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THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR OXYGEN CONTROL IN A CONDENSER The new DO2 system design approaches the problem by (1) preventing oxygen absorption in the steam condenser, and (2) by deaerating the makeup water before it enters the condenser and combines with the condensate. Prevention of oxygen absorption is accomplished by designing the condenser internals to permit easy flow of noncondensible gases and associated water vapor within the condenser. This accommodates the increased flow rate created by the venting system, which has been substantially enlarged to remove water vapor quantities more than ten times that specified by HEI for each pound of noncondensible gas. Within the condenser an oxygen partial pressure is produced that is so low that no more than 7 ppb oxygen can dissolve in the condensate (Henrys Law). * Graham Manufacturing Co., Inc. DO2

ombined cycle/cogeneration power plants burning clean fuels, such as natural gas, gain efficiency and increase power when gas turbine exhaust temperatures are reduced. To achieve lower exhaust temperatures, HRSG feedwater must be cold. This cold feedwater should also be deaerated in order to permit the use of less expensive materials in the HRSG. Steam condenser condensate, the usual source for cold deaerated water, is often highly oxygenated, particularly at off-design conditions. Excessive makeup required by cogeneration systems adds substantial quantities of dissolved oxygen to the HRSG feedwater. A new system is described which assures condensate dissolved oxygen levels will not exceed 7 ppb. The deaeration of large quantities of makeup water wIth turbine exhaust steam results in additional economic advantages. The resultant combined cycle is simpler, less costly, and more efficient. Field results have verified the oxygen removal capabilities of this system.

ENHANCED CONDENSER VENTING INTRODUCTION Power plants designed for base loading are often required to operate at off design conditions, producing dissolved oxygen levels in surface condenser condensate well above the desired 7 parts per billion (ppb)/0.005 cc per liter level. A number of studies sponsored by EPRI investigated the problems associated with increased oxygen in condensate and reported on them in References 1-3. Acting on information obtained both from these reports and from other sources, a new system* to deal with condensate dissolved oxygen was designed, tested and applied to combined cycle cogeneration plants with great success. This improved system is described in References 4-7. The use of cold deaerated water as feed to the combined cycle heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) is vital to this cycles cost and efficiency. The new DO2 systems unique capability to produce both cold deaerated condensate and makeup water with dissolved oxygen levels below 7 ppb, under operating conditions previously considered virtually impossible, has resulted in it being applied to a number of combined cycle cogeneration plants already operating or under construction. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991 EPRI-NP-2294, Guide to the Design of Secondary Systems and Their Components to Minimize Oxygen-Induced Corrosion, pointed to the impaired air removal capabilities of venting equipment operating at part load conditions as the major source of high dissolved oxygen in surface condenser condensate. This report indicated that HEI specified air removal capacities are based on an air fraction of 31.25% at a pressure of 1.0 inch Hg absolute and a 79F condensing temperature. The air cooling section of the condenser is designed to subcool all leaving water vapor and noncondensible gases (air) 7. 5F below the condensing temperature. At part load operating conditions, the venting equipment capacity decreases as the condenser pressure decreases. At the same time, the air cooling section can no longer subcool the air/water vapor mixture properly because of a reduction in the available temperature differential. Reference 2 showed that a 25% reduction in steam load resulted in a reduction in the steam condenser LMTD to 25% of that of the original design conditions. As an example, if the original LMTD was 20F, at 75% load the new LMTD would be 5F, and 7.5F subcooling below the part load condensing temperature would not be possible. Under this condition, vapor carryover to the vent system increases. Since the venting equipment has a fixed capacity, and more of this capacity now is 1

water vapor, it follows that less air will be removed from the condenser. Air retained in the condenser further reduces the effectiveness of the air cooling section. More importantly, it increases the oxygen partial pressure and, therefore, the condensate dissolved oxygen level. Retained air in the condenser raises the turbine back pressure and adversely affects the plant heat rate. The process continues until the vent system and its load reach a pressure level where capacity and load coincide. Reference 2 also advocated interposing a chilled water chamber between the condenser and the vent system to remove excess water vapor and restore the vent system air fraction to 31.25%. Shortly after this report was published, it was demonstrated in Reference 9 that there were many reasons venting systems became inadequate and thereby produced high condensate oxygen levels. Systems were described which were capable of overcoming the vent capacity problems with only a small increase in energy needs. The concept advocated, and subsequently incorporated in the DO2 system described below, sizes the venting system such that the amount of water vapor removed with the air is sufficient to provide a low enough oxygen partial pressure to limit the dissolved oxygen in the condensate to 7 ppb. If the partial pressure of the oxygen at the condenser outlet is low enough to control dissolved oxygen, the partial pressure within the condenser must also be at this low value. Traditionally vent system designs have been selected to reduce water vapor carryover in order to minimize vent system size and energy consumption. Since vent systems use only negligible amounts of energy, savings are small and heat rate losses great whenever the venting capacity limits condenser vacuum.

section. Final deaeration is assured when the combined condensate/makeup water flows countercurrent to sparge steam admitted below the liquid level in the segregated reheat hotwell.

FIELD TEST RESULTS The effectiveness of the DO2 system, first applied at the Gilroy Energy Cogeneration Plant which was designed and built by Bechtel, is described in References 4-7 and will not be discussed in detail here. Figure 1 is a flow schematic of the condenser/vacuum deaerator system used at Gilroy Energy. Figures 2 and 3 demonstrate the effectiveness of the D02 system. These low dissolved oxygen levels were achieved with makeup quantities sometimes reaching 85% of the flow through the condenser, while at the same time the plant operated at part load and with a cooling water temperature below design. The power plant was shut down daily for 6 hours. Shutdown was achieved in 40 minutes and startup took 20 minutes each day. Vent systems were designed based on the full HEI tabulated air leakage. It is clearly difficult to produce condensate dissolved oxygen levels of 7 ppb in a power plant. References 1-9 discuss this problem in varying detail. However, some indication of the extent of the concern for low dissolved oxygen in condensate can be determined from HEI limitations which require: Limit air inleakage to 15 - 25% of tabulated rates; Limit makeup water to 3% of total condenser flow; Limit total air inleakage to 6 SCFM.

CONDENSER / VACUUM DEAERATOR OPERATION Makeup water, which in combined cycle/cogeneration plants can be 20 to 50% (or greater) of design steam flow, far exceeds the 3% limit of HEI for distribution over the condenser tube bank. Oxygen removal from this makeup water is accomplished by distributing the water over a packing in a specially vented column countercurrent to steam drawn from the steam surface condenser. This is free steam, steam which has been expanded through the steam turbine to the vacuum produced by the condenser. This is also steam from which the maximum energy has already been extracted, and which would normally be condensed on the condenser tubes, giving up its latent heat to the cooling water. By utilizing the DO2 system, the makeup water is deaerated and a reduced amount of heat is rejected to the cooling medium. Returned condensate drains dumped into the condenser can elevate the overall condensate oxygen level in the hotwell. Drain headers, shrouds, impingement plates, etc., all act to produce localized high oxygen partial pressures within the condenser. In the system described here, these condensate drains, along with the normal condensate and the deaerated makeup water from the vacuum deaerator mix and descend to the hotwell through a packed

The conditions encountered in combined cycle cogeneration plants often exceed these limitations by several orders of magnitude. In addition to HEI limitations are the findings of other studies which showed a rapid increase in dissolved oxygen when condensers operated at off-design conditions such as: Low load; Lower than design cooling water temperature; The combination of low load and low cooling water temperature; Frequent startup and shutdown; Cycling (load variation often combIned with low load and low cooling water temperature).

ADVANTAGES OF USING LOW TEMPERATURE HRSG FEEDWATER Combined cycle power plants (especially those utilizing clean fuels such as natural gas or gasified coal) have long been known to benefit from low exhaust temperatures. Reference 8 states, In combined cycle plants the combustion air temperature is raised 2

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991

by the heat of compression and extraction feedwater heating would actually reduce the cycle efficiency by diverting steam from the lower pressure stages of the steam turbine. At the same time, less energy can be extracted from the flue gas since it would have to be discharged at temperatures above the feedwater entering the HRSG. At approximately 300F, the flue gas temperature is above the acid dew point of the compounds present in the hot turbine exhaust gas. Under this condition, steel is an allowable material of construction for the HRSG. When the flue gas temperature is lowered to approximately 200F, acid dew points are reached and excessive corrosion occurs, thereby requiring expensive metallurgical modifications and increased cost. It is easy to explain the advantage of cold gas turbine exhaust temperatures in the combined cycle if we glance briefly at some typical numbers. Gas turbine exhaust temperature HRSG exhaust temperature (dirty fuel) Dirty fuel temperature differential HRSG exhaust temperature (clean fuel) Clean fuel temperature differential Ratio of heat availability equals 840/740 1,050 F 310 F 740 F 210 F 840 F 113.5%

stack and makeup water is required to replace it. In many cases, steam is also used by the cogeneration host and must be replaced, or is returned in an aerated condition. Replacement of the pressure deaerator with a vacuum deaerator not only results in improved cycle efficiency for both the gas turbine and the steam turbine, but also produces a substantial cost reduction. Because water supplied to the HRSG has already been deaerated, and since the natural gas or gasified coal used as fuel is clean, the lower temperature sections of the HRSG can be constructed from steel tubes. The size, length and cost of the HRSG is therefore reduced. The gas-side pressure drop may also be reduced, thus increasing the gas turbine efficiency. When feedwater is deaerated in a pressure deaerator, deaeration takes place at temperatures above 228F, too high to cool the turbine exhaust gas to 200F. If cold feedwater enters the HRSG without first being deaerated, steel tubing cannot be used because rapid corrosion would occur. High alloy tubing adds to HRSG costs. Elimination of the pressure deaerator also affects structural costs. The vacuum deaerator is located near ground level, while the pressure deaerator and the associated large storage tank must be elevated to assure adequate NPSH for the pumps. The simplicity of the combined cycle using the DO2 cold water deaerating system (shown in Figure 4) is a major factor in the overall cost reduction. Elimination of all feedwater heaters, the pressure deaerator and storage tank, as well as associated piping, can be visualized by comparing the schematics in Figures 4 and 5. The condensate and feed pump arrangement shown in Figure 4 eliminates the need for the large elevated storage tank used in conventional systems and assures that boiler feed pump NPSH requirements are satisfied at all times. This reduces surging problems experienced by boiler feed pumps supplied with feedwater from pressure deaerator storage tanks. The elimination of chemical oxygen scavengers, some of which are considered carcinogenic, eliminates one of the purposes of the large storage tank. This tank is normally required to give the scavenger time to react with the dissolved oxygen while the water is held at an elevated temperature. Scavengers may be ineffective in the steam condenser because the residence time is brief and temperatures are too low. Some early combined cycle designs relied on so called deaerating condensers to supply cold deaerated water to the HRSG. Only as long as stable conditions exist and the limitations discussed above are adhered to, will these deaerating condensers be effective. The risk, however, is great. High levels of dissolved oxygen can destroy steel tubing rapidly.

Since there is no need to heat incoming HRSG feedwater when clean fuels are used, any heating with extraction steam or pressure deaeration would actually waste energy. All HRSG steam to the steam turbine is exhausted to the steam condenser under vacuum, thus extracting the maximum available energy to drive the steam turbine.

VACUUM DEAERATOR ADVANTAGES The system used at Gilroy Energy (and succeeding cogeneration plants using the D02 system) eliminates the pressure deaerator, which would reduce the bottoming cycle efficiency. Incoming makeup water is deaerated in a vacuum deaerator using only turbine exhaust steam. When makeup water flow rates are large, and much colder than the condenser temperature, this can offer substantial energy savings. The use of turbine exhaust steam simultaneously reduces the load to the cooling water, and saves energy otherwise required to heat the cold makeup water to the condenser temperature. Combined cycle cogeneration plants do require large amounts of makeup water, far more than conventional plants. This requirement occurs because steam is often injected into the gas turbine to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. The steam is vented up the The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991

RETROFIT OF EXISTING CONDENSER SYSTEMS Inquiries have been made as to whether the D02 system could be retrofitted into existing plants which, because of condenser deaerating inadequacies, were experiencing high levels of dissolved

oxygen in the condensate. To retrofit an existing plant requires: Modification or replacement of the existing vent system. Except for space restrictions, this presents little problem; Possible modification of the existing condenser. A detailed study of the external vent connections and internal air cooling section air/vapor path is required to verify its ability to cope with the vastly increased water vapor flow rate. Major internal modifications might be required. It is doubtful that a condenser designed to subcool small quantities of noncondensible gases and water vapor could easily be modified to handle water vapor flows ten times that specified by the original HEI requirements; Modification of the existing condenser hotwell. Hotwell modifIcations short of complete replacements, while quite possible, would be expensive, particularly in view of space limitations; Possible addition of a vacuum deaerator. If makeup water or return and condensate conditions warrant, a vacuum deaerator may need to be added to the system. Space limitations must be considered.

Any power generation system using natural gas is subject to interruptions during emergencies. Provisions must be made to provide for the use of an alternate fuel (i.e., fuel oil) during those periods when natural gas use is restricted. This alternate fuel will often contain sulfur compounds which requires that the HRSG exhaust temperature be elevated above 300F. To raise the HRSG exhaust temperature above the dew point of potentially corrosive acidic vapors, the tube wall temperature at the feedwater inlet end of the HRSG must be raised. The DO2 system, however, supplies cold water which must be heated to avoid the dew point problem. To raise the temperature of the HRSG feedwater, a number of schemes are possible, such as providing flash steam from a steam generator, recycling hot water from higher temperature regions of the HRSG and mixing this hot water with the incoming cold water, etc. One simple arrangement utilizes a liquid/liquid heat exchanger to keep all fluids pressurized and requires only simple valving. It is obvious that the cycle efficiency will suffer during those periods when the alternate fuel has to be used. Hopefully, these periods of time are short and the efficiency loss is compensated for by the simplicity of the cycle and the gains in efficiency for the greatest portion of the year.

CONCLUSIONS Methods have been developed for positive dissolved oxygen control in steam surface condensers. This is possible even with very high makeup requirements as encountered in combined cycle cogeneration power plants. Dissolved oxygen control, without chemical scavengers and without a pressure deaerator, under the most difficult conditions results in improved combined cycle efficiency and reduced plant investment costs. Cost reduction comes about as a result of pressure deaerator elimination and HRSG size and material cost reduction. Simplification of the cycle also reduces maintenance and service requirements, as well as piping costs. Modifications to the basic DO2 design are available to adjust for variations in makeup water inlet temperatures and for retrofitting of existing systems to lower the condensate dissolved oxygen.

Due to the difficulties inherent in the modifications described above, the system shown in Figure 6 was developed. In this arrangement all of the condensate and makeup water, as well as the condensate returns, are deaerated after leaving the condenser hotwell. Energy requirements are minimized by the use of a thermocompressor in conjunction with the vacuum deaerator.

INADEQUATE AVAILABLE TEMPERATURE DIFFERENTIAL FOR DEAERATION In addition to the retrofit situation, it is apparent that some plants are called upon to operate over a wide range of conditions. At times, the available condensing temperature and the makeup water temperature are too close to provide the required temperature differential for good deaeration. These situations occur, for example, at low loads when the condenser pressure decreases and when the makeup water is warm due to mixing with hot drains. To solve this problem the system shown in Figure 7 was developed. ** A thermocompression device (steam ejector or mechanical pump) is used to compress water vapor from the steam condenser (turbine exhaust steam) to a higher pressure and inject it into the vacuum deaerator. By so doing, the temperature of the descending liquid is elevated sufficiently to insure deaeration. Deaerated water drains back to the main condenser and flashes to the condenser temperature (pressure). Use of the thermocompressor allows 2/3 of the heat required for deaeration to be supplied by waste steam from the condenser. ** Portions of the equipment described herein are the subject of patent applications.

MODIFICATIONS FOR ALTERNATE FUEL USE The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991 4

REFERENCES 1. EPRI NP-3020, Evaluation and Improvement of PWR Secondary-System Oxygen Control Measures, Westinghouse Electric Corp., July, 1983. EPRI-2294, Guide to the Design of Secondary Systems and Their Components to Minimize Oxygen-Induced Corrosion, Bechtel Group (S.W.S. Shor, et al), March, 1982. EPRI NP-2448, Evaluation of Secondary Systems Oxygen Control in PWR Plants, Burns & Roe (I. Oliker, et al), June, 1982. Athey, R.E., et al, Continuous Vacuum Deaeration of Condenser Makeup Water, EPRI Condenser Technology Symposium, Providence, R.I., September 22-24, 1987. Athey, R.E., et al, Total Systems Approach to Condenser Oxygen Control as Applied to a Combined Cycle Cogeneration Power Plant, Joint Power Generation Conference, October 4-8, 1987. Athey, R.E., et al, Condensate Oxygen Control in a Combined Cycle System Without a Conventional Deaerator - Test Results, EPRI Condenser Technology Conference, Boston, MA, September 18-20, 1990. Stanley, R.B., Case Study - Real Life Optimization of a 120 MW Combined Cycle Cogeneration Plant, Joint Power Generation Conference, October 4-8, 1987.


EPRI AP-5815, Practical Feasibility of Advanced Steam Systems for Combined Cycle Power Plants, Bechtel Group, May, 1988. ASME 84-JPGC-PWR-32,Enhanced Condenser venting for Condensate Oxygen Control, E . Spencer and A.M. Impagliazzo, 1984.



SI UNITS CONVERSION CHART From F To C Action Subtract 32, Divide by 1.8 (F-32)/l.8 Multiply by 25.4 Multiply by 0.45359 Multiply by 0.2271 Multiply by 6.895



inches Hg lb. GPM PSIG

mm Hg Kg M3/h KpA




The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1991