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INNOVATIVE SUPERCRITICAL

BOILERS FOR NEAR TERM


GLOBAL MARKETS

Report No. COAL R230


DTI/Pub URN 03/647

by

R S Panesar and D R Wakeford


A Read and R Chamberlain, PowerGen UK plc
M Effert and H Edelmann, Siemens Aktiengesllschaft
L Ghiribelli, ENEL Prodizione Spa
J L Toste de Azevedo and R Toledo, IST Instituto Superior Tecnico

The work described in this report was carried out under contract as part of the Department
of Trade and Industrys Cleaner Coal Technology Transfer Programme. The Programme
is managed by Future Energy Solutions. The views and judgements expressed in this
report are those of the Contractor and do not necessarily reflect those of Future Energy
Solutions or the Department of Trade and Industry.

Crown Copyright 2003


First published March 2003
INNOVATIVE SUPERCRITICAL
BOILERS FOR NEAR TERM
GLOBAL MARKETS

by

R S Panesar and D R Wakeford


A Read and R Chamberlain, PowerGen UK plc
M Effert and H Edelmann, Siemens Aktiengesllschaft
L Ghiribelli, ENEL Prodizione Spa
J L Toste de Azevedo and R Toledo, IST Instituto Superior Tecnico

SUMMARY

Objectives
To develop and compare three innovative 600MWe class supercritical coal-fired boiler
designs for use in advanced power generation plant. The designs maximise plant thermal
efficiency and minimise emissions, whilst at the same time are realisable in the near-term
with boiler steam conditions of approximately of 300 bar/600C/620C corresponding to
turbine inlet conditions of 290 bar/600C/620C; suitable for the emerging market in Asia.
The overall scientific / technological objectives of the project are:
Steam Cycle Optimisation - To establish the optimum steam cycle for near-term
exploitation with the minimum risk.

Novel Design Features - To incorporate novel features in the boiler designs:


(i) The latest commercially available materials alongside proven alloys;
(ii) Vertical internally ribbed tubing to improve plant cost and operability;
(iii) Improved separator design to minimise boiler pressure drop;
(iv) Mechanical details to reduce cost and improve operational flexibility; and
(v) Integrated fuel reburn for in-furnace NOx control.

Two-Pass Boiler Designs - To develop design variants for 600 MWe class
supercritical boilers:
(i) Traditional two-pass boiler spiral wound smooth bore tube furnace;
(ii) Two-pass boiler with vertical internally ribbed tube furnace.

Horizontal Furnace Boiler Design - To develop design for 600 MWe class
supercritical horizontal furnace boiler with vertical internally ribbed tube furnace,
incorporating:
(i) Boiler performance and boiler heat transfer surface detail;
(ii) Combustion and NOx performance in novel horizontal furnace.

Techno-Economic Comparison - Techno-economic comparison of the three boiler


types.

Technical Guidelines - To develop engineering technical guidelines detailing the


novel features.

i
The work completed under the framework of this project aims to advance the state-of- the-
art of economic supercritical boiler technology for advanced power generation.

Results

Steam Cycle Optimisation


The steam cycle has been selected on the basis of that which is possible with the most advanced
commercially available materials and steam turbines. The cycle conditions relating to these
criteria are 290 bar/600C/620C at the turbine inlet with 300oC final feed water temperature; a
cycle which offers an efficiency of 45.1% net (LHV basis). The cycle conditions are currently
limited by availability of suitable steam turbines rather than boiler materials. Suitable materials
and turbine technology have been identified to maximise plant efficiency, whilst permitting
use of materials already commercially available.
A sensitivity analysis has been conducted. This has estimated the sensitivity of cycle heat
rate to changes in the following cycle parameters:

Live steam pressure and temperature;


Reheat steam pressure and temperature;
Feed water temperature.

Given that the existing turbine technology effectively limits temperatures at the turbine inlet
to 290 bar/600C/620C, the main mechanism for increasing efficiency appears to be through
a moderate increase in feed water temperature. A 20K increase in feed water temperature
would yield an efficiency rise of approximately 0.15 percentage points. The precise optimum
rise would be determined by feed water and airheater cost considerations, as well as the
extraction conditions available from the HP and IP turbine cylinder.

The immediately constraining factors on increasing the basic cycle conditions selected are the
acceptance of austenitic headers and superheater tubing and the willingness to adopt a
potentially developmental steam turbine. If the adoption of austenitic headers and methods to
increase maximum turbine inlet conditions were acceptable, a 10K rise in final superheat and
reheat steam temperatures, combined with the increased feed water temperature, would allow
an increase in cycle efficiency of 0.3 percentage points.

Novel Design Features


To improve plant cost, operability and flexibility, the supercritical boiler designs developed
incorporate various novel features which include the latest commercially available materials,
vertical internally ribbed tubing, improved steam/water separator design, improved
mechanical details and integrated fuel reburn for control of NOx emissions. These
developments are considered to be relatively incremental and hence of limited technical and
economic risk.

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Materials

A materials review identified the limit of the steam conditions using commercially available
materials as 290 bar/600/620oC at the turbine inlet. The materials available to satisfy these
conditions are:

Furnace waterwalls: 7CrMoVTiB10-10 (ASTM A213 T24)


or
HCM2S (ASTM A213 T23)

Superheater tubing Austenitic materials of high (20-25%)


chromium content required such as
NF709 or
HR3C

Superheater headers, manifolds Ferritic:-


and pipework NF616 (SA 335 P92)
HCM12A (SA 335 P122)
Austenitic:-
X3CrNiMoN1713

Vertical Internally Ribbed Tubing

For application of generic Benson technology in supercritical boilers, the use of low fluid
mass flux vertical internally ribbed tubing in place of the traditional spiral wound smooth
bore tubing for the furnace heating surface is seen to offer the following benefits:
Lower capital cost (simpler supporting arrangement);

Lower operating cost (reduced auxiliary power load); and


Improved operability (stable flow characteristics and greater plant flexibility)

The special vertical tube improves the heat transfer through increased turbulence and induced
swirl. This improvement in heat transfer makes it possible to use these vertical tubes at the
low fluid mass fluxes required for once-through operation, even in the regions of highest heat
flux, without risk of overheating. For the supercritical boiler designs under consideration, the
thermo-hydraulic performance of internally ribbed tubes in a vertical configuration were
established from experiments performed in Siemens PG Benson test rig to arrive at the
optimum tube design for the operating conditions envisaged. Although the technology has
recently been demonstrated on a subcritical application (Yaomeng), the predicted advantages
of the low mass flux vertical internally ribbed tube furnace have yet to be proven at the
supercritical condition.

Improved Steam/Water Separator

During start-up and low-load operation of once-through boilers it is necessary to recirculate


the water through the furnace to maintain adequate cooling of the furnace wall tubes. It is
necessary to separate the steam and water such that the water can be recirculated back to the
furnace tubes via the economiser. A cyclone device (separator) is used. Efficient separation

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is a key requirement, but as the separator remains in the steam path at higher loads, it is also
necessary for the separator to exhibit a low steam pressure drop. An optimised design has
been developed and the reduced steam-side pressure drop benefits the auxiliary plant power
consumption and hence generating efficiency.

Improved Mechanical Details

The two variants of the two-pass boiler are designed without a vestibule between the furnace
and the second pass to reduce capital costs. In the case of the spiral wound furnace, this
novel feature introduces the need for innovative support of the rear furnace wall. If the
furnace design dictates that the spiral outlet header needs to be located at a level equivalent to
the furnace arch then the straps in the rear wall will be exposed to the hot combustion gases
in the rear pass before the economiser bank. A hot strap design for the rear wall is therefore
necessary and a design has been developed to carry the load of the lower furnace when
subjected to the hot gases of the second pass.

Compared with conventional two-pass designs, the horizontal furnace boiler concept has
indicated potential cost savings associated with the reduced lengths of expensive high-
temperature alloy steam piping as well as benefits in foundation loading.

Integrated Fuel Reburn for In-Furnace NOx Control

Fuel reburn is the most recent addition to the portfolio of in-furnace NOx reduction
technologies and to-date has been demonstrated in retrofit form. The state-of-the-art has been
advanced by the development of integrated reburn at the boiler design stage by drawing on
the experience gained from the full-scale coal-over-coal reburn demonstration at Vado Ligure
Power Plant, Italy. Such state-of-the-art boiler plant would offer significant reduction in
emission levels for Asia.

Whilst the application of reburn process to the two-pass boiler designs is based on proven
experience, the reburn design for the horizontal furnace boiler is novel. Possible reburn
configurations and optimisation of the reburn system design were investigated by means of
detailed analysis undertaken with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) modelling. This
included the prediction of incident heat flux profiles so as to provide a basis for thermo-
hydraulic calculations of the evaporator surfaces. Other CFD activities included the
development of a simplified kinetic model for the prediction of NOx reduction under
reburning conditions for furnace design and system configuration.

Two-Pass Boiler Designs

Two innovative supercritical boiler variants of the Mitsui Babcock two-pass boiler design
have been generated, both incorporating novel cost reduction features and the most advanced
commercially available materials for boiler pressure parts:

Traditional spiral wound smooth bore tube furnace arrangement


Vertical internally ribbed tube furnace arrangement with low fluid mass flux

The use of vertical internally ribbed tubing with low fluid mass flux in place of the traditional
spiral wound tubing offers several cost advantages. Benefits identified include plant cost and

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operating cost as well as benefits in operability. This together with the improved separator
design should lead to increased generating efficiency.

Both two-pass boiler variants have been designed without a vestibule between the furnace
and second pass to reduce capital costs. In order to best match the target market, a Chinese
fuel was selected for the boiler designs. The fuel characteristics, particularly its low ash
deformation temperature resulted in a large furnace volume. The advantage of this is lower
NOx emissions, generous residence time for fuel burn-out, minimal accumulation of
slagging/ash deposits and retrofit of in-furnace NOx control technology without comprise to
its optimum configuration.

Initially the boilers were designed with low NOx burners and over-fire air alone for NOx
control to meet 600mg/Nm3, typical of todays emission standards in Asia. Coal-over-coal
reburn, optimised by CFD and based on experience gained at Vado Ligure, Italy, was then
incorporated to further reduce NOx emissions to meet more arduous emission standards
expected in the future. Detailed thermo-hydraulic checks confirmed the furnace water wall
material selection and the arrangements to be statically stable. For reduced cost, the boiler
designs feature single air and flue gas streams.

The boiler island has been designed using proprietary three-dimensional (3-D) modelling
software. The model includes the auxiliary equipment as well as detail of the heating surface
layout within the boiler. Process & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) for both the air/gas
and water/steam systems have been created in the same software as the 3-D plant layout
model. An intelligent database has been developed and linked to the P&IDs.

An important aspect of the design of the supercritical boiler is related to the thermo-hydraulic
behaviour of the furnace wall tubes. As useful design information for the project and to
supplement the experimental rig testwork and the CFD simulations, comprehensive heat flux
and metal temperature measurements were undertaken on operating supercritical boilers.
Although the firing system and the fuels are different from the ISB-2000 boiler designs, these
plant measurements have provided important experimental information on thermo-hydraulic
performance at the supercritical operating pressures. Heat transfer coefficients have been
evaluated for smooth furnace tubes, operating under baseline and two-stage combustion
conditions, and high mass flux internally ribbed vertical furnace tubes, operating under both
baseline and reburn conditions.

Novel Horizontal Furnace Boiler

One of the key drivers to develop the horizontal furnace boiler is the aim to reduce the height
of the overall boiler and length of the interconnecting pipework between boiler and turbine.
The horizontal furnace boiler almost halves the overall boiler height when compared to a
typical two-pass once through supercritical boiler. Hence, the length of boiler to turbine
pipework required for the horizontal furnace boiler is significantly reduced, representing a
significant reduction in cost especially for the alloys required for the extremely advanced
steam conditions of the future.

The boiler features a horizontal combustion chamber with downstream convection heat
exchange surfaces, their design being similar to those used in a conventional two-pass boiler.
The main combustion system is located at the front wall of the furnace.

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Various innovative features are included in the design of the novel steam generator. A reburn
system with downstream addition of over-fire air is employed as the primary NOx control
measure. The design of the furnace layout has been the subject of extensive CFD analysis to
optimise combustion performance and establish heat flux data as a basis for thermo-hydraulic
calculations of the evaporator. Different evaporator steam circuits arrangements have been
investigated to optimise the evaporator performance and minimise tube wall metal
temperatures. The furnace membrane walls are constructed from low mass flux vertical
internally ribbed tubes arranged in two fluid passes with the roof as the third evaporator
stage. The roof is of a membrane construction and is normally steam cooled during once-
through operation. A lateral pass houses pendent superheat and reheat surface with the
second gas pass housing additional horizontal superheat and reheat banks as required in
addition to the economiser banks.

A 3-D model of the boiler island was developed using proprietary modelling software to
detail the boiler itself together with framing, ash collecting system and balance of plant. The
3-D model allowed certain novel aspects of the design to be addressed in more detail such as
hopper design and associated bottom ash conveyer system, hot and cold structure layout,
layout of the heating surfaces and associated interconnecting pipework.

The work completed under the project has verified that the horizontal furnace boiler can be
designed for materials that are commercially available today and the steam parameters in
question. The preliminary design work to-date has shown that there are no insurmountable
technical issues preventing the horizontal furnace boiler concept from becoming reality.

Techno-Economic Comparison

The three boiler designs: the conventional spiral wound unit, its vertical internally ribbed tube
variation and the horizontal furnace boiler were assessed to determine which showed the
most technical and economic promise. The process has been split into an identification of
baseline data, an estimation of capital and O&M cost differences, a risk or failure modes and
effects analysis (FMEA) and an availability analysis. Each of these feed in to a final
economic analysis.

The evaluation showed the two-pass vertical ribbed tube design to be economic, even for the
first-of-a-kind plant. The savings in capital cost and efficiency outweigh the modestly
increased risk of failure. The major risk in terms of consequence is that the predicted
advantages of the low mass flux ribbed tubing will not be fully realised. However, given that
this technology has recently been demonstrated in China, albeit at subcritical conditions, the
likelihood of this problem occurring in the study boiler is considered to be small.

The cost and downtime risks of the first-of-a-kind horizontal furnace boiler exceed those of
the two-pass boiler by more than a factor of 10 because of the new design aspects. A subsidy
in the order of 15-20M would therefore be required to commercially justify construction of
the horizontal furnace boiler in the arrangement considered in this study. For mature Nth
plant, the horizontal furnace boiler demonstrates a total present value savings of almost 9M
per unit. Critical areas for investigation in this design are evaporator steam/water
distribution, evaporator roof tubes, boiler framing (hot structure) and a more detailed estimate
of potential reductions in erection costs. A one percentage point reduction in erection cost
has been estimated to increase the projects total net present value by approximately 300k to
400k.

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Technical Guidelines

Technical guidelines have been generated following the output of the boiler design activities
and the development of the novel components. The aim of the guidelines is to provide a set
of rules for subsequent utility boiler designs and hence enable these innovations to be
incorporated both into an ISB-2000 Phase II design/demonstration and into future advanced
supercritical power plant designs.

The various novel features along with design improvements developed under this project will
enable the supercritical plant to compete far more effectively with subcritical plant in the
Asian market. These developments are considered to be relatively incremental and hence of
limited technical and economic risk. The technical guidelines developed under the project
cover:

Improved furnace performance modelling


Furnace rear wall support design
Evaporator design
High-pressure separator design
Material selection
Steam cycle optimisation
Integrated fuel reburn for in-furnace NOx control
Optimising furnace design using CFD

Possible applications & indications on the plans for use

This ISB-2000 project aims to put Europe ahead of worldwide competition and demonstrate
the innovative supercritical boiler technology being developed. The project has succeeded in
targeting current absolute state-of-the-art steam conditions at turbine inlet; which is limited
by available materials and turbine technology. ISB-2000 also provides the opportunity for
early benefits to be realised from other related programmes such as THERMIE (700oC)
Advanced PF Power Plant project. The technology being developed under this project is
applicable for the major PF fired advanced power generation markets of Asia, China in
particular, and also emerging major players like the US.

The selected best ISB-2000 supercritical boiler design for near term demonstration will aim
to incorporate innovative design features developed in this Phase I study with perhaps some
of the features requiring further validation and/or practical trials so as to reduce technical risk
and finalise the reference design.

Although the low mass flux vertical internally ribbed tube technology has recently been
demonstrated on a subcritical furnace retrofit application (Yaomeng, China), the predicted
advantages such a furnace have yet to be proven at the supercritical condition. A logical way
forward therefore is to identify a suitable host site for a supercritical furnace retrofit to
demonstrate the low mass flux vertical internally ribbed tube furnace under supercritical
conditions. Such a supercritical furnace retrofit could be achieved in a shorter time frame,
and would therefore be beneficial as a complementary demonstration to the longer-term
supercritical boiler retrofit as an integral part of the ISB-2000 Phase II demonstration.

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ISB-2000 Phase II demonstration is recommended as being a very good project for the EU to
support because it combines the demonstration of significantly improved energy efficiency,
correspondingly greater CO2 reduction capability, and furthermore, will promote a high level
of technology transfer exchange with China at a time when China is at a critical stage in
defining its implementation strategy for growth of advanced power generation whilst
remaining strongly committed to the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

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Contents Page No

1. OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIC ASPECTS........................................................... 1

1.1 Overall Scientific / Technological Objectives 1

1.2 State-of-the-Art Review 3

1.3 Socio-Economic Objectives 5

1.4 Contribution to EU Policy Needs 5

2. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE RESULTS ............... 5

2.1 Basic Ground Rules 5


2.1.1 Design Coal 5
2.1.2 Basic Design Data 6

2.2 Steam Cycle Optimisation 7

2.3 Novel Design Features 10

2.3.1 Commercially Available Materials 11


2.3.2 Vertical Internally Ribbed Tubing 11
2.3.3 Improved Separator Design 13
2.3.4 Mechanical Details to Reduce Cost 14
2.3.5 Integrated Fuel Reburn for In-Furnace NOx Control 15
2.3.6 CFD Chemical Kinetic Model for NOx Simulation 17

2.4 Two-Pass Boiler Designs 18


2.4.1 Furnace Design 19
2.4.2 Boiler Design 21
2.4.3 Fuel Reburn 22
2.4.4 CFD Analysis 23
2.4.5 Boiler Island Layout 24
2.4.6 Process & Instrumentation Diagrams 24
2.4.7 Plant Heat Flux Measurements for Design Tuning 24
2.4.8 Overview 26

2.5 Novel Horizontal Furnace Boiler with Vertical Tube Furnace 26


2.5.1 Novel HF Boiler 26
2.5.2 Pressure Part Materials 28
2.5.3 Fuel Reburn 29
2.5.4 CFD Analysis 29
2.5.5 Overview 30

2.6 Techno-Economic Comparison 30


2.6.1 Baseline Data 31
2.6.2 Capital Price Variance Analysis 32
2.6.3 O&M Cost Variance Analysis 32

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2.6.4 Risk and Availability Analysis 33
2.6.4 Overview 36

2.7 Technical Guidelines 36

3. PHASE II RECOMMENDATION ............................................................................ 37

4. ASSESSMENT OF RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS ........................................... 38

5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................ 40

6. REFERENCES............................................................................................................. 40

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1. OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIC ASPECTS
This public Final Technical Report presents a summary of the main results and
deliverables for the European funded development project Innovative Supercritical
Boilers for Near Term Global Markets (ISB-2000) completed within the
Commissions 5th Framework Programme under the contract NNE5/1999/310.

The UK Department of Trade Industry also provided support for the project under its
Cleaner Coal Technology Programme (Contract No. C/07/00285/00/00) with top up
funding for the UK participants.

The report covers the project activities for the period July 2000 to June 2002.

1.1 Overall Scientific / Technological Objectives

The project seeks to develop and compare three 600MWe class supercritical coal-fired
boiler designs for use in advanced power generation plant. The designs are intended
to maximise plant thermal efficiency and minimise emissions, whilst at the same time
being realisable in the near-term with boiler turbine inlet steam conditions of the order
of 300 bar/600C/620C. The overall scientific/technological objectives of the project
are:
Steam Cycle Optimisation - To establish the optimum steam cycle for near-term
exploitation with the minimum risk.

Novel Design Features - To incorporate novel features in the boiler designs:


(i) The latest commercially available materials alongside proven alloys;
(ii) Vertical internally ribbed tubing to improve plant cost and operability;
(iii) Improved separator design to minimise boiler pressure drop;
(iv) Mechanical details to reduce cost and improve operational flexibility; and
(v) Integrated fuel reburn for in-furnace NOx control.

Two-Pass Boiler Designs - To develop design variants for 600MWe class


supercritical boilers:
(i) Traditional two-pass boiler spiral wound smooth bore tube furnace;
(ii) Two-pass boiler with vertical internally ribbed tube furnace.

Horizontal Furnace Boiler Design - To develop design for 600MWe class


supercritical horizontal furnace boiler with vertical internally ribbed tube furnace,
incorporating:

Boiler performance and boiler heat transfer surface detail;

Combustion and NOx performance in novel horizontal furnace.

Techno-Economic Comparison - Techno-economic comparison of the three boiler


types.

Technical Guidelines - To develop engineering technical guidelines detailing the


novel features.

1
The work completed under the framework of this project aims to advance the state-
of- the-art of economic supercritical boiler technology for advanced power
generation.

The introduction of supercritical steam conditions (300 bar/600C/620C @ boiler) to


pulverised fuel (PF) fired utility boilers results in a significant increase in the power
generation efficiency compared to standard subcritical plant in Europe
(168bar/568C/568C) and in emergent countries such as China where much lower
steam conditions are typically found. At an inland site without the benefit of seawater
cooling, supercritical conditions offer a net efficiency of 45% (LHV basis) compared
to 38% for standard EU subcritical plant and 29% in China. The greater efficiency of
a supercritical plant results in lower fuel consumption for the same quantity of
electricity generated. This saving gives corresponding lower CO2, SO2, NOX and
particulate emissions per unit of electricity generated even with the same coal and
combustion equipment performance.

The steam cycle is optimised for maximum cycle efficiency. The conditions of main
steam pressure and temperature and reheat conditions are established along with
optimum feed water heating arrangement to allow near term exploitation with
minimum risk. The particular conditions are based on the selection of the appropriate
materials from the latest available and those proposed in other European programmes
(e.g. E911, HCM2S, T24, T23, HCM12, SUPER 304 Tp 347 FG) alongside proven
*alloys, which may provide solutions (e.g. E1250) at lower risk and cost, and
inevitably contribute to adoption of state-of-the-art steam conditions in China.
The materials are not the only aspects important for the state-of-the-art supercritical
boiler technology. Innovative design features, with limited risk, are required to
improve operability and to further allow the economics of the state-of-the-art plant to
compete more effectively with subcritical plant.

Application of generic Benson technology in supercritical boilers would benefit from


the use of low mass flux vertical internally ribbed tubing in place of the traditional
spiral wound smooth bore tubing for the furnace heating surface in terms of both plant
cost (simpler supporting arrangement), operating cost (reduced feed and start-up
circulating pump power) and operability (stable flow characteristic and greater plant
flexibility). The thermo-hydraulic principles of the low mass flux design have been
demonstrated at Farge [1] and Cottam [2]. The worlds first low mass flux vertical
internally ribbed tube furnace retrofit has recently been demonstrated at Yaomeng
(300MWe, coal-fired) in the Peoples Republic of China; albeit a once-through
subcritical application.

Various improvements can be made to the mechanical details of supercritical boiler


plant such as improved separator design for reduced steam-side pressure drop and
hence reduced auxiliary power consumption and so increasing generating efficiency.
Novel cost reduction features for the two-pass boilers include the exclusion of the
vestibule between the furnace and the second pass to reduce capital costs.

Control of NOx emissions is most economically undertaken in the furnace, even if


additional control by non in-furnace means is also required in markets such as those in
Europe. In Asia, NOx control will probably be limited to in-furnace measures for the
immediate future. Fuel reburn is the most recent addition to the portfolio of in-

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furnace NOx reduction technologies and it has been demonstrated in retrofit form.
Hence the state-of-the-art would be advanced by the development of integrated reburn
at the design stage and such plant would offer significant reduction in emission levels
for Asia.

The above developments are relatively incremental and hence of limited technical and
economic risk. At a higher level of risk is the more radical concept of the horizontal
furnace (HF) boiler. The HF boiler would not only reduce the lengths of expensive
superheat and reheat piping particularly important in extremely high steam pressure
and temperature applications (~360 bar, 700oC) but may also reduce boiler costs in
other areas such as erection. Development of the HF boiler concept may require
demonstration in Europe before it is demonstrated or adopted in the Asian market.
However, this current work will enable it to be compared with the more conventional
two-pass boiler configuration, with spiral wound furnace tube and vertical furnace
tube configurations, and allow state-of-the-art supercritical boiler technology to be
advanced for both European and Asian markets.

Traditional Spiral Wound Furnace Low Mass Flux Vertical Tube Furnace Low Mass Flux Vertical Tube Furnace

Two-Pass Boiler Designs Novel HF Boiler

Figure 1.1-1: Comparison of the Three Boiler Variants

The target of the techno-economic analysis is to compare the three supercritical boiler
types (illustrated above) to allow the selection of the most suitable design for
demonstration in Asia (Phase II). The implications of boiler design on availability,
maintainability and repairability, and the technical risks for a full-scale supercritical
power plant are considered.

Engineering technical guidelines detailing the novel features developed for the boiler
designs will enable many of the innovations to be incorporated both into a Phase II
design and into future THERMIE 700C Advanced PF Power Plant designs.

1.2 State-of-the-Art Review


The project compares three supercritical boiler variants at the most advanced steam
conditions achievable with todays commercially available materials of construction.
The steam conditions have been identified within this project to be 290
bar/600C/620C at the turbine inlet. The boiler variants are the established spiral
wound furnace design, the low mass flux vertical internally ribbed tube furnace

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design, both in a standard two-pass configuration and a novel horizontal furnace
boiler arrangement (also utilising the low mass flux vertical internally ribbed tube
concept). The spiral wound furnace has many references from a number of
technology suppliers such as Meri Pori in Finland and Hemweg in Holland. The
novel horizontal furnace boiler is an advanced concept at this stage and it promises
benefits for higher steam conditions and lower erection costs.

The first low mass flux vertical internally ribbed tube furnace has recently been
demonstrated following retrofit to Yaomeng Power Plant (300MWe, coal-fired once-
through subcritical) in the Peoples Republic of China.
A brief review of current state-of-the-art supercritical plant world-wide is presented
below:
Europe: Avedore 2 (Denmark) commissioned late 2001 is one of the most advanced
plants in the world (300 bar /580oC/600oC at turbine inlet) with an electrical
generation efficiency of 49% LHV, net. Other current state-of-the-art supercritical
plants are represented by the double reheat unit at Nordjyllandsvaerket in Denmark, at
285 bar/580oC/580oC/580oC, commissioned in 1998 (with double reheat and benefit
of cold Baltic sea-water cooling, the plant gives an efficiency of 47% LHV, net) and
Niederaussem K, at 274 bar/580oC/600oC firing lignite and promising an efficiency of
>43% LHV, net. Unit K is due to be commissioned at the end of year 2002.

Japan: Matsuura unit 2 was commissioned in 1997 with final steam parameters of
241bar/593oC/593oC. In 1998, Japan further commissioned two 244 bar/600C/600C
units (Haramachi unit 2 and Misumi unit 1) and more recently two
250bar/600C/610C units (Tachibanawan units 1 and 2). The development goal of
the Japanese supercritical programme is to reach 300 bar @ 630C using ferritic steels
and 700C class supercritical plants by using nickel based super alloys. Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries (MHI) offers supercritical boilers with a vertical tubed evaporator,
but the design operates at a higher tube-side mass flux offering inferior performance
to the Siemens ribbed tube technology employed for the state-of-the-art ISB-2000
boiler designs developed under this EC project.

USA: There is no current competition from US suppliers for modern supercritical


plants with main steam temperatures up to 600C. The Eddystone plant, which was
one of the first in the world some 30 years ago, still has some of the most advanced
steam conditions of any plants today, but was operationally difficult and the design
was not repeated. However, the plant still operates.

Russia: State-of-the-art boiler plant in Russia has not progressed appreciably in the
last 30 years when a number of plants were constructed with steam conditions of
255bar/545C/545C, but these tended to be small plants of up to 400MWe such as
Reftinskaya and Novocherkasskaya. There is no known recent activity.

South Korea : South Korea has a number of supercritical units in operation (mainly
using SULZER licensed technology). Currently these are at moderate steam
conditions, but future plants are targeting steam conditions of 250 bar/580C/600C.

China : China has no supercritical developments of its own. The first supercritical
plants in China have modest steam conditions with the most advanced being 235
bar/540C/570C at Shidongkou and 250 bar/545oC/545oC at Suijan. These

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conditions will soon improve to 258 bar/542oC/568oC following commissioning of the
two units at Wai GaoQiao Power Plant (Shanghai Electric) in the year 2004. The
plants are either Russian or Western designs. Increasingly the emphasis in China is
on linking plant sales to technology transfer such that subsequent units can be
manufactured in China. The most advanced units in China rely on the spiral wound
furnace technology.

1.3 Socio-Economic Objectives


The scientific and technical benefits of the ISB-2000 project will result in the
development and ultimately the exploitation of skills and technologies that will result
in more efficient and lower cost advanced power generation plant producing lower
levels of pollutant emissions. The outcome of this will inevitably lead to lower cost
of electricity to the consumer and cleaner air with benefits to the citizens quality of
life.

1.4 Contribution to EU Policy Needs


Implementation of European Union energy policies will involve significant changes in
the operational requirements for solid fuel-fired power plants in a number of key
areas:

There are specific and ambitious targets for the reduction of CO2 emissions
from coal-fired power plants;
There is a long-term target for the reduction of NOx emissions from coal-fired
power plant;
There are both short and long-term targets for the improvement of the efficiency of
electricity generation from solid fuel-fired power plants; and
There are targets for the reduction of power plant investment costs and for the
increase of plant reliability.

The ISB-2000 project specifically addresses many of these key areas by aiming to
reduce power plant costs, improve generating efficiency and reduce emissions of CO2,
SO2 and particularly NOx.

2. SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE RESULTS

2.1 Basic Ground Rules

The Ground Rules were defined for the steam cycle and boiler design. This design
basis used a typical Chinese bituminous coal, site conditions and normal practice.
The practice employed has been modified where it brings overall benefits to the plant
performance, but would still be acceptable in major world markets like China.

2.1.1 Design Coal

The Chinese Shenmu coal with its low ash deformation temperature is selected as the
design coal. The Shenmu coal is a typical Chinese medium volatile bituminous coal
(ASTM Classification) used for steam generation purposes. The coal and ash
characteristics are presented in Table 2.1-1 below:

5
Design Coal Shenmu Coal

Proximate Analysis:-
Moisture %wt, as-received 16.45
Ash %wt, as-received 7.19
Volatile Matter %wt, as-received 23.56
Fixed Carbon %wt, as-received 52.80
Calorific Value:-
High Heating Value MJ/kg, as-received 24.035
Low Heating Value MJ/kg, as-received 22.865
Hardgrove Grindability Index (HGI) - 63.5
Ash FusionTemperatures
o
Initial Deformation Temperature (IT) C 1120
o
Hemispherical Temperature (HT) C 1150
o
Fluid Temperature (FT) C 1170

Table 2.1-1: Design Coal Specification

The design coal has the following main characteristics and impact on boiler design:

The nitrogen content of the design coal (~0.7% daf) is low in world terms,
which makes the coal a good candidate for low NOx combustion. For boiler
design, the combination of low nitrogen and medium volatiles dictates that
some use of over-fire air (OFA) is required in addition to low NOx burners in
order to meet current emission standards in Asia.
Hardgrove index is very similar to many other coals, which are mined and
exported around the world. Hence the coal does not present any special milling
difficulties, especially as low NOx combustion demands better than normal
pulverised coal fineness in order to offset the effect on carbon burnout.
Ash characteristics display a high deposition potential. A large furnace is
therefore required to ensure that furnace exit gas temperatures are not high
enough to enable slagging mechanisms to operate in the heating surface area.
The Shenmu coal also requires adequate tube spacing and sootblower coverage
throughout the convective pass in order to prevent ash bridging between tube
elements. In addition it is also necessary to restrict gas velocities so as to
minimise any erosion potential.

2.1.2 Basic Design Data

The ground rules for the boiler designs cover the fuel specification, emissions, site
conditions, configuration, turbine/boiler interaction and operational regimes to be
adopted. A summary of the ground rules is presented in Table 2.1-2 below:

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Unit Size 600MWe (gross)
Boiler Type(s) Two-Pass; Novel Horizontal Furnace
Design Coal Chinese Shenmu bituminous coal
Emissions NOx 600 mg/Nm3 @ 6% O2 v/v with OFA Ports
NOx 400 mg/Nm3 @ 6% O2 v/v with Reburn
SOx uncontrolled with space for FGD
1% unburnt carbon loss based on design coal (GCV
basis)
Particulates 50 mg/Nm3 @ 6% O2 v/v, dry
Site Typical Chinese site
Boiler Design Code According to BS EN 12952 code
Control Load (minimum) 40% rated for superheat
55% rated for reheat
Sliding pressure operation BMCR to 40% rated
Flue Gas Velocity < 13 m/s (< 11m/s for Economiser Banks)
Flue Gas Temperature < 1070C (i.e. 50K below lowest IDT) at Furnace Exit
Exit Gas Temperature 115oC @ 100%MCR
Ambient Air Temperature 19.3C

Table 2.1-2: Summary of Basic Ground Rules

2.2 Steam Cycle Optimisation

The purpose of the steam cycle optimisation was to develop a cycle for the ISB-2000
boiler that is optimised to give the highest efficiency yet based on current
commercially available materials and current commercially available turbine
technology. In this way, the boiler would be suitable for near-term exploitation with
minimum risk.

A summary review of the commercially available materials and turbine technologies


is presented in Section 2.3 below and the results applied to the steam conditions under
consideration.

The materials review confirmed that although there does appear to be scope to
increase steam pressures and temperatures above that of current operating plant for
the boiler proper, similar scope does not appear to exist on the steam turbine. The
requirement to use existing available turbine technology restricts the ISB-2000 boiler
to steam conditions of 290 bar/600C/620C at the turbine inlet. However, there is
scope to optimise some of the other cycle parameters.

The potential for heat rate improvement of a supercritical steam cycle by optimising
the cycle within the above constraints has been considered. The cycle schematic is
shown below:
7
Figure 2.2-1: Cycle Schematic

The results of this cycle optimisation design work are shown in Table 2.2-2 based on
a condenser pressure of 50 mbar, which is considered typical of an Asian river water-
cooled power plant.
The major steam cycle parameters at part load conditions are also presented. The
transition from sliding pressure mode to fixed pressure mode has been set at 40%
MCR load, typical of supercritical boilers designs with spiral wound furnaces.

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Load*1 Units 100% 75% 50% 40% 25%
MCR MCR MCR MCR* MCR*
2 3

Turbine Heat Rate kJ/kW 6999 7106 7297 7456 7873


Generator Gross Output hMW 600 450 300 240 150
e

Main Steam
Steam flow kg/s 437.1 316.8 205.0 166.2 107.1
Turbine inlet pressure MPa 29.00 21.50 14.20 11.50 11.50
Turbine inlet temperature C 600.0 600.0 600.0 600.0 600.0
Reheat Steam
Steam flow kg/s 362.7 269.3 179.3 146.9 96.5
HP turbine outlet pressure MPa 6.45 4.81 3.22 2.60 1.69
HP turbine outlet temperature C 358.2 363.3 370.1 371.2 364.0
IP turbine inlet pressure MPa 6.00 4.47 2.99 2.41 1.57
IP turbine inlet temperature C 620.0 620.0 620.0 595.0 570.0
Final Feed Water Temperature C 300.0 282.0 257.8 245.9 222.5
Notes:
*1
Condenser pressure 50 mbar, typical of an Asian river water-cooled power plant
*2
BENSON minimum load: spiral wound furnace
*3
BENSON minimum load: vertical internally ribbed tube furnace

Table 2.2-2: Steam Cycle Parameters (Single Reheat, 600MWe Gross)


For optimisation, particular attention has been paid to the temperature of steam at the
furnace exit and the size of gas airheater required. The optimised steam cycle, based
on steam conditions of 290 bar/600C/620C and 300C final feed water temperature,
has a gross cycle efficiency of 48.5% based on an inland location and a net cycle
efficiency (based on reasonable assumptions for auxiliary power consumption) of
45.1%, LHV basis. The value adopted for the cold reheat steam pressure is around the
optimum value for the baseline superheat and reheat pressures and temperatures as is
evident from Figure 2.2-3 below.

Figure 2.2-3: Variation of Heat Rate with Cold Reheat Pressure

For the optimised cycle, there is a conservative margin on furnace exit steam
temperature (approximately 35K). The size of main airheaters is not excessive, but is

9
still large. This is due in part to the need to prevent economiser steaming at low load
operation.

The part load analysis confirmed the plant performance and reviewed the risk of a
steaming economiser. The analysis has identified a need to review the location of the
high-pressure steam/water separator within the boiler steam circuit, in order to prevent
excessive reductions in main steam temperature at loads below the Benson point. The
base design proposed is acceptable for baseload plant, but the separator may be better
relocated if flexible operation is required.

A sensitivity analysis has been conducted. This has estimated the sensitivity of cycle
heat rate to changes in the following parameters:
Live steam pressure and temperature;

Reheat steam pressure and temperature;

Feed water temperature.


The sensitivity analysis has concluded that there does not appear to be an immediate
constraint on any of these parameters due to the restriction on furnace exit steam
temperatures, given the furnace designs proposed. Critical factors appear to be:
Acceptance of austenitic superheater tubing and steam piping;

Willingness to adopt potentially developmental steam turbine technology.


If these points are acceptable, it appears that increases in overall efficiency of the
order of 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points might be achievable through moderate increases
in steam conditions and feed water temperature.

There may be scope to increase the maximum feed water temperature to 310 - 320C,
depending on cost and design issues concerning the final feed water heater train, gas
airheater and fuel quality. If the adoption of developmental materials and/or turbine
technology is not acceptable, feed water temperature alone may be varied. A rise in
final feed water temperature of 20K, for example, would correspond to a relative
decrease in gross turbine cycle heat rate of 0.35%. This in turn corresponds to a rise
in overall efficiency of approximately 0.15 percentage points. Such a rise does not
appear likely to require a significant increase in gas airheater dimensions over the
baseline case.

Improvements in cycle efficiency through increasing reheat pressure alone are likely
to be limited by the minimum acceptable LP turbine exit quality, a value that will be
subject to the discretion of the manufacturers.

2.3 Novel Design Features

To improve plant cost, operability and flexibility, the supercritical boiler designs
developed incorporate various novel features which include the latest commercially
available materials, vertical internally ribbed tubing, improved steam/water separator
design, improved mechanical details and integrated fuel reburn for control of NOx
emissions. These developments are considered to be relatively incremental and hence
of limited technical and economic risk.
10
2.3.1 Commercially Available Materials

Noting that the project is aimed at near-term markets, the materials currently
considered to be state-of-the-art for application to the ISB-2000 class of power plant
were reviewed. The materials review identified the limit of the steam conditions
using commercially available materials as 290 bar/600C/620C at the turbine inlet.
The materials available to satisfy these conditions are described below:-

The prime candidate steels for the construction of furnace walls are
7CrMoVTiB10-10 (equivalent to ASTM A213 T24) and HCM2S (ASTM
A213 T23, ASME code case 2199). A steam temperature of approximately
480C at the furnace outlet is about the maximum the materials can tolerate.
Prime candidate materials for the superheater headers are NF616 (SA 335 P92,
ASME code case 2179) and HCM12A (SA 335 P122, ASME code case 2180)
if ferritic headers are chosen. These would limit the average superheater outlet
temperature to about 603C. If austenitic material (for example
X3CrNiMoN1713) is used, the maximum temperature mean steam
temperature rises beyond 613C.
Superheater and reheater tubing would be austenitic (such as NF709 or HR3C)
and would not be the limiting factor on steam temperature.
Average steam temperatures above 630C can be accommodated at the
reheater outlet headers using the ferritic materials NF616 (P92) and HCM12A
(P122).

Commercially available turbine technology was also studied. The main


conclusions regarding turbine limitations were:

Although steam conditions of 290 bar/600C/620C do not represent a major


advance in technology, the conditions are considered to represent the current
limit on major component life in terms of creep and thermal fatigue. A further
increase in temperature may be possible, but the extrapolated data to support
long-term operation at elevated temperatures is not considered sufficiently
reliable.
The austenitic class of steels shows potential for higher temperature service in
terms of creep strength. A high susceptibility to thermal fatigue, however,
restricts their application particularly since most plant is required to have a
capability for flexible operation. Consequently, there has been little recent
interest in development of these materials for the power industry. It is more
likely that the next significant step in increasing temperatures will come with
the application of nickel based superalloy materials, however, these are not
sufficiently developed for introduction on this particular project.

2.3.2 Vertical Internally Ribbed Tubing

All three supercritical boiler designs developed in ISB-2000 use Benson technology.
The two-pass vertical tube and horizontal furnace boiler variants are also designed
with evaporator furnace surfaces which utilises vertical tubing with internal ribbing in
place of the traditional spiral wound smooth bore tubing. The internal ribbed tubing is
shown in below:

11
Figure 2.3.1: Internally Ribbed Tubing for Low Mass Flux Vertical Tube Furnace

The internal ribbing improves the heat transfer by forcing the water droplets against
the wall of the tube through increased turbulence and the induced swirl. The
improvement in heat transfer allows to use these vertical tubes at low full load fluid
mass fluxes of around 1000 kg/m_s required for once through operation, even in the
regions of highest heat flux without risk of overheating. A typical natural circulation
boiler would have a full load mass flux of 800 1000 kg/m_s and corresponding
vertical tube once-through boilers using competing technologies would be about 1800
2000 kg/m_s.

The low mass fluxes are comparable with those of a subcritical drum boiler, which
establishes a positive flow characteristic similar to that in a natural circulation boiler.
This flow characteristic in a once-through boiler ensures that gross temperature
deviations do not occur at any location of the furnace even with large variations in the
heating of the furnace walls and that impermissible stresses do not occur. Essentially
as the tube surface receives more heat, the fluid moves through the tube more rapidly
thus providing increased cooling for the tube wall (see illustration below).

Figure 2.3-2: Comparison of Flow Characteristics of Once Through Boilers

This is unlike the high fluid mass fluxes necessary in spiral wound furnace designs
which result in a negative flow response characteristic (i.e. upsets in heat absorption
lead to inverse changes in fluid flow as shown above). The natural circulation
characteristic in a forced-circulation evaporator has been verified by numerous
theoretical investigations and measurements performed on fired boilers [1] and heat
recovery steam generators [2]. The technology has recently been demonstrated, albeit
at once-through subcritical conditions, following a furnace retrofit at Yaomeng Power
Plant in China, the worlds first operating low mass flux vertical tube boiler.

12
Above a certain steam fraction, wetting of the inner tube wall of heated evaporator
tubes can no longer be achieved. A boiling crisis occurs and the tube wall dries out.
Consequently, the heat transfer is sharply reduced and as a rule, the tube wall
temperatures at this location rise significantly. The internally ribbed tubes maintain
the heat transfer in the evaporator tubes even at the low mass fluxes selected.

By contrast with smooth bore tubes, the heat transfer crisis in internally ribbed tubes
does not occur until steam mass fractions of >0.9 are reached shortly before the
evaporation end point. This can be traced to the vortex flow and associated
centrifugal force induced by the helical ribs on the tube inner wall, which separates
the water fraction from the steam fraction and forces the former against the tube wall.
This maintains wetting of the heat exchange surface until high steam fractions are
achieved. As a result, high flow velocities already prevail at the location of a boiling
crisis. Consequently, this improved heat transfer results in lower tube wall metal
temperatures.

Internally Ribbed Tube Experiments

In the Benson test rig, a high-pressure test rig owned and operated by Siemens PG,
over 150,000 heat transfer and pressure drop measurements have been performed to
date on internally ribbed tubes. Under this project, heat transfer and pressure drop
measurements (at both subcritical and supercritical pressures) on internally ribbed
tubes in a vertical configuration heated from one side only have been successfully
performed in the Benson test rig for the tube designs considered for the two-pass
boiler and the HF boiler evaporator sections.

2.3.3 Improved Separator Design

Start-up of Benson boilers with the superheater dry requires the implementation of a
high-pressure separator between the furnace and the superheater. This separator is
generally designed as a cyclone separator and should be dimensioned and designed in
such a way that the wet steam entering the cyclone during start-up and low-load
operation (once-through operation with superimposed circulation) is separated into
water and steam fractions with a high separation efficiency. The separation function
of the separator is no longer required in once-through operation with a variable
evaporation end point. However, as steam continues to flow through the cyclone, it
should be optimised for the lowest possible pressure drop.

In the course of the ISB-2000 design study it was possible to arrive at a common
optimum for the mechanical design parameters and hence the configuration and
dimensions of the separator for the operating conditions considered under this work.

13
2.3.4 Mechanical Details to Reduce Cost

Two-Pass Boilers

The two variants of the two-pass boiler generated incorporate novel cost reduction
features. Both boilers are designed without a vestibule between the furnace and the
second pass to reduce capital costs. This novel feature introduces the need for
innovative support of the common rear furnace wall and second pass front wall.

The spiral wound furnace requires a vertical support strap arrangement to carry the
vertical boiler loads of the lower furnace to the upper furnace and the slings. A
welded strap design is chosen for the front and sidewalls, but further consideration is
required with regards to supporting the rear wall.

Figure 2.3-3: Welded Support Strap Typical Arrangement for Spiral Wound Furnace
Depending on the furnace flue gas temperature profile, if the temperature is higher
than the maximum allowed for the wall construction adjacent to the location of the
economiser bank in the second-pass, then the spiral outlet header in the rear wall
circuit will have to be located adjacent to the cavity formed by the furnace arch. In
this instance the rear wall support straps will be located in the second pass and will
therefore be heated by the flue gases. The support straps therefore require to be
designed as a hot structure. A conceptual hot strap support design has been developed
for this arrangement.

If the furnace flue gas temperature is lower than the maximum allowed for the wall
construction adjacent to the location of the economiser bank in the second pass, then
the spiral outlet header in the rear wall circuit can be located outside the plane of the
furnace rear wall. In this instance the wall construction is simplified and the support
strap design can be the same as the other furnace walls.

The vertical tube furnace does not require a support strap arrangement to carry the
vertical loads of the lower furnace. The vertical tubes of the lower furnace are able to
carry the loads and the hot structure support arrangement can follow conventional
buckstay designs, as in natural circulation subcritical boiler support arrangements.

14
Novel HF Boiler

The HF boiler concept has indicated potential cost savings associated with the reduced
lengths of expensive high-temperature alloy steam piping when compared with
conventional two-pass designs.

A compact power block design of steam turbine and HF boiler allows the pressure
loss in the reheat steam lines to be reduced, so that the turbine heat rate could be
improved. A larger expansion could therefore be used in the IP section of the steam
turbine.

Other differences of the HF boiler relate to individual footprint being larger than that
of the two-pass boilers. A detailed investigation has shown that although the
foundation area is larger, the boiler foundation thickness will decrease due to the
reduced boiler height and the corresponding lower foundation loads, resulting in an
additional benefit for the HF boiler.

2.3.5 Integrated Fuel Reburn for In-Furnace NOx Control

Integrated fuel reburn is an advanced in-furnace reduction process where the addition
of fuel gives rise to local conditions suitable to reduce NOx (nitrous oxides) generated
from the combustion of the main fuel supply. As in the case of this project, the
process can be applied to new furnaces, where process requirements can dictate the
furnace design, and it can be applied to existing furnaces (retrofitted), where the
preferred process requirements may have to be constrained. The main features of the
reburn process are shown below:

Figure 2.3-4: Reburn Process Schematic

The main features of the reburn process are:

Combustion of the main fuel (typically 80% of the total heat input) in a fuel-
lean primary zone
Introduction of the reburn fuel to create a fuel-rich reburn zone
Provision of over-fire air to complete the combustion of the fuel in the
burnout zone

15
Within the reburn zone 10-20% of the thermal input is supplied as reburn fuel. By
maintaining this zone under fuel-rich conditions, the reburn fuel decomposes to
hydrocarbon radicals that react with and destroy the NOx produced in the primary
zone. The residence time in the reburn zone is controlled to allow these reactions to
take place.
The effectiveness of the reburn process in reducing NOx emissions whilst maintaining
an acceptable level of combustion performance is dependent upon a number of
parameters, namely:

Level of over-fire air (OFA)


Level of reburn fuel heat input
Injection momentum of the reburn fuel
PF fineness and milling plant requirements
Reburn ports / OFA injection system geometry and velocities

The design of the reburn system for the supercritical boiler designs developed under
this project has largely drawn on the experience gained from the full-scale coal-over-
coal reburn (COCR) demonstration at Vado Ligure [3, 4]. Possible reburn
configurations and optimisation of the reburn system design were investigated by
means of a detailed analysis undertaken with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics)
modelling.

The use of coal as a reburn fuel in large utility boilers has attracted relatively little
attention compared to oil and gas. This is partly due to the fact that both oil and gas
are well proven in their effectiveness to reduce NOx when used as reburning fuels and
as such are better established. However, coal has some major advantages over these
other fuels. In addition, it is more abundant and also more easily available at existing
utility boiler sites where the necessary coal handling and processing equipment are
already in place, thus cutting down on operational costs. This combined with its low
energy cost and dependability of fuel supply makes coal reburning a potentially more
attractive economic option for coal-fired power plant.

COCR: Application to Two-Pass Boiler Designs

For the two-pass boiler designs under consideration, the similarity with the
combustion system at Vado Ligure has directed the preliminary system design. Two
configurations for the layout of the reburn ports and two configurations for the layout
of the OFA injectors (with optimised air flow distribution) were investigated to allow
determination of the most effective reburn system configuration.

The main design characteristics of the reburn system arrived at for the two-pass
boilers designs are described below:

Reburn ports, located above the top row of main fuel burners in both front and
rear furnace walls, fed by a dedicated mill with combustion primary air as the
carrier medium;
Mixing of the reburn fuel with furnace flue gas is enhanced via the injection of
a secondary stream of recirculated flue gas extracted from the boiler
economiser exit, axially directed into the furnace;

16
OFA injectors located on both furnace sidewalls, to inject the required
quantity of air to complete the combustion process. The injectors are double
streamed, with the central axial flow being surrounded by an annulus of
swirled flow;
From experience gained at Vado Ligure, the reburn milling system does not
have any special requirements compared to the main fuel milling plant.

COCR: Application to Novel HF Boiler

The application of the reburn process to the novel HF boiler is a completely new
design challenge. The most promising solution appears to be to locate the reburn
ports and OFA injectors on both furnace sidewalls at the same elevations as the main
burners, as shown in the schematic below.

Figure 2.3-5: Schematic Layout of Reburn Ports & OFA Injectors for HF Boiler

The process variables are similar to those of the two-pass boiler designs. Cold flue
gas is used to increase the velocity of the reburn stream and dual register OFA
injectors are used to adjust the jet penetration as required. Distances A and B have
been optimised with CFD modelling in order to achieve the best compromise between
the residence time in the primary zone, reburn zone and the burnout zone.

2.3.6 CFD Chemical Kinetic Model for NOx Simulation

The prediction of NOx reduction under reburning conditions is complex due to the
large number of reactions and species involved even in reduced mechanisms. This
complexity limits the use of NOx reduction models based in detailed chemical kinetics
mechanisms in the CFD codes to predict NOx emissions. Alternative global models
using a small number of reactions and species have been developed, but the range of
their application is limited.

The development considered under this project aimed to prepare a set of functions,
which could reproduce with reasonable accuracy the results from the detailed
chemical kinetics model over a wide range of conditions. The calculations performed
with the detailed chemical kinetics model are based in Perfectly Stirred Reactor (PSR)
conditions. Therefore the application of the detailed chemical kinetic results in CFD
modelling requires the need to predict in each control volume the rate of the mixing
which is under PSR conditions. The mechanism proposed to predict this rate is the
Eddy Dissipation Concept (EDC) turbulence combustion model.

The formation of NOx can be calculated based on the CFD results (in post-processing)
using a kinetic scheme with main species (HCN, NH3, CH4, NO, O2 and N2) including
the thermal NOx mechanism and the reburning step allowing NO recycling to HCN
[5,6].

17
Within the project, neural networks were prepared to represent the results of the
application of a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism for the gas phase reactions
involving nitrogen. Use was made of the Vado Ligure furnace simulation work [7] to
select the range of residence times, gas species concentrations and temperature for the
application of detailed chemical kinetics. The results obtained can be used to
characterise the final composition within a control volume knowing the inlet
conditions and these results can be used in CFD based calculations using a look-up
procedure on the tabular representation of the results. As this process involves a large
quantity of information, neural networks were used to represent the calculated results
with a large level of correlation.

The procedure developed was prepared for use with the EDC combustion model. The
calculations performed in the project, however, were based on the mixture-fraction
and variance approach, and therefore the new procedure for the gas phase reaction
was not used. The mixture-fraction and variance approach was selected due to its
greater robustness allowing the analysis of a large number of cases within the project
duration. Further, the NOx gas phase kinetic models used previously was kept due to
previous experience obtained with this particular model, namely to allow a
comparison of the results from model application with those from the Vado Ligure
simulation work.

2.4 Two-Pass Boiler Designs

The boiler designs developed are based on the established Mitsui Babcock two-pass
layout once through supercritical unit utilising the Benson principle with the
incorporation of novel cost reduction features. Two basic boiler designs were
generated based on the established spiral wound furnace configuration and the low
mass flux vertical internally ribbed tube furnace. The furnace shape and size is
essentially the same for both variants and is primarily determined by the fuel ash
characteristics and the fuel burnout and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in the flue gas
required.

The selection of the Chinese design coal with its low ash deformation temperature
results in a large furnace. Initially the two-pass boiler designs were generated without
reburn for NOx control. The reburn technology, as designed within the project, was
then retrofitted to the two boiler designs and the selection of a slagging coal ensured
that the furnace was large enough to accommodate the NOx reduction technology with
an optimal configuration.

18

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