Biomass Boiler House Best Practices. Irene Coyle & Fernando Preto CanmetENERGY

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1 Biomass Boiler House Best Practices Irene Coyle & Fernando Preto CanmetENERGY Growing the Margins London, Ontario March 2010

2 The Biomass & Renewables Group of Industrial Innovation Group (IIG) of CanmetENERGY (Natural Resources Canada) assists industry to develop cleaner, energy-efficient and cost-effective biomass conversion processes. Our research focuses on optimizing the performance of biomass energy technologies and developing new products and technologies for sustainable development.

3 Basis of Recommendations NRCan Project: Renewable Energy for Greenhouses: Biomass Residues and Advanced Conversion Technologies The program assessed the supply and conversion of biomass residues for energy for greenhouse growers. The program evaluated: fuel availability, cost and security of supply; fuel pre-treatments and handling; fuels matrix (residues properties and performance [emissions] vs conversion technology); emissions control technology

4 Best Operating Practices

5 Maintain Proper Fuel Storage

6 Windsor Star, Jan 31, 2006

7 Covered Storage is Best Keep fuel safe and clean: Prevent fires by proper material storage

8 Keep to Storage Limits For >3 months Volume = 1300 yrds 3 13 ft 26 ft Increase height to 25 ft for <3 months

9 Don t Skimp on Fuel Quality and Handling

10 Don t Pay for Water: Effect of Moisture on Fuel Cost

11 Know and Meet Your Fuel Requirements Combustion Performance Depends on Fuel Quality Fuel Type (wood, waste, agricultural residue) Fuel Size Distribution (fines, oversize pieces) Moisture Content Ash Content and Composition Contaminant Materials

12 Reduce Impact of Contaminant Materials Erosion Shortens material life and increases maintenance costs. Slagging or hardening of bottom or grate ash Increases time required for ash removal from boiler May increase fossil fuel usage for fixed grates Increases amount of landfilled material and cost May increase risk of injury to operators if ash has to be removed manually.

13

14 Reduce Impact of Contaminant Materials Erosion Shortens material life and increases maintenance costs. Slagging or hardening of bottom ash Increases time required for ash removal from boiler May increase fossil fuel usage for fixed grates Increases amount of landfilled material and cost May increase risk of injury to operators if ash has to be removed manually.

15

16 Plan Proper Fuel Handling Sample and analyse shipments Reduce manual labour Avoid long transport distances Remove large pieces of fuel and rocks

17 Keep Your Fuel as Dry as Practical

18 Keep Your Fuel as Dry as Practical High fuel moisture content increases the specific flue gas volume decreases the flame temperature (increased emissions) and boiler thermal efficiency

19 Increase Boiler Efficiency Efficiency, % Fuel Moisture Content, %

20 Moisture Matters: Reduce Emissions Wet Fuel 55% Dry Fuel 25%

21 Optimize Boiler Performance: Emissions, Efficiency & Durability

22 Optimize Excess Air Fuel Firing Method Optimum Excess Air, % by wt. Oxygen, % by vol. dry Natural gas Forced draft burner No.6 fuel oil Wood waste, 30-50% moisture Air/steam atomized burner Grate Furnace

23 Reduce Flue Gas Heat Loss: Control Excess Air & Stack Temperature To completely prevent condensation of acids, creosote etc in the stack it is recommended to operate stack above 180 C or 350 F Some equipment suppliers recommend stack temperatures above 150 C or 300 F. Operating below this temperature can result in severe stack corrosion

24 Optimize Oxygen in Flue Gas Dry FG Efficiency Loss Based on stack at 150 C; 300 F Oxygen in Flue, % dry

25 Optimize Oxygen in Stack Concentration (%) A A B B C D E F F F G

26 Monitor Excess Under-Fire Air Increased particulate and CO emissions

27 Operate at Steady State Solid fuel appliances operate best (best efficiency and lowest emissions) when operated at rated capacity and steady conditions Cycling and low fire conditions result in substantially increased emissions Hot water storage can significantly reduce operating costs

28 The primary cause of elevated emissions from solid fuel combustion systems is transient operation

29 Don t Neglect Management of Your Heating Plant

30 Optimize Plant Layout Ensure building envelope is designed for required air flow and ventilation Have adequate air in the building for your combustors Design air flow to prevent dust movement Protect Your Control Equipment Locate your controls away from your wood storage in case of fire Make a control room to prevent equipment from exposure to dust and heat Ensure reliability and durability of fuel and ash handling Understand how the furnace work including importance of properly distributing over and under fire air Maintain your emissions control equipment

31 Train Your Operators Operators that think and can understand how combustion systems work (rather than know just which buttons to push) are priceless Traditional on the job training, which consists of observing and learning by trial and error does not meet the requirements for a profitable heating plant A combination of knowledge and know-how is necessary to have an employee who is able to troubleshoot and solve problems

32 Maintain and Calibrate Equipment Oxygen probes at the boiler exit and stack affect your ability to operate the boiler optimally Feed System Maintenance Keep Plant Clean Monitor dampers and actuators on undergrate air compartments and overfire air ports Warped or burnt out sections of the grate

33 Perform Boiler Maintenance Biomass leaves large amounts of particulate on the fire side of boiler tubes Utilize soot blowers often or open regularly for manual brushing Increase trends in flue gas temperature indicate build up on boiler tubes Scale on the waterside of the boilers decreases efficiency and promotes tube failures Test boiler water daily and treat accordingly 1 mm of scale build up can increase fuel consumption by 2%

34 Clean and then Clean Again!

35 Recommendations Maintain Proper Fuel Storage Don t Skimp on Fuel Quality and Handling Keep Your Fuel as Dry as Practical Don t Neglect Management of Your Heating Plant Optimize Boiler Performance Emissions Efficiency Durability

36 Fernando Preto CanmetENERGY Thank you Irene Coyle Canadian Forest Service

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