Technical Briefs

Elimination of Thermoacoustic Furnace Vibration in a Gas-Fired Package Boiler: A Case Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Frantisek L. Eisinger, Robert E. Sullivan

 Foster Wheeler North America Inc., Perryville Corporate Park, Clinton, NJ 08809-4000

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 131(3), 034502 (Apr 20, 2009) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3109982 History: Received January 09, 2008; Revised October 02, 2008; Published April 20, 2009

A severe furnace vibration was developed in a gas-fired package boiler during an initial operation. The vibration occurred at higher loads and was characterized by an acoustic standing wave residing inside the furnace in the front-to-rear direction along a burner axis. Theoretical predictions indicated that the thermoacoustic behavior of the burner/furnace system operated in an unstable range explaining the underlying cause of the vibration problem. For the elimination of the vibration problem, a two-step solution was envisioned: (1) The mode of fuel injection was modified in order to affect the flame’s oscillatory behavior and its interaction with the acoustic waves in the enclosed spaces of the burner conduits and the furnace. This step was successful in mitigating the vibration in a still thermoacoustically unstable system. (2) A full elimination of the vibration may be achieved by making the system thermoacoustically stable by modifying the cold air portion of the system. Both the step 1 solution, which suppressed the thermoacoustic oscillation, and the step 2 solution of making the system thermoacoustially stable will allow the boiler to operate without vibration at all loads. This paper gives a detailed description of the issues involved.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Stability diagram defining onset of large thermoacoustic oscillations; shape of curve after Rott (14). Taken from Eisinger and Sullivan (13).

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Figure 2

Thermoacoustic stability line with superimposed evaluated full size steam generator burner/furnace systems based on Rijke and Sondhauss thermoacoustic models. Taken from Eisinger and Sullivan (18).

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Figure 3

Plan view of furnace showing one burner at front wall

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Figure 4

Arrangement of burner with air inlet cone (shown plan view)

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Figure 5

View of burner from inside of furnace showing direction of gas flow and swirling air

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Figure 6

Arrangement of gas canes providing (a) positive outward direction and (b) negative inward direction gas fuel cone angles

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Figure 7

Line diagram of burner/furnace system showing Rijke (b) and Sondhauss (c) thermoacoustic models

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Figure 8

Modification in area of inlet cone to reduce cold air section acoustic length

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Figure 9

Stability diagram showing results for the original and the modified system




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