Condition-based monitoring of natural draught wet-cooling tower performance-related parameters

Ehlers, Frederik Coenrad (2011-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The meteorological conditions at Eskom’s Majuba Power Station are measured, evaluated and trended in this dissertation. The results are used to evaluate the current natural draught wet-cooling tower (NDWCT) design- and performance test specifications and to compare these to the original design- and performance test specifications. The evaluation reveals that the design parameters for the NDWCTs at Majuba Power Station, a cooling system that was originally designed optimally, could have been determined differently and arguably more accurately by using the wet-bulb temperature (Tawb) as the main design variable instead of the dry-bulb temperature (Ta). A new technique to determine optimal NDWCT design and performance test conditions is consequently proposed. In order to satisfy the atmospheric conditions required for a successful NDWCT performance test, it is also proposed that the tests be undertaken between 12:00 and 14:00 during Summer. It is found that the NDWCT inlet Tawb, measured at specific heights, does not compare well to the far-field Tawb measured at the same heights when a Tawb accuracy of 0.1 K is required. It is proposed that a more representative far-field Tawb measuring height of 10 m should be used in future NDWCT designs as the NDWCT design temperature reference height. The industry-standard reference height should, however, still be used during temperature profile calculations. A parametric study of the water-steam cycle and wet-cooling system at Majuba indicates that during full load conditions, the generated output (Pst) is primarily dependent on the condenser saturation pressure (pc). The latter is reliant on Tawb, the temperature lapse rate (LRT) that is represented by the temperature profile exponent (bT), the main cooling water flow rate (mcw), atmospheric pressure (pa), and wind speed (VW). Using historical plant data relatively simple methods, enabling the quick and effective determination of these relationships, are proposed. The plant-specific and atmospheric parameters required for these analyses are also tabulated. Two NDWCT effectiveness models, one mathematical (Kröger, 1998) and one statistical artificial neural network (ANN) model are presented and evaluated. ANNs, which are not often used to evaluate NDWCT effectiveness, provide accurate NDWCT temperature approach results within 0.5 K of measured values for varying dependent variables. This motivates that an ANN, if set up and used correctly, can be an effective condition-monitoring tool and can be used to improve the accuracy of more empirical NDWCT performance models. The one-dimensional mathematical effectiveness model provides accurate results under NDWCT design conditions. The dependency of Majuba’s NDWCT to the rain zone mean drop diameter (dd) is evaluated by means of the one-dimensional mathematical model. A reduction in dd from 0.0052 m to 0.0029 m can reduce the NDWCT re-cooled water temperature (Tcwo) so that the rated pc is reduced by 0.15 kPa, which relates to a combined financial saving during peak and off-peak periods of R1.576M in 2013 and R1.851M in 2016. Similar improvements can result in higher savings at other wet-cooled stations in the Eskom fleet due to less optimally-designed wet-cooling systems. The proposed techniques should be considered in future economic evaluations of wet-cooling system improvements at different power stations.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die meteorologiese toestande by Eskom se Majuba-kragstasie is deur die navorser gemeet en -evalueer. Die resultate word gebruik om die Natuurlike-trek, Nat koeltoring (NTNKT) se ontwerp- en werkverrigting toetsspesifikasies te evalueer en vergelyk met die oorspronklike toetsspesifikasies. Die resultate dui daarop dat die ontwerpsparameters vir die NTNKTs by Majuba-kragstasie, ‘n verkoelings-sisteem wat aanvanklik optimaal ontwerp is, op ‘n ander, selfs meer akkurate manier bepaal kon word deur die natbol-temperatuur (Tawb) te gebruik as die hoof-ontwerpsparameter inplaas van die droëbol temperatuur (Ta).’n Nuwe tegniek wat gebruik kan word om akkurate NTNKT ontwerp- en werkverrigting toetsspesifikasies te bepaal word voorgestel. Die tydperk vir die mees optimale atmosferiese toestande, wanneer NTNKT-toetse uitgevoer moet word, word vasgestel as tussen 12:00 en 14:00 tydens Somermaande. Dit word bewys, vir ’n Tawb akkuraatheid van 0.1 K, dat die NTNKT inlaat-Tawb, gemeet by verskillende hoogtes, nie vergelykbaar is met Tawb wat ver van die NTNKT af op dieselfde hoogtes gemeet word nie. ’n Meer aanvaarbare hoogte van 10 m word voorgestel as die NTNKT ontwerpstemperatuur verwysingshoogte vir toekomstige NTNKT ontwerpe wanneer die Tawb ver van die NTNKT af meet word. Die industrie-standaard temperatuur verwysingshoogte moet wel steeds gebruik word tydens temperatuur-profielberekeninge. ’n Parametriese studie van die turbine se water-stoom siklus en die nat-verkoelingstelsel by Majuba dui daarop dat die generator se uitset (Pst) hoofsaaklik afhanklik is van die kondensator se druk (pc) gedurende vol-vrag toestande. Druk (pc) is weer afhanklik van Tawb, die temperatuur vervaltempo (LRT) wat voorgestel word deur die temperatuur profiel eksponent (bT), die verkoelingswater-vloeitempo (mcw), atmosferiese druk (pa) en windspoed (VW). Deur die gebruik van historiese data word redelike eenvoudige metodes voorgestel om dié verhoudings doeltreffend te bepaal. Die atmosferiese- en stasie-spesifieke parameters wat benodig word vir dié ontleding is ook getabuleer. Twee modelle vir NTNKT-effektiweit, ’n wiskundige (gebaseer op Kröger, 1998) en statistiese kunsmatige neurale-netwerk (KNN) model, word aangebied en geëvalueer. KNNe, wat nie gereeld gebruik word om NTNKTe se effektiwiteit te evalueer nie, lewer akkurate NTNKT temperatuur-benadering resultate binne 0.5 K van die gemete resultate vir wisselende afhanklike parameters. Dié resultate motiveer dat ’n KNN wat korrek opgestel is doeltreffend gebruik kan word om die toestand van NTNKTs te bepaal en om die akkuraatheid van ander NTNKT-modelle te verbeter. Die eendimensionele, wiskundige model lewer akkurate resultate onder NTNKT ontwerpspesifikasies. ’n Wiskundige NTNKT-model word gebruik om die afhanklikheid van Majubakragstasie se NTNKTe tot die reënsone druppelgrootte (dd) te bereken. 'n Vermindering in dd van 0,0052 tot 0,0029 m kan die NTNKT se afgekoelde watertemperatuur (Tcwo), van só 'n aard verlaag dat pc verminder met 0,15 kPa. Só kan ’n gesamentlike vol- en gedeeltelike vrag finansiële besparing van R1.576M in 2013 en R1.851M in 2016 behaal word. Soortgelyke verbeterings aan verkoelingstelsels sal lei tot meer en hoër besparings by ander Eskom nat-verkoelde stasies. Dié tegnieke moet in ag geneem word tydens toekomstige ekonomiese evaluasies van verbeterings tot nat-verkoelingstelsels by ander kragstasies.

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