This paper presents methods and practices of improving heat rate through testing and, most importantly, through heat rate monitoring. This work was preformed at Portland General Electric’s 585 MWe Boardman Coal Plant, which used two very different Powder River Basin and Utah coals ranging from 8,100 to over 12,500 Btu/lbm. Such fuel variability, common now among coal-fired units was successfully addressed by Boardman’s on-line monitoring techniques. Monitoring has evolved over the past ten years from a Controllable Parameters approach (offering disconnected guidance), to a systems approach in which fuel chemistry and heating value are determined on-line, their results serving as a bases for Second Law analysis. At Boardman on-line monitoring was implemented through Exergetic System’s Input/Loss Method. Boardman was one of the first half-dozen plants to fully implement Input/Loss. This paper teaches through discussion of eight in-plant examples. These examples discuss heat rate improvements involving both operational configurations and plant components: from determining changes in coal chemistry and composite heating value on-line; to recognizing the impact of individual rows of burners and pulverizer configurations; to air leakage identifications; to examples of hour-by-hour heat rate improvements; comparison to effluent flows; etc. All of these cases have applicability to any coal-fired unit.

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