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HIGH PRESSURE BOILERS

FURNACE WALL DESIGN


Furnace is a confined space in which fuel is burnt to liberate heat energy. Aim of furnace design is to make an arrangement for maximum heat release from the fuel within the combustion chamber and arrangement of sufficient heat absorbing surfaces so as to abstract the liberated heat to the fullest extent. Furnace design depends upon type of fuel used, method of firing, characteristics of ash produced, evaporative capacity required and nature of load on power plant.

TYPES OF FURNACE WALL


1. REFRACTORY WALL

Solid refractory walls are used for low capacity boilers. This arrangement consists of a single section of homogenous refractory. Materials used for refractory are fireclay, silicon carbide and magnesia. The refractory materials can withstand high temperatures.

2. HOLLOW AIR-COOLED REFRACTORY WALL


In this type, a hollow space is provided between refractory section and water casing and air is circulated through this hollow space. Circulation of air keeps the refractory walls cool. Hot air coming out of hollow space is used in the furnace.

3. WATER WALLS
In all modern high capacity boilers, the water walls are commonly used. In this arrangement, the whole combustion region is surrounded by tubes through which water flows. These tubes are backed by refractory walls. This type of water wall protects the refractory wall from erosion.

ADVANTAGES OF WATER-WALL CONSTRUCTION Provides protection to the refractory walls and prevents from erosion and extends the life of the furnace. Evaporative capacity of this arrangement is very high. Very high heat transfer rate are achieved with this arrangement of water circulation. With water walls, boiler rating is as high as 450% whereas with refractory walls it is hardly 200%.

TYPES OF FURNACES 1. PULVERISED FUEL DRY BOTTOM FURNACE


Tall, rectangular radiant type furnace is a common feature of a modern dry bottom pulverised fuel boilers. Furnace walls are fully cooled by base tubes. Hot gases are passed through an arched baffle screening before passing the gases over convection type superheater. Heat rating of such type of furnaces falls in the region of 600000 to 800000 kJ/m2-hr.

2. SLAG TYPE FURNACE Heat release rate is of the order of, 16*10^6 KJ/m^3hr. Molten slag is formed in the primary zone as heat release rates are very high. Slag formed is collected in the bottom hopper where it is chilled and breaks up into a granular form. This type of furnace is characterized by a small, high temperature, highly rated primary zone into which fuel and air are introduced tangentially at a very high velocity.

3. OIL FIRED FURNACES


High rating of furnace wall is possible for oil fired furnaces as flame formed by oil has high emissivity which results in a high absorption by the furnace walls. Special provision need not be made for ash collection at the bottom of the furnace. It is possible to adopt a furnace having a volume of 60% of heat required for pulverized fuel furnace for the same output.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR MODERN BOILERS


1. FURNACE DESIGN
It must be sufficiently large to complete combustion of fuel and should contain enough heat transfer surface. Design must ensure a uniform flow of flue gas with a flat temperature profile at the furnace outlet to prevent fouling.

2. CONVECTION PASS DESIGN


If convection zone is properly designed, an inadequate furnace can create problems on convection section by slagging. Once slag is formed on convection section, gas temperature in that section increases and slagging progresses further and it becomes more difficult to control. Therefore, selection of furnace exit gas temperature is an extremely important factor in convection pass performance.

3. FLUE GAS VELOCITY


Erosion of convective pass tubes is proportional to amount of ash carried by gas but it is an exponential function of gas velocity. Even with relatively low gas velocities, harmful tube erosion can occur if localized high concentration of fly ash is allowed to developed.

4. WATER CIRCULATION
Earlier forced circulation was preferred over natural circulation for boiler operating at high pressure to void burn up of tubes. But internally ribbed tubes have solved the problem of burn up under high heat load conditions. The pressure drop with ribbed fins is slightly higher than smooth tubes and they have only marginal effect on flow circulation rates.

CAUSES OF BOILER TUBE FAILURES AND PREVENTION


1. CORROSION The iron reacts with O2 in presence of water to form iron oxides and hydroxides and reaction rate depends upon temperature level. About 20% of the boilers operating above 120 bar faced corrosion problems. One of the most important thing is to maintain the iron oxide coating on the internal surfaces of the boiler.

METHODS TO PREVENT CORROSION 1. VOLATILE CONTROL


In this method volatile neutralizing amine is used to maintain pH that will disrupt the protective coating on the boiler tubes. It doesnt contribute in adding dissolved solids to the boiler water and minimizes the solid carried in the superheater by the steam.

2. PHOSPHATE TREATMENT
It maintains pH in proper alkaline range to protect the preventive layer and it reacts with salt contaminants to prevent the formation of free NaOH or acidic compounds. It is able to react with salt contaminants and it does not become corrosive when concentrated. For reducing the formation of scales we use solubilizing treatment by using EDTA and NTA.

2. EROSION
Outer surface erosion of tubes is caused by an abrasive action of ash particles in the gases. It is enhanced by high flue gas velocities and creates spots, wall thinning and finally tube failure. Inner surface erosion is caused by cavitation when gas filled bubbles collapses. It is controlled by removing dissolved solids, O2 and controlling pH value of feed water.

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