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UNITS IN THIS COURSE

UNIT 1 UNIT 2 DESALINATION WATER TREATMENT STEAM GENERATION BOILERS NITROGEN GENERATION HYDROGEN GENERATION

Unit No. 3 - Steam generation

UNIT 3 UNIT 4 UNIT 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Para 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 OBJECTIVES WHY STEAM GENERATION IS NEEDED THE BASIC FUNCTION OF A STEAM GENERATING BOILER THE BASIC STEAM GENERATING CYCLE BOILER CLASSIFICATION 3.4.1 3.4.2 3.5. 3.5.1 3.5.2 3.5.3 3.5.4 3.6. 3.6.1 The Fire Tube Boiler The Water Tube Boiler FOUNDATIONS AND SUPPORTS BOILER CASINGS OR LAGGINGS INSULATION WINDBOX WATERSIDE INTERNAL COMPONENTS 3.6.1.1 3.6.1.2 3.6.1.3 3.6.1.4 3.6.1.5 3.6.1.6 Steam Drum Mud Drum Downcomer Tubes Riser Tubes Super Heater Tubes Economisers Blowdown Lines Steam Separators Headers Page 3 6 6 7 8 8 8 9 9 12 15 16 18 18 18 19 20 20 21 22 22 24 26

EXTERNAL COMPONENTS OF A STEAM GENERATING BOILER

INTERNAL COMPONENTS OF A STEAM GENERATING BOILERS.

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3.6.1.7 3.6.1.8 3.6.1.9

3.6.2

FURNACE INTERNAL COMPONENTS 3.6.2.1 3.6.2.2 3.6.2.3 3.6.2.4 The Combustion Chamber The Burners The Furnace Baffles Refractories

27 27 27 29 30

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TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONT)


Para 3.7. BOILER FITTINGS AND SAFETY DEVICES 3.7.1 3.7.2 3.7.3 3.7.4 BOILER SAFETY VALVES BOILER WATER COLUMN AND SIGHT GLASS STEAM PRESSURE GAUGE BOILER SAFETY DEVICES 3.7.4.1 3.7.4.2 3.7.4.3 3.7.4.4 3.7.4.5 3.8 3.8.1 Low Water Fuel Cut Off Non Return Valve Flame Failure Low Fuel Gas Supply Pressure Cut-off Low Air Pressure Cut-off 31 32 36 38 39 39 40 42 43 43 44 44 44 46 47 48 49 50 50 50 51 52 54 54 Page

BOILER AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT MECHANICAL DRAFT SYSTEMS 3.8.1.1 3.8.1.2 3.8.1.3 3.8.2 3.8.3 3.8.4 3.8.5 3.8.6 3.8.7 Forced Draft System Induced Draft System Balanced Draft System

BOILER FEED WATER PUMP BOILER FEEDWATER DE-AERATORS STEAM CONDENSATE RETURN SYSTEM COMBUSTION AIR PRE-HEATER BURNER FUEL SYSTEMS 3.8.6.1 Operation BLOWDOWN TANK CHEMISTRY OF COMBUSTION

3.9

COMBUSTION OF BOILER FUELS 3.9.1 3.9.2

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REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPLETE COMBUSTION OF FUEL CORRECT FLAME APPEARANCE FURNACE AIR REQUIREMENTS 57 58

GAS

57 3.9.3 3.9.4

3.9.4.1 3.9.4.2

Perfect Combustion 58

58 Complete Combustion Incomplete Combustion

3.9.4.3 58

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3.9.4.4 58

Types of Furnace Air

TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONT)


Para 3.9.5 59 3.9.6 59 3.9.7 61 3.9.8 62 3.9.9 62 3.10. 62 3.11. 65 3.11.1 65 3.11.2 66 3.11.3 68 3.0 OBJECTIVES As a plant operator, you should have a basic understanding of how your company operate their steam generation equipment, (commonly known as boilers). BOILER SIMULATOR SHUT-DOWN BOILER SIMULATOR START-UP PROCEDURE SIMULATOR CONTROL PANEL BOILER SIMULATOR - PRACTICAL EXERCISE STEAM GENERATION CYCLE FLUE GAS DEW POINT TEMPERATURE FLUE GAS ANALYSIS (COMBUSTION PRODUCTS ANALYSIS) FUEL GAS ANALYSIS CONTROL SYSTEM FOR FUEL GAS COMBUSTION COMBUSTION CHAMBER Page

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This unit will explain the following things: Why steam generation is needed. The basic function of a steam generating boiler, How a basic steam generating cycle works. The external components of a steam generating, The internal components of a steam generating boiler. Boiler fittings and safety devices. Boiler auxiliary equipment. Combustion Steam generation cycle. You will also operate a boiler simulator as a practical exercise

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3.1

WHY STEAM GENERATION IS NEEDED A reliable supply of steam is very important. Steam is required for refinery process units. If there is not enough steam or if the temperature, pressure and quality of the steam are not correct, the process units will not work correctly. The steam may be used to turn turbines to generate electricity before it goes to the process units. You have already seen that steam is needed for desalination. Without steam most processing operations in a refinery would stop. The same applies to gas processing plants.

3.2

BASIC FUNCTION OF A STEAM GENERATING BOILER The basic function is to produce steam. A few years ago the steam was generated at the main steam generating plant.

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You have already learnt that to produce heat costs money. You have also learnt that we do not like to waste heat. Wasted heat is wasted money.

We now also generate steam at the process units. We use the heat from sources that used to be wasted such as flue gases. This is called waste heat recovery.

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At this point it is good for you to learn certain properties of steam. Steam can carry a large amount of heat energy. Steam can carry a large amount of pressure energy. A large volume of steam can be produced from a small volume of water. 1600 volumes of steam for one volume of water.

3.3

THE BASIC STEAM GENERATING CYCLE A steam generating boiler is a closed vessel containing water. When the vessel is heated the water turns to steam. The steam has a larger volume than the water. It is contained in a closed vessel so it cannot increase in volume. Therefore, there is an increase in pressure. The heat energy from the burnt fuel has been changed to steam energy. Steam energy is a combination of heat energy and pressure energy. In simple terms, the steam cycle is as follows: The fuel contains chemical energy. This chemical energy is changed to heat energy by burning the fuel. This heat energy is transferred to the water in the boiler. The heat energy is changed to steam energy, (heat and pressure). The steam gives up the heat energy and pressure energy in doing the work. When it has lost its energy the steam condenses back to water, (condensate) The condensate is then pumped back to the boiler from the plant. The condensate is heated by passing through a feed-water heat exchanger.

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The heated feed-water is then passed through the boiler feed pump. This feed pump raises the pressure of the heated feed-water to just above boiler pressure. The feed-water then enters the boiler to start the cycle over again.

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We will go into more detail on the steam cycle later.

3.4

BOILER CLASSIFICATION High pressure boilers are of two main types. Fire tube boilers. Water tube boilers.

3.4.1. The Fire Tube Boiler The fire tube boiler consists of a shell containing straight tubes. Hot gases from the fire pass through these tubes. The water in the shell surrounds the tubes. Heat energy from the hot gases passes through the tube walls to the water. 3.4.2 The Water Tube Boiler The water tube boiler consists of an arrangement of drums and headers interconnected by tubes. Water circulates inside the tubes, to and from the drums and header. The hot gases from the fire pass around the outside of the tubes. The heat energy from the hot gases passes through the tube walls to the water inside the tubes. There are three basic designs used for water tube boilers. These depend on the relative positions of the drums and tubes. See Figure 3.1.

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Figure 3.1 Watertube Boiler Designs

Figure 3.2 Outside of "D" Type Boiler

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3.5.

EXTERNAL COMPONENTS OF A STEAM GENERATING BOILER

3.5.1

FOUNDATIONS AND SUPPORTS Every boiler must be supported on a good foundation. A bad foundation would permit "settling" under the weight of the boiler. The foundation must prevent any movement of the boiler. If the boiler moved it would put stress on connecting pipework. It could also mean that the water level in the boiler is incorrect.

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The floor that the boiler stands on has to be very strong and completely flat. Smaller boilers are packaged. Packaged boilers are mounted on a steel base. The steel base is grouted (set in cement) onto the boiler room floor. Figure 3.3 shows the steel base for a boiler being made in a -..workshop.

Figure 3.3 Boiler Steel Base being Fabricated Figure 3.4 shows a small packaged boiler ready for work in a boiler room.

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Figure 3.4 Small Package Boiler Installed Boilers can be "bottom-supported" or "top-supported.

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Figure 3.5 Large Bottom-Supported Boiler All boilers must be able to expand freely as they get hot. The movement due to thermal expansion can be several inches. One end of the lower drum is free to slide on rollers. The top drum moves upwards as the supporting tubes expand.

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Figure 3.6 A Bottom-Supported Boiler In figure 3.6 the boiler is bottom-supported. The bottom drum and furnace walls are resting on concrete supports. 3.5.2 BOILER CASINGS OR LAGGINGS The pressure inside the boiler furnace (where the fuel burns) can be above or below the pressure outside the furnace. This pressure difference can cause leaks into or out of the boiler furnace. The casings around the boiler must be air tight so they do not leak. Leaks could stop the furnace working well, and they could be dangerous to plant personnel.

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Modern water tube boilers have an inner wall made of steel tubes. They also have a welded steel casing.

There is then a layer of insulation or lagging.

Then an outer casing made of steel. (See Figure 3.7).

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Figure 3.7 Boiler Casings and Insulation

Figure 3.8 Small Boiler Showing Casings

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There are many different types of casing.

The newer boilers use the water tubes as the inner casing. The water tubes are welded together. The inner casing is then called a "waterwall" or a "water-cooled furnace wall . This type of design is very efficient.

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Figure 3.9 Water Cooled Furnace Wall

Figure 3.10 Top View of a Water Cooled Furnace Wall

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3.5.3

INSULATION Insulation has to resist high temperatures without changing or being

damaged. It also has to stop heat passing through it. Insulation which is directly exposed to the furnace heat is usually made of special materials called refractories. [This will be explained later in the course].

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Glass fibre is also used where it will not be directly exposed to the furnace heat. [For example behind a water wall.) There can be more than one layer of insulation. The insulation has to be flexible. It must withstand the thermal expansion and contraction of the metal parts without breaking. Block insulation is normally next to the hottest part of the boiler. The blocks can slip over each other. The blocks stop nearly all of the heat from escaping. The next layer of insulation feels very little change in temperature. This layer can be continuous with no gaps. (See Figure 3.11).

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Figure 3.11 Multi-layer Insulation 3.5.4 WINDBOX

The windbox is a case (box) around the burners on the outside of the boiler. Air for combustion is supplied through the windbox. Air is directed to the windbox through ducting.

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Ducting is a type of pipework made of sheet metal. A fan drives combustion air through the ducting to the windbox. You will learn more about the burners and the air systems later in this course. Figures 3.12 and 3.13 show examples of windboxes.

Figure 3.12 Air ducting and Windbox

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Figure 3.13 Windbox Surrounding Burners 3.6. INTERNAL COMPONENTS OF A STEAM GENERATING BOILERS. A boiler has two separate sections The water side The furnace

The water side is the section which the water and steam pass through. The furnace section is where the fuel burns and where the hot flue gases go out of the boiler. We will first look at the components on the water side. 3.6.1 WATERSIDE INTERNAL COMPONENTS The main components are: Steam drum Mud drum Downcomer tubes Riser tubes Superheater tubes Economisers Blowdown lines (two types);

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- Continuous blowdown lines - Intermittent blowdown lines Steam separators Headers

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3.6.1.1 Steam Drum The steam drum is a vessel in the top part of the boiler. The primary function of the steam drum is to separate the steam from the water. Water must NEVER leave the boiler with the steam. 3.6.1.2 Mud Drum The mud drum is a vessel located at the bottom of the boiler. The primary function of the mud drum is to collect solid matter that may be present in the water. It is called the mud drum because it is where sludge (thin mud) and other impurities settle out of the water. Sludge can cause scale formation inside the tubes. Sludge can also cause water circulation problems. The sludge and other impurities which collect in the mud drum are removed by a process called mud drum blowdown. This is carried out from time to time by the operator.

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Figure 3.14 A cutaway view of a steam generator showing the tubes passing to and from the steam drum and the mud drum.

3.6.1.3 Downcomer Tubes These tubes connect the steam drum to the mud drum. The downcomer tubes are at the back of the boiler where it is cooler. The downcomer tubes carry cooler water down from the steam drum to the mud drum. 3.6.1.4 Riser Tubes These tubes connect the mud drum to the steam drum. The riser tubes are located, in the hot furnace area of the boiler. The riser tubes carry the hot water and steam mixture upwards from the mud drum to the steam drum.

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The movement of water up and down through these tubes gives good circulation of the water in the boiler. (See Figure 3.15).

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Figure 3.15 Water Circulation in a Boiler

3.6.1.5 Super Heater Tubes The super heater tubes are located in the hottest part of the furnace. Steam flows through the super heater tubes. The temperature of the steam in the tubes increases. Any water with the steam is heated and changed to steam. We then have very high temperature "super heated" steam. The super heater tubes can be positioned in two places in the furnace. At the top of the furnace (like a roof) In the path of the hot combustion gases.

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The super heater tubes at the top of the furnace are called "Radiant Super Heater Tubes". The tubes are called that because the steam in the tubes is heated by radiation from the burner flames in the furnace.

Radiant heat is like the heat we get from the sun. The super heater tubes in the path of the hot combustion gases are called "Convection Super Heater Tubes". Convection Super Heater Tubes are heated by convection from the hot combustion gases that pass around the tubes.

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Most modern boilers in the process plants have a combination of both types of tubes. Such a combination makes better use of the heat produced in the furnace. This is more efficient and gives a more constant temperature for the super heated steam. Super heated steam has more heat energy because of its higher temperature. Therefore, super heated steam can do more work. Super heated steam is "dry" so it is good for use in steam turbines, because it will not cause erosion of the turbine blades. 3.6.1.6 Economisers Recall that we do not like to waste heat energy. An economiser uses heat from the waste combustion gases to heat the water going in to the boiler. The combustion gases (flue gases) leaving the furnace contain a lot of heat energy.

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Figure 3.16 Economiser in Flue Gas Outlet.

We use this heat energy to raise the temperature of the boiler feedwater before it enters the boiler. This is waste heat recovery. If the feedwater is hot when it enters the boiler then you need less heat to turn the feedwater to steam.

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If we need less heat we burn less fuel. If we burn less fuel it costs less to operate the boiler. 3.6.1.7 Blowdown Lines As we mentioned earlier, there are two main types of blowdown lines. Continuous blowdown lines. Intermittent blowdown lines.

Both types of line remove any solids in the boiler water. Recall that the boiler feed water is treated to remove dissolved solids and to control pH levels. However, some dissolved solids still remain in the boiler feed water. The concentration of solids left in the water increases as part of the water is turned into steam. This is because the solids stay behind in the water which does not turn into steam. If there are too many dissolved solids in the water, the water foams. If the water foams then small droplets of water may be carried up with the steam. These small droplets of water still contain dissolved solids. These solids stay in the super heater tubes when the water turns to steam. The solids cause harmful deposits inside the tubes. We can stop this happening by preventing the dissolved solids from building up in the boiler feedwater.

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This is down by removing or "blowing down" some of the boiler water. This limits the build up of dissolved solids and controls the T.D.S (Total Dissolved Solids).

How this is done will be explained in detail later in this course. The continuous blowdown line comes from the steam drum. Continuous blowdown is controlled automatically. The blowdown line inlet takes water from the mid level of the water in the steam drum. (See Figure 3.17). The intermittent blowdown line comes from the bottom of the mud drum. The intermittent blowdown line is used to remove sludge and solid matter from the mud drum during start-ups or shut-downs. This is done at lower pressures. It is used to drain the boiler for cleaning and inspection operations. [This is done when the boiler is out of service]. Intermittent blowdown is done manually by the operator in charge of the boiler. Intermittent blowdown will be explained in detail later in this course. 3.6.1.8 Steam Separators The function of the steam separators is to remove as much moisture (water) from the steam as possible. There are many steam separators inside the steam drum. (See Figure 3.17).

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Figure 3.17 Cutaway of a Steam Drum Showing Internal Equipment. The steam and water mixture which comes up the riser tubes is directed into the steam separators by baffles. Baffles are plates which change the direction of a fluid flow.

Steam separators work by changing the direction of flow of the steam. The steam separators in Figure 3.17 are cyclone separators. A cyclone spins very fast. Cyclone steam separators spin the steam very fast. The steam is light so it changes direction easily. The water droplets in the steam are heavy so they do not change direction easily.

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Therefore, the water droplets collect on the walls of the cyclone separator. The water droplets run down the walls of the separator back into the water in the bottom of the steam drum.

There are many cyclone separators in the steam drum. They are arranged along each side of the steam drum. Most modern steam separators are the cyclone separator type. This type is used a lot on the large capacity boilers.

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After the steam leaves the cyclone separators it passes through two sets of scrubbers. The scrubbers are mist extractors. They remove the last tiny droplets of water from the steam. The primary (first) scrubbers are directly on top of the cyclone separators. The secondary (second) scrubbers are just upstream of the steam outlets at the top of the steam drum. You must have cyclone separators and scrubbers on boilers which have super heaters. 3.6.1.9 Headers Headers are similar to drums. (See Figure 3.18).

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Figure 3.18 Schematic Drawing Showing Headers and Drums in a Boiler [Only a

few tubes are shown for clarity]. Headers act as distributing drums. They distribute the flow of the steam and water. Headers are only connected to the boiler tubes.

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They are not connected to any of the drums. Headers make sure that the boiler tubes get equal amounts of water, steam, or a mixture of steam and water. They distribute the flows evenly between the tubes which are connected to them.

3.6.2

FURNACE INTERNAL COMPONENTS The main components of the boiler furnace are: - The combustion chamber - The burners - The baffles - Refractories

3.6.2.1 The Combustion Chamber The combustion chamber is another name for the furnace. This is the large space inside the boiler where the fuel is burnt to release heat energy. The combustion chamber roof. The walls, floor and roof of the boiler are called the boiler enclosure or the boiler setting. The walls, floor and roof of the furnace are made of water tubes to make it work more efficiently. Therefore, the combustion chamber is completely enclosed by water tubes. These water tubes take all the heat from the burners.

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The water tubes also cool the furnace walls. They do this by absorbing the radiant heat from the burners. This produces steam.

In this way, very little heat is lost through the furnace walls to the outside. 3.6.2.2 The Burners The burners are devices that control how the fuel is burned inside the combustion chamber.

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The burner mixes the fuel with the correct amount of air and directs the flame into the combustion- chamber.

All large boilers have several burners. The burners are normally set in one wall. The burners in the boilers in the process plants use natural gas or fuel gas as the main fuel. Diesel oil may be used as a back-up fuel. [Gas plants do not need any back-up fuel]. Diesel oil is a good back-up because it does not need complicated pretreatment. The burners are designed to burn both types of fuel. They are called "combination burners". (See Figure 3.19).

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Figure 3.19 Combination Burner You will learn more about burners later in this course.

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3.6.2.3 The Furnace Baffles In the older type of boilers there are baffles in the combustion chamber. Recall that baffles change the direction of fluid flow. The baffles in the furnace chamber direct the hot combustion gases around the boiler tubes. Because the baffles change the flow, the combustion gases take longer to pass through the boiler. Therefore there is more time for the hot combustion gases to transfer their heat energy to the water and steam in the boiler tubes. This makes the boiler more efficient. (See Figure 3.20).

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Figure 3.20 Furnace Baffles, Showing Flue Gas Flow

3.6.2.4 Refractories

UnitUnit No. 3 No. - Steam 3 - Steam generation generation

Refractories are special clays known as fire clays. Fire clays consist of mainly silica and alumina. Fire clays can withstand (resist) high temperatures without fusing. (Fusing means to melt and change to glass.) The refractories are used to line the openings of the burners and to line the openings of inspection ports. 3.7. BOILER FITTINGS AND SAFETY DEVICES Fittings on the boiler include valves, gauges, and other components required for safe and efficient operation. Every fitting has a definite purpose. A fitting makes the boiler safer or more efficient. The materials used for the fittings depend on the temperature and pressure that the fittings must withstand. All fittings are placed on the boiler so that they can be easily seen by the operator. They are also easily accessible to the operator.

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Figure 3.21 Boiler Fittings and Safety Devices All the fittings on a boiler are important but the safety valves are the. most important.

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37.1

BOILER SAFETY VALVES Steam generating boilers are designed to work at certain pressures. This is called "the working pressure". They are also designed to withstand a maximum pressure. This is called "The Maximum Allowable Working Pressure" [MAWPI The working pressure is lower than the MAWP. If the pressure in the boiler is higher than the MAWP, the boiler could fail. Therefore all boilers have safety valves to prevent the pressure getting too high. THE FUNCTION OF A SAFETY VALVE IS TO PREVENT THE STEAM GENERATING BOILER FROM EXCEEDING ITS MAWP. Safety valves are located on the highest part of the steam drum. They are also located on the top of the superheater outlet header.

Recall that steam contains large amounts of pressure energy. Recall that steam also contains large amounts of heat energy. Recall that the boiling point of a liquid goes down as the pressure on the surface of that liquid goes down. IF A STEAM DRUM BROKE (RUPTURED) THERE WOULD BE A SUDDEN DECREASE IN PRESSURE IN THE DRUM. THE DECREASE IN PRESSURE WOULD LOWER THE BOILING POINT OF THE WATER IN THE STEAM DRUM. THE FURNACE WOULD STILL BE WORKING SO THERE WOULD BE NO DECREASE IN TEMPERATURE IN THE DRUM.

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THE WATER IN THE STEAM DRUM WOULD IMMEDIATELY FLASH TO STEAM. THIS WOULD CAUSE A VERY VIOLENT RELEASE OF UNCONTROLLED ENERGY.

RESULT WOULD BE THE SAME AS A BOMB EXPLODING. THIS IS WHY SAFETY VALVES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FITTING ON STEAM GENERATING BOILERS. The safety valves must be large enough to discharge all the steam that the boiler can generate. (This is called the venting or discharge capacity of the valves). Design engineers make sure the safety valves are big enough for the job. The safety valves used on steam generating boilers are designed to go fully open once the pre-set pressure (MAWP)is reached.

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Figure 3.22 Piping Layout of a Typical Boiler Safety Valve

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