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Title: Super Boiler: Packed Media/Transport Membrane Boiler Development and Demonstration

Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and Cleaver-Brooks developed a new gas-fired steam generation system the Super Boiler for increased energy efficiency, reduced equipment size, and reduced emissions. The system consists of a firetube boiler with a unique staged furnace design, a two-stage burner system with engineered internal recirculation and inter-stage cooling integral to the boiler, unique convective pass design with extended internal surfaces for enhanced heat transfer, and a novel integrated heat recovery system to extract maximum energy from the flue gas. With these combined innovations, the Super Boiler technical goals were set at 94% HHV fuel efficiency, operation on natural gas with <5 ppmv NOx (referenced to 3%O2), and 50% smaller than conventional boilers of similar steam output. To demonstrate these technical goals, the project culminated in the industrial demonstration of this new high-efficiency technology on a 300 HP boiler at Clement Pappas, a juice bottler located in Ontario, California. The Super Boiler combustion system is based on two stage combustion which combines air staging, internal flue gas recirculation, inter-stage cooling, and unique fuel-air mixing technology to achieve low emissions rather than external flue gas recirculation which is most commonly used today. The two-stage combustion provides lower emissions because ofmore » the integrated design of the boiler and combustion system which permit precise control of peak flame temperatures in both primary and secondary stages of combustion. To reduce equipment size, the Super Boiler's dual furnace design increases radiant heat transfer to the furnace walls, allowing shorter overall furnace length, and also employs convective tubes with extended surfaces that increase heat transfer by up to 18-fold compared to conventional bare tubes. In this way, a two-pass boiler can achieve the same efficiency as a traditional three or four-pass firetube boiler design. The Super Boiler is consequently up to 50% smaller in footprint, has a smaller diameter, and is up to 50% lower in weight, resulting in very compact design with reduced material cost and labor costs, while requiring less boiler room floor space. For enhanced energy efficiency, the heat recovery system uses a transport membrane condenser (TMC), a humidifying air heater (HAH), and a split-stage economizer to extract maximum energy from the flue gas. The TMC is a new innovation that pulls a major portion of water vapor produced by the combustion process from the flue gases along with its sensible and latent heat. This results in nearly 100% transfer of heat to the boiler feed water. The HAH improves the effectiveness of the TMC, particularly in steam systems that do not have a large amount of cold makeup water. In addition, the HAH humidifies the combustion air to reduce NOx formation. The split-stage economizer preheats boiler feed water in the same way as a conventional economizer, but extracts more heat by working in tandem with the TMC and HAH to reduce flue gas temperature. These components are designed to work synergistically to achieve energy efficiencies of 92-94% which is 10-15% higher than today's typical firetube boilers.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Gas Technology Institute
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE EE Office of Industrial Technologies (EE-2F)
Country of Publication:
United States
03 NATURAL GAS; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; Super Boiler, Transport Membrane, Heat Recovery, Energy Efficiency, Advanced Boiler, Two-stage Boiler