Tag Archive for: Boiler Cleaning

Steaming ahead with SFD in Power and Recovery Boilers

Paper Mill Steam

ITM SFD technology helps energy producers generate power more efficiently by detecting energy sapping soot buildup in power and recovery boilers 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the pulp and paper industry is the 3rd largest consumer of energy in U.S. manufacturing. A great deal of that energy is expended to generate massive amounts of steam inside about 200 black liquor recovery boilers spread around North America. That steam then powers generators that produce electricity to operate the mills. 

Imagine the energy savings if enhancements inside those recovery boilers could conserve 5% of all that steam. Not only would this advance in boiler efficiency carry an enormous environmental impact — potentially trillions of BTUs — the value of that steam savings would equal more than a million dollars a year at every plant where it is adopted.  

Figures like these help explain why Tim Carlier has spent years refining the novel idea he calls the Sootblower Fouling Detection System or SFD. SFD is his patented technology for measuring fouling/slagging as well as sootblower performance and reliability in recovery, biomass and utility boilers.  

In a typical boiler, fuel is burned inside the furnace, creating hot gas which heats water in the steam-generating tubes. In the case where the fuel is biomass, the flue gas often contains a significant amount of carry-over, which collects on the boiler tubes causing buildup. This buildup, also known as fouling, decreases the efficiency of the heat being transferred to generate steam while also increasing the risk of plugging the boiler and taking it offline altogether. 

For decades, these industries have relied on sootblowers — long rotating lances that are inserted through the superheater and other steam-generating tubes during combustion — to blow off soot and dislodge the masses of ash deposits that form around steam-generating tubes. Rather than running sootblowing systems “blind,” the SFD System removes guesswork by pinpointing exactly when and where sootblowing is required.

Sootblower

The system relies on a series of sensors on the sootblowers as well as at key locations on the boiler system that allow it to measure the energy transfer to indicate how much buildup is present so that sootblowing is only applied when needed. The feedback mechanisms can inform the plant operator not just where to run sootblowers, but also if sootblowers are leaking steam or malfunctioning in other ways. 

“This technology could have a huge environmental effect,” says Carlier, president and founder of Integrated Test and Measurement, the Milford, Ohio, engineering service and software company. “You are getting that much more efficiency out of your boiler, so not only are you saving money because you are not wasting steam, but you are not having to burn as much fuel to generate as much electricity.” 

He estimates that recovery boilers at most pulp and paper mills generate between $20 million and $40 million a year in steam depending on their Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR), and roughly 10% of the steam goes toward soot blowing operations. Carlier estimates that SFD could enable operators to decrease their sootblowing between 25% and 50% leading to a savings between $500,000 and $2 million dollars a year.

In addition to the significant steam savings, SFD will also greatly enhance the reliability of sootblowing operations by answering crucial questions for operatorsWhat’s the condition of the sootblower motor and gearbox? Is the poppet valve stuck open, stuck closed, and leaking, or is it operating correctly? Is the track damaged? Is the sootblower lance bent? Is the sootblower stuck in the boiler? What condition is the sootblower packing? Are there any steam leaks on or near the sootblower? Keeping informed on these important questions ultimately helps avoid costly downtime and even schedule crucial maintenance. 

On its own, the removal of sootblowing guesswork will generate a quick return on investment, Carlier says. When all is said and done, power generation facilities can expect to see a return on investment from the SFD System in approximately six months to a year. 

For more information about Sootblower Fouling Detection Systems or ITM’s other industrial boiler monitoring solutions, contact Ryan Welker via email: ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or phone: (844) 837-8797 x 702

Clinker Detection System

A proprietary monitoring technology developed by Integrated Test & Measurement is introducing a brand new approach to address “fouling” in coal-fired power plants as well as the pulp and paper industry.

Another Successful Condition Monitoring System Installation



Last week our team successfully and safely installed another Boiler Monitoring System (BMS).  This system, a Sootblower Fouling Detection (SFD) system, monitors structural and vibration sensors that quantify the boiler’s response to sootblower operations. The SFD system analyzes the boiler response data and outputs Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as fouling level, sootblower efficiency, and sootblower health to automated boiler cleaning systems.

This boiler uses over 50 sootblowers located at different elevations to clean soot build-up from boiler steam tubes.  Since the vibration measurement locations are relatively far apart, the SFD system requires a distributed monitoring system consisting of several junction  boxes that monitor and process data for groups of sensors.  One team of engineers mounted the vibration sensors to the sootblowers and confirmed communication back to a local junction box containing the National Instruments condition monitoring hardware.  The other team installed the junction box panels and terminated the sensor cables.

After all the sensor installations and terminations were completed, each sensor’s location and calibration were verified.  While the sensor verification was being completed, one engineer worked with the mill IT department and the controls engineer to establish remote connection to the system and confirm communication with the mill’s automated cleaning system.

After commissioning the system and returning to our home base, our engineers are now monitoring the system through a VPN connection and assisting boiler operators with optimizing their cleaning process.

For more information about our ryan.welker@iTestSystem.com or phone @ 1.844.837.8797 x702

Clinker Detection System Reduces Boiler Fouling and Boosts Efficiency

shop clinker detection system

Boiler monitoring technology replaces maintenance guess-work with data-driven accuracy.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016; MILFORD, OH; USA – Integrated Test & Measurement (ITM), a leading provider of structural test and measurement engineering software and services, introduces its Clinker Detection System. Clinkers, some of which reach the size of a small car, are incombustible residue that forms inside black liquor recovery and coal-fired utility boilers. This build-up (fouling) has a significant impact on the efficient operation of the boiler system.

The ITM Clinker Detection System:
• Determines where boiler fouling has occurred
• Optimizes soot blower operation
• Identifies damaging clinker impacts on the bed/floor
• Shortens the duration of chill & blow events

The ITM Clinker Detection System identifies fouling problems and determines the effectiveness of boiler cleaning tools and processes such as sootblowers, sonic horns, pulse detonation cleaning events, and thermal shedding during chill and blow cleaning events. The solution involves mapping and instrumenting the boiler floor with industrial sensors that measure the size and frequency of clinker deposits as they become dislodged impacting the floor. At the same time the system identifies which sootblower caused the clinker to fall. Together this information pinpoints the clinker’s area of origin directing where clean-out should be concentrated.

ITM Founder & President, Tim Carlier, comments:
“Without hard data to pinpoint areas of build-up maintenance is flying blind as to when and where to run sootblowers. The ITM Clinker Detection System in essence provides visibility into the boiler. And because up to 6% of the steam generated by a boiler is used for sootblowers, any decrease, by even a small percentage, will generate significant savings when factored out over the course of a year. In addition to saving money, optimizing sootblowing also carries with it a positive environmental effect as plants don’t have to burn as much fossil fuel to generate electricity since steam is being consumed more efficiently.”

About ITM
Headquartered in Milford, OH (USA), Integrated Test & Measurement, LLC (ITM) focuses on three vertical spaces: Industrial Monitoring, Testing Services, and Configuration-based Test Software, iTestSystem. Founded in 2001, ITM helps companies reduce costs and improve efficiencies in product development, manufacturing, and production activities. Today, ITM provides software development, structural and mechanical testing services, industrial monitoring, strain gauging, and data analysis solutions to clients on six continents.

For more information on ITM, iTestSystem and ITM’s other products and services contact Ryan Welker via email: ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or phone: (844) 837-8797 x702

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