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TECHNICAL SESSION - III

EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT IN
AUXILIARY EQUIPEMENT
National Symposium on Energy Conservation Measures in Generating Sector, Nov. 17-18, 2005, Bangalore

KEYNOTE ADDRESS ON
ENERGY CONSERVATION MEASURES IN THERMAL POWER
PLANTS
S. Rajaram,
General Manager, BHEL, Tiruchirapalli

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Energy is one of the foremost requirements for development in any country. Every nation ,developed
or developing, requires energy to increase productivity. Hence increasing the energy efficiency and
conservation of energy is the need of hour and is the concern for all in the power sector. For
achieving this each of the partners, the power equipment manufacturer, the utility and the service
provider, has to play his role effectively.
Energy Conservation can be achieved by increasing the efficiency of power generation, improving
the heat rate, reducing the auxiliary power consumption etc., And all this has to be achieved at the
least cost and without compromising on the environmental norms. Finally the cost and the equipment
availability are emerging as the two most important criteria governing the design of modern steam
generating equipment. BHEL as an equipment manufacturer for power plants is always geared up
to meet the energy conservation requirements and some of its contributions towards this are briefed
here.

2.0 BHELS EFFORTS IN ENERGY CONSERVATION


Importance is attached to design and operation of boilers, keeping the exit gas temperature of the
boiler as low as possible, by proper design of burner, furnace, pressure parts and airheaters. This
coupled with optimum excess air levels of combustion, results in higher efficiencies. For every
10C reduction in exit gas temperature, a saving of nearly 7000 tons / year of coal for a 210 MW
boiler and 16500 tons / year of coal for a 500 MW boiler is achievable(for a coal calorific value of
3500 Kcal/Kg). Many of the operating coal fired units were originally designed for the exit gas
temperature of 150C in 1980s. New designs adopt only 125C or lower as exit gas temperature
with low sulphur fuels. The efficiency of the older units can also be improved by reducing the exit
gas temperature to 125C.

2.1 Introduction of higher pressure and temperature cycles


Depletion of fossil fuel reserves and ever increasing cost of fuel coupled with environmental protection
requirements warrant higher pressure and temperature cycles to be introduced in power generation.
BHEL adapted to this change even from the early years. While the pressure rating is 96 ata for the
60MW boilers, the pressure rating has been gradually increased to 130 ata for the 210 MW LP
units, to 150 ata for the 210 MW (HP) units and later on to 170 ata for the 500 MW units introduced
in the country. This has considerably reduced the station heat rate to the tune of 400 to 450 Kcal/
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S. Rajaram

KW-hr. BHEL is also gearing up to improve the plant efficiency and to further reduce the heat rate
by going in for supercritical pressure cycles and higher steam temperatures.

2.2 Efforts in reducing auxiliary power consumption


Another significant area is in the reduction of auxiliary power consumption. High efficiency axial
fans are designed and supplied to power plants. These axial fans are compact in design and have
a smooth operating hydraulic-servo motor for varying the blade pitch for various operating conditions.
Higher efficiencies over a wide range of operation is the speciality of this design. For radial fans,
variable frequency drive systems have been developed and supplied to control motor and fan
speed for achieving better efficiencies at part loads, thereby saving auxiliary power considerably.
For example, the Variable frequency drive (VFD) in a 500 MW induced draft fan can save about
350 KW to 400 KW of power per boiler.
BHEL has also introduced the advanced microprocessor based Integrated Operating System for
Electrostatic Precipitators. This system while maintaining the precipitator efficiency at the same
levels, reduces corona power consumption by more than 50%.

2.3 Smart wall blowing system


BHEL has developed and supplied Smart wall blowing system (SWBS) to Raichur TPS 210MW
boiler. It has the potential to increase the cycle efficiency, improve the heat rate of the boiler, reduce
the tube erosion and marginally improve the creep life of SH/RH tubes. The system has features
such as indigenously developed heat flux sensors mounted on the water walls of the furnace and
associated electronic hardware/software system with a capability to interact with the existing soot
blower control system. The system has reduced wall blowing by about 70% resulting in savings of
Rs 62 lakhs per year per 210 MW boiler by way of reduced steam requirement for wall blowing,
reduced make up water addition and increased life of heat transfer surfaces.

2.4 Acoustic steam leak detection-a proactive measure


BHEL has developed indigenous Acoustic steam leak detection system for early detection of tube
leakages in water walls and Superheater/Reheater areas. This will help in attending to the leaking
tubes in time and also further prevent the damages to the other tubes. This will improve the mean
time to repair and thus contribute to improved availability.

2.5 Visible light scanners


Introduction of visible light flame scanner in place of ultra-violet scanners, with additional
redundancies in controls, has further helped to reduce fuel oil consumption to a very great extent
by avoiding spurious trips of boiler.

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Energy conservation measures in thermal power plants

2.6 Improving availability through water chemistry audits


BHEL conducts water chemistry audit in power plants based on the request from the utilities. It
involves reviewing the present method followed, identifying the deviations in water chemistry and
suggesting remedial measures to be taken to correct the deviation, if any and also modifications in
the method followed. This will drastically reduce the problems of forced outages arising due to poor
water chemistry.

2.7 Coal beneficiation for multiple benefits


Reducing the cost of power produced is the ultimate goal in power sector. In this connection BHEL
is of the opinion that use of washed coal in power generation will considerably yield the desired
results. A preliminary study in a 500 MW unit shows that a saving of as much as 20% can be
achieved through optimization of boiler and auxiliaries design and through reduced auxiliary power
consumption if we use the washed coal of 24% ash when compared to the 45% ash coal presently
used in Indian power plants. Coal washing reduces the ash and increases the calorific value of fuel.
About 90 million tons of coal (45%ash) are transported up to a distance of 1000KM from the mines
on an average in India today. It is estimated that on reducing the ash content to 32% by beneficiation,
the cost of transportation will reduce by Rs1000crores for 18 million tons of coal (20% rejects) as
per 1999-2000 estimates. No doubt coal washing yields washery rejects. But these washery rejects
can also be used as a fuel in CFBC and AFBC boilers to generate power. Utilities have to take the
initiative in the use of washed coals in their plants. Further availability will improve due to minimal
problems due to erosion and O&M costs are bound to come down.

2.8 RLA studies for planned improvement


BHEL is conducting the Residual Life Assessment (RLA) and Life Extension Programs (LEP) for
boilers. Several of the boilers have been operating for a few decades and many have well crossed
their theoretical design life. Hence, from the safety and performance point of view, it becomes
imperative to check the health of the components and to certify the boiler for continued service for
some more years. Hence these programs have assumed great significance in todays context
marked by financial crunch and acute shortage of electric power in the country. BHEL has carried
out about 200 RLA studies both on Non-BHEL and BHEL supplied boilers. This helps in turn to go
in for predictive maintenance schedules and improve availability to a higher extent.
BHEL has developed BHELMOLT, a state-of-the-art technology for non-destructive, insitu,
measurement of the steam side oxide scale build up in tubes. Ultrasonic measurements of the
steam side oxide scale thickness and the tube wall thickness are made at critical locations in the
high flux zone and near the bottom bend of superheater and reheater coils. These values are used
as inputs by BHELMOLTs powerful computer-based software, which accurately calculates tube
metal temperatures for the entire cross section of tubes and provides a graphical representation of
the residual life. Studies show that one of the major causes of forced outages in power plants is the
failure of superheater and reheater tubes which are subjected to creep due to constant operation
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S. Rajaram

under high temperature and pressure condition. Accurate assessment of the residual life of tubes
is the effective method to minimize forced outage due to tube rupture and improve the operating
availability of power plants.

3.0 CONCLUSION
Energy conservation is a continuous effort to be put forth by Equipment manufacturer, Utility and
Service provider. Introducing new/reliable technologies for improving the heat rate, improving the
boiler efficiency, reducing the auxiliary power consumption and developing new tools for predictive
maintenance and improved operational efficiency are some of the measures adopted by BHEL in
contributing to energy conservation and availability improvement.

BIO-DATA OF SPEAKER
Dr.S. Rajaram is General Manager (Engineering & Commercial/FB) in BHEL,
Trichy-14. He is a Post Graduate from REC, Trichy & Ph.D in Mechanical Engg
from Bharatidasan University. He joined BHEL, Trichy as Graduate Apprentice
in December 1969. He underwent training in Combustion Engineering USA.
He has over 35 years experience in Engineering, Commercial and Project
Management. He has been instrumental in development & commercialisation
of Fluidised Bed Boilers and Heat Recovery Steam Generators. He has several
Papers in International Seminars and Conferences to his credit. He is a Recipient
of Foster Wheeler Award of Institute of Energy, UK. At present, he is responsible
for Engineering, Contracts and implementation of Strategic Plan at BHEL, Trichy

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National Symposium on Energy Conservation Measures in Generating Sector, Nov. 17-18, 2005, Bangalore

IMPROVEMENT IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF AUXILIARY


EQUIPMENT IN TPS
Rajashekar P. Mandi
Energy Conservation & Development Division,
Central Power Research Institute, Bangalore -560 080
Phone: 080 2360 4682, Fax: 080 2360 1213, E-mail: rajashekarmandi@yahoo.com,
ABSTRACT: This paper describes the results of energy conservation measures in
various thermal power plants spread over the country. Energy savings in various major
auxiliaries are summarized here with improved performance. Staggering of auxiliary
loads, reduction in hydrodynamic resistance of pipes and ducts, adoption of new energy
efficient technologies, efficient control techniques, reduction in furnace ingress and
monitoring of coal size at mill inlets will lead to substantial amount of energy savings.
The energy conservation schemes are economically attractive with a break even period
of 1 to 5 years.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
The thermal power plant availability depends largely upon the operational reliability of the auxiliary
equipment and the capability of the auxiliary system. Coal fired stations are the backbone of the
Indian power generating sector and account for over 76 % of the generated power [1,2]. The net
overall efficiency of the coal fired thermal power plants are in the range of 19.23 % (30 MW plant)
and 30.69 % (500 MW plant). The auxiliary power consumption is varying between 7 % (500 MW
plant) and 12 % (30 MW plant). The auxiliary power consumption is on higher side as compared to
other developed countries due to the use of poor coal quality, excessive steam flow, excessive
water flow, internal leakage in equipment, inefficient drives, lack of operational optimization of
equipment, ageing of equipment, hesitation in technology upgradation, obsolete equipment, design
deficiencies, oversizing of equipment, use of inefficient controls, etc.,
The auxiliary power consumption can be reduced, by improving the design of the equipment, by
operational optimization, adoption of control techniques and implementation of energy conservation
measures. The saved energy can be pumped into the grid with nominal investment.

2.0 AUXILIARY POWER CONSUMPTION (APC)


The progressive changes over the years in unit size and operating parameters of thermal generating
sets, indicates a steady development in unit sizes with a variety of technologies, upgradation of
operating parameters, etc. The diversity of unit sizes in thermal power stations in India ranges from
30 MW to 500 MW of capacity. Most of the capacity addition done in the late seventies and mideighties have been in the 110 MW/210 MW unit capacity sizes which have completed about 50 %
of their useful life. As the size of the unit increases, the auxiliary power consumption (i.e., the
difference between gross and net efficiency) decreases. Therefore, the present trend has been to
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Rajashekar P. Mandi

add larger unit sizes of 250 MW/500 MW capacity. Alongside the growth in unit sizes, considerable
technological innovations have also been taken place in upgradation of auxiliary systems and
improvement in designs of auxiliary equipment. These changes have increased the operational
reliability and efficiency of the auxiliaries.
The variation of auxiliary power with unit size can be computed by:

AP = 2E 05.PR2 0.0193.PR + 12.684 %

(1)

Where AP is auxiliary power in % of plant load, PR is the unit size in MW.


210 MW plants contribute the largest share in the India generating sector which accounts for 48.3
% of total installed capacity) and generating 53 % of the total energy supply. 110 MW or smaller
size units accounts for 33.3 % of total installed capacity & 27 % of the total energy generation while
500 MW units had a share of 8.4 % in installed capacity with a 20 % share in energy generation.
Figure 1 gives the variation of auxiliary power with plant load factor (PLF) [3]. The auxiliary power
consumption is greatly influenced by the PLF. As the PLF increases, the auxiliary power consumption
decreases. Therefore, the plants have to be operated near to their full load. The total auxiliary
power can be computed by using the following curve fit:
Figure 1 : Variation of auxiliary power with plant load.
Auxiliary power, % of gross gen.

12
10

Total APC

8
In-house

Out-lying

4
2
0
70

75

80

85

90

95

100

105

Plant load factor, %

AP = 0.002.PLF 2 + 0.2696.PR + 1.8416 %

(2)

Where PLF is plant load factor in %.


The In-house HT auxiliary power accounts for 5.5 7.5 %, the In-house LT accounts for 0.4 0.6
%, out-lying HT & LT auxiliary equipment accounts for 0.7 0.95 % and losses account 0.35 0.55
% of plant load. The In-house auxiliary power vary with plant load factor and can be curve fitted to:

IAP = 2 E 05.PLF 2 0.0762.PLF + 13.82 %


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(3)

Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

Where IAP is In-house auxiliary power in % of plant load


The out-lying auxiliary power will remain almost same and can be curve fitted to:

OAP = 0.0002 .PLF + 2.5264 %

( 4)

Where OAP is Out-lying auxiliary power in % of plant load


The major energy consuming auxiliary equipment in a coal fired thermal power plants are as follows:
a) Boiler auxiliary system : Induced draft (ID) fan, Forced draft (FD) fan, Primary air (PA) fan,
Coal mills, Electrostatic precipitators, etc.
b) Turbine auxiliary system: Boiler feed pump (BFP), Condensate extraction pump (CEP),
Circulating water pump (CWP), Cooling tower pump (CTP), Cooling tower (CT) fans, vacuum
pumps, etc.
c) Ash handling system: Low Pressure (LP) Pump, High Pressure (HP) Pump, Ash Slurry Pump,
Seal Water Pump, etc
d) Coal handling system: Crushers, conveyors, tipplers, stacker/reclaimer, etc.
The turbine auxiliary system accounts for about 52 to 58 % of the total auxiliary power consumption
followed by the boiler auxiliary equipment accounts for about 30 to 35 % of the total auxiliary
consumption. The remaining auxiliary consumption is in ash handling and coal handling systems

3.0 REASONS FOR HIGH AUXILIARY CONSUMPTION


The factors responsible for high auxiliary power consumption can broadly be classified into three
categories:
a) plant specific factors
b) external factors; and
c) grid specific factors.

3.1 Plant specific factors


Plant specific factors can be further classified as follows:
a) Design deficiencies
b) Technology
c) Lack of Instrumentation & control
d) Forced outages
e) Operational practices and constraints

3.1.1 Design deficiencies


Generally to keep the safety margins and to operate the plant more than 60 % of the capacity by
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Rajashekar P. Mandi

operating with single stream (air cycle or water cycle) due to non-availability of other stream, the
fans and pumps are designed with high reserve capacities. Figure 2 gives the variation of reserve
capacities of major fans and pumps. Operating the equipment at partial load will reduce the efficiency
of equipment. This will increase the auxiliary power consumption.

Capacity, % of equipment dis. value

Figure 2: Capacity of individual equipment at 210 MW plant


110

Design value
Operating point

100

93.20 %
90

83.23 %

87.80 %

79.70 %

80

77.00 %

74.30 %
69.20 %

65.40 %

70

55.60 %

52.10 %

60

50

40

30
BFP (flow)

BFP (pressure)

CEP (flow)

CEP (pressure)

IDF (flow)

IDF (pressure)

FDF (flow)

FDF (pressure)

PAF (flow)

PAF (pressure)

It can be seen from the Figure 2 that the design capacity of ID fan pressure and flow are 52.1 % and
65.4 % respectively whereas the operating values are in the range of 70 79 % for flow and 45 95
% for pressure. The design capacity of FD fan pressure and flow are 55.6 % and 77 % respectively
whereas the operating values are very low i.e., 60 68 % for flow and 33 51 % for pressure.
Sometimes, the FD fan motors are under loaded to below 60 % whose efficiency and power factor
will be very low. The design capacity of PA fan pressure and flow are 69.2 % and 74.3 % respectively
whereas the operating flow are very low (40 61 %) and for pressure (69 79 %).
The design capacity of BF pumps are 79.7 % and 83.23 % respectively for flow and pressure. The
operating conditions of BF pumps vary between 71 91 % on flow and 74 88 % on pressure side.
The design capacity of CE pumps pressure and flow are 87.8 % and 93.2 % whereas the operating
pressure of CE pumps vary between 85 105 % and operating flow vary between 70 98 %. Some
times the CE pumps are overloaded.

3.1.2 Technology adoption


Since the most of the unit size below 210 MW are installed before seventies, the auxiliary equipment
are of very old technologies. The same are being continued with lesser efficiency and higher auxiliary
power. If these older technology equipments are replaced with new technology, the substantial
amount of auxiliary power consumption can be reduced.
3.1.2.1 Variable frequency drives for ID fans
The load on ID fans will be continuously varying between 60 75 %. It is beneficial to install the
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Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

variable frequency drives. The installation of VFD will reduce the energy consumption by 5.3 MU/
year per one 210 MW plant and the payback period will be 3 years. The other advantages over the
prevailing technology of hydraulic and fixed speed motor drives are:
a

smooth control of flue gas

absence of limitation of number of starts

no voltage dips in the system from direct-on-line starting of large size motors

increased efficiency over wide operating speed range

increased life of motors due to soft starts

simple arrangements & no necessity of large cooling equipment for hydraulic coupling

reduction in size of unit/station transformer rating & switchgear fault level,

3.1.2.2 Variable frequency drives for BF pumps


The load on boiler feed pumps will be varying. The installation of VFD will reduce the energy
consumption by 13.8 MU/year per one 210 MW plant and the payback period will be 3 3.5 years.
3.1.2.3 Steam driven BF pumps
Boiler feed pump is the single largest auxiliary in a power plant and accounts for approximately
2.0 to 2.5 % of the gross generated power. It accounts for 20 to 25 % of the auxiliary power. If the
BFP is re-powered by a service steam turbine drive instead of the present electric motor, the
efficiency of conversion can be enhanced from 33 % to 35 % and the equivalent electrical power of
about 7 MW can be released to the grid.
Steam driven BFPs are in use in the 30 MW, 62.5 MW and a few 110 MW units apart from 500 MW
units. The steam driven BFPs will provide better controllability (capacity modulation) as compared
to electric motor.
Variable pressure operation is possible at part loads with steam driven BFP. Presently, the BFP
outlet pressure is constant and is reduced by a valve at the turbine inlet. the BFP outlet pressure
can be varied according to the load, savings in energy consumption of the BFP can be achieved at
part loads
3.1.2.4 FRP fan blades for cooling towers:
The replacement of CT fan blades from GRP to FRP material [4] had reduced the power consumption
by 34.4 % (Table 1), the cooling tower Range had increased from 9.7 oC to 11.6 oC, the Approach
had decreased from 11.0 to 9.7 oC, the overall heat removal capacity (Effectiveness) had improved
from 46.86 % to 54.46 %, the fan air delivery capacity had increased from 4632 to 6030 m3/s (an
increase of 30.2 %) and the SEC had decreased from 26.12 to 13.17 W/t of air. The total energy
saving for one 210 MW (i.e., nine CT fans) will be 1.84 MU/year. The anticipated investment will
be Rs. 33.75 lakhs and the pay back period will be 1.6 years.
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Rajashekar P. Mandi

Table 1: Performance results of replacement of GRP by FRP fans


Sl.
No.

Particulars

Average Wet bulb temperature,( oC)

Average CW inlet temperature, ( C)


o

GRP

FRP

23.5

23.8

44.2

45.1

Average CW outlet temperature, ( C)

34.5

33.5

Condenser absolute pressure, (kPa)

9.5

9.4

Total power, (kW)

522.63

342.99

Reduction in power, (%)

34.37

Average Air velocity, (m/s)

6.99

9.10

4632.1

6030.4

30.19

Total Air flow, (m /s)

Increase in air flow, (%)


o

10

Range, ( C)

11

Approach, (oC)

12

Effectiveness, (%)

13

Increase in effectiveness, (%)

14

SEC, (W/t of air)

15

Reduction in SEC, (%)

16

Average Fan efficiency, (%)

17

Increase in efficiency, (%)

9.7

11.6

11.0

9.7

46.86

54.46

7.6

26.12

13.17

49.58

32.55

64.58

32.03

3.1.2.5 Retrofit of ash handling system


The existing wet ash handling system can be retrofitted by employing a dry fly ash evacuation
system (silo system). This will reduce the power consumption by 3.3 MU/year per 210 MW plant.
The pay back period will be about 13 years with an investment of Rs. 800 lakhs.

3.1.3 Instrumentation and control


The instrumentation plays a major role in energy conservation. At many plants the malfunctioning
of instruments will draw more auxiliary power. For example, the closure of damper at mill inlet, the
indicator at control room will be showing the damper is closed fully but at site the damper will be
partially closed and air will be passing through the non-working mill. Sometimes, the placing of
oxygen probe in the flue gas duct also mislead about the excess air. The oxygen probe must be at
the centre of the duct. The measurement of flue gas temperature at flue gas circuit will also mislead
sometimes. Therefore, the instruments have to be calibrated once in a year.

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Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

The control system also contribute conservation of energy. The idle operation of crusher and conveyor
motors can be avoided by providing the automatic control signal to the crusher and conveyor motors
sequentially with minimum time lapse. The other control techniques like FD fan pitch operation can
be put in auto by sensing the oxygen in flue gas, PA air flow to the mill can be controlled by sensing
the coal air mixture temperature and coal-air ratio, etc..
When the wet bulb temperature is low, the circulating water temperature at condenser inlet will also
be low (when all the 9 fans are in service), then the condensate is cooled below its saturation
temperature for example, when 9 fans are in service, the condenser absolute pressure is 9.0 kPa,
the corresponding saturation temperature of condensate will be 43.76oC but the actual condensate
temperature at hot well is 38.7oC (less by 5.06 oC). This temperature has to be gained in the LP
heaters. Therefore, in order to maintain the correct CW temperature, automatic controller for CT
fans can be installed. The CT fan operation can be controlled by sensing the CW water temperature
at condenser inlet. The installation of controller will lead to energy saving of 14.77 MU/year. The
anticipated investment is about Rs. 80 lakhs and the pay back period is 4 months.
Some of the major auxiliaries require flow/ capacity adjustments to operate at varied loading
conditions of the unit. With fixed speed drives this is achieved by valves, dampers, etc. Inlet guide
vane control is commonly used for ID fan and vane or variable pitch control is used for FD fans. For
BFP a hydraulic coupling with scoop control is quite commonly used in 210 MW units. Such control
devices create turbulence in the path of the fluid, thereby drastically reducing the device efficiency
and consume full power even when partly loaded. Instead, when the flow is controlled by varying
the speed of the fan/ pump, smoother fluid flow results in higher efficiency for most of the operating
region of the devices and hence for the system as a whole. The energy input is also reduced at part
load, resulting in energy savings.

3.1.4 Operational optimization


Some of the operational parameters to be monitored on-line continuously to keep the plant healthy
and operate with energy efficient and are as follows:
a

Motor current with different frequency and voltage.

O2 in flue gas at APH I/L with different load.

Suction pressure and discharge pressure of pumps and fans with different loading.

Winding temperature of motors.

Bearing temperature of motors

Air coal ratio in mills

Coal and air flow in mills

Primary and secondary air flow

Furnace draft, windbox pressure and flue gas pressure at different locations for different
plant load
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Rajashekar P. Mandi

Feed water and condensate flow

CW inlet and outlet pressure and temperature

Some of the parameters to be monitored off-line and necessary actions required are:
a

Water to ash ratio (on daily basis) : The water flow of HP and LP flush pumps may be
adjusted.

Pulverized coal fineness (once in a week for each mill): the classifier adjustment.

O2 measurement at APH O/L, ESP I/L, ESP O/L and ID I/L (on weekly basis).

Unburnt carbon in fly ash and bottom ash (daily basis)

3.2 External factors


a)

Coal shortages. Due to shortfall in coal receipts, thermal units operate with very little
coal stocks and there have been a number of instances of units having to run at low
loads or shut down due to coal shortages. This results in low PLF for the unit as well as
the plant, and increases the auxiliary consumption of the unit.

b)

Poor coal quality. It is a common experience in thermal power plants that the coal
received deviates from design values in terms of calorific value as well as ash content.
The increased ash content in the coal increase the auxiliary of mills, PA fans and ID fans.
The increased ash content also increase the power consumption of crushers and conveyor
system. The presence of stones in the coal will increase the auxiliary power of crushers
and conveyor system. 20 % stone in uncrushed coal will increase the auxiliary power of
crushers by 12 % and 4 % of conveyor system. The other effects of high ash content in
coal are:
i)

Lower calorific value of coal and additional requirement of handling and milling
capacities. The existing design of power plants does not consider the effect of high
particulate presence on heat transfer and estimated value of gas temperatures.
This quite often leads to high exit flue gas temperatures and consequent loss of
efficiency.

ii)

Higher loading of Electrostatic Precipitators (ESPs). Compared to design coal, the


additional quantity of fly ash to be handled for worst quality coal. However, providing
extra stream or extra field for ESPs to capture this extra ash has an impact on the
length of duct and consequently the ID fan capacity. Due to this limitation the ESP
upgrade efforts are limited to reducing stack emissions to the extent possible and
reducing energy consumption with pulse energization of ESPs.

iii)

The ash handling system has to be run for longer durations because of increased
flyash quantity to be handled. This will increase the auxiliary power consumption of
ash handling plant.

iv)

Fouling of heat transfer surfaces, resulting in forced outages due to tube leakages.
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Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

3.3 Grid specific factors


3.3.1 Backing down of units
Power demand in the system varies widely over a 24 hour period. The ratio of peak to off-peak
demand is of the order of 1.8 to 2. This requires backing down of substantial thermal capacity
during the night off peak hours, in order to regulate the frequency. Since the thermal (coal
based) units are primarily designed for base load operation, backing down of units can have
the following impacts on efficiency :
a)

Percentage of auxiliary consumption is higher at part load because the reduction in


auxiliary consumption is much less compared to reduction in generation due to backing
down

b)

Operational constraints restrict the reduction in the number of auxiliaries in service during
part load operation. For instance, due to unreliable operation of coal mills, all mills are
required to be kept in service. Only the loading on the mills is reduced.

c)

There are some technical constraints in reducing the output of auxiliaries during part
load operation. Major auxiliaries like ID fans do not have variable speed drives (VSD).
Control is affected by inlet guide vane control resulting in higher losses at part loads.
Most of the auxiliaries have not been optimally sized from the point of view of part load
operation and therefore the number of auxiliaries in service cannot be optimally selected.
Some of the auxiliaries have technological constraints that prevent them from being shut
down and therefore have to be kept in service even when not required.

3.3.2 Reactive power generation by units


Due to mismatch of reactive power requirements in the grid and that generated, the system
voltage dips. To stabilize the system voltage profile, generating units are asked to reduce the
active power generation and increase the reactive power generation from the unit. This is
done by increasing the excitation which is limited by the cooling efficiency of the generator.
The increased reactive power generation will cause increased auxiliary power consumption.

4.0 OTHER ENERGY CONSERVATION MEASURES


4.1 Pumps
Table 2 gives the pressure survey of feed water steam condensate circuit at typical 210
MW plant [5]. The SEC of BFP varies between 8.6 and 12.4 kWh/t of feed water flow and the
SEC of CEP is in the range of 0.82 and 2.15 kWh/t of condensate flow.

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Rajashekar P. Mandi

Table 2: Pressure survey of feed watersteamcondensate circuit.


Particulars

Design (MCR)

Operating (210 MW)

Pin

Pout

Pin

Pout

Gain in BFP

6.5

170

163.5

5.8

174.6

168.8

Gain in CEP

-0.9

20

20.9

-0.9

19.0

19.9

BFP HPT

170

147

23

174.6

144.5

30.1

HPH Train

170

166.9

3.1

174.6

168.5

6.1

166.9

163

3.9

168.5

161.5

7.0

Superheaters

136

152

11.0

161.5

149.1

12.4

Reheaters

38

36.5

1.5

36.4

34.9

1.5

LPH Train

20

6.5

13.5

19.0

5.8

13.2

Economizer

Some of the energy conservation measures are as follows:


i.

In small units i.e., 62.5 MW and 30 MW units, BF pump motors are provided with solid coupling.
In these situations, when the load reduces the water will be recirculated through the recirculation
valve. In order to reduce the recirculation, scoop coupling can be introduced in these units
which will reduce the energy consumption at BFP by about 10 to 25 % of power based on
loading and the payback period will be 3 to 4 years.

ii. The re-circulation valve of BFP will be closed during normal operation but it was observed
that the passing through their recirculation valve i.e., in a case study at 210 MW plant the
passing through re-circulation was measured to about 4.1 % and this increases the power by
3.1 % of input power.
iii. The hydodynamic pressure drop across BFP cicuit is 17.2 % of the BFP discharge
pressure(design value : 13.5 %) whereas for CEP circuit is 69.5 % of the CEP discharge
(design value : 67.5 %). This hydrodynamic resistance (pressure drop ) can be minimised to
13.5 % in BFP circuit and 67.5 % CEP circuit by chemical cleaning and optimising the pipe
lengths to improve the pump efficiencies by 3 to 4 % and will lead to energy saving 2.1 MU/
year.
iv. The higher power consumption by BFP and CEP due to increased specific steam consumption,
increased auxiliary steam consumption, HP/LP turbine by passing flow, increase in boiler
drum blowdown.
v.

The water to ash ratio in various plants was measured in the range of 14:1 to 5:1. The
increased water to ash ratio will increase the power at ash slurry pumps (ASP), LP and HP
water pumps, raw water pumps, etc., and also more water make up at the plant. Thus the
optimised value of water to ash ratio should be 5:1 or 4:1. This will reduce the energy
consumption by about 10 - 15 % of the power used by these pumps.
III-14

Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

vi. The increased presure drop across the condenser tubes cause more power at CW pumps
and higher pressure of circulating water at the top of the cooling tower also cause the increased
power. Thus, it is suggested to optimise the pressure and reduce the pressure drop across
the condenser tubes by cleaing of tubes periodically. The normal pressure drop should be 0.4
to 0.6 kgf/cm2.

4.2 Fans
The SEC of PA fans is in the range of 2.4 and 7.4 kWh/t of primary air. The SEC of 30, 62.5 and 110
MW plants are lower because the PA fans are in series with FD fans. Thus, these units consume
less energy compared to 210 and 500 MW plants where the PA fans draw the atmospheric air
directly.
The SEC of FD fans are varying between 1.32 and 2.18 kWh/t of air. In 30, 62.5 and 110 MW plants
the FD fan has to handle total air, thus higher SEC compared to 210 and 500 MW plants.
The SEC of ID fans is varying between 1.95 and 3.15 kWh/t of flue gas. At lower load the SEC is
high for 500 MW plant
Figures 3, 4 and 5 show the variation of pressure drop across the air ducts and flue gas ducts.
Figure 3 : Variation of Secondary air pressure
Secondary air Pressure, mmWC

320
280
240
200
160
120

Design value at MCR

80

Fan rated Pressure output = 494 mmWC


Fan pressure reserv e = 44.4 %

40
0
-40
FD fan suction

FD fan discharge

AH inlet

AH outlet

Wind box pressure

Some of the energy conservation measures for fans are as follows:


i.

The air leakage through the air preheater increase the quantity of flue gas and subsequently
increase the power consumption of ID fans and air fans.

ii. Since the flue gas pressure inside the duct is negative, the air ingress is experienced in the
flue gas ducts and ESPs. The air ingress in the duct and furnace will increase the power
consumption of ID fans.
III-15

Rajashekar P. Mandi

iii. The operating air pressure in the secondary air circuit will always be less than the design
value may be due to oversizing of equipment, furnace air ingress, etc.
iv. The operating air pressure in the primary circuit is higher than the design values may be due
to increased pressure drop in the ducts, air pre-heaters and mills. The increased pressure
drop increase the power of PA fans.
v.

The FD fans in most of the plants are oversized and their load factors are in the range of 30 to
50 %. At low load factor the motor efficiency and power factor will be low. Thus in a 210 MW
unit if the existing FD fan motors of 820 kW (load factor of 30 %) are replaced by 320 kW
motors (load factor 81 %), will lead to energy savings of 0.3 MU/year.
Figure 4: Variation of Primary air pressure

Primary air Pressure, mmWC

900

Fan rated Pr. output = 1180 mmWC


Fan pressure reserv e = 30.8 %

800
700
600
500

Design value at MCR

400

299 m m WC
300
200
100

43 m m WC
0
-100

PA fan suction

PA fan discharge

Mill Inlet

DP across AH

DP across Mill

vi. The operating pressure drop in the flue gas circuit is as high as 345 mmWC as against to the
design value of 270 mmWC. This higher pressure drop consume more auxiliary power. This
pressure drop can be reduced by clearing the debris in the ducts.
vii. The increase in excess air flow causes more auxiliary power for ID fans and air fans. 25 %
excess air will increase the ID fan power by 10.2 % and air fans by 3.8 %.
viii. The dust collection efficiency of ESP directly affects the increased power at ID fans.
ix. The leakage in Air preheater cause more power of air fans i.e., a leakage of 10 % will increase
the power of air fans by 9.7 %.
x. Maintaining the motor & fan bearing temperature by applying appropriate cooling system will
reduce the frictional losses.
xi. Maintaining the appropriate clearance between impeller and casing will help in reduction of
auxiliary power.
III-16

Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

Figure 5: Variation of flue gas pressure inside furnace

50
Furnace draft, mmWC

0
-50

Design value at MCR

-100
-150
-200
-250

Fan rated Pressure output = 494 mmWC


Fan pressure reserve = 47.9 %

-300
-350
Furnace

RH inlet

SH finish
inlet

LTSH inlet

ECO inlet

AH inlet

ESP inlet

ID inlet

ID outlet

4.3 Mills
Figure 6 gives the variation of specific energy consumption for mills at different units. It can be seen
from the figure that the SEC is varyiing between 5.31 kWh/t of coal and 15.89 kWh/t of coal.
In older units of 62.5 MW and 110 MW units are provided with drum type tube and ball mills whose
specific energy consumption is normally higher but it gives better performance and there is no mill
rejects. In present days 210 MW units and 500 MW units are provided with bowl mills of XRP type.
The SEC of these mills is lower but if the rolls are not changed intime the out let coal quality will be
poor and gives more mill rejects.
Figure 6 : Variation of SEC of M ills with plant load
17.0

SEC, kWh/t of coal flow

30 MW
15.0
62.5 MW
13.0
11.0
110 MW

9.0
210 MW

7.0

500 MW
5.0
60

70

80

Plant Load, %

III-17

90

100

Rajashekar P. Mandi

The mill SEC can be controlled by:


i. Replacing the bowls with centrifugally cast Ni -hard bowls with properties guranteed for 6000
hours of operation.
ii. Restricting the mill input coal size below 25mm. If the raw coal size is 50 mm at mill inlet the
auxiliary power mill increases by 1.5 %.
iii. The air to fuel ratio in mills may be maintained to the optimum value (i.e., between 1.8 2.0).
iv. Periodic monitoring of coal fineness and adjustment of spring tension.
v.

Grinding the coal to more fine partii.e., more than 70 % below 75 micron size will increase the
mill power. 80 % pulverized coal below 75 microns will increase the mill power by 9 %.

4.4 Crushers and conveyors


The coal will be crushed in two stage crushing (primary crusher & secondary crusher) or single
stage crushing. The two stage crushing is advantages where big lumps of coal and stones are
received. In primary crusher the coal size will be reduced to 100 to 125 mm and in secondary
crusher the coal size will be reduced to 25 mm. In single stage crusher, the coal size will be directly
reduced to 25 mm in single stage. The SEC of these crushers will be higher if the coal size is very
big. Generally in most of the plants adopt two stage crushing. The crushed coal will be transported
either to the coal bunkers directly through different conveyor belts or stored in reclaimation coal
yard for future use.
The SEC of coal handling plant will vary in the range of 1.1 and 1.6 kWh/t of coal. The SEC of coal
crushing and bunkering is varying between 0.7 and 1.2 kWh/t of coal and for re-claimation it is in
the range of 0.5 and 0.7 kWh/t of crushed coal. These SECs are mainly depending on how far the
coal handling plant is situated from the coal bunkers and the quality of the coal received.
The stones in the coal can be separated before passing through the crusher by manually because
the stones in the coal will increase the power consumption of crushers, conveyor motors and finally
mills. The other concept is to use of beneficiated coal. 20 % stones in the coal will increase the
crusher power by 4 % and conveyor motors by 12.3 %.
Table 3 gives the coal size analysis at crushers. It can be seen from the Table that about 78.7 % of
the coal inlet to crusher is below 25 mm which can be by-passed by using the vibratory by-pass
screen at the crusher inlet. This will reduce the power by about 30 %.
Table 3 : Coal particle size analysis at crusher.
Sl.
No.
01.
02.
03.
04.

Particulars
Less tan 12.5 mm
Between 12.5 mm 25 mm
Between 25 mm 125 mm
Above 125 mm
III-18

Before
crusher, %
55.12
23.62
16.54
4.72

After
crusher, %
74.25
18.23
7.52
-

Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

The reduced coal flow through the system, the SEC of crushers and conveyor motors increases.
The SEC of conveyor motors is very sensitive to the variation in coal flow. At 30 % of design coal
flow, the SEC of conveyor motors is doubled (i.e., increased from 0.67 to 1.34) whereas the SEC of
crusher motors is increased by 32 % (i.e., increased from 0.22 to 0.29). Therefore, it is economical
to operate the plant near full load.
Generally, the crusher motors are oversized and the load factors will be in the range of 20 30 %.
The oversizing will reduce the motor efficiency and power factor. The optimum sizing of these
crushers will enhance the energy saving of the order of 0.14 0.18 MU/year with a pay back period
of 3 4 years.
The no load power of crusher motor vary between 4 6 % whereas the no load power of conveyor
motors will be in the range of 8 10 %. But in many cases, the no load power of conveyor motors
will be high because of increased frictional loss, non working of supporting rollers, misalignment of
conveyor motors and drive system, improper ventilation for motors, etc.
The load factors of conveyor motors at full capacity vary between 20 and 60 %. At low load factor,
the motor efficiency and power factor will be poor. In order to improve the motor performance at
part load operation, the intelligent motor controller (POWER BOSS) can be used for these
conveyor motors. These controllers will reduce the energy consumption by 15 20 %.

4.5 LT and HT motors


In a power plant about 92 % of the auxiliary power is being used for induction motors. In which
82.5% accounts for HT motors and 9.5 % for LT motors.
i.

The voltage unbalance at motor input terminal cause more loss in motor i.e., an unbalance of
3 % will increase the motor loss by about 28 %.

ii. The reduced voltage and frequency at the motor input will increase motor losses at the same
power output. 10 % voltage drop will increase the motor loss by 11 % and reduce the starting
torque by 19 %.
iii. The increased motor winding temperature cause more losses in motors. The higher
temperature may be due to improper heat removal (i.e., blocking of air passages by dust) or
by increased eddy current loss (i.e., melting of varnish inbetween the stator core stampings).
iv. The increased frictional losses due to poor heat removal at lub oil coolers. The cleaning of
lube oil coolers and adequate quantity of cooling medium will reduce the frictional losses.

4.6 Distribution system


Considering the variation of auxiliary power with time for a typical day, the peak demand coinciding
with the grid peak demand can be off-set by de-energizing non-essential loads and staggering the
operation of bottom ashing, coal handling, etc., during peak hours.
III-19

Rajashekar P. Mandi

The power factor of auxiliary power is 0.80 to 0.83 (lag.) and can be improved by installing capacitor
banks. In a 210 MW plant, the estimated capacitor banks of about 12.5 MVAR will improve the
power factor to near unity and will reduce the in-house demand from 23.53 MVA to 19.54 MVA.
Capacitive compensation not only releases the MVA to the grid but also reduces the network I2R
losses and losses in transformers by about 13.3 % of total distribution losses (2.2 % of total
auxiliary power).
Power losses in transformers account for 12.8 % of total auxiliary power. Table 4 gives the load
factors of station auxiliary transformers for a 210 MW plant. The load factors vary between 3.6 %
and 50.3 %. Each transformer is provided with a stand-by transformer which will be charged on the
primary and provided with auto signal on secondary. It is suggested to de-energise the stand-by
transformer on the primary side and divert the load of all less loaded transformers on to a single
transformer whose load factor should be near to full load but should not exceed the full load. This
leads to power savings of 0.54 MW (2.8 % of total auxiliary power).
Table 4 : Load factors of auxiliary transformers.
Sl. ParticuNo. lars

Voltage,
kV

Rating, Load
MVA factor, %

Sl.
ParticuNo. lars

Voltage,
kV

Rating,
MVA

Load
factor, %

SST 1

6.6/0.415

1.60

12.9

13

A/C T 1

6.6/0.415

2.00

5.7

SST 2

6.6/0.415

1.60

17.9

14

A/C T 2

6.6/0.415

2.00

22.9

SST 3

6.6/0.415

1.60

9.3

15

A/C T 3

6.6/0.415

2.00

16.0

SST 4

6.6/0.415

1.60

5.7

16

A/C T 4

6.6/0.415

2.00

22.9

DMT 1

6.6/0.415

1.25

17

AHST 1

6.6/0.415

2.00

28.6

DMT 2

6.6/0.415

1.25

50.3

18

AHST 2

6.6/0.415

2.00

29.7

LT 1

6.6/0.415

0.315

30.8

19

AHST 3

6.6/0.415

2.00

40.0

LT 2

6.6/0.415

0.315

38.1

20

AHST 4

6.6/0.415

2.00

30.9

LT 3

6.6/0.415

0.315

23.6

21

CHPT A

6.6/0.415

1.60

7.6

10

LT 4

6.6/0.415

0.315

25.4

22

CHPT B

6.6/0.415

1.60

7.2

11

CWPT 1

6.6/0.415

1.25

23

CHPT C

6.6/0.415

1.60

12

CWPT 2

6.6/0.415

1.25

11.0

4.7 Lighting
Lighting is the most visible form of electricity consumption and lighting load in power plant accounts
for 5 7 % of auxiliary power. By increasing the efficiency of lighting system will have certainly
significant energy saving and improvement in the lighting level. A good lighting system design is to
increase the specific power consumption per illumination level index which can achieved by; use of
more efficient lighting source, suitable to the specific visual task; use of proper luminaries and
III-20

Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

control gear; proper maintenance and automatic scheduling of the lamp groups; proper architectural
design of the plant to utilise the day light to the maximum extent.
Some of the energy conservation measures in lighting system are as follows:
i.

Use of LED lamps for indicating lamps will reduce the energy consumption.

ii. Use of compact fluorescent lamps in place of incandescent lamps, reduce the lighting energy
by 70 %.
iii. Use of mirror optic fluorescent lamps increase the lighting level by considerably.
iv. Use of HPSV lamps in place of MPSV lamps reduce the energy consumption by 60 %.
v.

As the lighting level is inversely proportional to square of the distance, optimizing the height of
lamp will aid in reduction of lighting energy.

vi. Use of electronic ballasts for discharge lamps, reduce the energy consumption by 20 %.
vii. Installation of intelligent lighting controller will help in controlling the lighting energy.
viii. Discharge lamps consume the rated power during starting only, afterwards a small portion of
the power is required for the lamp to maintain the lighting level and the rest of the power is
being dissipated in energizing the ballast. Therefore, the installation BEBLEC lighting
controller will reduce the energy consumption by 20 %.
ix. Use of photo sensor switch for street light controlling helps in conserving the lighting energy.
x. Installation of auto cut-off switch to put off lights during lunch hours at the office buildings
will reduce the lighting energy.
xi. At street lights, in many places, the reflectors inside the HPSV fittings are damaged, it is
suggested to replace the fittings with anodised aluminium reflectors. This will improve the
lighting level by 20-25 %.
xii. The bifurcation of the lighting circuits in plant area into three or four groups based on the
requirement and installing a intelligent lighting controller will lead to energy saving of the order
0.3 0.4 MU/year with a pay back period of 13 15 months. The different circuits may be:
a) Continuos operation : Continuously charged.
b) Night time operation : Charged during night hours through photo sensor switch.
c) Lighting for maintenance : Charged while attending the faults and other maintenance
activities.
d) Lighting for overhaul time : Charged for activities during overhaul.

III-21

Rajashekar P. Mandi

5.0 CONCLUSIONS
The main conclusions from the study are as follows:
i.

Introduction of scoop coupling for BF pumps and ID fans will enhance the power generation
by 0.2 - 0.6 % of plant load in 30 MW and 62.5 MW units and ensuring the no passing in recirculation valve by perfect valve seat will save the energy.

ii. Reduction of hydrodynamic resistance of pipelines and ducts will reduce the energy
consumption at BF pumps, CE pumps, ID fans, FD fans and PA fans.
iii. Minimization of furnace ingress and air leakage through APH and ducts will reduce the auxiliary
power by about 0.2 to 0.6 %.
iv. Ensuring of correct size of coal at mill inlet i.e., below 25 mm and periodic adjustment of
spring setting at mills, periodic monitoring of mill fineness and mill rejects and corrective
action at intime will reduce the auxiliary power by about 0.1 to 0.4 %.
v.

Minimizing of voltage unbalance and maintaining the adequate level of voltage at motor
terminals, keeping the winding temperature and bearing temperature to minimum level by
periodic maintenance will reduce the motor losses by about 20 to 30 %.

vi. Peak demand reduction, capacitive power compensation and higher loading of transformers
will reduce the network and transformer I2R losses by about 4.0 % of the total auxiliary power.
vii. The overall energy conservation of the scheme will yield to reduction of auxiliary power
consumption from 9.3 % to 8.2 % at rated load in a 210 MW plant and energy savings of
15.84 MU/year.

6.0 REFERENCES
1. Srivastava, Indian power development scenario a success story, but ahead lies the challenge,
Electrical India, Vol. No. 37, Issue No.15, 15th August 1997, pp. 15-28.
2. Siddhartha Bhatt M. and Mandi R.P., Performance enhancement in coal fired thermal power
plants, part III: Auxiliary power, International Journal of Energy Research, No.23, 1999,
pp.779-804.
3. CPRI, 2002, Instrumented & Diagnostic Energy audit at Firoz Gandhi Unchahar Thermal
Power Project, Unchahar, Report No: ERC/PS/02/2002, pp. 1 138 .
4. Rajashekar P. Mandi, R.K. Hegde & S.N. Sinha, Performance Enhancement of Cooling
Towers in Thermal Power Plants through Energy Conservation, published at
International conference on POWERTECH 2005 at St. Petersburg, Russia, Organized by
IEEE Power Engineering Society, 27-30 June, 2005. paper No. #461.
5. CPRI, 2000, Instrumented & Diagnostic Energy audit at Raichur Thermal Power Station, KPCL,
Raichur, Report No: ERC/PS/25/1999, pp. 1 71.
III-22

Improvement in energy efficiency of auxiliary equipment in TPS

BIO-DATA OF AUTHOR
Rajashekar P. Mandi is working as Engineering Officer in Central Power
Research Institute, Bangalore since 1989. He received M.Tech. degree in
Energy Systems Engineering from Visweswaraiah Technological University,
Belgaum.
His industrial experience includes energy auditing and energy conservation in
thermal power plants, process industries, industrial establishments and
electrical distribution system. His research interests include renewable energy
systems, energy conservation, strengthening of electrical distribution systems, etc. He has published
more than 30 technical papers in International & Indian Journals, Conferences & Seminars in the
field of energy conservation and renewable energy systems.

III-23

National Symposium on Energy Conservation Measures in Generating Sector, Nov. 17-18, 2005, Bangalore

APPLICATION OF AC DRIVE TECHNOLOGY


IN THERMAL POWER PLANTS
Prachi Rao, V. Nagesh Rao, S. Chandrashekar
Subhash K. Iyengar & Rajiv Puri
Drives, Power Supplies & Traction Electronics Dept.,
BHEL-Electronics Division, Bangalore 560 026
Phone: 080 26744531 Fax: 080 26740137
ABSTRACT: This paper describes the various applications of Variable Frequency AC
Drives in Thermal Power Plants including case studies of possible applications of
VFDs in new areas in Thermal Power Plants.
Using Variable Frequency Drives for flow control is an attractive techno-economic
solution. The VFDs can be used for Induced Draft, Forced Draft, and Primary Air fans,
Boiler Feed Pumps, Condensate Extraction Pumps and Circulating Water Pumps as
long as these are radial or centrifugal type. A number of technical advantages, like
soft starting, increased life of mechanical equipment due to absence of jerks during
start, unlimited number of starts, zero current contribution to grid faults, no inrush
current at start, lower overall system noise etc has been discussed.
A number of power plants in India are using Variable Frequency Drives. A power
saving analysis done for some of the power plants using VFDs for ID fan application is
compared with actual site re-sults. Use of VFDs for Boiler Feed Pump and power
savings calculation for a power plant in India is discussed. Typical analysis for a
Condensate Extraction Pump is included at Table 5.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
The cost of electricity generation has been going up with time and the demand of electricity has
outstripped the availability. Energy conservation has become a key factor in the fields of utilization,
trans-mission and generation. Industries and Utilities have become appreciative of reducing the
consumption of power. Variable Frequency Drives have become popular for fans, pumps and
compressors because of the safety margins kept during the design stage to take care of the
uncertainties. This forces the equipment to operate at lower than rated capacity (and efficiency)
even during the base load operation of the plant.
In a power plant, the margins kept during selection of fans and pumps are even higher. Power
consumption in auxiliaries of a coal based power plant is of the order of 6 to 8%.To reduce
auxiliary power consumption, losses in air/flue gas and water/steam flow paths because of
mechanical flow control de-vices shall be reduced.
In a coal fired thermal power plant, there are basically two flow paths viz.
- Air / Flue gas path
III-24

Application of AC drive technology in thermal power plants

- Water/ Steam path


The major power consuming auxiliaries in the air/flue gas path are Induced Draft (ID) fans, Forced
Draft (FD) fans & Primary Air (PA) fans with ID fans being the biggest consumer of power. Boiler
Feed Pumps (BFP), Condensate Extraction Pumps (CEP) and Circulating Water (CW) pumps are
the major auxiliaries in the water/steam path and among them BFPs are the biggest consumers of
power.
Hitherto, it has been common practice to use constant speed induction motor for fans with inlet
guide vane/ outlet damper/ hydraulic coupling for control of air/flue gas. In case of inlet guide vane/
outlet damper, due to increase in the system resistance, lot of energy is wasted resulting in a low
system efficiency. In case of a hydraulic coupling, the efficiency of the coupling itself is very low,
approximately equal to the ratio of output speed to input speed. In the case of a VFD, speed of the
motor is varied rather than varying the system resistance for changing the operating point. Since
the power is proportional to cube of speed there will be an appreciable saving in power consumption,
especially when the fans/ pumps are required to operate at low loads. Efficiency of hydraulic coupling
is very poor at reduced speeds (at 50% speed efficiency will be less than 50 %). Because of design
margins, the ID fans normally operate at around 70% of rated loads even when the power plant is
operating at its rated capacity, thus making the available mechanical means for flow control highly
inefficient.
Typical efficiency curves of VFD, hydraulic coupling, inlet guide vane and outlet damper or throttling
are shown in Figure 1.
Variable Frequency Drives for Induced Draft Fans are
in operation in a number of utilities like Tata Electric
100
LOAD
Companies, Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board
CO MMUTAT ED
INV ERTER
IN LET
(APSEB), National Thermal Power Corporation,
80
DR IV E
GU ID E
V A NE
Maharashtra State Electricity Board etc. Experience and
operating confidence gained in VFDs for ID fan drives
60
in Indian Power Plants have paved the way for use of
40
HY D R AU LIC
VFD for biggest auxiliary drive in fluid path, namely
COU PL ING
OU TLET
Boiler Feed Pump. The first Boiler Feed Water pump
D AMP ER O R
20
THROTT LIN G
with a Variable Speed Drive has been in service at
Kothagudem Thermal Power Station of APGENCO
since 1997. It was decided to carry out measurements
20
40
60
80
10 0
at some of these sites for ID Fan Drives and site results
% SPE ED / FL OW
are presented here. Comparison of energy consumed
Figure 1 : Efficiency Curves of
by VFD driven ID fans vis-a-vis other alternatives used
Various Flow Control Devices
in earlier identical rated units at the same stations is
presented. Normally FD Fans are axial type and VFDs
are not recommended to be used. Fan design margins kept in PA fans and their flow variation is
% EF FICIEN C Y

III-25

Prachi Rao, V. Nagesh Rao, S. Chandrashekar, Subhas K. Iyengar & Rajiv Puri

much lower compared to ID Fans. However, it is desirable to check the economics on case to case
basis prior to selection of the type of drive.
Experience and operating confidence gained in VFDs for ID Fan drives in Indian Power Plants
have paved the way for use of VFD for the biggest auxiliary drive in fluid path, namely Boiler Feed
Pump. A techno-economic analysis for a typical 250 MW thermal power plant station under normal
and sliding pressure operation is presented. Description of VFDs and precautions required are
discussed below.

2.0 LOAD COMMUTATED INVERTER


LCI VFD is a variable speed mechanism which adjusts the fan or pump speed so as to get the
desired output. In this type of drive system, flow demand signal is received from the control system
due to change in load conditions and the system adjusts the speed of the motor to the desired level
resulting in optimum power consumption. Apart from saving in operational cost due to reduced
power consumption, VFD offers major intangible benefits like:
a

Absence of voltage dip problems associated with Direct On Line starting of large motors
since the starting current in this drive is limited to about 100% of the motor full load
current.

Increased motor life due to the lower thermal and mechani-cal stresses in view of the
absence of starting inrush currents and reduced speed operation.

No limitation on the number of starts.

No contribution to fault current.

LCI type VFD can be either (6 pulse) single channel type (Figure 2) or (12 pulse) dual channel type
(Figure 3). Each channel consists of an isolating transformer, source converter, DC link inductor
and load converter. In a single channel type VFD, synchro-nous motor will have one winding
whereas in dual channel type VFD, the synchronous motor will have two windings, one for each
channel. The source side converter operates in rectifier mode whereas the load side converter
operates in inverter mode. Commu-tation VARs for source side converter is taken from the source
whereas leading VARs produced by the synchronous motor is used for commutation of load side
converter. The DC link inductor effectively isolates load side frequency and source side frequency
and smoothens DC Link Current.
The demand signal received from the control system prompts the source side converter to provide
the required current to the DC link inductor at the DC voltage level set by the load side converter.
Thus the source side converter plus the DC link inductor become a current source controller to the
motor. The motor torque, frequency (hence speed), and voltage level get adjusted to the load
requirements.
The choice of (6 pulse) single channel or (12 pulse) dual channel VFD depends on harmonics that
are allowed to be injected into the grid and whether a redundant fan/pump is available.
III-26

Application of AC drive technology in thermal power plants

A 12 pulse system is recommended where lower harmonic injection is desired (weak grids) and
fan/pump redundancy is not available. The components in each channel can be rated for desired
capac-ity and hence in case of dual channel, redundancy can be built into the VFD system. A 6
pulse system, because of lower cost, is recommended where redundant fan/pump is available and
the grid is strong.

3.0 ID FANS FOR 500 MW UNITS AT TROMBAY GENERATING STATION


Tata Electric Companies Trombay generating station-B has two numbers 500 MW units, Unit No.5
and Unit No.6. Both the units have 4 numbers of 33-1/3% rated ID fans of identical ratings. Flue
gas is controlled by outlet dampers in ID fans of
unit 5 whereas this function is achieved in unit 6
by LCI.
Dual channel 12 pulse VFD was specified for
this plant. Each channel was rated such that with
three ID Fans running and only one channel in
each VFD in operation, it was possible to operate
the boiler at its rated capacity. Synchronous
motor was specified with class F insulation with
temperature rise limited to class B under 12
pulse operation and limited to class F operation
under 6 pulse operation.
Equipment connected with LCI were located in
a separate building close to the ID fans. The
layout of the equipment is shown in Figure 4.
The equipment belonging to two channels for a
drive have been installed in two different rows
with sufficient clearance between them. Line side
and load side converter panels are installed in
an air conditioned room for trouble free
operation.

3.1 Site Measurements


To compare power consumption of ID fans of unit 5 (controlled by damper) and unit 6 (controlled by
LCI), site measurements were taken at various generating points. These readings indicate an
annual power saving to the tune of 23 MU (Table 1I) for these 2050 KW LCI drives.

4.0 ID FANS FOR 210 MW UNITS AT VIJAYWADA


Units 3 and 4 at Vijayawada Thermal Power Station of APGENCO are 210 MW units, each having
two 1600 KW, 710 RPM ID fans. Unit 3 ID fans are driven by squirrel cage induction motors and
III-27

Prachi Rao, V. Nagesh Rao, S. Chandrashekar, Subhas K. Iyengar & Rajiv Puri

Figure 4: Layout for 12 Pulse VFDs for ID fans


hydrau-lic couplings are provided for speed control. Unit 4 ID fans are provided with LCI. Power
savings due to use of LCIs works out to an annual average of 3 MU (Table 2).

5.0 BOILER FEED PUMPS FOR 250 MW UNITS


Table 3 gives a detailed techno-economic analysis for use of VFD for Boiler Feed Pump operations.
Table 1:ID fan drive Tata Electric Company, Mumbai

The analysis is based on design parameters for a typical 250 MW unit. Again taking 7200 hours as
the operating time per year and 2400 oper-ating hours each at 100%, 80% and 60% of the
maximum generat-ing capacity, energy saved per year works out to 3.8 MU. If sliding pressure
operation for the boiler is considered, 5.1 MU of energy is saved per year (Table 4).
III-28

Application of AC drive technology in thermal power plants

Table 2: ID fan drive Vijayawada 2x210 MW TPS, M/s. APGENCO

Table 3: Techno-economic analysis of 6 pulse VFD over hydraulic coupling for 250 MW
BFP drives (constant pressure operation) Motor rating : 3900 kW, 5300 rpm, No. of BFPs
per boiler : three
SL.NO
MCR (PERCENT)
SPEED (RPM)
FLOW (PER HOUR)
PRESSURE (MLC)
1

3
4

5
6
7
8
9

10
11
12
13

POWER INPUT TO
PUMP SHAFT FOR
ONE BFP (KW)
HYDRAULIC COUPLING
EFFICIENCY (INCLUDES
GEAR BOX LOSS) %
INDUCTION MOTOR
EFFICIENCY (%)
EFFICIENCY OF VFD
INCLUDING SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR (%)
POWER DRAWN FROM
GRID / BFP (KW)
POWER DRAWN FROM
GRID BY TWO BFPs (KW)
OPERATING HOURS
ENERGY CONSUMED
BY TWO BFPs (MW. HR)
ENERGY CONSUMED
BY AIR CONDITIONER,
AUXILIARIES (MW.HR)
TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMED / YEAR (MW.HR)
RUNNING ENERGY COST
AT RUPEE 2.00/KW.HR
SAVINGS IN ENERGY
COST / YEAR
PAYBACK PERIOD
OF VFD

HYDRAULIC COUPLING
60%
80 %
100%
4459
4596
4815
221
293
367
1780
1860
1965

60%
4459
221
1780

1398

1693

2141

1398

0.793

0.825

0.871

0.940

0.945

0.950

VFD SYSTEM
80 %
100%
4596
4815
293
367
1860
1965
1693

2141

0.900

0.905

0.910

1875

2172

2588

1553

1871

2353

3750

4344

5176

3106

3742

4706

2400
9000

2400
10426

2400
12423

2400
7455

2400
8981

2400
11295

120

_______31849_________
63.7 MILLION RUPEES

120

_______28091_________
56.18 MILLION RUPEES

7.52 MILLION RUPEES


APPROXIMATELY 6.7 YEARS

III-29

120

Prachi Rao, V. Nagesh Rao, S. Chandrashekar, Subhas K. Iyengar & Rajiv Puri

Table 4: Techno-economic analysis of 6 pulse VFD over hydraulic coupling for 250 MW
BFPdrives (sliding pressure operation) Motor rating : 3900 kW, 5300 rpm, No. of BFP per
boiler : three
SL.NO

3
4

5
6
7
8
9

10
11
12
13

HYDRAULIC COUPLING

VFD SYSTEM

MCR (PERCENT)
SPEED (RPM)

60%
3493

80 %
4119

100% 60%
4746 3493

80 %
4119

100%
4746

POWER INPUT TO
PUMP SHAFT FOR
ONE BFP (KW)
HYDRAULIC COUPLING
EFFICIENCY (INCLUDES
GEAR BOX LOSS) %
INDUCTION MOTOR
EFFICIENCY (%)
EFFICIENCY OF VFD
INCLUDING SYNCHRONOUS MOTOR (%)
POWER DRAWN FROM
GRID / BFP (KW)
POWER DRAWN FROM
GRID BY TWO BFPs (KW)
OPERATING HOURS
ENERGY CONSUMED
BY TWO BFPs (MW. HR)
ENERGY CONSUMED
BY AIR CONDITIONER,
AUXILIARIES (MW.HR)
TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMED / YEAR (MW.HR)
RUNNING ENERGY COST
AT RUPEE 2.00/KW.HR
SAVINGS IN ENERGY
COST / YEAR
PAYBACK PERIOD
OF VFD

734

1265

2021

1265

2021

0.609

0.734

0.858

0.920

0.937

0.948

734

0.870

0.895

0.910

1310

1839

2485

844

1413

2221

2620

3678

4970

1688

2826

4442

2400
6288

2400
8827

2400 2400
11928 4051

2400
6783

2400
10661

120

_______27043_________
54.08 MILLION RUPEES

120

120

_______21855_________
43.68 MILLION RUPEES

10.4 MILLION RUPEES


APPROXIMATELY 6.25 YEARS

6.0 ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF VFD


6.1 Environment/Layout
As the modern day VFDs are all microprocessor based sys-tems capable of self diagnostics, it
is recommended to house them in an air-conditioned room for a long trouble free opera-tion. VFDs
III-30

Application of AC drive technology in thermal power plants

have forced cooling fans, the noise pollu-tion because of the cooling fans need to be taken care of.
Past experience has shown that a duct should be provided to throw the hot air from the VFDs
above false ceiling of VFD room to reduce noise. The layout should be such that control panels are
housed separately from the thyristor/cooling fan panels.

6.2 Harmonics & Torsional Analysis


Because of the phase controlled thyristors, cur-rent harmonics are generated and fed to the grid.
IEEE lists down the dis-tortion factor (DF) allowed on different buses. DF shall be limited to less
than 5% on a power plant bus. It is essential that a harmonic analysis study be carried out on VFD
grid and user shall be advised to connect harmonic filters, if required. A feature of converter fed
drives is the presence of oscillating harmonic torque superimposed upon the steady torque of
the synchronous motor. It is necessary that the effect of these harmonic torques be calculated by
doing torsional analysis.

7.0 OTHER APPLICATIONS OF VFDS


7.1 Large Pumps Startup and Synchronization to grid
The first indigenously designed and manufactured 4 KV, 7.5 MW, Static Frequency Converter has
been commissioned at Srisailam Left Bank Canal. This is Asias largest lift irrigation project. This
starting system consists of a converter to convert AC Voltage to DC Voltage, a DC Link and an
inverter to convert DC to a variable frequency, variable voltage AC output. The output is connected
to a 18 MW, 11 KV, synchronous motor for smooth starting without any inrush current. SFC takes
power from the supply grid at constant voltage and constant frequency, and converts it into power
of variable voltage and frequency in order to start and accelerate the synchronous machine. The
machine is then synchronized to the supply grid after matching motor voltage/frequency to grid
values and SFC is disconnected. The starting equipment is suitable to start four motors one after
the other.

7.2 Pumped Storage Scheme


Static Frequency Converter for Pumped Storage has been supplied by BHEL for Srisailam Left
Bank Project. This system is rated at 13.8 KV, 18.5 MVA capable of starting 6 machines one after
the other. These machines can operate either in Pump-mode or in Turbine-mode depending on the
load requirement. In the daytime when the load is higher the machines work as turbines and during
the night they operate as pumps. This SFC system uses a water cooling system.This type of Static
Frequency Converter enables meeting of peak power requirement during daytime by utilizing excess
power available during night time.

7.3 Gas Turbine Starting


VFD equipment can also used for Gas-Turbine starting. Gas Turbines can either be soft started by
using a pony motor or by using SFC. SFC is normally preferred for bigger frame Turbines (greater
III-31

Prachi Rao, V. Nagesh Rao, S. Chandrashekar, Subhas K. Iyengar & Rajiv Puri

than 150 MW).The Alternator is soft started by SFC and accelerated till it gets into Generation
mode.

7.4 New Areas of VFD Application


A study was carried out in 250MW & 500MW Thermal Power plant to explore new areas of VFD
application.
Typical List of HT Motors used in 500MW TPP is listed below
11KV

3.3KV

MDBFP : 10MW

FD FAN : 1175KW

ID FAN : 4MW

CE PUMP : 760KW

CW PUMP : 3170KW

BCW,ECW PUMP : 350KW

PA FAN : 2450KW

COMPRESSORS, BELT CONVEYORS, MILLS

Auxiliary losses in 500MW TPP are approximately 6 7 %. Based on the exhaustive data collected
and experience in power plants worldwide the following are the possible new areas for VFD
application.
1.
2.
3.

PA Fans (Radial Type only)


Circulating Water Pump
Condensor Extraction Pump

Detailed techno economic analysis is shown in Table 5.

Table 5: Techno-economic analysis for VFD drive option


for CEP for 2x500 MW and 2x250 MW power plants
Particulars
2x500 MW
2x250 MW
Unit
Unit
NO. OF CEP in operation
2
2
Total power for 2 pumps with
constant speed operation at
1370 kW
550 kW
TMCR
Total power for 2 pumps with
variable speed operation (VFD)
1117 kW
460 kW
at TMCR
Power saving for 2 CEPs
253 kW
90 kW
Power saving for 1 CEP
126.5 kW
45 kW
Savings in energy costs per year
Rs 20.24
(8000 operating hours at Rs.
Rs 7.20 lakhs
lakhs
2/kWh)
2.5 years
3 years
Payback period for 1 CEP with
(Approx.)
(Approx.)
VFD
III-32

Application of AC drive technology in thermal power plants

8.0 LOWER POWER RANGE VFDS USING IGBTS


The above description was basically for Load Commutated Inverter Drives using Synchronous
Motors in the power range above 1 MW. The lower rating VFDs using IGBTs has a number of
advantages, one of them being the use of a simple induction motor for vertical applications. A
number of VFDs upto 630 KW for LT Motors are in use in power plants / steam generators. These
VFDs use IGBT based PWM Voltage Source Inverters. The power rating of VFDs in LT range can
be extended upto 1 MW rating so that solution is available for complete power range. A power
saving analysis has been done from site measured data for ID Fan for Renusagar TPS. The same
is included at Table 6 and has resulted in a saving of 1.4 MU with a 2 years payback period for 8000
hours of operation / year.
Table 6: Techno-economic analysis for VFD for ID fan
at Unit #9 & #10 2x84 MW (2x320 tph) Renusagar TPS - IGBT based VFD drive
Particulars

Power for DOL start, (kW) Power for VFD, (kW) Power saving, (kW)

ID fan 9A

348

175

173

ID fan 9B

348

179

169

ID fan 10A

348

155

193

ID fan 10B

348

171

177

These drives can be easily employed for Condensate Extraction Pumps (CEP). A typical analysis
indicates a saving of 2 MU for a 500 MW power plant and 0.7 MU for a 250 MW power plant.

9.0 CONCLUSION
The use of Variable frequency drives for ID fans (in place of modulating damper or hydraulic
coupling) and for Boiler feed pumps (in place of gear box and hydraulic coupling) in a power
plant reduces the auxiliary power consumption approxi-mately by 10% at peak generation and by
15 % at 60 % generation. The payback periods for the additional investment are quite attractive.
However, provision of space is an additional requirement.
Harmonic analysis and torsional analysis must be carried out and corrective measures taken, if
required.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The authors are thankful to M/s Tata Electric Companies, M/s Tata
Consulting Engineers, M/s Hindalco Renusagar and APGENCO for providing the data used in this
paper. The authors are also thankful to BHEL management for allowing the publication of this
paper.

III-33

National Symposium on Energy Conservation Measures in Generating Sector, Nov. 17-18, 2005, Bangalore

ENERGY CONSERVATION OPPORTUNITIES


IN COAL PULVERISERS
N. Rajkumar & K.R.C.Nair
Energy Research Centre, Central Power Research Institute,
Thiruvananthapuram 695 017
Phone : +91 471 2596004, FAX: +91 471 2599687, email: cpriraj@yahoo.co.uk
ABSTRACT: The performance test on various pulverisers of thermal power station
was studied and the common problems encountered by the Indian thermal power
stations are described in this paper. Based on the findings, various opportunities for
energy conservation and performance optimization in coal pulverisers in thermal power
stations are discussed.
Key words: Pulverisers, thermal power station, coal flow balancing

1.0 INTRODUCTION
The pulverizing process in a thermal power station is composed of several stage. The very first is
the feeding system which regulates the feed rate to the steam generator according to demand and
the air rates for drying and transporting the pulverized coal to the burner. The next stage is drying.
These dryers are an integral part of the pulverisers. The primary air from the air pre-heater is
forced into the pulveriser at 300C or higher, by the primary air fan. There it is mixed with the coal,
as it is being circulated and ground. This equipment is the pulveriser, also called grinding mill.
Grinding is accomplished by impact, attrition, crushing or combinations of these. The pulverisers
are classified [1] as follows:
1. Low speed

- below 75 rpm; the ball-tube mills

2. Medium speed

- 75 to 225 rpm; the ball and race and roll and race mill

3. High speed

- above 225 rpm; the impact or hammer mill and the attrition mill

2.0 BACKGROUND
Pulverising constitutes 8.4 % of the auxiliary power consumption in a coal fired thermal power
station among the in-house auxiliaries [2]. Based on the earlier studies carried out over 22 thermal
power stations by M.S.Bhatt et al [2], the operating specific energy consumption ranges from 7.75
to9 8.55 kWh/t for bowl mills, 10.20 to 23.00 kWh/t for drum mills and 8.40 to 10.25 kWh/t for ball
and race mills. The other study carried established a specific technology and reference equipment
(EMIR II) for a more accurate and easier characterization coal and air supplies to the boiler. Further
reductions in mill energy consumption of up to 10% have already been achieved, with potential
reductions in fan consumption of over 25%. Furthermore, reductions in unit heat rate of up to 1%
have been reached by milling and boiler adjustments, with significant reductions in NOx emissions
(up to 30%)[3].
III-34

3.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


The optimum performance requirement for pulveriser is given in Table 1. The predicted performance
parameters for different pulverisers are given in Table 2. The typical performance parameters of a
pulveriser are given in Table 3. The pulverized coal samples were collected iso-kinetically using an
iso-kinetic coal sampler as per ASTM procedure.
The typical coal flow percentage in each corner of a thermal power station steam generator is given
in Figure 1. From figure 1 it can be observed that the coal flow is varying from corner to corner.
The typical coal flow balance is given in Figure 2. From figure 2 it can be seen that the percentage
deviation of the pulverized coal flow from the mean is more than 10 % as described in Table 1.
35

80
% Deviation from mean

Coal flow, %

30
25
20
15
10
5

Pipe: C
Pipe: D

0
1

Cor n er

Elevation A
Elevation B

60
40
20
0
Corner 1

Corner 2

Corner 3

Corner 4

-20
-40

Coal pipe

Figure 2: Coal flow balance for a Mill

Figure 1: Coal flow deviation of a m ill

Table 1: Optimum mill performance requirements


Sl.
No.

Particular

Unit

Value

01

Clean air balance

2.00

02

Coal flow balance

10.00

03

Dirty air flow balance

5.00

04

Air to fuel ratio

1.80

05

Fineness (Passing through 75 micron mesh)

75.00

06

Fineness (Retained on 300 micron mesh)

0.3

This kind of situation was observed in the present study in most of the thermal power stations. This
is mainly due to.
1.

Fixed coal equivalisation nozzles are not monitored and maintained

2.

In most of the power stations, only clean air flow test is carried out and dirty air flow (coal
and air two phase flow) is not carried out due to lack of instrumentation and hence the
unbalance goes unnoticed
III-35

N. Rajkumar & K.R.C.Nair

Table 2 : Predicted mill performance parameters for 100 % MCR


Sl.
No.

Particular

01

Type

XRP, pressurized, bowl mill


pressurized,

BBD, double
ended, ball
tube mill

02

Dirty air flow

t/h

56.00

130.92

03

Coal flow

t/h

28.6

74.25

04

Air to fuel ratio

1.96

1.76

05

Coal air mixture temperature

65 95

85.00

06

Fineness ( -75 micron)

70.00

76.00

07

Raw coal Grindability

HGI

45

58.00

08

Raw coal moisture

8 - 12

12.00

Unit

Value

3.

Online corrective action cannot be taken in fixed coal equivalisation nozzles

4.

Coal line and burner line erosion

5.

Eroded fixed coal flow-equivalisation nozzles

This kind of situation shall lead to


1.

High NOx emissions

2.

High residual carbon in fly ash and bottom ash

3.

High tube metal hotspots and tube failure

4.

Increased coal line puncture and leakage of pulverized coal

Other problems encountered are.


1.

The percentage of pulverized coal passing through 75 micron mesh (200 No. mesh {BSS
and ASTM}) is varying widely from 50 to 80%

2.

The raw coal fed to the mills is having a high percentage of coal larger than 25mm.

4.0 REMEDIAL MEASURES


The remedial measures for energy conservation and performance optimization of pulverisers are
as follows:
III-36

Energy conservation opportunities in coal pulverisers

Table 3 : Performance parameters of Mills


Sl. Particular
No.

Unit

Elevation A
Corner

Elevation B
Corner

24.31

22.90

25.61

25.26 24.41

23.09

9.19

13.09

7.78

7.80

6.96

16.05

2.65

1.75

3.29

3.24

3.51

1.44

2.68

-0.77

-6.14

01 Dirty air flow

t/h

23.53

22.46

02 Total dirty air flow

t/h

93.20

98.37

03 Coal flow

t/h

9.72

12.86

04 Total coal flow

t/h

44.86

38.59

05 Air to fuel ratio

2.42

1.75

06 Air to fuel ratio of the


mill

2.08

2.55

07 % deviation of dirty
air flow from mean

0.99

-3.61

4.33

-1.72

4.11

08 % deviation of coal
flow from mean

-13.33

14.62

-18.01

16.72

-19.37

-19.16 -27.87

66.39

09 Fineness (-75 micron) %

68.60

58.74

64.00

74.60

68.40

78.00 60.60

66.40

10 Fineness
(+300 micron)

0.80

0.50

0.30

0.50

0.60

0.40

0.30

11 Power

kW

12 Specific energy
consumption

kWh/t

0.40

1250.00

14.98

4.1 Operational optimization


1.

Crusher screens must be maintained properly to ensure that the oversized raw cola particle
of size larger than 25 mm is not conveyed for bunkering. This will reduce energy
consumption required for milling

2.

Adjustment of the classifiers of mills based on the operating coal fineness

3.

All types of mills must be loaded optimally. During part load operation, mill operation
must be taken on manual control to ensure high loading rates in individual mills

4.

In drum-type ball mills, minimize the ball charge hold up when the coal quality is better,
ensuring a mill inlet air temperature of 300C and mill outlet fuel-air temperature of
85-90C
III-37

N. Rajkumar & K.R.C.Nair

5.

In medium speed large ball and race mills, balls of 660 mm can be allowed to reduce to
585 mm at which point a filler ball is to be inserted. When the size is below 560-570 mm,
the balls must be replaced. The gap between the ring and throat must be adjusted to 10
mm. The pressure of the tempering air must be lowered to ensure a high fuel air mixture
temperature at the mill outlet.

4.2 Technology options


1.

The pulverized coal flow unbalancing can be overcome by using fixed geometry devices
such as combined riffle and egg box bifurcator or variable geometry devices such as
foster wheeler or variable orifice dampers[4]

2.

Online pulverized fuel flow meters based on electrostatic, acoustic and microwave-based
technologies can be used to optimize the mill performance.

3.

Alternatively, the iso-kinetic sampling and coal flow measurement can be made using
dirty pitot tube (as per ASTM) or rotary probe (as per ISO: 9931) on a defined schedule to
monitor the mill performance.

5.0 CONCLUSIONS
The main conclusions of the study is, by making use of the operational optimization and various
technology options, the pulveriser performance can be improved. This will in turn improve the
energy efficiency of the milling system and reduce the auxiliary power consumption.

6.0 REFERENCES
1.

El-Wakil M.M., Powerplant Technology International Edition 1985, McGraw-Hill


Book Company, Singapore, pp. 135.

2.

Siddhartha Bhatt M. and Mandi R.P., Performance enhancement in coal fired thermal
power plants, part III: Auxiliary power, International Journal of Energy Research, No.23,
1999, pp.779-804

3.

Salvador-Camacho L., Rodriiguez F., Cortes V., Canadas L., Albaladejo J.L. and Otero
P., Cost reduction in coal fired power stations through optimization of milling systems
Sixth international conference on technologies and combustion for a clean
environment, Oporto (Portugal), July 2001.

4.

Pulverised Fuel (PF) Flow Measurement and Control Methods for Utility Boilers,
Technology Status Report, Department of Trade and Industry, United Kingdom,
January 2001.

III-38

Energy conservation opportunities in coal pulverisers

BIO-DATA OF AUTHOR
N.Rajkumar is working as Engineering Officer in Central Power Research
Institute, Energy Research Centre, Trivandrum since 1996. He received M.Sc
in Energy Science from Madurai Kamaraj University and M.Tech in Energy
Management from Devi Ahilya Viswavidyalaya, Indore.
He has carried out energy audit in thermal power stations, buildings and various
process industries. He has designed and developed solar thermal systems.
He has published more than 20 technical papers in international and national
journals, conferences and seminars in energy conservation and renewable
energy. He is a life member of Solar Energy Society of India (SESI).

III-39

National Symposium on Energy Conservation Measures in Generating Sector, Nov. 17-18, 2005, Bangalore

AUXILIARY POWER CONSUMPTION OPTIMISATION IN


THERMAL POWER STATIONS
P.K. Dave & S.K. Sharma
NTPC Ltd - Unchahar Thermal Power station 229406 Distt.- Raebareli, UP
Mobile 9415501105; 9415501237
E-mail: pkdave@ntpc.co.in, sksharma08@ntpc.co.in

Rajashekar P. Mandi
Energy Conservation & Development Division,
Central Power Research Institute, Bangalore -560 080
Phone: 080 2360 4682, Fax: 080 2360 1213,
E-mail: rajashekarmandi@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT : Overall efficiency of a thermal power station i.e. energy conversion
from coal to electricity export to grid, in India, ranges between 30 38 %. It implies
that energy conversion / use efficiencies of various processes / equipments require
critical performance analysis vis--vis design and, if done judiciously, potential
opportunities for optimising select processes / equipments could be identified along
with probable reasons responsible for overall poor operating efficiency. By way of
involving various working groups & initiating suitable actions considerable quantum of
energy can be conserved within the power station premises and additionally exported
to grid.
Avoiding visible wastages, minimising extra-running equipments, optimising
performance of running equipments and maximising generation during low frequency
yields substantial dividends in terms of energy and profitability mainly as a result of
optimised in-house energy consumption & thus increased energy exports to grid. Paper
describes, selectively, eye-opening findings of energy audits yielding energy saving
possibilities in selected auxiliaries.
Staggering of auxiliary loads, reduction in hydrodynamic resistance of pipes and ducts,
minimising visible leakages, optimizing excess air, reduction in furnace ingress,
monitoring of coal size at mill inlets, adopting latest control techniques & technological
up- gradations will result into substantial energy savings. The energy conservation
schemes are economically attractive with break-even / payback periods ranging
between few months to < 5 years.

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Installed capacity has crossed 1,24,000 MW, out of which 81566 MW i.e. 70 % is thermal, 31877
MW hydro, 3130 MW nuclear & 3650 MW grid connected wind out of 6100 MW grid connected
renewable energy based generation. Despite continual increase in installed capacity and thus
generation energy shortages are prevailing across the country and ranging between 8 10 %.

III-40

Auxiliary power consumption optimisation in thermal power stations

Due to increasing energy insecurity it is of paramount importance that energy should be used most
efficiently everywhere & it was the basic reason that Govt. notified initially Energy Conservation act
2001 and later comprehensive Electricity Act 2003. Creation of additional capacity requires huge
investment, long execution periods and conventional energy sources for operating power stations
thus it becomes increasingly important to manage & operate power stations at optimum efficiencies.
NTPC Ltd owns 24664 MW i.e. 20.1 % of grid / 30.2 % of thermal capacity. The auxiliary consumption
of thermal plants, in India, varies between 7 17 % depending on station capacity, units sizes,
edge of the plant etc. More than 5 years working experience of CPRI & NTPC together in NTPC
plants, in the field of energy auditing, brought out that performance of equipments, sub-systems &
systems has improvement margin of upto 15 % & thus energy could be conserved in power stations
by way of auditing, process benchmarking and operating processes review without requiring much
investments. It is worthy to bring out that even 1 % absolute auxiliary power consumption optimisation
could yield additional dispatch of energy to grid amounting equivalent generation by 1200 MW by
acting upon & implementing selective energy conservation measures.
Importantly, energy conservation measures requires a fraction of fund and payback period ranges
between few months to < 5 years. Additionally these measures contribute in optimising green
house gases released into environment, improvement in fuel oil consumption, lubes, chemicals
and water conservation.
The auxiliary power is tapped through station transformers during start-up of unit from the grid / unit
auxiliary transformers during most of the period i.e. units own generation remain > 30 % of the unit
capacity.

2.0 UNCHAHAR THERMAL POWER STATION


Unchahar thermal power station is having 4 units each of 210 MW in operation, out of which 2 units
were commissioned in late eighties and 2 units subsequently in late nineties. Station is performing
at its ever best PLF during the year and till Sept05 ranks first among NTPCs stations and sixth
countrywide.
The connected capacity of 98 transformers i.e. except generator transformers is 405.23 MVA. The
auxiliary power is fed through auxiliary transformers having connected capacity of 128 MVA. Most
of the energy is consumed, in main plant and off-lying auxiliaries, by HT and LT motors. HT & LT
motors number 144 & 1728 respectively and have together connected load of 147.2 MW i.e 17.5 %
of station capacity.
The 144 HT motors ( rating 140 to 3500 kW ) accounts for 121.3 MW i.e. > 82 % of the total motors
capacities. Major energy consuming equipment are boiler feed pumps, forced draft fans, primary
air fans, induced draft fans, condensate extraction pumps, circulating water pumps, CT pumps,
ash slurry pumps, coal mills, coal crushers, coal conveyors etc. Variation in auxiliary power
consumption vis--vis gross generation during the energy audit period is plotted in the following
III-41

P.K. Dave, S.K. Sharma & Rajashekar P. Mandi

graph. The auxiliary power includes the power used within the plant & township premises & it is
varying between 7.9 % at a PLF of 102 % and between 9.0 10 % at a PLF of < 70 %.

A uxiliary pow er, % of gross gen

1 0. 0

9.5

9.0

8.5

8.0

7.5

7.0
14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

Tota l gene ration, M U /da y

Figure 1 Variation of Auxilary Power with gross energy generation


Thermal power station is one of the most complex set-up wherein variety of process remain operative
parallely requiring thousands of different types / sizes of equipments mostly powered by in-house
generation. Equipments can be broadly classified as pumps, fans, compressors etc. Measured
auxiliary power, for a day, along with energy used for various purposes is given in Table 1 below :
As above, the auxiliary power consumption is 8.24 % & is comparable with similar power plants.
Out of it about 94 % is used by above tabulated equipment and remaining in lighting & colony. As
generating units have been installed in two stages, major auxiliaries i.e. CW pumps, CHP, ash
handling system, compressors, etc, are in parallel and thus consume increased auxiliary power
vis--vis 4x210 MW.
Motors design efficiency very between 80 97 % depending on size and nature of application and
driven equipments design efficiencies are mostly < 80. The combined design efficiencies of HT
driven equipments are < 85 % & ranges between 55 82 % vis--vis operating efficiency ranging
between 38 79 %.
Actual energy consumption of various equipment depends on mostly operating and maintenance
practices / parameters, edge of the system etc. Targeting optimizing auxiliary consumption pattern
of various systems / sub-systems in-depth analysis of selective equipment / processes have been
carried out. During the exercise ample opportunities for optimising auxiliary consumption were
identified.
BFPs alone consumes about ~ 34 % of total auxiliary power consumption. Efficiency test data and
energy conservation measures are summarized and given in Table 2.
III-42

Auxiliary power consumption optimisation in thermal power stations

Table 1: Measured generation and auxiliary power consumption


Particulars

Energy measured,
MWh/day

Energy used for various


purpose

Energy
MWh/day

% of AP

Generator-1
Generator-2
Generator-3
Generator-4
Total
UAT-1A
UAT-1B
UAT-2A
UAT-2B
UAT-3A
UAT-3B
UAT-4A
UAT-4B
ST-1
ST-2
ST-3
ST-4

5064
5088
5071.2
5117.76
20340.96
132
156
120
180
199.44
198.48
128
98
431
38

BFP
Mills
CWP
IDF
PAF
CEP
FDF
Ash handling pumps
SW pumps
CT pumps
Air Compressor
CHP
ACW pumps
DMCW pumps
CLPRW pumps
HP Flush pump
CW service pump

558.58
181.85
177.36
155.5
153.36
95.83
40.22
45.41
28.97
28.47
24.95
24.53
21.88
18.98
9.31
5.76
3.77

33.85
11.02
10.75
9.42
9.29
5.81
2.44
2.75
1.76
1.73
1.51
1.49
1.33
1.15
0.56
0.35
0.23

Total

1680.82

Total

1574.73

95.44

Table 2: BFPs performance data


Particulars
Booster pump suction pr. kg/cm2
Main pump suction pressure kg/cm2
Actual pr. rise across booster pump - kg /cm2
Main pump Discharge pressure kg/cm2
Actual pr. rise across main pump - kg /cm2
Feed Water flow - t/h
Main pump design efficiency %
Main pump operating efficiency %
Pumps combined operating efficiency - %
Motor rating - KW
Motor actual input - KW
Motor loading - %
BFPs overall design efficiency - %
Operating overall efficiency - %
Design SEC, kWh/t
Operating SEC, kWh/t
,P across BFP circuit, % of dis. pr.

1B
8.62
16.90
8.28
163.5
155.22
359.9
80.50
58.68
63.20
3500
2909
83.12
76.84
58.54
8.25
8.08
19.90

1C
8.43
16.70
8.27
177.6
169.33
305.0
80.50
52.41
56.17
3500
3020
86.30
76.84
52.20
8.25
9.90
19.90

III-43

2A
8.00
17.80
9.80
182.7
172.90
342.5
80.50
60.44
65.27
3500
3047
87.06
76.84
60.00
8.25
8.90
25.50

2B
9.27
17.10
7.83
191.1
183.27
389.9
80.50
72.04
76.74
3500
3034
86.68
76.84
71.40
8.25
7.78
25.50

3A
8.20
17.50
9.30
180.0
170.70
345.0
82.00
64.61
69.63
3500
2802
80.05
78.27
64.64
8.50
8.12
16.85

3C
7.70
17.30
9.60
173.0
163.40
320.00
82.00
56.30
60.93
3500
2852
81.48
78.27
56.68
8.50
8.91
16.85

4A
8.04
17.02
8.98
177.5
168.52
368.0
82.00
62.64
67.43
3500
3028
86.51
78.27
62.93
8.50
8.23
16.29

4B
7.60
17.49
9.89
177.0
167.11
326.0
82.00
56.76
61.44
3500
2953
84.36
78.27
57.15
8.50
9.06
16.29

P.K. Dave, S.K. Sharma & Rajashekar P. Mandi

The operating efficiency of BFPs found varying between 71 - 52 % vis--vis design 76.8 & 78.3 %
in case of stage - I & stage-II (refer Table 2). The main causes of poor performance / excess energy
consumption found were high discharge pressure, leakages in pump internals, cartridge
performance, and increased hydrodynamic resistance & re-circulation by-pass valve passing.

3.0 COAL MILLS


The auxiliary power used in Mills accounted to ~ 11 % of total auxiliary power. Six bowl mills / units
in stage I and three tube mills for each unit in stage II are installed. In stage I, four / five mills remain
in service depending upon the quality of coal and one / two stand-by whereas in stage II, two mills
remain in service and third in stand-by mode. Performance test was carried out on all the mills
except one & results are given in Table 3.
Table 3: Performance results of mills.
Mills
1A
1B 1C
1D
Coal flow, t/h
27.2 23.7 25.9 23.8
Mill air flow, t/h
64.6 63.1 62.5 60
Coal air mixture
89
73 96
92
temp. oC
Mill inlet pr.
760 760 760 760
mmWC
Mill DP, mmWC 159.7 185.1217.1 351.8
Electrical power, 254.8 290.6295.0 265.7
kW
Loading factor of 74.9 85.5 86.8 78.1
motor, %
SEC, kWh/MT of 9.37 12.3 11.4 11.2
coal
Air to fuel ratio, % 2.38 2.66 2.41 2.52
Mills
3AB
Coal flow, t/h
67
Mill air flow, t/h
105
Coal air mixture temp. oC
90
Mill inlet pr. mmWC
700
Mill DP, mmWC
228
Electrical power, kW
1176.5
Loading factor of motor, %
78.43
SEC, kWh/MT of coal
17.56
Air to fuel ratio, %
1.57

1E
1F
2A
2B
2C
2D
2E
2F
16.6 12.4 31.7 34.7 22.7 32.6 41.2 24.5
59.5 56.6 64.3 53.6 64.8 57.2 56.2 50
95
93
93
91
93
89
97
93
760

760

760

760

760

760

760

760

241.1 233.3 214.5 274.3 213 222.1 215.6 166.8


245.6 220.2 283.5 275.1 212.5 237.5 256.4 253.3
72.3 64.8 83.4 80.9 62.5 69.8 75.4 74.5
14.8 17.8

8.9

7.93 9.36 7.28 6.22 10.34

3.58 4.56 2.03 1.54 2.85 1.75 1.36 2.04


3CD
3EF
4CD
4EF
66
59
59
72
114
100
75
77
90
80
89
90
690
685
676
697
203
200
224
198
1262.0
1230.0
1360.3
1195.9
84.14
82.00
90.69
79.72
19.12
20.85
23.06
16.61
1.73
1.69
1.27
1.07
III-44

Auxiliary power consumption optimisation in thermal power stations

Specific energy consumption of mills found varying between 6 - 18 & 17 - 23 kWh/t of pulverized
coal respectively for stage I & II. Variation was observed due to poor mill loading, increased size of
incoming coal, accumulation of stones, primary air pressure, classifier setting i.e., coal fineness,
DP across mills, air to coal ratio, life of the internals, lubrication, operation & maintenance practices,
etc.

4.0 CW PUMPS
The energy used in CW pumps was 10.75 % of total auxiliary power. 6 CW pumps at stage I out of
which four pumps remain in service continuously and two are maintenance / emergency stand-by.
In stage II, out of five pumps four remain in service. Performance test data are presented in
Table 4.
Table 4: Performance results of CW pumps
Particulars
Discharge
pressure - kgf/cm2
CW flow - m3/h
Electrical power kW
Load factor of
motor - %
Design overall
(pump+motor)
eff. - %
Operating
(pump+motor)
eff. - %
Design SEC kWh/t
Operating SECkWh/t
Pr. at condenser
I/L- kgf/cm2
Pressure drop
across condenser,
kgf/cm2
Flow at
condenser inlet,
m3/h

1
0.50

2
0.50

Stage I
3
4
0.40
0.50

5
0.30

6
0.50

3A
1.45

3B
1.45

Stage II
4A
4B
1.45
1.4

5
1.45

11280 10880 12550 10700 13650 10820 11700 12700 13095 13044 12350
1013.3 1013.9 1092.0 1045.6 1124.1 988.09 783.8 843.0 801.5 713.9 864.4
90.47 90.53 97.50

93.36 100.37 88.22 84.74 91.13 86.65 77.18 93.45

82.18 82.18 82.18

82.18 82.18 82.18 82.18 82.18 82.18 82.18 82.18

45.50 43.86 43.85

41.83 43.02 44.76 75.25 75.95 82.36 89.62 72.03

0.083 0.083 0.083

0.083 0.083 0.083 0.073 0.073 0.073 0.073 0.073

0.090 0.093 0.087

0.098 0.082 0.091 0.067 0.066 0.061 0.055 0.070

1.10

1.10

1.10

1.10

1.10

U#1 A U#1 B U#2 A U#2 B


0.04 0.35
0.32
0.36
44500.00

1.10

1.44

1.44

1.44

U#3 A U#3 B U#4 A U#4 B


0.69 0.78
0.44
0.39
50232.00

III-45

1.44

1.44

P.K. Dave, S.K. Sharma & Rajashekar P. Mandi

The operating efficiency of CWPs found varying widely, mainly in stage-I, due to aging / internal
erosion, increased differential pressure across condensers, silt accumulation in pump house fore
bay, flow & pressure, duct leakages etc.

5.0 INDUCED DRAFT FANS


The auxiliary power used by Induced draft fans is ~ 9.4 % of total auxiliary power. The performance
test findings are summarized in Table 5.
The operating efficiency of IDFs found varying between 56 - 46 % & 68 - 64 % vis--vis design
values of 60.7 & 75.4 % in case of stage - I & stage-II. Main causes of poor performance / excess
Table 5: Performance results of ID fans.
Particulars
Suction Pressure - mmWC
O2 in flue gas at Eco.
O/L - %
O2 at ID I/L - %
Flue gas flow - t/h
Motor input power - kW
Motor loading factor - %
Design fan efficiency - %
Operating fan efficiency - %
Design overall (fan+motor)
eff. - %
Operating overall
(fan+motor) eff. -%
Design SEC kWh/t of flue gas
Operating SEC kWh/t of flue gas
Furnace pressure mmWC
Pressure drop in ID
fan circuit - mmWC

1A
-324
3.90

1B
-345
3.53

2A
-255
3.50

8.30
471.5
1086.5
83.58
63.91
54.54
60.75

9.90
489.1
1138.5
87.58
63.91
59.43
60.75

51.66

4A
-267
3.65

4B
-234
3.65

8.60
9.10
7.40
7.30
430.7 439.41 437.01 427.47
880.3 889.35 660.59 621.96
67.72 68.41 45.56 42.89
63.91 63.91 79.32 79.32
48.87 51.48 69.36 73.97
60.75 60.75 75.40 75.40

6.20
429.38
655.82
45.23
79.32
69.11
75.40

6.70
425.1
546.17
37.67
79.32
73.48
75.40

56.18

46.05

48.50

64.21

68.09

64.03

66.99

1.94

1.94

1.94

1.94

2.40

2.40

2.40

2.40

2.30

2.33

2.04

2.02

1.51

1.45

1.53

1.28

-5.00

-5.00

-9.40

-9.40

-10.00 -10.00

2B
-260
3.00

3A
-260
3.67

3B
-266
3.67

-10.00 -10.00

314.00 335.00 250.00 255.00 250.00 256.00 257.60 224.60

energy consumption found were poor suction pressure, high loading due to air ingress between
economizer and fan inlet, dust deposition in flue gas ducts, the increased hydrodynamic resistance
because of more pressure drop in furnace i.e. in Economizer coils, APH, Super heaters, ESP, etc.
III-46

Auxiliary power consumption optimisation in thermal power stations

Other major energy consuming areas are ESP's, ash handling system, compressed air system and
air conditioning system. Installation of automatic temperature controller for CT fans and ESP heaters
yields substantial energy savings. Lighting requires small proportion of energy but enormous
opportunities exists to conserve energy by avoiding visible wastage, increasing use of natural lighting,
time based switching and also by voltage optimization.

6.0 CONCLUSION
Unchahar Power Station have well equipped dedicated "Energy Conservation Lab" and gained
adequate experience to carry out most of the audits using in-house expertise. Expert services of
CPRI are being used selectively and as a result substantial improvement have been attained.
Energy audit findings immerging are being acted upon and thus improvement in auxiliary power
consumption is being realized progressively. Aiming further, "Benchmarking" study of auxiliary power
consumption have been completed and subsequently "Performance optimization Group" have been
set-up.
With an objective of real time consumption deviation tracking, "on-line energy metering, monitoring
and management system" is under implementation & it will enable various groups to interact closely
and initiate timely actions aiming continual improvements.
Systematic energy auditing is the first step and visual / walk-through audit itself helps in identification
of various measures yielding savings up to 5 % of the in-house energy consumptions. Detailed
energy audit requires in-depth understanding and variety of instruments / equipment and should
follow afterwards.

III-47

National Symposium on Energy Conservation Measures in Generating Sector, Nov. 17-18, 2005, Bangalore

BEST PRACTICES FOR AUXILIARY POWER REDUCTION IN


THERMAL POWER STATIONS
R. Virendra & G. Subramanyam
Energy Management
National Productivity Council, Hyderabad,
Phone: 040-24733473/24730904
Email: npc@ap.nic.in

1.0 INTRODUCTION
India has an installed capacity of 1,12,581 MW ( as on 1st May 2004) of which the thermal share is
77,931 MW (69%). Its worth considering that even a 1% reduction in auxiliary power consumption
from the existing levels, would yield energy of the order of 480 MU annually, worth Rs.100 Crores
( @Rs.2/kWh).
Realising this need and opportunity, several progressive power stations (like NPTC) have already
initiated voluntary energy audits, quite a while ago.
As per the Energy Conservation act 2001, it is now mandatory for all the power generating stations
to audit their facilities by an accredited energy auditor. The process of implementing the provisions
contained in the EC Act, digs in from March 2007 onwards.
On the strength of several energy audit & conservation studies undertaken by National Productivity
Council (NPC), India, in various thermal & super thermal power stations, the authors in this paper
present a comparison of auxiliary power consumption trend and its break-up, amongst different
capacity units, ranging from 500 MW, 210 MW to 110 MW units.
The 500MW units, register the least Auxiliary Power Consumption (APC), largely due to the
incorporation of Turbine Driven Boiler Feed Water Pumps (TDBFP), in these units. Energy audit in
a vast Thermal Power Station (TPS) , is better tackled when the thermal power plant operations
are segregated into different sub-areas like: Main plant auxiliaries, Draft system (consisting of ID/
FD/PA fans), Feed water system (consisting of BFPs /CEPs, CW system-including CTs) , and Off
sites (consisting of Coal handling Plant, Ash Handling Plant, Air Compressors, A/c plant, Station
lighting etc.).
The Table 1 presents a comparison of the typical break-up of APC for different capacity ratings, all
of which, have Cooling towers with fans.
BFPs constitute the single largest contributor to the APC (excepting in the case of 500 MW units
where TDBFPs are used), ID Fans, FD fans, PA Fans, CW Pumps follow, all of these are generally
HT Drives.

III-48

Best practices for auxiliary power reduction in thermal power stations

Table 1: Typical break-up of auxiliary power consumption in thermal power stations


Plant
Cap.
Load

500 MW

Actual
Load kW
BFP
0
CEP
1903
CW pump 4754
ID fans
6289
PA fans
2845
FD fans
1368
Mills
2776
CT fans
1083
Air
385.5
Compr.
A/C
175
Plant
CHP
591
AHP
455
Lighting
266
Others
10709.5
Aux.
33600
Power
Cons.
Gen.
480000

210 MW

110 MW

% of
Gen.
0.00
0.40
0.99
1.31
0.59
0.29
0.58
0.23
0.08

% Of
APC
0.00
5.66
14.15
18.72
8.47
4.07
8.26
3.22
1.15

Actual
Load kW
5380
534
1329
2523
1360
800
1157
630
249

% of
Gen.
2.69
0.27
0.66
1.26
0.68
0.40
0.58
0.32
0.12

% Of
APC
33.63
3.34
8.31
15.77
8.50
5.00
7.23
3.94
1.56

Actual
Load kW
2793
364
1197
1622
1648
243
789
456
228

% of
Gen.
2.94
0.38
1.26
1.71
1.73
0.26
0.83
0.48
0.24

% Of
APC
24.50
3.19
10.50
14.23
14.46
2.13
6.92
4.00
2.00

0.04

0.52

150

0.08

0.94

105

0.11

0.92

0.12
0.09
0.06
2.23
7.00

1.76
1.35
0.79
31.87
100.00

272
266
160
1190
16000

0.14
0.13
0.08
0.60
8.00

1.70
1.66
1.00
7.44
100.00

275
290
100
1290
11400

0.29
0.31
0.11
1.36
12.00

2.41
2.54
0.88
11.32
100.00

100.00

200000

95000

Note: 1. Others include: Raw water pumps, DM plant, ESP's, service & Admin. Buildings, etc.
2. Power consumption in common auxiliaries like Air Compressors, A/c Plant, CHP, AHP,
Lighting are divided per unit basis.
3. BFP - Boiler Fed Pumps, CEP - Condensate Extraction Pumps, CW-Circulating Water,
ID-Induced Draft, PA-Primary Air, FD-Forced Draft,
CT-Cooling Tower

2.0 BEST PRACTICES


Based on the experience gained from the vast number of NPC energy audit studies in Thermal
Power Plants and also drawing from several other Industrial study experiences, an attempt has
been made to bring out a few of the worthwhile and easily implementable best practices, towards
reducing APC in different sub-systems, in Thermal Power Stations.

2.1 Draft system


The Draft system, comprises of Forced Draft (FD) Fans, Primary Air (PA) Fans and Induced Draft

III-49

R. Virendra & G. Subramanyam

(ID) Fans which together account for more than 30% of the auxiliary power consumption (around
12-13 MW of power in 500 MW Units).
Interestingly there exists ample scope for conservation in the draft system. NPC experience suggest
scope for improvement, potentially for at least 15-20% energy savings.
The audit of the above fans would involve measurement of duty parameters like air flow, head
developed and motor input power drawal.
The analysis, based on comparison of as-run combined (motor and fan) efficiency and specific
energy consumption (SEC) with corresponding rated values, would indicate the margins available
for improvement in performance. The typical bench mark SEC values for the fans are given below:
a

PA fan

3.75 - 4 kWh per ton air

FD fan

1.2 - 1.3 kWh per ton air

ID fan

2.3 - 2.4 kWh per ton flue gas

NPC studies have been able to demonstrate upto 1100 KW (in all FD, ID and PA fans of NTPC
power station), simply by arresting air ingress in the flue gas path.
Power plant O&M ersonnel are certain to be familiar with the phenomena of sizeable power reduction
in fans systems, immediately after an overhaul of the fans and it's associated ducting system. All
the more reason why it is so vital to periodically assess % O2 levels at different locations in the flue
gas path, which reflect the extent of stray air ingress through the Air pre-heater and ESP system.
Simple corrective measure to arrest identified stray air in leaks, bring about huge energy savings.
Given the fact that, very often, all these fans are required to operate below their rated discharge
capacity and head, (to achieve this dampering is resorted to), imposing by default an intrinsic
inefficiency on these equipment.
The situation offers an opportunity for power saving in the draft systems by judicious incorporation
of VFDs for PA and ID Fans.
In the case of FD fans, the operating duty parameters are so low that one could easily justified
replacement of existing oversized fan with more efficient properly matched smaller fans.
Recent genre power stations are incorporating VFDs at the design stage itself for PA and ID Fans.
For a typical 210 MW unit, the difference in power consumption in ID fans alone with and without
VFDs, is 500 KW/Unit, a reduction 2.4% in power consumption worth around Rs.75 lakhs/annum
per 500 MW unit. VFDs, of course are very expensive, and HT VFDs (3.3, 6.6 kV) are doubly so.
Some smart industries, adopt the less expensive route by employing LT VFDs with step down and
step up transformers back to back, to reduce their initial investment.

III-50

Best practices for auxiliary power reduction in thermal power stations

Figure 1: Typical Break-up of Auxiliary power consumption in 210 MW units


BFP'S(33%)
CEP'S(3.3%)

Export

CW PUMPS(8.3%)
ID FANS(15.8%)
PA FANS(8.5%)
FD FANS(5%)
MILLS(7.2%)

APC
(8%)

CT FANS(3.9%)
AIR
COMPRESSORS(1.5%)
A/C PLANT(0.9%)
CHP(1.7%)
AHP(1.7%)
LIGHTING(1%)
OTHERS(7.4%)

2.2 Feed water system


The Feed Water circuit in a thermal power plant consists of the following key equipment, whose
contribution to auxiliary power consumption and heat rate make a significant impact -:
The key equipment are:
a

Condensate Extraction Pumps (CEP),

LP heaters,

Deaerator,

Boiler Feed Water Pumps (BFP),

HP Heaters and

Economisers.

A detailed energy audit and analysis of energy performance parameters of LP and HP heaters and
Deaerator often brings out scope for heat rate reduction (extraction steam use reduction) in power
plants. As, we are now dealing with auxiliary power consumption, this paper restricts its discussion
to CEP's and BFP's.
The audit of BFP and CEP, involves the assessment (through field measurement of duty parameters)
of their efficiencies and specific energy consumption.
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The 500 MW Units in India are usually provided with a steam Turbine Driven Boiler Feed Pump
(TDBFP) an hence the APC in 500 MW units is as low as 5 % whereas in 210 MW units and 110
MW units it is in the range of 34 % and 25 % respectively. This gives an indication of the awesome
impact that an electric driven BFP has on APC, and hence the need for a closer look and observation
of these pumps from time to time.
The specific power energy consumption of BFP range between 8 - 9 kWh/m3 feed water and that
for CEP ranges between 0.8-1.0 kWh/m3 of condensate.
Due to their criticality, the BFP always operate with a standby and hence it is easy to perform
overhaul of the spare BFP without disturbing the main stream activity, and thus ensure that the BFP
are always at peak efficiency and performance.
It would be worthwhile to remember that even a 1 % power reduction in BFP could mean a huge
savings in terms of energy (around 60 - 70 Million Units (MU) annually in a 500 MW unit).
Similarly the CEP also always have a stand-by and frequent performance assessment to determine
margins for saving and prompt overhaul augurs well for CEP energy conservation.
Some of the best practices and energy conservation scope areas in BFP and CEP are:
a

Replacement of inefficient BFP as a part of renovation and modernization in some of the


old plants.

Clipping of one stage from the multi stage BFP to balance the pressure drop requirements
between HP heaters, Economiser and boiler drum etc.

Use of higher pressure in the deaerator to commensurately reduce BFP power


consumption (reduced head developed

Running of two CEP instead of 3 CEP (3 CEP are run to avoid tripping due to lower
frequency in some of the power plants)

Application of variable speed drivers

Installation of hydraulic turbine instead of feed regulating section to avoid pressure drops
and generate additional power.

2.3 Milling system


Mills or pulverisers in Thermal Power plants, single - handedly contribute to around 6-7% of Auxiliary
power consumption.
Typically, in 500 MW units, 8 mills are operated while in 210 MW units, 4-5 mills are normally
operated.
The key indicators for assessing the performance of Coal mills are, Specific energy consumption
(SEC), Air to Fuel ratio (A/F), Mill fineness, Pressure drop across the mill (dp) and Mill rejects.

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Best practices for auxiliary power reduction in thermal power stations

The specific power consumption varies from 8 - 9 kWh/t of coal for bowl mills. This value is slightly
higher for tubular mills ranging from 10-12 kWh/t of coal.
The key contributing factors towards higher SEC are
a

Low coal output (part load operations)

High ash in coal

Condition of grinding rolls and bull rings

Grindability index

Wetness of coal

Quantity and temperature of primary air

Classifier settings

Rejects etc.

The designed Air to Fuel ratio would normally be in the range of 1.5 - 2.0 tons of air/ton of coal. This
ratio largely depends on the moisture content in the coal (quality of coal), and temperature of the
primary air. One can measure coal flows and air flows by employing a dirty pitot tube, for
measurements.
The desired air to fuel ratio, for the as-run operating conditions, can be assessed by drawing up a
heat balance across the mill. The pulverized fuel distribution in the each of the outlet coal pipes,
has a profound influence on air to flue ratio and is a key issue while attempting to maintain proper
combustion.
Mill fineness has a direct impact on the specific power energy consumption. Normally fineness of
75% passing through, is desirable. Over grinding, drastically increases the power consumption.
By systematic energy audit of the milling system, one can optimize power consumption by identifying
those mills having higher specific power consumption.
In one 500 MW unit for instance, normal overhauling and periodic maintenance of the badly
performing mills yielded it energy savings to tune of 2.77 MU per annum.
Similarly, in another instance, optimizing air to fuel ratios yield a reduction of 3.1 MU per annum in
the energy consumption of PA fans.
One of commonly employed 'best practice' for reducing auxiliary power consumption in milling
system is by operating only 4 mills instead of 5 mills in 210 MW units and modification/retrofitting of
the existing XRP type of mills.

2.4 Circulating Water (CW) System:


The CW system consists of Cooling Water pumps and Cooling Towers. In some of the Thermal
power Stations, one can find Cooling Tower (CT) pumps too, in addition to CW pumps.
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R. Virendra & G. Subramanyam

The contribution of APC in CW system ranges from 9-17%, depending on, whether it is a once
through system or a re-circulating Cooling Tower system, or a combination of both CW pumps and
CT pumps.
By conducting an energy audit of CW system, the performance of CW pumps can be evaluated.
The measurements of water flows (by online flow meters where ever feasible or by ultrasonic flow
meters) and simultaneous head and motor input power measurements need to be made at site.
The specific energy consumption, along with combined (motor and pump) efficiency of the pumps
gives clues about the margins and scope for improvement.
The specific energy consumption figures typically vary from 0.06 - 0.1 KWh/M3 CW water. The
variation in specific energy consumption largely depends on factors like:
a

the fore bay level

bowl condition

profile condition of Impeller and casing

availability of suction lift

throttling

bends and scaling effects

discharge side lifts

The design efficiency levels of most of the vertical centrifugal CW pumps would be in the range of
85 - 89 %.
Inter-se comparison of the battery of pumps in the CW pump house is strongly recommended,
mainly from the point of view that it would be profitable and energy efficient to work the more
efficient pumps for longer periods in preference to the inefficient ones. In the intervening period the
inefficient pumps could be examined closely and necessary corrective measures be incorporated,
at leisure.
It is possible to achieve substantial energy saving by judiciously switching off one or more of the
pumps, based on favourable condenser vacuum and favourable weather conditions.
Optimised cleaning schedules for condenser tube cleaning augurs well for the overall performance
of the station and CW water flow optimization in particular (reduction in CW pumping energy
consumption).
Depending on the quantum of cooling water flow needed, in tune with the weather condition and
condenser cleanliness as well as forebay level variation, it is possible to reduce CW pump energy
consumption by incorporating two speed motors.
Refurbishing the casing and impellers and alternatively, going in for application of special coatings
to improve the impeller the casing profile condition, it is possible to increase the efficiency of the
CW pumps by 3-4%, thus lowering SEC and realizing energy savings.
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Best practices for auxiliary power reduction in thermal power stations

The contribution of Cooling Tower alone (with fans), to APC would be around 3-4%.
Periodic assessment of CT performance would enable timely intervention of corrective action that
would result in cooler CW water enabling better condenser vacuum & heat rate.
It is worth remembering that priority should always be given for improvement in condenser back
pressure (through any means) in preference reduction in fans power consumption in CT's (by
shutting off fans during favourable weather.
A useful performance indicator applicable in Thermal power plants would the specific circulation
flow rate i.e. CW flow/MW. This value ought to be around 120-150 m3/MW in 500 MW and 210 MW
plants.
Reduction of energy consumption in CT's could include blade angle reduction, shutting of CT's
cells in conjunction with favourable weather conditions, and replacing existing aluminum cast and
GRP blades with FRP blades. Also incorporation of efficient nozzles for efficient water spare/
atomization, incorporation of efficient fill material for providing mass and heat transfer areas are
other option that can be considered.

2.5 Coal Handling Plant (CHP)


Though the connected load of the CHP is huge, the actual operating load is surprisingly low.
The contribution of CHP in overall APC ranges between 1.5 - 2.5 %.
The specific energy consumption is a key indicator that reflects the performance of CHP. The
typical specific energy consumption figures would be in the order of 1 - 1.2 kW/t of coal handled.
Again this figure varies depending on the type of operations i.e. direct bunkering or stacking &
reclaiming, wagon tippling instead of Track hopper system etc.
By simultaneous measurement of power and coal flow for different coal handling equipment like,
conveyors, paddle feeders, crushers, stacker/reclaimer etc. one can determine the specific energy
consumption, depending on the conveyor route followed.
The CHP is very critical component of the power plant and strangely, also a very neglected area
due to the harsh working environment.
Several NPC energy audit studies of CHP, indicate energy saving potential of 30-40%. Some of the
good practices in CHP area are:
a

increasing the Plant Utilisation Factor (PUF) or throughput

incorporating PLC controllers

avoiding idle running of conveyors & crushers

incorporating Soft starter - energy saver etc.

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R. Virendra & G. Subramanyam

2.6 Ash Handling System


The ash Handling plant (AHP) consists of ash water pumps and Ash slurry series pumps.
Many recent genre plants have design their AHP on dry ash handling mode using transport air
compressors for movement of ash.
Some of these plants also supplying fine fly ash collected from ESP's on a continuous basis to
Cement Plants.
The contribution of wet AHP in APC varies between 1.5 to 2%. In some of the NTPC plants like
Dadri, where dry AHPs are prevalent, the contribution of AHP in APC is around 3.5%.
Some of the best practices (for energy conservation) applicable to AHPs are:
Constant monitoring of ash to water ratio. The designed ash water ratios are around 1: 5 for fly ash
and 1:8 for bottom ash. But in reality one encounter ash to water ratios as high as 1:20.
a

Reducing ash to water ratios directly result in pump power savings as also water savings.
NPC studies have shown savings to the tune of 0.2 MU/annum for every 1% reduction in
ash water ratio.

Changing of worn out series pump internals based on periodic pump efficiency assessment

Variation of scoop angle (control position) of Ash slurry disposal pumps based on slurry
level in the pit etc.

Replacement of inefficient pumps with high efficiency pumps

Optimization of pump operations (reduced hours are operation or use of smaller pumps)

2.7 Compressed Air System


Compressed Air system, consists of Instrument Air Compressors (IAC) and Process Air
Compressors (PAC) and Air Drying units. Transport air compressors (TAC) are not included in this
system.
The contribution of Air compressors system in APC would range between

1- 1.5%.

The best way to assess the performance of Air compressors is by generating specific energy
consumption figures for each of the bank of compressors. An inter-se comparison of SEC's would
help decide which air compressor to operate for longer duration of time to achieve reduced energy
consumption.
Simultaneous measurement of power and flow delivered (by FAD test method), would enable
calculation of specific power consumption (SPC) values. These can be compared with either
Design or with Performance Guarantee (PG) values to assess margins for improvement.
For typical reciprocating Air Compressors or screw compressors, the SECs values very between
from 7.5 - 8.5 kW/Nm3. The present genre of modern modular screw compressors have SECs as
low as 6.7 kW/Nm3.
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Best practices for auxiliary power reduction in thermal power stations

A selection of best practices, for reducing power consumption in the compressed air system are
presented as under-:
a

Reduction of air leaks. Conducting leakage tests would be difficult in continuous running
plants (a plant shutdown is essential for evaluating leakage by this method). How ever by
physically identifying leaks, one can quantify compressed air leakage to a fair extent
(tables showing leakage from different hole sizes are available).

Optimizing discharge pressure by toning down as per needs. This can be affected through
pressure settings alterations.

Regular assessment of Inter Cooler/ After Cooler performance and periodic cleaning of
tubes

Adoption of heat of compression (HOC) dryers for Air Drying units.

Use of demand controller for optimal pressure setting

Use of transvector nozzles for cleaning application etc.

Based on NPC's energy audit experience in compressed air systems it is possible to save 25-30%
of energy in compressed air systems.
A recent compressed air system follow-up study, at one of the thermal power stations, by NPC, has
indicated savings to the tune of 28%, worth Rs.73 Lakhs annually.

2.8 Air Conditioning System


It is normal practice to provide unit control rooms (UCBs), in the thermal power plants, with centralized
air conditioning.
A typical UCB of a 200 MW unit has a connected load of 150 TR. The normal operating electrical
load is around 150 kW (including chilled water pumps, condenser water pumps and Cooling tower
fans.
The A/C system contribution in APC would be around 0.5-1% (The a/c load of administration building
and ESP control rooms are not included in this).
The ideal way to evaluate the performance of A/C system is by measuring specific power
consumption in terms of kW/TR.
Typical kW/TR values for centralized reciprocating machines ranges between 1.0-1.1 kW/TR.
A list of a few of the best practices for energy conservation in A/C system are :
a

Incorporation of variable speed devices for AHU fans

Periodic cleaning of condensers and improving its performance

Periodic cleaning of evaporator and improving its performance

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R. Virendra & G. Subramanyam

Installation of absorption refrigeration system instead of present vapour compression


system

Incorporation of SCADA/Building management system (BMS)

Improving CT performance

Improving pump performance

Incorporation of 3 way valves in AHU's

2.9 Lighting System


The station lightning system consists of main plant lighting, off sites lighting and service buildings
lighting. A typical connected load of lightning system in a Super thermal Power Project of 2000 MW
would be around 2 MW, but the operating load including day and night time would be around 1.2
MW.
Though the lighting loads are wide spread, the contribution of lighting consumption in APC is merely
around 0.8 - 1 %. Despite the low consumption by lighting system (< 1%), there exists a good
scope for reducing energy consumption to the tune of 20-30%, by adopting energy efficient practices.
A recent energy audit study of station lighting system at a thermal power plant yielded savings of
the order of 27%, equivalent to 2.9 MU worth Rs.43 lakhs annually (@ Rs.1.5/kWh).
Some of the best practices for conserving energy in lighting are:
Reducing single phase voltage to 220 - 230 V by transformer tap setting (since most of the generating
stations, the single phase voltage observed in the range of 250 - 260 V).
a

Use of electronic ballasts

Incorporation of CFLs

Incorporation of lighting energy savers

Use of metal halide lamps by replacing HPSV lamps

Incorporation of timers

Incorporation of photo sensors etc.

3.0 CONCLUSION
It is evident that thermal power stations offer tremendous scope of reducing auxiliary power
consumption. In fact the auxiliary power consumption of 200 MW unit is closed to the connected
load of large cement plant.
Detailed energy audit and analysis, can help identify a number of energy conservation options.
NPC has brought out energy audit procedures for all these systems and identified some of the best
practices that are applicable in thermal power stations.
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Best practices for auxiliary power reduction in thermal power stations

It is immaterial whether energy audit is mandatory or not. Ample scope for energy conservation and
one needs to continuously identify ways and means to conserve energy and retain ones competitive
edge in this fiercely competitive world.

BIO-DATA OF AUTHORS
R. Virendra is presently working as Director, National Productivity Council, Hyderabad. He has
obtained degree in Chemical Engineering and PG Diploma in Energy Management. He had
undergone advanced training in Energy efficiency at Stratholyde University, Glasgow, UK.
His areas of specialization are: Energy Management (Audit & Conservation); Resource Conservation;
Cleaner Production - Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management
G. Subramanyam is presently working as Senior Deputy Director in National Productivity Council,
Hyderabad. He has obtained degree in Chemical Engineering and PG Diploma in Energy
Management. He had undergone advanced training in Power Plant Practice - organised by National
Power Training Institute; Productivity Improvement in Foundry - Indonesia and Management
Consultancy for Productivity Improvement - Tokyo, Japan
His areas of specialization are: Energy Management (Audit & Conservation); Water Conservation
and Demand Side Management

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