October 2, 2017 | Author: Ashish | Category: Chimney, Boiler, Steam Engine, Heat Transfer, Steam Locomotive
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Cut-view of a steam locomotive boiler Hero’s aeolipile (10 A.D)

Babcock & Wilcox water tube boiler

Applied Thermo Fluids-II (Autumn 2014): Module-3 (Steam Generators) Dr.M. Ramgopal, Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur

Introduction to Steam Generators • A steam generator is essentially a device that transfers heat released during the combustion of the fuel to the feedwater, steam and air • The transfer of heat should be done safely, reliably and efficiently • The term “boiler” is often used as synonym to “steam generator” • However, strictly speaking boiler is that part of the steam generator where the saturated liquid water is converted into saturated steam • Steam generators can be: 1. Utility steam generators used for generation of electrical power, and 2. Industrial steam generators used for production of saturated steam or even hot water!

Introduction (contd.) • The steam generator used in fossil-fuel based power plant is a combination of: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Economizer Boiler Superheater Re-heater Air pre-heater Auxiliaries such as: Stokers/Pulverizers, Burners, Fans, Emission control equipment, ash handling equipment etc.

Introduction (Contd.) • Utility steam generators are used in both fossil fuel based and nuclear fuel based power plants • The most modern steam generators used in fossil fuel power plants can produce superheated steam at 375 bar and 720oC • The steam produced is invariably used in a Rankine cycle to produce electricity • Starting with very early form of water-filled vessels heated by fire, steam generators have evolved over the last 2 centuries into very efficient, safe and reliable equipment • Currently, steam generators represent the largest source from which electricity is generated

Major components of a steam generator •

The major components of a steam generator are:


Economizer: First part of the boiler through which feedwater flows and is heated by the flue gases.


Boiler tubes: It is that part of the steam generator where steam is generated from saturated water


Steam drum: It is the unit in which steam is separated from the steam-water mixture. Not used in once through type boilers


Superheaters: Bundles of boiler tubes located in the path of the hot flue gases in which the saturated steam is superheated. It is classified into primary and secondary superheaters


Reheaters: Bundles of boiler tubes through which steam expanded in the high stage turbine is reheated by extracting heat from the hot combustion gases


Spray attemptators or desuperheaters: They are the spray nozzles in the boiler tubes, located between two superhaters. A fine mist of pure water is sprayed through these nozzles into the flow path of the steam to prevent damage of tubes due to overheating. They are provided for both superheaters and reheaters

Major components of a steam generator 7. Air pre-heaters: Units in which the incoming air is heated by using the energy of the outgoing flue gases. Atmospheric air is pre-heated to a temperature of about 350oC. They can be either recuperative type or regenerative type. 8. Fans: Both induced and forced draft fans are used to circulate air through the pre-heaters, boiler tubes, superheaters, reheaters and chimney stack 9. Stack: The purpose of installing the stack is to ensure dispersion of the flue gases into the atmosphere, at a height that ensures a large spread. •

Older plants used stacks that relied only on buoyancy effect (chimney effect)

However, in modern plants which handle larger amount of flue gases due to higher capacities and also due to various additional heat exchangers, the buoyancy alone is not adequate to disperse the flue gases

Hence in modern plants both forced (using fans) and natural convection are used in the stack

Steam generator

Boiler classification • Depending upon the arrangement and/or operating conditions, boilers can be classified into: 1. Fire-tube boilers 2. Water-tube boilers 3. Natural circulation boilers 4. Controlled-circulation boilers 5. Once-through flow type boilers 6. Subcritical boilers 7. Supercritical boilers etc.

Fire-tube boilers

Scotch marine type, fire-tube boilers a. Somewhat similar to Shell-and-Tube heat exchangers, with hot flue gases flowing through the tubes and water and steam confined to the shell side b. They typically produce saturated steam only as boiling occurs inside the same compartment where there is water c. The outer shell has to be designed to withstand the steam pressure – larger the pressure/capacity, larger will be the shell thickness d. Used normally for low pressure (≤ 18 bar) and low capacities (steam rate ≤ 6.3 kg/s) e. Prone to explosions, if improperly designed or operated due to high shell side pressure f. Once they were used in small power plants and steam locomotives, however, currently they are used for industrial applications only, e.g. for hot water prduction

Water-tube boilers

a. Pioneered by Babcock and Wilcox [1867], water-tube boilers are the main type of boilers used in all steam power plants b. Here pressurized water flows through the tubes, while heating is provided by the flue gases flowing outside the tubes c. It is possible to produce, high pressure and high capacity systems, that are much safer d. There are many variants of water-tube boilers, depending upon the type of circulation, geometry etc.

Principle of circulation in different types of boilers

Natural circulation, drum type boilers •

• •

• • •

Circulation of water is due to density difference between liquid water in the downcomer and 2-phase mixture in the riser Design is reliable and simple Complete conversion of liquid into vapour in the riser is avoided as it will lead to burn-out or film boiling problem This arrangement is quite commonly used in large boilers Better tolerance for impurities in water However, as the operating pressure increases, the density difference between liquid and vapour decreases, leading to reduced buoyancy With recent developments in internal tube surfaces, some of the problems are taken care of

Pool boiling curves

Modeling of natural circulation type boiler

Modeling of natural circulation type boiler

Modeling of natural circulation type boiler

Modeling of natural circulation type boiler

• Example: A natural circulation type boiler operates at a pressure of 180 bar. The quality of water at the inlet to the riser is zero, while that at the exit of the riser is 0.5. What should be the height of the system so that the buoyancy head required to overcome the losses is 0.5 bar? • Take the value of S as 1.2. • Given: • At 180 bar, vf = 0.00184 m3/kg, vg = 0.0075 m3/kg Ans:

25.6 m

Controlled or forced circulation type boilers •

Circulation of water is maintained by a pump installed in the downcomer

Large heights are not needed and position and orientation are flexible

Lower circulation ratios

Due to reduced density difference between liquid and vapour at high pressures, these boilers are favoured for high pressure applications

The pump provides an additional margin of safety

Also forced circulation provides higher fluid velocities and hence better heat transfer coefficients and hence more compact design

However, less reliable, need good quality water La Mont boiler with water wall

The La Mont Boiler (Forced circulation type)

• Example: A controlled circulation, drum type boiler operates at a pressure of 180 bar. The height of the system is 10 m. The quality of water at the inlet to the riser is zero, while that at the exit of the riser is 0.5. What should be the pressure rise across the pump so that the buoyancy head required to overcome the losses is 0.5 bar? Take the value of S as 1.2. Given: At 180 bar, vf =0.00184 m3/kg, vg = 0.0075 m3/kg Solution:

∴Pressure rise required across the pump = 50−19.54 = 30.46 kPa (ans.)

• Example: A drum type, controlled circulation steam generator operates at 160 bar. Measurements show that 1260 kg/s of saturated water subcooled by 7 K flows through the downcomer. The height of the system is 12 m. The average density of steamwater mixture in the riser is 350 kg/m3. The total pressure loss in the loop is 50 kPa. Find the pumping power if the efficiency of the pump is 70%. At 160 bar and 7 K subcoolng; ρD= 617.3 kg/m3

At 160 bar and 7 K subcoolng; ρD= 617.3 kg/m3 Height of the system, H = 12 m, ∆Prequired = 0.5 bar = 50 kPa, Mass flow rate of water = 1260 kg/s

• Example: A 12 m tall, 7.5 cm dia. Steam generator tube receives saturated water at a velocity of 0.6 m/s and a pressure of 160 bar. Heat is added uniformly to the tube. The slip ratio S is 1.8. Find the maximum heat flux (in kW/m2) that the tube can be subjected to, if the exit void fraction (αe) is not to exceed 0.8. Given: At 160 bar:

ρf= 584.8 kg/m3, ρg = 107.5 kg/m3 hf= 1648.9 kJ/kg, hg= 2580.2 kJ/kg

• Solution:

αe = 0

x= 0

Once through type boilers •

Steam out Superheater

Also called as Benson or universal pressure boiler as it can be used for all temperatures


and pressures, i.e., subcritical or supercritical •

No steam drum is required as there is no recirculation of water

only boiler that can be used to produce supercritical steam •

Economical for high pressure (upto 320 bar) and high capacity (upto 1500 kg/s) plants

Feed water in

Due to absence of steam drum, this is the

Initial cost is marginally higher compared to other types of boilers


Flue gases out

Loeffler Boiler

Evaporator drum

Presence of liquid water in boiler tube is prevented by generating saturated steam from the feedwater, using superheated steam in the evaporator drum Since there is no phase change inside the steam generator, this type of boiler can tolerate higher amounts of salt in the water Can be used for both land and sea applications

Heat transfer in steam generator Heat transfer inside a steam generator involves all possible modes, i.e., Sensible heat transfer Convection Radiation Conduction Latent heat transfer In the boiler region May consist of both recuperative as well as regenerative type heat exchangers may be used

Convection heat transfer is sensitive to fluid flow rates on the flue gas as well as on steam sides

Heat transfer coefficient increases as the fluid flow rate increases

Superheaters/reheaters that are based primarily on convection heat transfer respond quickly to the change in the load

Heat transfer rate for a given flow rate is approximately proportional to the temperature difference between flue gases and steam

When the steam generator tubes are placed closer and in the direct view of the furnace walls, then the dominant mechanism of heat transfer is radiation

Heat transfer rate is approximately proportional to the 4th power of flue gas temperature

Convective heaters are used in low temperature systems, while, radiant heaters are mainly used in high temperature systems

Water walls in steam generators •

In modern boilers, the water tubes are attached to the furnace walls and are called as water walls

Using the water walls it is possible to integrate





superheater, and re-heater into a single unit •

Heat transfer takes place both by convection and radiation

Provides efficient and compact unit

Due to large no. of feedwater heaters and high pressure, in modern steam generators most of the heat transfer takes place in the superheated region

Boiler energy balance

Blowdown losses: Some amount of water is bled from the boiler, either intermittently or continuously, to maintain the impurity level of boiler water below a certain acceptable level The losses that take place due to the bleeding of hot water from the boiler are called as blowdown losses Depending upon the impurity levels of boiler feed water, the blowdown losses can vary from 1 to 3 % of the fuel input

Boiler energy balance - Example Perform energy balance on a boiler that receives 480 short tons of coal per day. The heating value of the coal is 30.238 MJ/kg. Feed water at a flow rate of 47.25 kg/s enters the steam generator at 172 bar and 232oC and leaves as steam at 165.5 bar and 538oC. Combustion air enters at 26.7oC and leaves at 177oC. The refuse (ash + other matter) generated at a rate of 45 short tons per day has an internal energy of 1861 kJ/kg. The air/fuel ratio to the steam generator is 20:1 (by mass). The blowdown losses are 3% of the heat input. What is the thermal efficiency of the boiler? (1 short ton = 907.1874 kg). Use the property data given below: Enthalpy of water(kJ/kg): a) 172 bar & 232oC: 1004; b) 165.5 bar & 538oC: 3398 cp of air and flue gases = 1.12 kJ/kg.K


Qcoal =mcoal x hf,coal = 152397 kW; Qblowdown = 0.03 x 152397 = 4572 kW

Qair = maircp(tair,out−tair,in) = 16934 kW, Qsteam = msteam(hout−hin) = 113127 kW Qash = mashuash = 879.2 kW Qheat loss = Qcoal − Qblowdown − Qair − Qsteam − Qash = 16885 kW

⇒ ηboiler = 100 × (Qsteam ÷ Qcoal ) = 74.23 %

The Sankey diagram of the steam boiler • Sankey diagrams are a specific type of flow diagram, in which the width of the arrows is shown proportionally to the flow quantity • They are typically used to visualize energy or material or cost transfers between processes • They are named after Irish Matthew Henry Captain Sankey, who used this type of diagram in 1898 in a classic figure showing the energy efficiency of a steam engine • (source: wikipedia)

The Sankey diagram of the example steam boiler

Qfuel = 152397

Qsteam = 113127 kW (74.23 %)

kW (100 %)

Qair = 16934 kW (11.11 %)

(11.11 %)

Qblowdown = 4572 kW (3 %) Qash = 879.2 kW (0.56 %)

Qheat loss= 16885 kW (11.1 %)

74.23 %

Control of steam generator •

Control of steam generator to ensure proper operation of the power plant is extremely important and involves highly complex processes

The control system involves elaborate and sensitive instrumentation, data processing and is required to ensure:


Start-up and shut-down of the power plant


Control of combustion process


Control of water level in the steam drum


Control of steam flow rate


Control of steam pressure and temperature etc.

However, the basic controls involve: 1.

Feedwater and steam drum level control


Steam pressure (Boiler Master) control, and


Steam temperature control

1. Steam drum level control

Feedwater flow rate is controlled to meet the load on the turbine

For satisfactory operation, it is essential to maintain the water level in the steam drum within narrow limits

To maintain the water level, the feedwater flow rate into the steam drum must match with the steam consumption rate by the turbine

The drum level sensor responds to difference between actual drum level and set point, and thereby controls the feedwater valve

To make the response fast, sensors are installed to sense the feedwater and steam flow rates

These sensors anticipate the drum level and send signals to the controller which actuates the valve

2. Steam pressure (Boiler Master) control •

Steam pressure is controlled by adjusting fuel and combustion air flow rates

Both the flowrates increase as the boiler pressure drops

The steam pressure sensor acts directly on pulverized coal power drive and forced draft fan

A trimming signal from fuel and air flow sensors maintains proper fuel-air ratio

Since it is difficult to accurately measure and control fuel flow rates (e.g. coal), sometimes a steam flow sensor is used as a substitute for fuel flow sensor (if steam flow rate decreases then fuel flow rate is increased)

A delay of about 5 seconds is allowed between the fuel and air flow rate changes to prevent a momentary rich mixture and thus ensure a smoke free combustion

3. Steam temperature control •

Temperature of steam at the exit of the steam generator (inlet to the turbine) is to be controlled for proper operation of the power plant

Steam temperatures vary due to variation in turbine load

Steam temperatures may also vary due to deposition of slag or ash on the heat transfer surfaces

Too low a temperature affects the power plant efficiency, while too high a temperature is detrimental to the materials of construction

Temperature of saturated steam leaving the steam drum remains constant as long as the boiler pressure is controlled

However, the temperature of steam at the exit of superheater and reheater can vary independent of pressure

Steam temperature can be maintained within narrow limits using a suitable combination of convective and radiative superheaters in series

In addition, more active temperature controls are also employed

3. Steam temperature control •

Attemperation: Reduction of steam temperature by using low temperature liquid water from the economizer or boiler water

3. Steam temperature control (contd.) •

Attemperation can be of indirect contact, e.g. use of a shell-and-tube type heat exchanger, or

Direct contact, where in water is directly sprayed into the steam

From energy balance, for direct contact attemperation;

mshs1 + mwhw = (ms+mw)hs2 where

ms = steam flow rate (kg/s) mw = water flow rate (kg/s) hs1,hs2 = enthalpy of steam at the inlet and exit of attemperator hw = enthalpy of liquid water

Use of separately fired superheater with independent burner, combustion chambers, controls are also used in some plants for temperature control

Tiltable burners, exhaust gas recirculation, hot gas bypass are some of the other methods used for the control of steam temperature

Worked out example on steam generator heat exchanger

• At a particular load condition, saturated steam at 347.4oC enters a convective type superheater and leaves at 480oC. Find a) the exit temperature of steam, and b) % increase in heat transfer rate, if both the steam and flue gas mass flow rates are doubled. The flue gas temperature remains constant at 2000oC. Assume: 1. The convective heat transfer coefficients on gas (hg) and steam (hs) sides are proportional to m0.8, where m is the mass flow rate of gas and steam 2. The overall heat transfer coefficient U of the superheater is proportional to [(1/hg)+(1/hs)]−1 3. The heat transfer rate Q is proportional to U[Tg−0.5(Ts,i+ Ts,o)] 4. The heat transfer rate Q is proportional to ms(Ts,o−Ts,i) Where Ts,i and Ts,o are steam inlet and outlet temperatures, ms is the mass flow rate of steam Ans.: a) 463.43oC, b) 75%

The Draft System Stack

The Draft System • In fossil fuel based power plants, a draft system is used to remove the products of combustion from the combustion chamber and discharge it into the atmosphere • The draft system used in power plants can be classified into: 1. Natural draft, which uses only the buoyancy effect produced by the stack or chimney for the removal and dispersal of flue gases 2. Mechanical draft, which uses a fan for the removal and dispersal of flue gases. Mechanical draft systems also utilize partly the buoyancy effect of the chimney

The Draft System

Mechanical draft can be further classified into:

1. Induced draft (I-D) 1.

Fan is placed between the air preheater and the stack,


Combustion chamber is at negative pressure


Fan has to handle hot and corrosive gases – not efficient and lower life


Seldom used

2. Forced draft (F-D)1.

Placed at the entrance to the air preheater


Combustion chamber is at positive pressure


Handles cold air – efficient and long lasting


Commonly used

3. Balanced draft (F-D + I-D)1.

F-D fan pushes air into the furnace through air pre-heaters, dampers etc


I-D fan pulls the air from the furnace through the superheaters, reheaters etc.


Furnace is maintained essentially at atmospheric or slightly negative pressure

The role of stack in power plants • The fly ash in the products of combustion is removed effectively by mechanical collectors and electrostatic precipitators • The gaseous products of combustion (flue gases) have to be taken care by suitably designed chimneys • In power plants a few tall and wide chimneys (stacks) are installed to take the flue gases as high into the atmosphere as possible • The required stack height is guided mainly by the control of air pollution near the ground level • However, reverse flow of flue gases towards the ground, called as downwash may occur when the wind velocity is high • Due to downwash, the products of combustion may reenter into the power plant! • A minimum chimney height is required to minimize downwash

The role of stack in power plants (contd.) • A general thumb rule to avoid downwash is: HC ≥ 2.5 HB • Other considerations are: 1. Number and separation of stacks 2. Heat and SO2 emission rates 3. Population density around the plant 4. Topography and terrain 5. General and micrometerology 6. Surrounding land use and forest cover


Power House

C h i m n e y


HC = Chimney Height HB = Max. height of the Power House

Natural Draft System •

Almost all fossil fuel based power plants use a stack or chimney for dispersing the flue gases

Dispersal of flue gases may be entirely due to the buoyancy effect created by the stack or due to a combination of stack and a fan

The stack (chimney) – contd. Assuming ideal gas behavior for both ambient air stack gases,

The stack (chimney) – contd.

The gas constant of the stack gas depends upon the composition of the stack gases, which in turn depend upon the composition of the fuel If we assume that the stack gas molecular weight is approximately equal to molecular weight of air, then

The stack (chimney)-contd.

The average temperature of stack gas has to be obtained by integration of local stack temperature, i.e.,

However, as an approximation one can use the arithmetic average temperature, i.e,

The stack (chimney)-contd. For a given stack gas inlet temperature, Ts,(z=0), the stack gas exit temperature Ts,(z=H) depends on the stack height, stack diameter, ambient air temperature and wind velocity The exit stack temperature decreases as the stack height





decreases and/or wind velocity increases

Normally the frictional and dynamic pressure losses introduced by the stack itself is negligible compared to the pressure head created by the stack

Example • a) A power plant is situated at an altitude of 300 m (p∞ = 0.977 bar). Flue gases enter the stack at a temperature of 140oC and leave at a temperature of 110oC. Find the height of stack if the stack has to develop a pressure of 0.7 kPa. Assume the ambient temperature to be 10oC. b) What would be the pressure developed if the ambient temperature changes to 16oC? • Ans.:

a) H = 216 m b) ∆P = 600 Pa = 0.6 kPa

Dispersion of flue gases through the stack • For effective dispersion of pollutants, dynamic mixing of flue gases with the ambient air should be delayed as much as possible • Among other things, the dynamic mixing depends upon the velocity of the flue gases at the exit of the stack • If the exit velocity is too high, then mixing of flue gases with ambient air gets accelerated due to turbulence, leading to ineffective dispersion • Also, higher stack gas velocities calls for use of mechanical draft, which calls for higher initial and operating costs • Conventionally the exit velocities are in the range of 18 to 20 m/s • However, if the stack height is to be constrained due to legal or other issues, then there is no other alternative for dispersion, but the use of high exit velocities and mechanical draft

The dispersal of flue gases from the stack The flue gases are dispersed vertically and horizontally and diluted by mixing with the ambient air


The horizontal motion of the stack gases is due to the prevailing wind, while the vertical motion is due to the buoyancy and momentum at the exit of the stack Due to exit velocity of the stack gases, a plume is formed, which is equivalent to a virtual pollution source that is at a height ∆H above the stack The effective stack height, He = H + ∆H Several analytical and empirical methods are used to estimate ∆H

Estimation of plume height • Various analytical and empirical equations are proposed to estimate the plume height, For example the Carson & Moses Eq. is:

Where: Vs = stack gas exit velocity (m/s) D = Diameter of the stack (m) Vw = Wind velocity at stack exit (m/s) Qe = mscp(Ts,(z=H)−T∞) = Heat emission rate (kW) Plume height is required for predicting the dispersion of pollutants from the stack

The dispersal of flue gases from the stack (contd.) Sometimes due to atmospheric inversion, the vertical dispersion of the flue gases is hampered leading to increase in local concentration of flue gases Atmospheric inversion implies rise in atmospheric air temperature with altitude. (Normally air temperature decreases by about 6.6 K per km) Inversion typically can happen during clear nights, when the air near the surface of the earth is cooler due to radiation heat transfer between the ground and the sky Due to this, a stable layer extending up to several thousands of meters forms near the earth, leading to a fanning plume

The dispersal of flue gases from the stack (contd.) As the sun rises, the air near the ground gradually heats up, leading to formation of eddies, which cause mixing of the plume and resultant high concentration near the surface, called as fumigation plume

Gradually with time, the plume rises, forming a coning plume

The dispersal of flue gases from the stack (contd.) If the heating near the surface is intense, the eddies formed break the plume, leading to a looping plume

However, as sun starts setting, inversion begins to form, giving rise to a lofting plume to begin with

Types of plumes Superadiabatic or unstable

Weakly stable

Strongly stable or inversion

Beginning of inversion

Actual temp variation

Worked out example • In a power plant located at sea level, flue gases at a flow rate of 1650 kg/s enter a 5 m diameter stack at a temperature of 140oC and leave the stack at 110oC. The stack is designed for a driving pressure of 0.007 bar. Using the Carson & Moses Correlation, find: – Plume height, ∆H – Effective height, He

Given: cp and gas constant of flue gases = 1005 J/kg.K & 281 J/kg.K Ambient air temperature = 10oC Ans.: Velocity of gas at stack exit, Vs = 89.28 m/s Plume height, ∆H = 47.43 m Chimney height, HC = 198 m Effective height, He = HC + ∆H = 245.4 m

End of Module 3

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