Boiler Performance Improvement Due to Intelligent Sootblowing Utilizing Real-Time Boiler Modeling on Tangentially Fired Boilers

Presented to: Electric Power 2006
May 2 - May 4, 2006
Atlanta, Georgia USA

S.M. Swift - Babcock & Wilcox - Barberton, Ohio, USA

I. Vulicevic - Babcock & Wilcox - Barberton, Ohio, USA

R.S. Conrad - Babcock & Wilcox - Barberton, Ohio, USA

Jeff Karloff - Omaha Public Power District - Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Electric generation from the installed base of pulverized coalfired boilers is critical for the electric utilities to meet growing demands for electricity while holding down the cost of generation. Volatile supplies and market prices of natural gas have made readily available coal the fuel of choice for a large percentage of the base load generation. In fact, operating companies are striving to increase
availability of this important generation by extending the run time between outages.

From the western United States to the Mississippi River and increasingly east of the Mississippi, the coal of choice is becoming western subbituminous coal such as Powder River Basin coal. The
lower cost and lower sulfur fuel has both economic and environmental advantages but can also have a negative impact on the operations of boilers. Increased slagging and fouling of heating surfaces
can occur and must be managed.

Control of heating surface cleanliness impacts boiler performance, reliability, and availability so that optimizing the operation of cleaning equipment has become increasingly important to today's operating companies. The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) introduced its Powerclean™ system in 2002 on B&W wall-fired boilers to enable intelligent control of boiler heating surface cleanliness.

The B&W approach is based on use of technology developed by B&W for the design of coal fired boilers so that it has the benefits of utilizing a proven first-principles based thermodynamic performance model at its core. The modeling process also must consider fuel types and the combustion requirements. A reliable boiler model makes it possible to accurately determine when and where heating surfaces are experiencing diminished performance due to ash buildup and fouling.

Powerclean has been successfully implemented on numerous boilers since its introduction; in each case, savings in steam usage for sootblowing, improved efficiency and improved operations have
resulted in payback in less than one year. B&W’s modeling experience is not limited to boilers originally built by B&W. Major retrofits and upgrades have been done by B&W on non-B&W units both wall fired and tangentially fired. This paper addresses the implementation of the B&W Powerclean technology on tangentially fired boilers.

Two applications of Powerclean on a tangentially (corner) fired boiler will be presented. The first application involves the installation of the Powerclean intelligent sootblowing system on a supercritical, tangentially fired (T-Fired) unit in the southern United States. The second application involves a subcritical unit at Omaha Public Power District's (OPPD) North Omaha Station - Unit 3.

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