Boiler Controls and Combustion Systems

Instrumentation and controls are essential to all systems to promote safe, economic, and reliable operation. Boiler control may range from simple manual devices to sophisticated automatic control systems that operate the boiler and all associated equipment. When steam turbines are applied, the overall control system may be extended to include the turbine controls as well.

Small-capacity boilers may include relatively simple packaged control systems that purge the furnace, start and stop the burner, maintain the required steam pressure and water level, and provide required safeties. More sophisticated distributed control systems serving large-capacity boilers can include the following:

• Boiler instrumentation

• Combustion (fuel and air) control

• Drum level and feedwater flow control

• Fuel-firing system and burner sequence control

• Start-up and bypass control

• Steam flow and pressure control

• Steam temperature control for superheater and reheater outlet

• Data processing, recording, and display

• Performance calculation and analysis

Fig. 7-26 Main Features of a Bubbling Fluidized-Bed Boiler. Source: Babcock & Wilcox

Fig. 7-25 Low-Capacity Packaged Watertube Boiler. Source: Cleaver Brooks

Fig. 7-26 Main Features of a Bubbling Fluidized-Bed Boiler. Source: Babcock & Wilcox

• Emissions measurement, calculation, and analysis

• Unit trip and alarm annunciation system

• Steam turbine and electric generator controls (where applicable)

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