Quality Control and Stock Management in Coal Fired Power Plants

The ever increasing demand for energy poses more challenges to coal fired power plants, compelling faster responses in morning ramps and larger capacities during peak demands. These operational challenges necessitate a rigorous control of each process to achieve optimum efficiency.

In some nations, cost reduction is also required to stand out in competition and to minimize the impact of plant upgrades to meet the requirements of environmental standards. ABB supplies a range of laser level transmitters, volumetric scanners and positioners that deliver rapid, precise and reliable solutions for inventory management and quality control at different stages in the power plant.

Stock Management and Quality Control

Stock management contributes significantly to the profitability of a power plant, where holdings need to be reduced while maintaining a consistent and effective flow. Optimizing inventory can be achieved through many aspects such as timely stock management, stockpile size, stock level fluctuation, and stockpile turnover period.

Quality control is also equally important as lowers random quality variations and optimizes blends based on the requirements of the power plant. Coal management and processing steps are depicted in Figure 1.

Coal Management and Processing Steps

Figure 1. Coal management and processing steps

ABB’s Level Products in Coal Fired Power Plants

Robust construction, non-contact pulsed laser technique, multi-mounting options, low beam divergence, narrow beam, non-condensing optics (heated lens) are the key features of ABB laser products.

These devices are immune to solids size, angle of response, the dielectric constant of the material, moving and falling material, vibrations at surfaces, condensation, gas and high humidity, and vessel construction. The ability to measure great distances, high accuracy to get around infrastructures, and easy installation are the other benefits of ABB laser products.

It is easier to install ABB laser level transmitters in feeders, conveyors, hoppers, bunkers, or silos for continuous monitoring of coal height. It is also possible to use them as positioning devices to trace reclaimers, plough feeders, stackers, and tripper cars at very long distances. Signal output can be transmitted to the controlling systems to trigger actions through relays.

ABB laser scanners can be mounted on bunkers, silos, domes, warehouses, or stockyards for accurate quantification of the coal volume in sight, either for contained areas like small bunkers or large stockpiles.

Interfering infrastructures or irregular shapes are handled through a service of data treatment, which yields reliable data on time. The technology can also be used to handle wood or biomass for which conversion is required in some power plants. Aerial view of a coal supply for power station is depicted in Figure 2.

Coal Supply for Power Station

Figure 2. Aerial view of a coal supply for power station

ABB VM3D is recommended to deal with coal stockpiles both indoor and outdoor, where the challenges include dusty environments, warehouse structures, very large stockpiles, and extreme operational conditions (-35ºC to +65ºC). It replaces manual survey operation through accurate inventory management system and facilitates precise inventory control for the production process on a daily basis.

Besides providing guaranteed data integrity, ABB VM3D eliminates artifacts and infrastructures. High accuracy, remote monitoring, data processing services, multiple scanners network and ABB high performance engineering are the other key features of ABB VM3D.

LM80/LM200 Laser Level Transmitters have fast electronics and 4-20mA current loop and relays. They are configurable device with no moving parts. Zero maintenance, rapid response, user friendliness, easy to install are the key benefits of LM80/LM200 Laser Level Transmitters.

ABB LM200 is recommended for use in coal silos, where the challenges involved are extreme peaking and slumping of the material, falling stream of coal, simultaneous filling/reclaiming (rat-holing), near empty levels on narrow bottom, and different particle sizes (dust to 4” chunks). It is maintenance free and provides constant and accurate readings as well as reliable results.

About ABB Level Measurement Products

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 150,000 people.

ABB Level Measurement Products is a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art level and volume instrumentation for liquid and bulk solids detection. ABB products have demonstrated versatility in numerous applications, affording our customers a variety of practical and innovative solutions for their installation needs.

Our company designs, manufactures, and markets rugged, accurate and reliable equipment addressing numerous applications such as: mining and construction, aggregates, fertilizers, chemical processing, power generation, food and beverage, pulp and paper processing, upstream oil & gas, and downstream oil & gas.

Specifically, the ABB family of non-contact laser level and volume products (LM80, LM200 and VM3D) as well as ultrasonic transmitters, Rf, tuning fork and paddle wheel switches, provide solutions for accurate measurement in the following applications: inventory in bunkers, blending hoppers, reactor vessels, level control, volumetric measurement, and various dry bulk solids and opaque liquids in silos.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by ABB Level Measurement Products.

For more information on this source, please visit ABB Level Measurement Products.

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