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SIC - 2911

APPLICATION NOTE

Boiler Drum Level Measurement


INTRODUCTION BOILER DRUM LEVEL MEASUREMENT
Main
The primary function of a utility Steam
Header Steam Flow
boiler is to convert water into steam Feedwater Flow

which is used to turn a steam


turbine thus, generating electricity.
A steam/water interface exists
within the boiler drum. An objective Blowdown Flow

for safe and efficient boiler opera- Drum


Level
tion is to maintain a constant level Transmitter

in the boiler drum. This can be


accomplished by maintaining a

Air Flow
balance between the amounts of
steam leaving and water entering
the boiler drum. Unfortunately, Economizer

Air Flow
Water Flow
boiler drum level control is compli- Flue Feedwater Flow
Furnace
cated by changes in electrical load Gas

requirements or variations in the Downcomers

fuel and air supply.


Air
Heater
Forced
Windbox Draft

BOILER DRUM LEVEL Fan


Fuel Flow

Boiler drum level is one of the most


difficult power plant pressure Lower
Waterwall
transmitter applications due to high Heaters

static and low level differential


pressures. Typical static pressures
can be 2800 psig in utility boiler DPharp’s resonant silicon sensor
drums. A change in static pressure incorporates dual resonators which Induced
can cause significant output shifts are self-compensating for changes Draft
Fan
in level transmitters. Static pressure in static pressure. Differential
DPharp pressure transmitters
changes occur when a boiler is frequency between the resonators
include a unique hysteresis free
starting up or shutting down at is used for measurement of differ-
capsule design that provides
which time accurate level measure- ential pressure or water level in the
overpressure protection. DPharp’s
ment is most critical. The table boiler drum. Static pressures
overpressure protection can
below summarizes transmitter zero applied to the dual resonator
withstand application of differential
errors (% span) versus static sensor within DPharp does not lead
pressures equal to the transmitter’s
pressure for DPharp (resonant to a differential frequency change
maximum working pressure for
silicon) and metallic capacitance as both resonators are affected
most capsule ranges. For example,
type pressure transmitters. equally. Therefore, DPharp experi-
the specification for overpressure
ences minimal output shift due to
effects on calibration for EJA130A
DPharp has approximately 1/3 of changes in static pressure leading
is ±0.03 % of URL per 4500 psi.
the static pressure effect on zero to superior performance in boiler
Metallic capacitance type transmit-
experienced by metallic capaci- drum level measurement applica-
ters typically are specified not to fail
tance pressure transmitters. tions.
under overpressure conditions. The
effects of overpressure on cali-
Span of 0 to 100 inH2O brated accuracy is typically not
Static Pressure 3000 psi 4000 psi stated for metallic capacitance
Resonant Silicon ( EJA130A ) 0.34% 0.50% transmitters.
Metallic Capacitance 1.00% 1.50%

PD-2911-02A
12/97
SOLUTION DPharp EJA130A
DPharp performance in boiler drum r ±0.03% overpressure calibra-
level measurement applications is tion protection
superior to metallic capacitance r ±0.1% per 24 month longterm
type pressure transmitters. Im- stability
proved performance can be attrib- r ±0.1% accuracy
uted to the unique resonant silicon r Autolevel software feature (See
sensor design with dual resonators. PD-G-01)
r Low static pressure effects
A unique hysteresis free capsule (<0.5% up to 4000 psig typical)
design protects the resonant silicon r 100:1 turndown
sensor from calibration shifts due to
overpressure events. DPharp has a
lower cost of ownership in boiler
drum level applications due to
superior static pressure perfor-
mance and an ability to maintain
transmitter calibration after over
pressure events that can occur
during boiler blow down. Fewer
transmitter calibrations are required
as a result of these DPharp fea-
tures.

PD-2911-02A