Progress Energy has incorporated on-line combustion optimization/tuning to lower LOI and eliminate furnace reducing atmospheres at several of their North Carolina Plants. The optimization projects utilized individual burner airflow measurement, continuous burner coal flow measurement and coal balancing valves to adjust burner air to fuel ratios. The DCS systems were modified to allow control of mass flow of air to each overfire air port as well as air to fuel ratio control of each burner. This was accomplished for the purpose of increasing Fuel Flexibility without impacting boiler and unit reliability. The objectives of the projects were to eliminating furnace reducing atmospheres and the resultant tube deterioration while improving fuel flexibility without negatively impacting boiler reliability. Other desired benefits included NOx reduction, decreased LOI, efficiency improvement and minimized boiler fouling. The focus of this paper is on the benefits and results experienced on the Asheville #2 unit. The furnace oxygen level through the combustion changes improved ∼334% while LOI decreased. The paper will also discuss the other improvements to the unit that were achieved by using the new air and fuel flow controls in the DCS. The paper will also outline additional improvements in the information available to unit operators, unit engineers and remote engineers.

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