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# PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF COAL MILLS

P M V Subbarao
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering Department
IIT Delhi
Correct Size, shape and quantity of Diet For Complete Digestion..
Combustion Limits on Furnace Design
The lower limit of the furnace volume is dominated by the space
required for burning the fuel completely, or
to an extent less than the allowable unburned fuel loss.
To complete the fuel combustion within the furnace space, the fuel
injected into the furnace has to reside there for a time longer than
critical time t
*
r
.
The fuel residence time can also be estimated by the residence time of
the combustion gas produced in the furnace.
An average residence time t
r
can be proposed.
e unit volum per generation heat of rate Allowable Max. furnace the of Volume
furnace the entering energy Fuel

=
r
t
v
c
r
Vq
LHV m
t >
gas. of density
generated gas of mass
= V
v
g
g
c
r
q
m
LHV m
t
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>

v
c
g
g
r
q
m
m
LHV
t
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v
g
r
q
F
A
LHV
t
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1 c

## Fuel combustion time is mainly dominated by the combustion

reaction velocity and the rate at which oxygen is supplied into the
reaction zone.
The combustion reaction velocity depends on chemical
characteristics of the fuel.
Main technical factors that affect the combustion time are:
Combustion characteristics of the fuel.
Mixing characteristics.
Fluid flow characteristics of the furnace.
The combustion velocity of an oil fuel droplet is generally less
than 0.1 msec.
In the case of coal combustion time is much longer.

Typical Combustion Reaction Velocity ( Flame Speed) of
Pulverized Coal : Effect of Ash Fraction
30%VM & 5 % Ash
30%VM & 15 % Ash
30%VM & 30 % Ash
30%VM & 40 % Ash
F
l
a
m
e

s
p
e
e
d

m
/
s

A/F ratio
Typical Combustion Reaction Velocity ( Flame Speed) of
Pulverized Coal: Effect of VM Fraction
30%VM & 5 % Ash
20%VM & 5 % Ash
15%VM & 5 % Ash
F
l
a
m
e

s
p
e
e
d

m
/
s

A/F ratio
Coal Mill : A Controller of Combustion Time
Hot Air
~ 250
0
C
Coal 10 to 25 mm Size
Roller
Bowl
Coal pulverizers
Coal pulverizers are essentially volumetric devices, because the
density of coal is fairly constant, are rated in mass units of tons/hr.
A pulverizer accepts a volume of material to be pulverized which
is dependent on the physical dimensions of the mill and the ability
of coal to pass through the coal pulverizing system.
The furnace volume and mill capacity in a specific power station
may dictate the need to purchase coals which are reactive and easily
grind.
The common measure of mass in tons enables matching of energy
requirements with available coal properties and mill capacity.
Increased combustible loss can occur if the furnace volume or mill
capacity is less than desirable for a particular coal.
There are a number of possible remedial actions.
Operators can correct some deficiencies in the combustion system :
Biasing the performance of the coal pulverizing for variable coal
qualities.
Use the spare mill into service for peak periods to ensure full
output.
Size reduction is energy intensive and generally very inefficient with
regard to energy consumption.
In many processes the actual energy used in breakage of particles is
around 5% of the overall energy consumption.
Pulverizing coal is no exception to this.
There are basically four different types of pulverizing mills which are
designed to reduce coal with a top particle size of about 50 mm to the
particle size range necessary for fairly complete combustion in a
modern pulverized coal fired boiler.
Each type has a different grinding mechanism and different operating
characteristics.
There are four unit operations going concurrently within the mill body,
coal drying, transport, classification and grinding.
For coal pulverizers the capacity of a mill is normally specified as
tonnes output when grinding coal with a HGI of 50, with a particle size
of 70% less than 75 micron and 1 % greater than 300 micron and with
a moisture in coal of less than 10%.
A few manufacturers specify 55 instead of 50 with respect to HGI.
This standardization enables selection of an appropriate mill for a
specific duty.
Ball & Tube Mill
The oldest pulverizer design still in
frequent use.
25% to 30% of cylinder volume is
filled with wear resistant balls of 30
60mm.
The cylinder is rotated at a speed of
Specific power consumption 22
kWh per Ton.
Suitable for hard coals.
Highly reliable in requires low
maintenance.
Bulky and heavy in construction.
mg+me
2
R
mg-me
2
R
mg <me
2
R : Ball will never fall down
Critical Angular Velocity e
c

me
c
2
R = mg

e
c
2
= g/R

mg+me
2
R
me
2
R
mg
(me
2
R+mg Cos o) > mg sin o
o
me
2
R
mg
me
2
R
mg
(me
2
R+mg Cos o) < mg sin o
o
Pulverization due to ATTRITION
me
2
R
mg
(me
2
R-mg Cos o) = 0
o
Pulverization due to Impact
Bowl Mill
The most widely used mill for
grinding coal.
The raw coal is fed into the
center of the mill.
This is an intermediate speed
pulverizer.
The vertical shaft rotates at a
speed 30 50 rpm.
Specific power consumption 12
kWh/ton.

Schematic of typical coal pulverized system
A Inlet Duct;
B Bowl Orifice;
C Grinding Mill;
D Transfer Duct to Exhauster;
E Fan Exit Duct.
The primary airflow measurement by round cross-
sectional area venturis (or flow nozzles) should be
provided to measure and control primary airflow to
improve accuracy
Aerodynamic Lifting of Coal Particles
Carrying of Particles by Fluid Drag
In view of the age of the technique it would be presumed that the
subject of concurrent fluid-solid flow would be quite well defined
and understood.
Investigation of the published literature indicates, however, that such
conveying is still an extremely empirical art.
Pneumatic Carrying of Particles
The major goal of pneumatic conveying of solids is to maximize the
carrying capacity of the installation and carry flows with high-solids
concentration ("dense-phase flow").
In pulverized coal combustion, the ratio of coal to carrying gas is
usually in the range of y = 0.5-0.6 kg/kg.
Assuming a coal density
c
= 1.5 x 10
3
kg/m
3
, and the density of the
carrying gas as
g
= 0.9 kg/m
3
, the volume fraction of the coal can be
shown to be very small, 0.036 % .
Dilute Phase Transport
The inter particle effects can therefore be neglected for steady state
operation.
An important aerodynamic characteristic of the particles is their
terminal velocity (the free-fall velocity in stagnant air) which for a
spherical particle of d = 0.1 mm has an approximate value of 0.3m/sec.
Experience shows that due to non-uniformities of flow behind bends,
and to avoid settling of solids in horizontal sections of the transport
line, a gas velocity of ~ V = 16 -- 20 m/sec has to be chosen.
Pulverizer Capacity
Mill manufacturers provides a set of data or curves, which enable the capacity of a mill
to be determined with a coal with specific properties.
The properties, which are of concern, are specific energy, HGI, moisture, particle size
and reactivity.
Specific energy is necessary to determine the required nominal maximum mill capacity
in tons/hour to ensure sufficient coal is delivered to the boiler.
A curve linking HGI and mill capacity provides information on mill performance with
that coal.
A curve linking moisture content of the coal with mill capacity shows what reduction
in capacity will arise if the moisture is excessive.
This is particularly important with ball mills.
The particle size distribution and top size may be of importance.
For ball mills there is a curve linking mill capacity with the top size of coal fed to the
mill.
The reactivity of the coal, measured in the first instance by volatile matter is needed to
determine if the mill can be set to provide standard 70% less than 75 micron or
a finer or coarser setting is necessary with corresponding alteration to mill capacity.
Pulverizer Capacity Curves
Moisture content, %
T
h
r
o
u
g
h
p
u
t
,

t
o
n
s
/
h
r

Grindability
Coal Mill : A Controller of Combustion Time
Hot Air
~ 250
0
C
Coal 10 to 25 mm Size
Roller
Bowl
Sizing of Pulverizers
Feeder capacity is selected to be1.25 times the pulverizer capacity.
Required fineness, is selected to be
60% through a 200 mesh screen for lignite(75 m),
65% for sub-bituminous coal,
70-75% for bituminous coal, and
80-85% for anthracite.
Heat input per burner is assumed to be to 75 MW for a low
slagging coal and
40 MW for a severely slagging coal,
With intermediate values for intermediate slagging potentials.
General Capacity of A Coal Mill : 15 25 tons/hour.
Power Consumption: 200 350 kW.
Performance Calculations
Several performance parameters are calculated for
the pulverizer train.
These include the following:
Effectiveness of Coal drying requirements.
Pulverizer heat balance.
Primary air flow requirements.
Number of pulverizers required as a function of
Auxiliary power requirements.
Prediction of Coal Drying
For predicting the amount of coal drying which is needed
from the pulverizers the following methods were accepted.
For very high rank coals (fixed carbon greater than 93
percent), an outlet temperature of 75 to 80 C appeared most
valid.
For low- and medium-volatile bituminous coals, an outlet
temperature of 65 - 70 C appeared most valid.
Bituminous coals appear to have good outlet moisture an
outlet temperature of 55 to 60 C is valid.
For low-rank coals, subbituminous through lignite (less than
69 percent fixed carbon, all of the surface moisture and one-
third of the equilibrium moisture is driven off in the mills.
Energy Balance across pulverizer is very critical for satisfactory
operation of Steam Generator.
Hot air
Coal
Dry pulverized coal +
Air + Moisture
Puliverizer frictional
dissipation
Motor Power Input
Heat loss
Suggested Primary air fuel ratio
Mill Energy Balance
Hot air
Coal
Dry pulverized coal +
Air + Moisture
Puliverizer frictional
dissipation
Motor Power Input
Heat loss
Tempering Air, T
atm

Pulverizer Heat Balance
To perform the necessary pulverizer heat and mass balance
calculations, the following parameters are required:
Primary air temperature.
Primary air/fuel ratio.
Fuel burn rate.
Coal inlet temperature.
Coal moisture entering the mills.
Coal moisture content at the mill exit.
Mill outlet temperature.
Minimum acceptable mill outlet temperature.
Tempering air source temperature.
Tempering air flow.
Heat Losses and Gains in A Mill
Convection and Radiation Losses from the surface of the
mill.
Heat losses are generally found to be at 5 percent of total
thermal energy available.
Mills consume an electric energy of 60 kJ/kg.
The mill grinding heat dissipation, varies from 20 to 40
kJ/kg of coal.

Mill Heat Balance: Energy for Drying of Coal
Determine the latent heat per kg of water evaporated.
Calculate the total energy absorbed by evaporating the
required amount of water from the coal.

{ } ( ) { }
fg amb p out in coal dry
h T c M M m Q + = 100

## Mill Heat Balance: Energy for heating of dry Coal

Determine the sensible heat increase of the coal.

{ } ( )
coal in out in coal coal heat
C T T M m Q = 100
,

## Mill Heat Balance: Energy for heating of remaing

Moisture
Determine the increase in sensible heat of remaining
moisture.

{ } ( )
moisture coal in out out coal moisture heat
C T T M m Q =
, ,

## Mill Heat Balance: Energy available

Determine the sensible heat available in the mill inlet air.

( )
air p out air in air air pri air pri
C T T m Q
, , ,
=

## Calculate the the mill grinding heat generation

disspation coal gen
q m Q =

## Mill Heat Balance: Energy gained by Tempering Air

Determine the sensible heat increase in tempering air air.

( )
air p in tair out tair air temp air pri
C T T m Q
, , ,
=

## Mill Heat Balance: Energy losses

Calculate the heat lost from the surface of the
purlverizer:

{ }
100
5
+ =
gen air pri losses
Q Q Q

Mill Energy Balance: Verification
Total Energy Available:
{ }
gen air pri available
Q Q Q

+ =

{ }
air temp losses moisture heat coal heat dry consumed
Q Q Q Q Q Q
, , ,

+ + + + =
Calculate the difference:
Total Energy Consumed:
Divide the difference by the total available to obtain
the fraction
{ }
consumed available suspense
Q Q Q

+ = A
available
suspense
Q
Q
X

A
=
Validation of Design
For best desingn: X = 0.
Acceptable designs: X = +/- 0.05.
If X is not in the limits above, the design and performance
calculations should be repeated.
At any time during Operation above conditions should be
maintained for most efficient and reliable operation of mill.
Derate Analysis and Operating Concerns
Pulverizer capacity limitation : A derate is due to the fuel
burn rate exceeding predicted pulverizer capacity with all
pulverizers in service.
Feeder capacity limitation : A derate is due to the fuel burn
rate is greater than the total actual feeder capacity with all
pulverizers in service.
An exhauster mill limitation: A derate is due to the
calculated airflow required with all pulverizers in service is
greater than the actual exhauster fan flow.
Improper pulverizer outlet temperature: A derate is due to
the heat available in the primary air for drying coal in the
pulverizers is less than that required.
Auxiliary Power Requirements
The pulverizer system annual auxiliary power requirements are
calculated in a multistep process.
The first step is to calculate the fractional load per pulverizer in
service (Milllod) at load point i.

where
FBR
i
= fuel burn rate, t/h, at load i,
N
mill,i
= calculated number of pulverizers in service at load i, and
C
mill
= calculated capacity, t/h, per pulverizer.
The second step is to calculate the power required per pulverizer.
mill i mill
i
i
C N
FBR
Milllod

=
,
( )
|
|
.
|

\
|

|
.
|

\
|
=
j mill i mill
Milllod
dld
dP
RP P 1 1
,
where
RP
mill
= Rated Power Consumption of mill, and
dP/dld = slope of pulverizer power Vs fractional pulverizer
load curve based on manufacturer data.
The third step is to calculate the power required (MWh/yr) for the
pulverizer system at load point i.

where
q
motor
= motor efficiency.
Finally, the auxiliary power requirements for each load point are
summed to obtain the total auxiliary power requirements for the
pulverizer system.

motor
i i mill mill
i y sys
Hours P N
P
q

=
,
, ,

=
=
K
i
i y sys tot sys
P P
1
, , ,
The Control of Coal Mills
Mill PA /Differential Pressure Control
Closed Loop Control of PA Flow
Parallel Control of Feeder Speed & PA Flow
Control of Suction Mills
Mill Temperature Control
A comprehensive Mill Control System
Steam Temperature control with 2 stage
Attemperation
OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE CONTROLLABLE FACTORS
Four controllable heat rate factors are directly related with
furnace performance and furnace flue gas uniformity.
These are: superheater temperature, reheater temperature,
desuperheating spray water flow to the superheater, and
desuperheating spray water flow to the reheater
Balancing of the fuel and air to each burner has much to do with
furnace combustion efficiency, and the completeness of
combustion at the furnace exit.
The residence time of the products of combustion from the
burners to the superheater flue gas inlet is about one or two
seconds.
Not very long for furnace mixing of fuel rich and air rich lanes of
combustion products.
Optimized combustion at the superheater inlet can be quantified
by use of a water-cooled high velocity thermocouple probe.

Slagging at the superheater flue gas inlet has been a problem in a
number of boilers due to stratified flue gas.
Slagging at the lower furnace results in large boulder sized
clinkers blocking the lower ash hopper.
Tube spacing becomes ever closer as the heat transfer changes
from radiant in the furnace, to convective in the back pass.
Recall the typical tube spacing of pendant superheater and
reheater tubes.
If lanes in the furnace outlet flue gas approach the ash softening
or even the ash fluid temperature, upper furnace slagging and
blockage can result in a very short time.
Several cases studies should be reviewed to show how the
application of the Thirteen Essentials will improved slagging,
heat-rate, capacity factor, reliability, NOx and/or flyash carbon
content.

AIRFLOW AND FUEL FLOW OPTIMIZATIONS : A Case Study
Design Data Used
On Going Problems
Erratic performance and severe slagging problems in
both the upper furnace and the lower ash hopper.
It was concluded that the furnace exit gas temperature
was varying due to non-uniform products of combustion
entering the superheater gas side.
Ash fusion temperatures are often lower in a reducing
atmosphere than in an oxidizing atmosphere.
Since many of the opportunities for improvement that
were experienced on this boiler were slagging related,
this was a significant factor.
For example, the peak furnace exit gas temperatures
were above 2472F. (the maximum point indicated on
the digital thermometer, the true temperature was even
higher.)
Also, the reducing ash fluid temperature from is
2400F.
The combination of the fuel richness and ash chemistry
together is the root cause of severe slagging.
A highly localized temperature is also usually due
to fuel rich and creates a reducing atmosphere.
Therefore, this peak temperature corresponds to a
reducing atmosphere.
It is this combined effect of lower ash fusion
temperature in a reducing atmosphere (chemistry
effect) and the poor fuel and air balance
(mechanical effect) that greatly accelerates
slagging.

The furnace exit, excess oxygen and temperature
stratifications were found to be the result of a non-
homogeneous mixing of the combustion air and fuel in the
burner belt zone.
Zero oxygen points at the furnace exit could be due to either
an abundance of fuel, or a shortage of combustion air.
The Comprehensive Diagnostic Test technique was utilized
to quantify the opportunities for each.
Upon completion of the Comprehensive Diagnostic Tests,
the following changes were implemented:
Fuel lines were balanced
Flow nozzles were installed for primary airflow measurement
and control
Pulverizer classifier changes
Secondary air duct changes to balance combustion airflows
to each of the four corners.