JMP Engineering (Corporate)

Multi-Fueled Boiler Process Optimization

Objectives

  • Increase ‘waste fuel’ throughput
  • Increase thermal efficiency
  • Reduce pollutants
  • Coordinate production rate changes
  • Stabilize the process
  • Provide consistent operation from shift to shift

Process Summary

The Multi-Fuel Boiler Control System developed by Automation Applications Inc, LLC (AAI) utilizes the latest concepts in control strategy for power boiler processes using the tools available in modern computer based control systems and instrumentation typical of a power boiler. By incorporating functionality which has traditionally been under manual control, and moving to a control strategy with separate masters for each type of fuel burned, the system improves power boiler efficiency, maximizes waste fuel burning, and allows waste fuel to be used as the swing fuel.

A general philosophy of control systems design used by AAI is to provide the highest level of control functionality and flexibility at the lowest level (regulatory level) of a system. This not only allows the facility to change operating priorities as conditions change, but provides the greatest opportunity for cost reductions and operational efficiency gain. In addition, AAI places heavy emphasis on user interface and system functionality which leads to quick operations acceptance of the control implementation.

In general, waste fuels are preferred for use as a fuel for the following reasons:

  • Waste fuel is significantly less costly than other fuels
  • The ‘waste fuel’ is just that, a ‘waste’ product of the manufacturing process and is in need of disposal

On the other hand, as with any fuel, most waste fuel has unique disadvantages associated with its use as a primary fuel. These include:

  • Inconsistency in BTU content causes heat release rate variations
  • Moisture content variations make use as a swing fuel difficult
  • Odd size or consistency variation causes handling difficulties

The disadvantages noted above, combined with the limitations of some control systems, often cause difficulty in Power Boiler processes. Boilers operated under manual control, are often run with high excess air, air splits are generally not at optimum, ideal bed conditions are not consistently maintained, and sometimes the pressure control scheme is not ideal.

AAI’s Multi-Fuel Boiler control strategy is a proven design that has been implemented in numerous manufacturing facilities. It incorporates the basic philosophies of separating waste fuel controls, including the master, from auxiliary fuel and providing a user interface which allows the process to be run on automatic over 95% of the time.

Benefits

AAI furnishes guarantees of performance with installations of Multi-Fuel Boiler Optimization Systems based on a survey of existing operation. Guarantees typically involve measurable system and process parameters such as percentage of time on full automatic, steam output, or percent Excess Oxygen. AAI is confident that installation of a process optimization system will result tangible benefit for the end user and is willing to back installations with a firm warranty.

Some typical areas of performance improvement include:

  • Excess oxygen will be maintained within a defined %, ±.15%
  • Boiler efficiency will increase .75-3.25%
  • Automatic control will be provided by the system 95% of the time
  • Waste fuel throughput will be maintained at a defined level

Conclusion

AAI believes that competitive advantage can be gained by manufacturers through the proper application and use of today’s computer and control equipment. This is proved every day by AAI engineers who leverage their technical systems knowledge with process experience to provide clients with significant dollar savings through higher process throughputs and efficiencies. The AAI Multi-Fuel Boiler Process Optimization System is a specific example of this.

With this installation a mill can expect reduced energy costs through improved boiler efficiency, reduced energy costs through continuous firing of least expensive fuel, improved steam header control through better boiler control, and increased ability to make steam through increased boiler efficiency and process stability.

The Multi-Fuel Boiler Process Optimization System has been installed and is running at multiple locations across North America. AAI offers a performance guarantee with these installations based on an analysis of existing operations