6. FBC BOILERS
Syllabus FBC boilers: Introduction, Mechanism of fluidized bed combustion, Advantages, Types of FBC boilers, Operational features, Retrofitting FBC system to conventional boilers, Saving potential.
The major portion of the coal available in India is of low quality, high ash content and low calorific value. The traditional grate fuel firing systems have got limitations and are technoeconomically unviable to meet the challenges of future. Fluidized bed combustion has emerged as a viable alternative and has significant advantages over conventional firing system and offers multiple benefits – compact boiler design, fuel flexibility, higher combustion efficiency and reduced emission of noxious pollutants such as SOx and NOx. The fuels burnt in these boilers include coal, washery rejects, rice husk, bagasse & other agricultural wastes. The fluidized bed boilers have a wide capacity range- 0.5 T/hr to over 100 T/hr.
6.2 Mechanism of Fluidised Bed Combustion
When an evenly distributed air or gas is passed upward through a finely divided bed of solid particles such as sand supported on a fine mesh, the particles are undisturbed at low velocity. As air velocity is gradually increased, a stage is reached when the individual particles are suspended in the air stream – the bed is called “fluidized”. With further increase in air velocity, there is bubble formation, vigorous turbulence, rapid mixing and formation of dense defined bed surface. The bed of solid particles exhibits the properties of a boiling liquid and assumes the appearance of a fluid – “bubbling fluidized bed”. At higher velocities, bubbles disappear, and particles are blown out of the bed. Therefore, some amounts of particles have to be recirculated to maintain a stable system – “circulating fluidised bed”. This principle of fluidisation is illustrated in Figure 6.1. Fluidization depends largely on the particle size and the air velocity. The mean solids velocity increases at a slower rate than does the gas velocity, as illustrated in Figure 6.2. The difference between the mean solid velocity and mean gas velocity is called as slip velocity. Maximum slip velocity between the solids and the gas is desirable for good heat transfer and intimate contact. If sand particles in a fluidized state is heated to the ignition temperatures of coal, and coal is injected continuously into the bed, the coal will burn rapidly and bed attains a uniform temperature. The fluidized bed combustion (FBC) takes place at about 840OC to 950OC. Since this temperature is much below the ash fusion temperature, melting of ash and associated problems are avoided. The lower combustion temperature is achieved because of high coefficient of heat transfer due to rapid mixing in the fluidized bed and effective extraction of heat from the bed through in-bed heat transfer tubes and walls of the bed. The gas velocity is maintained between minimum fluidisation velocity and particle entrainment velocity. This ensures stable operation of the bed and avoids particle entrainment in the gas stream.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency
6. FBC Boilers
Fixing, bubbling and fast fluidized beds As the velocity of a gas flowing through a bed of particles increases, a value is reaches when the bed fluidises and bubbles form as in a boiling liquid. At higher velocities the bubbles disappear; and the solids are rapidly blown out of the bed and must be recycled to maintain a stable system.
Combustion process requires the three “T”s that is Time, Temperature and Turbulence. In FBC, turbulence is promoted by fluidisation. Improved mixing generates evenly distributed heat at lower temperature. Residence time is many times greater than conventional grate
Figure 6.2 Relation between Gas Velocity and Solid Velocity
firing. Thus an FBC system releases heat more efficiently at lower temperatures. Bureau of Energy Efficiency 143
6. FBC Boilers