Ash Cooling Screws—A Retrospective and Looking Ahead

[+] Author and Article Information
Jeff W. Kerner

 Alberts & Associates, Inc.

Gary W. Stetler

 Metso Minerals Inc.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 128(2), 154-158 (Feb 14, 2006) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2191503 History: Received June 11, 2004; Revised February 14, 2006

The first commercial screw cooler on record for cooling bottom ash from fluidized bed combustion (FBC) boilers was installed in 1979. Since then, over 300 ash screw cooler (ASC) machines have been used for this duty worldwide. The relatively quick upsurge in developing and building FBC boilers in the early 1980s forced the industry to select existing cooling screw designs, typically used in less severe services in the chemical, grain, plastics, and food industry. At the time, these were the only reasonable and readily available machines thought capable of handling abrasive, corrosive, and extremely hot bottom ash. The extreme difficulties of operating and maintaining these units in this service quickly became apparent, but only after quite a number of initial designs had already been designed, purchased, and installed. Today, 23 years later, both the manufacturers and users of ASCs can look back and point to installations where, thanks to communication and cooperation between operators and the manufacturer, operating units and their installations have been successfully modified, resulting in smoother operation and much less frequent maintenance. New units can incorporate a range of features, depending upon the anticipated ash quality. As a result, ASCs are now reportedly ranked low on the list of FBC operators and managers concerns. This paper will address what has been learned by both manufacturers and operators. The results of a survey of the operating and maintenance experience as well as maintenance costs of a wide sample of ASC users will be presented. A look ahead as to where ash screw cooler technology is moving is addressed, with help and continued input from current users of the equipment.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Holo-Flite® processor screw construction specifications

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Figure 2

Double-screw Holo-Flite®

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Figure 3

Four-screw Holo-Flite®

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Figure 5

Ash distribution inside cooler



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