ASME PTC 4.3 on testing Air Heaters provides guidance for the calculation of gas-side efficiency as a measure of air heater performance. This code also provides for calculation of air heater X-ratio (XR), which is the ratio of the heat capacity (mass flow times specific heat capacity) of the air flowing through the heater to that of the flue gas. The code acknowledges the impact of XR on air heater efficiency, and dictates that the gas temperature leaving the air heater (and hence, air heater efficiency) be corrected for deviation from design XR by the use of “appropriate design correction curves” [1]. Unfortunately, such curves are rare, and therefore this important correction is usually ignored in routine air heater test calculations by power plant testing personnel, resulting in an incorrect calculation of air heater efficiency. This is particularly true for balanced draft boilers burning coal that are aged and have a significant amount of air leakage into the boiler setting. On these boilers, the ratio of combustion flue gas mass flow to combustion air mass flow is changed significantly from the original design, and therefore applying an XR correction factor is essential to calculating and reporting accurate air heater efficiency. This paper presents a method to calculate and correct for a deviation from design X-ratio based on standard heat exchanger analysis techniques, namely the ε-NTU method, which utilizes the concept of heat exchanger effectiveness (ε). A solution that results in applying the ratio of the design to actual XR’s as the correction factor is developed. The paper also provides empirical data from testing on a coal-fired boiler to validate the alternate correction method.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.