Data acquired in the Exxon Research and Engineering Company’s fluid bed boiler program indicate that the arrangement and orientation of internal boiler tubes has a strong effect on the measured bed temperature profile. Horizontally oriented tubes yield much steeper temperature gradients than do vertical tubes. Excessive vertical temperature gradients in coal fired fluid bed boilers can either limit coal feed rates or result in the formation of agglomerates of solid material which are destructive of bed internals. This study represents an attempt to understand the influence of orientation on vertical temperature profiles in fluid bed boilers. A back-mixing model for solids recirculation was developed and applied to the prediction of bed temperatures. Bubbling bed theory is not suitable for estimating solids circulation rates in pressurized beds of large particles with immersed tubes. However, by introducing the concept of a solids mixing height it was possible to estimate solid movement. The solids mixing height and vertical boiler tube dimensions were correlated in a manner which resulted in good agreement between theoretical and experimental bed temperature profiles. It is felt that this simple model may prove quite useful in the design of large scale commercial fluid bed boilers.

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