A Comprehensive Thermal and Structural Transient Analysis of a Boiler’s Steam Outlet Header by Means of a Dedicated Algorithm and FEM Simulation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEnergies. 2020, 13 (1), . 10.3390/en13010111
Increasing the share of renewables in energy markets influences the daily operation of thermal power units. High capacity power units are more frequently operated to balance power grids and, thus, steam boilers are exposed to unfavorable transient states. The aim of this work was to perform thermal and structural analyses of a boiler’s outlet steam header, with a capacity of 650∙103 kg/h (180 kg/s) of live steam. Based on the measured steam pressure and temperatures on the outer surface of the component, transient temperature fields were determined by means of an algorithm that allows determination of transient stress distributions on the internal and external surfaces, as well as at stress concentration regions. In parallel, a finite element method simulation was performed. A comparison of the obtained results to a finite element analysis showed satisfactory agreement. The analyses showed that the start-up time could be reduced because the total stress did not exceed the allowed values during the regular start-up of the analyzed power unit. The algorithm was efficient and easy to implement in the real control systems of the power units. The numerical approach employed in the presented algorithm also allowed for determination of the time- and place-dependent heating rate value, which can be used as input data for the control system of the power unit.