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Scope and Definition of HRSGs

The Heat Recovery Steam Generator, or HRSG, comes in numerous shapes, designs, configurations, arrangements, etc. To simplify our discussion herein, we will first state that the type of HRSG we are reviewing is what may be referred to as a water tube(as opposed to a fire tube) type heat recovery unit. This refers to the process fluid, i.e., the steam or water being on the inside of the tube with the products of combustion being on the outside of the tube. The products of combustion are normally at or close to atmospheric pressure, therefore, the shell side is generally not considered to be a pressure vessel.

Definition of concepts and terminology used in discussions. In the design of an HRSG, the first step normally is to perform a theoretical heat balance which will give us the relationship between the tube side and shell side process. Before we can compute this heat balance, we must decide the tube side components which will make up our HRSG unit. Even though these components may include other heat exchange services, at this time we will only consider the three primary coil types that may be present, i.e., Evaporator, Superheater, Economizer. When we refer to an Evaporator Section, this includes all the evaporator coils making up the total evaporator for a Pressure System. A pressure system includes all the components included in the various streams associated with that pressure level.

Evaporator Section The most important component would, of course, be the Evaporator Section, since without this coil(or coils), the unit would not be an HRSG. Throughout our discussion, we will refer to a main heat transfer component as a "section". When the section is broken into more than one segment, i.e., such as for a change in tube size, material, extended surface, location, etc., we will refer to the segments as coils. So an evaporator section may consist of one or more coils. In these coils, the effluent(water), passing through the tubes is heated to the saturation point for the pressure it is flowing. Superheater Section The Superheater Section of the HRSG is used to dry the saturated vapor being separated in the steam drum. In some units it may only be heated to little above the saturation point where in other units it may be superheated to a significant temperature for additional energy storage. The Superheater Section is normally located in the hotter gas stream, in front of the evaporator. Economizer Section The Economizer Section, sometimes called a preheater or preheat coil, is used to preheat the feedwater being introduced to the system to replace the steam(vapor) being removed from the system via the superheater or steam outlet and the water loss through blowdown. It is normally located in the colder gas downstream of the evaporator. Since the evaporator inlet and outlet temperatures are both close to the saturation temperature for the system pressure, the amount of heat that may be removed from the flue gas is limited due to the approach to the evaporator, known as the pinch which is discussed later, whereas the economizer inlet temperature is low, allowing the flue gas temperature to be taken lower.

Types and Configurations of HRSGs


The evaporator section type is very important since it generally defines the overall configuration of the HRSG unit. For this discussion, we will use the word "type" to refer to the general configuration of the evaporator. Even though there are many types, or configurations of HRSGs, we will define five general types for our discussion.

D-Frame evaporator layout O-Frame evaporator layout A-Frame evaporator layout I-Frame evaporator layout Horizontal tube evaporator layout Super heater configurations Economizer configurations

D-Frame evaporator layout. This configuration is very popular for HRSG units recovering heat from small gas turbines and diesel engines. It is a very compact design and can be shipped totally assembled. It is limited, however, since the bent tube arrangement quickly causes the module to exceed shipping limitations for units having a large gas flow.

O-Frame evaporator layout. This configuration has probably been used for more years than any of the others. It has the advantage of the upper header being configured as the steam separation drum. Or, the upper header can be connected to the steam drum by risers, allowing more than one O-Frame evaporator to be connected to the same steam drum, resulting in shipable modules being able to handle very large gas flows.

A-Frame evaporator layout. This configuration is simply a variation of the O-Frame Evaporator. It was popular for services with a large amount of ash, since the center area between the lower drums could be configured as a hopper to collect and remove solid particles.

I-Frame evaporator layout. In the past twenty years, this configuration has become the most popular of all the Evaporator designs. This type module can be built in multiple axial modules or in multiple lateral modules, allowing it to be designed to accept any gas flow. There are numerous variations of this design where tube bundles may contain one, two, or three rows of tubes per header. It is also, normally, more economical to manufacture, ship and field construct. The tube bundles may be shipped to field installed in the modules, or as loose bundles which are installed into a field erected shell.

Horizontal tube evaporator layout. The horizontal tube evaporator is used, not only for heat recovery from Gas Turbine exhaust, but for recovery from flue gases in Refinery and Petrochemical furnaces also. It has similar size limitations due to shipping restrictions similar to the O-frame modules. It is generally a less expensive unit to manufacture than the other configurations, but if it is a natural circulation design with large tubes, such as in some CO Boilers, or very long tubes, special consideration needs to be given to assure all tubes are provided with sufficient effluent. These considerations will be discussed later on in this document. Superheater configurations. Superheater designs would normally follow along with the evaporator type that is being used. Three basic superheater designs are shown below, Horizontal Tube, Vertical Tube, and I-Frame. The Horizontal Tube design would normally be used for the D-Frame Evaporator if gas flow is vertical up at the outlet. This horizontal design would be expected to be used also on a horizontal evaporator design. The Vertical Tube design would generally be used with the A-Frame or O-Frame Evaporator and with the D-Frame if the gas exits horizontally. The I-Frame Superheater would be used with the I-Frame Evaporator, but may also be used with the other evaporator designs. Preparing the schematic. Now that we have a general idea of how to arrange the coils, we prepare the flow schematic. This flow schematic gives us a preliminary picture of how the HRSG will look. Also, we can use the sketch to perform the preliminary heat balance which we will review in Section 4.

For our example flow schematic, we will assume a single pressure HRSG with a superheater and economizer section.

It is not important that you necessarily use this style schematic, but it is important to be consistent in the style you use. If you always present an evaporator in the same way, and a superheater always looks like "your" superheater, the flow schematics become very recognizable to anyone needing to refer to them. Remember, the flow schematic does not need to represent the actual mechanical design of the HRSG, neither in looks, or direction of flow, hot to cold, etc. Now, using a similar approach to above, let's construct a flow schematic to represent a triple pressure unit with an integral deaerator.

Economizer configurations. Economizer designs would normally follow along with the evaporator type that is being used and be similar in design to the superheater. The configurations would be similar to the ones shown above for the superheaters.

Water Quaility Limits for HRSG


The use of water as a working engineering material, as in a Heat Recovery Steam Generator, introduces certain operational problems. These problems have their origin in the variability of the contaminants found in industrial waters, since, if pure water were readily available, water treatment would be incomplicated. The initial supply of water for heat recovery steam generation is raw water from rivers, lakes, etc. This water undergoes primary treatment to convert it to makeup quality. it is then combined with condensate, that is, the condensed steam returned from a turbine or process and after further treatment is supplied to the boiler as feedwater. The amount of makeup, that is the proportion of the feedwater not furnished by returning condesate varies greatly, from 1% to 70% and is a major economic factor in determining the method of water treatment. The feedwater enters the boiler and is evaporated, separated in the steam drum and leaves for use in a turbine or process. Some solid material, called carryover, is usually entrained with the steam, and, if excessive, can cause problems in superheaters and on turbine blades. The level of carryover is a function of the total solids, that is the sum of the dissolved and suspended solids, in the drum. The concentration of total solids is controlled by two means: The levels of total solids in the feedwater, and blowdown. Blowdown is the continuous or periodic removal to drain of a portion of the water in the drum. Sludge, which forms in the boiler, due to concentration of solids, and

contributes to the suspended solids, is also removed in the blowdown since it settles in the lower portions of the drum. The water conditioning cycle must include treatment of raw water from rivers, lakes, wells, etc.; steam condensate from processes and other uses; water within the steam generating system. Since all the impurities present in feedwater are retained in the boiler, with the exception of those eliminated by blowdown, feedwater should be free of all deposit and scale forming materials, corrodants, and materials which cna fead to foaming and carryover in the steam drum. Preventing the formation of scale and other deposits is of particular importance, since depositation on waterside heat transfer surfaces both impedes heat transfer and increase the susceptibility of the boiler to corrosion. Conditioning and treatment of the makeup water and condensate will largely accomplish these objectives. In addition, deaeration of the feedwater, to remove corrosive gases (oxygen and free carbon dioxide), is required and the feedwater pH should be higher than 7. Both users and suppliers of steam generating equipment generally agree that feedwater quality conditions in the following range are appropriate. Feedwater Quality Limits Boiler Pressure <= 900 psia > 900 psia Hardness 0.1 ppm 0 Total Metals(Fe,Cu, etc.) 0.2 ppm 0.02 ppm Hydroxide Alkalinity (ppm Ca Co3) 25 5 Oxygen 0.007 ppm 0.007 ppm pH 8.0 - 9.0 8.5 - 9.5 Organics 0 0 Silica 5.0 ppm 0.1 ppm Suspended Solids 0 0