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Thermal power plant

Steam turbine power plant.

Broadly speaking, PHCN has the
mandate to generate, transmit and
distribute and sell electricity in this
Country and all that is takes to
accomplish these global objectives.

This implies that electricity

is a refined or secondary
form of
energy depends
on some forms of primary
energy for its production. A
lot of processes and
equipments are generally
involved before it is
produced in its useful form

Although in the world today, the Primary

Sources of energy for generating electricity
include the followings, Fossil fuels,
(gaseous fuel, liquid fuel, oil and Coat,
Nuclear, tidal, Hydro wave, Solar, wind etc;
But in Nigeria, the primary sources of
generating electricity by GENCO are two
fold, namely; Fossil fuels and Hydro. That
is the thermal Stations and hydro stations
respectively. The thermal power generating
plant can be simply divided into two that
is, the Steam power plant and the Gas
turbine power plant.

There are two types of Steam Power

Plant Operating in PHCN. The Lagos
thermal Station, Egbin has a 1320MW
total installed capacity comprising of
six Units rated at 220MW each.
(MCR) of boilerturbine and generator
The Sapele power thermal plant has a
total installed capacity of 720MW.
(MCR) comprising of six units rated at
120MW each of boiler turbine and
generator unit.

They are dual fired plants, that is

the furnaces are capable of burning
HPFO that is High Pour Fuel oil or
natural gas. However, there is a
kind of a unit Package Gas Turbine
Generator of about 25MW Capacity
rating. It is also dual fired - Auto
Gas oil (Diesel) or Natural gas.

The processes of generating electricity

in a
steam plant involve the use of main
equipment such as Boilers, Turbine and
generator with their numerous
auxiliaries in
addition to other services equipment
facilities that contribute/assist their
performance to be at their optimum

Among these auxiliaries and common

equipment are various kinds of Heat
exchangers such as Super heaters,
Pre-heaters, economizers, Gas Air

Steam Air heaters, Condensers, Feed

Dearators, the common Services close
Cooling water system and the close

More emphasis are however,

placed on Dearators, Condensers,
Economizes and Super heaters
with regards to their Construction,
inspection and Maintenance.
The power generated at the
generator end is at 16KV and
stepped up by a power
transformer to 330KV.

The National Control Centre (NCC) measures

the Power Produced by all generators and the
interchange power with the neighbouring
systems. The Control Centre receives
measurements of all generator output and
compares these Values with the desired Values,
which are based on the desired Values, which
based on the economic dispatch of generation
considering individual Unit generation costs.

The Control Centre receives

measurements of all generator output and
compares these Values with the desired
which are based on the economic dispatch
considering individual Unit generation

As the system Load Varies, the

Control Centre can change the
generation dispatch to economically
meet the demand in the most
efficient manner, while still
maintaining prudent reserves to
ensure adequate generation, if
unforeseen Unit outages should
The measurement of system
frequency is used to ensure
adequate total generation to meet
load and maintain rated speed,


The six major component parts
of a steam turbine are as
1)The Boiler
2)The Turbine
3)The Condenser
4)The Boiler feed pump
5)The Generator
6)The Auxiliary Units


Boiler consists of the following

Component parts:

The Boiler drum

The Furnace

The Burners

The riser tuber

The down comers

6)The Super heaters

7)The Attemperator
8)Safety Valves
9)The pressure regulating Valves
10) The Soot blowers
11) Exhaust Duct. or Chimney

The Turbine Unit consists

of the following:

1)The turbine nozzle

2)The turbine shaft
3)The turbine blades
4)The turbine casing
5)The turbine Chest

6)The governor system

7)The turbine lubricating system

8)The turning gear

9)The turbine intercepts Valves

The Condenser Unit consists of the

following parts:
1)The Shell tubes of the Condenser
2)The Water boxes
3)The Condenser Casing
4)The temperature gauges
5)The Exhaust hood
6)The hot well

The Boiler feed pump consists of:

The Boiler pump Shaft

The impellers

The intake and discharge ports

The Boiler pump casing

The pressure indicators

Pipe connection to the boiler

The major parts of a Synchronous

generator are:

Armature Winding (Stator)

Field windings (Rotor)

The exciters.

There are many components parts

constituting the auxiliaries in a steam
power plant namely:

The Rake

The Band Screen

The Circulating water pump

The desalination plant

The demineralization plant

The fuel pumps

The Cooling water pumps

The hydrogen plant

The High Pour Fuel Pump tank.

The basic functions of a boiler in a thermal
Station is to heat the feed water that is
being pumped by the boiler feed pump to
a super heated Stream that will be
supplied to the turbine. In Egbin power
plant, the Steam pressure should be at 125
bars and temperature of 538oC. At Sapele
power Station, the Steam pressure should
be at 88 bars and temperature of 510oC



The Steam turbine consists of rows

of blades designed to extract the
heat and pressure energy from the
steam and convert it to mechanical


A condenser is where the exhaust

steam from the turbine is condensed.
The Condenser operates at a
pressure lower than atmospheric.
There are two reasons of using a
Condenser in a Steam turbine.


To reduce the turbine exhaust

pressure so as to increase the specific
output of the turbine.
A condenser by lowering the back
pressure from 1.013 to 0.74 bars thus
increases the plant efficiency and
reduces the steam flow for a given

The lower the pressure the greater the

output and efficiency. Hence, it is
important to use the lowest possible
Cooling water temperature rise of
Cooling water in the Condenser tubes
to 5-8% so that the tube outer surface
temperature remains low and
consequently the Condensing steam
temperature is low and Vacuum is high.
To receive high quality feed water in
the form of condensate and feed it
back to the steam generator without
any further treatment.


boiler feed pump used in
Sapele Power Station is a centrifugal
pump of nine stages. It takes its
suction of feed water from the
deaerator tank under gravity and
increases the pressure of the
water and sends it to the boiler drum
for heating to take place. The boiler
feed pump are meant to operate
continuously as long as the boiler is in


Rotating machines (AC or DC) operate

on the same fundamental principles of
electromagnetic induction. The field
winding or rotor winding is exited or
energized by an exciter system
supplying direct current from a D.C

When the rotor is made to rotate by the

turbine or the prime mover, the stator
or armature conductors (being
stationary) are cut by the rotated DC
magnetic flux from the field coils on the
rotor. Hence the stator or armature
windings have emf induced according
to Lenzs law of electromagnetic
induction. The voltage output from the
generator is 16KV which is stepped up
by a Power transformer to 330KV to the
grid system for transmission.


Treated feed water is a pre-requisite

for the operation of the steam plant.
Feed water for the boiler must be free
from acidic and alkaline state. The
best water for a boiler operation should
be at pH7 which is in the neutral state.

The ions in the water if not removed

will cause
harden ability of the Water which will
give rise to
corrosion and erosion of the feed
heaters, riser
tubes in the boiler and the turbine

Feed water enters the plant either at

evaporator, deaerator or the Hotwell
as a
make-up water. From the diagram if
we have
to explain the flow from the
Hotwell, we shall say that the
Hotwell is a well
where all the condensate steam
having been

Let us discuss the feed water/steam

flow of
Egbin thermal Station. When the
is in operation for full load operation,
the two
circulating water pumps are in
operation and


pumps the
water to the
The purpose of the ejectors is to

The gland condenser is there to

remove any dissolved oxygen in
the system.
The condensate booster pumps
sends the
feed water to the deaerator via
the low pressure heaters.

The deaerator serves three

It serves as a storage tank for the
boiler Feed
It serves as a head for the boiler feed
It removes dissolved oxygen from the
tank by

There are three boiler feed pumps as

shown. For 50% load or 110MW only
one pump will be in operation. For
load or full load, two pumps should be
in operation. The third pump should
be on standby in case there is an
emergency breakdown in one of the

The boiler feed pump pumps the feed

water to the boiler drum via the high
pressure heaters 5 and 6 and the
economizer. The feed water on getting
to the economizer exchanges heat
from the flue gases and increases its

At the boiler drum the feed water is

stored prior to heating in the furnace
chamber. The feed water that fills up
the riser tubes are then heated and by
density the heated steam rises via the
boiler drum to the Primary and
Secondary super heaters.

The attemperator is situated

between the primary and the
secondary super heaters. If in case,
the steam pressure and temperature
exceeds 125bars or 538oc the
attemperator operates by spraying
water to the pipe carrying the steam,
thereby reducing its pressure and
temperature before entering the
secondary super heaters.

The steam passes the pressure

regulating valves to the main steam
valve. The main steam valve allows
the steam from the boiler to enter the
turbine. The steam passes through
the nozzle and strikes at the turbine
blades. As the steam turns the blades
the pressure and temperature of the
steam is reduced as work is done to
rotate the turbine shaft.

This steam is further sent back to the

boiler to be reheated to its maximum
temperature and pressure. The steam
is then passed to the Intermediate
pressure turbine, where the steam
expands and further to Low pressure

At the lower pressure turbine, the steam

pressure reduces by further turning the
turbine shaft to Synchronous speed of
3,000 rpm before the exhaust steam by
gravity enters the Condenser for cooling
and removing all the latent heat stored in
the steam. The condensed water is stored
in the Hotwell and the cycle continues
until the plant is shut down.


The circulating water system for
Sapele Power Station supplies
screened river water to the six
generator units to meet the cooling
requirements of the condensers,
lubricating oil coolers and generator
air coolers.

Two circulating water pump houses are

located on the river bank each with a
separate inlet canal. The circulating
water pump house A is equipped with
five 100% unit capacity pumps, and
normally four of these will supply the
circulating water requirements to units
1 to 4 turbine generators with one
pump on standby.

Circulating water Pump house B is

equipped with two 100% Unit
Capacity Pumps which will normally
supply circulating water to Units 5
and 6 turbine generators.

The separate intakes for each pump in

both Pump houses are provided with the
following equipment.
A bar screen to remove coarse debris
from the intake water and provided with
an electrically mechanical rake.
Automatic, Centre flow travelling band
Screen with 10mm with square,
stainless steel mesh, arranged to screen
the water entering the pump section pit.

Each screen is complete with frame,

headgear, wash water spray pipe
from the General Service water system,
electric motor and drive equipment.

The debris troughs are constructed in

concrete and the debris is Sluiced to a
single removable trash basket in each
pump house. A mixed flow, vertical,
submersible, circulating water pump
complete with 3.3KV electric driving



A thermal electric generating

station requires large amounts of
cooling water for its processes,
mostly for the steam
Condensers, in addition to usual
water requirement of only
industrial or commercial

For this reason thermal electric

generating stations are usually
located near large body of water
such as streams, lagoon, rivers, lake
etc. However, regardless of the
choice of site, natural water is never
pure. Therefore, all water being
pumped into the station has to be
properly treated to meet the
requisite quality for its particular


Natural water is never pure.

Impurities get into it from the
atmosphere, from the earth
surface, from different levels of
soil layers, and rocks and from
many of mans activities, plants
and animal life that are abound
in natural water, demanding on
its quality.

Natural water may contain large

amounts of carbonates and
bicarbonate (metal, salts, mostly
calcium and magnesium, of
acid) and other metal salts. Water
absorbs carbon dioxide from both the
atmosphere and from the upper
layers of the soil.

The carbon dioxide when

dissolved in water is a weak
acid and itself dissolves much
mineral material as the water
flows over soil and rocks.
Hence under-ground water is
generally much higher in

Surface water usually contains many

mechanical impurities such as dust
and pollen, picked up when it runs,
and such things as clay and sand,
held in suspension. Underground
water is usually quite free of this kind
of impurity because, in moving
underground, it is subjected to a
filtration process.

Any natural water contains

bacteria, some of which may
be disease producing. Some
of these being the resultant
Careless handling of industrial
and human waste.

Uses of water

For some uses only the

most elementary treatment
is required, and the water
need only to be pumped
through the station on a
once through basis. For
other uses, extremely
complicated treatments are

It would be uneconomic to treat all

water coming into a generating station
to the point where it meet the
specifications of the high quality


the steam generation.
The water supply system, after a
common preliminary treatment point,
is usually broken up into several nearly
independent circuits.

These are:

Circulating water (for

condensing steam).
Service water (for process
Stand by water (for emergency
cooling situations, fire fighting).

Domestic water (for drinking,

washing etc.).
Make-up water (for the boiler
turbine cycle).
The extra cost due to the added
complication is small compared to
the saving in treatment cost.


All water pumped into

thermal electric
generating station is
subject to a common
preliminary treatment,
before being distributed
to several nearly

Further treatment or purification is

often necessary, as part of individual
circuits, to meet their particular
requirement. The system that
affects the common preliminary
treatment is called the intake water

All intake water systems

contain one or more steps of
screening to remove debris or
trash, either floating or
suspended. Then depending
upon the quality of the stations
raw water supply, some kind of
settling and/or coagulating

Intake line

The intake line or channel

usually completely submerged, connects the station
pump house walls to the river,
lake or ocean from which the
intake water is being

Generally, supply pump

require a few feet of submergence and the pump
house is built with the pump
wall below low water level to
provide this, even in location
where large level changes are

If the plant is on a river, the intake

line is usually located up-stream of
the discharge line and any drainage
lines, to avoid re-circulation. In cold


climates, a
portion of the
plant discharge flow may be run back
to the intake screen chamber and
deliberately re-circulated to prevent
icing on intake screen.

On lakes and oceans, where there is

no particular direction of flow past
the plant, the intake water is usually
taken from deep levels, so that it is
as cold as possible. In these cases,
the station discharge is returned
some distance from the plant and at
the surface, to avoid mixing.


The first step in screening

intake water, particularly
on river plants is a floating
log boom, located in front
of the intake screens.

The boom must be

constructed so that it can
accommodate the largest
level change anticipated
and still be some distance
out from the intake screens.

second step in screen

intake water is usually a
metal trash trunk made up
of turns spaced a few
inches apart, and affixed
to the front of the intake
line or channel.

The trash screen is

sometimes sloped about
fifteen degrees from the
vertical so that it can be
readily cleaned with

For final screening, the intake

water is passed through a
travelling screen. The openings
in this travelling screen are
generally smaller that the
smallest condenser tube or
process. Travelling screens are
motor driven, and are cleaned,
by a high pressure water spray.

The travelling screens

are normally operated
intermittently only, the
length and period of
operation depends on the
suspension or the amount
of debris in the water.

They are used for devices that

required fine screening than the bulk
of the intake water, a close mesh

strainers in parallel, so

arranged and sized that one may be

closed while the other is in service, is
a common arrangement.

A differential level gauge with

alarm device is sometimes
used to give a warning when
too great a pressure loss
exists across a screen. This is
when the amount of debris in
the natural water is known to
be much.

Natural water is muddy, silt
filled, or has sewage in it, the
installation generally has a
settling tank or basin. The
heavier the material, the larger
the particle size, or the warmer
the water, the more rapid will be
the subsidence.

Settling can be carried out

as either a hatch process or
on a continuous basis. In
either case, the clearer,
upper portion is decanted
and the mud and solids are
periodically flushed out.

If water flows continuously

through the basin, velocities
are kept low so that particles
are not stored up. Settling is
usually effective in removing
particles above 0.01mm in
diameter. For smaller particles,
some other method is normally


Very small particles, or particles

of low density, will not settle out
in any practical length of time
and colloidal particles will remain
in suspension indefinitely. If these
are present in the natural water
in undesirable quantities, the
coagulation is used to effect their

Floc forming chemicals are added to

the water generally in a separate
The floc traps small, particles, and
itself is removed by settling or
Common chemicals in use as floc
forming agents are alumni, sodium
aluminate, and ferrous or forric

Most or all of the intake water
entering a thermal electric
generating station is chlorinated.
The chlorine is normally dissolved by
passing it through a water ejector
where the gas is brought into
intimate contact with water.

The hypochlorous acid (for

hypochlorite) solution as formed is
then fed into a point where it will be
well mixed with the main water
stream to be treated.
The addition is usually made in the
pump house well.

Chlorination is effective
in slowing or
preventing the growth
of algas and shine in
the station condenser
tubes and heat

Chlorine addition is usually on

an intermittent automatically
programmed basis.
Continuous addition is much
more expensive and is
sometimes less effective as
the algas can build up
chlorine resistance if exposed

Chlorine is added to
domestic water on a
continuous basis, to kill
any disease producing
bacteria that may be in
the water.


All intake water systems are

designed such that any of the
screens may be readily
cleaned or repaired. Normally,
timber gates or stop logs are
used to isolate equipment and
usually the system is designed
such that the station can be

Water Treatment/Demineralization

All water pumped into

thermal electric generating
station are subjected to a
common preliminary
treatment, before being
distributed to several nearlyindependent circuits.

Further treatment or
purification is often
necessary as part of the
individual circuits, to
meet their particular

The system that effects

the common preliminary
treatment is called the
intake water system.

Boiler Water Treatment

It has to be emphasized that
treatment of the boiler water is
crucial and it is important that
the maintenance engineer and
those associated with the day
to day running of the boiler
should be properly informed.

All water supplies

contains certain
impurities in the form of
dissolved gases and
solids in solution or

The common impurities in water

supplies are:

Dissolved Gases: Most water

contain oxygen in solution. In
equilibrium with the atmosphere
at 60oF, (15.5oC) water
containing 9 to 10 parts per
million (P.P.M) oxygen.
Atmospheric nitrogen is soluble
in water but is inert. Ammonic is
given up in the decomposition of
organic matter and is

Carbon dioxide is soluble in

water, with which it forms
carbonic acid.
This acid dissolves chalk to
form calcium bicarbonate,
which is invariably present
in natural water.

Hardness Salts: The salts

of calcium and magnesium
make water hard. In
addition to their
bicarbonate, these metals
go into solution as chlorides
and sulphates.

Non Hardness Salts:

Sodium chloride,
sodium sulphate and
sodium nitrate,
become dissolved in
natural water.

Suspended Matter, Silica,

Colloids Clay, Silt: Organic
matters and other
suspended matter may be
present. Water may contain
organic matter in a form
that cannot be filtered out;
this is a colloidal solution.

In power stations, these

impurities are undesirable
in boiler water and are
dangerous. The most
objectionable effect of
using raw water in boiler is
the deposition of hard,
adherent scales on the
heating surfaces.

These have a low thermal

conductivity so that the
metal is not properly
cooled, and its
temperature rises to the
point at which if softens
bulges and splits with
dangerous results under

The water tubes

which are exposed
to radiant heat are
the most susceptible
parts of the heating

A direct loss of heat

and fuel waste is also
Other important
losses are the cost of
repairs and loss of
plant availability.

The presence of
silica under scaling
conditions creates a
deposite which is
very hard and
difficult to remove.

Further, owing to the volatility

of silica in steam at higher
steam pressures, and to the
serious loss of turbine
availability to which this can
lead, the control of silica
concentration in boiler water
becomes increasingly critical
as the pressure rises above
800 Ibs/sq in.

Carbon dioxide and

oxygen dissolved in
water can cause
corrosion in
economizers and

The gases pass over with steam

and appear in the condensate
which is, therefore corrosive.
Salts and suspended solids in
boiler water can, under certain
conditions be carried out of the
boiler in the steam and be
deposited in the super-heaters
steam mains and turbines.

The aims of water treatment are

To prevent formation of scale in the
To control the amount of sludge in the
boiler by regular below-down.
To reduce or eliminate corrosion, by salt
in the boiler water or carbon dioxide and
oxygen in the steam and avoid the
contamination of steam by salts in the
boiler water.

There are three methods of

softening water for boiler feed:

Precipitation Process: In
which chemicals are
added to precipitate
calcium and magnesium
as compounds of low

Water which essentially free

from dissolved solids and can
be prepare by evaporation.
Ion exchange processes in
which the hardness is
removed as the water passes
through resins without the
formation of any precipitate.



Trash rake have existed since

the first hydro-electric power
plants were developed. It was
used to clean the intake racks
that prevent debris from
entering the Plant.

Trash rake are heavy

duty raking devices
used to remove
extremely heavy
debris and are
usually found
upstream of the

Trash rake are

typically supplied
as a stationary
unit or as a
traversing unit
that serves more

Trash rakes are the first

line of
defense in
an intake structure. They
remove extremely heavy
debris and are usually
found upstream of
travelling water screen.

Trash rakes
effectively clean
intake racks and
screen thereby
reducing damage
to pumps.

Materials of Construction

Carbon steel
Hot dipped galvanized steel
Stainless steel
Non metallic composites

Composite bearing,
best utilized in high
loaded, slow
rotating application.

CIP composite are wear

resistant in either wet or
dry running conditions.
The material is 100% nonmetallic creating a nonabrasive and non-corrosive
bearing with negligible
moisture absorption.

The Rake Video

Thrash raking can be

designed and function as
manual or automatic
process. While manual
cleaning is still
commonly used,
automatic systems are
becoming more widely
used because of their

Challenges in cleaning thrash rakes:

Thrash rake
cleaning Posses
many challenges
to the operators of
hydro and steam
power plants.

There are situations which

occur when twigs,
branches and leafy
materials are not removed
properly, causing an
increase of sedimentation
on the thrash rake, lower
efficiency, caused by a
damaged raking arm or

Misaligned thrash rake can cause

damage to:

Cables on pulleys
Inadequate lifting
Inability to reach
the bottom of the
thrash screen.

Using the automatic

system of the thrash
rake will definitely
reduce the overall
operating costs of
raking thrash
disposal and lost

Design of thrash rakes cleaning system

A hydraulic driven chain system

pulls raking fingers through the
thrash rakes.
A fully hydraulic arm thrash rake
consists of a boom that lowers
the rake head into the water in
advanced models a hydraulic
cylinder lifts the boom to apply
the rake at a constant Pressure
to ensure thorough cleaning.

Automatic raking systems

can be initiated based on
time or a head differential.
A build up of thrash creates
an increased differential
head across the thrash
rake, the rake begins
operations when a specific
level is reached.

Automatic systems
can also be initiated
by an operator who
can watch for certain
condition and trigger
the rake when

The benefits of automatic thrash


Automatic thrash
rake cleaning has
been proven to
improve efficiency
and reduce costs.

Operator safety is
another benefit of
automatic systems.
Manual thrash raking
is inherently risky and
automatic systems
reduce that risk.

Automated thrash rakes

offer many operational
and financial benefits.
Evidence of these
benefits can be seen in
the upgrades being done
to steam/hydro plants
around the world.

Upgrades from
manual to
automatic systems
are one of the best
ways to overcome
the challenges of


A steam drum is a
vessel in which the
saturated steam is
separated from the
steam-water mixture
and into which feed
water is introduced.

At low pressure the

great natural
buoyancy of the
steam to separate
from the water-seam
mixture needs little or
no opposition.

Risers discharge into the

drum a mixture of water,
steam, foam and .Steam
must be separated from
the mixture before leaving
the drum. Any moisture
carried with steam to the
super-heater tubes
contains dissolved salts.

In the super-heater, water

evaporates and the salts
remain deposited on the
inside surface of the tubes
to form a scale, which is
difficult to remove. This
scale reduces the rate of
heat absorption, ultimately
leading to the failure of the

The super-heater tubes are

exposed to the highest steam
pressure and temperature on
the inside and the maximum
gas temperature on the outside.
They are made of the costliest
materials, so, utmost care
should be taken not to allow
damage and excessive
carryover of moisture with

No vapor bubble should

flow along with
saturated water from the
drum to the downcomers. This will reduce
the density difference
and the pressure head
for natural circulation.

The bubbles tending to flow

upward may also impede
the flow in the down-comer
and thus affect circulation.
The drum has to secure
moisture-free steam going
to the super-heater and
bubble-free water going to
the down-comer.

Functions of the Drum

To store water and steam sufficiently to
meet varying load requirements.
To aid in circulation
To separate vapor or steam from watersteam mixture, discharged by the risers.
To provide enough surface area for liquid
vapor disengagement.
To maintain a certain desired PPM in the
drum water by phosphate injection and

Inspection, Cleaning and


When a boiler has been

taken out of service the
usual procedure is to
clean it internally and
externally, inspect it
internally and externally
and to carry out any

All these procedures

involve entry into the
boiler by personnel
and therefore certain
safety precautions
are required.

Safety Precaution

Before any person is

allowed to enter a
boiler, the following
safety precautions
must be observed.

Non return and header stop

Valves, feed water shut off
valves and blow-off valves
must be shut. Any other
valves through which steam,
water, chemicals, etc could
enter the boiler must be
handled in the same way.
Drain valves and vent valves
must be left open.

Similarly precaution must

be carried out to prevent
the entry of fuel, atomizing
steam etc into the furnace.
The drum and setting
must be cool and well
Only low voltage lamps of
32volts or less should used

Extension cords must

be grounded and
properly guarded with
water proof fittings
and explosion-proof
guarded lightly bulbs