Useful Tips for Optimal Fired Heater Performance

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Advanced Process Control Strategies for Process Fired Heaters

Fired Heaters are used extensively throughout refineries for heating, vaporization and thermal cracking of various process fluids. These heaters are essential for refinery operation. The main objectives for fired heater optimization are maximizing coil outlet temperature, reducing energy cost, reducing emissions and overall variability. The ultimate goal is to operate near constraints while ensuring plant safety. Advanced process control methods coupled with a solid combustion control strategy provides an effective means of safely operating near constraints. Even further, pre-engineered application solutions offer great benefits in the ease of implementation and support.

This presentation will discuss the critical building blocks of optimal fired heater operation. The required measurements will be discussed and their importance on the process. The focus will be on how these measurements are used in a control strategy to optimize fired heater operation. A combustion controls strategy including air to fuel cross limiting and BTU compensation will be examined. The importance of maintaining the correct air to fuel ratio will be demonstrated. It will be shown how the proper air to fuel ratio can not only reduce energy cost but also help to meet increasing environmental regulations.

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