Increasing Efficiency, Reliability and Reducing Costs
In the radiation section of power boilers, typically called the furnace, wallblowers have been the standard tool for effectively removing deposits and residues from the combustion of coal or heavy fuel-oil from the water walls for more than the last 50 years. While in the past limited to applications of highly challenging cleaning applications such as lignite or western fuels such as the coal from the "Power River Basin", known as PRB coal, the use of water as a cleaning media has become more widespread in other applications.
Specifically, the arrival of SmartCannon water cannon technology has enabled power producers to significantly enhance the performance of the furnace as well as reducing costs. This unique opportunity to improve performance and reduce costs has come about as a result of Clyde Bergemann's pioneering research into improving cleaning technology to help reduce the costs of making power.
SmartCannon water cannon technology uses an articulated lance with precision robotic control for targeting an exact area across the furnace. The resultant jet of water applied to the wall is precisely controlled to achieve the required balance of cleaning versus erosion. The benefits of this are that a far larger area can be successfully covered using a far smaller quantity of hardware. A conventional wallblower system on a 500 MW unit needs on average 80 wallblowers to run effectively, whereas only 4 SmartCannon are required. The maintenance cost savings alone typically provide a return on investment of over 30% for a plant upgrading to SmartCannon from wallblowers.
From a performance perspective, this additional cleaning capacity leads to reductions in flue gas path temperatures. This effect, in turn, provides:
- an increase in unit efficiency of typically 0.5% - 2%
- a reduction in NOx of typically 8-15%
- a reduction in the rate of fouling and cleaning requirements for all downstream sections of the boiler
- a reduction in manual cleaning requirements during outages
- a reduction in the frequency of outages required for cleaning
Long retractable blowers are the standard cleaning system for the heat recovery sections of every utility boiler plant. A reasonable selection of high-alloy lance tube materials in accordance with latest knowledge permits to reduce the blowing pressures to very low values. Besides careful cleaning, high savings are achieved in the steam throughput. In this area as well, Clyde Bergemann is leading the industry with special new designs for specific applications.
Increasing Boiler Reliability
A frequent occurrence in power boilers is the successive build-up of deposits after start-up especially on leading edge section of the superheater above the furnace. This area sees the hottest flue gas path temperatures, frequently above the ash softening temperatures. As a result, the particles of ash in the gas tend to stick to the relatively cool surfaces of the superheater metal. When these deposits reach a critical size, they can threaten the unit operation, by eventually falling through the furnace to the base of the boiler. The boiler may have to be taken off-line. The ash hopper tubing is also frequently damaged as a result. These costs combined, even only once or twice a year, add up to a significant one.
Now Clyde Bergemann's development of new technology enables plant operators to avoid this costly risk. While specialized camera technology can be helpful to spot these deposits, they can be limited by distance and obstruction from the ash. With the arrival of Clyde Bergemannís SmartGauge technology, now plant operators are now able to determine where and how much deposit has built up in each segment of a superheater or reheater. This allows them to make careful informed decisions based on exact feedback. Hence deposit falls and the resultant boiler outages can be avoided.
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