Tube failures in boilers need to be addressed properly by data collection and analysis for knowing the root cause and preventing re-occurrence of the same. A systematic analysis helps to improve the availability and reliability of boiler operation.
Steam blowing allows power station boilers and pipelines to ensure that during normal operation no adhering material in the superheaters, reheaters, and steam pipelines will become dislodged, reach the turbine blades, and damage them. Puffing and continuous methods are mainly used for steam blowing.
Oil burner throat is made of refractory play a major role in the performance of the burner. Its damage leads to many problems during combustion and results in non-availability of the burner. The reasons for such failure are quality of refractory chosen and the way it is prepared and applied.
Slagging furnaces in boilers need water cannons and not steam wall blowers. This needs understanding by boiler owners, operating groups, and designers. Water first cools the slag, makes it friable, and dislodges it from the furnace walls.
Coal fired power plants form the major percentage of boilers used for power generation across the globe. The main reason is coal availability and its economics for power generation. Looking only from a technical aspect, gas fired boilers will be preferred when compared to oil and coal boilers.
Coal, oil and gas burners performance will depend upon making oxygen available for hydrocarbons being burned at the right quantity at the right location. This makes the burner design sensitive to air flow distribution.
Coal burners are prone to both erosion and burnout due the presence of both inorganics and organics in coal. The coal burner parameters need optimization as the effects of many parameters have opposite effect on erosion and burnout.
Bank tubes in bi-drum boilers act as raisers and down comers between the two drums. They also carry the load of the bottom drum and its down comer. Failure in these tubes needs to be attended depending upon the type of failure and the location of failure.
Boiler designers used four drums and three drums for designing water tube boilers during the initial days. Later as the boiler technology advanced in capacity and pressure, they switched over to bi-drum and single drum design.
Preparation and planning of pre-commissioning activities in a boiler system will have to be done with all details and care to ensure smooth operation of the boiler. These also enable boiler performance as envisaged by designers.
Water injection in superheater and reheater of boiler is a common method adopted by boiler designers. Within designed limit spraying in superheater will not be harmful if the water quality is maintained and the nozzles of the desuperheater are not eroded.
Power production has become such a competitive and stringent commodity in the world that it needs to be produced like any other consumable. The quality of power which is measured by its availability, reliability, the pollution it produces, and the cost of generation.
Low furnace pressure can cause equal damage like furnace pressurization or a explosion. Low furnace pressure leads to a situation called furnace implosion if not corrected at the right time. To correct a imploded boiler requires a very long outage and work to be carried out.
As carbon emission is a major concern today, more super critical pressure units are bound to be preferred due to the increase in plant cycle efficiency. This will make once through type boilers take over from drum type boilers. Fuel conservation is an important factor for energy security presently.
Air pre-heater plugging in a boiler results in lower boiler efficiency, higher power consumption, higher corrosion potential, longer downtime of the boiler, and higher erosion rate. Air heater plugging leading to very high pressure drop impacts availability of boiler partially or fully.