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Questions for the exam of the course Thermal Power Plants (wb4422-11) Wednesday 4 July 2012 14:00 17:00

0 h / CT-IZ 0.96 The exam consists of 5 pages with 4 main questions

Total number of points: 175


A bio-oil derived from the pyrolysis of biomass has been characterized in the laboratory as follows: it contains 70 mass% C, 7 mass% H, 2 mass% N and 21 mass% O. The molar masses of the elements are: MWC=12 g/mol; MWH=1 g/mol; MWN=14 g/mol; MWO=16 g/mol. a) Determine the chemical formula for this fuel, with a=1, and b, c and d values to be calculated for the fuel CaHbNcOd. (10 pt.) b) Air is used for the bio-oil combustion in a thermal power plant. Now, assume complete stoichiometric combustion of the bio-oil. Please write down the reaction equation for this situation, assuming that N is oxidized to NO. In case you cannot answer problem 1a, then take a=1, b=1.5, c=0.05, d=0.30 (10 pt.) c) Calculate the adiabatic flame temperature for the abovementioned combustion conditions given that Tair=Tfuel=298 K. Evaluate Cp of the flue gases at 1000 K for your convenience (see table below). (20 pt.) Given:
h f (kJ/kmol)
Bio-oil CO2 H2O NO O2 N2 -250000 -393522 -241827 90297 0 0

cp at 1000 K (kJ/(kmol.K)) 54.36 41.315 34.076 34.936 32.762

d) Mention a few reasons why stoichiometric combustion in a boiler is not applied in practical systems firing e.g. this bio-oil? (5 pt.)


The load curve of a power station consisting of a 250 MWinst unit and a smaller peak load gas turbine unit of 150 MWinst for a 24 h day in Somewhereland is given by the formula:

= L 150sin t + 250 2 6
With 0<t<24 h and L in MW electric power and L in MW

a) Determine the maxima in time and the associated value of L during such a 24h day. (10 pt.) b) The standby unit takes the peak power production for 250 MW and higher loads. Determine the average load of this standby unit. (15 pt.) c) What is the Load Factor of the base and intermediate load power production unit? (15 pt.) d) Discuss the division among base load and peak load distribution, how could it be improved or optimized? (5 pt.)


A process requires 2kg/s of saturated steam at 3 bars. In a nearby power plant steam is available at a pressure of 40 bars and a temperature of 340 degree Celsius. A backpressure turbine with a single row of impulse blades will be installed to deliver saturated steam. a) Calculate the power generated by the turbine and the turbine efficiency. (10 pt.) The impulse blades of the turbine are symmetric and have and angle of 30o. The turbine is running on 50Hz and the radius of the turbine is 1.5m. Due to friction the velocity along the blades drops with 8%.

b) Calculate the steam nozzle exit velocity, assuming that the blade length is small compared to the radius of the turbine (note that V2 is not equal to V1). (10 pt.) c) How large is the pressure drop over the diffuser? Calculate the outflow area of the nozzle. (10 pt.) d) Calculate the throat area of the nozzle (you may assume gamma=1.3 and R=400J/kgK ). (10 pt.) e) How can you improve the turbine? (5 pt.)

4) Consider a spherical reactor of radius R consisting of homogeneous fissile material. The reactor is critical and the neutron flux is described by the diffusion equation in spherical coordinates

0 D =

1 d 2 d r a + f r 2 dr dr

with zero boundary conditions on the surface of the sphere. a) Show by substitution that the neutron flux for this geometry is given by

1 r (r ) = A sin r R

where A is an arbitrary constant. Give the condition that you need to satisfy relating the geometric parameters and the material parameters (criticality condition). Calculate the absorption cross section a of the fissile material. (10 pt.) b) The radial net neutron current density is the net number of neutrons passing through a unit area per unit time. Through Ficks law this quantity is related to the neutron flux as:

Jr = D

d dr . Give an expression for the number of neutrons

leaking from the system per unit time. Mention two ways to reduce the fraction of neutrons leaking. (10 pt.) One of the uses of a reactor is so-called activation analysis. Some stable isotopes can capture a neutron and turn into a radioactive isotope. If one knows the neutron flux level and the measured activity of an irradiated sample, it is possible to determine the presence of certain isotopes. c) In our case the sample consists of pure Indium-115 (115In). After neutron capture this turns into the radioactive isotope 116In which decays to 116Sn by gamma emission. Formulate the rate equations that describe the concentration of 115In and 116In. (10 pt.)

d) By adding the sample, the chain reaction was disturbed by a small amount. The multiplication factor k has become 0.9995. Estimate how long it takes until the neutron population has decreased to 50% of the original value (make the estimate with and without delayed neutrons). (10 pt.) Table with relevant parameters:

R = 100 cm (reactor radius) 0.15 cm -1 (macroscopic fission cross section) f =

= 2.5 (neutrons released per fission)

D = 0.6 cm (neutron diffusion coefficient) l = 0.0001 sec (prompt neutron lifetime)

= 0.005 (delayed neutron fraction) = 10 sec (average time delay of delayed neutrons)