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OCCURRENCE: On 29.03.03 cracks were noticed in grouting of few columns in bottom ash hopper. Also foundation bolts (3 nos.) in column A1 & A2 were found sheared and the balance bolts (5 nos.) in these two columns had bent. Further in the early morning hours on 05.04.03, severe damage was noticed in rear side column B2 (I-600). This column had buckled and its top edge had displaced by 100 mm with respect to its base. On close examination, it was identified that the other columns also have displacement at the top, affecting the verticality to the extent varying from 5 mm to 35 mm. Adjacent to the buckled column, SS seal plate in bottom water through seal, connected to rear water wall had bowed down by approximately 100 mm to a length of 3 mtrs. and few bolts, fixing the seal plate to the scalloped bar, had sheared off. Insulation on water wall, adjacent to the damaged seal plate area had been pushed outside along with outer sheeting. Cracks had developed in the seal through bottom plates in corner 2 to a length of approximately 150 200 mm. Further, when the unit was shut down on 21.04.03, detailed inspection inside the bottom ash hoppers and bottom S panel area

was organized. It was noticed that the horizontal section of water wall in the bottom S panel had bulged in to the Dog house to an extent of 250 mm for a length of 2.5 to 3 meters, covering 60 tubes. Two tubes were found to have dent marks near the bottom of the furnace support beam near S panel. Additionally, the castable refractories applied on the left side ash hopper, had also damaged substantially. ANALYSIS: The damage on structure of the bottom ash handling hopper and the pressure parts was analysed for its cause. It is suspected to have occurred due to sudden localized pressurization caused by evolution of gas/vapour from the entrapped water in the falling heavy porous lumps of slag/clinkers while immersing in bottom ash hopper water bath. The undue unidirectional waves which are likely to generate under these circumstances, have exerted additional force on the pressure parts in S-Panel and the structures of the bottom ash hopper and caused distortional damages to the above mentioned components. OBSERVATIONS: There was no cross bracing in bottom ash hopper between the buckled column B2 and the adjacent columns. Hence any additional sudden load coming on these columns will not be distributed to other structural members and making them vulnerable for such damages. Further, it was identified that one set of horizontal bracings which were supposed to act as lateral tie between columns, were not erected due to certain site constraints / obstructions.

RECTIFICATION: The following rectification works were carried out in bottom ash hopper and pressure parts in bottom S Panel during unit shut down from 21.04.03 to 08.05.03 WORKS IN BOTTOM ASH HOPPER 1. The buckled portion of the column B2 was removed for a length of 4 meters approximately and substituted by welding a new section of same size using a splice plate. Further, to improve the total stability and load distribution of the structural members, additional bracings in between column 2 and 3 were erected both in front and rear side of the hopper. The damaged portion of castable refractory was relaid.



RECTIFICATION ON PRESSURE PARTS: 1. The bow in horizontal portion of the S panel was rectified as per the hot correction procedure, given by Trichy as follows: a. The horizontal floor beam in the bow area is to be cut at either end (where the bow starts) b. The fin between the water wall tubes in the bow portion is to be slit at 3 or 4 locations across the width of about 3 to 3.5 M.

c. Bow to be corrected by carrying out the hot correction method. The maximum temperature for heating should be restricted to 650 deg. C. with neutral flame and the temperature verified by thermal chalk. d. The correction can be done after heating by using jack arrangement. The support for the jack can be taken from the buckstay beam welded to inclined protion of the water wall tube. After correction of the horizontal floor panel, the support beam is to be re-welded with splice plate arrangement. Then the fins between tubes are to be welded. After correcting the bow, the seal plate is to be fixed to the scalloped bar of the plate to maintain the required clearance in the seal trough to take care of the three dimensional expansion of the Boiler. 2. 2 Nos. dented water wall tubes were removed and new spool pieces were welded in position. 3. Since the channel below the SS through has deflected by 90 to 100 mm for a length of 3 to 4 mtrs., new scalloped bars were erected in horizontal portion of the S panel water wall tubes to suit the new profile of SS trough. The dislocated SS seal plate was repositioned on the newly erected scalloped bars.

CLINKERING IN THE FURNACE: a. Due to poor quality of coal being fired in the recent past, clinker formation was experienced in Boiler. Most of the clinkers were found to be highly porous and breakable by crushing with hands. But few pieces were black in colour and hard to break. These black colour clinkers were analysed at NTPC lab and found that it consisted of more than 99% ash only and no unburnt in the clinker. The reason for black colour was reported to be due to the presence of complex iron oxides and sulphates caused by pyrites in raw coal. CONTROL ON CLINKERING. The following operational maneuver have been adopted as precautionary steps to control clinkering in the furnace. 1. At loads more than 300 MW, oil firing is totally avoided to eliminate combination firing, which restricts elevation heat loading. 2. Excess air is maintained at O2 level around 4%. 3. SADC dampers position is periodically checked and any deviation found are attended immediately to maintain the wind box to furnace differential as per the design.

4. Wall blowers have been commissioned and being operated once in a day, which will be increased to twice in a day shortly after establishing remote operation of wall blowers. 5. HP heaters will be stabilized shortly and put into regular operation to restrict the overall furnace heat loading.