Dynamic Model of a Small Once-Through Boiler
Talonpoika, Timo (1996)
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LTKK Tieteellisiä julkaisuja - Research papersURN:ISSN:0356-8210
In this study, a model for the unsteady dynamic behaviour of a once-through counter flow boiler that uses an organic working fluid is presented. The boiler is a compact waste-heat boiler without a furnace and it has a preheater, a vaporiser and a superheater. The relative lengths of the boiler parts vary with the operating conditions since they are all parts of a single tube. The present research is a part of a study on the unsteady dynamics of an organic Rankine cycle power plant and it will be a part of a dynamic process model. The boiler model is presented using a selected example case that uses toluene as the process fluid and flue gas from natural gas combustion as the heat source. The dynamic behaviour of the boiler means transition from the steady initial state towards another steady state that corresponds to the changed process conditions. The solution method chosen was to find such a pressure of the process fluid that the mass of the process fluid in the boiler equals the mass calculated using the mass flows into and out of the boiler during a time step, using the finite difference method. A special method of fast calculation of the thermal properties has been used, because most of the calculation time is spent in calculating the fluid properties. The boiler was divided into elements. The values of the thermodynamic properties and mass flows were calculated in the nodes that connect the elements. Dynamic behaviour was limited to the process fluid and tube wall, and the heat source was regarded as to be steady. The elements that connect the preheater to thevaporiser and the vaporiser to the superheater were treated in a special way that takes into account a flexible change from one part to the other. The model consists of the calculation of the steady state initial distribution of the variables in the nodes, and the calculation of these nodal values in a dynamic state. The initial state of the boiler was received from a steady process model that isnot a part of the boiler model. The known boundary values that may vary during the dynamic calculation were the inlet temperature and mass flow rates of both the heat source and the process fluid. A brief examination of the oscillation around a steady state, the so-called Ledinegg instability, was done. This examination showed that the pressure drop in the boiler is a third degree polynomial of the mass flow rate, and the stability criterion is a second degree polynomial of the enthalpy change in the preheater. The numerical examination showed that oscillations did not exist in the example case. The dynamic boiler model was analysed for linear and step changes of the entering fluid temperatures and flow rates.The problem for verifying the correctness of the achieved results was that there was no possibility o compare them with measurements. This is why the only way was to determine whether the obtained results were intuitively reasonable and the results changed logically when the boundary conditions were changed. The numerical stability was checked in a test run in which there was no change in input values. The differences compared with the initial values were so small that the effects of numerical oscillations were negligible. The heat source side tests showed that the model gives results that are logical in the directions of the changes, and the order of magnitude of the timescale of changes is also as expected. The results of the tests on the process fluid side showed that the model gives reasonable results both on the temperature changes that cause small alterations in the process state and on mass flow rate changes causing very great alterations. The test runs showed that the dynamic model has no problems in calculating cases in which temperature of the entering heat source suddenly goes below that of the tube wall or the process fluid.
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