an attempt to compensate. Do not neglect leakage of high pressure.
to enable the boiler to be put in a safe condition if having to abandon the machinery spaces in the event of a fire. Assess particular risk areas. flush the boiler through with distilled water. if these are not suitable. especially in the case of roof-fired radiant heat boilers. and ensure that all under your direct control are kept a t a full state of readiness at all times. cleaning can 'be carried out by mechanical brushes with flexible drives. 2. chemical cleaning must be used. especially in engine room sp aces. 3. The frequency of boiler cleaning depends upon various factors such as the nature of the service in which the vessel has been engaged. with if practicable the soot blowers being operate d just before shut-down. After cleaning.4. Where possible the boiler should be shut down at least 24 hours prior to cleaning. All fuel. Also note that all attachment bolts are present and that are accounted for when refitting. remove any internal fittings required to provide access to tubes etc. Finally empty the boiler by running down through suitable drains etc. Boiler Operation & Control 17 . 11. and the appropriate valves locked or lashed shut. 2. decide in some de tail how you would deal with fires at various sites in the engine room. Be familiar with the fire fighting systems and equipment. the quality of feed water and fuel with which the boiler has been supplied. Do not attempt to cool the boiler forcibly as this can lead to thermal shock. The basic procedure for cleaning a boiler after a period of service. the remotely operated steam shut-off valves etc. Air vents must be left open to prevent a vacuum forming in the boiler as it cools down. When boiler pressure has fallen to about 400 kN/m2. Where the boiler design permits. 1. open blow down valves on drums and headers to remove sludge deposits. Should cleaning prove to be necessary. and formulate your approach in case of emergency. feed and steam lines must be isolated. Make sure that your are familiar with the quick closing fuel shut-off valves.procedures for the boiler at all times.. keeping a record of any items removed.
Where necessary. dissolving the soluble deposits and the breaking up and flushing away the loosened insoluble residue. 6. Where neither is practical. high pressure water or air jets can be used. with sometimes drains be low the furnace floor requiring the removal of some furnace refractory. Where only a particular section is to be washed. Where work is to be carried out in the drum. Efficient drainage must be provided. hoppers can be rigged beneath the work area.4. But in most cases water washing will be necessary. rubber or plastic mats can be used. and close up the boiler. under pressure and delivered by suitable lances. bitumastic paint should be applied around tubes where they enter refractory material. 11. but that if a mishap should occur it must be reported before the boiler is finally closed up. Once started. 7. tubes etc. then to prove extremely difficult to remove during any subsequent cleaning operations. welded nipples are removed to permit sighting through headers. and ensure that all tools. in order to prevent water soaking in to cause external corrosion. All personnel working in the boiler must be impressed with the importance of the avoidance of any objects entering the tubes after the boiler has been searched. Upon completion of cleaning. preferably fresh. The water serves two purposes. All internal fittings removed must be re placed. Where access is available. Fit new gaskets to all doors and headers. must be proved clear. 5. With welded boilers the tubes must be carefully searched before welding takes place and suitable precautions then taken to avoid the entry of any foreign matter into tubes etc. and the water drained off through a Boiler Operation & Control 18 . baking on hard when the boiler is again fired. Washing should be continuous and thorough. Where sufficiently loose they may be removed by dry cleaning using brushes or compressed air. External Cleaning Spaces between tubes can become choked with deposits which are not re moved by soot blowing. Check all orifices to boiler mountings to prove that they are clear. 9. 8. have been removed from the boiler. with flexible wires attached and secured outside the drum so that they are not left inside when the boiler is closed up. Prior to cleaning. search balls or flexible search wires can be used. cleaning materials etc. as any half-dissolved deposits remaining tend to harden off. 10. Washing will require hot water. the rates of discharge from the outlet end being used to indicate whether any obstruction is present within the tube.
2.5. Suction valve must be open Boiler Operation & Control 19 . 13. Make sure all maintenance services are finished 2. in crevices etc.5. Drum must be filled with water 2. tools. Then dry the boiler out by flashing up in the normal manner. Make sure no personal are working on site 4.1. and any refractory removed has been replaced. after which the access doors can be replaced. Staging etc. Turning Feed Pump on: 1. In a similar manner remove any de posits in double casings around economizer headers etc. For stubborn deposits a wetting agent may be sprayed on prior to washing. Lubricating oil pressure < 1. removing any remaining traces found. Cooling water system must be ready 8. Boiler operation from cold start 2. Water tank level at normal (0) level 2. Gear box at neutral position 4. 15. Preoperational precautions 1. Run the fans at full power with air registers full open for some minutes to clear any loose deposits. then hot air from steam air heaters or from portable units must be blown through to dry the external surfaces. Make sure all air gates and flue gases gates are closed 3. have been removed. 12.5. 2.convenient access door. especially if they have become damp due to water entering during the washing process.. Check that no damp deposits remain around tube ends. Secondary Steam system must be on 9.4 bar 3. Make sure all electric devices have power 5. If this can’t be done immediately. Valve for controlling lowest rate of feed water must be open 5. 14. After washing. Ensure that all cleaning materials. All air pressures in the system must be at normal 7. Air compressors must be working 6.
5. Delivery Valve and bypass must be closed. Cooling water valve must be open Steps 1. The ammonia (NH3) pump is turned on to increase the water PH 7. The delivery valve is opened 3. Air suction gates must be closed on both sides Boiler Operation & Control 20 . 2. Turning the air system and flue gas system on: Precautions before operating a) Air pressure must be 8 bar b) Cooling water system must be normal point c) Inlet and outlet gates for the air must be closed d) Inlet and outlet gates for the flue gases must be closed Air pre heaters are to be turned on now a) Open the inlet and outlet gates for the flue gases b) Open the inlet and outlet gates for the air c) The forced air fan is to be turned on now d) After 15 sec the induced fan is to be turned on. Hydrazine (N2H4) is used to remove Oxygen (O2) and increase PH 8. Turning the Fans on: Precautions for turning fans on: 1. 7. After the drum is filled with water the delivery valve to the drum is closed to start operation 6. The bypass valve for the delivery pipe is opened 188.8.131.52. The control valve is opened for starting operation 4. Cooling water system must be operational 3. Sodium Phosphate (NA3PO4) is used to re move dissolved salts 2. The entrance valve to the economizer is opened The operating range for rate of feed water should be about (200-250 ton/hr) 5.3. Air Preheater must be turned on 2.
Operating Precautions: 1. Dampers 40 % open Fuel Air Damper 60% Turning the flue gas fan and flame detector on: 1. Hydraulic coupling must be at normal (0) level Turning air Fans on procedure: 1.5 bar Secondary steam destinations: 1.5. Air de livery gates must be closed on both sides 5. The delivery gate for the fan is to be opened 4. Inlet and outlet flue gases gates must be closed 4. Hydraulic coupling is to be opened 20 % 3. Air fans must be on 2. Cooling water system must be operational 3.4. Gas absorbers Boiler Operation & Control 21 . The suction gate for the fan is to be opened The hydraulic coupling and the fan air suction gates must be set to AUTO setting all gates must be put to AUTO setting as follows: Over fire Damper 20 % open Aux. Air fans must be turned on 2. Heater gates must be opened 5. Outlet gates for air must be open 3. Air heaters 2. Lubricating oil pump must be on Secondary steam system must be turned on Secondary steam must be at 360 C at about 13.5. Circulating Flue gases fans are to be turned on now 2. Lubricating oil pump must be operational 6. Turn the fan on 2.
3.7. The atomizing steam pressure is to be 11 bar. Fuel Oil trip valve closed 4. BCS power supply normal 13. All flue gases and air damper are to be opened 11. All scanner no flame. Steam atomizer burners 5. Air flow not much than 30% One or more FDF running 3. Damper modulating Boiler Operation & Control 22 . Leakage preventing pump must be operational 3. 7. All burners valve must be closed 12. Fuel level must be normal 2. Igniter gas oil supply pressure must be proper 9. All Aux. Fuel gas trip valve closed 5. Fuel System: 1. The delivery valve must be opened The main fuel pump can now be turned on minimum pressure for the fuel is 20 bar by adjusting the control valve The steam atomizing system is now to be turned on after checking that the steam level is normal the inlet valve for the secondary steam is to be opened. 2.5. Control valve for the lowest level of fuel must be opened 5. MFT 8.5. Suction valve must be opened 4. Secondary steam for steam turbines 2.6. Purging condition 1. Fuel oil or gas supply pressure must be proper 10. 2. All igniter off 6. Air dumpers 4.
6. 6. Remove all fuses from the burner circuit. 4. and firing equipment. gauge glasses.what to do first! If you notice a change in boiler performance such as new noises. smells. stay bolts. Special attention should be given to low-water cutoffs and feed water regulators to ascertain that float (or electrode) chambers and connections are free of deposits. 2. and flue surfaces. 2. Although unexpected mechanical failures do occur boiler's safety or operational devices is preventing your boiler from starting.2. Boiler Operation & Control 23 .6. Remove all fly ash from stack cleanout. 7. My Boiler won't start .5. packings. Locate all devices that can prevent your boiler from starting.1. take these steps. tubes. and loose scale particles. Boiler Storage As soon as possible after the end of the heating season. 8. Drain the broiler completely after letting the water cool. 5. rising stack temperatures or continually resetting safety devices. where applicable: 1. On a call for heat the controller starts a sequence of events that ensure safe operation before the burner is allowed to start. nipples. See that defective tubes. 3. Continual resetting of safety devices is an indication of unsafe operating conditions. Check the condensate return system for tightness of components. and insulation are repaired or replaced as required. 2. Burner controller: The controller is usually located in front of the burner. Remove soot and ash from the furnace. Most safety devices have manual reset buttons that need to be reset before boiler operation can continue. Flush the boiler to remove all sludge. Prompt attention by your boiler technician is required. Clean and overhaul all boiler accessories such as safety valves.8.
6.6. Other devices that may prevent the boiler from starting: • Time clocks: Time clocks or other energy management devices may restrict boiler operation during weekends.4. Low water cutoff: The low water cutoff may have a manual reset.5.The controller continues to monitor burner operation while the boiler is running. Boiler Operation & Control 24 . Check their operating schedule. Both switches have a manual reset. 2. The high pressure switch locks out the boiler when the regulator is allowing too high a gas pressure. usually 65 degrees.3. 2. • Outdoor temperature limits: These devices sense outdoor temperatures and prevent boiler operation above certain outdoor temperatures. Pushing the manual reset on the controller will often restart the boiler. evenings or other times of the day. If for any reason the controller senses an unsafe operating condition it will shut the burner off. The low pressure switch locks out the boiler when too little gas is available for operation. It has a manual reset which when pressed to start the boiler indicates that the "operator" control has failed. 2. High pressure or temperature switch: This device is a safety backup to the "operator" control. 2. When reset indicates a low water condition existed in the boiler.6.2. Gas pressure switches on the fuel train: The natural gas fuel train usually has two pressure switches.6.
7. and result in needless inconvenience and cost. These conditions Boiler Operation & Control 25 .7. If the condition of low water exists it can seriously weaken the structural members of the boiler. interrupt the gas chain and ignition process when the water reaches the lowest permissible level. if not properly maintained. Low Water A major reason for damages incurred to low pressure steam boilers is the low water within the boiler. Accumulations of matter will obstruct and interfere with the proper operation of the float device. test the operation of the water level control device. however. Simply open the drain for 3 to 5 seconds making certain that the water drain piping is properly connected to a discharge line in accordance with City Building Codes. The water control device will activate water supply or feed water pumps to introduce water at the proper level. or perform both functions depending on design and interlocking systems. repaired and retested to guarantee proper operation.1. Low pressure boilers can be protected by installing an automatic water level control device. To ensure for the reliability of the device.2. If the water level control device does not function properly it must be inspected. 2. DANGEROUS CONDITIONS 2. Overpressure Safe operation of a boiler is dependent on a vital accessory.2. and at the same time. This brief drainage process will remove loose sediment deposits. Steam boilers are usually equipped with automatic water level control devices. the safety valve. deposits of sediment or sludge near the valve. It must be noted. it is unable to operate properly if sediment scale and sludge are allowed to accumulate in the float chamber. No matter how automatic a water control device may be. Failure to test the safety valve on a regular basis or to open it manually periodically can result in heavy accumulations of scale. that most failures occur due to low water on boilers equipped with automatic control de vices. procedures must be established in your daily preventive maintenance program to allow "blow-down" the float chamber at least once a day.7.
Any tendency of a sticking. ultimately rendering the safety valve inoperative. Boiler Operation & Control 26 . binding or leaking of the safety valve must be corrected immediately.can cause the safety valve spring to solidify or the disc to seal. Your preventive maintenance program includes the documentation and inspection of the safety valve. A constantly simmering safety valve is a danger sign and must not be neglected. A daily test must be performed when the boiler is in operation simply raise the hand operating lever quickly to its limit and allow it to snap closed.
CHAPTER 3 Boiler control Boiler Operation & Control 27 .
which is the equivalent to the total output of a reasonably large power station. Each of the above parameters affects and is affected by all of the others. The master demand in a powerstation application. a coal-burning. As stated previously. whose flow rate must be related to the steam flow. These differ quite significantly from each other. The turbine.1 Boiler control overview The determinant that controls all the boiler's operations is called the 'master demand'. Also. with its complex fuel-handling plant. a boiler is a complex. multivariable. sudden upsurges in demand will occur at half-time and full time. water must be fed into the boiler to match the production of steam. This in turn requires the forced draught fans to deliver adequate air for the combustion of the fuel. In the UK this can impose a sudden rise in demand of as much as 2 GW. the response of a boiler/turbine unit in a power station is determined by the dynamic characteristics of the two major items of plant. Boiler Operation & Control 28 . During a major sporting event such as an international football match. will be much slower to respond to changes in demand than a gas-fired one. At the same time. is capable of responding more quickly than the boiler to changes in demand. In thermal power-plant the steam is generated by burning fuel. the demand for electricity in a developed nation is also affected quite dramatically by television broadcasts. interactive process. The air input requires the products of combustion to be expelled from the combustion chamber by the induced draught fans. when viewers switch on their kettles.3. and the master demand sets the burners firing at a rate that matches the steam production. with gas-fired units being inherently capable of operating over a wider dynamic range than their coal-fired equivalents. For example. the turndown of the plant (the range of steam flows over which it will be capable of operating under automatic control) will depend on the type of fuel being burned. Funny example for load change these days. in very general terms. The response of the boiler is determined by the thermal inertia of its steam and water circuits and by the characteristics of the fuel system.
2 Boiler-following operation Boiler Following Operation With boiler-following control. to regain the pressure to its predetermined value. also when we decrease flow rate. The demand signal can be fed primarily to the turbine (boiler-following control). we should decrease flow rate to decrease pressure drop across the valve. How can we achieve this? When valve closes. Each of these results in a different performance of the unit. while the boiler systems are modulated to keep the steam pressure constant. In such a system. the power-demand signal modulates the turbine throttle-valves to meet the load. or to the boiler (turbine-following control). the plant operates with the turbine throttle-valves partly closed.The design of the master system is determined by the role which the plant is expected to play. and here three options are available. in a manner that will now be analyzed. Boiler Operation & Control 29 . 3. or it can be directed to both (coordinated unit control). a drop in pressure happens. pump head increases according to performance of the centrifugal pump.
the boiler may fail to follow the fast response turbine).The action of opening or closing these valves provides the desired response to demand changes. Sudden load increases are met by opening the valves to release some of the stored energy within the boiler. The boiler control system reacts after these changes have been made. because the turbine output is adjusted only after the boiler has reacted to the changed demand and as we know. the turbine-following system enables the unit to be operated in a more efficient manner and tuning for optimum performance is easier than with the boiler following system. However. We use this for large base-load power plant (where the unit runs at a fixed load. for most of the time). 3. the boiler response is much lower than turbine response especially the coal type. this method of operation offers slower response. increasing or reducing the firing to restore the steam pressure to the set value. or with gas-fired plant where the response is comparatively rapid (as if we make the system boiler following. usually a high one. When the demand falls. closing the valves increases the stored energy in the boiler. In such a system the turbine is the first to respond to the changes. the demand is fed directly to the boiler and the turbine throttle-valves are left to maintain a constant steam pressure. Particularly in the case of coal-fired plant. Turbine following system Boiler Operation & Control 30 .3 Turbine-following operation In the turbine-following system.
4 Coordinated unit control However. the rate of change of the demand signals. commissioning of this type of system demands great skill and care if the full extent of the benefits is to be obtained. its design demands considerable knowledge of the characteristics and limitations of the major plant items.3. as well as the extent of the is dynamic range. In particular. Co-ordinated unit control’ system Performance restriction for the control system is very dependent on the rate of heating the turbine and boiler. Also. will need to be constrained to prevent undesirable effects such as the stressing of pipe work because of excessively steep rates-of-change of temperature. Boiler Operation & Control 31 . Control parameters should always be adjusted as all system component ages and their performance changes.
which may be adjusted from time to time by the boiler operator). The first response is for the throttle valves to be opened. which raises the boiler pressure. quite correctly. In the simple turbine following system. but it also results in the boiler pressure falling. the amount of power that is being generated also increases. these variations are corrected by modulation of the Boiler Operation & Control 32 . the temperature of the feed water etc. and when this happens the boiler control system reacts by increasing the firing rate. However. and so on. But as it has already been increased to meet the demand and in fact may have already done so the power generated can overshoot the target.3. causing the throttle valves to start closing again. commissioned and maintained.5 Brief comparison between plant control modes As stated above. This increases the power generated by the machine. are all fixed (or. held at a set value. as the firing change comes into effect and the steam pressure rises. w hen properly designed. in general. air and water flows of a boiler are held at a constant value the amount of steam that is generated will not. But for practical reasons it is not universally used. 3. mainly because of the inevitable variations that will occur in parameters such as the calorific value of the fuel. remain constant. This is all right as far as it goes since.. it increases the boiler steaming rate to meet the increase in demand. the coordinated unit load controller. at least.2 Response of the turbine-following system In the simplest version of the turbine following system the boiler firing rate. However when the fuel.5. 3.5. and the rate of air and feed water admission etc. and the turbine throttle valves are to keep the steam pressure constant. will provide the best possible response of the unit within the constraints of the plant itself.1 Response of the boiler-following system Consider what happens when a sudden rise in demand occurs.
1 Combustion. 3.6. the situation once again becomes far more complex than this simple analysis would suggest.turbine throttle valve to maintain a constant steam pressure. for instance in industrial waste -incineration plants. Theoretically speaking. a plant operating under the control of a simple turbine following system will generate amounts of power that do not relate to the short term needs of the grid system. Such a plant is therefore incapable of operating in a frequency support mode. Unfortunately. to adjust the fuel input. although this mode of operation may be used where it is not easy.6 Boiler components control 3. Control of combustion is achieved through controlling air and fuel flow to burner. so that the energy is released without risk to plant. Heat losses in a furnace Boiler Operation & Control 33 . when the realities of practical plant are involved. so that the fuel is consumed at a rate that exactly matches the demand for steam. burner should keep the ratio between fuel and air constant along all load range to achieve stoichiometric mixing between them. in a fired boiler the control of combustion is extremely critical. or desirable. and it must be executed safely. burner and draught control Naturally. but this results in variations in the power generated by the turbine. In order to maximize operational efficiency combustion must be accurate. Because the steam generation rate of its boiler is not automatically adjusted to meet an external demand. personnel or environment.
operational considerations require that a supply of cooling air is provided for idle burners and flame monitors. As the excess air level increases. The sum of these two losses. plus the heat lost by radiation from hot surfaces in the boiler and its pipe work. The figure above shows that operation of the plant at the point identified at 'A' will correspond with minimum losses. and from this it may be assumed that this is the point to which the operation of the combustion control system should be targeted.If amount of excess air is increase over a certain limit. the amount of excess air will be fixed over the entire range. Operation of the firing system must take these factors into account and from then on the system can apportion the fuel and air flows. However. Boiler Operation & Control 34 . is identified as the total loss. The sum of all this is referred to as 'tramp air' or 'setting leakage'. it causes loss in efficiency. but it is going to places where it is not available for the combustion process. observation ports. Air also enters the combustion chamber through leaks. the heat lost in the exhaust gases increases. soot lower entry points and so on. If this is included in the total being supplied to the furnace. and if that total is apportioned to the total amount of fuel being fired. in practice air is not evenly distributed within the furnace. to prevent them being damaged by heat from nearby active burners and by general radiation from the furnace. the correct amount of air is being provided in total. The reduction in efficiency is due to losses which are composed of the heat wasted in the exhaust gases and the heat which is theoretically available in the fuel. For example. In other words. the implication is that some burners (at least) will be deprived of the air they nee d for the combustion of their fuel. If these are maintained in a fixed relationship with each other over the full range of flows. while the losses in unburned fuel reduce (the shortage of oxygen at the lower levels increasing the degree of incomplete combustion that occurs). but which is not burned.
1 • Burners control systems A simple system: "parallel control" The easiest way of maintaining a relationship between fuel flow and air flow is to use a single actuator to position a fuel-control valve and an air control damper in parallel with each other as shown in figure below. Simple ‘parallel’ control Although this simple system may be quite adequate for very small boilers burning fuels such as oil or natural gas.1. This system is employed in very small boilers.3. Boiler Operation & Control 35 .6. its deficiencies become increasingly apparent as the size of the plant increases. and we can achieve a non-linear relationship between valve opening and damper opening to be determined by the shape of a cam. the opening of an air-control damper is mechanically linked to the opening of a fuel control valve to maintain a defined relationship between fuel flow and air flow. with a range of cams offering a variety of relationships. Here.
while a controller maintains an adjustable relationship between the two flows (fuel and air). a sudden increase in demand will cause the fuel flow to increase quickly. System problems It assumes that for a given opening of fuel valve or air damper we get a certain amount of flow and this is not true as flow depends also on pressure difference between valves sides. With an oil fired boiler. On a load decrease the reverse happens. also flow will depends on properties of fuel and air like density. The resulting high oxygen content could lead to corrosion damage to the metalwork of the boiler. As the gain (g) of this block is changed. it alters the slope of the fuel flow/airflow characteristic changing the amount of excess air that is present at each flow. Another problem is that the response times of the fuel and air systems are never identical. Therefore. 2. In the system shown in Figure a again block or amplifier in one of the flow signal lines is used to adjust the ratio between the two flows. the flows through them will react at different rates. the firing conditions after the change will tend to become fuel rich until the air system has had time to catch up. and to unacceptable flue gas emissions. and the mixture in the combustion chamber becomes air rich. In each of these systems the master demand is used to set the quantity of one parameter being admitted to the furnace. Note that when the gain is fixed. if the fuel/air ratio was correct before the change occurred. and to use closed loop controllers to keep them in track with each other. This causes characteristic puffs of black smoke to be emitted as unburned fuel is ejected to the chimney.• 1. but the air system will be slower to react. • Flow ratio control The first approach to overcoming the limitations of a simple 'parallel' system is to measure the flow of the fuel and the air. if a sudden load change occurs and the two controlling devices are moved to pre-determined openings. the amount of excess air is Boiler Operation & Control 36 . As a result.
b. this situation would be impossible to achieve. a. since some air inevitably leaks into the furnace. Fuel/ air ratio control Gain adjustment of fuel/air ratio Bias adjustment of fuel/air ratio Boiler Operation & Control 37 . In practice.the same for all flows. with the result that the amount of excess air is proportionally greater at low flows than high flows. as shown by the horizontal line.
In these illustrations it has been assumed that the master demand is fed to the fuel valve. So. air lead system is the system which manipulates air flow according to load and let the controller adjust the amount of fuel flow to achieve the predetermined air to fuel ratio. the master demand can be relayed to the air flow controller. a bias is added to one of the signals. It doesn't have to be done this way. Fuel lead system is the system which manipulates fuel flow according to load and let the controller adjust the amount of airflow to achieve the predetermined air to fuel ratio. So. Instead. For obvious reasons this is known as an 'air lead' system. the fuel flow is adjusted first and the controller then adjusts the air flow to match the fuel flow.e. the fuel-lead version will provide better response to load changes. Here. which means that the task of maintaining the fuel/air ratio is then assigned to the fuel controller. leaving the air flow controller to maintain the fuel/air ratio at the correct desired value. since its action does not depend on the slower-responding plant Boiler Operation & Control 38 . after the latter has changed. one with no air leaking into the combustion chamber). the configuration is known as a 'fuel lead' system since. Changing the bias signal (b) moves the curve bodily as shown. The effect of this is that a fixed surfeit of air is always present and this is proportionally larger at the smaller flows. The arrangement shown in figure (a) therefore forms the basis of most practical fuel/air ratio control systems. Each of these control configurations has been used in practical plant. as show. although the version with bias (Figure 5. instead of a gain function. with the result that the amount of excess air is largest at small flows. When this is done.The system shown in figure in previous page shows a different control arrangement working with the same idealized plant (i. when the load demand changes. Comparing the "fuel-lead' and 'air-lead' approaches Of the two alternatives described above.3b) exacerbates the effects of tramp air and therefore tends to be confined to smaller boilers.
that supplies combustion air to the furnace. However, because of this, the system suffers from a tendency to produce fuel rich conditions on load increases and fuel-lean conditions on decreases in the load.
Disadvantages of working in rich fuel region
Operating in the fuel rich region raises the risk of unburned fuel being ignited in an uncontrolled manner, possibly causing a furnace explosion.
Disadvantages of working with too much excess air
Whereas operating with too much excess air, while not raising the risk of an uncontrolled fire or an explosion, does cause a variety of other problems including back end corrosion of the boiler structure, and undesirable stack emissions.
The air lead system is slow to respond because it requires the draught plant to react before the fuel is increased. Although this avoids the risk of creating fuel rich conditions as the load increases, it remains prone to such a risk as the load decreases “as the air takes time to be reduced, hence the fuel w ill be injected during this period which will make a fuel rich mixture”. However, the hazard is less than for the fuel lead system.
Disadvantages of both systems
A further limitation of these systems (in either the fuel-lead or air-lead version) is that they offer no protection against equipment failures, since these cannot be detected and corrected without special precautions being taken.
For example, in the fuel lead version, if fuel flow transmitter fails in such a way that it signals a lower flow than the amount that is actually being delivered to the furnace, the fuel/air ratio controller will attempt to reduce the supply of combustion air to match the erroneous measurement. This will cause the combustion conditions to become fuel rich,
Boiler Operation & Control
with the attendant risk of an explosion. Conversely, if the fuel flow transmitter in the air lead system fails low, the fuel controller will attempt to compensate for the apparent loss of fuel by injecting more fuel into the furnace, with similar risks.
Basic cross-limited control system
Boiler Operation & Control
Figure above shows the principles of the cross limited combustion control system. Individual flow ratio controllers (FRC) (7, 8) are provided for the fuel and air systems, respectively. The effect of the fuel/air ratio adjustment block (4) is to modify the air flow signal in accordance with the require d fuel/air relationship. (FT) is a flow transmitter to give a value for actual flow for fuel and air (2 & 3). Because fuel flow and air flow are each measured as part of a closed loop, the system compensates for any changes in either of these flows that may be caused by external factors. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as a 'fully metered' system. The effect of the fuel/air ratio adjustment block (4) is to modify the air flow signal in accordance with the required fuel/air relationship.
How this system works?
So far, the configuration performs similarly to the basic systems in previous section. The difference becomes apparent when the maximum and minimum selectors are brought into the picture (components 5 & 6). Remembering the problems of the differing response rates of the fuel and air supply systems consider what happens when the master demand signal suddenly requests an increase in firing. Assume that, prior to that instant; the fuel and air controllers have been keeping their respective controlled variable in step with the demand, so that the fuel flow and modified air flow signals are each equal to the demand signal.
When the master demand signal suddenly increases, it now becomes larger than the fuel flow signal and it is therefore ignored by the minimum selector block (5) which instead latches onto the modified air flow signal (from item 4). The fuel controller now assumes the role of fuel/air ratio controller, maintaining the boiler's fuel input at a
value that is consistent with the air being delivered to the furnace. The air flow is meanwhile being increased to meet the new demand, since the maximum selector block (6) has latched onto the rising master signal.
On a decrease in load, the system operates in the reverse manner. The minimum selector block locks onto the collapsing master and quickly reduces the fuel flow, while the maximum selector block chooses the fuel flow signal as the demand for the air flow
Boiler Operation & Control
the air flow controller will ensure that adequate combustion air is supplied. In such cases proper consideration has to be given to the distribution of air and fuel to each burner or. but in most practical situations the expense of the instrumentation cannot be justified. The need to provide a modulating actuator for each air register adds further cost. fuel systems. which therefore starts to operate as the fuel/air ratio controller. The concept of individually controlling air registers to provide the correct fuel/air ratio to each burner of a multi burner boiler has been implemented. the air controller will maintain adequate combustion air to meet the quantity of fuel being supplied to the combustion chamber. fans. 3. For example.3 Multiple-burner systems The systems that have been described so far are based on the adjustment of the total quantity of fuel and air that is admitted to the combustion chamber. Similarly. Analysis of the system will show that it is much better able to deal with plant or control and instrumentation equipment failures. The plant in this case comprises Boiler Operation & Control 42 . but large r units will have a multiplicity of burners. although the fuel controller will still attempt to compensate for the apparent loss of fuel. if this is not practical. Figure shown next page shows how the principles of a simple cross limited system are applied to a multiburner oil fired boiler. if the fuel valve fails open. if the fuel flow transmitter fails low. where adjustment of a single fuel valve and air damper is reasonable. keeping the air flow in step with the fuel flow.controller (8). but even with such economies the capital costs are high and the payback low. This may result in over firing but it cannot cause fuel rich conditions to be created in the furnace. dampers and combustion-air supplies. Oil and gas burners can be operated by maintaining a defined relationship between the fuel pressure and the differential pressure across the burner air register (rather than proper flow measurements). A more practical option is to control the ratio of fuel and air that flows to groups of burners. to small groups of burners.1. This approach may be sufficient with smaller boilers.6.
A control system for multiple burners (one burner group shown) Boiler Operation & Control 43 . and the flow to the firing burners is controlled by a single set of secondary air dampers.several rows of burners. The combustion air is supplied through a common wind box. and the flow of fuel oil to each row is controlled by means of a single valve.
which is then multiplied by a signal representing the number of burners firing in that row. Controlling multiple fuels (one burner group shown) Boiler Operation & Control 44 . to yield a signal representing the total amount of oil flowing to the burners in the group. and the arrangements become more complicated for every additional fuel that is to be considered. Working with multiple fuels The control systems of boilers burning several different types of fuel have to recognize the heat input contribution being made at any time by each of the fuels.In most respects the arrangement closely resembles the basic cross limited system explained in previous section. A function generator is used to convert the pressure signal to a flow-per-burner signal. with the oil flow inferred from the oil pressure at the row.
The cross limiting function is performed at the minimum selector block (5) which continuously compares the master demand with the quantity of combustion air flowing to the common wind box of the burner group.9). and in practice it is necessary to incorporate various features such as interlocks to prevent over firing and to isolate one or other of the pressure signals when no burner is firing that fuel. before it reaches the relevant controller a value is subtracted from it. layout and operation. But. in the case of this system. The gain block (6) translates the air flow into a signal representing the amount of fuel whose combustion can be supported by the available secondary air.) 3. since the pressure/flow relationship of the gas is temperature dependent. The similarities to the simple cross limited system are very apparent. These diagrams are highly simplified. while the other conversion is performed in another such block (14). Note that. In the following section we shall see how air is delivered to the furnace at the right conditions of flow and temperature. The conversion of oil flow to equivalent gas flow is performed in a function generator (10). As before. as are the commonalities with the fuel control part of the multi burner system (shown within the chain-dotted area of Figure 5.Figure above shows a system for a boiler burning oil and gas. each fuel flow signal represents the flow per burner and so it has to be multiplied by the number of burners in service in order to represent the total fuel flow. which represents the heat contributed by the other fuel (converted to the same heat/m s value as the fuel being controlled). the gas pressure signal is compensated against temperature variations. (This is because a pressure signal will exist even when no firing is taking place. Each of the two summator units (11 and 13) algebraically subtracts the 'other-fuel’ signal from the demand. The selected signal (the load demand or the available air) ultimately forms the desired value of both the gas and oil closed-loop controllers. starting with the auxiliary plant that warms the Boiler Operation & Control 45 .7 Draught control We will understand draught control via inspecting draught system components.
or recuperative. air and exhaust may mix at a certain limit. this is referred to as ‘air leakage’. air is delivered to the boiler by one or more forced draught fans and the products of combustion are extracted from it by induced draught fans as shown in figure below. In the regenerative type. The air heater in a simple cycle plant. This function is achieved in an air heater. which can be either regenerative. where an intermediate medium is used to transfer the heat from the exhaust gases to the incoming air. Draught plant arrangement Figure above shows this plant in a simplified form. where a direct heat transfer is used across a dividing partition. Boiler Operation & Control 46 .air and moving on to the types of fan employed in the draught plant. and illustrates how the heat remaining in the exhaust gases leaving the furnace is used to warm the air being fed to the combustion chamber.
but become greater as wear occurs during prolonged usage. When the sheer physical size of the air heater is considered it will be appreciated that these leakages can become significant.Leakage happens across the circumferential.1 Types of fan according to function Here.7. Air heater leakage 3. another application for large fans in a power-station boiler is where it is necessary to overcome the resistance presented by plant Boiler Operation & Control 47 . These leakages are minimized when the plant is first constructed. Forced draught fan Induced draught fan Booster fan In addition to the FD and ID fans mentioned above. there are 3 types. radial and axial seals. classification is according to function. as well as at the hub.
7.in the path of the flue gases to the stack. Whereas the blades of a centrifugal fan are fixed rigidly to the shaft. • Fan control constrains There is some constrains for fan operation. but requires careful design of the associated control system because of a phenomenon known as 'stall'. so it is necessary to fit additional fans to overcome the draught losses. • Axial-flow fans The air or gas is drawn along the line of the shaft by the screw action of the blades. all of which present additional resistance to the flow of gases. this constrains are related to fan theory of operation and its design. In some cases. This involves the use of absorbers and/or bag filters. In this case this resistance was not anticipated when the plant was originally designed. This provides an efficient means of controlling the fan's throughput. These are called 'booster fans'. we use 2 types of fans “according to fan design and working principles” Centrifugal fans Axial flow fans • Centrifugal fans The blades are set radially on the drive shaft with the air or flue gas directed to the centre and driven outwards by centrifugal force. the pitch of axialflow fan blades can be adjusted. 3.2 Types of fans according to working principle In power plant. plus the attendant ducting. which will now be described. environmental legislation has enforced the fitting of flue gas desulphurisation equipment to an existing boiler. these limitation is explained below: Boiler Operation & Control 48 .
In an axial flow fan. a 'stall line' is generate d as shown in figure below and if this is built into the plant control system (DCS) it can be used to warn the operator that the condition is imminent and then to actively shift operation away from the danger region. The actual stall-line data for a given machine should be provided by the fan manufacturer. when this angle exceeds a certain limit. and this pressure increases until it can be relieved at the clearance between the tip and the casing. the air flow over the blade separates from the surface and centrifugal force then throws the air outwards. towards the rim of the blades. For each setting of the blades there is a point on the fan characteristic beyond which stall will occur. The stall line of an axial flow fan Boiler Operation & Control 49 . If these points are linked. This action causes a build-up of pressure at the blade tip. vibration sets in and the flow starts to oscillate. The risk of stall increases if a fan is oversized or if the system resistance increases excessively.• The stall condition The angular relationship between the air flow impinging on the blade of a fan and the blade itself is known as the 'angle of attack'. Under this condition the operation of the fan becomes unstable.
• Centrifugal fan surge The stall condition affects only axial flow fans. If they are operated near the peak of their pressure/flow curve a small movement either way can cause the pressure to increase or decrease unpredictably. we will discuss methods of fan control and characteristics of each control method. • Air flow control methods After knowing about fans and their limitation. Damper Fan speed Blade angle 1-Fan damper Boiler Operation & Control 50 . The point at which this phenomenon occurs is known as the 'surge limit' and it is the minimum flow at which the fan operation is stable. centrifugal fans are subject to another form of instability. There are 3 methods of fan control. However.
• Vane control Boiler Operation & Control 51 . This provides a form of draught control but it is not very linear and it is most effective only near the closed position. Another form of damper comprises a set of linked blades across the duct (like a Venetian blind). but they offer better linearity of control over a wider range of operation.The simplest form of damper consists of a hinged plate that is pivoted at the centre so that it can be opened or closed across the duct. Such multi bladed dampers are naturally more expensive and more complex to maintain than single bladed versions. Once such a damper is more than about 40.60% open it can provide very little additional control.
These may involve the use of electronic controllers which alter the speed of the driving motor in response to demand signals from the DCS or they can be hydraulic couplings or variable-speed gearboxes. • Variable-speed drives Finally. Boiler Operation & Control 52 . Variable speed drives offer significant advantages in that they allow the fan to operate at the optimum speed for the required throughput of air or gas. whereas dampers or vanes control the flow by restricting it. which means that the fan is attempting to deliver more flow than is required. either of which allows a fixed speed motor to drive the fan at the desired speed.The second form of control is by the adjustment of vanes at the fan inlet. Such vanes are operated via a complex linkage which rotates all the vanes through the same angle in response to the command signal from the DCS. control of fan throughput can be achieved by the use of variable speed motors (or drives).
have to be recognized. On boilers with retro-fitted flue gas desulphurisation plant. and to do so in the most efficient manner possible. because the fans may be physically large and require a large amount of power for their operation (several MW in some cases). if necessary by the provision of special control functions or interlocks. in a fired boiler. All of the fans also have to contribute to the provision of another important function. In addition. such as surge and stall. additional booster fans may also be provided. or after a trip.Draught profile of a boiler and its auxiliary plant As we know. the performance constraints of the fans. the air required for combustion is provided by one or more fans and the exhaust gases are drawn out of the combustion chamber by an additional fan or set of fans. as we know. Boiler Operation & Control 53 . Purging of the furnace in all conditions: when a collection of unburned fuel or combustible gases could otherwise be accidentally ignited. Such operations are required prior to light off of the first burner when the boiler is being started. The control systems for the fans have to be designed to meet the requirements of start-up. The control of all these fans must ensure that an adequate supply of air is available for the combustion of the fuel and that the combustion chamber operates at the pressure determined by the boiler designer. normal operation and shut-down.
Such an imbalance can be brought about by the accidental closure of a damper or by the sudden loss of all flames. which known as an 'implosion'. The results of an implosion are extremely serious because. the FD fans have to operate in concert with the ID fans to maintain the furnace pressure at a certain value. the surfaces over which they are applied are very large and the forces exerted become enormous. which is maintained by keeping the FD and ID fans in balance with each other. If that balance is disturbed the results can be extremely serious. Boiler Operation & Control 54 . even though the pressures involved may be small. Such an event would almost certainly result in major structural damage to the plant.3. to the point where the flue gases are exhausted to the chimney. The heavy solid line of figure show n below shows the pressure profile through the various sections of a typical balanceddraught boiler system.8 Draught system duties The main duty of draught system is to maintain the furnace draught. It shows the pressure from the point where air is drawn in. It can also be caused by mal operation of the FD and ID fans. Apart from supplying air to support combustion. The dashed line on the diagram shows the pressure profile under such a condition. and demonstrates how the combustion chamber operates at a slightly negative pressure .
CHAPTER 4 FEED WATER CONTROL SYSTEM Boiler Operation & Control 55 .
can fail. 4. The danger in the use of a feed water regulator lies in the fact that the operator may be entirely dependent on it. continued attention is necessary.4. • Oldest feed water regulator The First commercial feed water regulator Boiler Operation & Control 56 . It is well to remember that the regulator. This automatic regulator adds to the safety and economy of operation and minimizes the danger of low or high water.1 Feed water control system Control of feed water is executed via feed water regulator. Uniform feeding of water prevents the boiler from being subjected to the expansion strains that would result from temperature changes produced by irregular water feed.1 Feed water Regulators A boiler feed water regulator automatically controls the water supply so that the level in the boiler drum is maintained within desired limits.1. like any other mechanism. types of feed water regulators are presented in the following sections.
(2) two element. and (3) three element. • Single-element control Boiler Operation & Control 57 . There are basically three types of feed water control systems: (1) Single element. Next generation employs the float in a different manner as shown in figure a. a pneumatic or electrically operated feed water control system is used.It consists of a simple float attached to lever to control feed water flow and to keep level constant as shown above. For high capacity boilers and those operating at high pressure.
The drum level measurement corrects for any imbalance between the drum water level and its set point and provides the necessary adjustment to cope with the “swell and shrink” characteristics of the boiler. Two element steam-flow-type feed water regulator Boiler Operation & Control 58 . However. Single element control will maintain a constant drum level for slow changes in load. and any error produces a signal that moves the feed water control valve in proper response. wider drum-level variation results. The measured drum level is compared to its set point. or feed water pressure. steam pressure. • Two-element control This uses a control loop that provides regulation of feed water flow in response to changes in steam flow. with a second control loop correcting the feed water flow to ensure the correct drum water level. because the control signal satisfies the requirements of drum level only. The steam flow control signal anticipates load changes and begins control action in the proper direction before the drum-level control loop acts in response to the drum water level.This uses a single control loop that provides regulation of feed water flow in response to changes in the drum water level from its set point.
which regulates feed water flow in direct response to boiler load.• Three-element control This uses a predetermined ratio of feed water flow input to steam flow output to provide regulation of feed water flow in direct response to boiler load. Boiler Operation & Control 59 . This is the most widely used feed water control system. Any change in the ratio is used to modify the drumlevel set point in the level controller. The three element control regulates the ratio of feed water flow input to steam flow output by establishing the set point for the drum level controller.
Three-element feed water-control system: (a) diagram layout of air-operated type. (b) schematic of electronic control system Boiler Operation & Control 60 .
extra heat is added to the confined water in the outer compartment. Boiler Operation & Control 61 . This water does not circulate. so the temperature and pressure of the confined water are raised. Since heat is transferred faster from steam to water than from water to water. Heat is radiated from it by means of fins attached to the radiator. is filled with water. or generator diaphragm. When the water level in the boiler is high. more of the regulator tube is filled with steam and less with water. The outside compartment. Water in the inner tube of the regulator remains at the same level as that in the boiler. The diaphragm in turn operates a balanced valve in the feedwater line. When the water in the boiler is lowered.4. This pressure is transmitted to the balanced valve diaphragm to open the valve admitting water to the boiler. Connected to the radiator is a small tube running to a diaphragm chamber.1. The inner tube is connected directly to the water column and contains steam and water. The radiating-fin surface is not sufficient to re move the heat as rapidly as it is generated. connecting the tube and valve diaphragm. this operation is reversed. type of boiler feedwater regulator is shown in Figure b.2 • Types of feed water regulators Thermohydraulic type A thermohydraulic.
the length of the thermostatic tube changes and positions the regulating valve with each change in the proportioned amount of steam and water. The hand-wheel jack permits manual Boiler Operation & Control 62 . The resulting position assumed by the standatrol provides pressure to operate a pilot valve attached to the feedwater regulator. Water flow is proportioned to steam flow. (b) thermohydraulic-type regulator.12a) combines three elements to control the water level.• Thermostatic expansion-tube-type The thermostatic expansion tube type feedwater regulator is shown in Figure c. Three types of boiler feed water regulators for simple water level control: (a) float-type regulator. (c) thermostatic expansion tube regulator. Because of expansion and contraction. In operation. a change in position of the metering element positions a pilot valve to vary the air loading pressure to a standatrol self-standardizing relay). A two element steam flow type feedwater regulator shown in the above figure combines a thermostatic expansion tube operated from the change in water level in the drum as one element with the differential pressure across the super heater as the second element. with drum level as the compensating element. The two combined operate the regulating valve. 6. The impulse from the standatrol passes through a hand automatic selector valve. An air-operated three element feedwater control (Fig. permitting either manual or automatic operation. the control is set to be insensitive to the level.
In both types of plant the temperature of the steam will also be affected by the flow of fluid within the tubes. the temperature of the steam will also be affected by the pattern in which the burners are fired. and by the way in which the hot gases circulate within the boiler. the temperature of the steam in the banks of tubes that are directly influenced by the radiant heat of combustion starts to decrease as the increasing flow of fluid takes away more of the heat that falls on the metal.adjustment of the feedwater valve if remote control is undesirable. This heat will be used to convert water to steam and then to increase the temperature of the steam in the superheat stages. Two-element steam-flow-type feed water regulator 4. Therefore the steam- Boiler Operation & Control 63 .2. since some banks of tubes pick up heat by direct radiation from the burners.2 Steam temperature control 4.1 Why steam temperature control is needed: The rate at which heat is transferred to the fluid in the tube banks of a boiler or HRSG will depend on the rate of heat input from the fuel or exhaust from the gas turbine. As the steam flow increases. In a boiler.
(Strictly speaking. the temperature of the steam in the banks of tubes in the convection passes tends to increase because of the higher heat transfer brought about by the increased flow of gases. The shape of this will depend on the particular design of plant. the correct term to use for a device which reduces the steam temperature to a point which is still above the saturation point is an attemperator. it will be useful to examine some of the mechanisms which are employed to regulate the temperature according to the controller's commands. On the other hand. after which it will fall. so that this temperature/ flow profile shows a rise in temperature as the flow increases. By combining these two characteristics.) Boiler Operation & Control 64 . in common engineering usage both terms are applied somewhat indiscriminately. while one that lowers it below the saturation point may be referred to either as an attemperator or a desuperheater. However. to prevent any one section from becoming over heated. Since different banks of tubes are affected in different ways by the radiation from the burners and the flow of hot gases. Depending on whether or not the temperature of the steam is lowered to below the saturation point the controlling devices are known as attemperators or desuperheaters. Without any additional control. but in general.temperature/steam-flow profile for this bank of tubes shows a decline as the steam flow increases. the temperature of the steam leaving the final super heater of the boiler or HRSG would vary with the rate of steam flow. the temperature will rise to a peak as the load increases. the boiler designer will aim to achieve a fairly flat temperature/flow characteristic over a wide range of steam flows. the other falling. No matter how successfully this target is attained. The steam turbine or the process plant that is to receive the steam usually requires the temperature to remain at a precise value over the entire load range. the one rising. Before looking at the types of steam temperature control systems that are applied. following what is known as the 'natural characteristic' of the boiler. an additional requirement is to provide some means of adjusting the temperature of the steam within different parts of the circuit. it cannot yield an absolutely flat temperature/flow characteristic. and it is mainly for this reason that some dedicated means of regulating the temperature must be provided.
the length of straight pipe in which this type of attemperator needs to be installed is quite long. To avoid stress inducing impingement of cold droplets on hot pipework. and this leads to a further limitation of a fixed-nozzle attemperator. the flow of cooling water is relate d to the flow rate and the temperature of the steam.4. there by maximising the area of contact between the steam and the water. typically 6 m or more. regardless of the type of attemperator in use. only to be brought down to the correct value later. • The mechanically atomised attemperator Various forms of spray attemperator are employed. It is not unusual for the effective temperature control range of a boiler to be between only 75% and 100% of the boiler's maximum continuous rating (MCR). Although the inherent design of the attemperation system may. though in thermodynamic terms it results in a reduction in the performance of the plant because the steam temperature has to be raised to a higher value than is needed. in theory. The attemperator is an effective means of lowering the temperature of the steam. With the resulting intermixing of hot steam and cold water the coolant eventually evaporates so that the final mixture comprises an increased volume of steam at a temperature which is lower than that prior to the water injection point. it should be understood that the curve of the boiler's natural characteristic will restrict the load range over which practical temperature control is possible. Figure 1 shows a simple design where the high pressure cooling water is mechanically atomised into small droplets at a nozzle.2. Successful break-up of the water into atomised droplets requires the spray water to be at a pressure which exceeds the steam pressure at the nozzle by a certain Boiler Operation & Control 65 . by injecting the spray water. This limitation is also the result of the spray water flow being a larger proportion of the steam flow at low loads. With spray attemperators. With this type of attemperator the water droplets leave the nozzle at a high velocity and therefore travel for some distance before they mix with the steam and are absorbed. This cooling function is achieved in the attemperator.2 The spray water attemperators One way of adjusting the temperature of steam is to pump a fine spray of comparatively cool water droplets into the vapour. permit control to be achieved over a very wide range of steam flows.
the pressure/flow characteristic has a square -law shape. Because of the limitations of the single nozzle. The turn-down of the mechanically atomised type of attemperator is around 1. Boiler Operation & Control 66 .5 °C.5:1. the accuracy of control that is possible with this type of attemperator is no greater than + 8. The temperature of the steam is adjusted by modulating a separate spray-water control valve to admit more or less coolant into the steam. resulting in a restricted range of flows over which it can be used (this is referred to as limited turn-down or rangeability). Because the nozzle presents a fixed-area orifice to the spray water.amount (typically 4 bar).
multinozzle attemperator. For this reason. With this type of device. allowing the steam temperature to be controlled to + 5. a thermal liner is often included in the pipe extending from the plane of the nozzles to a point some distance downstream.5°C over a flow range of 40:1. allowing the water to be injected through a greater or smaller number of nozzles. Principle of a multi nozzle desuperheater Boiler Operation & Control 67 . a separate spray-water control valve is therefore not needed. The accuracy of control and the turndown range available from a multi-nozzle attemperator is considerably greater than that of a single nozzle version. This employs a sliding plug which is moved by an actuator. and also to provide the normal protection for the pipe work in the vicinity of the nozzles.• The variable-area attemperator One way of overcoming the limitations of a fixed nozzle in an attemperator is to use an arrangement which changes the profile as the throughput of spray water alters. Adequate performance of this type of attemperator depends on the velocity of the vapour at the nozzles being high enough to ensure that the coolant droplets remain in suspension for long enough to ensure their absorption by the steam. Figure 2 shows the operating principle of a variable area. the amount of water injected is regulated by the position of the sliding plug.
). thus ensuring more effective break-up of the water droplets and shrouding the atomised droplets in a sheath of steam to provide rapid attemperation. CW7 3QL. The stripping action acts as a barrier which prevents the coolant from impinging on the inner wall of the steam pipe. causing it to vapourise into a micron-thin layer which is stripped off the edge of the spray head and propelled downstream. The vapour atomising design mixes steam with the cooling water. the pressure of the spray water does not have to be significantly higher than that of the steam. The 140 Power-plant control and instrumentation coolant enters at this point and undergoes an instant increase in velocity and a decrease in pressure. Due to the Venturi principle. The coolant velocity increases Boiler Operation & Control 68 . the approach contour of the VAD head is such that when the inlet steam flows through an annular ring betwee n the spray head and the inner wall of the steam pipe its velocity is increased and the pressure slightly reduced. • Other types of attemperator At least two other designs of attemperator will be encountered in power station applications. creating a vortex zone into which any unabsorbed coolant is drawn. resulting in a very low overall loss of pressure. exposing it to a zone of low pressure and high turbulence. which therefore cause s additional evaporation. The downstream portion of the VAD head is contoured. Here.• The variable-annulus desuperheater Another way of achieving accurate control of the steam temperature over the widest possible dynamic range is provided by the variable-annulus desuperheater (VAD) (produced by Copes-Vulcan Limited. due to the coolant injection occurring at a point where the steam pressure is lowered. An advantage of the VAD is that. Winsford Industrial Estate. the pressure of the cooled steam is quickly restored downstream of the vena contract a point. Variable-orifice attemperators include a freely floating plug which is positioned above a fixed seat a design that generates high turbulence and more efficient attemperation. Road Two. Cheshire . Winsford.
Because the floating plug moves against gravity. because of the efficient mixing of steam and coolant. theoretically over a turndown range of 100:1. instantly vaporising the liquid.simultaneously with the pressure drop. the pressure drop across the nozzle remains constant (at about 0. this type of attemperator must be installed in a vertical section of pipe with the steam through it traveling in an upward direction. The design of this type of attemperator is so efficient that complete mixing of the coolant and the steam is provided within 3 to 4 m of the coolant entry point. and the temperature can be controlled to + 2.5 °C. Because of the movement of the plug.2 bar). Figure 3 shows a typical installation. it is permissible to provide a bend almost immediately after the device. Variable-orifice attemperator installation Boiler Operation & Control 69 . However.
in this case for a variable annulus desuperheater. a typical installation Boiler Operation & Control 70 . Figure 4 shows a typical installation. Direct impingement of spray water on the temperature sensor will result in the final steam temperature being higher than desired. great care must be taken to locate the temperature sensor far enough downstream of the attemperator for the measurement to accurately represent the actual temperature of the steam entering the next stage of tube banks.Location of temperature sensors: Because the steam and water do not mix immediately at the plane of the nozzle or nozzles.
the other controlling the flow Boiler Operation & Control 71 . Such boilers therefore use two or more methods of control. In boilers with fixed burners. changes in firing inevitably affect the temperature of both the reheater and the superheater. it is preferable for the reheat stages to be controlled by tilting burners (if these are available) or by apportioning the flow of hot combustion gases over the various tube banks. For this reason. the thermodynamic conditions are significantly different from those of superheaters. since it enables the use of spray water to be reserve d for fine tuning purposes and for emergencies. to optimize. 4. Because of the lower operating pressure of reheat steam systems.3 Temperature control with tilting burners The burning fuel in a corner fired boiler forms a large swirling fireball which can be moved to a higher or lower level in the furnace by tilting the burners upwards or downwards with respect to a mid position. the steam temperature control systems become significantly different from those of boilers with fixed burners. gas apportioning or spray attemperation must then be used for the reheat stages. The repositioning of the fireball changes the pattern of heat transfer to the various banks of superheater tubes and this provides an efficient method of controlling the steam temperature. In some cases two separate sets of dampers are provided: one regulating the flow over the superheater banks. if not impossible. and the injection of spray water into the reheater system has an undue effect on the efficiency of the plant.1 Controlling the temperature of reheated steam In boilers with reheat stages. the tilting process provides a method of controlling furnace exit temperatures. steam temperature control may be achieved by adjusting the opening of dampers that control the flow of the furnace gases across the various tube banks. if the superheat temperature is controlled by burner tilting. In addition. With such boilers.4. The boiler designer is able to define the optimum angular position of the burners for all loads. A temperature controller trims the degree of tilt so that the correct steam temperature is attained. and the control engineer can then use a function generator to set the angle of tilt over the load range to match this characteristic. If a single control mechanism were to be used for both temperatures the resulting interactions would make control system tuning difficult. However.3.
and also to provide a means of reducing the temperature of the re heat steam in the event of a failure in the damper systems. In this situation the reheat sprays must be shut immediately in order to prevent serious damage being cause d by the admission of cold spray water to the turbine.2 Spray attemperators for reheat applications At first. leading to the possibility of damage to the structure due to over pressurization. the spray valve is opened.over the reheater banks. spray attemperation is provided for emergency cooling. The spray attemperator is shut unless the temperature at the reheater outlet reaches a predetermined high limit. If both were to be closed at the same time. Between the m. with one set being allowed to close only when the other has fully opened. the flow of these gases would be severely restricted. The relationship between the cold reheat temperature and the required spray water flow can be defined by the boiler designer or process engineer. This is untrue. For this reason the two sets are controlled in a so-called 'split-range' fashion. to bring the exit temperature back into the region where gas-apportioning or burner tilting can once again be effective. because reheat attemperators have to cope with the lower steam pressure in this section of the boiler. these two sets of dampers deal with the entire volume of combustion gases passing from the furnace to the chimney. When this limit is exceeded. For this reason. Although a pressure reducing valve could be introduced into the spray water line. this would be an expensive solution w hose long term reliability would not be satisfactory because of the Boiler Operation & Control 72 . These dampers provide the main form of control. which renders the pressure of the water at the discharge of the feed pumps too high for satisfactory operation. it may seem that reheat spray-water attemperator systems should be similar to those of the superheater. the amount of water that is injected is typically controlled in relation to the temperature at the reheater inlet. 4. In this condition.3. but the response of the system is very slow. particularly with large boilers. where the temperature response to changes in heat input exhibits a second-order lag of almost two minutes' duration. If a turbine trip occurs the reheat flow will collapse.
steam pressure and temperature are uniquely related. they are frequently provide d with gas-recirculation systems. or oil and coal in combination. A better solution would be to derive the supply from the feed pump inlet. To allow warm-up or cool-down of the heat transport system at a controlled rate. and therefore increases the heat transfer to them. Steam pressure measurement is used since it provides a faster response than a temperature measurement. even this is ineffective. but interlocks have to be provided to protect the fan against high temperature gases flowing in a reverse direction from the burner area if the fan is stopped or if it trips. Boiler Operation & Control 73 . In some cases. Controlling the flow of recycled gases provides a method of regulating the temperature of the superheated and reheated steam. where the hot gases exiting the later stages of the boiler are recirculated to the bottom part of the furnace.4 Boiler pressure control In a typical generating station will perform the following functions: To control boiler pressure under normal operating conditions to a specified set point. (A) Gas recycling Where boilers are designed for burning oil. and separate pump sets have to be provided for the reheat sprays. 4.severe conditions to which such a valve would be subjected. The Boiler Pressure Control is a digital control loop application with a sampling period every 2 seconds. fans have to be provided to ensure that the gas flows in the correct direction. close to the burners. Since. Because the gas exiting the furnace is at a low pressure. boiler pressure is used to indicate the balance between reactor heat output and steam loading conditions. under saturated conditions. This procedure increases the mass-flow of gas over the tube banks.
Standard Heat transfer relationship can be described as: Q = U. 4. which is the heat sink for the boilers. U = heat transfer coefficient of the tubes (kJ/s/m2) A = tube area (m2) D T = temperature difference between HTS and steam generator inventory. is controlled to an operator specified set point. D T where: Q = the rate of heat exchange from the HTS to the boiler water (kJ/s). If reactor power output increases. Boiler Operation & Control 74 . and therefore boiler temperature falls. A. i. Whereas for units without Pressurize. the first method is employed. "Alternate" or “Reactor Leading” Operation • If the unit is operating in the reactor leading mode at low power conditions the reactor power set point is specified by the operator.1 Boiler pressure control operation for units having a pressurize Under normal operating conditions. The turbine/generator. For all units designed with a pressurize.Basic Principles A steam generator (boiler) is simply a heat exchanger and as such it obeys the standard heat transfer relationship from one side of the boiler (tubes side) to the other (shell-side). Q has to rise. therefore DT must also increase.. as reactor power increases (as is the case for a Solid HTS designs with no pressurize). A and U are a function of boiler design and therefore Q is proportional to D T. • Boiler pressure is then controlled to its set point by manipulation of the steam loads. BPC manipulates the reactor power output in order to control boiler pressure to the set point. This increase in DT can be achieved by either allowing the average HTS temperature to increase as reactor power increases (as is the case for a pressurize installation) or by arranging that the boiler Pressure falls.4.e. then more heat must be transferred to the boiler water. the second method is used.
turbine and steam discharge valves.e. under normal operating conditions. If the rise in boiler pressure is greater than 125 kPa above set point the CSDVs will start to open. closed due to the introduction of a bias signal. the boiler pressure rises above its set point by 70 kPa the ASDVs will open. Boiler Operation & Control 75 . correct both the demand and the supply). If. Steam Discharge Valve Control The Atmospheric Steam Discharge Valves (ASDV) and Condenser Steam Discharge Valves (CSDV) are. If the positive boiler pressure error is not corrected by the ASDVs and CSDVs a reactor setback will be initiated to correct the thermal mismatch (i. for any reason.
• This is also the turbine operating ramp. The SRV set point is a parallel ramp set 100 kPa higher than the turbine ramp. • If the positive pressure transient is not corrected by the small SRVs the large SRVs will start to open. Boiler Operation & Control 76 . (the controlled variable) the following manipulated variables are used: (a) Reactor Power (b) Turbine Steam Flow (c) Steam Reject Valve (SRV) Steam Flow • The boiler pressure will be decreased from 5 MPa to 4 MPa as unit power is raised from 0 to 100% full power (this is to minimize HTS temperature changes). • Should the boiler pressure rise by more than 100 kPa excess pressure will be released by the small SRVs. • If the boiler pressure falls below the turbine set point the speeder gear will run back to a point where the decreased turbine power will be matched. stations. • The response of the Heat Transport System to transients caused by power maneuvering is very limited.2 Boiler pressure control operation for Units without a Pressurize • Units with only feed and bleed systems for Heat Transport pressure control are normally run as base load.4. To control the boiler pressure.4. • The Boiler Pressure Control System has a role in limiting the potential swell and shrink of the HTS inventory by maintaining the HTS average temperature essentially constant over the full operating range. reactor leading. Opening of the large SRVs will initiate a reactor setback.
• This error signal will cause the speeder gear to run up and thus increase the steam flow to the turbine. • However.3 Boiler Pressure Response to A Requested Increase in Electrical Output • request for increased electrical output will create an error signal between the existing output and the new set point.4.4. • This pressure increase is used as a feed forward signal which can be used to modify the reactor power set point in advance of the negative boiler pressure error developing. • This increased steam flow will result in an increased electrical output and eliminate the electrical error which had been created. This will cause a further adjustment to be made to reactor power output and thus return the boiler pressure to its set point. • The increased governor valve opening results in an increased steam pressure on the turbine side of the governor valve. • In practice the feed forward signal will limit the size of the negative boiler pressure transient but is unable to eliminate it completely. • The resulting drop in boiler pressure is used as a feedback signal to the boiler pressure control program. Boiler Operation & Control 77 . the increased steam flow will inevitably cause boiler pressure to fall.
CHAPTER 5 CONTROL DEVICES Boiler Operation & Control 78 .
the control system will need various items of process information to optimize system efficiency. easily tested. and well understood devices that can be wired together to make surprisingly complex systems. and efficiently. They can be configured in fail safe mode so that if the relay itself fails. During system operation. reliably.1 Control platforms The control platform is the set of devices that monitors and optimizes the process conditions. Advantages of relays Relays have several advantages. executes the control logic.5. the control system will need to verify or change the status of these systems. A relay system consists of a number of relays wired together in such a way that they execute a logical sequence. the control system monitors all safety parameters at all times and will shut down the combustion system if any of the safety limits are not satisfied.1 Control devices The purpose of the control system is to start. 5. A combustion system typically includes a fuel supply. easily replaced. and inexpensive. reliable.1. all of which come together at one or more burners. a relay system may define a series of steps to start up the combustion process. a combustion air supply. and shut down the combustion process and any related auxiliary processes safely. For example. • Relay System A relay consists of an electromagnetic coil and several attached switch contacts that open or close when the coil is energized or de -energize d. and an ignition system. Relays can tell only if something is on or off and have no analog capability. They are modular. combustion system safety is not compromised. operate. They are simple. Additionally. and controls the status of the combustion system. Boiler Operation & Control 79 . During system start-up and at various times during normal operation. They are generally located in a local control panel.
They are generally located in a local control panel. 5. they have analog control capability. the controller must be rewired or replaced with a different unit. require no programming. relay systems can quickly become massive. Relays also take up a lot of expensive control panel space. Boiler Operation & Control 80 . and modules can be added or changed. • Burner Controller A variety of burner controllers is available from several different vendors. They are prepackaged. There are many types of modules available. simple to hook up. There are also some disadvantages. If it becomes necessary to change the operating sequence. hardwired devices in different configurations to operate different types of systems. Burner controllers cannot control combustion systems of much complexity. Advantages of burner controllers include the fact that they are generally inexpensive. They are often approved for combustion service by various safety agencies and insurance companies. they generally have no analog capability.Disadvantages There are also a few disadvantages of relays.1. Unlike the relays and burner controllers above. modular computer system that consists of a processing unit and a number of input and output modules that provide the interface to the combustion components. They are generally located in a local control panel. a large control system with hundreds of relays can be very unreliable. system flexibility is poor. and are fail safe and very reliable. Like relays. System flexibility is nonexistent. A burner controller will execute a defined sequence and monitor defined safety parameters. compact. Because relays must be physically rewired to change the operating sequence. Once a certain complexity level is reached. PLCs are usually rack mounted.2 Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a small. Although individual relays are very reliable.
relatively easy to hook up. so the hardware is expensive and the software is often different from any other vendor’s software. They can operate systems of almost any complexity level. and because they are programmable. which can compromise system safety. DCSs have been around long enough to be a mature technology and are generally well understood. they are supremely flexible. Disadvantages of PLCs include having to write software for the controller.PLCs have the advantage of being a mature technology. DCSs are often difficult to program. Once a commitment is made to a particular DCS vendor. Special types of redundant or fault-tolerant PLCs are available that are more robust and generally accepted for this service. However. where all inputs and outputs are ignored and the system must be reset in order to execute logic again. The DCS is generally located in a remote control room. much like a desktop computer freezes up. They have been available for more than 20 years. standard PLCs should never be used as a primary safety device. Coding can be complex and creates the possibility of making a programming mistake. PLC reliability has improved over the years and is now very good. Simple PLCs are inexpensive and PLC prices are generally very competitive. but they are very expensive and generally difficult to implement. when properly sized.1. but peripheral elements can be located almost anywhere. They are compact. They can operate systems of almost any level of complexity and their reliability is excellent.3 Distributed Control System (DCS) A distributed control system (DCS) is a larger computer system that can consist of a number of processing units and a wide variety of input and output interface devices. 5. Because of this possibility. The PLC can also freeze up. Unlike the other systems described above. Boiler Operation & Control 81 . Each DCS vendor has a proprietary system architecture. They are highly flexible and are used for both analog and discrete (on– off) control. a DCS can also control multiple systems and even entire plants. it is extremely difficult to change to a different one.
5. In practice. that is what is usually done.4 Hybrid Systems If you could combine several of the systems listed above and build a hybrid control system. the DCS does both the sequencing and the analog systems control. Most approval agencies and insurers require the safety monitoring function to be separate from either of the other functions.1. and the safety monitoring is done by a fault-tolerant logic system. a PLC to do the sequencing. Boiler Operation & Control 82 . A typical system uses relays to perform the safety monitoring. Sometimes. and either dedicated controllers or an existing DCS for the analog systems control. the advantages of each system could be exploited.
Simplified flow diagram of a standard burner lightoff sequence Boiler Operation & Control 83 .
If the amount of fuel burned is more than required duty. Boiler Operation & Control 84 . 2If the amount of fuel burned is less than required. it will make the turbine work in wet region. we keep 2 bounds in our consideration. If we connect the boiler to turbine. drop in power will happen. 1.When we control burners of boilers. overheating will occur.
CHAPTER 6 ANALOG DEVICES Boiler Operation & Control 85 .
Usually. Control of combustion air and waste gas flows generally require the use of butterfly valves often the quick opening type. Controls engineers use a series of calculations to help with this selection process. a butterfly valve.1. A typical control valve consists of several components that are mated together before installation in the piping system: a) Control Valve Body The control valve body can be a globe valve. special globe valves of the equal percent type are used for fuel gas control service or liquid service. butterfly valves are usually the most economical choice. Because the combustion air or waste line usually has a large diameter. The type of service and control desired determines the selection of different flow characteristics and valve sizes.1 Analog devices 6. or any other type of adjustable control valve.6. Boiler Operation & Control 86 . and the cost of globe valves quickly becomes astronomical after the line size exceeds 3 or 4 inches.1 Control Valves Control valves are among the most complex and expensive components in any combustion control system.
The air pressure forces the actuator to move against the spring. Boiler Operation & Control 87 . The signal causes the diaphragm of the actuator to move to properly position the control valve. the valve fails to the spring position thus. the actuator is chosen carefully to fail to a safe position (i.e. c) Current-to-Pressure Transducer The current-to-pressure transducer. precision. and other factors.b) Actuator The actuator supplies the mechanical force to position the valve for the desired flow rate. process pressure. For control applications. a diaphragm actuator is preferred because. Actuators are usually spring loaded and single acting. desired failure mode. air pressure. Proper selection of the actuator must take into account valve size. with control air used on one side of the diaphragm and the spring on the other. open for combustion air valves). closed for fuel valves. takes the 24 VDC (4 to 20 milliamps) signal from the controller and converts it into a pneumatic signal. usually called the I/P converter. and good repeatability. it has a relatively large pressure sensitive area and a relatively small frictional area where the stem is touching the packing.. This ensures smooth operation. If air pressure is lost. compared to a piston type actuator.
In the case of a fuel supply control valve. current flows between the metals and the magnitude of that current flow and the voltage driving it. an “up” stop is set.2 Thermocouples Whenever two dissimilar metals come into contact. a “down” stop is set.d) Positioner The positioner is a mechanical feedback device that senses the actual position of the valve as well as the desired position of the valve. 6. If it is necessary to ensure a certain minimum flow. vary with temperature. When de-energized. This phenomenon is called the Seebeck effect. the voltage will vary in a nearly linear manner with temperature over some known temperature range. Obviously. the spring in the actuator forces the valve either fully open or fully closed. the “down” stop is set so that during system lightoff. Because the temperature and voltage ranges vary depending on the materials employed. f) Mechanical Stops Mechanical stops are used to limit how far open or shut a control valve can travel. After a defined settling interval. engineers use different types of Boiler Operation & Control 88 . while the control valve that supplies combustion air to the same system should fail open. for cooling purposes for example. a control valve that supplies fuel gas to a combustion system should fail closed. an amount of fuel ideal for smooth and reliable burner lighting is supplied. Because single-acting actuators are generally used. usually 10 seconds. the three-way solenoid valve admits air to the actuator. the threeway solenoid valve is energized and normal control valve operation is enabled. it dumps the air from the actuator. If both of the metals are carefully chosen and are of certain known alloy compositions. If it is vital that no more than a certain amount of fluid ever enters a downstream system. e) Three-Way Solenoid Valve When energized. It makes small adjustments to the pneumatic output to the actuator to ensure that the desired and the actual position are the same. depending on the engineer’s choice of failure modes when specifying the valve.
the transmitter should be set up for the type of thermocouple employed. However. the thermocouple measures the gas temperature. However. 6. Hot gas is induced to flow across the thermocouple.2. the large amount of heat radiated from the hot surroundings significantly affects the measurement.1 Velocity Thermocouples Also known as suction pyrometers. the design of velocity thermocouples attempts to minimize the inaccuracies in temperature measurement caused by radiant heat. When connecting a thermocouple to a transmitter. a thermowell also slows the response of the instrument to changing temperature and should be used with care. Boiler Operation & Control 89 . A velocity thermocouple shields the thermocouple from radiant heat by placing it in one or more concentric hollow pipes. In combustion applications. Inside a combustor. the “K” type thermocouple (0 to 2400°F or-18 to 1300°C) is usually used. Installing thermocouples in a protective sheath known as a thermowell prevents the sensing element from suffering the corrosive or erosive effects of the process being measured.thermocouples for different situations. producing a gas temperature reading without a radiant component.
For a specific material of known resistance. with onboard intelligence and self calibration capabilities. Engineers sometimes use RTDs instead of thermocouples when higher precision is desired. Similar to the thermocouples described above. 6. Platinum is a popular material for RTDs because it has good linearity over a wide temperature range.2. These devices use a diaphragm coupled to a variable resistance.6. which modifies the 24 VDC loop current (4 to 20 milliamps) in proportion to the range in which it is calibrated.3 Pressure Transmitters A pressure transmitter is usually used to provide an analog pressure signal. They are available in a wide variety of configurations and materials and can be used in almost any service.2 Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs) Resistance of any conductor increases with temperature. installation of RTDs in thermowells is common. In recent years.2. Like thermocouples. these devices have become enormously more accurate and sophisticated. the linearity of the result depends on the materials chosen for the detector and their alloy composition. it is possible to infer the temperature. It is possible Boiler Operation & Control 90 .
Boiler Operation & Control 91 .to check and reconfigure these “smart” pressure transmitters remotely with the use of a handheld communicator.
CHAPTER 7 FLOW METERS Boiler Operation & Control 92 .
or gas service. steam. are highly accurate. vortexes (whirlpools) form and break off constantly. highly reliable.7. it causes a small vibration in the bar. Boiler Operation & Control 93 . The frequency of the vibration is proportional to the flow. Each time a vortex breaks away from the bar. 7. Vortex shedders have a wide range. and useful in liquid. As the fluid goes by. how they work. and where they are used. reasonably priced.1 Vortex Shedder Flow Meter A vortex shedder places a bar in the path of the fluid. An observation of the water swirling on the downstream side of bridge pilings in a moving stream reveals this effect.1 Flow Meters There are many different types of flow meters and many reasons to use one or another for given application.1. The following is a list of several of the more common types of flow meters.
7.1.2 Magnetic Flow Meter
A magnetic field, a current carrying conductor, and relative motion between the both creates an electrical generator.
In the case of a magnetic flow meter, the meter generates the magnetic field and the flowing liquid supplies the motion and the conductor. The voltage produced is proportional to the flow. These meters are highly accurate, very reliable, have a wide range, but are somewhat expensive. They are useful with highly corrosive or even gummy fluids as long as the fluids are conductive. Only liquid flow is measured.
7.1.3 Orifice Flow Meter
Historically, almost all flows were measured using this method and it is still quite popular. Placing the orifice in the fluid flow causes a pressure drop across the orifice. A pressure transmitter mounted across the orifice calculates the flow from the amount of the pressure drop. Orifice meters are very accurate but have a narrow range. They are reasonably priced, highly reliable, and are useful in liquid, steam, or gas service.
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7.1.4 Coriolis Flow Meter
The Coriolis flow meter is easily the most complex type of meter to understand. The fluid runs through a U-shaped tube that is being vibrated by an attached transducer. The flow of the fluid will cause the tube to try to twist because of the Coriolis force. The magnitude of the twisting force is proportional to flow. These meters are highly accurate and have a wide range. They are generally more expensive than some other types.
7.1.5 Ultrasonic Flow Meter
When waves travel in a medium (fluid), their frequency shifts if the medium is in motion relative to the wave source. The magnitude of the shift, called the Doppler effect, is proportional to the relative velocity of the source and the medium. The ultrasonic meter gene rates ultrasonic waves, sends the m diagonally across the pipe, and computes the amount of frequency shift. These meters are reasonably accurate, have a fairly wide range, are reasonably priced, and are highly reliable. Ultrasonic meters work best when there are bubbles or particulates in the fluid.
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7.1.6 Turbine Flow Meters
A turbine meter is a wheel that is spun by the flow of fluid past the blades. A magnetic pickup senses the speed of the rotation, which is proportional to the flow. These meters can be very accurate but have a fairly narrow range. They must be very carefully selected and sized for specific applications. They are reasonably priced and fairly reliable. They are used in liquid, steam, or gas service.
7.1.7 Positive Displacement Flow Meters
Positive displacement flow meters generally consist of a set of meshed gears or lobes that are closely machined and matched to each other. When fluid is forced through the gears, a
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Boiler Operation & Control 97 . which can be important for certain applications. Counting the revolutions reveals the exact amount of flow. the meters must be maintained or they can break down or jam. They also cause a large pressure drop. These meters are extremely accurate and have a wide range. Because the re are moving parts.fixed amount of the fluid is allowed past for each revolution.
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