Ceramic Candle Filter Performance at the Grimethorpe (UK) Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustor

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Stringer

Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA 94304

A. J. Leitch

Electric Power Research Institute, Cowdenbeath Office, Cowdenbeath, United Kingdom

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 114(2), 371-379 (Apr 01, 1992) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2906601 History: Received March 11, 1991; Online April 24, 2008


A pilot hot-gas particulate removal system, based on positive porous ceramic filters, has been tested on the Grimethorpe Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustor facility. The filters are in the form of closed-ended tubes, 1.5 m long: These are generally called “candles.” The dust accumulates on the outside of the candles, and is periodically removed by a pulse of air into the candle interior, which then flows outward through the candle wall in the reverse direction to the normal flow of the combustion gas. The EPRI system contained a maximum of 130 candles, which is approximately equivalent to the requirement for 7 MW(e) capacity, depending on the filter-operating parameters. The filter unit operated for a total of 860 h under PFBC conditions, of which 790 h were at defined process conditions, typically 850°C and 10 bar. The amount of gas flowing through each filter element was varied, and the time between cleaning pulses also was varied. The pressure drop through each filter element rose as the dust accumulated on the outer wall, and recovered after the cleaning pulse. However, the post-cleaning pressure drop does not recover to the original clean candle value, but increases with time. It is believed that a steady-state value is attained, but the exposure in the Grimethorpe test series was insufficient to establish this unequivocally. During the test, five candles failed. This appears to have been due to mechanical shock, as a result of candles lifting because of excessive pressure differentials across their support plate, and dropping back. The failures are not believed to be intrinsic to the technology. However, in addition a reduction in the strength of the candles with time of exposure was observed. This might also attain a steady-state value, but this too could not be established on the basis of the tests reported in this paper. This is clearly a matter of importance, and further work will be required to determine the suitability of the clay-bonded silicon carbide medium used in these tests for this application. A number of deficiencies in the design of the unit emerged with the operating experience, and suggestions have been made for improvements. However, it is clear that further work on design optimization is required. The pulse-cleaning air usage in the tests was greater than would be economically acceptable in a practical system. Further work needs to be done to optimize the cleaning cycle. Overall, the test was very successful, and, when operating properly, the filters removed essentially all of the dust in the gas exiting from the combustor. Apart from the issues with the candle strength and the pulse-cleaning air usage, the other problems were not believed to be of major importance in the further development of the technology. This paper will summarize the test results, emphasizing the problems of candle durability and the pulse-cleaning system.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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