Variable speed drive improves performance at Drax power plant

    AES, owners of the 4000 MW Drax coal fired power station in the UK, has hired Siemens Automation & Drives to improve the efficiency and reliability of the plant’s boiler feed systems. Siemens has replaced the primary air fans motor drives that feed the boilers in the original section of the power station, in a à‚£2m ($3.1m) contract.

    A coal-fired boiler feeds each of the six generator sets at Drax. Each of these is in turn provided with pulverized fuel from ten mills. The fuel is blown into the boiler using Primary Air (PA) fans, each of which is driven by a motor. The first phase of Drax, which housed 30 mills supplying three boilers, was originally equipped with induction regulators fitted to commutator induction motors.

    Now almost 30 years old, the reliability of the drive units was causing concern to the new owners. Because of the need for on-going maintenance and repair, Drax engineers were finding it difficult to achieve 80 per cent availability of the PA fans.


    Drax was the first power station in the UK to retrofit FGD equipment
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    Variable speed drives are energy efficient and the fast response to frequency changes, coupled with the low maintenance costs, was suited to this project.

    Siemens Automation and Drives, based in Manchester, UK, set about developing an IP54 rated solution which retained all the existing wiring. Special cabinets were designed to house water cooling units, which ensure that the variable speed drives can operate in IP54 rated housings.


    The new drives have improved the reliability and availability of Drax
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    Siemens had to build these to fit onto the existing concrete plinths adjacent to the fans, which meant designing a 1200 mm by 1200 mm cabinet to hold all the necessary controls and dual redundant cooling pumps.

    “We immediately began to see a marked difference in boiler plant management and control,” said Nick Parker, project leader for AES. “The operation of the PA fans had become a real issue internally … As soon as the first variable speed drive became operational, the benefits became apparent.”

    Emerson launches new vibration data collector

    Emerson Process Management has introduced the handheld CSI 2117P1, which enables data collection for day-to-day monitoring of critical production equipment.

    With the 2117P1 data collector, plant personnel can obtain information (vibration levels, shaft turning speed and process parameters) on rotating machines throughout a plant. Multiple parameters (up to 12) make it possible to automatically distinguish between imbalance, misalignment, gear defects, bearing faults etc. If one of the parameters exceeds the predefined alarm level, it alerts the user to the existence and probable nature of a fault.


    The instrument reduces complex data into machine health information
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    The data collector can be upgraded to add advanced data collection, vibration signature analysis and field balancing. Data collection routes created for the 2117P1 are also compatible with other CSI analyzers including the 2120 machinery analyzer.

    Cat unveils 150 kVA UPS

    Caterpillar has made public its 150 kVA CAT UPS, which caters for the lower power segment of the 3-phase UPS market.

    The model offers design consisting of robust digital electronics and the elimination of batteries in a package that is one of the smallest in the industry, along with a high efficiency rate for its power range. The UPS includes a complete power protection and ride-through system that provides constant power conditioning and voltage regulation while aiming to reduce both installation, and owning and operating costs.

    Gemini sootblower nozzle improves utility boiler cleaning

    Diamond Power Speciality Company (DPSC), a Diamond Power International company, has introduced the Gemini Sootblower nozzle for improved recovery and utility boiler cleaning.


    The Gemini nozzle improves the cleaning performance of existing sootblowers
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    DPSC offers a variety of sootblower nozzles engineered to handle the toughest boiler cleaner applications. The nozzle functions by reducing steam consumption and increasing cleaning energy by up to 29 per cent compared to the next best competitors, according to DPSC officials.

    The sootblower design provides equal cleaning distribution that reduces the potential for sootblower-induced boiler tube erosion by 60 per cent. The nozzle is equipped with cast-body staggered nozzle jets, which provides equal performance from two staggered nozzle jets.


    The Gemini nozzle is easily installed and enables operating and maintenance costs to be reduced
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    It is designed to achieve non-overlapping cleaning paths within each operating cycle and include a geared lance tube indexing mechanism to ensure cleaning coverage and mitigate the potential erosive effects of the nozzles.

    Condenser record

    Balcke-Dàƒ¼rr Service GmbH has replaced the condensers at Unit B of the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant in record time, carrying out the project in just 22 days. All condenser internals were removed and replaced by four new, more efficient condenser bundles with stainless steel tubes.

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