Baghouse Integration Dramatically Reduces O&M Costs
A 1,500 MW Southeastern U.S. coal-fired power plant was able to improve the effectiveness of their fly ash evacuation systems and reduce the costs of operation and maintenance by an expected 50% through improved, integrated instrumentation.
"We now have a more flexible system that we are expecting to reduce our operation and maintenance costs by 50%. "
A 1,500 megawatt-plus coal-fired power plant had concerns about the reliability and effectiveness of their fly ash evacuation system on their baghouses. The system used a pressurizing vessel under each collecting hopper to help remove and transport the ash. While this design is common, it is more complicated that traditional vacuum-based systems. Compounding the complexity of the system was the shear size (number of hoppers) of the system.
Furthermore, the existing control system was timer-based providing some feedback based on total pressure and ash level sensors, but did not offer the flexibility or data desired to more effectively operate and troubleshoot the system. And because plant personnel manually operated the system, troubleshooting was hampered by the lack of data feedback, and operational inefficiencies were causing increased maintenance costs.
For all these reasons, the plant was interested in employing SmartAsh, a Neundorfer-patented technology. SmartAsh could provide them with real-time monitoring that would help to optimize the ash handling system based on the demand on the system, yielding reduced operating costs, reduced maintenance and improved safety.
The plant worked with Neundorfer to integrate SmartAsh into their control system upgrade. Recognizing that the control system upgrade was closely tied with the optimization objective and that Neundorfer had in-house control design and manufacturing expertise, the plant’s engineering and maintenance teams selected Neundorfer to provide all of the integration/upgrade scope. This included PLC design, panel construction and wiring, programming, testing and field support for installation which was performed by the plant.
Now with more flexibility, plant operating personnel can “see” things they had never been able to see before. Operational flexibility is now such that the fly ash systems can easily respond to changes in load or ash loadings. The icing on the cake: troubleshooting has been improved such that O&M costs are expected to be reduced by 50% or more!