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Power Management Institute


S.No Description Page No.

1. Introduction 1

2. Cycle Efficiency 7

3. Boiler Efficiency 17

4. Turbine Efficiency 34

5. Regenerative Feed Heating 48

6. Controllable Parameters 51

7. Summary 60

8. Preliminary Boiler Inspection 68

9. Boiler Test Procedures 78

10. Efficiency Monitoring Log Sheet 89

11. Turbine - Generator Heat Rate 97

12. T/G Heat Rate Considering Steam flow to HPC/IPC Mass 101
Balance and Ejector, Seals Steam Flow

13. Coal and Ash Sampling and Analysis 105

14. Centrifugal Pump Performance 110

15. Liquid & Gas Flow Measurement 125

16. Flow Calculations 139

17. Equipment Performance 148

18. Model Session Plan 159

1. Introduction

India has a massive development programme in which thermal power generation

is expected to continue to play a dominant role. NTPC has absorbed the latest
technology in this field from all over the world and has created a unique- technical
organization which is well on the road to attaining total in-house capability for
engineering and construction of large thermal power stations with 500 MW units
and EHV transmission system both AC & DC.

Having acquired a position of leadership in the Power Section of the country,

NTPC today is poised for making a substantial contribution in the country's power
development programme. NTPC's share of 5000 MW so far has helped a lot in
meeting power requirement of our developing country. NTPC's perspective plan
envisages creation of 13,370 MW capacity at 1.5 super thermal power stations
with associated transmission system. Considering the massive investment
required for such a plan, it is important to give a thought to the returns obtainable
from these stations. In order to get maximum output from given input the units
must run at maximum possible efficiency and should give maximum output.
Power Plant performance analysis at various steps help in improving the power
generation capacity. The points that are mainly responsible for the unit/station
performance are described below :-

1. Planned Maintenance loss.

2. Thermal efficiency factors.
3. Plant load factor.
4. Forced outages.
5. Plant Availability factor.

Plant load factor i.e. energy generated per KW installed has a decline trend and
an increased trend of various losses like forced outages and planned
maintenance loss thus reduces plant availability factor.

Also decline trend of 0.9% in thermal efficiency within last four years are
due to the low plant load factor, increase in number of start up and shut downs
outages pertaining to regenerative system and variation of efficiency control
terminal conditions. Thermal efficiency of the plant has also slight decreasing
trend during the past few years of the designed value of the plant.

Designers of plant and station were not in fact successful in optimizing the
design, the engineers can still aim at obtaining the highest possible thermal
efficiency even if this does not fall short of original intention. Similarly it often pays
to burn a cheap and inferior quality of coal at limited combustion efficiency of
boiler if the cheapness of the fuel out weight the increase in fuel consumption
owing to limited combustion efficiency. This is a very important aspect of Indian
scene as inferior low-grade coal is earmarked for thermal generation. It may not
have been economic to build highest possible thermal efficiency into the plant nor
to burn high-grade coal; the efficiency engineer can still play their role by
optimizing the efficiency control conditions of the plant.

Figures attached highlight the importance of need for efficiency operation of the
generating unit. The cost implication due to small increase in heat rate, oil
consumption, make up water consumption, excess air, condenser vacuum etc.
indicate the urgent need to control these parameters within the design limit. This
would lead to higher operating efficiency and corresponding saving in Cost of

Availability and efficiency has a direct relationship. High availability leads to

higher efficiency but at the same time an efficient unit leads to better availability
due to better combustion control conditions, better fluid dynamic condition and
better heat transfer conditions.

There exist future prospects of increasing our efficiency of thermal generation

from its present maximum. This write up will be useful for the power plant
engineers in improving the overall efficiency of the plant.

2. Cycle Efficiency


Efficiency is a word generally used to indicate the relationship between the input
and output resulting from some activity. It can be loosely applied to almost any
process or organization and is usually assessed by comparing the cost of the
product with its actual value that is, efficient activities will produce goods or
service more cheaply than similar operations carried out less efficiently. Efficiency
in this broad sense could be applied to the electricity supply industry as a whole,
to the administration, organizing and staffing of power stations, and to the work of
individuals in carrying out their daily tasks. To have an efficient organization
manned by efficient personnel is just as important to the power station industry as
to any other, but in addition to this general efficiency, power stations must have
thermally efficient electricity generating plant. This book deals with the thermal
efficiency of generating plant, particularly from the plant operation point of view.
Because the amount of fuel burnt can be expressed in heat units and the amount
of electricity sent out to the transmission system can also be expressed in heat
units, power station thermal efficiency is a simple ratio of the heat equivalent of
the kilowatt hours supplied expressed as a percentage of the heat equivalent of
fuel burnt.

The precise definition of thermal efficiency for power station plant is an

advantage, which few other industries possess. An overall improvement in the
supply, industry's efficiency is expected every year and even a small
improvement can be easily measured and recognized. On the other hand the
efficiency appears to be low, as even the best stations cannot achieve more than
40 percent. It is true that efficiency is only one of several factors, which decide
the cost of electricity. In particular, designers of new stations have to weigh the
alternatives of extra capital expenditure against increase in efficiency and
optimize at the point where increasing capital outlay would no longer bring an

increase in efficiency sufficient to justify the extra capital charges. However, once
a power station is built and is generating electricity, the operators cannot do
anything about the capital charges. The money has been spent and whether the
station is base loaded or standing idle except for peak load, the capital charges
have been incurred and must be met.

If those who designed the station and its plant were not, in fact, successful in
optimizing the design, the operators can still aim at obtaining the highest possible
thermal efficiency even if this does fall short of the original intention. Similarly, it
often pays to burn a cheap but inferior fuel at lower boiler efficiency if the
cheapness of the fuel outweighs the increase in fuel consumption owing to the
lower efficiency. No matter how cheap and difficult the fuel is it should be burnt as
efficiently as possible. Thus, although it may not have been economic to build the
highest possible thermal efficiency into the plant nor to buy 'good' coal, the plant
operator can still play his part by achieving the highest thermal efficiency that
circumstances permit.

The increase in installed Thermal Capacity has necessitated the increase in unit
sizes and parameters as well. The main incentive to go in for bigger and bigger
size of units is that one expects the thermal efficiency to improve with size and
the capital cost and running charges per MW to fall. The increasing trend in
parameters such as pressures and temperatures is because of the reason that
this increases the available energy across the turbine. The available energy is in
the form of heat, which converts into mechanical energy in turbine and electrical
energy in the generator. Other reasons could be:

i. The higher cost of high temperature components is partly offset by a

reduction in number of components per MW.

ii. Losses become proportionately smaller, larger the machine.

iii. High density steam must be associated with large flows to give reasonably
sized HP blades.

The steam temperatures no doubt have increased continuously but the increment
is slow as it is intimately bound up with metallurgical advances.

Conceptual Study of Power Plant Efficiency

Power Plant station can be divided into four component efficiencies; -

- Cycle efficiency

- Turbine efficiency (Turbo-alternator efficiency)

- Boiler efficiency

- Auxiliary Power Efficiency (Works Power)

- Cycle efficiency being the maximum possible that could be obtained from
any particular set of steam condition employed.

- Turbine or turbo-alternator efficiency is the efficiency of turbo-alternator in

converting the energy available in the cycle into electrical energy.

- Boiler efficiency giving effectiveness of combustion and heat transfer

processes to transfer heat of fuel into working fluid.

- Auxiliary power efficiency which depends on the ratio of 'Electricity sent out'
Electricity Produced'. Expressing these efficiencies as fraction and
multiplying them together gives overall station running efficiency.

Efficiency of any plant or equipment is the ratio of output to its input, expressed in
same physical units. Power plant is no exception. The output is the electrical
energy sent out to the grid and input, the heat energy of the fuel fired in boiler.
This is normally termed as overall station efficiency or overall plant efficiency

Overall Station Efficiency = Output of Station

Input to Station X 100

= Energy sent out ( x 860 x 100

khjkhkhjkhjkjhkjkjkjjkjkjkkjkjkjkjkjkj Fuel burnt (Kg) x C.V. of fuel Kcal /Kg.
Where 860 is the conversion factor, which makes both numerator and denomi-
nator in same units.

Also (1 Kwhr = 860 Kcal)

(1 Kwhr = 3600 KJ)

The Power Plant Cycle

Conventional power plants use steam as working fluid. Like all other working
fluids steam also undergoes a cycle, which is known as Rankine cycle. The plot
of this cycle is on a temperature entropy plane.

To constitute this plane consider heating of water at different pressures. Process

1-2 in Figure-5 is sensible heating, 2-3 is latent heating at constant temperature
and 3-4 is a process of superheating which can not be achieved by ordinary
heating process. This will require same form of heat exchanger. At higher
pressures these processes are shown by 1', 2', 3', 4" and I", 2", 3"y 4". The
stages given at 2, 2', 2", correspond 10 beginning of transformation of liquid into
vapour and 3, 3', 3" correspond to the end of transformation. The locit of points
marked as 2, 2', 2" is a liquids line and locit of points marked as 3, 3', 3" is
vaporous line. The T-( diagram so constituted will be as shown in Figure-6. It
can be observed that latent heat goes on reducing with increase in pressure and
becomes zero at critical point '0'. Here it must be remembered that entropy is a
parameter like pressure and -temperature which when multiplied by temperature

gives the energy change in the given entropy change. For example the heat
supplied to water to completely convert into steam in a process AB is given by
shaded area and is equal to T1 x ( 1 - 2).

The Rankline may be split into 4 distinct operations :- (Figure-7)

Water is admitted to the boiler, raised to boiling temperature and then super-
heated (Process F B).

The superheated steam is fed to a steam turbine where it does work on the
blades as it expands (Process BA).

The steam is rejected to the condenser and the resultant condensate is fed bark
to boiler via feed heaters. (Process AF).

The turbine drives a generator, which in turn supplies electricity to the bus bars.




These operations are shown in T - 0 diagram (Figure-7A).

Some of these 4 fundamental operations are quite efficient while others are not.
To understand this statement let us elaborate these paras :-

Para-1 This process takes place in boiler. The boiler has certain losses e.g. loss
of heat through Chimney, by radiation etc. Hence a boiler is not l00o efficient.
The efficiency of boiler is the ratio of output i.e. heat supplied to steam in raising
it's temperature from feed water condition TO superheated condition and input i.e.
the heat energy input to boiler. Thus boiler efficiency is:

Total heat of superheated steam - total heat of feed water x 100

Fuel burnt x Calorific value of fuel (Kcal) /kg.

or mathematically
= S (hB hF) x 100
WxC. V.

Where hg = Enthalpy of S.H. steam (Kcal/Kg) at B.

hF = Enthalpy of feed water (Kcal/Kg) at F.
W = Fuel burnt.

Para-2 This operation takes place in turbine. The turbine has certain fluid
dynamic and mechanical losses. Efficiency of turbine can similarly be expressed
as :

Turbine efficiency :

= Mechanical work output (Kcal) x 100

Heat drop across turbine

= Mechanical work (Kcal)

S (hB-hA)
hB and hA being enthalpies of steam per Kg. and S the steam consuming
in. Kg.

Para-3 The process of heat rejection in condenser which is 50 to 60% of the total
available heat energy makes Rankine Cycle relatively inefficient.

Cycle Efficiency

= Energy available for conversion in work (Kcal) x 100

Energy given as heat in boiler (Kcal)

or mathematically with reference to Figure-5.

S (hB hA) X 100

S (hB hF)

Heat Rejection to the Condenser

A very large proportion (40-60% of total heat) is carried by circulating water.

These three processes are shown in Flgure-8 on T-(D plane. The sensible heat,
latent heat and super heat values are also shown in this diagram. It can be seen
that 'A' in the diagram corresponds to the condition of the steam at turbine exit.
Now since A lies in wet zone it will affect the last rows of moving blades by
causing more erosion damage. The upper limit of % age moisture at 'A' is 12%.
It will be appreciated that if pressure is increased in order to get more heat drop
across the turbine, this will lead to more wetness in exhaust. This calls to for an
improvement in this cycle. An improvement over this cycle is the introduction of
reheating, which consists of heating the steam again in boiler after it has
expanded in High Pressure Cylinder. The concept of reheating is shown
diagrammatically in Figure-8A and B. This enables to increase the pressures
while keeping exhaust wetness in limit.

Para-4 The conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy in generator is
relatively more efficient. The generator has certain in losses e.g. disc, friction
loss, copper loss, iron loss (core loss) etc.

The efficiency of generator is

= Electrical energy sent out (kwhr) x 860 x 100

Mechanical Work (Kcal)

Overall station or plant efficiency = Boiler efficiency x turbine efficiency x

Cycle efficiency x generator efficiency

At this stage it will be worthwhile to introduce following two terms which will be
used quite often in discussion on efficiency aspect.

Overall Turbo-Alternator Efficiency

The overall turbo-alternator efficiency is the ratio of electrical energy sent out to
the heat supplied to steam in boiler.

OTA - Electrical Energy sent out (Kwhr) x 860 X 100

Heat supplied to steam (Kcal) in boiler

It can be readily seen that overall turbo-alternator efficiency is the produced of
turbine cycle and generator efficiencies.

It can thus be concluded that overall station efficiency

Overall station/plant Efficiency = Boiler efficiency x overall turbo

alternator efficiency.

Subsequent Para No. 2 and 3 will be devoted to boiler efficiency and overall
turbo-alternator efficiency respectively as these two constitute the overall
efficiency of a power station.

Heat Rate

Heat rate is more usual way of defining and expressing overall turbo-alternator

HR = Heat added to steam in boiler (Kcal)

Electrical energy sent out (Kwhr)

Unit of heat rate is thus Kcal/Kwhr.

Thus overall turbo-alternator efficiency

OTA = 860 X 100


Similarly overall station efficiency.

OS = 860 X 100
HR of station

Here it is important to note that the station in question is in fact a boiler

associated with a turbine. In case of range stations where steam turbine are fed
by a common bus main from boilers the overall station efficiency should be multi-

plied by an another factor known as RANGE Efficiency Factor. As range stations
are uncommon these days, we will not discuss this factor further in this note.

Cycle Efficiency

The cycle efficiency is the maximum possible efficiency obtainable with the given
cycle conditions. It is the ratio of (output) the heat available for conversion into
work across the turbine to the (input) heat supplied to the working fluid. A large
proportion will be lost to condenser (40 to 60% heat) making the Rankine Cycle
rather inefficient.

S (hB- hA)
Cycle Efficiency =
S (hB hF)

hB = Total heat at boiler stop valve.

hA = Total heat at turbine exit.

hF = Feed water condition

S = Steam flow. (in case of reheat unit).

S (hA1 hA2) + S hA3 hA4)

Cycle Efficiency =
S (hA1 hF) + S (hA3 hA2)

Where h denotes enthalpies at various points in Figure-SA and S, S' Steam flows
in SH and RH respectively.

3. Boiler Efficiency


Theoretical limit of heat engine or turbine efficiency is Carnot efficiency but for
boiler efficiency irrespective of steam condition the limit is 100%. In conventional
power station, boiler efficiency is defined as the heat added to the working fluid
expressed as a percentage of the heat in the fuel being burnt. Boiler efficiency to
the greater extent depends on the skill of designing but there is no fundamental
reason for any difference in efficiency between a high pressure and low-pressure
boiler. Large boilers generally would be expected to be more efficiency
particularly due to design improvements. Here we are listing some of the design
requirement of boilers:

a. Should be able to produce at required parameters over an appreciable

range of loading.

b. Compatible with feed water conditions which change with the turbine load.

c. Capable of following changes in demand for steam without excessive

pressure swing.

d. Reliable.


Dry Flue Gas Loss

This is the heat loss from the b0iler in the dry component of gases to the stack.
The flue gas exit temperature and flue gas mass stack determines the order of
this loss. This loss in a typical example can be of the order of 4.5%.

a. The excess air, which is the quantity of air, required to be fed to the boiler
over the theoretically correct quantity of air needed for. Complete

combustion of fuel, determines the extent of this loss. If too little air is
supplied, the fuel is not completely burnt and if too great quantity of air is
supplied the heat being carried up in the stack in greater quantities than
normal. It must be remembered that nitrogen, which forms 79% of air, is
merely a passenger, required fan power and carries away heat. The %
oxygen at air heater inlet is directly proportional to the excess air quantity
and is used as a guide to combustion conditions. We cannot get rid of
excess air because it is impossible to feed right quantity of air at right time
to the fuel particles in suspension.

b. Air filtration is another factor, which should be controlled to limit this loss.
This factor also affects the performance of EPs and increases fan loading.
Moreover boiler auto-control does not give any allowance to this air, which
is infiltrating from hopper seals, inspection doors and ducts joining.

Wet Flue Gas Loss

This is the loss of heat fro.-n the boiler in the flue gases due to water vapour
which was present initially as moisture in the coal burnt. This heat loss is the
latent heat supplied to evaporate the moisture (with some super-heating also).
Typical order of this loss is 0.5%.

Moisture in Combustion Loss

Coal contains hydrogen, which burns to form water. This loss is the latent heat
removed in flue gases by the water, which is formed by H In a typical example
this loss is of the order of 3.5%.

Carbon in Ash Loss

This loss is due to small amount of carbon, which remains as a residue in the ash
from boiler. The loss is a function of % ash in fuel and % carbon in ash from
boiler. The fineness of p.f. Influence this loss. A typical order of this loss is 1%.
Here it is important to note that p.f. Fineness also affects the excess air

Radiation and Unaccounted Losses

No measurement of this loss of heat from boiler is possible except that by some
empirical methods. Typical value is of the order of 1%.

Boiler efficiency is measured by loss method i.e.

Boiler efficiency = 100-% age losses.

= 100 - (dry flue gas loss + Wet flue gas loss + Moisture from
combustion loss + Carbon in ash loss + Radiation

In above typical example

= 100 - (4.5 + 0.5 + 3.5 + 1.0 + 1.0) = 89.5%

It is important to note that incomplete combustion hence formation of CO is a big

loss as can be seen from the following statement

1 Kg C burns and produces CO = Heat released 435 Btu (1088 Kcal). 1

1 Kg C burns and produces CO, = Heat released 1459 Btu (3650 Kcal).

Operational Factors

The losses over which the operator can exert a control are dry flue gas loss,
carbon in ash loss and incomplete combustion (combustible in gas loss).

a. Dry flue gas loss - % excess air and gas temperature at air heater outlet.

b. Carbon in Ash loss - % excess air and p.f. Fineness.

c. Combustible in gas loss - excess air.

The boiler operation should be aimed at reducing the sum of above losses. The
final gas temperature should be above flue gas dew point. It is important to
remember that dew point for water vapour is not 100C but lower than this,
because of partial pressure. Most coal-fired boilers have specified air heater gas

outlet temperature of the order of 130C being the minimum practical
temperature, which is consistent with minimizing air heater corrosion. A high air
heater gas outlet, temperature reduces boiler efficiency drastically. (A 22C rise in
air heater gas outlet temperature reduces boiler efficiency by 1%).

Boiler operation should be aimed at minimizing the causes of high gas exit
temperature, which could be due to

- Lack of soot blowing.

- Deposits on boiler heat transfer surface.

- High excess air.

- Low final feed temperature.

- Higher type of burner (+ve lift of burner angle) at low load.

- Incorrect S/Air to P/Air ratio.


Three Combustion Reactions Involving Carbon are

C + 0^ > CO2 (i)

2C + O2 >- 2CO (ii)

2CO + 02>2CO^ (iii)

In case Wts of each element is taken in grams equation No. (i) :-

12+32 > CO2 44 + (Heat 407 KJ released) OR

1 + 32 ------> 44 + 33.92 KJ
12 12

Similarly equation (ii) :-

1 gm C + 1.33 O2 > 2.3 CO + 10.12 KJ

In other words, one gmCarbon when burns as CO- produces 33.92 K3 heat
and requires 2.67 gm 0- and when it burns as CO it produces 10.12 KJ and
requires 1.33 gm O2.

Also we know from the property of air that

1 gm O2 is present in 4.31 gm of air. or

1 gm 0- is associated with 3.31 gm N2

Therefore air required to burn:

1 gm C as CO2 = 2.67x4.31 = 11.49

1 gm C as CO2 = 1.33x4.31 = 5.75

And the product of combustion shall be:

3.67 gm CO- and 8.82 gm N2.

Combustion of Hydrogen

2H,0 + 0, >. 2H2O + Heat released (61500 Btu/lb)

4+32 > 36

1 + 8 > 09

i.e. O2 requires 8 times wt. of H2 and produces water: 9 times wt. of H2.

i.e. 02 = 8H

H2O = 9H

But there is one complication here. Allowance must be made for O2

available in fuel, which can readily be utilized for combustion. If we
assume that all the 0, in fuel will mix with H- i.e. with l/8th of it's wt. with
H2, hence the hydrogen remained in the fuel:

(H- 0 Considering H : Original wt. of H2 per gm of fuel.


O : original wt. of 0_ per gm of fuel.
C : wt. of Carbon per gm of fuel.
S : wt. of Sulphur per gm of fuel.

Combustion of Sulphur

S + 02 > S02 Heat (9141 K3/Kg.)

32 + 32 > 64

1 gm of Sulphur combines with 1 gm of 0- to produce

2 gm of SO2

i.e. 0 = S, SO2 = 2S

Theoretical O2 Required for Combustion

= 0- required for combustion of C gm Carbon.

+ 0- required for combustion of (H - 0) gm Hydrogen.


+ 02 required for combustion of S gm sulphur.

= 32 /12 C +8 (H-0/8) +S

Hence theoretical air required per gm of fuel.

= 4.31 [8C + 8 (H 0) + S]
Where C, H, 0 and S are gm Wt. per gm of fuel.

Every fuel must be treated separately when determining the theoretical air
required. The convenient method is calculating theoretical air required in
KG/10000 K3/Kg. G.C.V. from the table given below.



S.No Fuel Kg/10000 KJ/Kg. Ib/10000 B t u / Ib


1. Bituminous Coal 3.27 1.60

2. Coke 3.44 8.00

3. Anthracite 3.35 7.85

/'. Lignite 3.21 7.85

5. Peat 3.00 6.95

6. Fuel Oil 3.21 7.45

7. Nature Gas 3.21- 7.45


For bituminous coal with G.C.V. = 22,000 KJ


Air required = 22,000 /10,000 = 7.19 Kg air /Kg coal

Products of Combustion

1 gm Carbon produces 44 /12 gm CO2,.

C gm Carbon produces 44 /12 C gm CO 2 per gm fuel.

1 gm H- produces 9 gm water.

(H 0 / 8) gm H2 produces 9 (H - 0) gm water per gm fuel.

Products of combustion per gm of fuel.

= 44 /12 C + 9 (H - 0 + 25 + Nitrogen (0.768 times wt. of air)

OR Nitrogen = (4.31 - 1) 32 C + 8 (H2 0) + S
Enclosed table gives the summary of the results obtained on the basis of
above chemistry discussed


S.No. Substance Theori- Theori- CO2 N2 CO SO2 HO2

tically tically
Req. O2 Req. Air

1. Carbon to CO- 2.67 11.49 3.67 8.82 - - -

2. Carbon to CO 1.33 5.75 - 4.42 2.33 - -
3. CO to CO^ 0.57 2.46 1.57 1.89 - - -
4. S to SO- 1.00 4.31 - 3.31 - 2.0 -
5. H to H20 8.00 38.48 - 26.48 - - 9.0

In all these equations it is assumed that available hydrogen is (H -0/8) and not H
per gm of fuel, the reason being that hydrogen required 8 times 0- for combustion
hence whatever 0- is present in coal the same will be exhausted within 0 /8.

As far as products of combustion are concerned we have not added in the above
equation any moisture produced. If 02 is C gm/gm of fuel add 9/8 (0) as water
vapour produce. Also add moisture in coal and air directly.

Excess Air

More excess air than theoretical air is required for complete combustion. If there
is a deficiency of air then some 'CO' will be formed instead of CO2 and
appreciable amount of carbon left out in ash and dust. Better and through is
mixing the lesser will be the excess air requirement. Too less excess air means
incomplete combustion, too much excess air means large heat loss to the
chimney. Optimum excess air is that which reduces the sum of these two losses
to minimum.
Through mixing + proper resident time lead to optimum air

Coal (a) On Stocker firing 50% excess air is required.

(b) On PF firing 20 to 25% excess air is required.

In oil firing we need 10% excess air.

The combined effect of following three-boiler losses affected by excess air is

plotted in the adjacent graph (Figure-9).

1. Dry flue gas loss - loss of heat from chimney due to dry component of

2. Unburnt gas loss - Incomplete combustion loss.

3. Unburnt Carbon loss - Carbon in ash loss.

It will be seen that there is only one value of excess air which gives maximum
efficiency undoubtedly it will depend on fuel composition. Excess air is monitored
by CO- and C- measurements at APH inlet.

If it was possible to burn a fuel completely with only the theoretically amount of air
- a perfect combustion condition, the percentage CO,, produced would be the
theoretical maximum possible for that fuel as shown between in the figures
enclosed (Figure-10).
Amount of excess air carried on a boiler can be calculated by using a simple
formula involving maximum theoretical CO2 values and steaming CO2 values.

Maximum theoretical CO2 for Carbon has been stated at 21%. Usual accepted
maximum theoretical CO2 for Bituminous coal is 18.5%.

CO2 reading varies with the location of the gas probe. Typical reading
for a large P.F. Boiler are given in the table below :

S.No. Location of Probe % age at M.C.R.

1. Combustion chamber 16.0

2. Air heater gas Inlet 15.4

3. Air heater gas Outlet 14.4

4. ID Fan Inlet 13.9

Percentage CO- reading falls progressively as the flue gas passes through the
heat recovery area of the boiler. Progressive fall is due to air infiltration at boiler
casings, dampers, seals etc. The drop of 1% across the air heater suggests that
the air heater seals are in reasonable condition.

Flue Gas Analysis

The method of determining the quantity of excess air present is by analysis of the
flue gas. In the past it was common to do this by measuring CO-, content of the
flue gas. However, the CO- indication has several limitations: -

i. It is not a direct measure of excess air.

ii. The indication is affected by the Hydrogen/Carbon ratio. For example this
ratio is different for fuel oil and Coal.

Thus 10% CO- means some excess air with oil firing and different excess
air with coal firing.

iii. As the excess air is reduced the CO2% increase until the CO2 is a
maximum. Further reduction of excess air result in decreasing CO2. This
may be interpreted that the excess air has increased.

If instead of CO2 an indication of 02 is provided then the relationship between

excess air and percentage oxygen in the flue gas is almost constant whatever the
type of fuel be.

Oxygen analyzers are ideal for use in boiler automatic control schemes for
Oxygen trim control'.

With most CO- analyzers it is necessary to withdrawn a sample of gas from the
measuring point for external analysis. This results in practical problems, the main
two being need of cleaning of filters at the prob - end and condensation in sample
carrying pipe.

When burning fuel oil the permissible excess air is very low. Low temperature

corrosion at the APH can be caused by Sulphur Trioxide (SO-) in the flue gas.
The dew point increases with excess air if excess air exceeds 5% with oil firing
severe damage may be caused to the air heater. Preferably in oil firing oxygen in
flue gas of 1/2% (half percent) should be aimed at.

A recent development is Zirconium analyzer. One such equipment has been

installed PETS in 4th Unit of Badarpur Thermal Power Station. The unit so
installed consists of a:

i. Probe assembly.

The sample passing over the zirconium probe across electrodes produces
a voltage, which is a function of gas temperature and ratio of 02 partial

ii. An electronic unit to convert into %02

iii. A pump unit to provide constant reference air supply to probe.

Boiler Losses Calculations

The indirect method of calculation of boiler efficiency introduced in the chapter

dealing with concepts shows that:

Boiler efficiency = 100 (% losses).

100 - (Dry flue gas loss + moisture loss + Carbon in ash loss + Unburnt
gas or incomplete combustion loss + Radiation and unaccountable losses.

All losses taken as percentage heat losses :-

% loss = Loss per Kg of fuel X 100

C.V. Of fuel

Dry Flue Gas Loss

If W is the wt. of dry flue gases per Kg. of fuel burnt.

Loss = W x C x (T - t). P

Where C = Specific heat of flue gas in K3/Kg.

t = FD fan inlet air temperature.

T = Exit gas temperature at APH outlet.

The calculation of W is done by the following relation: -

W = (C+5 /2.667) [ 11 CO2+8 O2+7 (CO +N2)] / [3(CO2+CO) 100

Where C and S are Carbon and Sulphur % by weight CO2, O2, CO and N-are
volumetric % determined by apparatus.

Unburnt Carbon Loss - Carbon in Ash Loss

Imagine Kg. of fuel burning has

a = Weight of ash per. Kg.

c. = Unburnt carbon % in ash

33820 KJ/Kg. is Calorific Value of Carbon.

wt. of unburnt carbon per Kg. of fuel = ac / EOC

Heat loss per Kg. fuel = a x c X 33820 KJ/Kg.

% loss =. loss X 100

Unburnt Gas Loss

The weight of carbon in carbon monoxide = CO

CO2 + CO

If C is the wt. of carbon burnt per Kg. fuel and heat released in burning 1 Kg.
carbon in CO to CO2= 23620 KJ.

Loss per Kg. = CO X C x 23620 KJ fuel.

CO2- + CO Kg.

Now we will discuss those losses which are not in hands of operators :-

Radiation or Unaccountable Losses

These losses range for 110/210 MW units from 0.93% to 1% on higher side. They
can be calculated by graphical methods and alignment charts.

Moisture Losses

Three moisture losses are:

i. Moisture in fuel loss.

ii. Moisture in combustion loss due to H2 in coal.

iii. Moisture in air loss.

Heat lost per Kg. of moisture in fuel = (2477 + 2T - 4.2 t) K3/Kg. Moisture. If M is
the wt. of moisture per Kg. of fuel.

i. Moisture in fuel loss. M (2477 + 2T - 4.2 t)- KJ fuel


ii. Moisture in combustion loss

1 Kg. H- produces 9 Kg. water.

If H is the wt. of Hydrogen per Kg. fuel.

Loss = 9 H (2477 + 2T - 4.2 t) KJ fuel.


You can observe the similarity between these two losses.

iii. Loss due to moisture in air :

If Wm is the wt. of moisture in air/Kg, fuel.

Loss = mass x Sp. heat x T

Wm x 2 x (T - t) K3/Kg. fuel.

This loss is insignificant hence often not calculated.

Factors Affecting the Operating Efficiency of Boilers

The basic principle for optimizing p.f. boiler is same as for stoker-fired boiler. The
sum of the boiler heat losses plus boiler auxiliary power should be minimum
consistent with maintaining full boiler availability.

A fundamentally better combustion process is achieved by burning finely

pulverized fuel suspended in air. The factors influencing combustion efficiency
with p.f. firing is enormous. Basically they are the fineness of milled product and
fuel air mixing, while burning fuel in suspension. There is optimum fineness
beyond which extra mill power and wear exceeds the saving on boiler losses.
200 mesh sleeve is used for determining required fineness (80% through 200
mesh - wires woven to inch, each wire .003" square).

100 mesh should be used for measure of reminder which will contribute to
unburnt carbon loss, p.f. firing, advantages of :-

i. Any grade of coal can be burnt.

ii. Not prone to the bonded deposits.

iii. Dust absorbs acids and thus prevent corrosion.

iv. Reduction in boiler losses and fan power.

Disadvantage: High initial cost, auxiliary power cost and dust extraction plant.

P.F. Burner

Short flame turbulent burner are usually used when the firing is from the wail.
Corner firing uses long flame burners firing tangentially to a vortex in the center of
the furnace. Down shot burners giving a long U shaped flame are some times
used for low volatile coal. In short flame burners and turbulent burner adjustments
can be made to the position of the burner and to the admission of secondary air
to give the best combustion for different coals. Long flame corner burner are tilted
for SH and RH temperature control. Down shot burner have secondary air
introduced at burners and tertiary air at various, distance along flame path.

Mill Fans

Agro dynamically designed P.A. Fans for use in pressure type mills are more
efficient than exhausted which are built to resist wear. Cold primary air systems.
are beneficial from fan power point of view. Power consumption in tube mill is
about 22-30 Kwh/Ton coal milled as a gained pressure type vertical mill which
consumes about 15-20 Kwh/Ton milled coal.

Some of the Salient Features of Vertical Spindle Medium Speed Mill

1. Low primary air quantity reduces velocity through the mill so tending to
increase the fineness of milled product. The decrease of PA temperature
also gives similar effect due to reduction in volume velocity PA to the mil!
Table. Rejection of combustible material in reject trap is a loss hence
quantity and quality of reject must be watched.

2. Low PA velocity causes setting of P.F. at pipe bends etc. and high P.A.
velocity lifts larger particles hence affect p.f. Fineness.

3. The differential pressure across the mill is the measure of coal in the mill.
This is a dependent parameter on P.A. differential.

Classifiers can be adjusted to give the fineness of product required but

should not be used to increase mill output (by vane control etc.) as this will
increase unburnt carbon loss and combustion will be less efficient.

4. Spring loading affects the wear of the grinding elements, it may be

beneficial to relax spring pressure when milling abnormally soft coal.

5. Equal distribution of fuel and air to the burners, particularly for wail firing
will give the most efficient combustion size grading to each burner should
be same. This seems to be different due to in avoidable difference in
piping layout. Corner firing can tolerate some inequality between burners
as turbulence exists in center of furnace. Excess fuel from one burner is
compensated by excess air from other.

4. Turbine Efficiency


This chapter deals with the efficiency of the steam turbine in converting the heat
energy made available in the cycle into actual mechanical work. We have defined
turbine efficiency as the ratio of mechanical work output in (Kcal) or (K3) to the
total heat available across the turbine (Kcal) or (K3) expressed as a percentage.

A steam basically consists of regulated quantity of steam flowing over a series of

fixed and moving blades. A pair of one fixed and one moving blade is usually
referred to as a stage. The stages are compounded or in other words a number of
fixed and moving blade rows are kept in series to make a maximum use of the
available energy by absorbing both the pressure and velocity components of
steam. The compounding also results in keeping the steam velocity and rotor rpm
within the desired range.

A stage where all the available energy is converted into velocity in the fixed blade
s called an impulse stage. A stage where all the available energy for that stage
is converted into kinetic energy in the moving blade is called pure reaction stage.
In an impulse stage the steam just glides over moving blade without expansion
whereas in reaction stage pressure drop is along the moving as well as fixed
stage. A pure reaction stage is impractical and power Engineers mean by
reaction, a stage where half the available energy is converted into KE in moving
blade and half in fixed blade.

The degree of reaction (R) is defined as follows :-

Enthalpy drop in moving blade

Enthalpy drop in the stage

Then the reaction turbine will have R = 0.5 (or 50% degree of reaction). Modern
turbines are impulse reaction having degree of reaction increasing in the direction

of flow off steam. This particularly because the reaction stages are more prone to
inter stage leakage. The chances of inter stage leakage are more on HP end and
the reaction stages are more efficient than impulse stages therefore it is
preferable to use HP stages as impulse to avoid leakage and of LP stages as
reaction to take advantage of reaction stage.

Turbine efficiency is an integral sum of stage efficiency, therefore a detailed study

of stage efficiency on a Mollier chart (h, 0) will reveal many useful results.

Stage Efficiency

Stage efficiency is the work done on the shaft by a combination of one fixed and
one moving blade expressed as the percentage of stage available energy. Or, a
Mollier diagram Figure-11.

The constant pressure lines on a Mollier diagram diverge with increase of

entropy. The increase of entropy is a symbol of inefficiency. In above Figure-7 if h
increases, corresponding entropy will increase and stage will become inefficient.
Figure-12 gives two stages. If Stage-1 is inefficient it will give more energy for
conversion into work for Stage-2. Because more energy is available between any
two pressures with increase in entropy, the inefficiency of one stage makes more
energy available to the next and this is known" as reheat factor.

Stage Losses

One of the main cause of inefficiency of a stage is friction and eddies on the
blade surface. Other factors that affect the stage efficiency are

Windage Loss

Windage, disc friction, or rotational losses occur because the rotors are
revolving in an atmosphere of steam. The windage loss basically comes from
the drag of steam on revolving blades in the steam atmosphere. The drag
depends on viscosity of fluid (density increases viscosity) and linear velocity of a
stage. Both HP and LP blades do suffer to the same extent owing to the fact that
the latter have high linear velocity though the viscosity of atmosphere is much
less. The windage loss on LP stages increases at low load thus increasing the
exhaust hood temperature.

Blade Length

Short blades are less efficient than long blades because of interference caused
by roots and tips. This is an advantage for high rating turbines at HP stages.
Partial Admission Loss

Steam regulation at turbine inlet are done in two ways. Throttle governing, where
all control valves operate simultaneously and nozzle governing where control
valves operate in a sequence. Blades directly opposite to the nozzle block are
running full of steam but the blades away from nozzles will produce eddies and
extra losses. This loss which is found in nozzle controlled turbines due to steam
being admitted around part of the periphery only is known as partial admission

Interstage Gland and Tip Clearance Loss

The reaction stages there is a pressure drop across the moving blades and the
clearance between them and the casing is sealed by providing radial or axial
seals. Inter stage seals are also provided between root diaphragms and the rotor.

If gland leakage annulus area is 1% of blade area the steam flow through gland
will be 0.2 to 0.5%. Loss of efficiency due to this leakage 0.3 to 0.75% (i.e. 50%
greater than actual leakage because of turbulence and disturbance in main steam
path). This loss depends on shaft and blade sizes and type of labrinth used.
Normal value for modern turbines is between 1/3 to 1%. One bad start with
eccentric shaft causing rub could easily increase clearance to large extent
incurring heavy efficiency Joss.

External Gland Loss

External gland leak off also causes of available energy but this loss is not 1% for
every 1% leakage because same heat value of leak off is utilized in Gland steam
coolers with and without ejectors. Low-pressure gland leak off is sucked by gland
steam cooler with ejector which* also forms a part of regenerative feed heating

Wetness Loss

Wet steam causes a loss of stage efficiency of 1% for every 1% water because of
the water droplets lagging behind the steam and thus reducing the efficiency with
which energy conversion takes place. This is one of the important cause of
erosion which permit to restrict moisture to 12% in last rows of LP.

Leaving Loss

The KE of steam represented by residual velocity of steam leaving the stage is

known as leaving loss. It is the energy which cannot be practically converted into
mechanical work.

Turn Up Loss and Exhaust Hood Pressure Drop

These two also constitute the part of exhaust losses of which leaving loss is pre
measure factor. Turn up loss occurs at low steam flows. It is because of the fact
that last stages become progressively less efficient as steam flow fall below 30%
MCR. This exhaust overheating may require hood sprays.

Exhaust hood pressure drop is also a loss of available energy amounting to the
difference between the energy level (enthalpies) at condenser and IP turbine

Mechanical Losses

Mechanical losses are bearing losses plus power required to drive oil pump and
governors. They are constant irrespective of load.

Additional Notes

a. More correctly a stage is defined as the number of times the pressure is

broken in the fixed element, fixed blades or nozzles.

b, Stage efficiency is a function of the ratio, steam velocity/blade velocity.

The efficiency of any stage except, the last (and the first in case of nozzle
governed machines) remain sensibly constant over a very wide range of
steam flows. These two exceptional stages work with a variable pressure
ration hence they have variable efficiencies.

c. Minimum losses are used by reversible processes, that is fluid flow without
pressure drop and heat flow without temperature drop; therefore
degradation of pressure and temperature should be avoided where

d. Pressure drops anywhere in the steam path cause a loss of available

energy and thus cause a loss of efficiency. Pressure drop can take place
at control valves (5% even when C.V. are wide open). Pressure drop takes
place in bled steam pipes (as high as 10%).

Now we will study the factors affecting the operating efficiency of turbo-alternator.

Factors Affecting the Operating Efficiency of Turbo-Alternators

In earlier chapter we have defined the three types of governing as follows.

Throttle Governing

All first stage nozzles are in common annulus and are subjected to the same
amount of throttling.

Nozzle Governing

Each governor valve controls a separate group of 1st stage nozzles, it minimizes
throttling loss at part load.

There is another type of governing known as over load governing in which steam
is admitted after some stage for peak loading.

The operating efficiency of a turbine alternator depends on many factors such as

load, terminal conditions etc. The load is a factor, which determines the amount
of throttling at the control valves, and thus contributes towards loss of efficiency,
depending upon the type of governing.

Effect of Load

With governor valves wide open the flow through the turbine is as high as
possible. To make it higher the steam pressure before governor valves
have to increase. A 10% increase in absolute pressure will give 10% increase in
steam flow through wide-open control valves and 10% increase in output. To
reduce load, the flow is to be reduced. To reduce flow by 10% the throttles must
be closed until the after throttle pressure has been reduced by 10%. Not only
after throttle pressure is proportional to steam flow but also pressures at
subsequent stages are also proportional to steam flow except pressure at
exhaust decided by condenser. This pressure flow relationship is applicable to
throttle governed turbines. With overload valve governing this is applicable from
overload belts onwards. With nozzle-governed turbines this relation is applicable
after few stages. Unless some change occurs in the area of the steam flow paths
through the turbines stage pressures are proportional to the rate of flow of steam
to the following stages.

It can be concluded that throttle governing is a simpler system and would

probably give better efficiency at full load than nozzle governed set. HP cylinder
can by symmetrical and should heat up symmetrically as steam is admitted ail
around the circumference of the first stage.

With off nozzle control governing, the first stage operates with a pressure ratio
which varies with load. As a result the efficiency of the first stage is variable, but
at part loads the turbine would have a better efficiency than a basically similar
throttle governed set.

Any loss of pressure due to throttling at the Turbine inlet causes a loss of
efficiency. It can be seen from Figure-13 that :-



Now for a reheat machine the reheated pressure also drops with throttling in the
same proportion (unlike condenser vacuum). Therefore in HP cylinder the
enthalpy at inlet and outlet remain practically unchanged. Loss of available
energy will certainly be there in IP cylinder and LP cylinders because of increase
in enthalpy of exhaust with entropy increase. Thus the net effect is :

Loss of available energy, which is due to throttling, is not as great for a reheat set
as for non reheat set. Moreover enthalpy at reheater is high because reheat
temperature is controlled (TC lines are slopping upwards whereas HC lines are
horizontal). Thus the loss after reheater is not as great as it is thought so far in
the discussion.

Terminal Conditions

Terminal conditions are all important in obtaining best efficiency particularly SH,
RH temperature and vacuum.

Effect of Vacuum

It is established in earlier chapter that vacuum has largest effect. The leaving
velocity is proportional to the specific volume. The specific volume increase
rapidly with improvement in vacuum. The gain in available energy due to
higher vacuum is partly offset by the increase in specific volume hence to
exhaust losses. The turbine manufacturer curves should give some indication.
This turning point is well below the reach even with coldest CW water in winter.
A separate lecture will cover condenser performance. The terminal temperature
difference (TTD) which is defined as the temperature difference between steam
in saturation to outgoing CW water is infect a measure o*f it's log mean
temperature differential (LMTD). A high value of TTD is an indication of
contamination of CW side of the tubes by slime and dirt, and also that of air
ingress ih steam space. Under cooling of the condensate is due to air leakage
only therefore this temperature differential is also of importance. Because of
partial pressure of the air at the bottom of the condenser the condensate
temperature is lowered -below that corresponding to total pressure, since it is
corresponding to the partial pressure of the steam only. Main thing to realize is
that when there is air ingress the heat transfer co-efficient becomes poor
therefore temperature differential increases by way of increase in condensing
temperature in order to get heat across air barrier. This makes the vacuum worst.


Temperature MS and RH

For a non-reheat machine the design philosophy is to select highest steam

temperature feasible at the time coupled with pressure, which gives required
exhaust wetness (limit for erosion 12%).

A fall of TSV temperature for a non-reheat, machine reduces the available energy
and increases exhaust wetness and possibly more erosion damage to LP blades.
TSV temperature for a reheat machine is of equal importance but has the effect
on exhaust wetness. More heat will have to be supplied by RH and heat loading

on SH will reduce. Thus it can be concluded that effect of MS temperature on
Non-reheat and reheat machines is of equal importance except that the effect on
exhaust wetness is negligible in case of reheat set

Effect of reheat temperature is also significant but it does not effect expansion in
HP cylinder.

Pressure MS and RH

In nozzle governed machines it is important that a full pressure should be

maintained at part load and for throttle governed machines it is recommended
that the pressure should b( reduced at TSV to reduce throttling loss at part load. It
can be seen from Figure-14 that if the TSV pressure is not controlled in case of
throttle governed machines there will be some increase in entropic heat drop (A'B'
- AB) thus throttling loss is compensated partly.

There is a definite advantage in sliding pressure operation of throttle-governed

machines. This reduces the losses due to throttling at part load because the
control valves are kept wide open. This is a good practice so long as the
protection of super heaters and reheaters is taken into account. At a turbine trip
there will be no flow through them for a long time till safety valves operate. This
may give rise to tube failure due to starvation.

Reheat pressure drop is a significant loss but there is little, operating staff can do
about it except take it into account when comparing one unit with another. It can
be confirmed from the Figure-15 that F'H' is greater than FH, because of the fact
that constant pressure lines diverge outwards.

Effect of Heater Efficiency

Like other heat exchangers the heater efficiency is also measured in terms of
TTD. Desuperheating section are provided on heaters to reduce TTD and drain
coolers to reduce the losses due to flashing of drain of next higher heater in the
heater in question.

The terminal temperature difference of each heater should be regularly checked.

The loss of efficiency which is due to poor heater performance is approximately
0.015% for each 1F increase in TTD for all heaters, FCNRVs should be having
wide opening and freedom to move.

Gland Wear

Gland wear is one of the causes of turbine depreciation and most of it occurs in
a rough start. Strict watch is needed on turbovisory reading.

Feed Pump Power

The power required by the feed pump rises as. the cycle pressure rise. The range
of power consumption in BFP is from 1.5% to 2.5% of turbine output for most of
our units. However this feed pump power is not a total loss as most ol it goes as
heat into the feed water.

Note :

Plotting rate of steam flow or hourly heat consumption against load gives a
straight line which is known as Willans Line (Figure-20) in next chapter.

The slope of this line is heat rate. The no load steam consumption is simply an
intercept of this line on no load axis and does not mean that it is no load steam
consumption. The value of this intercept is:

5% to 8% on throttle governed machines,

2% to 5% on nozzle governed machine.

Turbine Testing - A Brief Note

Acceptance tests on turbine plant normally covers the following: -

1. Heat rate at various loads.

2. Condenser performance.

3. Feed heater performance.

4. Governor performance etc.

Heat rate test at full load will also serve' to demonstrate that the turbine is
capable of generating it's specified output under the specified conditions effect of
change of terminal conditions on Heat rate is established by experimental method
and also by mathematical modelling. This effect is included by calculating
percentage heat rate correction factors as shown in a series of figures enclosed.

Net Unit Heat Rate = Heat supplied to Working fluid in Boiler

(KWH) - (KWH)
Total Auxiliary Cons.

Actual heat rate = NUHR X Various correction factors.

For a reheat unit :

Numerator of NUHR S (Heat supplied per kg. from FFT to SH outlet

temperature) + S (Heat supplied per kg. in

Where S and S' are steam flow in SH and Reheater

S' = S - (Extractions from HP turbine and CRH).

The steam flow S is measured by indirect method as follows :-

i. Main test venturi on feed line will give Feed Water flow to boiler M1.

ii. Variation in level of various heaters is measured and the sum of all

level changes will give total gain or loss of water from system M1.

iii. Turbine throttle flow = M1. M2.

The total heat supplied in boiler up to 5H and in RH is read from steam table/
nolliar diagram as enthalpy. (K3/Kg.).

5. Regenerative Feed Heating


The regenerative cycle has a higher thermal efficiency than the basic Rankine
cycle and the improvement increases as the number of feed heating stages
increases. Each additional heater adds a progressively smaller increment of
efficiency and theoretically an infinite number of heaters will raise the efficiency of
the regenerative Rankine cycle to The Carnot efficiency. This may be simply
shown by considering the saturated steam cycle illustrated in the series of
temperature entropy diagram of Figure-16. As the number of feed heaters
increased there is a progressive increase in cycle efficiency, measured by an
increase in the ration of areas of useful work and heat supplied.

Figures-16A shows the basic Rankine cycle with wafer heater only in the boiler.
The carnot cycle diagram for the same steam conditions in super imposed and
indicates the maximum efficiency (that is the greatest area of useful work) that
can be achieved in any power plant operating between the temperature T, and
T In the ideal Carnot cycle the heating of feed water from condenser tempera-
ture to boiling point has been shown as reversible in entropic progress, but this
can never occur unless temperature differences, causing heat flow are kept (im-
possible) at zero. The water heating process of the more realistic Rankine cycle
involves an increase in entropy and therefore reduces the efficiency of the cycle
compared with that of the carnot cycle. The temperature difference between the
hot gases in a boiler and the water being heated is far from zero and the
irreversibility of this water heating process is readily apparent.

Figure-16B shows a regenerative cycle, operating between the temperature T.

and T- as in Figure-9, with a single feed water heater extracting steam that was
expended half way through the turbine. The steam heats the boiler feed in a
direct contact heater from 1- (Condenser temperature) to T. the temperature of
the steam at the turbine bleed point, assuming no loss in temperature in the bled
steam pipe or heater. The quantity of steam extracted expressed as a fraction of
the total flow, it is appropriate to regard BC as the steam flow to the turbine or
the quantity circulating in the cycle in pound per hour and the area ABC Y x E
therefore the useful work done each hour. Similarly AE is the quantity of steam
rejected to the condenser in points per hour and the energy lost from the cycle
per hour is represented by area AEFG.

Figure-16C and 16D show regenerative cycles also operating between tempera-
tures T. and T- with three and seven stages of feed heating, drawn to the same
scale as the previous diagram. It will be noted from 16C that the steam quantity
XY tapped by Heater-1 heats the feed from T- to T., the steam quantity pq tapped
by Heater-2 heats the feed from t to t-, the steam quantity uv tapped by Heater-3
heats the feed from ty to t, and that the feed temperature rise in each heater is
equal. Similarly the seven stage feed train shown in Figure-160 has equal
temperature rises across each heater and the final feed water temperature t, is
close to T. the saturation temperature of the cycle.. As more and more steam has
been extracted from the turbine for feed heating by the increasing number of
heaters it is seen that the useful work area in Figure-168, C&D has been
progressively reduced. However, the energy lost to the condenser (heat rejected
from the cycle) has been reduced at a greater rate so there is an improvement in
cycle thermal efficiency as extra heaters are added. The above can be
summarized as follows:

Regenerative feed heating improves the efficiency of cycle. After expanding part
of the way down the turbine some steam is bled off to heat the feed water
returning the boiler. This bled steam does same work in turbine and then rejects
heat to the feed water so reducing amount of heat which would have been
rejected f''om the cycle (40 to 60%) in the condenser, to the heater it will give at
least 90-95% heat thus improving efficiency.

6. Controllable Parameters

The controllable parameters in the unit operation for both turbine and boiler
section are :

Steam Temperatures MS and RH

Steam Pressures MS

Final Feed Temperature

Condenser Vacuum

Carbon in Ash

% Oxygen at air heater inlet

Flue gas exit temperature (APH outlet)

Apart from this the controllable station parameters are

Make up

Works Units.


Back Pressure of Vacuum

So far as efficient running of the unit is concerned, condenser vacuum is probably

the most sensitive terminal conditions. The heat rejected in the thermal cycle
depends upon the vacuum as it is equal to the product of absolute temperature
(which depends upon mvacuum) and change in entropy (during condensation).
For higher cycle efficiency higher vacuum is required, but the increase in vacuum
leads to increase in leaving and exhaust losses. Thus, there are two conflicting
requirements and an optimum value for vacuum may exist as shown in Figure-17.

But in practice, particularly, in Indian due to atmospheric conditions, the vacuum
conditions where diminishing returns start do not prevail and hence operator is
always required to maintain good vacuum.

The usual reasons for departure of condenser conditions from optimum are one
or more of the following ;

Cooling water inlet temperature different from design.

Cooling water quantity following through condenser incorrect.
Fouled tubes and plates.
Air ingress into system under vacuum.

The air ingress into the -system can be checked by starting stand by ejector, if
the performance improves it shows the existence of leak in the system. Under
this condition the condensate will also the under cooled. It may be remembered
that running of additional ejector constitutes loss and hence air leak points shall
be detected and sealed.

Steam Pressure at Turbine Stop Valve

The effect of variation in pressure can be studied in the following way for a
throttle governed turbine (Figure-15).

Supposing the unit is running at full load and the pressure at TSV increases. The
effect of this will be that control valves will tend to close to suite the new pressure
load condition thus the steam will be throttled. This will result in lower
temperature, lower is entropic drop and higher wetness at exhaust, all factors
leading to lower efficiency.

The increase in wetness can cause erosions of blades at the last stage.

In case the pressure falls when the unit is on part load, to meet the new
conditions control valves may further open thereby reducing the throttle, hence

the effect will be opposite to that given in above para i.e. an increase in efficiency.
Thus the operation on low pressure may look to be advantageous in the first
instance. But further, considerations will show that reduced pressure may look to
be advantageous in the first instance. But, further, considerations will show that
reduced pressure w41 effect the .regenerative system which will require more
steam at extractions. Similarly when the unit is on full load the fall in pressure will
require more steam both in terms of weight and volume to be admitted , provided
that control valves have the capacity, otherwise load will fall. It may also be
remembered that cycle efficiency is higher at higher cycle conditions.

Final Feed Temperature

The lower final (i.e. at economizer inlet) feed water temperature denotes the
inefficient functioning of feed water heater(s) or non-functioning of some from the
chain. The introduction of regenerative system has been done to increase the
efficiency of cycle and thus if its most important component vis. Heaters do not
work effectively upto the designed parameters, the desired efficiency of cycle and
hence of plant will not be achieved. Lowering of final feed temperature will also
result in increased boiler firing rates. This will upset the heat absorption balance
between various surfaces making steam temperature control difficult and
resulting in high steam temperatures at outlet of exit super heater.

To check the performance of a feed water heater it is necessary to compare the

following figures with the design values for the particular load on turbine.

a. Bleed steam inlet pressure and temperature.

b. Drain water outlet temperature.

C Feed water inlet temperature.

d. Feed water outlet temperature.

e. Feed water temperature at economizer inlet or feed regulating

The Excess Air

The excess air which is the quantity of air required to be fed to the boiler over the
theoretically correct quantity of air needed for complete combustion of fuel,
determines the extent of this loss. If too little air is supplied, the fuel is not
completely burnt if too great quantity of air is supplied the heat by being carried
up in the stack ion greater quantities than normal. It must be remembered that
nitrogen which forms 79% of air is merely a passenger, requires fan power and
carried away heat. The % oxygen at air heater inlet is directly proportional to the
excess air quantity and is used as guide to combustion conditions. We cannot get
rid of excess air because it is impossible to feed right quantity of air at right time
to the fuel particles in suspension.

Air infiltration is another factor which should be controlled to limit this loss. This
factor in addition to lowering of boiler efficiency due to cooling effect on gas also
affects the performance of ESP and increases fan loading. Moreover boiler auto
control does not give any allowance to this air which is infiltrating from hopper
seals, inspection doors and ducts joining.

Air Heater Gas Outlet Temperature

The last heat exchanger in a gas circuit is the air heater. On one hand it will be
desirable in the interest of overall efficiency that these gases leave air heater etc.
the lowest temperature on the other hand this temperature is required to be high
on account of corrosion problems.

The flue gas in addition to carbon dioxide contains water, vapour, sulphur-dioxide
and chlorides. In case the metal temperature is below the dew point, water
vapour will be formed which will combine with constituents to form sulphuric acid.
Due to the fact that partial pressure of vapor in flue gases is less than
atmospheric its dew point may be below 100C. Most coal burning boilers have
specified air heater gas outlet temperature of the order of 130C as being the
minimum practical temperature which is consistent with minimizing air heater

The air heater gas outlet temperature if higher the optimum value will lead to
increased heat loss. For every 2C above optimum each Kilogram of dry flue gas
carries approx. 2.5 K3 of extra heat up the stack. A rise in air heater outlet
temperature of approx. 22C will reduce the boiler efficiency by about 1%.

Excess air, low feed water temperature, deposits on boiler and air heater heat
transfer surfaces, shortage of air heater plates (in rotary type), defective soot
blower operation and using higher tier burner on low load etc. are some of the
causes for higher gas temperature at outlet of the air heaters.

Combustible Material in Ash

The main loss is due to the unburnt carbon in the ash and is expressed as

a x c x 33940 K3 / Kg. of fuel


Where a = Weight of ash/Kg, of fuel.

c = % combustible matter (i.e. carbon in the ash).

A small amount of combustible material amounting to about 1.5% of ash can

usually be tolerated. It may be uneconomical even to remove all the combustible
as mill grinding power may have to be increased or its output reduced. The
grinding is considered to be in order if the PF through 200 mesh is 75% for
bituminous coal or 85% for low volatile coal. The various causes of high carbon in
ash are :-

Coarse grinding.

Mal adjustment of flame.

Unequal loading of different mills particularly in direct firing system.

The incorrect combustion air temperature. Lower temperature may cause

condensation and higher temperature carrying both resulting in blocking of coal
pipes. Suitable coal temperature range in 65 - 82C at mill outlet.

Make Up Water

The amount of make up depends upon the leakage and the quantity of heat lost
depends also on the point of leakage. Naturally leakage of steam is more costly
as compared to leakage of water in the system. The normal sources of leakages
are due to soot blowing and blow down operations. The amounts of heat lost at
different locations are as under ;-

Leakage from condensate pumps entails a loss of 45 to 70 K3/Kg.

For non reheat turbine leakage from TSV will mean a loss of 3025 to 3260 K3/Kg.
The % loss of steam at full enthalpy will cause a heat loss of 1 .2%. In case of
reheat units it may be of the order of 1.0 to 1.5%.

1% loss of water after final feed heater cause about 0.4% heat loss.

1% of soot blowing causes 0.8% of heat loss.

1% Blowing down may cause 0.25 to 0.5% heat loss.

During starting metal and silica pick up is higher. The amount of Blow down has
to be increased under the advice of Chemist, thus heat loss may also be more.

The parameters being also low at start thus the heat loss per Kg. will be a bit
less, thus it is the quantity of blow down which is the cause of increased loss.

Works Power

Every Megawatt that can be saved on works power becomes available to the
system thereby improving the efficiency of the station and the grid. As the load
demand falls the works power also falls, but not in the same proportion i.e.
percentage of works power will be more on low station running load Figure-18.

We can take a number of steps to improve the situation few of which are given

The station loading must be such that sufficient load is available to justify the
operation of second auxiliary.

Wherever variables speed drives are available, attempt should be TO run these at
the lower speeds commensurate with the load.

In the milling plant attempt should not be made to over grind the coal. The
fineness of PF should be kept to optimum value. Higher fineness means more
grinding power mills to be run.

Pumps which are liable to accumulate air and have no automatic venting
arrangements should be vented regularly. Trapped air increases power
consumption, a case in point is the performance of cooling water pumps.

The Unit Loading

The efficiency of a plant depends upon the load. Every machine is designed for a
maximum efficiency at a particular load coiled 'Maximum Economic Continuous
Rating (MECR)' which is quite different from 'Maximum Continuous Rating
(MCR)'. Now the difference between MCR and MCR is not sharp as the turbines
give lowest heat rate of unit maximum loading. The curve of Figure -19 shows
variation of unit efficiency with loading. A lot of heat consumption VS load is
Willans line and gives incremental heat as its slope Figure 20.

The efficiency of most boilers reaches a peak at about 80% MCR and then falls.
This means boiler shall be limited to 80% MCR, but in practice it is not possible,
keeping in view the load demands and efficiency of turbine being high at higher
loads. The boilers have some over capacity to meet demands when one of HP
heater is off, thus even when unit is on full load, the boiler may be nearer to MCR.

7. Summary

1. The cycle efficiency is the theoretical ideal efficiency for a given set cf
terminal conditions, i.e. initial steam pressure and temperature, reheat
pressure and temperature, vacuum and final feed temperature.

2. Cycle efficiency (percent) = available energy x 100

heat added

3. Available energy = work that could be obtained from the cycle = heat

= heat added - heat rejected

4. The heat content of water is called sensible heat. The heat required to
evaporate water is called latent heat. The heat required to raise the
temperature of steam above its evaporation temperature is called

5. Regenerative feed-water heating improves the efficiency of the cycle. After

expanding part of the way down the turbine some steam is bleed off to
heat the teed water returning to the boiler. This bleed steam does some
work in the turbine and then rejects its heat to the feed water so reducing
the amount of heat which would have been rejected from the cycle in the
condenser, thus improving the efficiency.

6. The Carnot cycle gives the maximum efficiency that can be obtained by
any heat engine working between an upper and a lower temperature.

T1 T2
Carnot cycle efficiency

Where T, = upper temperature in "Kabsolute.

T2 = lower temperature in "Kabsolute.

7. Providing it does not jeopardize boiler availability, optimum boiler efficiency

occurs when the sum of the auxiliary power and the heat losses are at

8. Increasing excess air should reduce the unburnt carbon loss, but
increases the dry gas loss.

9. As the efficiency of a given, boiler is dependent on the fuel being burnt, the
best assessment of fuel cost is on the basis of heat to the turbine, i.e. heat
cost of fuel divided by the boiler efficiency.

10. A fundamentally better combustion process is achieved .by burning finely

pulverized fuel suspended in air.

11. Short-time turbulent burners are usually used when the firing is from the
wall. Corner firing uses long-flame burners firing tangentially to a vortex in
the center of the furnace. Down-shot burners giving a long U-shaped flame
are sometimes used for low-volatile coal.

12. Primary air fans for use in pressure-type mills and more efficient than
exhausters on suction-type mills so that milling power will be less with
pressure-type mills. The tub a mill is much heavier on power consumption
than either the ring ball mill or the bowl mill.

13. Low primary air quantity reduces velocity through the mill so tending to
increase the quantity of rejects and increase the fineness of product.

14. The differential air pressure across a mill is a measure of the coal in the

15. Classifiers can be adjusted to give the fineness of product required but
should not be used to increase mill output as this will increase the unburnt

carbon loss.

16. Spring loading affects the wear of the grinding elements; it may be
beneficial to relax spring pressure when milling abnormally soft coal.

17. Equal distributions of fuel and air to the burners, particularly for wall firing,
will give the most efficient combustion.

18. Coal pipe temperature should be maintained within the range 65C to
85C. Tempering air causes a loss of efficiency because it by-passes the
air heater and results in a higher flue-gas temperature.

19. High ash content coal increases mill power and wear for the same through
output of heat.

20. Mill. output and power consumption depends on. the hardness of the coal.
Milling hard coal with a Hardgrove Index of 40 would reduce mill output to
about 50 or 60 percent of output achieved with coal having a Hardgrove
Index of 100.

21. Low volatile coals need finer grinding than high volatile coals to keep down
the unburnt carbon loss.

22. Mills should not be lightly loaded as this increases milling power; only the
minimum number of mills necessary to produce the required output should
be in .service.

23. Tests should be carried out on large pulverized fuel boilers to determine
the optimum fineness of grinding and the optimum percentage of CO,.

24. Oil-fired boilers can now be operated with less than 1 percent oxygen in
the flue gases primarily to prevent the formation of SO- but with beneficial
effects on the efficiency.

25. Soot-blowing causes an appreciable heat loss. The heat loss for a 120
MW reheat boiler is about 0.8 to 0.9 percent when 1 percent of the steam

raised is used for soot-blowing.

26. The heat loss which is due to blow-down for a 120 MW boiler is about 0.4
percent for 1 percent blow-down.

27. There is little change in boiler efficiency over the normal loading range.

28. Methods of shutting-down, banking and starting-up should be investigated

with a view to reducing off-load heat losses.

29. Turbine efficiency is the mechanical work obtained from the turbine
expressed as a percentage of the heat available lor conversion into work
according to the steam cycle.

30. Overall turbo-alternator efficiency is the electrical output expressed as a

percentage of the heat added to the working fluid. It is the product of the
cycle efficiency, turbine efficiency and alternator efficiency.

31. Heat rate is a more usual way of expressing overall turbo alternator
efficiency; it is the heat to be added to the working fluid per kilowatt hour
generated. Dividing the heat equivalent of one KWH by the heat rate in
Btu/KWH gives the overall turbo-alternator efficiency.

32. Stage efficiency is the work done on the shaft by the combination of one
fixed and one moving row of blades expressed as a percentage of the
stage available energy.

33. The fixed blades or nozzles convert heat drop in to kinetic energy.
Because of friction and eddies the velocity is actually lower than the
theoretical value. Similar losses occur in the moving blades or buckets.

34. Short blades are less efficient than long blades because of interference
caused by roots and tips.

35. Wind age, disc friction, or rotational losses occur because the rotors are
revolving in an atmosphere of steam.

36. Nozzle control governed turbines suffer a partial admission loss owing to
steam being admitted around part of the periphery only.

37. Interstage glands and tip clearances cause internal leakage losses.

38. External gland leak-offs result in a loss of available energy.

39. Wet steam causes a loss of stage efficiency of 1 percent for every 1
percent of water.

40. Leaving loss in the kinetic energy of the high-velocity exhaust steam.

41. The efficiency of any stage except the last (and the first stage with nozzle
control governing) remains sensibly constant over a very wide range of
steam lows.

42. Pressure drops anywhere in the steam path cause a loss of available

43. Mechanical losses are bearing losses plus the power required to drive the
oil pumps and governor. They are constant in terms of kilowatts
irrespective of load.

44. Alternator losses vary with load and power factor Windage and friction
losses are constant but copper, iron, and stray losses vary with load and
power factor.

45. Terminal conditions are all important in obtaining best efficiency,

particularly the initial steam and reheat steam temperatures and the

46. Unless some change occurs in the area of the steam flow paths through
the turbine, stage pressures are proportional to the rate of flow of steam to
the following stages.

47. Simple throttle governing means that all the first stage nozzles are in a
common annulus and are subject to the same amount of throttling. More
than one throttle valve may be used but they would have the same effect
as only one valve.

48. Nozzle control governing consists of separate groups of first-stage nozzles

each controlled by its own throttle valve. This method of governing
minimizes throttling losses at part load.

49. Throttling steam at the turbine inlet causes a loss of available energy.

50. The loss of available energy which is due to throttling is not as great for a
reheat set as it is for a non-reheat set.

51. With nozzle control governing the first stage operates with a pressure ratio
which varies with load, as a result the efficiency on the first stage is
variable, but at part loads the turbine would have a better efficiency than a
basically similar throttle governed set.

52. Throttle governing is a simpler system and would probably give a better
efficiency at full load than the nozzle governed set. The high-pressure
cylinder can be symmetrical and should heat up symmetrically as steam is
admitted all, round the circumference of the first stage.

53. Plotting the rate of steam flow through a turbine against its load gives a
straight line called the Willans line. Plotting the hourly heat consumption
against the load also gives a straight line, which is quite often referred to
as the Willans line.

54. Where the Willans line cuts the no-load axis, is known as the 'no-load'
steam consumption or heat consumption as the case may be. This is no
indication of what the consumption would be at no-load but is simply the
point at which t;',e Willans line crosses the no-load axis when extended.
The 'no-load' heat consumption would normally be 5 to 8 percent for
throttle-governed machines and 2 to 5 percent for nozzle-governed

55. The heat rate of a turbine is the heat required to generate one-kilowatt

56. If stop valve temperature for non-reheat sets or reheat temperature for
reheat sets is allowed to fall below its specified value then there will b a
loss of available energy, an increase in the wetness loss, and possible
more erosion damage to the low pressure blades.

57. Stop valve temperature of reheat sets is of equal importance as reheat

temperature as its effect on efficiency is about the same despite the fact
that it does not have any effect on exhaust wetness.

58. Maintaining full steam pressure at part load is only beneficial to nozzle-
governed turbines. At part load on throttle-governed turbines a small gain
in efficiency could be realized by allowing stop valve pressure to fall below
its full value and so reduce the throttling Joss.

59. Vacuum has a very large effect on operating efficiency. Improving vacuum
improves efficiency up to a point when exhaust losses out weight the gain
available energy.

60. To obtain the best vacuum and turbine heat rate the heat transfer rate i the
condenser should be as high as possible which will result in the difference
in temperature between the condensing steam and the circulating water
being as low as possible.

Condenser heat transfer is improved by high circulating water velocity

through the tubes. Condenser heat transfer is improved by warmer
circulating water, which accounts for the apparent improvement in
condenser performance in summer.

Air in the steam space spoils condenser performance; excessive air

ingress to the condenser can be checked by measuring the air discharge
from thi air ejector or air pump. Alternatively, the presence of excessive air
can be checked by relating condensate temperature to vacuum
temperature as air causes under cooling. Excessive air quantities will also

lower the air suction temperature in relation to the circulating water

Condenser tubes must be kept clean by chlorination and regular

mechanical cleaning at optimum intervals of time.

61. Shutting off the bleed steam to the last heater will give a 5 or 6 percent
increase in power output but in efficiency will fall by about 1 percent.

Before 'resorting to this practice, careful consideration and consultation

with the plant manufacturers is needed, and perhaps some test

62. Blading deposits restrict the flow of steam through a turbine and hence
reduce its maximum capacity. They also reduce its efficiency. Deposits
cause stage pressured upstream to rise, the greatest percentage rise
being immediately upstream of the affected blading.

63. Gland water is one of the causes of turbine depreciation and most of it
occurs during rough starts. Supervisory instrumentation and quick starting
tests should take the guesswork out of starting tests and reduce the
losses, which are due to excessive gland clearances.

64. Loss of steam and water should be kept as low as possible. A 1 percent
loss of boiler water would cause about 0.25 to 0.5 percent loss of heat. A 1
percent loss of steam at TSV enthalpy would create a heat loss of about
1.2 percent.

65. All available cooling tower capacity should be used irrespective of the
number of turbines in commission. Cooling tower packing and water
distribution should be kept in good order.

8. Preliminary Boiler Inspection

Even when boiler equipment is in poor operating condition, "blast" bonet settings
for improved efficiency and reduced NO emissions call still be found under these
conditions using the standard test procedures. However, it is stressed that these
efficiency improvements obtained under a deteriorated state of the boiler can be
Substantially less than the improvements achieved when the boiler equipment is
in proper working order. To attain maximum fuel savings and lowest stack emis-
sions, it is essential that the condition of the boiler be examined prior to testing
and that any necessary repairs or maintenance be completed.

There are many maintenance items which can affect boiler efficiency and they
are described later. Some of the more common items to be included in the
preliminary boiler inspection are summarized here.


For oil firing one should make sure that the atomizer is of proper design and size
for the type of oil and burner geometry. (There may have been a mix up between
boilers when oil tips were removed at the cleaning bench). The oil tip passages
and orifices should be inspected for excessive erosion and any coke or 8 am
deposits removed to ensure a proper oil spray pattern. Oil temperature at the
burner should be checked to see that they are at recommended levels. Atomizing
steam; of used, must be at the proper pressure. Burner diffusers should be
inspected -to make sure they are not burned off or broken and are properly
located with respect to the oil gun lip. Also the oil gun should be checked so it is
positioned properly within the burner throat. Any damaged or missing burner
throat refractory should be replaced. Oil strainers should be in place and clean.

Pulverized coal burner components such as pulverize, feeders, conveyors, and

primary/tempering air ducts must all be working properly.

Coal fineness should be within recommended limits. All coal pipes should be
cleared of any coal and coke deposits. Burner parts should be checked for any
signs of excessive erosion or burn-off. For stoker boilers, the grates must not be
excessively wormed causing poor burn out in the bed or high carbon carryover.
Spreaders should be checked to ensure they are working properly and are in the
correct location.

The proper positioning of all air proportioning dampers should be confirmed.

Proper coal sizing is also important. To minimize unburned carbon losses, the re-
injection system must also be operating correctly.


All fuel valves should be inspected to verify proper movement and clean internal
surfaces. Gas and oil valve surfaces may erode with time. There should not be
excessive "play" in control linkages or air dampers. Fuel supply inlet pressures to
all pressure regulators should be adequate to ensure constant regulator outlet
pressures for all firing rates. Atomizing steam or air systems must also deliver
proper steam and air pressure. Unnecessary cycling of firing rate due to
improperly adjusted regulators or automatic master controllers can waste fuel. All
gauges should be functioning and calibrated to aid in identifying and control
problems as they occur. All safety interlocks and boiler trip circuits must be


Inspect gas-side boiler tube surfaces for excessive deposits and fouling. These
lead to higher stack temperatures and lower boiler efficiencies. Poor firing
conditions may be the cause of tube deposit problems but proper operation of
soot-blowing equipment should also be checked. Periodic cleaning of tube
surfaces may be a practical solution when burners and soot blowers are found to
be operating as designed. Any leaks in the boiler gas passages and baffling
should be repaired. Furnace refractory and insulation should also be inspected
and any casing leaks and cracked or missing refractory repaired.

Furnace inspection ports must be cleaned and openable since visual flame
observations will be an essential part of the boiler testing. Inspection ports should
provide a view of the burner throat, furnace walls and leading convection passes.


Boiler adjustments to improve efficiency and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions

cannot be attempted without proper stack instrumentation.

To successfully carry out these tests in a safe manner, it is necessary to measure

the following quantities at the stack: excess oxygen (or carbon dioxide), carbon
monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, capacity (smoke density) and stack temperature.
These measurements must also of accompanied by visual furnace observations
to assure acceptable flame conditions.


Excess oxygen concentration in industrial boiler stacks can vary from a fraction of
1 to 10% or more depending on boiler design, type of fuel, burner adjustments
and firing rate. The lowest practical excess 0- is usually the preferred condition
for highest efficiency NO emissions also are generally reduced by operating with
lower excess 0.

Oxygen can be measured using portable analyzers when the boiler is not already
equipped with 02 meters. Reasonable accuracies can be obtained with an Orsat
analyzer by an experienced technician using fresh chemicals. Other hand held
chemical absorbing type analyzers and "length of stain" (color - sensitive tubes)
devices are commercially .available. Port-able or mounted electronic instruments
with high accuracies are also available.

Whether using a built-in 0- analyzer or a portable instrument, its proper calibration

is essential for accurate readings and successful boiler adjustments. The
recommended calibration procedure for the instrument should be followed and
the frequency of calibration adjusted as necessary to minimize calibration "drift".
One should start with a fresh calibration when beginning the boiler tests. When

calibration gases are required, newer gases should be cross checked when
delivered, with older ones to catch any errors in the calibration gas itself. For
analyzers involving absorbing chemicals (such as Orsat analyzers), the absorbing
chemicals should be fresh and a routine established for renewing chemicals
based on the number of samples analyzed and the age of the chemicals. These
are general remarks concerning instrument calibration and they also apply to the
other stack measurements.

Carbon monoxide concentration in the stack gases should not exceed WO ppm
once the final boiler adjustments are made. Some city ordinances, industry
codes and insurance organizations require that CO does not exceed this value.
For" purpose of testing, occasional CO levels of up to 1,000 or 2,000 ppm can be
acceptable provided adequate boiler monitoring and flame observation are
possible to assure stable conditions. Caution should be used at these conditions.
Further reducing the excess air will result in very rapid increases in CO and other
combustibles which can lead to smoking, flame in-stability, furnace pulsation and
boiler explosions.

Carbon monoxide measurements on oil and coal fired boilers are not generally
mandatory since smoking or excessive carbon carry over will usually precede any
substantial CO emissions. However, this cannot always be anticipated. For
example, high CO levels have been measured in cases where burner equipment
has deteriorated or malfunctioned (burned off impellers, plugged oil tips,
insufficient over-fire air, etc.). High CO ^missions can also be encountered at high
excess 0- levels where the air flow has been increased to the point of influencing
flame stability. For this reason, it is recommended that CO measurements be
included on all boilers to assure that there are no burner equipment problems
complicating the efficiency and NO emission test results.

The CO analyzer should be capable of measuring up to 2,000 ppm and should

also have sufficient sensitivity to measure down to the 100 ppm range. Orsat
analyzers have traditionally been used for CO determinations but difficulties in
accurately reading the lower CO concentrations (less than 1,000 ppm) has

spurred the use of hand held "length of stain" type detectors which reportedly
provide the necessary sensitivities and measurement range. Portable or mounted
electronic instruments are also available.


To assist in selecting NOx instrumentation with the proper range of measurement,

Table 4.1 shows the range of NO emissions found during field-testing at industrial
boilers. These NO emission levels generally correspond to boiler firing rates near
80% of rated load. Since NO usually increases with firing rate, these values are
close to the highest NO emissions found during normal operation. Note that
higher NO emissions also generally occur on boilers equiped with combustion air


Field Type Without air With air

Preheaters Preheaters
Pulverized 300 - 600 400 - 800
Stoker 200 - 400 250
450Cyclone 800 - 1100 900 - 1500
Fuel Oils
2 50 - 250 100 - 300
= 5 (PS 300) 200 - 400 200 - 600
=6 200 - 400 200 - 600

Natural Gas 50 - 200 100 - 400

To properly interpret NOx emission results, the measured NOx reading obtained
from the analyzer must be corrected to account for diluting effects of excess air in
the flue gas. This is important when boiler excess air is varied and it is desired to
know the resulting effect on NOx emissions. For example, as excess air is raised,
NOx formation in the furnace may increase, but at the same time the additional air
will dilute the flue gas and measured NOx readings at the stack may actually be
To illustrate this point further, suppose a large air fan is installed at the boiler
outlet to inject large quantities of outside air into the flue gas. The operator could
then adjust the fan to dilute the stack gases and obtain any desired NO
concentration less than the furnace outlet concentration.

However, if NOx readings are corrected to some standard excess air (or excess
0-) condition, the "corrected" NO values will be the same regardless of how much
diluting air is added. The purpose of correcting NO readings is not to prevent the
use of diluting air fans or other similar devices. The primary purpose is to provide
a consistent basis of comparing NO emissions and to eliminate the diluting effect
of excess air when making these comparisons.

The accepted industry practice is to correct NOx readings to standard condition of

3% excess O2 To do this, the measured NOx reading in ppm (measured on a dry
or moisture free basis) is multiplied by an 0- correction factor which is easily
calculated. To determine the 0- correction factor, divide 18 by the quantity 21
minus the percent excess 0- measured in the stack as shown below :

O2 correction factor = 18
21-96 O2

For example, if the NOx reading in the stack is 200 ppm and the excess 0, at the
same time is measured as 5.0%.

Corrected NOx equals raw NOx multiplied by the O2 Correction factor, or

Corrected NO = (raw NOx ) X (O2 correction factor).

= 200 X 18

= 200 X 18

= 200 X 1.125 = 225 ppm.

The corrected NOx will not necessarily remain constant as boiler excess air is

varied (since NO formation is not constant). Raw NOx must be obtained at each
02 level and then corrected for the corresponding O2

Stack Capacity (Smoke Density)

Smoking with oil and coal fuels is a certain indication of flue gas combustibles or
unacceptable flame conditions and should always DC avoided. .Some oil and coal
fired boilers (especially larger capacity boilers) are equipped with a smoke
detector which can be very useful in providing indications of poor stack conditions
when properly calibrated. Ultimately, acceptable stack conditions are always
confirmed by visual observation of the stack.

Stack Temperature

Tube deposits and fouling on the external tube surfaces of a water tube boiler or
similar gas side conditions in the gas tubes of a fire tube boiler will inhibit the
absorption of heat in the boiler and lead to lower efficiencies. This condition will
be reflected in high flue gas temperatures when compared to "clean" conditions
at a similar firing rate and boiler excess air. The resulting loss in boiler efficiency
can be closely estimated on the basis that 1% efficiency loss occurs with every
5C increase in stack temperature. Water side deposits resulting from inadequate
water treatment would also eventually. lead to Higher stack temperatures;
however, tube failures due to overheating generally occur before any substantial
efficiency losses are evident.

Stack temperature measurements are an easy and effective means for moni-
toring boiler tube cleanliness conditions. Stack temperatures should be
periodically compared to values obtained during start-up or following a boiler tube
wash to determine any deviations from "clean" base line temperatures. Since
stack temperature usually increases with firing rate and excess air, these
comparisons should be performed at similar boiling operating conditions.

In the absence of any previous data, the stack gas temperatures will normally be
about 65C to 93C above the steam temperature in a saturated steam boiler at
high firing rates. This does not apply to boilers equipped with economizers or air
preheaters. The boiler manufacturer should be able to supply a normal range of
stack temperatures for the particular boiler design. When higher stack
temperatures are measured, boiler lube cleaning may be warranted.


The appearance of an industrial boiler's flame can provide a good preliminary

indication of combustion conditions. It is difficult to generalize the characteristics
of a "good" flame since there is a certain amount of operator preference and
variations due to burner design involved. This is especially true for stoker fired
coal boilers. For other types Of combustion equipment, flames of definite
appearance have usually been sought. Short, bright, crisp and highly turbulent oil
and pulverized coal flames have been desired. Blue, slightly streaked, or nearly
invisible flames have been sought for gas fuels. (However, operation with low NO
emissions at reduced excess O2 levels may result in a different flame
appearance). Stability of the flame at the burner and minimum furnace vibration
are also universally desired. For underfed stoker boilers, an even bed and
absence of carbon streamers are important criteria.

All too often, good flame appearance is achieved by operating with excess
02levels higher than necessary for safe, clean firing. Reducing the excess 0 to the
lowest practical levels for the boiler is the primary concern here.

At the other extreme, firing with insufficient excess 0., has also been encountered
at industrial boiler installations. This condition is usually limited to natural gas
firing where very high combustibles can occur with improper burner settings and
inadequate combustion quality checks. This description is intended to assist in
correcting both conditions.

When firing with the lowest practical excess 0-, approximately the same amount
of heat energy is released in the furnace of a given amount of fuel heat energy
input. However, this process may take a longer period of time and utilize more
furnace volume before the fuel is completely burned. The result o1 low excess 0-
firing is a flame, which may have the following typical characteristics:

Flames that actually grow in volume and more completely "fill" the furnace.

Flames exhibiting a lazy "rolling" appearance. Instead of intense, highly turbulent

flames, low O2 flames may appear to flow some what slower through the furnace.

The overall colour of the flame may change as excess 0- is lowered. Natural gas
flames become more visible or luminous with yellow or even slightly hazy
portions. Coal and oil fires become darker yellow or orange and may appear
hazy in parts.

These characteristics are, for the most part, contrary to flame conditions
traditionally desired by industrial boiler operators for clear, dependable firing.
While this might seem discouraging, it is stressed that safety, reliability, and low
particulate and soot emissions can still be achieved with low 0- firing. This is true
only if the required stack measurements are made and recommendations in
these guidelines are followed. It should be mentioned that in many cases, firing
with low excess 0., would not necessarily produce any drastic changes in flame

If the boiler is already being fired with the lowest practical excess O2 these
guidelines will still be of benefit by helping to assure that high efficiencies and.
low NO emissions will be maintained.


To obtain measurements of excess O2-, CO, NOx and smoke, most of the
analyzers previously mentioned require that a sample of flue gas be withdrawn
from the stack and delivered to the analyzer. Some analyzers require a
continuous flow of sample until a "steady" reading is obtained, while others
require only a small volume of sample at one time. An exception is analyzers
mounted "in-stack" with detector elements located in the flue gas stream.
Regardless of the analysis technique, it is essential that the portion of the stack
gases analyzed be a representative sample of the bulk of the stack gas flow. The
location of the sampling site at which the sample of flue gas is obtained is as
important as the selection of proper measurement devices. Air leakage into the
gas ducts on negative draft boilers can dilute the flue gas, and consequently,
measurements will not give true indications of furnace conditions. Air leakage in
air preheaters poses the same problem. When selecting a sampling site, it should
be ch6sen upstream of the Air Preheater or any known air leaks when possible.
All known air leaks upstream of the sample location should be sealed.

The sample site should also be removed from an area where the flue gas is
highly turbulent, such as immediately downstream of bends, dampers, or induced
draft fans. Flue gases can stratify or form "pockets" which can lead to errors
especially when samples are withdrawn from a single point in the duct. When a
single point sample probe is used, it is recommended that readings at several
points in the duct be compared to determine the most representative probe
location. When existing sample ports are not adequate, it is well worthwhile to drill
or cut out new ports to obtain accurate, reliable measurements.

Flue gas temperatures are also subject to stratification in the ducts and a
representative location of the thermometer or other temperature sensors should
be verified. The location should be close to the boiler outlet since temperature
losses can occur in the flue gas dueling, especially in uninsulated sections.

9. Boiler Test Procedures

The two major aspects of the boiler testing are (1) terminating the optimum boiler
firing conditions over the turndown range and (2) making the burner adjustments
necessary to maintain, these optimum conditions during normal automatic

The second part of the testing is very dependent on the particular design of the
boiler controls. To successfully accomplish the burner adjustments will require a
working knowledge of the control system. For example, its design will dictate to a
large extent the number of firing rate conditions necessary to be examined. An
adjustment at one firing rate maya effect conditions at other firing rates and these
effects must be recognized and anticipated. It would not be desirable to improve
efficiency and NO emissions at one firing rate only to create poor conditions at

Again, they are dependent on the design of the burner and controls and can
involve any number of air flow control devices such as forced draft fan inlet
dampers, wind box dampers, stack draft dampers. Final adjustments to achieve
the correct excess 0, can involve adjustments to jack shaft control linkages, fuel
valve can profiles, fuel/air set points, etc.

The key word in applying combustion modifications is "caution". One should be

careful while making any adjustments and know at all times the impact on fuel
flow, air flow, or the control system. All boiler safety interlocks and trip circuits
must be functioning. Plant engineering personnel or the boiler manufacturer
should be consulted if there is any uncertainty about the procedures or expected
outcome of any adjustment. Flame appearance can give many clues as to
combustion conditions - fires should be observed, but flame appearance should
not be the only clue.

As described previously, flame appearance can change for low NO operation.

Boiler instrumentation and the stack should be watched carefully while making
changes. If in doubt, one should always check for combustibles (CO) in the flue
gas. Conducting these tests may require additional manpower so that controls
and instrumentation, flame appearance, and stack conditions can be monitored
simultaneously during adjustments. All personnel should be familiar with the test
objectives and fully instructed regarding their part in the test.


To obtain maximum benefit from the boiler tests, all pertinent test data should be
recorded. The permanent record of boiler operating conditions and stack
measurements will not only document the boiler's efficiency and emission
characteristics, but also enable future comparisons to help diagnose any
efficiency or emission problems. The test data should be recorded on prepared
data sheet forms and include the following items :

1. Identification of boiler, fuel type, date of tests and names of operating

personnel involved.

2. Steam, feed water andfuel conditions (flow rates, pressures and

temperature) document boiler firing rate and steam generation.

3. Combustion control position and burner settings.

4. Furnace pressures, temperatures, and damper settings.

5. Stack measurements (O2 CO2, CO, NOx, smoke, temperature) Make note
of sample probe position.

6. All relevant comments on flame appearance, carryover and furnace


7. Record any new permanent changes made to combustion controls or

burner settings.

The actual boiler readings included will of course depend on the available

instrumentation. Adequate data must be obtained so that exact boiler operating
conditions can be repeated for future comparative purposes. It may be worthwhile
to review the final form of the data sheet with the engineering staff and
incorporate any additional data entries that may be of mutual interest.

Readings should be recorded only after steady boiler conditions are reached.
This is usually indicated by steady stack temperature, fuel input, steam conditions
(pressure and temperature and drum level). Steady excess 0- in the stack are a
good indication that fuel and air flows have stabilized.

It is very desirable that these tests be conducted at normal steam pressures. This
will assure that stack temperatures and furnace temperatures are representative
of norms operating conditions. Since it will usually be necessary to control the
boiler-firing rate manually during the tests to obtain stable conditions, this may
pose some problems in satisfying normal steam demands. When alternate steam
generating capacity is available, the loading steam at other boilers should be
modulated to maintain constant pressures. When this is not possible, it may be
necessary to make provisions to dump unneeded steam or temporarily interrupt
plant processes.


The following are the preparation made before conducting the test (including
preliminary test).

i. All the peepholes, windows of the furnace were closed.

ii. Emergency blow down valves were tightened.

iii. Level of unit drain tank was noted before and after the test to note the
variation in level after test.

iv. One hour was spent from 10.30 to 11.30 hrs. for stabilisation of
parameters and readings taken are treated as Preliminary test records.

v. Pressure/temperature/flow/level instruments were being calibrated by

control and instrumentation division.

vi. The above said period was also provided to check instruments functioning.

a. Oil support removal from the furnace.

b. Sufficient staff deputed for taking reading, at a duration of 15 mts.) for

collecting samples of bottom ash/fly ash/coal RC/Flue gas samples.

During the test following conditions were maintained.

i. EBD was not operated and soot blowing was not carried out during test.

Ii .Mill combinations in service were maintained same throughout the test.

iii) Drum, D/A condenser level maintained almost constant during the test.

iv. All the controlling parameters variations related to performance were kept
within limit.

v. Fly ash/bottom ash/raw coal and flue gas samples are taken at 15 minutes
interval for analysis. Flue gas samples were analyzed at site.

During the test more emphasis was given to maintain controlling parameters
within limit, however there was variation in load, due to frequency disturbance
and grid fluctuations. For calculation purposes all the readings are averaged over
the period (two hours from 11.30 to 13.30 taken at 15 mts. interval). Average
parameters are mentioned .in this report for reference only. test was terminated
10 minutes before as the MH1-4E threw off load.


Ultimate Analysis (Derived from Proximate Analysis)

Carbon 39,62%

N2 1.84%

H2 3.20%

Ash 36.96%

Sulphur 0.3% (assumed)

Total Moisture 8.35%


O2- (by diff) 9.73%

CV of coal 4204 Kcals/Kg. = 17656.8 K3/Kg.

Flue Gas Analysis

Average CO^ at APH outlet 14.56%

Average Oy at APH outlet 4.1%

Average N~ at APH outlet 81.34%

Average dry bulb temp. 23.25C

Average wet bulb temp. 18.00C

From psychrometric chart moisture 0.0180 Kg/Kg of air.

Average APH outlet temp. 147.33C

Average air temp. at FD inlet 27.75C

Average unburnt carbon in bottom 8.00%


Average unburnt carbon in fly ash 1.15%

Average air temp. at FD outlet 29.75"C

Proximate Analysis of coal Total

Moisture 8.35%

Ash 36.96%

VM 21.69%

Fixed Carbon 33.00

Average load 175.77 MW

Ambient Temperature 23.5C

Conversion of proximate analysis to ultimate analysis.

N2% = 2.10 - 0.012 VM = 2.10-0-012 x 21.69 = 1.84%

Total combustibles = FC + VM =^33.00 + 21.69 = 54.69

VM as % of combustibles, = 21.69 X 100% = 39.66% (=V)

Hydrogen%= V x 7.35 = 0.013 = 0.3966 x7.36 - 0.013
V + 10 0.4966

= 5.86%

Hydrogen as fired = 5.86 x 0.5469 = 3.20%

Total carbon = FC + volatile C

(including sulphur)
= 33.00 + 0.9 (21.69 - 14) = 39.92%

*. Carbon = 39.92 - 0.30 = 39.62

Sulphur 0.30% (assumed) O2 by diff.

= 54.69 - (3.2 + 39.62 + 0.3 + 1.84) = 9.73%

Weight of Dry flue gases/Kg, of Carbon

N2 = 100 - (14.56 + 4.10) = 81.34

= 11 CO2. + 8O2. + 7 (CO + N2)

3 (CO2 + CO)

= 11 x 14.56 + 8 x 4.1 + 7 x 81.34 = 17.45 Kg/Kg of Carbon

3 x 14.56
= C in rough ash = 20% of 0.3696 x 0.80 = 0.0059 Kg/Kg, of fuel.

= C in fly ash = S0% of 0.3696 x 0.0115 = 0.0034 Kg/Kg of fuel.

Wt. of Carbon Consumed.

= 0.3962 - 0.0093 = 0.3869 Kg of Carbon/Kg, of Fuel.

Wt. of Dry Flue Gas/Kg, of Fuel (W) = 0.3869 x 17.45 = 6.751 Kg./Kg. of fuel.

W = 6.751 Kg of flue gas/Kg, of fuel.

1. Dry Flue Gas Loss

= 1.01 x W (T-t) K3/Kg. of Fuel = 1.01x6.751(147.53-23.250)

= 846.04 K3/Kg. of Fuel.

% Dry Flue Gas Loss = 846.04 = 4.79%


2. Loss Due to Moisture in Fuel

= M 2477 + 2T - 4.2t K3/Kg.

= 0.0835 x 2477 + 2 x 147.33 - 4.2 x 23.25

= 223.279 K3/Kg.

= % Loss = 223.279 x 100% = 4.36%


3. Loss Due to Hydrogen in Fuel

9 x 0.032 x 2674.01 = 770.115 x 100 = 4.36%


4. Loss Due to Unburnt Carbon

i. Rough Ash Loss = 0.2 x 0.3696 x 0.08 x 33820 K3/Kg.

% Loss = 199.538 X 100% = 1.13%


ii. Fly Ash = 0.8 x 0.3696 x 0.0115 x 33820

= 114.988 KJ/Kg.

% LOSS - 114.988X100 = 0.65%


5. Radiation Loss = 0-3 % (assumed).

6. Unaccounted Losses = 1.5%

Unaccounted losses includes the following:

1. Loss Due to Moisture in Air

Loss = W x 2.0 (T - t)

(Wt. of dry fuel gases/Kg, of fuel

Wt. of fuel burnt/Kg, of fuel.

= 1.0 - Ash - Carbon in ash = 1.0 - 3696 - 0.0093 = 0.6211 Kg.

= Wt. of dry flue gas/Kg, of fuel.

= 6.863 Kg.

= Wt. of dry air = 6.863 - 0.6211

= 6.242 Kg./Kg. of fuel.

Corresponding to dry bulb & wet bulb temperature of 23.25C and 18C moisture
in Kg/Kg of dry air = 0.0108 Kg.

W = 6.242 x 0.0108 = 0.0674 Kg/Kg of fuel.

Loss = 0.0674 x 2 (147.33 - 23.25)

= 6.726 KJ/Kg.

% Loss = 16.726 X100 = 0.0947%


2. Sensible Heat Loss from Ash

i. Flyash = 0.8 x % ash X sp. heat (147.33 - 23.25)


Sp. heat of fly ash = 0.2 Kcal/Kg K

% Sensible heat loss from ash

= 0.08 x 0.3696 x 0.2 (147.33 - 23.5) x 100

= 7.323 x 100 = 0.174%

ii) Bottom Ash = 0.2 x 0.3696 x0.28 (623.5 - 23.5) x 100% 4204

(Sp. heat of bottom ash 0.28 Kcals/Kg. K)

Bottom ash temp. assumed to be = 523.5C

= 12.418 x 100% = 0.295%


Total sensible heat loss from ash = (0.174 + 0.295) % = 0.469%

Mill rejects = 1.5%

% Sensible heat = 0.015 x 120 x 103 x 0.312980-23.5 x 100%

120 x 103 x 4204


% Heat loss from mill rejects = 0.015 x 3000 x 100% =0.75%


Total unaccounted loss calculated

= 0.1744-0.295+0.947+0.0084+0.75% = 1.322%

Total unaccounted loss assumed = 1.5%

7. Boiler Heat Balance

i. Dry flue gas loss % = 4.79

ii. Loss due to moisture <5c H- in fuel % = 5.62

iii. Loss due to unburnt carbon % =1.78

iv. Radiation loss (assumed) = 0.30

v. Unaccounted % = 1.50 / 13.99

vi. Boiler efficiency by method of losses = 86.01%

10. Efficiency Monitoring Log Sheet


1.1 Steam flow T/hr.

1.2 Total air flows T/hr

a. Primary air flow T/hr.

b. Secondary air flow T/hr.

1.3 Drum pressure Kg/cm

1.4 ESV inlet steam pressure Kg/cm


2.1 SH

2.2 RH


3.1 Final SH temperature (Outlet)

3.2 Economiser Inlet

3.3 Economiser Outlet

3.4 Air Preheater Outlet


4.1 forking auto/manual

4.2 Burner tilt position

Comer-1 Comer-2 Comer-3 Corner-4




5. SPRAY (T/Hr.)

5.1 SH

5.2 RH


6.1 Water wall

6.2 Superheater

6.3 Air preheater


7.1 CV of coal (

7.2 Proximate Analysis (Coal as fired)

% Moisture

% VH.

% Ash


Parameters Mill
A B C D E F Remarks

Coal flow (T/hr.)

Mill temp. (C)

PA temp. (C) H - High

PA flow (T/hr.) L - Low

Mill fineness M - Medium

- 200 mesh

+ 100 mesh

+ 50 mesh

Mill rejects


9.1 % Carbon in Fly Ash

10.0 % 0^ BM FLUE GAS

10.1 APH inlet (Eco. Outlet)

10.2 APH outlet


1. Condenser Vacuum (mm. Hg.)

If poor I. CW inlet/outlet temperature (C)

II. No. of ejectors in service.

2. Condensate temperature (C)

3. LP Heaters out of service (if any)

4. HP Heaters out of service (if iany)

5. HP Heater drip charged to D/A Condenser

6. D/A pressure (Kg/cm )

7. Extraction 4 charged to D/A Yes/No



1.0 % CBD opening

1.1 Feed water quality 0. K. /Not O.K.

1.2 Condenser tube leakage suspected Yes/No

2.0 Valve passing

3.0 Leakages



1.1 No. of mills running.

1.2 No. of LP & HP ash pumps running

1.3 No. of service air compressor in service

1.4 No. of instrument air compressors in service

1.5 No. of CW in service.

1.6 No. of condensate pumps in service

1.7 No. of BFP in service

1.8 Any others



3.1 Conveyor (if any)

3.2 CT fan (if any)


4.1 ID Fan A/B

4.2 FD Fan A/B

4.3 Mill A/B/C/D/E/F

4.4 PA Fan A/B

4.5 BFP A/B



1. Design Turbine Heat Rate

2. Boiler Efficiency

3. Design Unit Heat Rate

4. Actual Heat Rate


1. MS Steam Pressure Low

2. Stack Temperature High

3. Excess Air More

4. Condenser Vacuum

5. HP Heater not being in Service

6. Partial Loading

7. High Make-up Water Consumption

8. Insulation Improper

9. D/A Pressure Low


1. Coal Feeder Calibrated On

2. Energy V Calibrated On
UAT En y Meter
UCB Ene'gy Meter
ICT Energy Meter

11. Turbine Generator Heat Rate Parameters

12. T/G Heat Rate Considering Steam Flow to
HPC/IPC Mass Balance and Ejector, Seals
Steam Flow


Assessment on Result

Boiler Efficiency

Less boiler efficiency was due to high moisture in fuel and unburnt carbon in
bottom ash, other reasons are the make-up, blow down valve passing, air ingress
to furnace, APH seal leakages attemperation water flow to S/H etc.

Turbine/Generator Heat Rate

Result is high from specified mainly due to HP heaters out of service, high make
up, steam/feed water leakages, more CW inlet temperature less parameters at
ESV/IV, R/H pressure drop etc.

However, unaccounted boiler losses and correction factors for T/C heat rate also
furnished for reference. Deviation may be possible due to instrumental errors
affecting the average parameters taken for calculated and assumption made
during calculations.


13. Coal And Ash Sampling And Analysis

The Main object of coal sampling and analysis in the Power Station is to monitor
the quality of coal supplies and there by ensure that the Power Station receives
the good quality of coal and what it pays for (Price Payment of coal). Another
reason is to enable station efficiency to be calculated.

It is seen that in a particular month the station receives coal from different
collieries and each colliery has different grade and hence the different price. So it
is necessary to check each one separately.


The main object of collecting and preparing a sample of coal is to obtain a

quantity of coal representative of the full quantity of coal under consideration.
Sampling is the first stage in the evaluation of coal and unless this is not correctly
done all the subsequent calculation will suffer. Related to the Power Station
supplies, sample of coal may be collected from conveyor, during loading and
unloading of wagons and from the stationary wagons. The most satisfactory way
of sampling of coal is to collect the sample when the coal is in motion i.e. during
loading or unloading of the wagon -or from conveyor. Sampling from a conveyor
is difficult because as the belt travels the vibration tends to move the bigger piece
to edges. Big pieces of coal often have a different ash content than smaller fine
coal. To obtain a representative sample from conveyor the increment must be
taken from all parts across the width of the coal stream. The number of sample to
be collected from one lot depends on the quantity of coal in it and samples are
collected as per the Indian Standard guideline.

Analysis of Coal Sample

Two type of analysis is generally carried out.

1. Proximate Analysis this Includes the Determination of
a. % Moisture.
b. % Ash Content.
c. % Volatile Matter
d. Calorific Value.

The determination of calorific value is essential for the purpose of combustion

calculation. This is calculated either theoretically or by Bomb calorimeter.

2. Ultimate Analysis

This requires the determination of constituents of the coal in percentage of

Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Sulphur. By determination of the sulphur
content it is possible to estimate the corrosion potential of the coal.

In addition to these proximate and ultimate analysis, some times the ash fusion
temperature is also determined to estimate the slagging potential of coal.


Free Moisture

This is the moisture on the surface of the coal. It is determined by using a

weighted amount of the wet coal, spreading it out in a tray and leaving it to dry
out at ambient temperature. The coal is then weighted again. The loss in weight
is due to the evaporation of free moisture, which can be calculated as a

Inherent Moisture

This is the moisture that is locked up in the structure of the coal and depends on
the condition under which the coal was originally formed. The moisture is
therefore inherent in the coal.

The inherent moisture in coal will not evaporate as in the free moisture does and
is driven off only when the coal is heated above 100C. This is done by Taking 1
gm. of laboratory sample (previously equilibrated at 40C & 60% RH) is
weighted in a previously weighted disc & kept in the oven at temperature of
108 + 2C for one hour and after that again weight of the disc can calculate the %
of inhsrent moisture.

Total Moisture

Inherent Moisture + Free Moisture.


1 gram of the analysis sample weighted in a silica dish hand heated upto .500C
in. 30 minutes time and to 815C in further 30 to 60 minutes and maintained for
one hour. Ash obtained is weighted and result expressed in percentage.

Volatile Matter

The volatile matter of coal is of particular importance in chimney the use for which
the coal is suitable volatile matter is defined as the percentage loss in weight
when 1 gram of coal is heated under controlled conditions for seven minutes at
temperature 900C 10C from which air is excluded. An allowance is made for
any moisture in the coal which would also be driven off at this temperature.

Calorific Value

The calorific value of a coal is a measure of its total heat energy. It is expressed
as kilo calories/Kg. The determinations of calorific value is carried out using a
bomb calorimeter. This gives the gross calorific value.

1 gram of Finely crushed coal is placed in a Nickel crucible which is held in a

steel container called bomb. A wire filament is stretched across the top of the
coal to act as a fore. The bomb is filled with oxygen to a pressure of 25 bar
sealed on an electrical firing connection attached. It is these immersed in a can
of water contained in the apparatus and the lid is fitted to the can. An accurate
thermometer, graduated in 0.001C division is placed in the water and passing a
current through the wire filament ignites the coal in the bomb. The coal b.irn very
rapidly in the atmosphere of oxygen heats the water and the temperature rise in
noted. Using this temperature rise in a standard formula the calorific value of the
coal can be calculated. The total heat determined using a bomb calorimeter is
known as the gross calorific value.

Determination of Sulphur

Most of the Indian Coal has sulphur content ranging from 0.25 to 75% although
occasionally a coal is found having a higher percentage. Only sulphur content
determination is some time necessary to find out the corrosion potential of the
coal. Sulphur in coal occurs in three main forms, pyrites, organics, sulphur
compounds and sulphate. At the high temperature in a furnace most of sulphur is
converted into sulphur dioxide (SO3) and sulphur trioxide (SO3).

Sulphur in Coal is Undesirable for the Following Reasons

1. The water formed when coal burns absorbs the sulphur dioxide and sulphur
trioxide forming sulphurous acid (H_ SO-) and sulphuric acid (H- SO.).
These acids can cause severe corrosion of air heaters, ducts and materials
at the boiler outlet.

2. Sulphate or pyrosulphates of Sodium, Pota^ium, Iron and Aluminium can

form scale on boiler tubes. Fly ash adheres to these deposits and a type of
boiler fouling known as birds nesting results. This fouling unless removed
can block the gas tones and reduce heat transfer.

3. High concentration of sulphur dioxide are toxic and corrosive so the uses of
tall chimney is to disperse and reduce the concentration to a harmless level
in the atmosphere.


1 gram analysis sample is mixed with 5 gram of E. Sekha mixture and heated to
800C. The sulphur that is fixed in ihe E. Sekha mixture is gravimetricaliy esti-

Ash Sampling and Analysis

The fly ash and bottom ash sample is collected to determine the cumbuslibie
matter i.e. the substance that has not burned during the combustion in the Fi-


rnace. If paper combustion is not there heat produced in Furnace will be less and
more quantity of coal will be required.

Sample collected is first dried to remove moisture a gram of sample is taken for
analysis in stored ash dish and heated upto 500C in 30 minutes time and to
815C 10Cin further 30 to 60 minutes and maintained fy one hour.

Flue Gas Analysis

During a test of boiler performance gas sample are analysed periodically. Gases
must be withdrawn from several points simultaneously to get a representaiive
sample. The single analyser measures these gases on a volume fraction basis
CO-,, CO, 0. & N-

Many boiler plants use continuously recording or indicating automatic gas

analysers. Many of these instruments record only the CO2 O2 or unburnt fuel gas
percentage. Analyzers can't determine water vapor percentage; so their data are
on a dry gas basis when SO- is not removed separately it becomes absorbed
with the CO2. Airflow and gas flow may be calculated from flue gas analyzer
depending on the problem, gas sample may be taken from the furnace, furnace
exit boiler passes or breeching.


14. Centrifugal Pump Performance


The most important operating characteristics are the capacity Q, the head H, the
power P, and the efficiency. Variables, which influence these, are the speed n
and the impeller or wheel diameter D. It has been assumed that all other
dimensions of the impeller and casing have been fixed. The specific speed n, is a
parameter which classifies impellers according to geometry and operating
characteristics. The value at the operating conditions corresponding to best
efficiency is called the specific speed of the impeller and, usually, is the value of


The pump capacity Q is the volume of fluid per unit time delivered by the pump.
In English measure it is usually expressed in gallons per minute (gpm) or, for
every large pumps, in cubic feet per second (ft /sec). In metric the corresponding
units are litres per second (1/s) and cubic metres per second (m /s). If the
capacity is measured at a location m, where the specific weight of the fluid, ym, is
different from the specific weight at the inlet flange, ys, then the capacity is given
by Q = Qm (ym/ys).


The pump head H represents the network done on a unit weight of fluid in
passing from the inlet or suction flange to the discharge flange d. It is given by

The team p/^*, called the pressure head or flow work, represents the work
required to move a unit weight of fluid across an arbitrary plane perpendicular to


the velocity vector V against the pressure p. The term V /2g, called the velocity
head, represents the kinetic energy of a unit weight of fl,uid moving with velocity
V. The term 2, Called the elevation head or potential head, represents the
potential energy of a unit weight of fluid with respect to the chosen datum.

The first parenthetical term in Eq. (1) represents the discharge head, h and the
second, the inlet or suction head h . The difference is variously called the pump
head, pump total head, or total dynamic head.

The unit of H is customarily feet of fluid pumped, in English measures, and

metres of fluid pumped in metric measure. This requires that consistent units be
used for all quantities in the equation. In English measure, typical units would be :

Static pressure p, in pounds force per square feet (Ib/ft2).

Specific weight, in pounds force per cubic feet (Ib/ft3).

Average fluid velocity V, in feet per second (ft/s) Where V = Q/A and

A = cross-sectional area of flow passage in square feet (ft ).

Acceleration of gravity g, in feet per second per second (ft/s2 ) assumed to be

32.17 ft/s2 since corrections for latitude and elevation above or below mean sea
level usually are small.

Elevation Z, in feet above or below the datum.

The standard datum for horizontal shaft pumps is a horizontal plane through the
centreline of the shaft. For vertical shaft pumps the datum is a horizontal plane
through the entrance eye of the first stage impeller, Fig 21B, if single suction, or
through the centerline of the first-stage impeller, Fig. 21C, if double suction. Since
pump head is the difference between the discharge and suction heads, it is not
necessary that the standard datum be used and any convenient datum may be
selected for computing the pump head.


In the International System (S.) typical units would be, for p, Pascals (Pa)
newtons per square meter (N/m2 ), or bars (105 Kg/m.s. 2 ) : = pg, where p = mass

density (Kg/m2 ) and g = 9.8067 m/s2 ; A, in m2 ; V, in m/s; and Z, in m.


The pump output is customarily given as liquid horsepower or wate- horsepower

if water is the liquid pumped. In English measure, the output x.'.ve;. Ihp, in
horsepower, is given by


1 hp = QsH (2)

Where Q is in gpm, s is specific gravity, dimensionless, and H is in feet.

If Q is in ft /s, the equation becomes

1 hp = QsH (3)

In metric measures,

Where Q is in litres per second (1/s), and H is in metres.

If Q is in m /s, EQ. (4) becomes

1 hp = QsH (4)
1 hp = QsH (5)

In the SI system, the unit of power is the watt (Kg.m2 /a2 ). So that Eqs. (4) and
(5) would not apply.


The pump efficiency is the liquid horsepower divided by the power input to the
pump shaft. The later usually is called the brake horsepower (bhp). The efficiency
may be expressed as a decimal or multiplied by 100 and expressed as percent.
Some pump-driver units are so constructed that the actual power input to the
pump is difficult or impossible to obtain. Typical of these is the "canned" pump for
volatile or dangerous liquids. In such case, only an overall efficiency can be
obtained. If the driver is an electric motor, this is called the wire-to-liquid efficiency
or wire-to -water efficiency when water is the liquid pumped.



Ideal Pump and Fluid:-

An ideal impeller contains a very large number of vanes of infinitesimal thickness.
The particles of an ideal fluid move exactly parallel to such vane surface Without
friction. As an analysis of the power transmitted to an ideal fluid by such an
impeller leads to

often called Euler's pump equation. The Euler head is the work done on a unit
weight of the fluid by the impeller. In Fig. 22, is the peripheral velocity of any point
or a vane as seen by an observer attached to and moving with the vane. The
absolute velocity of a fluid' particle, c, is the vector of u and w. The subscripts 1
and 2 refer to the entrance and exit cross sections of the flow passages.

SI base units include the meter, m, the kilogram mass kg, and the second, s. the
Newton (N) is defined as that force which steadily applied to a mass of 1 Kg
produces an acceleration of 1 m/s .
The second term in Euler's equation frequently is small compared to the first term
and may be neglected so that Eq. (6) becomes

The absolute velocity vector c may be resolved into the meridian or radial
velocity, C , and the peripheral velocity C , From the geometry of the figure

which, substituted into Eq. (7), gives

Neglecting leakage flow, the meridian velocity C must be proportional to the

capacity Q. With the additional assumption of constant impeller speed, Eq. (9)
becomes in which k. and ky are constants with the value of k- dependent on the
value of the vane angled

Figure 23 shows the Euler head-capacity characteristics for the three possible
conditions on the vane angle at exit/? The second_term in Eq (6) may be
treated in like manner to the foregoing and included in Eqs. (9) and (10). The
effect on Fig. 23 would be to change the value of H = u_ /g at Q = 0 and the
slopes of the lines but all head-capacity characteristics would remain straight


Real Pump and Fluid
The vanes of real pump impellers have finite thickness and are relatively widely
spaced. Investigation have shown that the fluid does not flow parallel to the vane
surfaces even at the point of best efficiency so that the conditions required for
Euler's equation are not fulfilled. The head is always less than predicted by
Euler's equation and the head-capacity characteristic frequency is an irregular
curve. Analysis has so far failed to predict the characteristics of real pumps with
requisite accuracy so that graphical representation of actual tests is in common
use. It is customary to plot the head, power, and efficiency as functions of
capacity for a constant speed. An example is shown in Fig. 24.


Typical pump characteristics, backward-curved vanes.

Fig. - 24


Pumps are designed to operate at the point of best efficiency. The head, power,
and capacity at best efficiency, often called the normal values, have been
indicated in this section by H , P , and Q respectively. Sometimes a pump
may be operated continuously at a capacity slightly above or below Q, in such
case, the actual operating point is called the rated or guarantee point if the
manufacturer specified this capacity in the guarantee. It is usual to operate a
pump continuously at a capacity at which the efficiency is much below the
maximum value. Apart from the favorable economics the pump may be severely
damaged by continued off-design operation as described later.


The formation and subsequent collapse of vapor-filled cavities in a liquid due to

dynamic action are called cavitations. The cavities may be bubbles, vapor filled
pockets, or a combination of both. The local pressure must be at or below the
vapor pressure of the liquid for cavitations to begin, and the cavities must en-
counter a region of pressure higher than the vapor pressure in order to collapse.
Dissolved gases often are liberated shortly before vaporization, but true caviation
required vaporization of the liquid. Boiling accomplished by the addition of heat of
the reduction of static pressure without dynamic action of the fluid is arbitrarily
exclude from the definition of cavitations. With mixtures of liquids, such as
gasoline, the light fractions tend to cavitate first.

When .a fluid flows over a surface having convex curvature, the pressure near
the surface is lowered and the flow tends to separate from the surface. Separa-
tion and cavitations are completely different phenomena. Without cavitations, a
separated region contains turbulent eddying fluid at pressure higher than the
vapor pressure.

When the pressure is low enough, the separated region may contain a vapor
pocket which fills from the down-stream end collapses, and form again many
times each second. This causes noise and, if severe enough, vibration. Vapor-
filled bubbles usually are present which collapse very rapidly in any region where
the pressure is above the vapor pressure. Knapp found the lifecycle of a bubble
to be on the order of 0.003 s.
Bubbles which collapse on a solid boundary may cause severe mechanical
carriage, Shulter and mesler photographed bubbles which distorted into teroidal-
shaped rings during collapse and produced ring-shaped indentations in a soft
metal boundary. The bubbles rebounded following the initial collapse and caused
pitting of the boundary. Pressures on the order of 10 atm have been estimated
during collapse of a bubble. All known materials can be damaged by exposure to
bubble collapse for a sufficiency long time. This is properly called cavitations
erosion, or pittings. Extensive damage to the suction side of pump impeller vanes
after about three months operation with cavitations. At two locations, the pitting
has penetrated deeply into the 3/8 in thickness of stainless steel. The unfavorable
inlet flow conditions, believed to have been the cause of the cavitations, were at
least partly due to elbows in the approach piping. Modifications to the approach
piping and the pump inlet passages reduced the cavitations to the point that
impeller life was extended to several years.

It has been postulated that high temperatures and chemical action may be
present at bubble collapse but any damaging effects due to them appear to be
secondary compared to the mechanical action. It seems possible that erosion by
foreign materials in the liquid and cavitations pitting may augment each other.
Controlled experiments with water indicated that the damage to metal depends
on the liquid temperature and was a maximum at about 100 to 120F. Cavitations
pitting, as measured by weight of the boundary material removed per unit time,
frequently increases with time. Cast iron and Steel boundaries are particularly
vulnerable. Controlled experiments have shown a strong dependence of
cavitations pitting of metals such as aluminum, steel, and stainless steel on the
velocity of the fluid in the undisturbed flow past the boundary. On the basis of
tests of short duration, Knapp reported that damage to annealed aluminum
increased approximately as the sixth power of the velocity of the undisturbed flow
past the surface. Hammitt found a more complication relationship between
velocity and damage.

It seems clear that once cavitations begins it will increase rapidly with increasing
velocities. Frequently the rate of pitting accelerator with elapsed time.


Centrifugal pumps begin to cavitate when the suction head is insufficient to
maintain pressures above the vapor pressure throughout the few passages. The
most sensitive areas usually .are the low pressure sides of the impeller vanes
near the inlet edge and the front abroad where the curvature is greatest. Axial
flow and high-specific-speed impellers without front shrouds are especially
sensitive to cavitations on the low sides of the vane tips and in the else tip-
clearance spaces. Sensitive areas in the pump casing include the low-pressure
side of the tongue and the low-pressure sides of diffusion vanes near the inlet
edges. As the suction head is reduced, all existing areas of cavitations tend to
increase and additional areas may develop. Apart from the noise and vibration,
cavitations damage may render on impeller useless in as little as a few weeks of
continuous operation. In multistage pumps cavitations usually is limited to the first
stage but Kovate has pointed out that second and higher stages may cavitate if
the flow is reduced by lowering the suction head (submergence control).
Cavitations tends to lower the axial thrust of an impeller. This could impair the
balancing of multistage pumps with opposed impellers. A reduction in suction
pressure may cause the flow past a balancing drum of disc to cavitate where the
fluid discharges from the narrow clearance space. This may produce vibration
and damage due to contact between fixed and running surface.


The net positive suction head (NPSH), h is a statement of the minimum suction
conditions required to prevent cavitations in a pump. The required or minimum
NPSH must be determined by test and usually will be stated by the manufacturer.
The available NPSH at installation must be at least equal to the required NPSH if
cavitations are to be prevented. Increasing the available NPSH provides margin
of safety against the onset o' cavitations. Figure 25 and the following symbols will
be used to compute the NPSH.


Pa = Absolute pressure in atmosphere surrounding gauge.

Pa = Gauge pressure indicated by gauge or manometer

connected to pump suction at section s-s. May be positive or

Pt = Absolute pressure on free surface of liquid in closed tank

connected to pump suction.

Pvt = Vapor pressure of liquid being pumped corresponding to the

temperature at section s-s. If the liquid is a mixture of
hydrocarbons, P must be measured by the bubble point

Pf = Lost head due to friction in suction line between tank and

section s-s. Average velocity at section s-s.

Z, Zps = Vertical distance defined by Fig. 29 may be positive or


Y = Specific weight of liquid at pumping temperature.


It is satisfactory to choose the datum for small pumps as shown in Fies. 1 and 9
but with pumps the datum should be raised .to the elevation where cavita-tion is
most likely to start. For example, the datum for a large horizontal-shaft propeller
pump should be taken at the highest elevation of the impeller-van tips. The
available NPHS is given by

Consistent units must be chosen so that each term in Eqs. (10) and (11)
represents feet (or meters) fluid pumped. Equation (10) is useful for evaluating
the results of test. Equation (11) is useful for estimating available NPSH during
the design phase of an installation. In Eq. (10), the first term represents the height


of a liquid barometer, h containing the liquid being pumped while the sum of the
remaining term represents the suction head h of Eq. (1). Therefore

usually a positive value of h io called a suction head while a negative value of ha

is called a suction lift. Figure 26 to 28, taken from the standards of the Hydraulic
aInstitute, are useful in determining suction conditions so that cavitation may be
avoided in pump of good commercial design. Pumps of special design may
exceed the limits set by the charts. Restrictions on the use of those charts are
stated in the legends and should be observed carefully. Figures 26 relate specific
speed, total head of first stage, and total suction head or total suction lift at sea
level for pumps handling clear cold water, that is, temperature not exceeding
85F (29.4C). Figure 27 relates NPSH, capacity and speed for pumps handling
clear hot water, that is, temperature higher than 85F (29.4C). These are
especially useful with boiler feed pumps. Figure 28 relates NPSH, capacity, and
speed for, condensate 'pumps of not more than three stages with shaft through
the eye of the first-stage impeller. Not that there are separate capacity scales for
single-and double-suction impellers. This chart may be applied to single-suction
overhung impellers by dividing the specified capacity by 1.2 for Q 400 gpm and
by 1.15 for Q 400 gpm. The data of figs. 29 to 30 may be applied to other
temperatures and elevations as shown in the following example :


Given a double-suction pump with 4 = 200 ft. on the first stage and = 2,300. Fig.
30 shows a permissible suction lift or 10 ft. so that h 1 = -10 ft.

Determine h if this pump is installed at 1,500 ft. elevation where the atmospheric
pressure is P 2 = 13.92 Ib/in abs and the temperature of the water being pumped
in 180F. At sea level and T. = 85F steam tables give P 1 = 14.70 Ib/in2 abs,
Pvp1 = 0.60 Ib/in2 abs, and V = l/r, = 0.01609 ft2lb. At 180oF. steam tables gives
Pvp 2 = 7.5 Ib/in2 abs and v2,2 = l/jr . = 0.1651 ft3 /Ib. The respective barometric
heights are then hv1 = (Pal Pvp1) vf1 = (144) (14.70 - 0.60) 0.01609) = 32.67 ft.,
and hb2 = (144) (13.92 - 7.51) (0.01651) = 15.24 ft. By Eq. (11) hsv = hbl + hsl=
hB2 + HS2 from which HS2 = HB1 = HB2 + HS1 = 32.67 15.24 10 = 7.43 ft. The
suction head, which will be required to prevent cavitations, is cavitations is7.43 ft.



The very faint noise produced by incipient cavitations is almost always masked
by machinery noise so that special facilities and procedures are required for
accurate testing. Figure 25 C shows a. suitable arrangement in which either or
both Pt and - Z can be varied to control h and h. A head-capacity, curve is
obtained with ample h to prevent cavitation. The best is repeated at a reduced
constant value of h such that cavitation will take place at some capacity beyond
which values of the head will fall below without cavitation. Figure 29 shows a
series of such tests on a law-specific-speed pumps. The capacity at which the
curve becomes approximately vertical is called the cutoff capacity, an example of
which is shown at NPSH = 9 ft. in Fig. 29 is to hold Q constant and vary h- . The
results when H is plotted as a function of h will be similar to the curve of Fig. 30.


15. Liquid And Gas Flow Measurements

The accurate measurement of gas and liquid flow is important for many reasons ;

1. Accurate measurement to obtain specific proportions is necessary.

2. The maintenance of definite rates of flow is important for maximum

efficiency and production. Without accurate measurements, precise quality
control is impossible

3. Costs, which are based on flow measurements, will be correct if the

measurements are erroneous. Because huge volumes of gas, steam and
liquids may have to be measured daily, a very small percentage error can
amount to large sums.

Just as pressure and level measurements are mostly inferred from what happens
to an elastic membrane or to a liquid, so flow measurements are largely inferred
from other responses. There are only a few instances of large measurement of
flow; all "the others are of the indirect or inferential type.


There are many ways of determining the flow rates of both gases and liquids. The
type of material, its viscosity, its vapor pressure, its temperature, its conductivity,
the amount of material in suspension, and the flow rate are the important factors.
They will determine which of the methods is the most suitable. In one-way or
another, flow measurements will use some of the following:

1. Direct volume measurement.

2. Positive displacement pump measurements

3. The amount of heat required raising a liquid's temperature by a fixed


4. The force required accelerating a fluid around a bend.


5. The force developed by a liquid whose speed is governed by the variable
cross-sectional area of the measuring tube.

6. The force developed by a liquid or gas impinging on an obstruction.

7. The speed of propellers in the stream of fluid (propellers turn at rate

proportional to the flow rate).
8. Vanes, which can develop a torque proportional to the flow rate.

9. Fluids passing through variable area sections which will change their
speed and pressure.

a. Venturi tubes in some designs.

b. A flow nozzle in some designs.

c. The orifice plate, the simplest of the devices for creating a pressure

The arrangements listed here, aside from the first three, are in terms of an
obstruction placed in the pipe to produce the phenomena required for the require-
ment. Magnetic flow meters require no obstruction in the pipe, whereas the orifice
plate is an obstruction deliberately placed in a pipe to produce a differential
pressure which is interpreted in terms of flow rate.


The filling of a container is perhaps the simplest direct way to measure liquid flow.
The number of times per minute, or hour, that a container of given size can be
filled measures the flow rate. By keeping count, the quantity can also be
determined. Such a device is of only limited use,- but its principle is employed in
certain types of pumps and meters. Obviously, it cannot be used to measure
quantities of gas or vapor.



Most of the flow meters previously mentioned do not measure flow directly, but
instead measure something associated with flow, but there is a class of meters in
which fixed or variable volumes can be filled and the rate and total amount can be
registered 'indicated.

The tilting trap meter illustrates the principle employed. When the meter is filled,
its center of gravity with respect of its pivot is such as to rotate the meter. Once
the tipping action starts, the shifting of the center of gravity of the liquid aids in
emptying process.

The piston meter uses a totally different measuring principle. If a fluid is admitted
on one side of the piston, the fluid will push the piston to the end of its stroke.
This requires that a fixed definite volume be filled. But at the moment that the
piston reaches the extreme position, the inlet and exhaust valves ^re actuated
and are reversed from their previous positions.

1. Fluid will now be permitted to enter the space on the other side of the
piston and start to reverse the direction of movement.

2. The exhaust valve for the filled portion of the cylinder will now be opened,
thus permitting the fluid to flow into the outlet, while the exhaust valve on
the other side is closed. This procedure is then repeated.

In certain variations of the piston meter the amount of movement of the piston
before the valves are actuated can be controlled. Often times the speed at which
the meter functions can be controlled. The volume is then directly proportional to
both the length of stroke and the speed.

Volume + quantity = KLN

Where K = area -of piston

L = length of the stroke

N - number pf times the operation takes place

The K used for a particular calculation depends on the units of measures chosen
for L and N.


Because of its construction, the piston meter is not suited to the measurement of
viscous or corrosive liquids. Flow rates for this design range from out 10 to 1,000

The notating disc meter is one of the most common meters, being used in many
domestic systems. It resembles the piston meter in that there is a movable piston.
But the movable portion rotates at an angle, and it provides not only a rotation,
but a sweeping motion which causes definite volumes of water to be passed
from the inlet side of the disc to the outlet. Its normal flow rates are from 10 or
15 to 500 gpm. It is simple and regged; it develops a low pressure drop; it is low
in cost; and it maintains excellent accuracies of better than 1.5 percent. Because
'it is the measuring portion of so many water meters, most people have heard the
click of the disc as it wobbles its way around.

The rotary vane meter employs a rotating member, which is not centered in the
pump housing but is offset by some amount. To accommodate this eccentricity,
the blades of the pump must be free to move within the rotating member so as to
close the variable dimension between rotating and fixed parts. In this way, each
succeeding quadrant will meter the same amount of fluid and pass it under
pressure to the outlet. Their design gives rotary-vane meters outstanding
accuracies, of the order of 0.2 to 0.3 percent, with limited flow rates.

The measurement of gases imposes several problems not only because of the
difficulty in confining the gas, but also because so many of the characteristics
and' values of gases change with both temperature and pressure.

One method, obviously, would be. to trap fixed volumes of gas and count the
number of units of volume. This is exactly what is done in the gas meter. Except
for using an oiled sheepskin diaphragm instead of a metal piston the operation is
exactly the same as that of the piston pump.

In as mush as gas meters must be tight to avoid losses, the rotary-vane meter
could be used for certain operations. In practice, one is much mor^ likely to see a


modification of it in which the blades rotate but are so designed that they can
change their points of contact with each other and continually change the
effective volume of the compartment as they compress the gas and force it out of
the meter.


This is a meter whose principles have been known for over a hundred years but,
because of a lack of suitable amplifiers, could not be employed practically. The
development of special electronic amplifiers has made application practical.It is
enough to say here that as a conducting liquid flows through a magnetic field, it
generates a very small electromotive force, which is proportional to the rate of
flow of the liquid. This small signal is then amplified and fed into the indicating or
controlling equipment. High accuracies and the absence of pressure drop within
the meter are two very important factors in applying meters of this type. The
absence of projections or restrictions means that liquids with all sorts of solids
and slurries will not clog the meter. The pressure drop within the meter is only
that of a straight section of pipe of equivalent size, a negligible amount.

Because there is no wearing parts within the fluid flow section of the meter, the
meter characteristics do not change materially with time. Thick, abrasive slurries
can be measured as readily, as water. One requirement must be met, however,
the resistively of the liquids must be of a suitable value. The magnetic flow meter
has certain definite advantages:

1. Density variations or changes have no effect on the accuracy.

2. The meter is immune to the viscosity of the fluid.
3. The amount of suspended solids is of no consequence.
4. The accuracy of the meter is not affected by piping arrangements either
ahead or behind the meter.
5. Flow in either direction can be measured with equal ease.
6. The meter has e fast response.



For any given fluid, a definite amount of heat is required to increase the
temperature of each Kg. by some fixed amount, 1C for example if the increase in
temperature can be controlled accurately and the heat can be measured simply,
then measuring the heat should provide a way to measure flow. The heat
required can be measured quite simply by using a watt meter to indicate the
instantaneous rate at which electric power is being applied to maintain the
temperature increment. the heat required is also directly proportional to the
rate at which the moving fluid is absorbing heat and thus directly proportional to
the flow rate itself A watt-hour meter indicates the total heat required and thus
registers the total flow

If the flow of the liquid can be kept laminar that is, free from turbulence so that
there is relatively little mixing of the fluid - then the only part of the liquid which
needs to be heated will be the thin layer next to the outside of the pipe. Under
such conditions the power requirements will be quite small.

As with the other flow measuring devices, the specific heat of the fluids depends
upon the composition. The multiplying factor will be different for each material to
be measured.

As with the other flow measuring devices, the specific heat of the fluids depends
upon the composition. The multiplying factor will be different for each material to
be measured.

This type of instrumentation has come of the advantages of the magnetic

flowmeter in that no obstruction is placed in the pipe and there are no wearing
parts. The flow rate indicator and the flow totalizer are both standard electrical
instruments of extreme durability.



So far as we know, all physical materials require forces to produce accelerations.

These accelerations may be of two types:

one which produces a change in speed, and one which produces a change in
direction with or without a change in speed. One basic law states that the force is
directly proportional to the magnitude of the acceleration and to the mass so
Any material, such as a liquid flowing in a pipe, which is made to change direction
will require that a force be applied to it. Without this force, no acceleration can
take place. If we deliberately insert an elbow into a pipe, then the liquid will be
accelerated as it changes direction. There will, however, be no change in the
speed if the elbow has the same cross-sectional area as the pipe.

The accelerating force will be a maximum where the change in velocity is the
greatest, at the "outside" face of the elbow. There will be a reduction in pressure
at the opposite face on the inside of the bend. The two pressures then are the
clues to the flow rate. A differential pressure meter of any of the many designs
previously studied may be employed to measure the difference of the two
pressures and, by proper calibration, to indicate the flow rate.

This type of metering device provides excellent repeatability : it is not likely to

clog or show much wear. Its use at the present time is not sufficiently wide that


there are charts and tables available for predicting the calibration. But once
calibrated, the meter is not likely to drift out of adjustment because of any
changes in the metering element. Some measurements indicate that taps at the
22 point are more effective than those at the tt5 point.


In the types of flow meters previously considered, the flow has been quite
unimpeded. The measurements are obtained by measuring voltages, lifting effort,
or the force of acceleration. The majority of industrial liquid and gas flow
measurements, .however, use a different means to actuate the indicating
elements. As in the other cases, these are inferred measurements because
direct measurement of flow is difficult, if not totally impractical, especially for
gases and liquids which may vaporize under certain metering conditions.

The three general sub divisions of flow construction meters or head meters are
the venturi, the flow nozzle, and the orifice plate. All employ the same principles:

1. If the fluid is incompressible and if the flow through a pipe is constant, then
at any point the product of cross-sectional area and speed must be a
constant. The smaller the opening, the higher the speed must be, and vice

2. If we can consider only a small section of pipe, or consider that the

frictional effects are negligible, then the energy both kinetic and potential
must be a constant at all times. Therefore, we may convert one energy to
another form, but the total value is unchanged. In a pipe in which the fluid
is subjected to pressure, the energies may be present in three forms :

a. Kinetic energy - the energy of motion which is represented by half

1/2 WV^g = (half) 1/2 MV2, where M is equal to W/g.

b. Potential energy with reference to some arbitrary level.

c. Pressure energy, the energy which a liquid exchanges for potential


energy as it descends very slowly through some tank. This pressure
energy is equivalent to the loss of potential energy with respect to
the starting level. Or it may be considered as being able to lift the
fluid to its original starting point.

Thus, as the fluid proceeds through level pipe, any increase in speed will
increase the kinetic energy at the expense of the pressure energy.

The potential energy with respect to some reference cannot be affected, in as

much as we assumed that the pipe is level at this point, so there can be no
change in the potential energy due to position. So if the kinetic energy gains at
the expense of the pressure energy, then the pressure energy will have to
decrease with any increase in speed.

It will be noted, that the venturi offers, a smooth path for the fluids and any
suspended materials, whereas certain other designs may suffer from abrasion or
the settling of solids which will markedly change the shape of the approach. The
area of the stream at its narrowest part will thus depart from calculated values.

In terms of simplicity and low cost, the order is completely reversed: the orifice
plate, the flow nozzle, and the venturi. So many design and calculated data are
available that the orifice plate may be constructed in any machine shop. The flow
nozzles and the 'venturi tubes require factory construction to get the correct
proportions at all points. When the saving of energy feed metering element is a
factor, then the more expensive elements will be used. This becomes primarily a
matter of economics.

The design of the nozzle is such as to prevent contraction of the stream as it

passes through the nozzle. In practice, the stream fills about 9.8 percent cf the
area. This accounts for its fine performance.


The flow nozzle should be inserted in a straight section of pipe. Results are
improved by keeping it as far down-stream as possible from any source of

Although the nozzle may be installed in any position, performance will be

improved if certain precautions are observed when vapors are present or there
are materials in suspension. The nozzle should be so installed that the flow will
be vertically up when there are entrained vapors or gases: otherwise, there may
be some possibility of gases accumulating. When there is a possibility that liquids
with suspended materials are to be metered, the flow should be vertically down
so that materials which drop out of suspension will be unable to alter approach
conditions because there will be no good place for them to lodge and remain.

There should be no roughness inside the nipple, not should there be any burrs or
rough edges on the inside edge of the hole if accurate results are sought.

The venturi tube is used whenever the permanent loss of pressure is to be

reduced to a minimum or when there are such amounts of material in suspension
that orifice plates and flow nozzles are not satisfactory. Because of the very
gradual transition of tube size, there is very little chance that any material can
alter the approach to the tube. Moreover, the tube has unusually uniform
coefficients on viscous flows.

The installation of the venturi is relatively simple; it consists in setting the venturi
into the line as another piece of pipe with the shorter cone forming the inlet or
upstream end. The tube may be installed in any position, horizontal, vertical or
inclined. But, as with the other types of head meters, the venturi must be installed
as far downstream as possible from any source of flow disturbance, such as
reducers, valves and combinations of fittings.


In many ways, the pilot tube is similar to the target meter in that part of the force
or pressure developed is a measure of the impact pressure caused by stopping
the movement of the fluid or accelerating it so that it follows some different path.
Because of its very small area, the pilot tube measures the pressure at a point
rather than the average pressure across a pipe or duct. For this reason it is often
used to make a traverse of a pipe in order to find the relative speeds with respect
to some reference point such as the centre.

Aside from its deficiency in measuring only point pressures, the pilot tube is very
easily fouled by foreign material in the flowing fluid. It has another shortcoming in
that the pressure drops, which it creates, are often too small to be measured by
standard differential pressure meters. In order to increase the differential
pressure effects, a venturi tube is occasionally used to increase the flow at the
expense of the static pressure.

A pilot tube is simply an upended L shaped tube with one of its end pointing in the
direction of flow. It was found that the water rose UD into the tube to a height,
which was proportional to the square of the velocity ol flow. This phenomenon
can be proved by applying Bernoulli's equation between points 1 and 2. Point 1 is
to be taken on the centre line of the nose of the tube and at some distance from
it. The water at this place has got some velocity v. Point-2 lies immediately at the
nose of the tube. This point is called stagnation point, v^ere the velocity of flow is
reduced to zero. The pressure at this point is known as stagnation pressure.


Applying Bernoulli's equation between Point-1 and 2 neglecting losses -

In the above equation the first term P, is the static pressure and second 2 term
(Half) 1/2 pV is called dynamic pressure. This dynamic pressure is the impact
pressure due to which fluid rises in the vertical leg of Pitot tube by h meters
above the free surface of fluid in the open channel.

Further from equation (i)


It is further multiplied by a coefficient known as pitot tube coefficient and is denote
by (() or Cv. This takes into account the error caused due to turbulence of fluid
and losses.

Thus by means of pivot tube the velocity can be calculated. It is one of the most
accurate methods of finding the velocity of flow.

The pivot tube can be used to measure the velocity of water in an open channel
as well as a closed pipe. For an open channel a simple Pitot tube, explained
above will serve the purpose. However for a closed pipe in which the water is
flowing under pressure. It is necessary to measure the static pressure P. also.
Then the velocity head will be equal to the total Pilot tube reading minus the static
pressure head. The static pressure head is measured by inserting another L-
shaped tube with its end pointing toward the flow downstream (refer Figure-33).

The water will be drawn in the tube due to static pressure if, now, the tubes are
connected by an inverted U-tube manometer, the difference of water height will
give the velocity head. Such an arrangement is known as "pitot meter" of Pitot-
static tube. The static pressure can also be measured by inserting the other end


of inverted U-tube to the pipe as shown in Figure-34. Care should be taken that
the inlet of the tube should be in correct alignment with the direction of flow.

Certain definite precautions must be observed if accuracies as high as 2% are

to be obtained with a pitot tube. It has been suggested that when relatively high
degrees of precision are required, four conditions must be met :

1. Provide a duct diameter of 4 inches or greater.

2. Make an accurate traverse across the duct and average the


3. Make sure that there is straight line flow by having at least ten
diameters of straight duct both before and after the pitot tube.

4. Install some type of device to straighten the flow upstream of the


If conditions, or time, will not permit the making of a traverse, install the pitot tube
in the center of the duct. Then-multiply the indicated flow rate by 0.9. Such a
method should give answers correct to 5 percent.

An empirical relationship between flow rate and differential pressure obtained

with the pitot tube is

Air Speed = 1,096

Where PV = Air pressure, in. of water

D = Air density, Kg/m

D = 1.325 PB/T

PB = Barometric pressure in. of mercury

T = Absolute temperature.


16. Flow Calculations

The Instantaneous volume rate of flow through any pipe or section is equal to the
product of the area and the average speed.

Volume or quantity = area X speed

If we want the answer in gallons per minute or pounds per day, then we must
bring in additional factors. For example, multiplying the volume by the weight
density will provide an answer in pounds, assuming that the weight density is
expressed in that unit.

All of this is based on the assumption that we know the rate of flow and the area
of the flowing material. Sometimes these values are difficult to obtain, and in
almost no cases do we obtain them directly. We have to measure several other
quantities before we can infer what the answer may be. From experience we
know that the effective cross-sectional area of the liquid flowing through either a
flow nozzle- or a venturi tube is about equal to the area of the constriction.
However, ID the case of the orifice - plate meters where the orifice is simply a hole
in a plate (there being a sharp edge on the upstream face of the opening), the
stream undergoes a marked reduction in cross section as it goes through the
opening. In general terms, the effective cross-sectional area of the stream is
about 60 percent of the orifice opening. The speed of the liquid at the point of
maximum contraction is theoretically equal to the speed that the liquid would
have if it were to fall freely in a vacuum for a vertical distance equal to the
differential pressure head, expressed in feet for the flowing liquid, if the initial
speed is negligible.


Fortunately, there is a vast amount of experimental data available which will aid
us in ascertaining what this effective area is.

We must also make allowance for the temperature because densities and
specified gravities are both affected. The flow computations that we shall make
are based upon mass but our answers probably will be desired in gallons per
minute or barrels per hour. in order to clarify the fundamental! Relationships, it is
proposed to determine the flow relationships for (i) water, (2) petroleum products,
(3) steam, and (^r) gases. From the work with Bernoulli's equation, we know that
(1) there can be reversible conversions of energy to pressure energy, and (2) for
liquids confined in a pipe, and at points of equal elevation, the pressure is
greatest where the speed is the least and vice versa. From this earlier discussion,
we know too that the speed of the fluid is proportional to the pressure difference
necessary to force the fluid through the restriction. If the system were perfect,
then the speed of the fluid through the orifice would be obtained from the

Where g = gravitational constant, assumed equal to 980 m/sec2 .

H = the height in cm., of a column of fluid which would

establish the differential pressure.
P1. = Orifice pressure, high side.
P = Orifice pressure, low side,

In actual practice, the speed term is about 98 percent ot its theoretical value.
Our main problems, therefore, are concerned with the determination of the area
ol the contracted stream as it passes through the orifice plate, for example in the
case of the flow nozzle and the venturi, the design is such that the flow will
completely fill the tube. (For the flow nozzle the effective area is 98 percent of
the actual area). The fact that the flow nozzle and venturi employ the full area of


the orifice accounts lor the fact that they can deliver about 60 percent more fluid,
per unit of time, than can on orifice plate having the same orifice opening rt-d the
same pressure drop.

For. incompressible liquids, the volume can then be expressed by the following
expression :

Where- Cv = correction for actual rather than the theoretical speed.

Ca = correction for the reduced area of flowing liquid
A = area of the orifice opening.

In addition to these factors, we must recognize that flow is also a fun< uon of :

1. The viscosity and the specific gravity of the flowing fluid.

2. The inside diameter of the pipe.

3. The ratio of the orifice opening to the inside pipe diameter. Their eflci t is
termed the velocity of approach factor.

For approximate solutions, the constant co-efficient may be combined so that the
flow equation becomes.

Where h, in feet, represents the equivalent height and must consider the specific
gravity of the flowing liquid.

Approximate Values of the Flow Co-efficient

If one needs only approximate values of the flow co-efficients order to determine
the apparent flow, then the following will suffice :

Venturi Tube

C = 1 (area of smallest venturi opening)

Flow Nozzles

C = 0.98 (area of smartest opening of flow nozzle)

Orifice Plates

C = 0.62 (area of orifice opening)

But for the more precise flow calculations, it is necessary to consider the type of
liquid, its viscosity, its speed and the related factors, as they are involved in the
Reynolds number.

Orifice Meter

The installation of venturi meter requires sufficient space because of its length.
Where space is limited, another type of meter called the orifice meter is used for
discharge measurement in pipes.

Orifice meter also works on the same principle of pressure differential as that of


This device consists of simply a flat plate (Refer Figure-35)

clamped between two pipe's flanges. The plate has a sharp edged circular hole
concentric with the pipe. The pressure difference is measured between two
sections 1 and 2 (Refer Figure-36)


Section-1 is located between one to two pipe diameters upstream from the orifice
plate and Section-2 at vena contrast, which is taken here approximately at one-
half the pipe diameter downstream. U-tube manometer or simply piezometer
tubes or inverted differential manometer (if the measuring fluid is lighter than the
flowing fluid) are employed for measuring the difference of pressures.

Generally d,/d- ratio in orifice meter is kept 0.5 and it may vary from 0.4 to 0.85.
The lowering of this ratio below 0.4 may cause separation, hence it is not

The jet coming out of orifice plate gradually expands from vena contracta to fill
the pipe. A part of kinetic energy of jet is converted into vortices and eddy
currents causing dissipation of kinetic energy and consequently the loss of head.
This head lost is greater than that of a venturi meter.


Discharge Calculations

For incompressible flow, on applying Bernoulli's equation at Section-1 and

Section-2 (i.e. at vena contract ) and neglecting losses -

Since in deriving the value of v~, the losses have not been considered, value of v-
given by the above equation gives theoretical velocity of ideal velocity ai vena
contracts. In order to calculate the actual velocity, it must be snuitipiiec by a
constant c , the co-efficient of velocity of get actual velocity at vena contracts.


Area of jet at vena contracts is a2

As the jet comes out of the orifice, it contracts 10 a minimum area a2 at the vena
contracts. This area is not the same as the area of orifice a2 as the diameter of
orifice do is always greater than d-p the jet diameter at vena contracts. The two
areas are related by equation:


Jam Tube

Jam tube is meant for measuring the primary air flow going to mills. It consists of
two concentric tubes on which holes are made in such a way that inner tube
holes face the direction of air flow and the other tube has the holes perpendicular
to the direction of air flow. As the inner tube holes face velocity, pressure and
potential head and the outer tube holes face only pressure and potential head the
difference of the heads that is the velocity head is used to measure the air flow.
More is the air flow more will be the velocity head and ultimately more will be the
pressure head available on the inner tube tapping. So the velocity can be
measured by knowing the P between inner and outer tube connections.


17. Equipment Performance

Condenser Performance

The vacuum at which a turbine exhausts is determined by the condenser. In the

condenser the large quantity of heat remaining in the turbine exhaust steam
has to be transferred to the circulating water. To make heat flow across a heat
transfer surface a temperature gradient must exist, in a condenser the
temperature of the condensing steam must be higher than the temperature of tlie
circulating water. To obtain he highest operating efficiency this temperature
difference between the exhaust steam and the circulating water must be kept as
small as possible thus ensuring the lowest temperature of condensation and
hence the best vacuum for any circulating water temperature. On the outside of
the condenser tubes the temperature of condensation remains almost the same
over the whole of the steam space except for the air cooling portion of the
condenser where the air and vapour mixture is flowing towards the air extraction
pipes. On older condensers there might be a pressure drop between the exhaust
steam inlet and the air cooling section, but more modern condensers have wide
steam lanes arranged to give the steam easy access to all parts of the tube
surfaces and the whole steam space is virtually at one pressure and
temperature. Inside the tubes the circulating water temperature rises throughout
its passage through the condenser, the rise depending on the amount of h-at
being rejected and the amount of circulating water being used. The all important
temperature difference between steam and circulating water will therefore vary,
being relatively large at the circulating water inlet and small at the circulating
water outlet. The very simple diagram given at Fig. 38.


depicts the temperature gradients in a condenser, the vertical scale is tempe-
rature and the horizontal scale represents the length of the circulating water path
through the condenser. The vacuum in the condenser of Figure-17 has been
assumed 7 to be 0.90 Kg/cm so that the temperature on the steam side of all the
tubes would be about WC. On these diagrams the vacuum temperature is usually
given the symbol. The circulating water enters the condenser at 25 C (t.) and
leaves the condenser at 33C (tJ. The rise in temperature of the Circulating water
is not uniform throughout its traverse of the condenser because of the diminishing
temperature gradient between steam and water. At the circulating water inlet the
temperature difference is 15C. The amount of heat transferred per square meter
of tube surface is proportional to the temperature difference, so that at the
circulating water inlet where the temperature gradient is at its highest the heat
transfer will also be at its highest and the rise in circulating water inlet (where the
temperature gradient is at its highest the heat transfer will also be at its highest
and the rise in circulating water) temperature per meter length of tube will be at its
highest as well. As the circulating water is approaching the condenser outlet at
33 the temperature gradient is now only 7 so the heat transferred per square
meter of tube surface will be reduced correspondingly, in fact it will be only a little
more than one third of what it was at the circulating water inlet. As a


consequence the circulating water temperature rise per meter run of tube gets
smaller and smaller from inlet to outlet and results in the curve of circulating water
temperature of Figure-17. This phenomenon makes it rather difficult to measure
directly, or visualize, an average temperature gradient. However, the three
temperatures which are available on the instrumentation, the circulating water
inlet and outlet temperatures and the condensing temperature corresponding to
the vacuum, can be combined to give the required average or log mean tempe-
rature difference and is normally given in the following form:

Writing down the numerator in full shows that it is simply the temperature rise the
circulating water

Q1, is sometimes called the initial temperature difference and (L is called the ter-
minal temperature difference. The terminal temperature difference can be used
as a guide to condenser performance, particularly if there is little variation in
circulating water quantity, but the log mean temperature difference is the real
driving force behind the heat transfer and as previously stated this must be kept
as low as possible in order to achieve the lowest heat rejection temperature,
which is the same as saying that the heat transfer across the tube surfaces must
be as high as possible for best results.

Heat transfer is affected by the cleanliness of the tube surfaces and by the
amount of air present in the steam space. These are the items which should be
carefully controlled to obtain best performance. In addition heat transfer is
affected bv the velocity of the circulating water through the tubes and also by its


temperature. These two effects rather complicate the checking of condenser
performance because unless they are taken into account it is difficult to assess
the cleanliness of the condenser. The effects the normal variations in circulating
water quantity and temperature will have on heat transfer rate, log mean
temperature difference and vacuum will therefore be considered. If these are
understood it should be possible to assess the cleanliness of a condenser under
various operating conditions.

Causes of Poor Condenser Performance

Should the continuous checking of condenser performance indicate an increasing

terminal temperature difference, then there must be some corresponding
worsening of heat transfer rate. The main causes of poor heat transfer are

1. Contamination of the circulating waterside of the tubes by slime and dirt.

2. Excessive air in the steam space.

Every effort should be made to keep the tube surfaces as clean as possible and
the methods will depend on the nature of the circulating water itself. The source
of most tube fouling is organic slime which often also helps mud and acale to
adhere to the tubes. The most effective method of dealing with the slime is by
intermittent chlorination of the circulating water to kill the algae. The frequency of
chlorine injection will depend on the rate at which the slime is forming, which
depends on the composition and temperature of the circulating water. Other sub-
stances besides the algae will absorb the chlorine and the dose should allow for
this. Chlorination can control organic contamination but not inorganic deposits
and if a condenser is prone of fouling which can only be removed by mechanical
means, such as 'bulleting', then it is necessary to have some sort of programme
of condenser cleaning to maintain an optimum vacuum. This programme will
depend on whether the condenser has divided water boxes or not so that part of
it can be isolated and cleaned while on load, otherwise an off-load period will be
required. If scale forms in the tubes, which it might in cooling tower systems, it
may be necessary to resort to acid cleaning. Condenser cleaning can be very
costly in manpower and it is obviously preferable to prevent tube fouling and
obviate cleaning. However, should this prove impossible, a well thought out
cleaning programme will probably pay handsomely in reduced fuel consumption
owing to better vacuum.

Effect of Air in Condenser Steam Space :

Air is one of the main causes of poor vacuum. As parts of the turbine itself and
the low-pressure heaters are below atmospheric pressure during normal
operation there are innumerable places where a leak would allow air to be sucked
into the steam space. Air in the steam space reduces the heat transfer rate,
which causes the condensing temperature to rise in order to transfer the heat
across the tubes, and so results in a worse vacuum. In this respect air has just
the same effect as tube fouling. If the performance of a condenser should
deteriorate then the first job is to decide if the cause is excessive air leakage,
some modern sets will have an air metering device on the air outlet from the air
pumps, in which case it is an easy task to see if the air discharge has increased
above normal. Older plants will not have this facility, but if the air ejector
discharge is reasonably accessible for the installation of a simple metering orifice
and manometer, it would probably be worthwhile making one for use when air
leakage is suspected. The air ejector or air pump manufacturer would probably
advice on the size of orifice best suited to his equipment, or even supply one.

Failing the direct metering of air handled by the dir removal equipment a rough
check on air quantity could be obtained by bringing into service the standby
ejector. If there is an appreciable improvement in vacuum then it is apparent that
the air leakage is too great for one ejector to handle efficiently. Alternatively, the
air suction valve ot the running ejector could be closed and the rate of loss of
vacuum quickly ascertained before re-opening. This pre-supposes that the
normal rate of loss of vacuum without an ejector in service is known.


There are other methods of differentiating between poor vacuum caused by air
leakage and by fouled tubes. Excessive air under cools the condensate, that is
lowers the temperature of the condensate leaving the condenser. It also lowers
the air suction temperature. To understand the reasons for these two effects it is
necessary to think rather deeper into what happens on the steam side o^ a con

Dalton's law of partial pressures states that if two gases are mixed in a vessel
then the pressure of the mixture will be the sum of the pressures each gas would
have if it occupied the vessel alone. For example, if a condenser shell filled with
steam alone had a pressure of 0.1 Kg/cm and the same vessel tilled with air had
a pressure of 0.15 Kg/cm then if those quantities of air and steam were mixed
together and occupied the same vessel the total pressure would be 0.25 Kg/cm .

The temperature of condensation depends on the partial pressure of the steam

and not on the total pressure of air and steam together. However, at the inlet to
the condenser the ratio of steam to air will be so great that the partial pressure of
steam, would be about 0.9 percent of the total pressure so the air pressure can
be ignored and the temperature can be said to correspond to the total pressure,
which it does within a few hundredths of a degree. As steam flow through the
condenser proceeds, the steam is condensed but the air remains intact, and at
some point the mixture would have a ratio to say, "f air 50 Kg/hr. to 500 Kg/hr. of
steam, and as the air suction pipe is approached in the mixture might be 50/5G
and half the total pressure due to Air and half due to steam.

The main thing to realize is that when there is air iii a condenser, heat transfer is
impeded and the temperature on the steam side has to go up in order to have
sufficient temperature difference between it and the circulating water to get the
heat across the insulating barrier of air. This effect makes the vacuum worse.
Because of the partial pressure of the air at the bottom of the condenser the
condensate temperature is lowered below that corresponding to the total
pressure, since it corresponds to the partial pressure of the steam only. This
phenomenon of under cooling of condensate but could have the same effect of


worsening the vacuum. The air suction temperature is an even better indicator of
excessive air than the under cooling of the condensate. With a completely air free
system the temperature in the air suction pipe would correspond to the absolute
pressure existing at the same point. With a reasonably air tight plant the air
suction temperature would be within a few degrees of the vacuum temperature.
The more the air leakage the lower will be the air suction temperature until it
approaches within a few degrees of the circulating water inlet temperature.

Once it is established that air leakage into the condenser is excessive and is
causing loss of vacuum and increase in fuel consumption, there remains the diffi-
cult task of locating the leak and stopping it. The time honoured method of finding
air leak was by means of offering a lighted taper to any likely place to see if the
flame would be sucked in. Probably a better method is to spray some innocuous
detecting volatile fluid in the vicinity of the suspected leak and watch for its appe-
arance at the air discharge from the air pump or ejector. The detector on the air
discharge could be a blow lamp drawing its air from the air ejector discharge pipe.
The volatile fluid should be something capable of turning the blow lamp flame a
tell tale colour. Another method is to introduce nitrous oxide to the suspected leak
and detect its presence in the air discharge pipe with an infra red analyser. If
there is a noticeable difference in air leakage quantity between full load and a
much lighter load, it probably indicates air leakage into some steam space which
approaches or exceeds atmospheric pressure at full load, the steam pressure
rising with load and cutting down the air leakage.


Effect of Moisture

Coal has to be dried in the mill order to grind it properly and not for any reason
connected with combustion efficiency. The moisture evaporated from the coal in
the mill is carried through the. burner pipes into the boiler and causes the normal
loss associated with moisture in fuel. It is only necessary to remove surface
moisture from the fuel in order to be able to grind it; the -inherent moisture does
not affect grinding. In fact coal containing quite a high percentage of inherent
moisture can be ground as though it were completely coal, and coal containing a
few percent of free moisture could probably be dried sufficiently by the heat
generated by the grinding energy. High moisture contents cause no real milling
difficulties provided there is sufficient heat available in the primary air to
evaporate the moisture.

If the moisture content of the coal is so high that the drying capacity of the mill is
exceeded then there will be a marked falling off in mill output because the ground
particles stick together and to the various internals of the mill. Plants specifically
designed for very wet coal have extra primary air heaters to give exceptionally
high air temperature and so increase the drying capacity of the mills.

Mill drying performance varies between different types of mill. From an efficiency
aspect those which use small quantities of primary air at high temperature are
preferable to those which require the same amount of heat to be supplied by a
larger quantity of air. The reason is two fold firstly more primary air requires more
fan power, and secondly if the primary air quantity has to be increased by
tempering air which has not passed through the air heater then the final gas
temperature will be higher than it would otherwise have been. The temperature of
the fuel and primary air in the fuel pipes is controlled within the range 55 to 85C
although satisfactory drying of coals containing a large percentage of inherent
nmisture can be achieved down to 55C. In going below this temperature range
there is some danger of traces of condensation in the fuel pipes. Temperatures
above 85C may cause coal deposits in the burner nozzles.

Effect of Ash

There is no direct relationship between the ash content of the coal and the energy
required to grind it, but as the inert ash contributes nothing to combustion to
calorific value of a high ash content coal will be relatively low. This means firing a
greater tonnage of high ash coal for the same boiler heat input and consequently
more milling power and more mills wear. The combustible in dust loss depends
upon the percentage of unburnt carbon in the dust and also upon the quantity of
dust produced. Thus, if the carbon in dust is 2 percent with a coal containing 10
percent of ash and ground to a fineness of 70 percent through a 200 mesh sieve
then the carbon loss would be about 0.2 percent. If the ash content of a second
coal were twice as much (20 percent) and the fineness of grinding maintained at
the same figure then the carbon in dust would still be about 2 percent, but as the
make of dust would be about twice as great the carbon loss would also be twice
as much because the lower calorific value of the high ash content coal would
necessitate firing a greater tonnage of fuel. It may therefore pay to grind the coal
to a greater fineness in order to reduce the carbon in ash loss. If the carbon in
ash loss could be reduced from more than 0.4 percent to 0.3 percent by
increasing fineness from 70 percent to say 75 percent through a 200 mesh sieve,
this should be done, provided the increased milling power does not offset the
higher boiler efficiency. Excessive mill wear may also result but nevertheless as
appreciable change in ash content should lead to a re-appraisal of the fineness of
pulverized fuel required.

The physical properties of ash may have repercussion on boiler efficiency in

addition to the effect of ash quantity given in the previous paragraph. The ash
particles must have solidified sufficiently to lose their stickiness before leaving the
furnace and entering the convective passes. The furnace exit gas temperature
should therefore be lower than the softening temperature of the ash to prevent
deposits on the convective passes. Should the ash fusion temperature be lower
than normal, and the ash particles are still fluid at the furnace exit, then there
seems to be no alternative to lowering the furnace exit temperature by admitting
more excess air, and by so doing having to accept a higher dry gas loss and
lower boiler efficiency.

Effect of Coal Hardness

The hardness or grind ability of a coal is found by grinding a sample in the Hard
grove machine and is expressed as the Hard grove Index. A low index indicates a
hard coal and a high index &. Soft coal. The range is usually between 40 and 100
in Great Britain. As would be expected, a mill cannot grind as much hard coal as
soft coal. a mill capable of an output of 10 tons per hour when milling soft coal


with an index of 100 would probably only produce between 5 and 6 tons per hour
with very hard coal with a Hard grove Index of 40. Harder coals, therefore, require
more milling power and some sacrifice in pulverized > fuel fineness may be
required to get the economic balance between the expenditure of power in milling
and the carbon in dust loss. Mills are usually specified to give the required output
with fairly hard coal, say, an index of 50 or 55. This ensures that boiler load can
be maintained even with very hard coal. If softer coal becomes available then mill
capacity will be more than adequate to grind the output required.

Effect of Volatile Matter

Lower volatile coals are slower burning and coals with a particularly low volatile
content require special long flame burners like the U or downs hot burner. Low
volatile coals are much more difficult to burn than high volatile coals from both the
aspect of keeping down the carbon in dust loss and in maintaining stable ignition.
More turbulence, more surface area of coal particles and more time in the
combustion zone are required for low volatile coals. This means an increase in
the fineness of grinding and a reduction in the quantity of primary air. The greater
fineness of the coal particles exposes more surfaces for the combustion reaction.
Reduction in-1 primary a;r leaves more of the total air required to be supplied as
secondary or tertiary air to promote turbulence and complete burn out.
Theoretically, hardly, sufficient primary air to burn the volatile matter should be
supplied but the quantity should not be reduced so much that there is too low a
velocity in the fuel pipes and separation of coarse and fine particles occur.

Number of Mills to Operate for Optimum Efficiency

Boilers are normally provided with at least one more mill than the number
required for full load so that mill maintenance can be carried out without reducing
boiler load. After a certain length of time the wear of the grinding elements will be
such that the output and fineness of product will fall away and the quantity of
rejects increase the power used to produce the pulverized fuel will also increase.
The standby mill should then be brought into service and the worn mill taken out
of service for maintenance. Normally, therefore, a boiler steaming at full load


would be operated with the number of mills the makers intended to be used for
full load but as these mills will have a margin of capacity they will not all be
working at full output. The most economical way of loading the mills is to have
good mills loaded to their normal capacity and worn mills working at a smaller
output. The electrical energy required by a mill group per ton of coal ground is
lowest when the mill is working at its normal output so that only the minimum
numbers of mills necessary to provide the required output should be in service. In
conditions are favorable, say because of soft coal, then it may be possible to
steam the boiler with one less than the normal number of mills, if this can be done
it will reduce the total milling power. Quite often considerations other than
minimizing milling power predominate and determine which mills should be run. It
may be that steam temperature is affected by mill operation because in some
installations each row of burners is associated with one mill to give some
measure of steam temperature control. In other cases certain combination of mills
and their associated burners will give an unbalanced furnace. Generally
speaking, however, mills should be well loaded to give their most economical


18. Model Session Plan