A power plant boiler is widely used as a heat source for generating steam through fuel combustion. Operations trainees at NIPSCO coal-fired power stations receive short-term training in boiler operation procedures and are given 2D, non-scaled representations of the plant’s steam, coal cycle, and limited key components. This study focused on pursuing a more efficient way of representation by using a three-dimensional (3D) numerical model of the power plant boiler and a Virtual Reality platform. Coal and air are injected into ten cyclones of the boiler to undergo violent combustion and release the heat to the tubes along both cyclone and furnace walls. In order to obtain a better understanding of the boiler operation process, which cannot be achieved in reality, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was employed to simulate the boiler components and the entire combustion procedure. Simulation results presented detailed transient flow characteristics and temperature gradients inside cyclones and the furnace to achieve a thorough understanding of the internal gas flow pattern. Also, the Virtual Reality (VR) platform of a power plant boiler was developed by combining the simulation data inside the boiler and visualization of model image outside the boiler to provide a vivid 3D representation for trainees.

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