Balancing Act - Simple Techniques for Steam Header Controls

Fuels and Petrochemicals Division
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 30, 2013 - 10:15am-10:45am

An industrial steam distribution system with multiple headers, turbines, boilers, and reducing valves is managed with header control strategies that mitigate upsets, increase power generation, and reduce clean condensate makeup. Effective use of override, anti-windup, and TG governor interface strategies insure header stability. Upsets are managed without cascading into multiple equipment failure. An overall coordination scheme is built from optimum use of pressure reducing valves that is easily grasped by operating personnel.

Coordinating interconnected steam headers is impossible without automatic control. A major upset on one header can cascade throughout the system causing multiple equipment failures and eventual plant outage. A control strategy that coordinates turbines, boilers, and reducing valves can balance a multiple header system during normal operation and prevent a catastrophic failure during a major upset.     

 Coordinated control of the pressure reducing valves (PRVs) is the most effective too for stable header control.  Proper configuration of override controls and limiters keep the valves closed until needed.  Interfaces with the Woodward TG governor systems coordinate the PRVs with TG extraction to allow PRVs to take over when the TGs are unavailable.

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