Home > Precise and reliable PA damper actuators improve automatic load dispatch response at a JEA generating station

Precise and reliable PA damper actuators improve automatic load dispatch response at a JEA generating station

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Actuators play a key role in the ability of electric utilities to regulate power production in response to changing demand.

Regulating power production requires precise and efficient boiler combustion control, which can be challenging even at steady state.

Fuel and combustion air flow are controlled by modulating a variety of fans and dampers, and without actuators capable of positioning the dampers precisely, it is impossible to achieve the precise combustion control required for automatic load dispatch.

The upgrade to Beck 11-409 damper drives at the SJRPP, Jacksonville Electric Authority’s (JEA) premier coal-fired power station resulted in significant improvements in combustion control, allowing the power plant to be normally available for automatic dispatch of up to 800MW for JEA’s system dispatcher.

Dave Lott, manager of I&C at SJRPP explains that the plant pulverises coal and uses Primary Air (PA) to blow the pulverised coal into the boiler combustion box with the PA dampers controlling the immediate fuel delivery to the boiler.

Once the original PA damper actuators were replaced with Beck actuators, the plant has been able to have precise control of PA flow through each pulveriser, thus delivering fuel to the boiler.

He adds that the reliability and precise control offered by Beck actuators are critical factors in their ability to be automatically dispatched, which couldn’t be achieved with their original actuators.  

The station opted to install Beck damper drives for the PA damper applications because Beck drives are designed to provide precise control and modulate continuously without any duty limita¬≠tions.  

Additionally, Beck drives are specifically designed for modulating control and can consistently make step changes as small as 0.1% of span. The installation of Beck drives on the PA dampers and other coal mill modifications has drastically improved control.  

SJRPP installed the Beck actuators on their PA dampers in 2001, retuned their boiler, and now have over a decade of proven reliability in their ability to be automatically dispatched.  

Beck electric actuators are available in Australia from Acrodyne .

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