The industry is looking for systems that offer flexibility
Changing fuel policies and stricter boiler safety norms have given rise to demand for advanced boiler systems that offer energy efficiency and flexibility in the same package. Only those who can offer specialised designs, backed by a solid design and development team, are successful in the market. Shridhar Nambi, Director & Chief Executive Officer, Greenesol Power Systems, elaborates on how the market is warming up to new boiler technologies. Excerpts from the interview.
What is the range of boiler technologies offered by you in terms of capacity and fuel flexibility?
We offer a pulverised coal fired boiler with capacity upto 1080 TPH for any kind of coal, lignite with subcritical pressure. We offer CFBC from 35 TPH to 800 TPH subcritical pressure for fuels like coal rejects, washers rejects, Dolochar, Indian coal, Indonesian coal, Indian lignite, biomass and sludge.
Apart from this, we offer municipal solid waste fired boilers upto 600 T/D infiltration for power production and Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) behind gas turbine frame 9SA. We also supply Waste Heat Recovery boilers (WHRB) behind kilns for steel industries, cement industries and coke oven plants.
How has boiler technology evolved to meet the needs of the cement industry?
Cement industries being located in remote areas, may not always have grid connectivity. Such companies have to rely on captive power generation using diesel based generator.
Rising costs of fuel oil has made coal based systems more attractive. Companies are now opting for advance technologies like AFBC, CFBC with ash generation, which can be blend into cement directly. Boiler technology has evolved with time to meet the changing needs of the country.
What are the latest innovations in boiler design that can improve energy efficiency?
Installing WHRB is a critical improvement for cement industries trying to achieve better energy efficiency. The technology has matured sufficiently and we have tested it in many nations.
How is changing fuel policy affecting the boiler manufacturing business?
Changing fuel policies lead to variation in fuel price fluctuations. Being tied up with a system that runs on only one type of fuel is no longer an economically viable option. Today, boilers are being designed to be compatible with different types of domestic and imported coal like Indonesian coal, Australian coal and other countries. The industry is looking for systems that offer flexibility. One such option is the CFBCs technology.
What are the major factors that reduce the boiler's lifecycle and reliability?
If the boiler is designed for a specific type of fuel is run on a different fuel due to logistics or economic reasons, then the boiler's lifecycle will be significantly affected.
It will also impact the reliability of the systems performance.
Where do customers usually go wrong while picking up boilers?
End users at times go wrong while planning the lifecycle duration of the boiler. Apart from this, often users go for boilers compatible with fuel available at low prices and fail to foresee price fluctuations in the future. Prices may fluctuate and it is a good idea to go for systems compatible with different fuel types.
Hence, it is very important to plan availability of fuel in the long run depending on the geographical location and other such factors.
Where do Indian cement manufacturers stand when it comes to predictive maintenance of boilers?
Normally, manufacturing of the main product will be the key focus of the production staff, while issues like regular maintenance take the back seat. Regular predictive maintenance of boilers, though, is an requirement IBR but priority is not given to it.
Which are the new challenges and opportunities in boiler design and manufacture?
Boiler design is more than satisfying the standard designing requirements. One has to deliver more than the standard requirements and often customise the design as per the requirements. A good design must ensure best returns on investment.
Boiler efficiency is a measure of how much combustion energy is converted into steam energy, while steam quality measures how much liquid water is present in the steam produced. Steam pressure reduction has the potential to save fuel consumed by a steam system. The amount of capital investment may be minimal for the appropriate application of this efficiency measure. The amount of fuel that can be saved varies with the design and maintenance of the existing system. Steam pressure reduction should be tested to establish the critical minimum pressure at a steam load that is above average but below peak. This will provide an estimate of savings.