Valmet introduces a recovery boiler leak detector with advanced analytics
Finland-headed global energy technology supplier Valmet Oyj has introduced a predictive tool for detecting recovery boiler leaks - Valmet Recovery Boiler Leak Detector. According to the company, this innovative diagnostics application with advanced analytics enables boiler owners to detect even the smallest tube leaks in an unprecedented way, resulting in significantly improved boiler safety and reduced damage risks.
Typically, distributed control systems (DCS) have only relatively primitive tools for recovery boiler leak detection. These include simple differentials between the feedwater and the steam, or alarms for low drum level and high furnace pressure that are activated only in the case of very large and sudden leaks.
With these traditional tools, it is virtually impossible to notice a minor leak in the boiler furnace. A small undetected leak may grow, rupture a tube and lead to severe damages or even to a major smelt-water explosion.
Valmet Recovery Boiler Leak Detector now takes leak detection a major step forward by combining advanced mass and chemical balance calculations. This makes it an invaluable diagnostics tool for detecting leaks at their early stages, said Timo Laurila, Business Manager, Recovery Analyzers and Advanced Process Controls, Valmet.
Currently, the leak detection solution, which can be implemented on any DCS is used by several pulp mills, and according to Valmet, the results gained with it have been very positive.
Valmet Recovery Boiler Leak Detector typically recognizes a 0.25-0.50 percent difference between the feedwater and the steam in the feedwater flow. Additionally, the application features an advanced chemical balance calculation, which enables higher accuracy and identification of critical leaks and separation from non-critical leaks. The balance is typically calculated using phosphate as a tracer.
Alarm levels can be set low enough so that a leak can be diagnosed before a tube is ruptured. As boiler load swings are taken into account, there are no unnecessary alarms due to changes in load. Leak rate monitoring and alarms can be tested safely during normal operation by using a blowout line for leak simulation. Operator instructions and training for boiler leak detection and management are included in the delivery scope.