Boosting boiler efficiency

Mirek Spicar details the power of automatic online cleaning by a shock pulse generating solution

The primary goal of the cleaning effect is optimising the heat transfer from the flue gas to the water/steam system of the boiler and maximising the energy output of the fuel. Just a few degrees of difference between a fouled and clean boiler result in a considerable improvement of the boiler efficiency.

While the initial Shock Pulse Generators (SPGs) use methane and oxygen for generation of shock pulses by energy waves, the newly developed SPGr series applies compressed air, instead of oxygen for an improved cleaning result.

The energy waves are created by a shock-combustion of a few grams each of a mixture of combustible gas (natural gas or methane) and compressed air. Contrary to manual processes, this shock-combustion is carried out automatically and outside of the boiler in a pressure resistant device.

The resulting energy wave is introduced into the boiler by means of a valve and a discharge nozzle. The boiler doesn’t detect any pressure increase, especially due to the very small volumetric mass of the energy wave for a short period of time (maximum 60ms). The combustion gas puts the internal boiler tubes and walls into a short oscillation. The shock wave induces stresses and cracks in the cakings generated by structure-borne sound so that deposits are cleaned off. Due to the spherical spread of the energy wave, the cleaning is effective forwards- and backwards of the gas flow and even reaches the shaded parts of the tube bundles.

There is no abrasion of the boiler internals. Refractory lined internals are not hurt but can instead be efficiently cleaned.

One happy customer, the maintenance manager at the WtE Buchs plant, expresses his satisfaction by stating that, “The cleaning is now optimal and the operation time has been extended.”

In the image below, the difference is shown between the initial state of a fouled tube bundle, before the SPG was installed, and the steady operational state, where the same tube bundle is being cleaned by SPG with a pulse frequency of two hours. Even the other green marked installation places show similar behaviour.

The first photo shows an actual installation in a waste incineration plant, where both systems (EG-series as well as SPGr-series) have been implemented and the results are continuously analysed.

Explosion Power continues the success of the application of its SPGs for remote-controlled online boiler cleaning equipment. Since 2009, nearly 800 units have been installed worldwide for cleaning different boiler types and sizes. Impressive results have been achieved in the application of the technology for cleaning the horizontally and vertically arranged tube bundles, as well as for finned tubes and boiler walls.

Mirek Spicar is with Explosion Power

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