How to Save Electricity in Voith Hydro Coupling by Gear Optimization in existing Power Transmission in Boiler Feed Pump.

Energy Saving  by Voith Gear Optimization in BFP-An Engineering Case Study by Mechwix Technology.

 To make the world energy efficient, every rational should entrust their effort to reduce the unnecessary energy consumption at all equipment and machineries they handle

Mission: As a mechanical engineer, I am Md Kamaluddin working in a Thermal Power as Turbine and Auxiliary maintenance dept. There I had to handle different machineries like centrifugal and reciprocating pumps & compressors, turbine, power transmission devices and equipment. All these machineries are driven by mechanical or electrical energy. All these equipments have rated energy consumption. These energy consumption pattern is gradually improved day by day through continual technological improvement either in new design or re-engineering of the existing design. Thermal power plant is mandatorily equipped with boiler water feed pump called BFP pump. This is generally the most power consuming equipment. Power is transmitted from motor to pump through hydro coupling (Mechanical Power Transmission machineries). In our system this hydro coupling is manufactured and supplied by VOITH, a German based technology company. The working principle of Voith is described below. We observed that this hydro coupler is over rated than that of our requirement. So we emphasis to optimize the power consumption.  

Basic working Principle of Voith Hydro Coupling work. Interactive Philosophy for power transmission in hydro coupling.

Variable Speed Hydro Dynamic Couplings consist of two gear segments. These are primary and secondary part flow machinery. They have a centrifugal pump segment called primary wheel & a turbine segment called secondary wheel. The torque is transmitted from pump segment to turbine segment. 

                    The vane wheels are kept inside a closed cavity so that fluid pressurized inside cavity. Only the pressure energy converts to kinetic energy through the turbine vanes. But all the input energy can't be transferred. A deviation between input Speed of primary driver wheel and output speed of secondary driven wheels. The percentage of the differential speed is the slip of the hydro couplings. It impacts the loss of power transmission. This is called slip loss. This loss reduces at a higher speed ratio (Operating Speed/Max Speed).

Modification of Gear Train: This case study was initiated in the year 2016 & conducted in  Sagardighi Thermal Power Project Stage-I. This unit was supplied & commissioned by Dongfeng Electric Corporation (DEC). We are working with Voith Hydro coupling (Model: R16K400M) attached to Boiler feed pump having the maximum input speed is 5760 RPM but operating speed of the pump is 5362 RPM. It was design for the plant of load 315 MW. This was because of design margins and contract guarantees. But the actual operating load of the plant is 300MW. So the required speed of the boiler feed pumps is much lesser than the maximum possible speed. So the boiler feed pumps are operating with more slip loss. We estimate the potential energy savings in the major power consuming equipment as it consumes the major part of a plant’s auxiliary energy. There is a huge slip loss. So the case study was regarding to change of the step up gear & result in reduction in energy consumption. Calculation & pre-estimation for potential Energy saving by gear optimization was done. 
On site calculation is based on the maximum speed needed for 315MW plant load. 

We collaborate to M/S Voith Turbo for integrated design and manufacturing venture. Gear Optimization (Changing gear ratio from 3.96 to 3.71) for the maximum output speed 5400 RPM. It is nearer to required output speed of 5362 RPM. The existing helical gear train was with teeth of 111 & 28 respectively. It was modified to new helical gear train with teeth of 145 & 39. Thus the gear ratio reduced from 3.96 to 3.71. Thus existing gear train restricts the maximum output speed to the required maximum operating speed. Hence slip loss reduces as well as power losses.

Effective Cost optimization-Model Analysis & Calculation:

Before the incorporation of modified gear assembly current was 470 Amps with water Flow @515 TPH.

After successful installation of optimized Gear in BFP Pump Required operating current was 415 Amps @Flow 515 TPH.

So Change of current is (470-415)=55 Amps with same flow.

So savings of Power Consumption for running a single pump

=1.732*6.6*55*.88 KW (Assuming Power Factor 0.85)

=553 KW

The guaranteed value of power saving is 302 KW. So it is higher than expectation.

So Annual Power Saving

=553*360*24*0.85 KWH.(Assuming 85% Load Factor)

=4061232 KWH.

So Annual economic Saving in INR RS. (Generation Cost @Rupees 3.00- Per KWH)

=4061232*3.00 INR Rupees.

=12183696.00 INR Rupees.

Total Material & Service costing is INR 1,21,83,696.00 Rupees.

So, Pay Back Period of the incorporation of modified gear assembly is one Year.

Conclusion: So the case study was ended to positive gain of our energy saving approach. It is not only increases the productivity but also added retardation to global climate change

Thanks to Mr. Kotti Reddy, Service Engineer of M/S Voith (India) & credit to M/S Voith Turbo India Pvt. Ltd for their support.

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