Publication | Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals | Thermische Vergasung und Gasreinigung

Optimization of a 50 MW bubbling fluidized bed biomass combustion chamber by means of computational particle fluid dynamics

Kraft S, Kuba M, Kirnbauer F, Bosch K, Hofbauer H

Published 4 August 2015

Citation: Kraft S, Kuba M, Kirnbauer F, Bosch K, Hofbauer H. Optimization of a 50 MW bubbling fluidized bed biomass combustion chamber by means of computational particle fluid dynamics. Biomass and Bioenergy. 4 August 2015;89:31-39.

Abstract

An efficient utilization of biomass fuels in power plants is often limited by the melting behavior of the biomass ash, which causes unplanned shutdowns of the plants. If the melting temperature of the ash is locally exceeded, deposits can form on the walls of the combustion chamber. In this paper, a bubbling fluidized bed combustion chamber with 50 MW biomass input is investigated that severely suffers deposit build-up in the freeboard during operation. The deposit layers affect the operation negatively in two ways: they act as an additional heat resistance in regions of heat extraction, and they can come off the wall and fall into the bed and negatively influence the fluidization behavior. To detect zones where ash melting can occur, the temperature distribution in the combustion chamber is calculated numerically using the commercial CPFD (computational particle fluid dynamics) code, Barracuda Version 15. Regions where the ash melting temperature is exceeded are compared with the fouling observed on the walls in the freeboard. The numerically predicted regions agree well with the observed location of the deposits on the walls. Next, the model is used to find an optimized operating point with fewer regions in which the ash melting temperature is exceeded. Therefore, three cases with different distributions of the inlet gas streams are simulated. The simulations show if the air inlet streams are moved from the freeboard to the necking area above the bed a more even temperature distribution is obtained over the combustion chamber. Hence, the areas where the ash melting temperatures are exceeded are reduced significantly and the formation of deposits in the optimized operational mode is much less likely.

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