The first step towards condition based maintenance of the milling plant is the implementation of online condition monitoring of the mill. The following paper presents and analyses methods of monitoring the key performance factors of a vertical spindle mill that is suited for implementation on older power stations, i.e. the quantity (mass flow rate) and quality (particle fineness) of the pulverised fuel produced by the mill. It is shown herein that the mill throughput can be monitored on-line using a simple mill energy balance that successfully predicts the coal throughput within 2.33% as compared to a calibrated coal feeder. A sensitivity analysis reveals that the coal moisture is a critical measurement for this method to be adopted as an on-line mass flow monitoring tool. A laser based particle size analyser tool was tested for use in the power plant environment as an online monitoring solution to measure pulverised fuel fineness. It was revealed that several factors around the set-up and operation of the instrument have an influence on the perceived results. Although the instrument showed good precision and repeatability of results, these factors must be taken into account in order to improve the accuracy of the reported results before the instrument can be commissioned as an on-line monitoring solution.
To minimize oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emission, maximize boiler combustion efficiency, achieve safe and reliable burner combustion, it is crucial to master global boiler and at-the-burner control of fuel and air flows. Non-uniform pulverized fuel (PF) and air flows to burners reduce flame stability and pose risk to boiler safety by risk of reverse flue gas and fuel flow into burners. This paper presents integrated techniques implemented at pilot ESKOM power plants for the determination of global boiler air/flue gas distribution, wind-box air distribution and measures for making uniform the flow being delivered to burners within a wind-box system. This is achieved by Process Flow Modelling, at-the-burner static pressure measurements and CFD characterization. Global boiler mass and energy balances combined with validated site measurements are used in an integrated approach to calculate the total (stoichiometric + excess) air mass flow rate required to burn the coal quality being fired, determine the actual quantity of air that flows through the burners and the furnace ingress air. CFD analysis and use of at-the-burner static, total pressure and temperature measurements are utilized in a 2-pronged approach to determine root-causes for burner fires and to evaluate secondary air distribution between burners.