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The minimum capacity of any closed vessel, which generates steam under Indian

1.
Boilers Regulation Act, is ___.
a) 2.275 liters b) 22.75 kilo liters
c) 227.5 liters d) 22.75 liters
Steam is preferred medium for heating applications because:
2.
a) high latent heat b) temperature break down is easy
c) does not require any transport facility d) all the above
For higher boiler efficiencies, the feed water is heated by ____.
3.
a. recuperator

b. convective heater

c. super heater d. economiser


The type of firing used for a pulverized coal fired boiler is:
4.
a) over firing b) tangential firing
c) vertical firing d) mixed firing for effective heat transfer
The recommended TDS level in boiler drum, that can be safely maintained for
5.
the water tube boiler is:
a) 3000 3500 ppm b) 2000 ppm
c) 5000 ppm d) It can be anything
An evaporation ratio (steam to fuel ratio) of an efficient oil fired boiler is in
6.
the range of ___.
a) 5 6

b) 13 - 16

c) 1 d) 7 9
Pick the boiler, which can be considered as most combustion efficient?
7.
a) fluidized bed combustion boiler b) Lancashire boiler
c) Stoker fired boiler d) chain grate boiler
The percentage excess air required for pulverised coal fired boiler is:
8.

a) 40 50% b) 15 20%
c) 60 80% d) 30 40%
Name the predominant loss component for furnace oil fed boiler.
9.
a) losses due to radiation and convention b) loss due to hydrogen in fuel
c) loss due to dry flue gas d) loss due to moisture in fuel
Controlled wetting of coal (during the coal preparation) would result in
10.
a) reduction in flue gas exit temperature
b) decrease in the percentage of unburnt carbon
c) improper combustion
d) increase in the fines of coal
A rise in conductivity of boiler feed water indicates ____ .
11.
a. drop in the contamination of feed water
b. greater purity of feed water
c. rise in the contamination of feed water
d. it has got no relation with the contamination of feed water
Demineralisation of water is the process to remove -------12.
a) dissolved oxygen b) dissolved salts c) corbondioxide d) chlorine
The presence of calcium and magnesium bicarbonates in water to steam boiler
13.
would form:
a) acidic solution b) alkaline solution
c) neutral solution d) none of the above
Water treatment for steam boiler is generally required to:
14.
a) remove hydrogen b) prevent formation of scales
c) help improve combustion efficiency d) reduce stack temperature

In a plant, a boiler is generating a saturated steam of 2 tonnes/hour at a


15.
pressure of 7.0 kg/cm2g. The feed water temperature is 70 C and furnace oil
consumption is 138 kg/h. What is the efficiency of the boiler by using direct
method of efficiency evaluation? (Calorific value of FO is 10,000 kCal/kg;
enthalpy of steam is 660 kCal/kg.
a) 65 b) 75 c) 85 d) 95
The indirect method of evaluating boiler efficiency is also called as Heat Loss
16.
method. True or False?
Good opportunity for energy savings from continuous blow down water of
17.
boiler is by ___.
a. reusing the hot water so formed as make up water
b. using the blow down steam to run steam turbine
c. utilisation of flash steam in deaerator
d. none of the above
De-aeration of boiler feed water is referred to as:
18.
a) removal of dissolved gases b) removal of silica
c) removal of scales by blow down d) phosphate treatment of feed water
The percentage raise in boiler efficiency by a 20 degree centigrade raise in
19.
combustion air temperature is ___.
a) 0.1% b) 0.2% c) 10% d) 1%
The elements of ultimate analysis of fuel does not include
20.
a) carbon b) Hydrogen
c) oxygen d) volatile matter

Part - II: Short type questions and answers

1.
What do you understand by water tube boilers and fire tube boilers?

In water tube boilers the water passes through the tubes and the hot gases passes
out side the tubes where as in case of fire tube boiler the hot gases passes
through the tubes and the water passes over the tubes.
What do you mean by IBR steam boiler?
2.
IBR Steam Boilers means any closed vessel exceeding 22.75 liters in capacity and
which is used expressively for generating steam under pressure and includes any
mounting or other fitting attached to such vessel, which is wholly or partly under
pressure when the steam is shut off.
What is the affect of sulphur in coal when used in boiler?
3.
Sulphur will get oxidized to SO2 and fraction of SO3 and will react with water to
form sulphuric acid and this occurs at a temperature called the acid dew point
which normally is about 120 oC. The sulphuric acid so formed corrodes the steel
when it comes in contact with it.
Write a short note on IBR steam pipe.
4.
IBR Steam Pipe means any pipe through which steam passes from a boiler to a
prime mover or other user or both, if pressure at which steam passes through
such pipes exceeds 3.5 kg/cm2 above atmospheric pressure or such pipe exceeds
254 mm in internal diameter and includes in either case any connected fitting of
a steam pipe.
Why boiler blow-down is required?
5.
As the feed water, evaporate into steam, dissolved solids concentrate in the
boiler. Above certain level of concentration, these solids encourage carryover of
water into steam. This leads to scale formation inside the boiler, resulting in
localised over heating and ending finally in tube failure. Hence blow-down is
very much required for boilers.
What are the parameters required to estimate the boiler efficiency by direct
6.
method?
a. Steam flow rate
b. GCV of fuel
c. Fuel flow rate
d. Steam conditions ( pressure and temperature)
e. Feed water temperature

What is the principle of mechanical deaeration (pressure type) of boiler feed


7.
water?
The pressure-type de-aerators operates by allowing steam into the feed water
through a pressure control valve to maintain the desired operating pressure, and
hence temperature at a minimum of 105 C. The steam raises the water
temperature causing the release of O2 and CO2 gases that are then vented from
the system. This type can reduce the oxygen content to 0.005 mg/litre.
What is the effect of boiler loading on boiler efficiency?
8.
The maximum efficiency of the boiler does not occur at full load, but at
about two-thirds of the full load. If the load on the boiler decreases
further, efficiency also tends to decrease.
As the load falls, so does the value of the mass flow rate of the flue gases
through the tubes. This reduction in flow rate for the same heat transfer
area, reduced the exit flue gas temperatures by a small extent, reducing the
sensible heat loss.
Below half load, most combustion appliances need more excess air to burn
the fuel completely. This increases the sensible heat loss.
9.
What are the principle heat losses that occur in a boiler?

The principle heat losses that occur in a boiler are:

Loss of heat due to dry flue gas


Loss of heat due to moisture in fuel and combustion air
Loss of heat due to combustion of hydrogen
Loss of heat due to radiation

Loss of heat due to unburnt fuel


What do you meant by tangential firing with respect to pulverized coal fired
10.
boiler?

The method of firing used for coal firing in pulverized fuel fired boiler is the
tangential firing. In this type of firing four burners are used at the corner to
corner to create a fire ball at the center of the furnace.
What are the disadvantages of direct method of boiler efficiency evaluation
11.
over indirect method?
Direct method

a) Do not give clues to the operator as to why efficiency of system is lower


b) Do not calculate various losses accountable for various efficiency levels
List out the data required for calculation of boiler efficiency using indirect
12.
method.
The data required for calculation of boiler efficiency using indirect method are:

Ultimate analysis of fuel (H2, O2, S, C, moisture content, ash content)


Percentage of Oxygen or CO2 in the flue gas
Flue gas temperature in 0C (Tf)
Ambient temperature in 0C (Ta) & humidity of air in kg/kg of dry air.
GCV of fuel in kcal/kg
Percentage combustible in ash (in case of solid fuels)

GCV of ash in kcal/kg (in case of solid fuels)


Explain the different external water treatment methods.
13.

External treatment is used to remove suspended solids, dissolved solids


(particularly the Calcium and Magnesium ions which is a major cause of scale
formation) and dissolved gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide). The techniques
include:
o

Precipitation processes, in which chemicals are added to precipitate


calcium and magnesium as compounds of low solubility. The limesoda process is typical of this class, but other precipitating agents
such as caustic soda and sodium phosphate can be used when the
composition of the raw water permits.
Ion-exchange progresses, in which the hardness is removed as the
water passes through bed of natural zeolite or synthetic resin and
without the formation of any precipitate. Ion exchange processes can
be used for almost total demineralization if required, as is the case in
large electric power plant boilers.
De-aeration, in which gases are expelled by preheating the water
before entering the boiler system. Water normally contains
approximately 10 mg/1 of dissolved oxygen at ambient temperature
Filtration, to remove suspended solids

What are the salient features of a packaged boiler?


14.
The features of package boilers are:
o
o
o
o

Small combustion space and high heat release rate resulting in


faster evaporation.
Large number of small diameter tubes leading to good convective
heat transfer.
Forced or induced draft systems resulting in good combustion
efficiency.
Number of passes resulting in better overall heat transfer.

Higher thermal efficiency at lower capacity (say below 1 ton) levels


compared with other boilers.
What are the parameters to be monitored for evaluating direct efficiency of
15.
boilers and what is the empirical relation used?

Parameters to be monitored for the calculation of boiler efficiency by direct


method are:

Quantity of steam generated per hour (Q) in kg/hr.


Quantity of fuel used per hour (q) in kg/hr.
The working pressure (in kg/cm2(g)) and superheat temperature (oC), if
any
The temperature of feed water (oC)
Type of fuel and gross calorific value of the fuel (GCV) in kcal/kg of fuel

Boiler efficiency () = :
where, hg Enthalpy of saturated steam in kcal/kg of steam
hf - Enthalpy of feed water in kcal/kg of water
What are the two main classification of a stoker fired boiler?
16.
1. Chain grate or travelling grate stoker
2. Spreader stoker

Calculate the blow down rate for a boiler with an evaporation rate of 3
17.
tons/hr, if the maximum permissible TDS in boiler water is 3000 ppm and with
10 % make up water addition. The feed water TDS is around 300 ppm.
Blow down (%) =
Percentage blow down =
If boiler evaporation rate is 3000 kg/hr then required blow down rate is:
=
Indicate the different methods of efficiency evaluation of Boiler and describe it.
18.

i. Direct Method
ii. Indirect Method
Direct Method:

where
Adsorbed heat = Eout -The energy the feedwater has picked up
Energy Input = Ein - The energy going into the boiler.
Indirect Method:
Most performance testing and commissioning of smaller and medium sized
boilers is done by the indirect method measuring the losses and calculating the
efficiency as
Briefly explain the principle involved in reverse osmosis?
19.
When solutions of differing concentrations are separated by a semi-permeable
membrane, water from less concentrated solution passes through the membrane
to dilute the liquid of high concentration. If the solution of high concentration is
pressurised, the process is reversed and the water from the solution of high

concentration flows to the weaker solution.


What are the various methods available to control the excess air in a boiler?
20.
Various methods are available to control the excess air:

Portable oxygen analysers and draft gauges can be used to make periodic
readings to guide the operator to manually adjust the flow of air for
optimum operation. Excess air reduction up to 20% is feasible.
The most common method is the continuous oxygen analyzer with a local
readout mounted draft gauge, by which the operator can adjust air flow. A
further reduction of 10-15% can be achieved over the previous system.
The same continuous oxygen analyzer can have a remote controlled
pneumatic damper positioner, by which the readouts are available in a
control room. This enables an operator to remotely control a number of
firing systems simultaneously.

Part III: Long type questions and answers


1.
a) What is the benefit of providing Economiser for a boiler?

b) Calculate the fuel oil savings by providing an Economiser for a boiler.


The performance data of the boiler are given as below:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Average quantity of steam generated : 5 T/h


Average flue gas temperature : 315 oC (without economiser)
Average steam generation / kg of fuel oil : 14 kg
Feed water inlet temperature : 110oC
Fuel oil supply rate : 314 kg/h
Flue gas quantity : 17.4 kg/kg of fuel
Gross calorific value of fuel : 10,000 kCal/kg
Rise in feed water temperature by providing economizer: 26 C
Annual operating hours : 8600

a. By providing Economiser the exit flue gas losses can be reduced and hence

the boiler efficiency can be increased.


b.

Quantity of flue gases : 314 x 17.4 = 5463.6 kg/h

Quantity of heat available in flue gas : 5463.6 x0.23 x(315-200)


: 144512 kCal/h

Rise in the feed water temperature : 26 oC.


Heat required for pre-heating the : 5000 x 1 x 26 = 130000 kCal/h
feed water
o
o

Saving in terms of furnace oil : 130000/10000 = 13 kg/h


Annual operating hours : 8600

Annual savings of fuel oil : 8600 x 13 = 111800 kg


Evaluate the option of boiler replacement for the following boiler with a new
2.
boiler of 84% efficiency. The cost of new boiler is Rs 30.00 lakh
o

Data of present boiler:

Average steam generation from the boiler: 5000 kg/h


Fuel used: furnace oil
Enthalpy gained by the steam in boiler: 600 kcal/kg of steam
Cost of furnace oil: Rs 15000 per ton (Rs. 15 per kg)
Gross calorific value of the fuel: 10000 kcal/kg
Annual operating hours of the boiler: 6000 h
Boiler efficiency: 80%

The boiler replacement option can be evaluated by considering the


following

Evaporation rate, kg of steam per kg of fuel


Cost of steam, Rs. Per kg
Annual Cost of steam

Evaporation ratio (kg of steam per kg of fuel) is given by:


=
Cost of steam (Rs. Per kg of steam) is given by:
=
Annual cost of steam, Rs. lakh =
Parameter
Boiler efficiency
Steam generation, kg/h
Gain in steam enthalpy, kcal/kg
Evaporation rate, kg of steam
per kg of fuel
Cost of steam, Rs. Per kg
Annual cost of steam, Rs. lakh

Present
boiler
75
5000
600
12.5

Proposed
boiler
84
5000
600
14

1.2
360

1.071
321.0

Annual cost savings by replacing the boiler = Rs. (360-321) lakh


= Rs. 39 lakh
Investment for the new boiler = Rs. 30 lakh
Simple pay period = (Investment /Annual savings)
= (30/39)
= 0.72 years

= 9.2 months

Describe chain grate and spreader stoker type boiler.


3.
Chain-Grate or Travelling-Grate Stoker Boiler
Coal is fed onto one end of a moving steel grate. As grate moves along the length
of the furnace, the coal burns before dropping off at the end as ash. Some degree
of skill is required, particularly when setting up the grate, air dampers and
baffles, to ensure clean combustion leaving the minimum of unburnt carbon in
the ash.
The coal-feed hopper runs along the entire coal-feed end of the furnace. A coal
grate is used to control the rate at which coal is fed into the furnace by
controlling the thickness of the fuel bed. Coal must be uniform in size as large
lumps will not burn out completely by the time they reach the end of the grate
Spreader Stoker Boiler
Spreader stokers utilize a combination of suspension burning and grate burning.
The coal is continually fed into the furnace above a burning bed of coal. The coal
fines are burned in suspension; the larger particles fall to the grate, where they
are burned in a thin, fast-burning coal bed. This method of firing provides good
flexibility to meet load fluctuations, since ignition is almost instantaneous when
firing rate is increased. Hence, the spreader stoker is favoured over other types
of stokers in many industrial applications.
Explain the reasons for carrying out blow down in a boiler?
4.
Water contains certain percentage of dissolved solids. The percentage of
impurities found in boiler water depends on the untreated feed water quality,
the treatment process used and the boiler operating procedures. As a general
rule, the higher the boiler operating pressure, the greater will be the sensitivity
to impurities. As the feed water materials evaporate into steam, dissolved solids
concentrate in the boiler either in a dissolved or suspended state. Above a
certain level of concentration, these solids encourage foaming and cause
carryover of water into the steam. This leads to scale formation inside the boiler,
resulting in localised overheating and ending finally in tube failure.

It is therefore necessary to control the level of concentration of the solids and this
is achieved by the process of 'blowing down', where a certain volume of water is
blown off and is automatically replaced by feed water - thus maintaining the
optimum level of total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water. Blow down is
necessary to protect the surfaces of the heat exchanger in the boiler.
Write short notes on intermittent blow down and continuous blow down with
5.
respect to boilers.
The intermittent blown down is given by manually operating a valve fitted to
discharge pipe at the lowest point of boiler shell to reduce parameters (TDS or
conductivity, pH, Silica and Phosphates concentration) within prescribed limits
so that steam quality is not likely to be affected. In intermittent blowdown, a
large diameter line is opened for a short period of time, the time being based on a
thumb rule such as once a shift for 2 minutes.
Intermittent blow down requires large short-term increases in the amount of
feed water put into the boiler, and hence may necessitate larger feed water
pumps than if continuous blow down is used. Also, TDS level will be varying,
thereby causing fluctuations of the water level in the boiler due to changes in
steam bubble size and distribution which accompany changes in concentration of
solids. Also substantial amount of heat energy is lost with intermittent blow
down.
Continuous Blowdown:
There is a steady and constant dispatch of small stream of concentrated boiler
water, and replacement by steady and constant inflow of feed water. This ensures
constant TDS and steam purity at given steam load. Once blow down valve is set
for a given conditions, there is no need for regular operator intervention.
Even though large quantities of heat are wasted, opportunity exits for recovering
this heat by blowing into a flash tank and generating flash steam. This flash
steam can be used for pre-heating boiler feed water or for any other purpose.
This type of blow down is common in high-pressure boilers.

Assessment of boilers and thermic fluid heaters


Indirect method of determining boiler efficiency
Methodology
The reference standards for Boiler Testing at Site using the indirect method
are the British Standard, BS 845:1987 and the USA StandardASME PTC-41 Power Test Code Steam Generating Units.
The indirect method is also called the heat loss method. The efficiency can
be calculated by subtracting the heat loss fractions from 100 as follows:
Efficiency of boiler (n) = 100 - (i + ii + iii + iv + v + vi + vii)
Whereby the principle losses that occur in a boiler are loss of heat due to:
i.

Dry flue gas


ii. Evaporation of water formed due to H2 in fuel

iii. Evaporation of moisture in fuel


iv. Moisture present in combustion air
v. Unburnt fuel in fly ash
vi. Unburnt fuel in bottom ash
vii. Radiation and other unaccounted losses
Losses due to moisture in fuel and due to combustion of
hydrogen are dependent on the fuel, and cannot be controlled by design.
The data required for calculation of boiler efficiency using the indirect
method are:

Ultimate analysis of fuel (H2, O2, S, C, moisture content, ash


content)
Percentage of oxygen or CO2 in the flue gas

Flue gas temperature in oC (Tf)


Ambient temperature in oC (Ta) and humidity of air in kg/kg of dry air
GCV of fuel in kcal/kg
Percentage combustible in ash (in case of solid fuels)
GCV of ash in kcal/kg (in case of solid fuels)

A detailed procedure for calculating boiler efficiency using the indirect


method is given below. However, practicing energy managers in industries
usually prefer simpler calculation procedures.
Step 1: Calculate the theoretical air requirement
= [(11.43 x C) + {34.5 x (H2 O2/8)} + (4.32 x S)]/100
kg/kg of fuel
Step 2: Calculate the % excess air supplied (EA)
= O 2% x 100
---------------(21 - O 2%)
Step 3: Calculate actual mass of air supplied/ kg of fuel (AAS)
= {1 + EA/100} x theoretical air
Step 4: Estimate all heat losses
i. Percentage heat loss due to dry flue gas
= m x C p x (T f-T a) x 100
------------------------------GCV of fuel
Where, m = mass of dry flue gas in kg/kg of fuel
m = (mass of dry products of combustion / kg of fuel) + (mass of N2 in
fuel on 1 kg basis ) + (mass of N2 in actual
mass of air we are supplying).

Cp = Specific heat of flue gas (0.23 kcal/kg )


ii. Percentage heat loss due to evaporation of water formed due to H2 in
fuel
= 9 x H 2 {584+C p (T f-T a)} x 100
----------------------------------------GCV of fuel
Where, H2 = percentage of H2 in 1 kg of fuel
Cp = specific heat of superheated steam (0.45 kcal/kg)
iii. Percentage heat loss due to evaporation of moisture present in fuel
= M{584+ C p (T f-T a)} x 100
--------------------------------GCV of fuel
Where, M % moisture in 1kg of fuel
Cp Specific heat of superheated steam (0.45 kcal/kg)
iv. Percentage heat loss due to moisture present in air
= AAS x humidity factor x C p (T f-T a)} x 100
--------------------------------------------------GCV of fuel
Where, Cp Specific heat of superheated steam (0.45 kcal/kg)
v. Percentage heat loss due to unburnt fuel in fly ash
= Total ash collected/kg of fuel burnt x GCV of fly ash x 100
-----------------------------------------------------------------GCV of fuel
vi. Percentage heat loss due to unburnt fuel in bottom ash

= Total ash collected per Kg of fuel burnt x G.C.V of bottom ash x 100
---------------------------------------------------------------------------GCV of fuel
vii. Percentage heat loss due to radiation and other unaccounted loss
The actual radiation and convection losses are difficult to assess because of
particular emissivity of various surfaces, its inclination, airflow patterns
etc. In a relatively small boiler, with a capacity of 10 MW, the radiation and
unaccounted losses could amount to between 1% and 2% of the gross
calorific value of the fuel, while in a 500 MW boiler, values between 0.2%
to 1% are typical. The loss may be assumed appropriately depending on
the surface condition.
Step 5: Calculate boiler efficiency and boiler evaporation ratio
Efficiency of boiler (n) = 100 - (i + ii + iii + iv + v + vi + vii)
Evaporation Ratio = Heat utilised for steam generation/Heat addition to the
steam
Evaporation ratio means kilogram of steam generated per kilogram of fuel
consumed. Typical Examples are:

Coal fired boiler: 6 (i.e. 1 kg of coal can generate 6 kg of steam)


Oil fired boiler: 13 (i.e. 1 kg of oil can generate 13 kg of steam)

However, the evaporation ratio will depend upon type of boiler, calorific
value of the fuel and associated efficiencies.

Example

Step-1: Calculate the theoretical air requirement


= [(11.43 x C) + [{34.5 x (H2 O2/8)} + (4.32 x S)]/100 kg/kg of oil
= [(11.43 x 84) + [{34.5 x (12 1/8)} + (4.32 x 3)]/100 kg/kg of oil
= 13.82 kg of air/kg of oil
Step-2: Calculate the % excess air supplied (EA)
Excess air supplied (EA)
= (O2 x 100)/(21-O2)
= (7 x 100)/(21-7)
= 50%
Step 3: Calculate actual mass of air supplied/ kg of fuel (AAS)
AAS/kg fuel

= [1 + EA/100] x Theo. Air (AAS)


= [1 + 50/100] x 13.82
= 1.5 x 13.82
= 20.74 kg of air/kg of oil

Step 4: Estimate all heat losses


i. Percentage heat loss due to dry flue gas
= m x Cp x (Tf Ta ) x 100
----------------------------

GCV of fuel
m = mass of CO2 + mass of SO2 + mass of N2 + mass of O2
0.84 x 44
0.03x64
20.74x77
m = ----------- + ---------- + ----------- (0.07 x 32)
12
32
100
m = 21.35 kg / kg of oil
21.35 x 0.23 x (220 27)
= ------------------------------- x 100
10200
= 9.29%
A simpler method can also be used:Percentage heat loss due to dry flue
gas
m x Cp x (Tf Ta ) x 100
= -----------------------------GCV of fuel
m (total mass of flue gas)
= mass of actual air supplied + mass of fuel supplied
= 20.19 + 1 = 21.19
= 21.19 x 0.23 x (220-27)
------------------------------- x 100
10200
= 9.22%
ii. Heat loss due to evaporation of water formed due to H2 in fuel
9 x H2 {584+0.45 (Tf Ta )}
= ---------------------------------

GCV of fuel
where H2 = percentage of H2 in fuel
9 x 12 {584+0.45(220-27)}
= -------------------------------10200
= 7.10%
iii. Heat loss due to moisture present in air
AAS x humidity x 0.45 x ((Tf Ta ) x 100
= ------------------------------------------------GCV of fuel
= [20.74 x 0.018 x 0.45 x (220-27) x 100]/10200
= 0.317%
iv. Heat loss due to radiation and other unaccounted losses
For a small boiler it is estimated to be 2%
Step 5: Calculate boiler efficiency and boiler evaporation ratio
Efficiency of boiler (n) = 100 - (i + ii + iii + iv + v + vi + vii)
i. Heat loss due to dry flue gas : 9.29%
ii. Heat loss due to evaporation of water formed due to H2 in fuel: 7.10 %
iii. Heat loss due to moisture present in air : 0.317 %
iv. Heat loss due to radiation and other unaccounted losses : 2%
= 100- [9.29+7.10+0.317+2]
= 100 17.024 = 83% (approximate)
Evaporation Ratio = Heat utilised for steam generation/Heat addition to the
steam

= 10200 x 0.83 / (660-60)


= 14.11 (compared to 13 for a typical oil fired boiler)
Advantages of indirect method

A complete mass and energy balance can be obtained for each


individual stream, which makes it easier to identify options to improve
boiler efficiency

Disadvantages of indirect method

Time consuming

Requires lab facilities for analysis


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Page 1
HEATTRANSFER
Boilercirculationcalculations
Steamgeneratorstudiescanbe
complex.Usetheseguidelinesto
performthemeffectively
VGanapathy,ABCOIndustries,Abilene,Texas
N
aturalcirculationwatertubeandfiretubeboilers
(Figs.1and2)arewidelyusedinthechemicalprocess
industry.Thesearepreferredtoforcedcirculationboilers
(Fig.3)whereacirculationpumpensuresflowofa
steam/watermixturethroughthetubes.Inadditiontobeing
anoperatingexpense,apumpfailurecanhaveserious
consequencesinsuchsystems.Themotiveforcedrivingthe
steam/watermixturethroughthetubes(watertubeboilers)
orovertubes(firetubeboilers)innaturalcirculation
systemsisthedifferenceindensitybetweencoolerwaterin

thedowncomercircuitsandthesteam/watermixtureinthe
risertubes.Thisflowmustbeadequatetocoolthetubesand
preventoverheating.Thisarticleexplainshowcirculation
ratioortheratioofsteam/watermixturetosteamflowmay
beevaluated.
Circulationratio(CR)byitselfdoesnotgiveacomplete
pictureofthecirculationsystem.Naturalcirculationboiling
circuitsareinsuccessfuloperationwithCRsrangingfrom4
to8athighsteampressures(1,500to2,100psig)inlarge
utilityandindustrialboilers.Inwasteheatboilersystems,
CRmayrangefrom15to50atlowsteampressures(1,000
to200psig).CRmustbeusedinconjunctionwithheatflux,
steampressure,tubesize,orientation,roughnessoftubes,
waterquality,etc.,tounderstandtheboilingprocessandits
reliability.Tubefailuresoccurduetoconditionsknownas
departurefromnucleateboiling(DNB)whentheactualheat
fluxintheboilingcircuitexceedsacriticalvalueknownas
criticalheatfluxafunctionofthevariablesmentioned
above.Whenthisoccurs,therateofbubbleformationisso
highcomparedtotherateatwhichtheyarecarriedawayby
themixturethatthetubeisnotcooledproperly,resultingin
overheatingandfailure.
Circulationprocess.Fig.1showsatypicalwatertube,
naturalcirculationwasteheatboilerwithanexternalsteam
drumandexternaldowncomersandriserpipes.Feedwater
entersthedrumfromaneconomizeror
Steam
Fig.1.Schematicofawatertubeboiler.
deaerator.Thismixeswiththesteam/watermixtureinside
thedrum.Downcomerscarrytheresultantcoolwatertothe
bottomoftheevaporatortubeswhileexternalriserscarry
thewater/steammixturetothesteamdrum.Theheat
transfertubesalsoactasrisersgeneratingsteam.
Thequantityofmixtureflowingthroughthesystemis
determinedbycalculatingtheCR.Thisisatrialanderror
procedureandisquiteinvolvedwhentherearemultiple
pathsfordowncomers,risersandevaporatorcircuits.Each

boilingcircuithasitsownCRdependingonthesteam
generatedandsystemresistance.Onecansplitupany
evaporatorintovariousparallelpaths,eachwithitsown
steamgenerationandCR.Splittingupisdonebasedon
judgmentandexperience.Aparticularcircuitmaybe
examinedindetailiftheprocessengineerfeelsthatitoffers
moreresistancetocirculationorifitisexposedtohighheat
fluxconditions.Severallowheatfluxcircuitscanbe
clubbedintoonecircuittoreducecomputingtime.Hence,
anaverageCRfortheentiresystemdoesnotgivethe
completepicture.
Circulationratio.CRisdefinedastheratioofthemassof
steam/watermixturetosteamgeneration.Themassofthe
mixtureflowinginthesystemisdeterminedbybalancing
thethermalheadavailablewithvarioussystemlosses,
including:
Frictionandotherlossesinthedowncomerpiping,
includingbends
Twophasefriction,accelerationandgravitylossesin
theheatedrisertubes
Continued
HYDROCARBONPROCESSING/JANUARY1998
101
Page 2
Frictionandotherlossesintheexternalriser
pipingGravitylossintheriserpiping
Lossesindruminternals.
COMPUTINGTHEVARIOUSLOSSES
Totalthermalhead.
Thetotalthermalheadavailable
inpsi=H/vl/144
where
H
isthethermalhead,ft
(Fig.1)v
l
isthespecificvolumeof

water,ft
3
/lb
Downcomerlosses.
Lettheaverage
CRforthesystem=CRandthetotal
steamgeneration=W
S
lb/hr.
Thetotalmixtureflowingthroughthesystem=
W
S
xCR
Lettheeffectivelength(includingbends)ofthe
downcomerpipinginft=
Le
Thefrictionalpressuredrop,psi=3.36
X
10
s
xf
Le
vi(W
d
)
2
/di
5
(Here,itisassumedthattheaverageflowin
eachdowncomerpipeisW
d
).
di
istheinner
diameterofthedowncomerpipeininches.
fis
the
frictionfactor.Ifthereareseveralparallelpathsor

seriesparallelpaths,thentheflowandpressure
dropineachpathisdeterminedusingelectrical
analogy.Thiscalculationmayrequireacomputer.
Inadditiontothefrictionaldrop,theinlet(0.5
x
velocityhead)andexitlosses(1
X
velocityhead)
mustbecomputed.Sometimesthepipeinner
diameterislargerthantheinnerdiameterofthe
nozzleattheends,inwhichcasethehigher
velocityatthenozzlesmustbeusedtocompute
theinlet/exitlosses.VelocityVinft/s=0.05Wd
v
l
/die
andvelocityhead,psi=V
2
/2gv
l
/144.
Heatedriserlosses.
Theboilingheightmustfirstbe
determined.Thisistheverticaldistancethe
mixturetravelsbeforetheboilingprocessbegins.It
canbeshownbycalculationthatthemixture's
enthalpyenteringtheevaporatorsectionisusually
lessthanthatofsaturatedliquid.
Thefollowingistheenergybalancearoundthe
steam
Fig.3.Aforcedcirculationsystemshowingmultiplestreams
toreducepressuredrop.
Steamdrum,asinFig.1:
Wm
h+W
f
h
f

=W
m
h
m
+W
s
h
Wm
=mixtureflowingthroughthe
system,lb/hr=Ws
xCR
hv,hm,hf,
and
h
aretheenthalpiesofsaturated
steammixtureleavingthedrum,feedwaterentering
thedrumandmixtureleavingthedrum,Btu/lb.
h=(hv/CR)+(11/CR)hl
wherehv,
h
j
=enthalpiesofsaturatedvaporand
liquid,Btu/lb.
Fromtheabove,hmissolvedfor.Theboiling
heightorthedistancethemixturetravelsbefore
boilingstarts,
H
b
,
isdeterminedfrom:
H
b
=He
X
W
S
X
CR

X
(h
l
hm)/Qs
where
He
=heightofevaporator
tubes,ft
(Forconservativecalculations,
H
b
maybe
assumedtobezero.)
Therearebasicallythreelossesinboiling
evaporatortubes:
Frictionloss.
pf=4
X
10
10
v
lX
fL
X
Gi
2
X
r3/di
whereGi=mixturemassvelocityinsidetubes,
lb/ft
2
hr
f=
fanningfriction
factor
L=
effective
length,ft

di=tubeinnerdiameter,in.
r3=Thom'smultiplicationfactorfortwo
phasefrictionloss(Fig.4a).
Gravitylossintubes.
P
g
=0.00695
(H
e
H
b
)
r4/v
1
Thom'smultiplicationfactorforgravityloss,r4is
showninFig.4c.
2
HYDROCARBONPROCESSING/JANUARY1998
Page 3
Fig.4.Thom'stwophasemultiplicationfactorsfor:a)friction
loss,b)accelerationloss,andc)gravityloss.
Accelerationloss.p
Q
=1.664x10
11
x
vlXGi
2
xr2
wherer2,Thom'smultiplicationfactor,isshowninFig.4b.
Externalriserlosses.Thesearesimilartothedowncomer
lossesexceptthatthespecificvolumeisthatofthemixture
andnotsaturatedliquid.Mixturespecificvolumev,,ft
3
/lb,is
computedas:
v

m
=v
s
/CR+(11/CR)v
l
Risergravityloss.
p,=(HHe)1vm/144
wherevmisthespecificvolumeofthemixture.Lossesin
druminternals.Theseusuallyconsistoflossesinthebaffles
andcyclonesifusedandrangefrom0.2to1psi.
Totallossesarecalculatedandbalancedagainstthe
thermalheadavailable.Iftheybalance,theCRassumedis
correct,otherwise,theiterationisrepeatedbyassuming
anotherCRuntilthelossesbalancewiththeheadavailable.
Whenthereareseveralboilingcircuits,onecansplitupthe
totalsteamflowbasedonsteamgenerationineachcircuit
untilthelossesbalance.Asimplemanualprocedureisto
computelossesinthecircuitsasafunctionofflowandsee
whereitintersectstheavailableheadline,Fig.5.Sincethe
availableheadandpressuredropsintheriserand
downcomersystemaresameforalltheevapo
HYDROCARBONPROCESSING/JANUARY1998
3
Page 4
Table1:Boilerdataforcirculationstudy
Rows
Surface,Fins/inxheight
xthickness
2
Duty,
MMBtu/hr
Steam
flow,
Gas
temp,
Heatflux,

Btu/ft
2
hr
14
691bare
11.5
11,500
1,650
20,500
57
2,9672.5x0.75x0.075
27.1
27,000
1,500
83,000
820
20,2164.5x.75x.05
39.0
39,000
1,130
58,000
Riser
s:
3.8in.,8ftlong,2bends
Downcomers:2.6in.,24ftlong,
2
bends
8in.,12ftlong,4bends
6in.,26ftlong,
3
bends
8in.,8ftlong,2bends
Steampressure=645psia.Totalhead=18ft.Druminternalloss0.3psi.
EvaporatortubeID=1.738in
length=11ft.
ratorcircuits,thisgraphicalmethodissometimes

used,althoughitistedious.Ifthedowncomeror
externalriserpipingconsistsofseveralparallelor
parallelseriespaths,theelectricalanalogyisusedto
determineflowandpressuredropineachcircuit.A
computerprogrambesthandlesthisproblem.
EXAMPLECALCULATION
Fig.1isawasteheatboileroperatingunderthe
followingconditions:
Gasflow=200,000lb/hr
Gasinlettemperature=1,650F(vol%C0
2
=7,
H
2
O=18,N
2
=69,0
2
=6)
Steampressure=500psia
Feedwatertemperature=230F
Thetotalsteamgeneratedis63,5001b/hr.The
firstfourrowsarebare,followedbysixfinnedtubes
andthen10morewithhigherfindensity.Detailsof
downcomers,riserpipesandotherpertinent
informationareinTable1.
Determinethesystem'scirculationratioandthe
flowineachpipecircuit.Notethattheboilerdesign
calculationsmustbedonebeforecirculationstudies
canbetakenup.Also,onemusthaveagoodfeelfor
thedowncomerandriserpipesizesandtheirlayout.
Oftenpipinglayoutischangedatthelastmomentto
accommodateotherequipmentintheplantwithout
reevaluatingcirculation.Acomputerprogramwas
developedtoperformthisanalysis.Theevaporator
4
HYDROCARBON

PROCESSING
/
JANUARY
1998
Forwatertubeboilers,heatflux,q=U
o
x
(t
g
ts)
x
A
t
/A
i,
WhereU
o
=overalloutsideheattransfer
coefficient,Btu/ft
2
hrF
t
g
,
i
s
aregasandsteamtemperatures,F
A
t
,Aiarethetubeoutsideandinsidesurfaceareas,
ft
2
/ft.Thisratioisforbaretubes,whileforfinnedtubesit
couldbehigh,say5to12.Hence,onemustbecareful
whileanalyzingfinnedtubebundles,astheheatfluxcan
beveryhighinsidethetubes.
Infiretubeboilers,q=U
o

x
(t
g
ts)
Basedonpreliminaryanalyses,theCRineachcircuit
andoverallbasisseemstobereasonable.Themaximum
heatfluxattheinlettoeachsectionisinTable1.Corre
lationsareavailableintheliteratureforallowableheatflux
asafunctionofpressure,qualityandtubesize,etc.These
aremostlybasedonexperimentaldataconductedin
laboratoriesandareoftenusedforguidanceonly.The
actualpermissibleheatfluxesaremuchlowerandare
basedonindustryexperienceandcouldbe10%to30%of
thevaluesgivenincorrelationsinhandbooks.
Verticaltubescanhandlemuchhigherheatfluxesthan
horizontaltubes,upto40%to50%more.Limitsof
120,000to175,000Btu/ft
2
hrinsidetubesarepermittedat
pressuresrangingfrom1,000to2,000psig,whileinfire
tubeboilersthelimitisaround100,000Btu/ft
2
hr.The
higherthesteampressure,thelowertheallowableheat
flux.Similarly,thehigherthesteamquality(lowerCR),the
lowertheallowableheatflux.AstheCRincreases,the
qualitydecreasesandhigherfluxesarepermissible.With
higherflow,thetubeperipheryiswettedbetterandis
consideredsafer.
Anotherapproachthatiswidelyusedisthecomparison
betweenallowablesteamqualityandactualsteamquality.
Fig.6showsaradiantboilerfurnace,wherethesteam
quality,x,(x=1/CR)isplottedagainsttheheight.Basedon
heatfluxdistributionalongtheheight,theallowablequality
iscalculatedusingacorrelationsimilartothatshown
below.Theallowableandactualsteamqualitiesshouldbe
apartinordertoavoidDNBproblems.Thistypeof
analysisissimilartothatusingallowableandactualheat

fluxes.
TheMcBethcorrelationshownbelowshowstherela
tionamongthevariablesinvolvedinboilinginsidevertical
tubes:
1
q,=0.00633
x10
6
xhfgd
i
0.1
(Gi/10
6
)
0.51
x(1x)
whereq,=criticalheatflux,Btu/ft
2
hr
hfg=latentheatofsteam,Btu/lb
streamsorpathsforevaluating
circulation,eventhoughtheprogram
cananalyzemorecircuits.Results
areshowninTable2.
Analysisofresults.
Boilerheat
transfercalculationshavetobe
donebeforeacirculationstudycan
beundertaken.Themaximumsteam
generation
case
is
usually
evaluated.
The
heattransfer
calculations
give

the
steam
generation,heatfluxandgas
temperaturesineachsection.Inwatertubeboilers,the
heatfluxinsidethetubesiscomputed,whileinfire
tubeboilerstheheatfluxoutsidethetubesisimportant.
Page 5
x=steamquality,fraction(x=1/CR)
GiGi=massvelocitylb/ft
2
hr
di=tubeinnerdiameter,in.
Forexample,thecriticalheatfluxatasteam
pressureof1,000psi(latentheat=650Btu/lb),di=
1.5in.,Gi=600,000lb/ft
2
hrandx=0.2is:
qa=0.00633x10
6
x650x1.5
0.1
x0.6
51
(10.2)
=2.43x10
6
Btu/ft
2
hr.
Asdiscussedearlier,theaboveequationmaybe
usedtostudytheeffectofvariousvariablesinvolved
andnotfordeterminingcriticalheatflux.Actual
allowablecriticalheatfluxesaremuchloweronthe
orderof10%to30%oftheabovevalue.
Firetubeboilers.Asimilarproceduremaybeadopted
forfiretubeboilers,Fig.2.Thefrictionallossesinthe
evaporatorsectionareusuallysmall.Theheatfluxatthe

tubesheetinletishighandmustbeconsidered.CR
rangesfrom15to30duetothelowsteampressures
comparedtowatertubeboilers.Generally,thereisonly
oneevaporatorcircuit.Thecorrelationforallowableheat
fluxbyMotsinkiis:
1
qc=803P
c
x(P
s
/P
e
)
0.35
x(1P
s
/P
c
)
0.9
WhereP
S
andP
c
aresteampressureandcritical
pressureofsteam,psia.At400psia,q
c
=803x3,208x
(400/3,208)
0.35
x(1400/3,208)
0
.
9
=1.1x10
6
Btu/ft
2

hr.
Asmentionedearlier,theactualallowablefluxwould
be10%to30%ofthisvalue.
Forcedcirculationboilers.Inforcedcirculationsys
tems,thelossesaredeterminedasindicatedabove.
However,theavailableheadisgenerallytoosmall,soa
circulatingpumpisadded(Fig.3)toensuredesiredCR.
TheCRmaybeselectedunlikeinanaturalcirculation
system,whereitisarrivedatthroughaniterativepro
cess.Iftheevaporatorcircuitsareofdifferentlengths
thenorificesmayalsobeaddedinsidetubestoensure
flowstability.CRcouldrangefrom2to6insuchsys
temstoreduceoperatingcosts.
Pumpreliabilityisamust.IngasturbineHRSGsthat
usehorizontaltubes,thepressuredropinsidetubesis
quitehighcomparedtoverticaltubesusedinnaturalcirculation
boilers.Toreducethepressuredrop,multiplestreamscouldbe
consideredasshownorthepumpmaybeeliminatedby
locatingthedrumsufficientlyhigh,resultinginanatural
circulationsystem.Finalthoughts.Circulationstudiesare
complexandpreferablydoneusingacomputer.The
analysisofresultsrequiresexperienceandisgenerally
basedonfeedbackfromoperationofsimilarboilersin
thefield.SpecifyingaminimumCRforaboilerisnotthe
rightapproachsinceCRvarieswithdifferentcircuits.
Onehastoreviewtheheatfluxesandsteamqualityat
variouspointsinthesystemtoseeiftherecouldbe
problems.Someevaporatorcircuitscouldbemore
criticalthanothersandrequirecarefulanalysis.For
example,Fig.7showsthefrontwallofapackagedwater
tubeboilerwithcompletelywatercooledfurnacedesign.
Thiswallhasbasicallytwoparallelflowsystems
betweenthebottommuddrumandthesteamdrum,
namelythetubesthatconnectthebottomheadertothe
topheaderandtheheaderitself,whichhasanLshape.
Flowcalculationsweredoneandorificeswereusedto
ensureproperflowdistributioninalltheheatedcircuits.

LITERATURECITED
1
Ganapathy,V,Steamplantcalculationsmanual,2nd
edition,MarcelDekker,NewYork,1994.
2Thom,J.R.S.,"Predictionofpressuredropduring
forcedcirculationboilingofwater,"InternationalJournalof
HeatTransferNo.7,1964.
3.Roshenow,W,andJ.P.Hartnett,Handbookofheat
transfer,McGrawHill,1972.
Theauthor:V.Ganapathyisaheattransfer
specialistwithABCOIndustriesInc.,Abilene,
Texas.Heisengagedintheengineeringofheat
recoveryboilersforprocess,incinerationand
cogenerationapplicationsandpackagedwater
tubesteamgenerators.Healsodevelops
softwareforengineeringofheatrecovery
systemsandcomponents.HeholdsaBTech
degreeinmechanical
engineeringfromIndianInstituteofTechnology,Madras,
India,andanMSc(eng)inboilertechnologyfromMadras
University.Mr.Ganapathyistheauthorofover175articles
onboilers,heattransferandsteamplantsystemsandhas
writtenfivebooks:AppliedHeatTransfer,SteamPlant
CalculationsManual,NomogramsforSteamGeneration
andUtilization,BasicProgramsforSteamPlantEngineers
(bookanddiskette),andWasteHeatBoilerDeskbook,
copiesofwhichareavailablefromhim.Healsohas
contributedseveralchapterstotheEncyclopediaof
ChemicalProcessingandDesigns,Vols.25and26,Marcel
Dekker,NewYork.
Fig.6.Actualvs.allowablequalityandheatfluxvariationwith
furnaceheight.