Corrosion and Emission Reduction of Utility Boilers through Intelligent Systems

Project duration 2014 - 2018

A research project co-financed by European Commission through Research Fund for Coal and Steel

Consortium as a whole The consortium behind this initiative consists of a number of commercial partners and R&D bodies, with a long-standing track record of co-operation in the field of (renewable) energy generation. Although building upon direct, commercial co-operation between the partners PGEGIEK and IEn, this initiative has its roots in the European Energy Research (EERA) Bioenergy. Three of the R&D partners, namely ECN, IEn and USTUTT participate actively in the closed-scholarship EERA’s Sub-Programme 5 (EERA Bioenergy SP5), dedicated to Stationary Bioenergy, in this case coal-fired units under variable load and multifuel operation. Next to the targeted technical and economic innovations as described elsewhere in this proposal, the scope of this initiative is specifically intended to help further align the R&D activities in the field of renewable and efficient energy generation in the existing power plants. This envisaged alignment and strengthening of the co-operation between the partners, will be realized amongst others by joint measurement campaigns. Within this diagnostic effort each team will cover activities within its own expertise field, together however creating a more complete and complimentary set of data. Also, bringing in new, non-EERA member partners within this initiative, will further strengthen the EU wide co-operation.

IEn – Instytut Energetyki: Instytut Energetyki (Institute of Power Engineering) was establishedas an R&D center in 1953. The main activities of Institute are:

  • plans and programs of the development of energy sector and electrical system,
  • development of apparatus, machines and equipments for electrical stations and networks,
  • operation and modernizations of electrical stations and equipments,
  • new technologies in energy sector, including electrical systems and
  • protection of environment against harmful effects of power stations and electrical networks.

IEn is a leading in Poland R&D institute in the energy sector involved in more than 20 European projects. Main activities of the Thermal Processes Department are focused on research and optimisation of combustion processes, designing and development of combustion chambers, pulverized coal burners, steam boilers, preparing and transport of coal dust systems etc. The department has experience in mathematical modelling (CFD-simulations using the software code FLUENT, Artificial Intelligence using Matlab and other software), laboratory research and diagnostic work. IEn is engaged in problems of: fuel efficiency both fossil and renewable(biomass, RDF), co-firing, optimization. In CERUBIS project IEn will use two test facilities, one laboratory scale slagging reactor and one 0,5 MW pilot scale test facility.

USTUTT – IFK, Universitaet Stuttgart: IFK (former IVD) is part of the University Stuttgart and therefore a non-profit educational and research organization. IFK is active in the field of combustion systems in different scales. Large scale pulverized coal combustion units in a scaleof 1000 MW are also under investigation of the IFK as small scale wood heating stoves in arange of 15 kW. The research is focused on:

  • the development of mathematical models for industrial combustion systems;
  • the development of environmentally compatible firing and power station systems for different fuels as there are bituminous coal, lignite, biomass, gas and oil;
  • development and use of intrusive and non-intrusive measuring techniques to characterise the combustion process of different fuels;
  • the analysis of fuels to characterize the combustion behaviour;
  • the development of low or zero CO2 coal power conversion processes.

For several years the IFK has gained considerable experience concerning the thermal utilization of solid fuels such as coals, biomasses and solid recovered fuels. Major R&D and Demo-projects where IFK is or was acting as coordinator or partner are RECOFUEL, UPSWING, ENCAP,CASTOR, C3-capture, Oxy-burner, Corrosion, BIOFLAM, BIO-PRO, FLOX-COAL etc. An early project was the combined EU-APAS programme (COAL-CT92-0002) which was coordinated by the IFK. In the JOULE II and the JOULE III programme as well as in the subsequent FP5, FP6 and FP7. In CERUBIS project USTUTT will use three test facilities, two laboratory and one 0.5 MW pilot scale.

Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) is the leading institute for energy research in the Netherlands and in Europe. Its mission is to develop high-level knowledge and technology for a sustainable energy system and to transfer it to the market. ECN Biomass, Energy Efficiency (BEE) research is dedicated to R&D on the thermal conversion of biomass, waste, and coal into power, heat and gaseous & liquid fuels. Furthermore, the department houses experts on process simulation, catalysis, and materials. A staff of 50 people, of which more than half are academics are working on various subjects in the bioenergy field. For ~20 years, ECN has addressed various aspects of the thermal conversion (combustion, gasification and pyrolysis) of biomass, coal and waste in a broad range of national and international projects for government and industry.

ECN has participated in numerous earlier EU RFCS and FP5-7 initiatives, which generated a substantial part of knowledge forming a backbone for this proposal. This includes projects dedicated to power generation from coal and biomass, like MinorTOP, BioFLAM, BIOASH, DEBCO, Clean Selective. ECN is also co-ordinating the activities of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Bioenergy Sub-Programme 1 (SP1 Thermo-chemical Conversion), and plays crucial role the SP5 (Stationary Bioenergy). In the latter sub-programme ECN is coordinating the work package dedicated to multi-fuel boiler operations, which is closely related to the scope of this proposal. Furthermore three of the CERUBIS initiative partners (namely ECN, USTUTT and IEn) are also directly involved.

A large number of experimental facilities is in use at ECN for tests both at lab-scale and pilot-level. Equipment relevant to this project are the Lab-scale Combustion Simulator, wherein a part of the NISTFLOM sensing platform development and calibration work will be performed. Also the ECN Mobile Diagnostic Probe (ECN-MDP) will be deployed for in-depth characterization of the in-boiler conditions.

Hukseflux Thermal Sensors B.V. (HF) is a Dutch-headquartered SME specialized in the development, design and manufacture of complete range of sensors and systems for the measurement of heat flux, solar radiation and thermal conductivity. Sensors designed and produced by Hukseflux throughout the past 15 years, play a vital role in various energy-related applications. Examples are efficiency assessments of solar renewable energy installations and improvements of the efficiency of buildings and electrical power plants. Hukseflux has a broad range of mechanical, thermal and electronic testing facilities, where the newly-designed sensing systems can be exhaustively tested. Though deeply involved in fully commercial co-operations with other industrial partners, Hukseflux also participates actively in a multitude of Dutch-national as well as international R&D projects. Hukseflux has a 10 year long track record in co-operation with ECN, helping amongst others in the development of ECN’s Mobile Diagnostic Probe technology.

PGEGIEK – PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna S.A.: PGE Mining and Conventional Energy JSC was established in 2010 as a result of the consolidation processwithin the Polish Energy Group. The PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna S.A. is the largest powerproducer and supplier in Poland and one of the biggest heat and power sector companies inCentral and Eastern Europe. The activities of Polska Grupa Energetyczna focus on the followingareas: Conventional Power Generation, Wholesale, Distribution, Retail, Renewable PowerGeneration. Sustainable development is one of the major principles of PGE Capital Group. PGEis a trustworthy company, whose operations are based on the highest corporate standards. Thecompany's net power generation amounts to about 57 TWh, which constitutes 40% of thenational electricity output. The PGE Group employs over 41.000 workers and has 12.9 GW of theinstalled generation capacities. In CERUBIS project PGE will use two 380 MW boiler producing more 1100 tons of steam per hour each. One hard coal fired boiler is located in Opole Power Plant and was modernized in order to reach NOx emission below 200 mg/m3n via primary methods and SNCR technique. Second lignite fired coal is located in one of the biggest lignite fired Bełchatów Power Plants and was also modernized in order to reach NOx emission below 200 mg/m3n but only via primary methods. Both boilers possess desulphurization plants.