Heat Flux Monitoring in Biomass-Fired Boilers: Possible Areas of Improvement

Z. Hu and D. Matovic (Canada)


Biomass, ash fouling, heat flux sensor, simulation, sensitivity coefficient


A disc type 'Clean' radiation heat flux sensor with a new measurement concept is being developed in order to improve the performance of the ash monitoring system for the coal/biomass-fire boiler. The new concept of incident heat transfer tracking is being tested at the Atikokan power generating station that is being converted to biomass firing. A series of numerical tests have been conducted to develop and refine new method and obtain comparisons with the existing radial temperature difference method. A near-linear relationship between the disc temperature amplitude and the incident radiation heat flux is observed from the numerical results. Initial performance data of the new method demonstrate good tracking of the incident heat flux fluctuations and higher sensitivity. A tradeoff between the response time and sensitivity is also observed. Based on the numerical results, it appears that the sensitivity coefficient of the new method is less susceptible to the sensor material thermal property variation with temperature and can be further improved. Laboratory and in situ experiments with the new clean/dirty sensor tandem are pending.

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