Babcock and Wilcox Boiler

It is a water tube boiler used in steam power plants. In this, water is circulated inside the tubes and hot gases flow over the tubes.

Construction of Babcock and Wilcox Boiler

The Babcock and Wilcox Boiler consists of

1.    Steam and water drum (boiler shell)

2.    Water tubes

3.    Uptake-header and down corner

4.    Grate

5.    Furnace

6.    Baffles

7.    Super heater

8.    Mud box

9.    Inspection door

10.  Damper

Steam and water drum (boiler shell):

One half of the drum which is horizontal is filled up with water and steam remains on the other half. It is about 8 meters in length and 2 meter in diameter.

Water tubes:

Water tubes are placed between the drum and furnace in an inclined position (at an angle of 10 to 15 degree) to promote water circulation. These tubes are connected to the uptake-header and the down-comer as shown.

Uptake-header and down-corner (or downtake-header)

The drum is connected at one end to the uptake-header by short tubes and at the other end to the down-corner by long tubes.

Grate: Coal is fed to the grate through the fire door.

Furnace : Furnace is kept below the uptake-header.

Baffles: The fire-brick baffles, two in number, are provided to deflect the hot flue gases.

SuperheaterThe boiler is fitted with a superheater tube which is placed just under the drum and above the water tubes

Mud box: Mud box is provided at the bottom end of the down comer. The mud or sediments in the water are collected in the mud box and it is blown-off time to time by means of a blow –off cock.

Inspection doors: Inspection doors are provided for cleaning and inspection of the boiler.

Working Babcock and Wilcox Boiler:

Coal is fed to the grate through the fire door and is burnt.

Flow of flue gases:

The hot flue gases rise upward and pass across the left-side portion of the water tubes. The baffles deflect the flue gases and hence the flue gases travel in the zig-zag manner (i.e., the hot gases are deflected by the baffles to move in the upward direction, then downward and again in the upward direction) over the water tubes and along the superheater. The flue gases finally escape to atmosphere through chimney.

Water circulation:

That portion of water tubes which is just above the furnace is heated comparatively at a higher temperature than the rest of it. Water, its density being decreased, rises into the drum through the uptake-header. Here the steam and water are separated in the drum. Steam being lighter is collected in the upper part of the drum. The water from the drum comes down through the down –comer into the water tubes.

A continuous circulation of water from the drum to the water tubes and water tubes to the drum is thus maintained. The circulation of water is maintained by convective currents and is known as “natural circulation”.

A damper is fitted as shown to regulate the flue gas outlet and hence the draught.

The boiler is fitted with necessary mountings. Pressure gauge and water level indicator are mounted on the boiler at its left end. Steam safety valve and stop valve are mounted on the top of the drum. Blow-off cock is provided for the periodical removed of mud and sediments collected in the mud box.

Salient features of Babcock and Wilcox Boiler:

1.    Its overall efficiency is higher than a fire tube boiler.

2.    The defective tubes can be replaced easily.

3.    All the components are accessible for inspection even during the operation.

4.    The draught loss is minimum compared with other boiler.

5.    Steam generation capacity and operating pressure are high compared with other boilers.

6.    The boiler rests over a steel structure independent of brick work so that the boiler may expand or contract freely.

7.    The water tubes are kept inclined at an angle of 10 to 15 degree to promote water circulation.

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