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Talcher Supper Thermal Power Project of NTPC conisting of 2No,
500 Mw unites in stage-I is having unique distinction of being Indias first Once
Through TOWER Type Boiler. This Boiler is being supplied and erected by M/S
features of once through tower type boiler with reference to construction/erection,
commissioning , operation/ maintenance and its advantages/ limitations over
conventional drum type two pass boiler are briefly discussed in this paper.
The construction/ erection activities of Talcher STPP are presently in full
swing and the unit I Boiler light-up is expected shortly. Since the Boiler is
presently under erection/ Pre-Commissioning stage, full operational details /
data is not available to analues the operating performance of the Boiler
especially with regard to Indian coals and its response to grid disturbances. Its
operational know how & expertise is limited & cells for a comprehensive study &
deliberations. The stress of this paper is there fore more on the constructional
details & its anticipated advantages & limitations.


TSTPP 2* 500MW


The basic fuel for coal based thermal power plants in

India is mainly the low grade bituminous or sub- bituminous coals. Major difficulty
associated with such low grade coal is generally the very high percentage of ash
in coal to the extent of 45 % as in the case of worst coal Tor TSTPP. This
represents a asn burden of 150 mg/kt all of heat input to boiler which is
considered as significantly higher Further particularly the highly abrasive nature
of Talcher coal is due to presence of very high percentage of quartz, silica and
alumna to the extent of 85% to 90% which is having significant impact on the
erosion of the boiler pressure parts. In case of conventional boiler with two pass
design the flue gas changes its direction and due to stratification of ash,
unpredictable abnormal erosion of pressure parts is experienced which leads to
tube failures and forced outages. In general the fly ash erosion can take place
predominantly under following situations:

In parts where fly ash concentration can occur

In parts where high local velocities can occur and due to change in flue
gas velocity, if proper care is not taken .

Tower type boiler is expected to offer a solution to this problem and

reduce the pressure parts erosion due to fly ash on account of its following
outstanding advantages:
i) In case of tower type boiler, all the pres. Sure parts heat
exchanger coils are located in the first pass top furnace zone and the flue gas
changes its direction only after leaving pressure parts. To prevent the erosion of
near side water wall tubes due to flue gas flow connecting the outlet ducting, the
water wall tuber are arrnnged in parlay
and are shielded by erosion
shields provided on the tubes in the direction of flue as flow as indicated in the
encloses skater further the thickness of the outlet ducting at the top is increased
to 7mmto provide merger for
erosion. No heat exchanger or stiffeners are
provided in the outlet ducting to prevent any chance of increased erosion.
ii) The fly ash velocity in the first pass of boiler is less than
the gas velocity compared to that in the second pass on conventional
boiler where the velocity of ash increases due to gravity leaching to
increased erosion .


In case of tower type toiler the pressure parts coil pitching is continuously
increasing from top to bottom furnace in the direction of higher
temperature gradient. This is expected to reduce the chance of fly ash
bridging-up since the fly ash can freely fail due to gravity, whereas in case
of conventional boiler second pass the ash may tend to accumulate due
to reduced pitching in the direction of flow.

Talcher steam generator in addition to its being tower type, is

a once through boiler which eliminates the thick walled boiler drum . unlike
conventional boiler there is no natural/ forced circulation and basically the boiler
feed pump feeds the water to the boiler which is converted in to stem at the outlet
. This also eliminates the necessity of a boiler to assist the circulation for system
beyond 150 at a cycle. Due to absence of boiler drum and circulation in boiler the
thermal inertia of the system is quite low compared to conventional boiler.
Elimination of thick walled construction of pressure parts and low thermal inertia
of once through boiler greatly helps in quick start up and faster load response to
meet the load demand and grid fluctuations. A comparison of once through boiler
start up curves for absolute cold start with respect to conventional drum type
forced circulation boiler of KSTPP reveals that almost full loading is possible in
about 4 Hrs resulting in considerable saving of start up time . in addition to its
better suitability for variable pressure operation, cyclic and two shift operation,
the boiler is conceded more suitable for base load as well as peals load
The disadvantage of the once through boiler to meet sudden step
load change due to reduced storage and thermal inertia is partly off- set due to
provision of ball / tube mill. In case of a ball mill, pulverized coal storage of about
10 to 15 minutes nominal mill output is readily available which can be quickly
picked-up by increasing primary air flow to meet the increased combustion
requirement of boiler to meet sudden load demand.
Salient differences between a once through and a drum type boiler
are enclosed at annexure-I, whereas the advantages and disadvantages are
enclosed at annexure-2.

Constructional details of once through tower type boiler with tube mills
The following areas of this type of boiler are covered to highlight the
major differences between once through tower type boiler and conventional
boiler with drum and assisted circulation.

Main boiler structurals.

Steam and water circuit.
Pressure part arrangement.
Boiler outlet flue gas ducting.
Fuel firing system.
Commissioning aspects.
Milling system.


Boiler main structurals : -

In case of a tower type boiler the height of ceiling structure is

significantly higher due to location of all pressure parts in the first pass alone. In
case of TSTPP the ceiling girder height is 96M and the furnace roof at 90M,
whereas in case of conventional two pass boiler the boiler drum is app. Located
at 72M level.
The ceiling structure consists of two main ceiling girders and two
aux. Ceiling girders interconnected by ceiling bracings. The entire furnace along
with all pressure parts, headers, attachment are suspended through hangers
supported from ceiling structure.
Platforms and equipments are provided at various levels for
approach to equipments for operation and maintenance requirements. Two
numbers of stair cases along with elevators are provided on either side of the
boiler from ground level to top level with landings for various platforms. The
entire boiler structure is of all welded con struction.

Boiler steam and water circuits : -

The once through boiler steam and water circuit is as per enclosed
sketch and is described below.
The feed line from boiler feed pump through a 35% flow control
valve passes through Economizer-I and then to Economizer-II located at furnace
top zone. Economizer II outlet feeds two no manifold headers, one located in
the front and second on rear side at the furnace ash hopper zone. Each manifold
header feeds 18 nos spiral water wall headers which are feeding to spiral water
wall tubes on all the four sides. From the spiral water walls the steam / water is
collected in the intermediate headers located on all four sides at about 52.00 M
level. These intermediate headers apart from feeding to all the vertical water
walls also feed the hanger tubes. 6 rows of hanger tubes originate from the
intermediate headers are supporting all the heat exchanger coils in the furnace
top region. First three rows of hanger tubes terminate at the front water wall
outlet header, where as the subsequent three rows terminate at the rear water
wall outlet header.

Superheated steam of about 4080C from the left and right hand side water
wall/roof header, front header and rear header is connected to the separator.
During start up concition upto 25% BMCR flow the separator works under
wet condition and the separator drain is routed through heat exchanger to
condenser via flash tank by an start up control valve and through ANB control
valve to Deareator .
The peak swelling flow of separator is routed to condenser via flash tank
by AA valve bypassing the heat exchanger.
Beyond 35% BMCR load, the separator works under dry condition and the
steam from separator passes through intermediate temperature super heater
outlet header, main steam on either side of the of the boiler is interconnected
from which H.P.B.P and aux. Steam tap off is provided upstream of Boiler stop
valve. location of aux. steam tap off from MSL upstream of header during cold
start up with out opening MSV. Further location of HPBP upstream of MSV would
enable quick warming up without critically monitoring the differential temp of thick
walled Y piece fitting in MSL.
Main steam line from common Y fitting down stream of stop valve is
taken through a single lead x-20 material piping upto H.P. Turbine.
Two stages of de-superheats are provided, one between separator and
ITSH & the other between ITSH to HTSH links for main steam temperature
Two stages of reheaters namely the row temp. reheated are provided
between CEH from HPT exhaust to IPT inlet for heating the steam upto 540 0c.
Reheater steam temperature control is achieved by mens of burner tilt
mechanism which premits coal nozzle movement by + /- 30 0 in horizontal plane
and further by reheater spray.
In case of conventional boiler the latent heat addition takes place in
furnace water walls whereas in once through boilers the steam at the furnace
outlet is superheated. This calls for provision of low alloy steel material for water
walls, however this eliminates the necessity of a separate low temp.
superheated. The total overall super heat transfer zone is thus reduced partly of
setting the higher cost of the alloy steel water walls for once through boilers.
The entire water evaporation takes place in the water walls and the facility
for boiler water H.P. dosing and blow down does not exist in case of once
through boiler as against drum type boilers. The water tubes of once. Through
boilers are therefore more prone to corrosion and requires stringent quality of
feed water. Further a full flow condensate polishing unit is essential to maintain
cycle feed water quality and the boiler is quite sensitive to condenser leaks.

During start up and low load operation, it is essential to maintain a

minimum circulation of water/ steam to 35% BMCR level. This is achieved by
recalculation of separator drain through start up control valves AA/AN to
condenser via flash tank or to ANB valve to deareator depending upon the
system requirement . further by such recalculation to condenser it is possible to
achieve the desired quality of feed water through polishing unit. Depending upon
feed water quality and system pressure the separator drain is routed to deareator
feed water storage tank.

Constructional details and salient features of pressure parts


Low alloy steel vertical separator is provided which is located at 96.0 M
elevation on boiler front side. The length of the separator- is 23.95M and
ID is 949 mm . 4No metal temp indicators are provided on the top and
bottom of separator for differential temp measurement.
The separator is also provided with three level transmitters at
different location to control the separator level by opening start up drain
control valves AA & AN to condenser and through ANB valve to deareator.
The function of the separator is to circulate the water from the boiler
evaporator to ensure minimum recalculation flow during start up.
2. Start up Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is of U tube construction and is located at 43.0m level
on the boiler front side. The function of the heat exchanger is to recover
the heat from the separator drain and transfer the same to the incoming
boiler feed water.
3. Spiral water walls
The ash hopper and burner zone of the furnace water wall is made up of
fin welded spiral water walls. The burner block is an assembly of spiral
water wall corner panel and wind box. In case of spiral water walls the
tube is inclined at an angle of 13.5 degrees to the horizontal plane. A total
of 268 tubes if material SA 213 Gr T2 of size 44.5 * 6.1 mm are used in
the construction of spiral water walls.
4. Pressure part heat exchangers
All the pressure part heat exchangers are supported through hanger tubes
originating from front/rear intermediate headers. The following are the
pressure part heat exchangers arranged horizontally along the flue gas
a. Economizer I
b. Economizer II


Economizer I

Economizer I is the top most heat exchanger with 134 assemblies with a
Pitch of 128 mm and made up of carbon steel. Each coil is having 3 nos of tubes
of size 51* 5.6 inlet and outlet headers of economizer- I are located in front of
the boiler . total weight of the assembly is 480 MT.

Economizer II
Economizer II is located below Economizer I and is having 134
assemblies with a total weight of 430 MT. The tubes of economizer II are
also of carbon steel and assemblies are placed in the gas path in a pitch
of 128 mm . the inlet header is in the rear of the boiler while outlet header
is in front.
Economizer I is connected to Economizer- II through economizer link.


Low temp. reheater consists of 134 assemblies of carbon steel tubes
placed below Economizer-II . LTRH is having a coil pitching of 128 mm.
Inlet and outlet headers of LTRH are placed in front of the boiler.


High Temp. super Heater is an assembly of 46 coils all placed in the gas
patch of 256 mm. Size of the tubes are 44.5 mm and material is SA 213
p22 while the outlet header is of x-20 Cr MD v 12.1 material . Both the
headers are located on the front side of boiler.


High temp reheater is having 22 assemblies with a pitch of 768 MM.
Masterial of HTRH coil is SA 213 TP 321H and of size 48.3x 3.6. both inlet
and outlet headers of HTRH are placed at the rear of the boiler.


Intermediate temperature super heater is lower most heat exchanger with
14 assemblies and with a coil pitch of 1152mm. Both th eheaders of thus
exchanger are located on front side of the boiler. Material of tubes is SA
213 T11 & size of tubes is 51*5.6 mm.
5. Headers

Most of the headers are located on the front & rear side which are supported on
header supports connected to water