ELP Program Director
Phone: (610) 758-4545
Fax: (610) 758-5959
According to Vincent Magnotta,
"The Energy Research Center has been helping industry with its
problems for more than 25 years. Our people are specialists in disciplines
such as mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, metallurgy, and
civil engineering; and the work they perform for our industrial clients
includes laboratory investigations, field studies, computer simulations,
theoretical analyses, and state-of-the-art assessments."
Although experienced researchers are the key to the ERC's success, its
success is also due in no small part to Lehigh's unique collection of
research equipment that can be applied to practical problem solving. The
Center maintains laboratories in several buildings on campus, with access
to the latest and most sophisticated instruments and computers.
Listed below are examples of areas in which ERC staff provide problem-solving
assistance. Typical investigations include state-of-the-art assessments,
field tests, laboratory studies, theoretical analyses, and/or computer
HEAT RATE IMPROVEMENT STUDIES
Analyses and field tests are performed to identify opportunities for improving
unit heat rate. The results are prioritized in terms of potential heat
AND HEAT RATE IMPROVEMENT THROUGH COMBUSTION OPTIMIZATION
The Center staff performs field tests to determine the effects of boiler
control settings on heat rate and emissions. The results are used to identify
the combustion control settings which meet the station's NOx
and heat rate goals. The results are provided to the operators in the
form of a new set of control curves
DIAGNOSING THE CAUSES
OF OPACITY EXCURSIONS
Center staff conduct field tests to identify the causes of opacity excursions.
The test results are used to develop new operating strategies for minimizing
Field tests and analyses are performed to develop plant-specific solutions
to optimized sootblowing. The results can be implemented as written instructions
for the operators or can be used as input to automatic sootblowing systems.
SNCR SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
Field tests and computer analyses are performed to identify boiler control
settings and SNCR reagent injection patterns which minimize reagent consumption
and reduce by-product emissions.
COAL PIPE BALANCING
Computer analyses are performed to determine orifice sizes needed to achieve
balanced primary air (dirty air) flows in coal pipes.
AIR PREHEATER PERFORMANCE
IMPROVEMENTS/COLD END FOULING
Analyses are performed to diagnose reasons for heat transfer performance
problems with regenerative air preheaters. Field tests and analyses are
performed to determine how air preheater cold end fouling rate varies
with boiler and air preheater operating conditions.
CEM FLOW MEASUREMENT ACCURACY
Field tests and analyses are performed to determine the magnitude of the
CEM flow bias and identify the factors which contribute to the error.
The results are used to develop the best strategy for reducing bias error.
COMPONENT FAILURE ANALYSES
Laboratory analyses and computer simulations are performed to determine
the cause(s) of mechanical failures of power plant components. Recommendations
for corrective action are provided.
COMPONENT LIFE PREDICTIONS
Computer simulations are performed to determine the remaining life in
components subject to high temperature creep, creep-fatigue, or low-cycle
Analyses are performed to develop improved designs of power plant components.
Design changes often include a modified configuration, change in materials
of construction and/or modified welding procedures. The design improvements
are typically carried out to increase component life, reduce pressure
drop, reduce emissions or improve heat rate.
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