Primary air flow is supplied to the wind box of a 300 MW CFB boiler by means of three primary air ducts connected to a common plenum. A flow rate measurement is performed in each duct using an Annubar flow meter. Due to the tight configuration of the piping and the associated turbulence, the measured flows in the three ducts were not consistent, resulting in improper air flow distribution in the boiler. A primary air duct flow study was performed in an effort to improve measurement accuracy, which will lead to improved combustion efficiency and low load cycling by allowing precision air flow control in the furnace.

The objective of this project was to employ a 1/10th scale model test to determine the best method to improve the flow upstream of each Annubar flow meter. Tests were conducted with room temperature air at several flow rates generated by a centrifugal fan. Reynolds number independence was achieved in the tests. Appropriate dimensionless Grashof and Prandtl number scaling was used to extrapolate the scale model tests to the high temperature conditions prevalent in the unit. Flow visualization and measurements using a five-hole directional velocity probe were performed. It was determined that mounting 50% open area screens in the primary air duct of the scale model had the effect of significantly reducing both yaw and pitch angles across the Annubar measurement plane. A complimentary benefit was that the velocity profiles in the flow direction were notably flattened by the addition of the screens. Furthermore the performance of the Annubar flow meters could be improved if the measurement plane was moved further upstream of the opposed blade flow control damper.

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