The first step towards condition based maintenance of the milling plant is the implementation of online condition monitoring of the mill. The following paper presents and analyses methods of monitoring the key performance factors of a vertical spindle mill that is suited for implementation on older power stations, i.e. the quantity (mass flow rate) and quality (particle fineness) of the pulverised fuel produced by the mill. It is shown herein that the mill throughput can be monitored on-line using a simple mill energy balance that successfully predicts the coal throughput within 2.33% as compared to a calibrated coal feeder. A sensitivity analysis reveals that the coal moisture is a critical measurement for this method to be adopted as an on-line mass flow monitoring tool. A laser based particle size analyser tool was tested for use in the power plant environment as an online monitoring solution to measure pulverised fuel fineness. It was revealed that several factors around the set-up and operation of the instrument have an influence on the perceived results. Although the instrument showed good precision and repeatability of results, these factors must be taken into account in order to improve the accuracy of the reported results before the instrument can be commissioned as an on-line monitoring solution.
Boiler combustion air is generally controlled by the excess air content measured at the boiler economiser outlet using oxygen (O2) analysers. Due to duct geometry and dimensions, areas of high and low O2 concentrations in the flue gas duct occur, which poses a problem in obtaining a representative measurement of O2 in the flue gas stream. Multipoint systems as opposed to single point systems are more favourable to achieve representative readings. However, ash blockages and air leakages influence the accuracy of O2 measurement. The design of multipoint system varies across ESKOMs’ Power Stations. This research was aimed at evaluating the accuracy of the multipoint oxygen measurement system installed at Power Station A and to determine the systematic errors associated with different multipoint systems designs installed at Power Stations' A and B. Using flow simulation software, FloEFDTM and Flownex®, studies were conducted on two types of multipoint system designs This study established that significantly large errors, as high as 50%, were noted between the actual and measured flue gas O2. The design of the multipoint system extraction pipes also introduces significant errors, as high as 23%, in the O2 measured. The results indicated that the sampling errors introduced with Power Station A’s system can be significantly reduced by adopting the sampling pipe design installed at Power Station B.
To minimize oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emission, maximize boiler combustion efficiency, achieve safe and reliable burner combustion, it is crucial to master global boiler and at-the-burner control of fuel and air flows. Non-uniform pulverized fuel (PF) and air flows to burners reduce flame stability and pose risk to boiler safety by risk of reverse flue gas and fuel flow into burners. This paper presents integrated techniques implemented at pilot ESKOM power plants for the determination of global boiler air/flue gas distribution, wind-box air distribution and measures for making uniform the flow being delivered to burners within a wind-box system. This is achieved by Process Flow Modelling, at-the-burner static pressure measurements and CFD characterization. Global boiler mass and energy balances combined with validated site measurements are used in an integrated approach to calculate the total (stoichiometric + excess) air mass flow rate required to burn the coal quality being fired, determine the actual quantity of air that flows through the burners and the furnace ingress air. CFD analysis and use of at-the-burner static, total pressure and temperature measurements are utilized in a 2-pronged approach to determine root-causes for burner fires and to evaluate secondary air distribution between burners.