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Boiler Cleaning Optimization with SMART CLEAN™ Intelligent Sootblowing

Using SMART Clean and SMART Cannons at Alliant Energy’s Edgewater Facility Improve System Reliability and Plant Heat Rate

Alliant Energy’s Edgewater Generating Station Unit 5 is a Powder River Basin coal-fired 380-megawatt power plant that is equipped with a wall-fired Babcock & Wilcox boiler. The original boiler cleaning system installed in 2000 was a first generation water lance blower WLB90 supplied by Clyde Bergemann. In 2011, Clyde Bergemann provided a control system upgrade for sootblower controls.  Last year, the operator was considering replacing and updating the WLB90 technology to take advantage of recent high-tech advancements and again turned to Clyde Bergemann for advice. 

In early 2015, the Clyde Bergemann Boiler Efficiency specialists initiated first service inspections and the technology experts took a deeper look on a longer-term solution to improve the boiler performance and reduce the heat rate. The plant's Engineering, Operations, and I&C leads were pulled into the discussion to make sure all key stakeholders buy-in was realized for the larger scope. 

In follow up meetings, the Clyde Bergemann team recommended a full upgrade system with WLB100, SMART Cannons, and VFD driven modernized Carver Pump skid. 

Over the last seven years, Clyde Bergemann has worked on improving the water lance blower’s mechanics and programing, thereby increasing the reliability and reducing the overall maintenance associated with the Cannon System. The successor model - WLB100A - uses a newly developed controls system, supported by Clyde Bergemann, that offers significant improvements to the operation and reliability. 

The additionally deployed SMART Cannon was especially designed for the targeted use of water to remove slagging. The main advantage gained is the increased coverage in the boiler from 30% with traditional wall blowers up to 90% with SMART Cannons. 

The SMART Cannon is designed as a three-dimensional cleaning device with “X” and “Y” axis control.  Designed with self-contained, modular linear drives, they travel approximately 45 degrees in each direction and the “Z” axis, controlled through varying water pressure during operation “X”.

Furthermore, a non-standard pump skid that limited the system performance was replaced by a VFD driven modernized Carver Pump skid.

With the collaboration of Sales, Business Development, and Technology teams, this project turned from a simple "parts upgrade fix it" type of project into a 100% technology upgrade including SMART Cannons. 

With the 0.4% plant heat rate improvement potential, finally SMART Clean optimization system was added into the project scope. SMART Clean™ is designed to intelligently respond to the real-time heat transfer in the boiler and target areas that are fouling. With the full scope of SMART Clean tying the furnace and convective pass cleaning equipment together, Clyde Bergemann is able to integrate the furnace and convective sections cleaning operations into a global intelligence designed to deliver the best cleaning strategy based on Edgewater’s key performance indicators. 

The SMART Clean system utilizes a Thermodynamic Model (TDM) that runs a “what if” simulation continuously in the background.  Based on this feedback the system is able to predict the outcome of any given cleaning event and target the cleaning activities that will have the greatest effect on maintaining the plant goals.  This revolutionary approach eliminates the need for zone clean and dirty set points and human intervention as opposed to traditional ISB systems.