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Accurate Analysis of Boiler Efficiency

100 VGB PowerTech 12/2008


Accuracy Improvement Analysis
of the Standard Indirect Method for Determining
a Steam Boilers Efficiency
Andrej Senegac nik, Igor Kutrin and Mihael Sekavc nik
Authors
Dr. Andrej Senega cnik,
Assistant Professor
Dr. Igor Kutrin,
Teaching Assistant
Dr. Mihael Sekav cnik,
Assistant Professor
University of Ljubljana
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Ljubljana/Slovenia.
Kurzfassung
Verbesserte Methoden zur
Bestimmung des
Keselwirkungsgrades
Der Kesselwirkungsgrad von Kohlekraftwerken
wird gewhnlich nach standardisierten Verfah-
ren bestimmt. Bei Einsatz eines Festbrenn-
stoffs, wird der Massenstrom indirekt nach
dem in DIN 12952-15 beschriebenen Verfah-
ren berechnet. In dem vorliegenden Beitrag
werden bestimmte Vernderungen an der
standardisierten Methode DIN 12952-15 hin-
sichtlich der Konsistenz von Berechnungen
und die Genauigkeit der Ergebnisse mit der
Sensitivittsanalyse vorgeschlagen, prsentiert
und bewertet,. Die wesentlichen Berechnungs-
verfahren bleiben identisch mit DIN 12952-15.
Es werden sechs Vernderungen bercksich-
tigt. Vier davon beeinflussen die Bestimmung
der entsprechenden Rauchgasmasse, nm-
lich: nicht Vernachlssigung der partiellen Oxi-
dation des Kohlenstoffes zu CO, nicht Ver-
nachlssigung von Unverbranntem in der
Asche und Schlacke bei der Bestimmung des
Luftberschusses mit zwei Modellen und nicht
Vernachlssigung von Restwasser in der
Rauchgasmessprobe. Die fnfte Vernderung
behandelt den Einfluss der kalten Falschluft
und die sechste Vernderung bercksichtigt
die Verwendung der Berechnungsmethode
der Enthalpie fr Rauchgas und Verbrennungs-
luft nach VDI 4670. Der Einfluss der vorge-
schlagenen Vernderungen auf den Kesselwir-
kungsgrad wurde mit zwei realen Datenreihen
fr Stein- und Braunkohle bewertet.
Introduction
The efficiency of coal-fired power plants is
usually determined according to standardised
procedures. Currently, the Guidelines VDI
3986 and standard DIN EN 12952-15 [1] are
valid. If solid fuel is used, its mass flow is cal-
culated indirectly according to the procedures
stated in DIN 12952-15. The indirect method
requires the determination of boiler losses.
Losses can be measured directly except for
radiation and convection losses which are es-
timated according to the standard procedure
stated in DIN 12952-15. The article at hand
proposes, presents and evaluates some modi-
fications of the standardised indirect method
DIN 12952-15 regarding the consistency of
computations and accuracy of the results.
Most of the modifications were introduced re-
cently in reference [2] where they were treated
generally, i.e. from a stoichiometric calcula-
tion point of view. Additional research pre-
sented in this paper is focused on incorporat-
ing additional calculations into the standard
procedure [3] and to evaluate their impacts
using sensitivity analysis. The main flow of
computations remains identical to DIN 12952-
15. Six modifications are considered. Four of
them affect the referred flue gas mass deter-
mination, i.e.: partial oxidation of carbon to
CO, including unburned matter in ash and
slag while determining the excess air ratio
with two models and including residual water
vapour content in the flue gas sample. The
fifth modification studies the impact of cold
uncontrolled leakage air. The sixth modifica-
tion is applying the VDI 4670 procedure [4]
for flue gas and combustion air enthalpies cal-
culation. The impacts of modifications were
studied for two real data sets for hard coal
and lignite.
Air Ratio Determination
Par t i al Oxi dat i on of Car bon
t o CO ( I )
If some of the carbon from fuel burns to CO
instead to CO
2
the actual oxygen consump-
tion is lower than the calculated consumption
according to DIN 12952-15. To evaluate the
CO impact, the carbon from fuel should be
divided into quantities of carbon combusted
to CO
2
and to CO, respectively.
Let the factor
CO
2
be a quantity of carbon
forming CO
2
. The factor
CO
2
can be calculat-
ed exactly with the next derivative formulae:

CO2d
1,8650

C


V
Aod

CO2Ad

COd

CO2 =
(1)

CO2d

1,8534 + 1,865


COd
Factor
CO2
is dependent on ,
COd
and
CO2d

(if the
O2d
is measured in the flue gas, the

CO2d
value needs to be calculated with the
formulae (6) and (7)).
Lambda , is calculated from the basic pa-
rameters which are given in DIN 12952-15
and are complemented with the carbon mon-
oxide (CO) coefficients which are calculated
according to [5]. The complemented equa-
tions are:

Aod
= 11,5122
CO2

C
+ 5,7561 (1

CO2
)

C
+ 34,2974
H
+ 4,3129 (2)

S
4,3129
O

God
= 12,5122
CO2

C
+ 6,7561 (1


CO2
)

C
+ 26,3604
H
+ 5,3129 (3)

S
3,3129
O
+
N
V
God
= 8,8930
CO2

C
+ 5,3847 (1


CO2
)

C
+ 20,9724
H
+ 3,3190 (4)

S
2,6424
O
+ 0,7997
N

CO2
= 3,6699
CO2

C
+ 0,0029 (1


CO2
)

C
+ 0,0173
H
+ 0,0022 (
S

O
) (5)
If
CO2d
is measured is calculated according
to:
V
God

CO2d

CO2d
=



+1 (6)
V
Aod

CO2d

CO2Ad

if y
O2d
is measured is calculated according
to:
V
God

O2d
=


+1 (7)
V
Aod

O2Ad

O2d

The upper formulae for are given in [5].
Iteration is needed since factors
CO2
and
are correlated. The CO impact on referred
flue-gas mass
G
is always negative. This
means that in presence of CO in flue gas,
actual flue gas mass flow is lower than
Accurate Analysis of Boiler Efficiency
VGB PowerTech 12/2008 101
flue gas mass flow calculated according to
DIN 12952-15. Fi gur e 1 shows the impact
of CO content in dry flue gas on referred flue
gas mass
G
. Actual operating points are also
marked. The CO impact on
G
is negative. If
the CO content would rise to 1000 ppm, the
difference of referred flue gas mass
G
would
be in the case of hard coal 0.28 % and in the
case of lignite 0.22 %. The gradient of CO
impact is slightly higher in the case of hard
coal due to the larger mass fraction of carbon
in coal.
Unbur ned Combus t i bl es
i n As h and Sl ag
The air ratio is calculated on the basis of the
measured flue gas composition at the boilers
outlet and the fuel composition. Standard pro-
cedure for the flue gas mass flow calculation
assumes that all the carbon from the burned
fuel is burned completely and that the compo-
sition of the burned fuel matches the com-
position of the supplied fuel i.e. fuel sample.
In practice, some of the larger coal dust parti-
cles do not burn completely; they leave the
boiler with ash as coke. Therefore, the un-
burned carbon does not participate in CO
2

formation. Actual oxygen consumption is
therefore lower. In order to determine the ex-
cess air ratio more accurately, unburned car-
bon should be subtracted from the carbon
mass fraction in the fuel and added to the ash
mass fraction. The air ratio calculation should
then be repeated using the new apparent fuel
composition. Two explanatory models are in-
troduced in the following sections.
In the following paragraphs annotations
coal
X
means composition of the fuel sam-
ple while
X
means apparent fuel composi-
tion (i.e. composition that actually burned).
Model 1 Unburned Combustible Matter in
Ash and Slag is Pure Carbon (II)
Model 1: The assumption is that the combus-
tible matter in ash and slag is pure carbon.
New apparent fuel composition, which ac-
tually burns, is therefore:

C
= coal
C
l
u
(1 coal
Ash
coal
H
2
O
) (8)

H
= coal
H
(9)

S
= coal
S
(10)

O
= coal
O
(11)

N
= coal
N
(12)

Ash
= coal
Ash
+ l
u

(1 coal
Ash
coal
H
2
O
) (13)

H
2
O
= coal
H
2
O
(14)
Model 2 Composition of Unburned
Combustible Matter in Ash and Slag Matches
the Combustible Component of Fuel Linear
Model (III)
Model 2: The assumption is that the combus-
tible matter in ash and slag has the same com-
position as the combustible component of the
fuel. New apparent fuel composition is
therefore:

C
= (1 l
u
) coal
C
(15)

H
= (1 l
u
) coal
H
(16)

S
= (1 l
u
) coal
S
(17)

O
= (1 l
u
) coal
O
(18)

N
= (1 l
u
) coal
N
(19)

Ash
= coal
Ash
+ l
u
(coal
C
+ coal
H

+ coal
S
+ coal
O
+ coal
N
) (20)
Sensitivity Analysis
Fi g u r e 2 shows the impact of unburned
combustibles in ash and slag to referred flue
gas mass
G
. The x-axis of Figure 2 represents
the amount of unburned combustible in ash
because there were no unburned combustibles
in slag. To get a more objective impression
about the impact of unburned combustibles in
ash and slag, the total amount of unburned
combustible can be also expressed as a mass
fraction of carbon in the supplied fuel [6]. In-
dex unburned carbon is calculated by expres-
sion (21).
unburned carbon
m
SL

SL
+

m
FA

FA
= 100

%

(21)
m
Fo

C
The impact of unburned combustibles in ash
and slag on referred flue gas mass
G
is al-
ways negative. This means that in a presence
of unburned combustibles in ash and slag, ac-
tual flue gas mass flow is always lower than
flue gas mass flow calculated according to
DIN 12952-15.
The results of Model 1 and Model 2 are pre-
sented in Figure 2. The proposed models are
extreme cases. The actual impact lies some-
where in between. From the results we can
conclude that the average impact gradient of
unburned combustibles to referred flue gas
mass is
hard coal: 0.87 % of referred flue-gas
mass per 1 % of unburned carbon
lignite: 0.71 % of referred flue-gas
mass per 1 % of unburned carbon
The impact is larger for hard coal due to a
higher mass fraction of carbon in the fuel. In
the case of lignite, when the ratio
C
/
H
is
lower, the gap between pure carbon and the
linear model becomes wider.
Res i dual Vapour Cont ent i n Gas
Sampl e ( I V)
The standard procedure for the flue gas mass
flow calculation requires a dry flue gas sam-
ple. The gas sample is usually dried by cool-
ing to about 4 C. Therefore, volume content
of water vapour in the flue gas leaving the
cooler is about 0.8 %. This means that the
measured volume contents of the other flue
gas components are lower than they would be
if the flue gas sample was completely dry. To
establish volume contents in completely dry
flue gas sample the following correction
should be applied:
saturation pressure
of water at 4 C

Sat
= (22)
flue gas pressure in the cooler
*
CO2d

CO2d =
(23)

1

Sat
*
O2d

O2d =
(24)

1

Sat
*
COd

COd =
(25)

1

Sat
DIN 12952-15
Actual operating
point
Hard coal
Lignite
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

c
h
a
n
g
e

o
f

r
e
f
e
r
r
e
d

f
l
u
e

g
a
s

m
a
s
s
w
h
e
n

C
O

i
s

c
o
n
s
i
d
e
r
e
d
,

%
-0.30
-0.25
-0.20
-0.15
-0.10
-0.05
0.00
0 0.0002 0.0004 0.0006 0.0008 0.001 0.0012
CO content in dry flue gas
Figure 1. Impact of CO content on referred flue gas mass
G
.
Accurate Analysis of Boiler Efficiency
102 VGB PowerTech 12/2008
where asterisk annotates measured volume
contents of flue gas components in flue gas
containing residual vapour. The annotations
without an asterisk are used for volume con-
tents of flue gas components in completely
dry flue gas.
Sensitivity Analysis
The Bunte triangle in this point is used for ex-
planatory purposes only because the triangle
is valid only for completely dry gases. From
the formulae (22) to (25) it is evident that dur-
ing the correction procedure, values of
CO2d

or
O2d
are increased by an equal percentage.
Therefore, the absolute variation
CO2d
or

O2d
, formulae (26)

O2d
=

O2d
*
O2d
or

CO2d
=

CO2d


*
CO2d
(26)
is thus proportional to the value of
CO2d
or

O2d
. Usually in flue gas resulting from coal
combustion the value
CO2d
is 4 to 5 times
larger than
O2d
. Therefore, the absolute vari-
ation
CO2d
is also four to five times larger
than
O2d
.
From the Bunte triangle, Fi g u r e 3 , which
graphically shows the relations between CO
2
,
O
2
content in flue gas and , it is obvious that
we should distinguish between two cases with
opposite effects:
a) oxygen content y
O2d
is used to calculate the
referred flue gas mass
G
,
b) carbon dioxide content y
CO2d
is used to cal-
culate the referred flue gas mass
G
.
Figure 3, Detail B, explains this graphically.
Origin point C moves to D in the case when
CO
2
is considered/measured (case b). If O
2
is
considered/measured the origin point C moves
to point E (case a) and the impact is positive.
This means that if the residual water vapour in
the flue gas sample is not neglected the actual
flue gas mass flow is greater than flue gas
mass flow calculated according to DIN 12952-
15. In case b, when CO
2
is considered/meas-
ured the impact changes sign and magnitude.
For example the magnitude in hard coal case b
is 2.6 times larger than in hard coal case a,
Fi gur e 4 .
Fi gur e 5 shows the sensitivity of the excess
air ratio which is evaluated with partial deriv-
atives (27). It shows how quickly the excess
air ratio is changing if the content of CO
2
or
O
2
are changing.
( 1) V
God
(
CO2Ad



CO2d
)
=
(
CO2d
) V
Aod
(
CO2d

CO2Ad
)
2
or (27)
( 1) V
God

O2Ad
=
(
O2d
) V
Aod
(
O2Ad

O2d
)
2
Sensitivity of the excess air is weakly depend-
ent on the fuel composition and therefore on
Figure 5 only the results for lignite are pre-
sented. Essentially the absolute impact of both
gases O
2
and CO
2
is quite similar and that the
sensitivity is increasing when air ratio is in-
creasing. From Figure 3 it can also be con-
cluded that in case a the impact of residual
water vapour in the flue gas sample decreases
when the y
O2d
approaches zero. In case b, the
impact of residual water vapour in the flue gas
sample maximises when
CO2d
approaches the
stoichiometric referred CO
2
volume. In this
limiting case the ratio between the CO
2
and
O
2
impact limits to ( ).
Combustion Air Heat Input (V)
Standard procedure assumes that combustion
air enters the boiler in a controlled manner
through air heaters. Of course some of the
combustion air enters the boiler elsewhere
(leakage air) usually having a lower tempera-
ture than the controlled air. Usually controlled
air temperature used in air-heat-input calcula-
tions is measured at the boilers envelope after
the forced draft fan.
The standard [1] includes a correction formu-
la but it should be stated more clearly that at
least a rough energy balance of the air heater
should be made to estimate the quantity of
leakage air.
From the provided data, for a hard coal-fired
power plant, a simple energy and mass bal-
ance for the air heater was established. The
result shows that there is about 13.5 % of
leakage air. To evaluate the impact of air
leakage, the following assumptions were
used:
the mass content of leakage air is
x
LA
= 0.135
the temperature of leakage air is 15 to 30 C
lower than controlled-air temperature.
DIN 12952-15
Actual operating
point, unburned
carbon 0.52 %
Linear model
Pure carbon model
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

c
h
a
n
g
e

o
f

r
e
f
e
r
r
e
d

f
l
u
e

g
a
s

m
a
s
s
,

%
-2.5
-2.0
-1.5
-1.0
-0.5
0.0
0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.10 0.12
Unburned matter in ash
Unburned carbon
1.73 %
Hard coal
Figure 2. Impact of unburned combustibles in ash and slag, hard coal.
Detail B
Detail B
21
^
y
CO
2
CO
2
CO
2
+ O
2
21 0
y
CO
2d
y
O
2d
A
1

/

l
y
CO
2d
y
CO
2d
y
O
2d
y
O
2d
E
D
C
Figure 3. Bunte triangle.
Accurate Analysis of Boiler Efficiency
VGB PowerTech 12/2008 103
Sens i t i vi t y anal ys i s
Leakage combustion air has an impact just on
the heat input proportional to the fuel burned
Q

(N)ZF
. Therefore, there is no impact on the
referred flue gas mass
G
.
Different amounts of delivered heat to the
boiler at the same useful heat output Q

N ,
means also different boiler efficiency and
consequently also different mass flow of
burned fuel. Fi g u r e 6 presents the impact
of leakage air on the flue gas mass flow m
G
,
leaving the air heater. In Figure 6 several tem-
perature differences between controlled and
leakage air are introduced. The impact of not
neglecting the cold air leakage is positive, i.e.
the flue gas mass flow leaving the air heater is
increased.
Air and Flue Gas Enthalpy
Calculation (VI)
DIN 12952-15 calculates the specific heat of
flue gas and combustion air using polynomial
equations. This calculation procedure takes
into account just air, water vapour and CO
2

content. More accurate calculation procedures
take into account all flue gas components, i.e.
N
2
, O
2
, Ar, Ne, H
2
O, CO
2
, CO and SO
2
as
given in VDI-Richtlinien, VDI 4670 Ther-
modynamische Stoffwerte von feuchter Luft
und Verbrennungsgasen [4].
For the VDI 4670 calculation of mass frac-
tions of flue gas and the combustion air of
the components (N
2
, O
2
, Ar, Ne, H
2
O, CO
2
,
CO, SO
2
) should be known. All the neces-
sary formulae for the determination of re-
ferred masses
i
(kg/(kg of fuel)) were taken
from Brandt [5].

AD
=


Aod
(28)

CO
2

=

CO
2o
+ ( 1)
Aod

CO
2
Ad
(29)

O
2

=

( 1)
Aod

O
2
Ad
(30)

N
2

=

N
+
Aod

N
2
Ad
(31)

Ar
=


Aod

ArAd
(32)

CO
=

2,3321 (1


CO
2
)

C
(33)

SO
2

=

1,9981

S
(34)

H
2
O
=

H
2
OF
+

Aod

H
2
OAd
(33)
Sens i t i vi t y Anal ys i s
The application of the more accurate proce-
dure VDI 4670 only affects the amount of en-
ergy of the flue gas leaving the boiler the
flue gas loss l
G
. Fi g u r e 7 presents the im-
pact of VDI 4670 as used on the boilers flue
gas loss. It is evident that the VDI 4670 en-
thalpy calculation lowers flue gas loss. In the
lignite case, the influence is almost twice as
large as for hard coal. The reason for this is
the water vapour content in the flue gas. The
water content amounts 4.5 % for hard coal
and 14.0 % for lignite. The overall impact of
VDI 4670 as used in DIN 12952-15 is there-
fore dependent on the flue gas composition or
fuel composition.
Data
Some major input data used in the computa-
tions are summarised in Ta bl e 1 .
Results
Fi g u r e 8 graphically represents the main
results of this research the absolute change
of boiler efficiency for particular modifica-
tion and all for modifications simultaneously.
The data from Table 1 were used in the calcu-
lation.
Modification I partial oxidation of car-
bon to CO: the change is small due to a
very low CO content in the flue gas.
Modifications II and III composition of
unburned combustibles in ash and slag: as
expected, these two modifications have im-
portant effects. The effect is proportional
to the content of the unburned combusti-
bles in ash and slag. Unburned combusti-
bles affect the computed referred flue gas
mass due to the application of the apparent
DIN 12952-15
Hard coal
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

c
h
a
n
g
e

o
f

r
e
f
e
r
r
e
d

f
l
u
e

g
a
s

m
a
s
s
,

%
Temperature of flue gas sample, C
O
2
consideration
CO
2
consideration
0.6
0.4
0.2
0.0
-0.2
-0.4
-0.6
-0.8
-1.0
-1.2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0
Figure 4. Impact of residual vapour content in gas sample, hard coal.
S
e
n
s
i
t
i
v
i
t
y

o
f

e
x
c
e
s
s

a
i
r

r
a
t
i
o

(
l
-
1
)
Air ratio, l
10
20
5
15
25
0
-10
-20
-5
-15
-25
1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2
CO
2
O
2
Lignite
Figure 5. Sensitivity of excess air ratio, lignite.
Accurate Analysis of Boiler Efficiency
104 VGB PowerTech 12/2008
Table 1. Major input data.
Input Data Units Hard coal Lignite
O
2
content in flue gas
(by volume, dry), AH outlet
- 0.058 0.030
CO content in flue gas
(by volume, dry), AH outlet
- 3.274E-05 9.500E-05
Flue gas temperature, AH outlet C 137.1 168.7
Air temperature, AH inlet C 55.5 51.91
Calorific value of coal kJ/kg 23,150 10,597
Carbon content, fuel (by mass) - 0.5978 0.2906
Hydrogen content, fuel (by mass) - 0.0361 0.0259
Sulphur content, fuel (by mass) - 0.0074 0.0169
Oxygen content, fuel (by mass) - 0.0511 0.0621
Nitrogen content, fuel (by mass) - 0.0124 0.0027
Ash content, fuel (by mass) - 0.1603 0.0780
Water content, fuel (by mass) - 0.1349 0.5238
Ash collection efficiency - 0.390 0.053
Unburned combustibles content
(by mass), slag
- 0.0000 0.0027
Unburned combustibles content
(by mass), ash
- 0.0323 0.0010
Calorific value of unburned
combustibles, slag
kJ/kg 33,000 27,200
Calorific value of unburned
combustibles, ash
kJ/kg 33,000 27,200
Slag temperature C 1500 330
Volatile matter content, ash - 0.05 0.05
fuel composition instead of the actual fuel
composition. Losses directly connected to
the referred flue gas mass are therefore af-
fected. Modifications II and III cannot be
applied simultaneously. The difference in
results of modifications II and III is not
significant.
Modification IV residual water vapour
in the flue gas sample: magnitude and di-
rection of change depends on which gas is
considered in the calculation and the flue-
gas sample temperature (4 C is used in
Figure 8). Due to opposite impacts, both
results for CO
2
and O
2
can be introduced
simultaneously. It is evident that the impact
of CO
2
is the largest and most important
factor.
Modification V combustion-air heat in-
put: in cases when the amount of leakage
air is less than 20 %, the flue gas loss in-
creases up to 0.01 %.
Modification VI VDI 4670 guidelines
application: flue gas loss is lower up to
0.02 %. The water vapour content in the
flue gas dictates the deviation magnitude.
All modifications simultaneously: From
Figure 8 it is clear that the particular modi-
fications cause deviations in both directions
positive and negative. Therefore, they
compensate for each other to some degree.
The final overall deviation is somehow pro-
portional to the total sum of the particular
deviations. The final overall deviation of
the boiler efficiency is positive.
It can be seen from Figure 8 that just the in-
clusion of leakage air always lowers the boiler
efficiency. Residual water vapour in the flue
gas sample can lower or raise efficiency, de-
pending on whether CO
2
or O
2
is used in the
boiler efficiency calculation. If O
2
is use,
we get the overall results shown in column
ALL 1, Figure 8. If CO
2
is used we get dra-
matically different results as shown in column
ALL 2.
For these two studied examples with hard coal
and lignite, with particular input data from
Table 1, the overall absolute change in boiler
efficiency due to the proposed modifications
is relatively small. In this particular case when
the oxygen content is used for boiler efficien-
cy determination, the overall change of effi-
ciency is +0.009 % for hard coal, and
+0.002 % for lignite (Figure 8). If the carbon
dioxide content is used, the overall change of
efficiency is +0.07 % for hard coal and
+0.06 % for lignite.
It can be concluded from Figure 8 that the
proposed modifications, which provide more
accurate calculations, increase the calculated
value of boiler efficiency in almost all cases.
This means that the actual (more accurate)
boiler efficiency is higher than the value of
efficiency given according to DIN 12952-15.
In some extreme cases with very cold air leak-
age, high O
2
value with high residual water
vapour with low unburned carbon etc. can
lead to the opposite situation.
Conclusion
The article at hand presents and evaluates
some modifications of the standardised indi-
rect method for steam boiler efficiency deter-
mination, DIN 12952-15. The proposed modi-
fications improve consistency of computa-
tions and accuracy of results. Six modifica-
DIN 12952-15
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

c
h
a
n
g
e

o
f

f
l
u
e

-

g
a
s

m
a
s
s

f
l
o
w

l
e
a
v
i
n
g
a
i
r

h
e
a
t
e
r
,

%
Ratio of preheated air in air heater
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75 0.80 0.85 0.90 0.95 1.00
15 C
20 C
25 C
30 C
Temperature difference
between controlled air
and leekage air
Hard coal
Actual amount of
controlled air = 0.865
Figure 6. Impact of air leakage on computed flue gas mass flow, hard coal.
Accurate Analysis of Boiler Efficiency
VGB PowerTech 12/2008 105
tions are studied. Four of them relate to more
accurate air ratios, flue gas mass determina-
tion including partial oxidation of carbon to
CO; two models including unburned combus-
tibles in ash and slag; the fourth including the
residual water vapour content in the flue gas
sample. The fifth modification is to include
the heat input of leakage air and the sixth is
applying the VDI 4670 procedure in the en-
thalpy calculation of flue gas and combustion
air.
Sensitivity analysis was made for all six mod-
ifications. The impact of the proposed modi-
fications to the boiler efficiency was evaluat-
ed on two real data sets for hard coal and lig-
nite. It is demonstrated that the impacts of
unburned combustibles in ash and slag and
the impact of residual water vapour in the flue
gas sample are the most influential factors in
accurate boiler efficiency determinations re-
garding the above stated modifications. The
impact sign and magnitude in the case of re-
sidual water vapour in the flue gas sample de-
pends on which gas is considered in calcula-
tions, CO
2
or O
2
and the flue-gas sample tem-
perature in the cooler. It is evident that the
impact of CO
2
has the greatest effect.
In two studied cases for hard coal and lignite,
the proposed modifications increase the calcu-
lated boiler eff iciency. If O
2
is used
in the calculation, the average deviation is h
B

< +0.01 %; if CO
2
is used, the deviations in-
crease to h
B
+0.07 %. Deviations of boiler
efficiency are small due to low CO content
and low content of unburned matter in ash and
slag. If the amount of unburned carbon from
fuel would be 1 %, the deviation of boiler
efficiency would be higher than +0.1 %.
The analysis shows that boiler efficiency is
decreased only by including leakage air and
residual water vapour in the flue-gas sample if
O
2
is used in the calculation. All other mod-
ifications increase the boiler efficiency com-
pared to the standard procedure. The overall
impact of all modifications is expected to be
positive. This means that the actual boiler ef-
ficiency is higher than the efficiency calcu-
lated according to DIN 12952-15. The actual
flue gas mass flow leaving the air heater is
also lower up to 2 %.
Acknowledgment
The authors of the article at hand would like
to thank VGB-FORSCHUNGSSTIFTUNG
for supporting this research.
References
[1] DIN 12952-15, Wasserrohrkessel und Anlagen-
komponenten Tiel 15: Abnahmeversuche;
Deutsche Fassung EN 12952-15:2003, Januar
2004.
[2] Sekavcnik, A., Kutrin, I., and Oman, J.: Five
Enhancements to the Standard Indirect Method
for Determining a Steam Boilers Efficiency,
VGB PowerTech, vol. 86, no. 3, 2006, pp. 82-
86.
[3] Senegacnik, A., Kutrin, I., Sekavcnik, M., and
Oman J.: Analysis and Validation of Theoreti-
cal Optimisation Potentials of Steam Boiler Ef-
ficiency Determination by Use of Real Meas-
uring Data VGB FORSCHUNGSSTIFTUNG
research project, Faculty of Mechanical Engi-
neering, Ljubljana, 2008.
[4] VDI 4670 Thermodynamische Stoffwerte von
feuchter Luft und Verbrennungsgasen, VDI
Richtlinien, Oktober 2000.
[5] Brandt, F.: Brennstoffe und Verbrennungsrech-
nung, 3. Auflage, Vulkan-Verlag GmbH, Essen,
1999.
[6] Kutrin I., Oman J., and Senegacnik, A.: The
collection of technical reports on tests of steam
boilers of Slovenia, Faculty of Mechanical
Engineering, Ljubljana, 1993-2008.
List of Symbols
Nomenclature and meanings of symbols
matches the nomenclature in DIN 12952-15
Symbol Unit Description
kg/kg Share of carbon forming CO
2
coal kg/kg Fuel content fuel sample
(by mass)
l
u
Ratio of unburned combusti-
bles to supplied fuel mass
flow
m kg/s Mass flow
Q

kW Heat flow
V m
3
/kg Combustion air and flue gas
volume (per unit mass of fuel)
R
e
l
a
t
i
v
e

c
h
a
n
g
e

o
f

t
h
e

f
l
u
e

g
a
s

l
o
s
s
,

%
Lignite
Hard coal
DIN 12952-15
0.00
-0.02
-0.04
-0.06
-0.08
-0.10
-0.12
-1.14
-1.16
-1.18
-0.20
Figure 7. Impact of VDI 4670 enthalpy calculation in flue gas loss computation.
DIN 12952-15
A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

c
h
a
n
g
e

o
f

b
o
i
l
e
r

e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
c
y
,

%
Hard coal
Lignite
-0.020
-0.010
0.000
0.010
0.020
0.030
0.040
0.050
0.060
0.070
0.080
CO
2
O
2
I
partial oxida.
of C to CO
II
unburned combustibies in fuel
pure carbon linear model
III IV
residual water
in fl. gas sample
V
uncontrolled
cold air leak.
VI
VDI 4670
applied
ALL 1 ALL 2
all cases
simultaneously
O
2
consi-
deration
O
2
consi-
deration
Figure 8. Absolute change of boiler efficiency.
Accurate Analysis of Boiler Efficiency
106 VGB PowerTech 12/2008
m
3
/m
3
Specific volume
kg/kg Flue gas/combustion air com-
ponents by mass

Ad
kg/kg Combustion air content by
mass
m
3
/m
3
Content by volume
Difference
kg/kg Combustion air/flue gas mass
to fuel mass ratio
Air ratio
kg/kg Fuel content actual burned
(by mass)
Subscripts and superscripts
* Measured value
^ Maximum
A Air
Ar Argon
Ash Ash
C Carbon
CO Carbon monoxide
CO
2
Carbon dioxide
d Dry (basis)
F Fuel, burned fuel
FA Flue dust (dry ash)
Fo Fuel supplied
G Flue gas (combustion gas)
H Hydrogen
H
2
O Water
LA Leakage (infiltrated) air / tramp air
N, N
2
Nitrogen
N Useful, effective
Ne Neon
o Stoichiometric
O, O
2
Oxygen
S Sulfur
Sat Saturation
SL Slag
SO
2
Sulfur dioxide
Z Heat input h