Investigation of combustor and fuel preparation requirements for a combined-cycle wood fired power plant Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7p88cm01f

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  • The Pacific Northwest is a particularly good candidate for a power plant fired with wood since the wood products industry is so important in the area. The combined cycle concept for such a plant has increased in popularity due to the generally greater efficiency of the gas turbine part of the cycle. An optional addition to a power plant of this type is a dryer utilizing hot flue-gases to dry the fuel so that less energy would be lost up the stack. The focus of this thesis is an analysis of this dryer option and its effect on the requirements for the combustor and on the overall plant performance. A base case power plant design was provided by Biomass Energy Corporation for study here at Oregon State University. The components in the cycle were modeled on a computer and linked together with an executive program to simulate the entire plant performance. Among the computer models are programs for the combustor and dryer performance. These programs simulate the component performance through an energy balance and are not intended to represent one specific size or type of that component. The basecase design incorporates a rotary drum dryer, wood pulverizers, and a suspension burner which requires strict fuel specifications in size and moisture content. Computer simulations were run to determine the effect of varying the air-fuel ratio and the wood moisture content entering and leaving the dryer. Of particular significance were the results of simulating the plant performance with various amounts of drying. Conflicting conclusions exist in the literature about using a dryer in a wood fired power plant. The results of this analysis however, show that the optimum performance of this power plant occurs when only a moderate amount of drying is done. Performance tends to increase with increasing fuel moisture into the combustor (less drying), however when no drying is done, performance drops, and when only a very small amount of drying is done, problems may occur in the boiler. Also, as expected, performance increases with decreasing fuel moisture as it arrives at the plant location. The effect of increasing the air-fuel ratio into the system while holding the airflow constant is that of increased plant efficiency and decreased power output. If the choice is made to dry the fuel only a moderate amount, then a different type of combustor from the suspension type must be used. Grate type burners will accept fuel of up to 60% moisture (wet basis) and of large enough particles that pulverizers would not be required. For optimum performance related to the combustor and fuel preparation arrangement, the best choice seems to be a grate burner with only moderate fuel preparation.
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