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to air on the othcr side. In LI regenerativc heater, the beat is transfcrred indircctly

lue gas exiting

the boiler

banks of


industrial steam generaton, and the superhatsr and reheater tube banks of central-station boilers, contains a considerablz amount of thermal energy. This is recovered by air heaters and/or economixers. Air hcatzrs usually are installcd on boders that burri solid fu&. rarely on 1. gas/od lired units. Reason: They provide hot air to evaporate moistuie from the coal, biomass, or other waste fuol, thereby a~lowing rapid and efficiznt combustion. No air preheat is requ,ired far oil or gas. thoughanair heatermay beused torecovcr energy hm the Bue-gas stream il itE beat-transfer surface is more economie to

insta11 than cconomizerorevapoiatorsurface.

Economirers, by contrast, are spec&d far most boilers burning solid, liquid, and gaseousfuels-whctherornotan air heater is provided. Thcse relatively simple beat excbangers generally oRer very economical beat-transfer surface,

from the hot Rue gas to the air through some intermediate beat-storagc medium. Recuperative air heaters generally are of tubular design (Fig 5.1). although piate-typc units (Fig 5.2) ace bciog~spccified fooran increasing numher of units today. Of the regenerativedesigns. the IO~Bry basketed unit (Fig 5.3), long the domiaant choice, is heiog challenged in some awlications bv the beat-r>iDc air . .
heater (Fig 5.4). Thetubularair heatershow in Fio 5.1

is arranged far vcrtical gas Row thrgugh the tuba. BafAes direct combustion-air flow horizontally BCIOSS tuba, which the
usually ari 2 or 3 in. in diamcter and in a staggercd arrangemeot far optimum heat

Air heaters
Air heatcrs can be clasdficd as either recuperative or regenerative. In a recuperstive unit, beat, provided by stesm OI by Rue gas from the boiler or a separately fired fuurnace, is transferrcd directly from the hot mediumon one sideof the surface

transfer. Tubesheets top and bottom support andguidethe tuba Most frequently, thebottom tubesheet forms the structurul support and the upper tubcshed is drillcd with slightly oversizeholzs to allow far expansion. Some units specified far SUIfur-bearing fuels have separatc cold-end sections, to reduce the cast of tube replace,ment in the event of corrosion.

5.1. Tubular air heater basically is a nest of tihes enclosed in a steel casing. Flue gas News on the inside of the tube. combustion air on the outside

5.2. Plate-type rec&rati& air heater is made of formed plates suppxted in rigid frames. No welds are required, SO thermal growth is unrestricted

5.3. Regenerative ai, heaters, with rotating or stationav basketed beat-transfer sutface, are arranged vetiically or horizontally in the flue-gas stream


Plate-type air heatcrs use thin, Rat. parallsl plates with alternating wide and nwrow spacing Lo match the ratio of gas weight to air wiight. Thus the Rue gas passes through the wider-spaced passages. Notethat,fortheplate-typeunitshownin Fig 5.2, the crossflow arrangement of gas and air streams is the sanre as that for the tubular exchanger in Fig 5.1. The piate construction show requires no welds to the beat-transfer surfacr, permitting unrestricted thermal growth and maximum heat transfer in a compact unit. Theshop-assrmblrd, modulx design of thepiate-type heaterpermits theselection oi dilierent materials for each temperature zone-stainlrss, aluminired, carbon. and COI-Ten steels and porcelain-enameled steel plates-as well as Renibility in arrangement to aciommodatesitz-speciiic ductwork and suppo<t:structure plans., Regenerative air heaters with baskettype beat-transfer surface dominate in coal-flred ,utility steam generators. As ,shown in Fig 5.3, they may be oriented vertically or horizontally: There are two typcs: Inone, the heat-transfermediumbaskets made of corrugated meta1 platerotata; in the other, the baskets are stationary and the air and Bue-gas duct connections rotate. Heres howonerotar;regenirativeunit works: The baskets. stacked in a steel frame, absorb heat when positioned in the Ih-gas stream and give it up to the combustion air.ar they rotate through the air duct at very low speed-generally irom one to three revolutions per minute. Corrosion-resistant metal or coated carbon steel often is speciiied for the heatstorage elements in the coolest section of theair heater, toprevent materia1 wastage when the boiler operates at low loads. In cold climates, a recuperative system may be installed ahead of the regenerative air heater to warm incoming air during the winter. Perhaps the biggest problem with rotary regenerative air heaters is leakage of incoming combustion air into the Aue-gas duct, which cati~cause a considerablz 10~s of both forced- and induced-draft fan power. Leakage occurs in three ways: (1) ~acrosstheradial seals into the tluegas. (2) at the periphery of the rotor through the clearance space between the rotor and housing, and (3) irom entrainment in the rotor passages. In installations where there is a high pressure drop ~cross the sic _ heater. leakage can be 15% OI more of combustion-air Aow-even with the se& set properly. Seals generally must be adjusted annually to maintain an acceptable leakage rate. One way to deal with the leakage problem in large boilers burning high-moisture fuels-that is, those requiring bigh-presSUR and/or high-temperature primary ically toluene or naphtbalene-and sealed. Heat irom the Bue gas evnporntes


5.4. Heat pipes, completely self-iontained, are bundled lo form air heater. They normally are tllted up or set vertically, with the condenser at the higher end

5.5. Economirers may have tubes with a continuous helical Rn (top) or stud-type fins (bottom). Arrangemeflt of tuba in the beat trap is either in-line oi staggered

combustion air. Condensed Ruid returns by gravity to the evaporative section, BSsisted by an interna1 capillary wick-essentially circumferentially spiraled groove of proprietary design. The process continues indefmitely as long us there is a temperature differencc between the Rue gas and combustion air. Low-carbon-st&l boiler tubing usually, is selected foorheat pipes unless the fuel fired dictates the use of corrosion-resistant material. Pipes may be bare or finned. Use of tins and their spacing depend on the fuel and other considerations. For enample, fins canbe spaced closer together on the aiI side than on the gas side to enhance beat recovery. Also, fins can be iemoved irom the air side at the cold end of the air henter to maintain temperatura above the dewpoint while stili acbieving desired heat recovery. S Like the tubular and plate-type air heaters. the heat pipe has no moving parts. is leak-tight (each beat pipe is fixsd only at thecenter partition plate, allowing each end to expand and contract independently), and allows modula shop assembly. But its ad<antage over the recuperative heaters is that tbereare two boundaries between the flue gas and air. Note tbat, if the Rue-gas end of one heat pipe ispznetrated by corrosion, combtistion air cannot flow directly into the exhaust duct unless the tube also iails on the air end-a highly improbable eveot. Regarding capita1 costs, heat pipes are competitive with tubular air heaters for solid fuels and much cheaper in instances where air beaters are specified for liquid and gaseous fu&. Also, designers expect heatpipcs tolast theplantlifetime, whereas tubular heaters must be retubed every IO-20 years. Depending on the coal and allowable fin spacing, heat pipes may also be competitive with rotary regenerative heaters. but they take up much more space in the powerplant.

Econdmizers; like beat-pipe air heaters, may have bare or tinned tuba Bare tuba traditionally haue been specified ior dirty iuels. Tubing usually is low carbon steel, although small low-pressure boilers may have cast-iron economizers. Advantage of cast iron is that it is oot BSsusceptible to oxygen corrosion BSsteel; however, design prsssure far this materia] is limited to about 250 psig. Whereas cast-iron tubes tind little application today, ast-iron fins shrunkonsteel tubesarepractical andcnn bs used at any boiler pressore.

air,-is to specify a recuperative heater fo[ the primary air and a rotary regenerdtive : unit for the secondary air. An alternative to the tubular and platetype recuperative air heaters, and in some: instances to the rotary regenerative units : as well, is the beat-pipe air heater. Essentially, it is a bundle of sclf-contoined heat pipa, as described in Fig 5.1. Eacb pipe is; partially filled with a working fluid-typ-