The B&W Learning Center

The B&W Learning Center

B&W wrote the book on steam... literally

We continue to share our knowledge and technical expertise to the industry with our Learning Center.

This collection of articles and readings includes primers, how-to articles, technical tips, and other informational pieces which we think you’ll find useful.

Stop back often as we are regularly adding content and let us know if there are any topics that you would like us to cover.

15 Power Plant Safety Tips

Our focus on safety extends to our employees, customers, contractors, suppliers, and all those who we interact with, whether on a job site, in a manufacturing facility, or even in an office setting.

While certainly not an exclusive list, we’ve identified 15 safety precautions to follow when working in or near a boiler or other equipment found at power plants.

A Numerical Modeling Example - Kraft Recovery Boilers

Results from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling can be used in a wide range of applications.

This article shows how recovery boiler operational factors such as liquor spray distribution, air jet penetration, gas velocity and furnace temperature can be modeled to determine potential upgrades for optimal boiler performance.

Construction Project Controls Primer

Controlling all phases of a construction project is vital for safe and successful project execution.

Read about the three primary goals of utilizing construction project controls and the two steps of the basic control process in this primer. Analysis of lessons learned (both positive and negative) are documented and prove useful for future performance improvements.

Absorber Gas-Liquid Contact Devices

SO2 removal in a limestone forced oxidized (LSFO) wet scrubber is controlled by how much SO2 can be absorbed per unit volume of recirculated slurry (lb SO2 per gallon, or kg per liter). This is referred to as absorption.

SO2 absorption is limited by the amount of solid- and liquid-phase alkalinity provided in each gallon of slurry. The absorption is also a function of the physical design of the absorber, which sets the gas-slurry contact area. Better contacting exposes more of the slurry to the gas and the increased exposure allows more of the alkalinity in each gallon of slurry to be utilized.

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Upgrades to Existing Wet FGD Systems

Upgrading an existing wet FGD system may be an effective way to improve SO2 removal, allow the use of lower cost higher sulfur coals, reduce power consumption, allow for the use of an alternate, lower-cost reagent, and improve the reliability of the system while reducing the operating and maintenance costs.

Boiler Cycling Considerations

Skip the Load Cycling Limbo. Find out how low you can go.

With shifts in energy demand and the use of alternative fuel and energy supplies, plant personnel are looking to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of boiler cycling for more flexible operation in meeting varying load requirements. Making targeted upgrades to select components can minimize damage and ensure your steam generation and air quality control systems continue to operate reliably, regardless of load.


An Overview of Numerical Modeling

Advances in computer technology have allowed engineers to manage larger-scale problems and more complex systems, or to look in more detail at a specific process. Numerical modeling has emerged as an important tool which can be used to provide analytical information that otherwise would not have been available with more traditional engineering methods.

This article defines the method of numerical modeling and outlines some of its advantages.

Construction Planning and Scheduling

Construction schedules are a key input to the integrated project schedule that focuses on all the disciplines needed to complete a given project. Detailed planning sessions are necessary to document and develop a comprehensive construction plan.

This article discusses the key session inputs and outputs that make for a successful planning session, and explains how a series of work activities leads to establishing project construction schedules.

The Importance of Construction Technology

Construction projects at power generation facilities, including all associated equipment, is a complex and challenging undertaking.

Integrating technology into the construction process increases the opportunity to deal with constraints and take advantage of any opportunities that may arise during a project.

This article discusses the vital role a construction technology group plays within an organization.

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Primer

Combustion of any fossil fuel generates some level of NOx due to high temperatures and the availability of oxygen and nitrogen from both air and fuel. But, how is it formed? What are the two principle mechanisms of NOx formation? And what are the various ways to control NOx emissions?

This primer provides the basics for understanding these questions, and discusses both combustion and non-combustion methods of reducing NOx levels in a fossil fuel-fired boiler.

Effect of Operating Variables on Fuel Ash Corrosion in Boilers

Regardless of the firing method, when coal is burned, a relatively small portion of the ash will cause deposition problems.

Although the dominant factors affecting deposition are ash characteristics and boiler design, operating variables can also have a significant impact on slagging and fouling in the boiler furnace and on convective surfaces. This article describes those operating variables, boiler surface cleaning options, and the benefits of applying advanced diagnostic and control systems.

Finding the Root Cause of Boiler Tube Failures

Have you ever repaired a boiler tube leak, put the unit back into service, only to be forced offline by another leak?

Identifying and correcting the root cause of tube failures is essential to help lessen the chance of future problems. A comprehensive assessment is the most effective method of determining the root cause of a failure.

Steam Generation Primer

Steam Generation Primer
This simple primer highlights the key components and illustrates the primary flows through a modern power plant or steam generating system.

Boiler Cleaning Primer

Boiler Cleaning

Keeping your boiler clean during operation is critical to maximizing the thermal efficiency of the boiler and maintaining the proper flue gas temperatures at critical junctures within the steam generating system.

This primer will explain the differences in boiler cleaning technologies and operation and define key terminology used in all aspects of online boiler cleaning.

Ash Handling Primer

Ash Handling

The combustion of virtually all fuels generates ash or other inert residuals. There are many options available to a power plant for the effective movement and disposition of this material.

This primer defines key terminology used in all aspects of ash handling as well as describes the differences in ash handling technologies and operation to help you make more informed equipment and component buying decisions.

Specifying a Steam Generator

Specifications for a steam generator
Large or small, steam for power, steam for process. Regardless of the application, providing well-written, accurate and thorough project specifications is key to receiving comparable proposals from vendors, and ultimately helping with the final evaluations. Preparing effective specifications also provides more assurance that the equipment supplied will meet your needs.

B&W has prepared guidelines which are based on many years of preparing steam generating equipment proposals. The minimum parameters required, and typical project definition information is provided to help you formulate more effective project specifications.

General Bid Evaluation

General bid evaluation

Preparing well-written, targeted and thorough project specifications is the first step in assuring that any equipment you procure will meet your specific needs.

This article provides basic guidelines on how to evaluate bids and proposals to accurately assess and compare the product offerings and pricing from the suppliers. We outline factors to consider such as scope, equipment operating ease, maintenance and operating costs, aftermarket services, schedule, project management and project team expertise, and experience. And although price is a factor, it’s not always best practice to go with the lowest bidder.

CO Boilers Primer

CO Boilers

In the hydrocarbon processing industry, the operation of a fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), depending on its arrangement, produces gases rich in carbon monoxide (CO).
To reclaim the energy in these gases, the FCCU can be designed to include a CO boiler to generate steam.

This article provides an overview of CO boiler design criteria, firing requirements and operation.