Boiler Cleaning Success Story

Online Editor

Mirek Spicar describes how a novel boiler cleaning solution is proving popular across the world

The autumn of 2020 saw the launch of a further innovation in the field of technology for automated industrial boiler cleaning. With the Shock Pulse Generator SPGr series, Explosion Power was able to introduce a product range that enables even higher cleaning performance with reduced maintenance and space requirements.

These technical advantages led to a considerable number of orders in 2021 and the company also reports a lot of positive feedback from customers after commissioning of the new SPGr.

Development And Introduction

There were already over 650 SPG units of the EG10 and TwinL product series successfully in operation when Explosion Power started developing a new series in 2017. All the knowledge from over seven years of operating experience of the existing product series was considered. Based on theoretical modelling, prototype testing in the company’s own endurance test facility and passing an efficiency test in a boiler of the WtE-plant Zurich, the final concept of the SPGr was determined. Explosion Power’s efforts to achieve a high degree of standardisation have made it possible to cover the entire power range from EG10 to beyond TwinL with only two product types of the new SPGr series. As with its predecessors, the SPGr series is a high-quality product that enables customers to operate their boilers at optimum performance and thus maximise their benefits.

Major differences between the SPGr series and the EG10 series are the use of air instead of oxygen as the oxidising medium and the stoichiometric ratio of combustion. The resulting combustion conditions allow a large extension of the maintenance interval to 7,000 shock pulses.

Air is supplied by an air compressor unit that is optimally matched for operation with the SPGr. Additionally, the SPGr series require less space in comparison to the other products.

Since the market launch of the SPGr series in 2020, more than 80 units have been sold worldwide. 34 of them have already been put into operation. By the end of February 2022, the units had demonstrated stable operation during more than 230,000 shock pulses and contributed significantly to optimised cleaning of the boilers concerned. Additionally, more than 300,000 shock pulses have been carried out in Explosion Power’s permanent test facility by prototypes, pilot series units and three series units.

Many new customers as well as existing customers are already applying the SPGr series. Significant improvements in boiler operation have been demonstrated within relatively short periods of time after commissioning of the respective SPGs, resulting in positive customer feedback. Several customers have agreed to a regular detailed analysis of the boiler operating data to be able to optimally choose the operating settings of the SPGr.

The waste incineration plant Renergia Perlen is an important example. In 2020, the waste incineration capacity was increased to 120% of the design value. This results in considerably higher flue gas and fly ash volumes. The three EG10Ls installed in the three vertical radiation passes since the initial start-up in 2015 continue to ensure a constant low flue gas inlet temperature into the horizontal pass by means of an increased number of shock pulses. Yet fouling in the horizontal pass had increased considerably. Since August 2021, therefore, three SPGr10s per boiler have been operating in the horizontal pass. Together with the original pneumatic rapping devices, the superheater bundles can thus be kept in a sufficiently clean condition for the long term. A boiler operating time of 18 months without any manual cleanings can be achieved. 

Future Prospects

Since 2009, more than 900 SPGs have been installed worldwide. With the SPGr series, Explosion Power is ideally positioned to solve demanding boiler cleaning requirements, also for large boiler capacities. Significant growth is expected in existing and new markets throughout 2022. To help achieve this growth, the production facility in Niederlenz, Switzerland has a capacity of over 200 SPGs per year. 

Mirek Spicar is a WtE and environmental engineer.

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