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The Babcock & Wilcox Company

Power for driving auxiliaries


Modern practice in central stations generally calls
for electric motor drives for rotating auxiliaries such
as pumps, fans, pulverizers and crushers (although
the boiler feed pump is usually turbine driven). The
convenience and cost of the electrical drive substantiate this preference. The available plant voltage levels can determine the maximum motor size and may
impact the number of forced draft and/or induced draft
fans required.
Guarantees
It is common practice to obtain performance guarantees from component suppliers to provide a means
to evaluate offerings and to validate the actual performance of the unit during operation.
The boiler manufacturer is usually requested to provide the following guarantees, depending on the arrangement, type of fuel and type of boiler.
1. For a given load point and fuel:
a. efficiency,
b. superheater steam temperature,
c. reheater steam temperature,
d. pressure drop from feedwater inlet to superheater outlet and from reheater inlet to
reheater outlet,
f. solids in steam (for drum boilers),
g. auxiliary power consumption (fans, pulverizers
and drives), and
h. air heater leakage.
2. Unit maximum capacity (which is often greater
than the turbine maximum capacity).
3. Superheater and reheater temperature control
ranges.
4. Pulverizer capacity and fineness (where applicable).
5. NOx and other emissions depending on project requirements.

Pulverized coal firing


The size of large pulverized coal-fired boilers and
turbine-generators has peaked at 1300 MW. The
equipment can be designed to burn practically any bituminous coal, subbituminous coal or lignite commercially available. Anthracite can be successfully burned
in pulverized form, but requires a specialized boiler
arrangement. While the special attention and additional expenses associated with plants designed for
this fuel preclude its use in North America, anthracite is used today in parts of China, Vietnam and
Europe.
The overall aspects of pulverized coal firing, as applied to boiler units, are as follows:
1. is suitable for almost any coal mined throughout
the world,
2. is economically suitable for a very wide range of
boiler capacities,
3. provides wide flexibility in operation and high
thermal efficiency,
4. must have proper coal preparation and handling
equipment, including moisture removal,

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5. must have proper means of handling the ash


refuse, and
6. must have controls for atmospheric emissions arising from elements in the coal and from the combustion process.

Babcock & Wilcox pulverized coal-fired


boiler types for electric power
Prior chapters provide information on steam generation and power plant design and include fundamentals that are applied by designers and manufacturers worldwide. In particular, Chapter 19 discusses
general boiler design, while Chapters 13 and 14 address the preparation and combustion of pulverized coal.
This chapter concentrates on The Babcock & Wilcox
Company (B&W) design philosophy which integrates
these technologies into large reheat steam generators for
electric power generation.
B&W has a broad base of experience that can be
applied to most owner needs. B&Ws basic design philosophy focuses on the key operating issues of availability and reliability, and on incorporating technology advances into each new unit design. Examples of
the companys strengths include rapid startup and load
shedding features, extended control ranges for superheater and reheater outlet temperatures, and experience in burning a wide variety of coals.

Supercritical (once-through) boilers


The B&W boiler for supercritical applications is the
Universal Pressure (UP) boiler. Originally designed
for both supercritical and subcritical applications, this
design is now used for supercritical applications; the
drum boiler is used for subcritical applications. The
supercritical application is usually applied to systems
with a capacity of 300 MW or larger due to steam turbine considerations.
The original UP boiler design dates back to the mid1950s when the 125 MW advanced supercritical boiler
was provided for American Electric Powers Philo station. This pioneering boiler/turbine system, with advanced steam conditions of 4500 psi/1150F/1050F/
1000F (31 MPa/621C/566C/538C), was the first
supercritical system. The boiler design rapidly evolved
to units as large as 1300 MW in the late 1960s. These
boilers, nine of which are in operation, are among the
largest capacity fossil fuel boilers in the world.
In modern units, the furnace is completely fluidcooled, designed for balanced draft operation, and usually features dry ash removal. Superheater and
reheater components are of the vertical pendant and/
or horizontal design. Superheat temperature is controlled by the firing rate to feedwater flow ratio with
typically one or more stages of attemperation for transient control. Reheat temperature control is by gas proportioning dampers.
Range in capacity, steam output from 2,000,000
lb/h (252 kg/s) steam output to more than
10,000,000 lb/h (1260 kg/s).

Steam 41 / Fossil Fuel Boilers for Electric Power

The Babcock & Wilcox Company


Operating pressure usually at 3500 psi (24.1
MPa) throttle pressure with 5% overpressure;
higher pressures available.
Superheater steam temperatures as required,
usually 1050F (566C).
The principle of operation is that of the oncethrough or Benson cycle. The water, pumped into the
unit as a subcooled liquid, passes sequentially
through all the pressure part heating surfaces where
it is converted to superheated steam as it absorbs heat;
it leaves as steam at the desired temperature. There
is no recirculation of water within the unit and, for
this reason, a conventional drum is not required to
separate water from steam.
The furnace is completely fluid-cooled and is usually designed for balanced draft operation. Heat transfer surface for single or two-stage reheat may be incorporated in the design. (See Chapter 2.)
Firing rate, feedwater flow, and turbine throttle
valves are coordinated to control steam flow, pressure,
and superheater steam temperature. Reheater steam
temperature is controlled by gas proportioning dampers at the outlet of the steam and water heating surfaces.
The UP boiler is designed to maintain a minimum
flow inside the furnace circuits to prevent furnace tube
overheating during all operating conditions. This flow
must be established before boiler startup. A startup
system (boiler bypass), integral with the boiler, turbine, condensate and feedwater system, is provided.
This system assures that the minimum design flow is
maintained through pressure parts that are exposed
to high temperature combustion gases during the
startup operations and at other times when the required minimum flow exceeds the turbine steam demand. (See Chapter 19.)
Two types of UP boilers are available. The original
design (UP) features the vertical tube furnace arrangement with high mass flux within the furnace
tubes. This boiler is designed for load cycling and base
load operation; fluid pressure in the furnace is at
supercritical pressure at all loads. More recently, there
has been demand for supercritical boilers capable of
variable pressure operation and on-off cycling, as well
as load cycling and base load operation. This boiler is
the SWUP, or spiral wound tube geometry UP boiler.

Spiral wound UP boiler variable pressure


operation with pulverized coal
The steam generating unit shown in Fig. 4 is a balanced draft coal-fired B&W Spiral Wound Universal
Pressure (SWUP) boiler, comprising a water-cooled
dry-bottom furnace, superheater, reheater, economizer, and air heater components. The unit is designed
to fire coal usually pulverized to a fineness of at least
70% through a 200 mesh (75 micron) screen. The
B&W SWUP unit is designed for both base load and
variable pressure load cycling operation as well as onoff cycling operation.
The unique feature of this boiler, compared to other
boilers, is that the tubes in the furnace, from the lower
furnace inlet headers to a location near the furnace
Steam 41 / Fossil Fuel Boilers for Electric Power

arch, are wound around the furnace circumference


rather than being vertical (see Fig. 5). With this arrangement, each tube in the furnace passes through
similar heat absorbing areas so that the heat absorption from tube to tube is reasonably uniform. In addition, because the tubes are at an angle (typically 10
to 25 degrees from horizontal), the number of individual flow paths is reduced, compared to a vertical
tube geometry. A high mass flux within the tube is
obtained to maintain nucleate boiling during subcritical operation (Chapter 5).
Therefore, the water introduced from the economizer piping is heated at essentially the same rate to
the same temperature, minimizing thermal upsets
which restrain rapid load change. The capability of
this design to operate at variable pressure is further
enhanced by using a startup and bypass system specifically designed for rapid load change. (See Chapter 19.)
Fuel flow Raw coal is discharged from the feeders
to the pulverizers. Pulverized coal is transported by
the primary air to the burners through a system of
pressurized fuel and air piping. The burners are located on the furnace walls with opposed firing (burners on the front and rear walls).
Air and gas flow Air from the forced draft fans is
heated in the air heaters, then routed to the windbox
where it is distributed to the burners as secondary air.
In the arrangement shown in Fig. 4, high pressure
fans provide air from the atmosphere to a separate
section of the air heater known as the primary section. A portion of the air from the primary fans is
passed unheated around the primary air heater as
tempering primary air. Controlled quantities of preheated and tempering primary air are mixed before
entering each pulverizer to obtain the desired pulverizer fuel-air mixture outlet temperature. The primary
air is used for drying and transporting fuel from the
pulverizer through the burners to the furnace.
Hot flue gas from the furnace passes successively
across the finishing banks of the superheater and
reheater. Before exiting the boiler, the gas stream is
divided into two parallel paths, one gas stream passing over a portion of the reheater and the other stream
passing over a portion of the superheater. Proportioning the gas flow between these two paths as unit load
changes provides a tool for reheat steam temperature
control. The flow quantities are adjusted by a set of
dampers at the boiler exit. A controlled amount of gas
passes over a portion of the reheater to obtain the
reheater steam temperature set point, and the remaining gas travels a parallel path across the superheater
surface. Attemperators are provided in the reheater
and superheater systems. The reheater attemperator
is used during transient loads and upset conditions,
with reheater spray quantities held to a minimum to
maximize cycle efficiency. The superheat attemperator
spray is used to help control main steam temperatures
during transient operation. This arrangement of convection surface and damper system provides extended
capability to obtain design steam temperatures in the
superheater and reheater over a broad load range.
The gases leaving the superheater and reheater sections of the convection pass cross the economizer, pass

26-7

The Babcock & Wilcox Company


to the air heater(s) and then travel to the appropriate
environmental control equipment. In areas where
tight NOx emissions requirements have been established and post-combustion control is needed, selective
catalytic reduction (SCR) NOx removal systems are frequently installed between the economizer and air
heater (see Chapter 34).
Water and steam flow Feedwater (Fig. 6) enters the
bottom header of the economizer and passes upward
through the economizer tube bank into support tubing located between tube rows of the primary superheater. The heated feedwater is collected in outlet
headers at the top of the unit. It is then piped to the
lower furnace area from which multiple connecting pipes
Final
Superheater

(supplies) are routed to the lower furnace headers.


From the lower furnace wall headers the fluid
passes upward through the spiral furnace tubes to a
transition section located below the furnace arch. From
the transition section the tubes are routed vertically
up the front and side walls and up the rear wall and
furnace arch.
After discharging to the upper furnace wall headers,
all of the fluid is piped to a fluid mix bottle, then to the
front roof header, then through the roof tubes to the rear
roof header. Pipes then convey the fluid to the vertical
steam separators. The vertical steam separators are a
part of the boiler startup system (see Chapter 19).
As illustrated in Fig. 7, steam from the vertical

Final
Reheater
Steam
Separator

Platen
Superheater

Water
Collection
Tank

Intermediate
Superheater

Primary Superheater

Primary Reheater
Economizer
Catalyst

Spiral
Transition
Headers

Overfire
Air Ports

Furnace

Ammonia
Injection
Grid

SCR

Low NOX
Burners

B&W
Roll Wheel
Pulverizers

Air
Heater

Flue Gas
Outlet

Circulation
Pump

Forced Draft
Fan

Steam Coil
Air Heater

Primary Air
Fan

Fig. 4 750 MW once-through spiral wound universal pressure (SWUP) boiler for pulverized coal firing.

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Steam 41 / Fossil Fuel Boilers for Electric Power

The Babcock & Wilcox Company

Front Wall

Rear Wall

Left Side Wall

Right Side Wall

Fig. 5 Typical spiral wound tube arrangement for a 420 MW coal-fired boiler.

steam separator passes to the convection pass enclosure wall lower headers. The fluid flows up through
the wall tubes and the baffle wall and is collected into
the downcomer supplying the primary superheater inlet header. The steam rises through the primary superheater, discharges to its outlet header and flows
through connecting piping equipped with a spray
attemperator. The partially superheated steam then
enters the platen secondary superheater and flows
through the various superheater sections to its outlet
headers. The steam flows through connecting pipes
and the second set of spray attemperators to the finishing portion of the secondary superheater and finally to the outlet header and discharge pipes, which
terminate at points outside of the unit penthouse. The
superheated steam is directed to the high pressure
section of the steam turbine. After partial expansion
in the steam turbine (see Chapter 2), the low pressure
steam is returned to the boiler for reheating.
The low pressure steam is reintroduced to the boiler
at the reheater inlet header (RHSH inlet) and flows
through the reheater tube bank to the reheater outlet header (RHSH outlet). Reheated steam is then
routed to the intermediate pressure and then low pressure sections of the steam turbine-generator set.

Universal Pressure boiler for load cycling


operation with pulverized coal
The steam generating unit shown in Fig. 8 is a balanced draft B&W Universal Pressure coal-fired Carolina-type boiler (UPC), comprising a water-cooled drybottom furnace and superheater, reheater, economizer
Steam 41 / Fossil Fuel Boilers for Electric Power

and air heater components. The unit is designed to fire


coal, usually pulverized to a fineness of at least 70%
through a 200 mesh (75 micron) screen. The B&W UPC
unit is particularly suited for base load duty and constant boiler pressure, load cycling operation.
Fuel flow Raw coal is discharged from the feeders
to the pulverizers, which can be located at the front
or sides of the unit. Pulverized coal is transported by
the primary air to the burners through a system of
pressurized fuel and air piping.
Air and gas flow The air flow arrangement and
routing are similar to that used on the SWUP design
previously discussed.
As indicated in Fig. 8, hot flue gases leaving the furnace pass successively across the fluid-cooled surface
at the top of the furnace (wing walls), the secondary
superheater and the pendant reheater, which are located in the convection pass out of the high radiant
heat transfer zone of the furnace. The gas turns downward (convection pass) and crosses the horizontal primary superheater, horizontal reheater and economizer before passing to the air heaters. In areas where
tight NOx emissions requirements have been established and post-combustion control is needed, SCR
NOx control systems are frequently installed between
the economizer and the air heater (see Chapter 34).
Water and steam flow Feedwater enters the bottom header of the economizer and passes upward
through the economizer to the outlet header. It is then
piped to the lower furnace area from which multiple
connecting pipes (supplies) are routed to the lower
furnace headers.
26-9

The Babcock & Wilcox Company


Mix Bottle

Steam Separator
Roof Tubes

Economizer
Inlet

Economizer

Lower
Furnace
Headers

pletes the furnace tube pass and the fluid exits to the
upper furnace wall headers.
After discharging to the upper furnace wall headers, the fluid is piped to the front roof header, then
through the roof tubes to the rear roof headers where
mixing again takes place. It is then passed through a
pipe distribution system to the convection pass enclosure wall lower headers. The fluid flows up through
the wall tubes and the superheater screen. Pipes then
convey the fluid to a common header and then to the
primary superheater inlet header.
The fluid is collected and partially mixed before entering the primary superheater, then partially mixed
again as it flows from the primary superheater
through connecting piping to the secondary superheater. The furnace pressure control valves and connections to the boiler startup system (Chapter 19) and
the spray attemperator are contained in this connecting piping. The steam flows through connecting piping to the secondary superheater and finally to the
outlet header and discharge pipes, which terminate
at points outside of the unit penthouse. The superheated steam is directed to the high pressure section
of the steam turbine. After partial expansion in the
steam turbine (see Chapter 2), the low pressure steam
is returned to the boiler for reheating.

Advanced supercritical boiler designs


Vertical tube variable pressure boiler While the spiral wound furnace (SWUP) meets todays market
needs for variable pressure operation, B&W is continuing the research and development of advanced
supercritical boiler designs.
The ideal furnace design would have vertical tubes
and be capable of variable pressure operation over the
load range while exhibiting natural circulation flow
characteristics (flow increasing as heat absorption increases), thus protecting the tubes from overheating.
The high mass fluxes required by the ribbed tubes used

Fig. 6 Typical fluid flow for a SWUP boiler.

From the furnace wall headers the fluid is then


passed upward through the first pass of vertical furnace tubes (Fig. 8). A transition section (Fig. 9) is provided some distance below the furnace arch and the
first pass tubes exit the furnace enclosure and connect to headers at this location. The fluid from the
various headers around the furnace circumference is
mixed together in common piping. This equalizes the
temperature of the fluid before it passes down to the
second set of lower furnace inlet headers and flows
upward through the second pass of vertical furnace
tubes. The second pass tubes exit the furnace enclosure at the transition section and connect to another
set of headers. The first and second pass are alternated
around the furnace circumference to maintain uniform wall temperatures.
From the second pass outlet headers, the fluid flows
through mix piping and on to the third pass inlet headers. The third pass furnace tubes form the furnace
enclosure from the transition section to the furnace
roof. In addition, furnace wing walls may be in a parallel flow circuit with the third pass tubes. This com26-10

Steam
Separator

Final
Superheater
Platen
Superheater

Intermediate
Superheater

Primary
Superheater
Primary
Superheater
Inlet

Fig. 7 Typical steam flow for a SWUP boiler.

Steam 41 / Fossil Fuel Boilers for Electric Power

The Babcock & Wilcox Company

Fig. 8 1300 MW Universal Pressure (UPC) boiler for pulverized coal firing.

in the current UP boilers do not provide this characteristic. Instead, a ribbed tube design (Fig. 10) capable
of preserving the desirable departure from nucleate
boiling (DNB) characteristics (Chapter 5) at low mass
fluxes in the high heat flux zones is necessary. The
low mass flux is required to achieve the low dynamic
pressure loss necessary to achieve the self-compensating, natural circulation characteristic. A secondary benefit is a reduction in pressure loss through the boiler so
that the feed pump power is reduced and cycle efficiency
is slightly increased. Research continues in ribbed tube
development and the application of the advanced ribbed
tube designs to the boiler. (See Chapter 19.)
Higher temperature and pressure The supercritical
steam cycle provides an improvement in heat rate (efficiency) as compared to the subcritical steam cycle.
Steam 41 / Fossil Fuel Boilers for Electric Power

Additional gains in efficiency are possible as the cycle


temperature and pressure are further increased. Research continues in tube materials to develop higher
efficiency boiler and turbine systems.

Subcritical (drum) boilers


The B&W boiler for subcritical applications is the
Radiant boiler (RB), so named because the steam generation is by radiant heat transfer to the furnace enclosure tubes. Its components are pre-engineered with
sufficient flexibility to adapt the design to various fuels and a broad range of steam conditions.
In modern units, the furnace is a natural circulation, water-cooled, balanced draft design and usually
features dry ash removal. Superheater and reheater
surfaces are of the vertical pendant and/or horizon26-11

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