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A. Herszage and M. Toren

Planning, Development & Technology Division - Israel Electric Corp.

Abstract addressed by adopting a maximum allowable

Estimation of operating conditions for temperature failure criterion, i. e., the obtained
fossil fuel boiler heat exchangers is often temperatures were compared to the maximal
required due to changes in working conditions, allowable value for the material in question.
design modifications and especially for The second issue (design geometry changes)
monitoring performance and failure diagnosis. was examined by comparing the results for the
Regular heat exchangers in fossil fuel boilers existing geometry and the new, proposed one,
are composed of tube banks through which namely, temperatures and mass flow rates. The
water or steam flow, while hot combustion scheme renders, in addition to the wall
(flue) gases flow outside the tubes. This work temperatures, steam and gas outlet
presents a top-down approach to operating temperatures for each tube, as well as the
conditions estimation based on field corresponding heat flow superheater
measurements. An example for a 350 MW unit distribution. The top-down (sequential)
superheater is thoroughly discussed. Integral approach works as follows. At first the results
calculations based on measurements for all unit from a measurement based integral heat
heat exchangers (reheaters, superheaters) were balance of the boiler are obtained. The boiler is
performed first. Based on these calculations a modeled as an assembly of heat exchangers
scheme of integral conservation equations some of them in parallel (superheaters -
(lumped parameter) was then formulated at the evaporators) and others in series. These results
single tube level. Steady state temperatures of provide the input for the heat balance at the
superheater tube walls were obtained as a main superheater-reheater level, which in turn
output, and were compared to the maximum constitute the input for the single tube
allowable operating temperatures of the tubes calculations. In addition an overall heat
material. A combined lumped parameter - CFD balance of the boiler is performed as a self
(Computational Fluid Dynamics, FLUENT consistency check of the above calculations.
code) approach constitutes an efficient tool in This check takes into account: the heat
certain cases. A brief report of such a case is produced by coal combustion, the heat
given for another unit superheater. We absorbed by the water and steam in the
conclude that steady state evaluations based on different heat exchangers and the heat losses,
both integral and detailed simulations are a namely, gases coming out of the chimney,
valuable monitoring and diagnosis tool for the incomplete combustion, heat losses through the
power generation industry. boiler walls, etc.
In the second case, repeated tube failures
were observed in the final superheater of a 72
Introduction MW unit. In this case no correlations were
In the estimation of operating conditions provided by the manufacturer in order to
for fossil fuel boiler heat exchangers, the level calculate the heat transfer. Therefore, a
at which diagnosis is necessary depends on the detailed CFD simulation of flow and heat
nature of the change in operating conditions or transfer had to be performed in order to
the type of failure; for example, a typical tube calculate the heat transfer coefficients.
failure would require tube temperature
estimation, etc.
Two cases will be discussed in this work. In Superheater geometry and flow data
the first one, tube wall temperatures are
calculated for a 350 MW unit superheater A scheme of the heat exchanger in the 350
under steady state operating conditions. MW boiler is shown in fig. 1. The primary and
Diagnosis at the tube level appeared to be secondary reheaters are designated as RH1 and
necessary due to repeated failure of some of RH2 respectively." The corresponding notation
the tubes. Furthermore, it was necessary to for, the primary, secondary and final
estimate the influence of proposed design superheaters is indicated by SHI, SH2 and
changes aimed at lowering the temperature of SH3 respectively. The economizer is denoted
critical tubes. The first issue (failure) was as EC. The problem of interest concerned the

final superheater SH3. This heat exchanger accessories are defined according to the boiler
operates in a cross-flow regime (vertical gas manufacturer estimations [2]. The calculations
flow - horizontal tubes). The superheater is are performed using Matlab and it is therefore
composed of 34 vertical sections (tube banks convenient to work with the equivalent length
parallel to the plane of fig. 1). Each section is coefficients in the corresponding matrices. The
composed of ten tubes which in their way expressions for the hydraulic computation are:
upwards undergo a series of eight horizontal
folds. Steam is supplied from two different m- p A v
headers to two groups of 17 sections each. The &p= Rm (2)
headers locations for the two groups are
different. Two typical hydraulic paths arise
then in this analysis as steam flows from all where p denotes the density Of steam, A the
tubes into the outlet header. The influence of cross sectional area, v the velocity, / the
changes in the internal diameter and length of friction coefficient, D the internal diameter, ^?
some of the tubes was examined. the hydraulic resistance and Ap the pressure
loss. The length L is given below with lMb as a
from HP loss coefficient.:
\Lluhi, for straight tubes,
= \ NhD (3)
for bends and other accesories.
The resistance for elements in series is:
turbine (4)

and for elements in parallel:

to HP
n n

from steam I n (5)

drum i=l ./=!

The heat transfer formulation scheme is

Fig. 1: Scheme of the boiler illustrated for a typical control volume. The
control volume for the two first folds, includes
The mathematical model a single tube, for the rest of the superheater,
No coupling is assumed between the tubes are stacked in pairs at the same height
hydraulic and heat transfer calculations, due to (identical flue gas conditions). The control
the negligible influence of buoyancy forces. volume then includes two tubes. A parabolic
The above is validated at the end of the scheme is used, i. e. the equations for each
computation, since the ratio of buoyancy to control volume are solved by using the solution
inertia forces is smaller than 1 [1]: of the previous tube (flue gas direction) as
input. The heat transfer coefficients
correlations are given in [2], the convection
coefficient between the steam and the tube:
where Gr denotes the Grashoff number and Re
the Reynolds number. Incompressible flow was ,0.8 0.8
assumed due to the small pressure variations *; = 0.023- , (6)
.,0.2 ,0.4
obtained and the steam velocities range. The D'n M
input for this step of the calculation comes
from the integral balance and some of the
measured values. In addition to the geometry, where T,x =
2 2 are
the relevant input variables for the detailed
(tube level) calculation are: superheater steam the average (inlet-outlet) steam temperature in
inlet temperature, overall steam mass flow rate, the i* tube and the film temperature
heat flow absorbed by the superheater, heat respectively, ^"denotes the inner (steam side
flow absorbed by the evaporator (in parallel tube temperature. Indices s and g designate
with the superheater), superheater gas inlet steam and gas, respectively. The intermediate
temperature, gas mass flow rate. Loss brackets in the above expression denote the
coefficients (steam) for bends and other influence of steam physical properties. G

Esl Alur€ rtormalizftd to Ih6 3't<
stands for the mass flow rate per unit area 0 84

(obtained from the hydraulic calculation) and

c ,-; original j
D'" for the internal diameter. Convection heat O.8~'
transfer between gas and the tube external wall
(cross flow) is characterized by the following o?a

heat transfer coefficient: 0.76

i3 0 74'
,,0.61 7K°- k0.61 s

0.287- H 0.39 ,,0.28 (7) 0 72*1-
D, 0.7
10 20 30
lube number
where D" stands for the outer tube diameter.
Fig. 2: Normalized wall temperatures.
The relations for convection heat transfer from
the gas to the tube and from the tube to the Heat transfer coefficients estimation
steam are:
A different approach must be used when the
correlations for the heat transfer coefficients
are not provided ( 72 MW unit). The solution
(8a,b,c) would require a detailed CFD simulation of the
flow and heat transfer. However, the size and
rri Ci/tul m
geometry of the superheater made a full CFD
T1 —
treatment too large for practical purposes. The
steam flow in the 168 tubes was controlled by
Qi denotes the heat flow transferred to the i* orifices of different diameters, which makes the
control volume and TWs the external wall geometry of the pipe not relevant for pressure
temperature. Conservation of energy for gas drop (mass flow rate) calculations. The heat
and steam is formulated as: flow was calculated for a typical single tube
using a CFD code. The superheater was
modeled using an equivalent geometry which
(9a,9b) allowed for fully developed flow (equivalent
pipe length) and both the pressure drop and the
heat transfer were introduced as localized
sources (lumped parameters within the CFD
H denotes the enthalpy and rh§H?i the part of
code). Heat balances were checked by
the gas mass flow rate which transfers heat to
calculating for each seven tubes panel (24 of
the superheater (recall that it is in parallel with them).
the steam generator on the wall), given by:
Qsm Conclusions
mSH3 + mwall (10)
iwall Modern computational means enable the
building of combined engineering models, in
The heat flows are obtained from the integral the whole range of detail, from integral
heat balance. Finally heat conduction through balance, through lumped parameter to full field
the wall yields: CFD simulation. In this work, some of these
2/r k L, options were used. The model used for the
Qi = - T\ w 00 large unit allows for a detailed mapping of the
heat flux, steam, gas and metal temperatures
under steady state conditions operation.
The above constitutes a system of five
Superheater wall temperatures were below the
nonlinear equations with five unknowns,
allowable limit for both designs. Failure was
namely, & , T*"'",Kml T,Kml, T?s, T** foreach attributed to the graphytization tendency of the
tube. In the upper (outlet) bank, the elementary steel used for the tubes in question found in the
control volume is split and the number of specimens extracted from the failed tubes. The
unknowns raises to ten. The overall heat influence of design changes can be evaluated
balance is checked once the solution is as shown in the work.
obtained. Some of the results will be displayed
to illustrate the model capabilities. The References
estimated maximum tube temperatures [1] Burmeister, L. C , 1983. "Connective Heat
normalized to the maximum allowable value Transfer". John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
are shown in fig. 2 for two different tube
thickness series of data. [2] Babcock & Wilcox, 1992. "Steam, its
Generation and Use", 401'1 edition.