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Heat recovery boilers, also known as waste heat recovery boilers or

heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs).

waste heat boilers are used to cool waste gas streams from a given inlet

temperature to a desired exit temperature for further processing purposes. A common application for an HRSG is in a combined cycle power station .
where hot exhaust from a gas turbine is fed to an HRSG to generate

steam which in turn drives a steam turbine.

The output of the HRSG is solely dependent on the performance and

load of the gas turbine.

HRSG is only a heat transfer area. There is no furnace even though

the sections like economizer, evaporator, and super heaters are present.

The exhaust gas temperature from a Gas Turbine is about 580 C.

Higher exhaust temperatures will reduce the efficiency of the gas


Most of the HRSG's are internally insulated so that expansion does

not affect the external surfaces and the structures.

Fire Tube Boiler

Water Tube Boiler

In this type of boilers, the hot gas stream which could

be at very high pressure flows inside the tubes, while low pressure saturated steam is generated outside the tubes.
They could be of single or of multi-gas pass design. In single gas pass design the

hot gas stream enters at one end and leaves at the other.
Fire tube boilers may be of

single shell design or of elevated drum type.

Single shell boilers are less expensive compared

to elevated drum boilers .

Suitable for high gas pressures. can handle high

gas temperature on the lorder of 2400 F .

Usually limited to low steam pressures, say a

maximum of 1400 psig.

economizer ,and superheater can be added as


The basic information obtained through design

calculations are the surface configuration and gas pressure drop which is an operating cost.

Water tube boilers are more difficult to design compared to fire

tube boilers,
due to the complex arrangement or disposition of heating surfaces

such as superheaters , evaporators and economizers.

Due to the higher heat transfer coefficients associated with gas

flow over the tubes , water tube boilers requires less surface area and hence the gas pressure drop can be lower than in a fire tube boiler.

The most important component would, of course, be the Evaporator Section, since without this coil (or coils), the unit would not be an HRSG.

The evaporator may be located After

the superheater.

In the evaporation circuit the water is heated to as close to saturation temperature as is possible. This process changes the water from liquid to vapor or steam.

The major function of super-heater is to increase the pressurized

water temperature above the steam saturation temperature for use in the steam turbine.
The Super-heater absorbs heat energy from the GT exhaust gas and

transfers this energy to the steam. superheaters could be classified as radiant , semi-radiant or convective
In general, if the steam temperature is

Not high, say below 900F, superheaters are designed as convective units.

An economizers function is to increase water temperature close to

the Saturation Temperature, known as Approach Temperature. Approach Temperature is designed to ensure maximum heat energy absorption efficiency and operational flexibility.
Depending on the type of exit

duct work, the economizer could be arranged in several ways, and be similar in design to the super-heater
The economizer sits on top of the evaporator

The water flows downward .

the economizer is arranged in two gas passes with the hotter

water having an up-flow direction, which helps as far as steaming is concerned, as the bubbles of steam take a natural path upwards. The gas exit is at the same level as the boiler.

the economizer is in the horizontal gas pass,

with the last few rows of the tubes aiding upward flow of water, thus minimizing steaming concerns. This configuration results in a compact arrangement. The stack could be self-standing.

Natural Forced Once-through

Natural circulation units have vertical tubes and horizontal gas flow orientation .

In natural circulation units, the difference in density between water and steam drives the steam water mixture through the evaporator tubes and risers and back to the steam drum.

The forced circulation HRSG uses

horizontal tubes and gases flow in the vertical direction.
In forced circulation units, a pump

is used to drive the steam water mixture through the horizontal evaporator tubes.

A once-through HRSG (called an OTSG) does not have a steam

drum like a natural or forced circulation unit

Once-through units can have

either a horizontal or vertical gas flow path.

In once-through designs, there is no circulation system. Water

enters at one end and leaves as steam at the other end of the tube bundle.

Auxiliary fired

unfired HRSG is selected when the plant steam requirements are

such that the energy in the exhaust gases is adequate .

HRSGs in combined cycle plants are unfired

Typical gas temperature entering the HRSG ranges from 800 to

1050 F, depending on the gas turbine used.

Figure 1-7a shows a two-gas pass design with a superheater,

evaporator and economizer.

This design occupies a small floor space. The evaporator tube

bundle is divided into two portions by using a baffle plate. The gases flow across the superheater and the bottom half of the evaporator, make a 180 degree turn and then flow across the top half of the evaporator tubes into an economizer.

Figure 1-7c shows a single gas pass design. The stack could be self standing or mounted over the turning section.

Supplementary firing of exhaust gases is done to raise the

temperature of the gas stream entering the boiler

To a maximum of 1700 F, so that additional steam can be

generated without major modifications to the unfired boiler design, HRSG in cogeneration plants are fired
The 1700 F limit is set by the design of the casing
The efficiency of the HRSG system improves with firing with the same oxygen content entering the burner, more fuel is

being fired thus reducing the excess air leaving the stack; also, with an increase in inlet gas temperature the exit gas temperature from a HRSG with an economizer usually decreases.

Single Pressure the exit gas temperature is a function of the steam pressure and temperature. Smaller HRSG units operate on single pressure. The higher the steam pressure, the lower the exit gas temperature

Multi pressure

In larger units, for optimizing the performance of the HRSG, steam generation takes place in multi pressure circuits. The current optimum is to use three pressure levels

Selecting the tube material and size to use in a HRSG design is really a

matter of experience. The heat transfer sections of the HRSG frequently use extended surface to improve the overall heat exchange between the hot gases and the steam or water in the tubes.
Segmented Fins:

These are usually one of the two types shown below.

High Frequency

Continuously Welded
Standard Frequency

Spot Welded

Solid Fins:

These are the most popular fins for modern HRSGs. High Frequency
Continuously Welded

Stud Fins:

These are used generally when the fuel is No. 6 or higher. Resistance