Coal Pipe Balancing

It is widely recognized within the electric utility industry that coal pipe flow imbalance is responsible for a loss in boiler efficiency, higher NOx and CO emissions, increased unburned carbon in the fly ash, preventing the sale of the ash as a concrete additive, and also responsible for firing system maintenance problems.  Based on fundamental and laboratory research, the Energy Research Center (ERC) has developed CoalCONTROL™, a patented technology for coal pipe coal flow balancing and on-line control.  The CoalCONTROL™ control mechanism is tailored designed for each application, and it can be retrofitted into existing coal pipe networks.  The CoalCONTROL™ technology is marketed by the ERC, and Power & Industrial Services Corp. and Riley Power.  With funding from the Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, the ERC has also performed research for technology to be used for coal distribution balancing for pressurized vertical spindle mills.

The CoalCONTROL™ technology has a track record of approximately 50 installations.  Unique features of those installations include coal flow balancing to within the ± 10% industry standard, low pressure drop, negligible impact on primary air flow balance and pipe network ΔP, low fabrication and installation costs, and durability.  A detailed evaluation of the benefits of the technology at Logan Generating Plant, equipped with double-ended ball tube pulverizers, demonstrated significant reduction in fly ash unburned carbon, elimination of CO spikes, more uniform combustion and furnace temperature profile, and improvements in net unit heat rate.

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