Coal Storage: Performance Requirements for Maximum Efficiency

coal storage

Coal Storage:

Coal is a fossil fuel just like oil and natural gas. In thermal power plants, coal storage or petcoke storage (as the most exploited solid fuel) at large scale is preferred for the production of electric energy. A good preparation of coal before its combustion increases the homogeneity and efficiency of the fuel, reduces transportation costs and its displacement inside the plant produces less dust and reduces the emission of sulphur oxides. Besides, Preventive measures should be taken at every stage during the transport and bulk storage, in order to reduce any environmental impact, so that it became easier to maximize plant efficiency without any interference of any outside or environmental effects.

Performance Requirements for Maximum efficiency:

The large investment in a thermal power plant should be protected in best pos­sible way by maintaining the quality of resources (like coal, petcoke, lignite etc) and by uplifting the performance of their handling system. The coal handling system and equipment should perform satisfactorily to meet the guaranteed performance for maximum efficiency as stated here under:

  1. Efficient operation in thermal power plants means the careful use of fuels and other consumables resources includ­ing in-house consumption of electricity. High availability requires strong focus on maintenance, which in turns contribute as one of the factors in producing maximum efficiency.
  2. Stacker or reclaimer should be stable under a specified design condition and meet all the specified requirements. During unfavorable environmental conditions, the stacker or reclaimer should reclaim the coal in a way to avoid generation of well compacted, damp and sticky coal.
  3. Sulphur content in fuel always had an adverse effect on overall plant efficiency. ‘Corrosive acids formation’ and ‘heat loss in boiler’ can be evaded by properly supervising and removing the sulphur content in coal.
  4. Condition based maintenance uses intelligent measurements and assessments. These can include oil quality, differential pressure measure­ments, vibration readings and many more. By such applications, maintenance and renewal of plant components can be done exactly when needed.
  5. Fuel quality of coal, which is generally quoted in terms of its gross calorific value (GCV) along with its moisture and ash content impacts on whole plant operational efficiency. Assessing fuel quality and choosing fuel of maximum gross calorific value and less moisture & ash content improves combustion and power generation as well.
  6. Variation in the ambient temperature tends to affect plant performance and load capability of gas turbines along with the performance of cooling system. Hence, it is better to maintain the ambient temperature near a specific threshold during plant operation for maximum power output.

Using long-time experience of 30 years, It has been challenge for Hindustan Alcox Limited to identify and eliminate unnecessary energy losses from the processes by providing the best choice for covering coal stockpiles under coal storage shed. Alternatively, Coal Storage and handling can be done under dome structure sheds (like Coal dome, petcoke dome).


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