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Prof. P. K. Das; Dept.

of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur


A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Prof. P. K. Das
Professor
Mechanical Engineering Department
IIT Kharagpur
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Function of a Boiler Drum
2
i. Stores water and steam to meet varying load requirement
ii. Part of a circulation loop
iii. Separates of steam and water (three internals and free surface)
iv. Separates of sludge & floating impurities
v. Maintains the ppm of dissolved solids by blow down and
phosphate dosing
Boiler Drum a standard feature of water tube boilers
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
3
Boiler Drum as
an Input-
Output System
Steam
outlet
Steam,
water
droplet
Feed water
Water + chemical
Blow down water
Dissolved solids
Precipitates
Down Comer
Water steam impurities
Riser
Water, steam,
foam, sludge,
floating
impurities
Boiler Drum as
an input output
system
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
4
Schematic of a boiler
drum relative positions
of different components
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
5
500 MW Boiler Drum
Inside of a boiler drum tube holes
and baffles
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Typical drum internals
1- Drum;
2- Evaporating tubes;
3- Box;
4- Cyclone;
5- Drainage box;
6- Cover;
7- Steam-washing perforated plate;
8- Perforated steam baffle;
9- Feed water distribution box;
10- Steam circulating tubes;
11- Feed water in;
12- Hole in a partition;
13- Downtake tubes;
14- Emergency water drainage.
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
7
Two unique features of drum type boilers
Carry under entrainment of steam bubbles in the
water stream of downcomer, reduces the circulation,
increases the pressure drop in the down comer
Carry over entrainment of water droplets in the steam
leaving the boiler drum , dissolved solid gets deposited
in super heater and other downstream components,
creates the problem of over heating and failure.
Carry over is a general term,
associated phenomena are known as priming and
foaming


Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Priming is the sudden gust of liquid slugs in the steam flow due to rapid
change in steaming rate, increase in liquid level, improper circulation etc.
It not only makes the steam dirty but can also create problems like flow
fluctuation, water hammer, thermal stress.
Foamnig occurs due to the saponification in presence of oil, grease,
floating impurities. It restricts the release of the bubbles as the liquid has
a high surface tension. During bubble rapture droplets are formed which
are also carried away by steam
Apart from mechanical cleaning of steam chemical correction is also
applied.
Tri-sodium phosphate or tannin is injected to induce precipitation of the
dissolved salts in the form of sludge.

Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
9
Mechanism of carry over
Liquid excursion by
vapor drag
Carry over bubble
Normal bubble
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
ABMA Standard Boiler Water Concentrations for Minimizing Carryover



Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
11
Carry Over from Boiler Drum
Mechanical
Drum
Internal
Alignments
Faulty
screen
drier
Drum
level
Very high
levels
Foaming
High
Alkalinity
Oil in
water
High TDS in
boiler water
Spray
water
Vapor out
High salt content in
boiler water
Volatility different for
each salt
Different
quantum of
vapor carry
over
SO
3
has
high
volatility
Gets
deposited in
LP turbine
Other salts in
vapor carry
over rare
Goes up
above 200
kg/cm
2

Carry over effect from drum can
be up to LP turbine blades
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
12
Gravity Separation of Steam
and Water:

1. Needs large free surface

2. Suitable for low pressure
boilers (< 20bar)

3. Low cost
Operation done on steam in a steam drum: Separation,
Washing and
Drying
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
13
Gravity separation assisted by
internals like baffles and screens
Baffles are the first level
separator- Impact separations or
separation due to change of
momentum
Screen (wiremesh) are
secondary separators- intersects
fine droplets



Baffles and screens
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
14
Cyclone and scrubbers
At high pressure density
difference between water and
screen diminishes
Cyclone utilize centrifugal forces
Scrubbers are corrugated plate-
helps to remove the last stresses
of moisture
Finally perforated plates or
screens are used at the drum exit
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
15
Steam washing impurities
are removed
Steam is made to pass
through a rain of
Relatively pure incoming feed
water.
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Saturated steam drier
1 & 5 - Constant- velocity
Channels;
2 & 6 - Perforated plates;
3 - Horizontal chute;
4 - Drainage pipes;
7 - Corrugated plates;
8 - Moisture- trapping pocket
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Typical external cyclone separator
1- Header;
2- Steam-water mixture in;
3- Whirler;
4- Perforated plate;
5- Steam outlet pipe;
6- Air vent;
7- Blow-down;
8- Downtake tubes;
9- Water from drum;
10- Cross-piece
Sometimes steams of high purity is required
Separation inside the steam drum is not adequate
External separators are used
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
18
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
19
Guide lines to avoid carry over:
Drum level to be within +/- 50 mm
Maintain silica below recommended value for the pressure
Drum internal alignment to be maintained
FW to be 0.2 to 0.3 mho s/cm
Boiler water solids to be in recommended level
Measure & maintain steam purity within limits
FW conductivity to be on line
Boiler water salt control
Dosing of solid salts to be after spray water tap off
Turbine Deposits Guide:
Soft & friable, pinkish white, 1
st
stage blades- easy to remove by
air/water
Sparkling silver, silver gray mainly in 4
th
and 5
th
stage blades-
Hard to remove by air/water.
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Test Facility
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Collection of carry over
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
23
Blow Down : Intentional drainage of water from the boiler drum to
control the level of dissolved solid
Surface Blow down
Removes dissolved solids,
foam, floating impurities
often continuous
Bottom Blow down
Removes sludge and
precipitates mostly
manual
Inadequate blow down - the problem of deposition

Excessive blow down wastage of water, chemical and energy
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
24
Impurities in = impurities out




drum the leaving steam of quality
drum the from flow steam of rate
necessary blowdown of rate
drum the entering water feed of rate
1 *


x
S kg
S kg BD
S kg
ppm x ppm BD ppm
s
fw
carryover s drum fw fw


Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
25
Scheme for
automatic surface
blow down




Possibility of
heat recovery
from surface
blow down
stream

Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Boiler Drum
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
26
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Drum Level Control :
Desirable
In case of a large change in the level, bring the drum up to the
level at boiler start up and maintain the level at that condition
Steam supply for variable demands changes the water level in the
boiler drum
Drum level control is important for both plant protection and
equipment safety
Excessive low level uncover boiler tubes leads to overheating. It
also affects the circulation
Very high level interferes with the process of steam water
separation, leads to loss of boiler efficiency, priming and carry
over. Excessive carry over may lead to surge or even water
hammer
Unique phenomena like shrink and swell are also associated.
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Boiler specifications:-
367.7 kW(500 bhp), 7840.9 kg/h (17,250 PPH)
Operating pressure 1.55 Mpa (225 PSIG)
Boiler Water temperature 476K (397 F)
Boiler is operated with 75% firing rate with 80% efficiency i.e. 5863.6 kg/h
(12,900 PPH) with 4 597.3 kWh (1,56,86,720 Btu) heat input.
Using ON/OFF feed water system (recovery volume of 3% low water capacity
(235 kg) + 2% over capacity(157 kg) = 5% water recovery capacity (392 kg) )
Feed water cycle = 392/5863 hr = 4.01 min
Feed water is supplied at 355.2 K with 261.4 kg/min.
Example
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Resultant impact
Total feed water delivery time = 392/ 261.4=1.5 min, temperature rise= 120 K
1.Sub-cooling of water occurs due to mixing of drum water with feed water.

95% of water at 476 K + 5% of water at 355.2 K= 469.7 K of boiler water
i.e. 6.3 K of sub-cooling

2.Steaming pressure falls from 1.55 Mpa (@ 476 K) to 1.34 Mpa (@ 469.7 K) i.e.
13% drop in steaming pressure

3.Steaming pressure falls specific volume changes steam
nozzle discharge velocity increases from 20.6 m/s to 23.5 m/s.
2.03 m/s is critical velocity for carry over.
Priming most likely to occur.
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
4. To recover steaming pressure, firing rate should be increased by 1640.8 kWh
i.e. 26.76% of total firing rate in 1.5 min.
So boiler would have to fire 75 + 26.76 =101.76 % to recover

5. Steaming Pr. decreases drum water level rises 1.77 to 2.54 cm
wrong signal send to feed water controller shut the
feed 1.77 cm early.

6. Operating steaming pressure reached water level shrinks.

Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
30
Drum level control

Level measurement

Level control
On-off control
Modulating Control
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
31
Conductivity
probe for level
measurement
Possible actions:
Start or stop a valve
Open or close a valve
Sound an alarm
Open or close a relay
Two point
conductivit
y probe
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Capacitance method of
level measurement
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
33
Float type level indicator
Can be conveniently
used for on-off control
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
34
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
35
Differential Pressure cell

Suitable for high pressure
clean water system with a
low conductivity

Diaphragm type sensing
element


Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
36
Desirable features of a good drum level control
Operator adjustment of the set point for drum level
Compensation for the shrink & swell effects
Automatic control of drum level
Manual control of the feed water valve
Bump-less transfer between auto and manual modes
Indication of correct drum level and steam flow
Indication of feed water valve position and feed water flow
Absolute/deviation alarms for drum level

Additionally a good controller should take care of
Blow down variations due to changes in dissolved solids
Variations in feed water supply pressure
Leaks in the steam circuits.
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
37
Options for drum level control

Manual control
Single element control
Two element control
Three element control
Only one analogue input and one analogue output required
Suitable for single boiler / single feed pump configurations
Suitable for stable loads since there is no relationship between drum level
and steam- or feed water flow
Possible inadequate control option because of the swell effect
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
38
Limitation of single level control:

Increase of demand decreases steam pressure
Gives rise to expansion of bubbles and drum level swell
Feed water flow rate decreases while an increase of flow rate is
needed to maintain mass balance
Sudden or large load changes gives rise to phasing of shrink and swell
Water level controller looses control
Nuisance of low water trips or water priming and carry over
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
39
Suitable for moderate load
swing
Any size of boiler
Uses steam flow and drum
level
As steam flow is very
dynamic load change can be
sensed before any change of
drum level
Steam flow is a large variable
can over ride the trim effect of
the drum level change
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
Limitations of two element control

Can not adjust pressure or load disturbance of the feed water flow

Can not eliminate the phasing interaction between the feed water
flow and drum level as only a slow process of drum level is
controlled

The second issue can lead to a high subcooling of the drum water
on a large increase of steam demand due to excessive feed water
entry
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
41
Three element controller:
Basic two element controller is cascaded to the
feed water flow controller to act as a remote set
point
Feed water controller (first controller) uses feed
water flow as the process variable and steam flow
as the set point
The set point of the two element controller at just
itself
Minor losses like blow down can be taken care
off
Independent tuning of each controller
Can handle large and rapid load change
Suitable for any boiler size
Must for multiple boilers with a common feed
water heater
No trim correction stroke supervision needed
Boiler Drum and Drum Level Control Drum Level Control
Prof. P. K. Das; Dept. of Mechanical Engineering; IIT Kharagpur
A Course on Thermal Power Plant
42