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Superheater Problems in Steam Generators

By Viswanathan Ganapathy |

Knowing the features of a good boiler will prevent problems associated with a poor design Oil- and gas-fired package steam generators (or boilers; Figure 1) are used in chemical plants, power plants, petroleum refineries and in cogeneration plants to generate steam for process and power-generation applications. Steam parameters are typically in the following ranges: steam flowrate, 40 to 200 ton/h; pressure, 30 to 100 barg; and temperatures, 350 to 500ºC. A widespread problem in several plants is the failure of superheater tubes due to overheating and the reasons can often be traced to either poor design or poor operation, or a combination of the two. Figure 1. A package oil- and gas-fired, D-type boiler in shipment[/caption] Overview of the problem In the author’s opinion, based on his international boiler consulting experience over the last decade, poor design accounts for a significant number of problems. It should be kept in mind that the average life of a boiler, whose cost runs into millions of dollars, is more than thirty years, and a well-designed superheater also should last that long. If the plant personnel have to spend sleepless nights every few months fixing a poorly designed boiler that has frequent superheater…
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