Maximizing feedwater heater performance

July 2005
Power;Jul/Aug2005, Vol. 149 Issue 6, p25
Trade Publication
This article focuses on maximizing feedwater heater performance. Feedwater heaters are used to preheat feedwater before it is fed into the steam drum of a boiler to improve its overall cycle efficiency. The typical feedwater heater uses a water level-control system to maximize its thermal performance. Mark Wier, a mechanical engineer at MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co.'s Riverside Generating Station in Bettendorf, Iowa, says that if the level in a feedwater heater is not properly controlled, the result could be a drop in plant efficiency, or worse, if the water backs up into the steam turbine extraction lines. At Riverside, there are currently 16 level sensors installed on feedwater heaters, turbine hot wells, and condensate tanks. MidAmerican wanted to buy a new feedwater level-control system to replace an older, pneumatic control system for which spare parts were no longer available. After surveying the field, MidAmerican selected a level control system from K-TEK Corp. The level control system helps maintain the right balance between steam and water for optimal operation.


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