Boiler air inleakage is a major cause of reduced efficiency at power plants. Inleakage can occur both upstream and downstream of the O2 monitors that control the boiler. Inleakage upstream of the monitors can result in sub-optimal fuel-air mixture leading to combustion and heat rate issues. When occurring downstream of the monitors, inleakage can have the following adverse effects:
- inefficiency due to increased pressure losses and cooling of the flue gas by air
- limitation of operation at high load due to fan capacity
- reduced collection efficiency of ESPs and baghouses due to excess flow
- increased potential for corrosion of ducting and internal components
ASC Inleakage Identification
Finding leaks can be a very challenging endeavor, and the difficulty often leads utilities to delay or even ignore minimization of leakage. However, Airflow Sciences Corporation has developed robust new methodologies to find leaks relatively accurately and economically, using a variety of thermal, acoustic, and visual techniques. More information can be found in the 2013 Fall newsletter and ASC's VBlog.