Background and Problem Statement
Early reciprocating steam engines were mostly designed to operate in an open cycle. This implies that the exhaust steam was released to the atmosphere. The challenge with this system was the high necessity of fresh water supply. Besides, a lot of impurities accumulated in the boilers during the steam generation process. In this regard, different forms of water treatment were required before water could be entered into the boiler. However, such processes were not only inefficient but also costly to manage.
It should be noted that electricity usage is increasing globally particularly due to industrialization. However, the demand for electricity in most countries is still higher than the generation (Ataei, 2009). Use of steam in the generation of electricity among other industrial uses has become imperative thereby necessitating research and development of new and existing systems to maximize efficiency. However, limitation of technological advancement and high costs have made it hard to fully utilize renewable energy sources particularly the development of efficient steam cycles. Mostly, the steam cycle utilizes the Rankine cycle, which is an ideal thermodynamics steam cycle (Mohandas et al., 2016). It is, therefore, necessary to investigate modifications that can be done to the existing steam generation cycles to improve efficiency and hence, increase in electrical power output.
In the independent study course, steam generation will be my topic as its importance for manufacturers. The water is heated until it boils and turns into steam, which is channeled, via piping, to the necessary components for transfer to the end use point. Most of the manufactories depends on steam generation for refrigeration as an example. If you have high temperature equipment it will be hard to bring down to lower temperature with water, it might collapse or bend the equipment. The applications of steam can be specified into heating or sterilization, humidification, atomization, propulsion, moisturization, motive, and cleaning. These processes facilitate agricultural, domestic, electricity production, energy storage, lifting, engine locomotion, healthcare, wood and concrete treatment, and piping activities. There are 4 types of steam: saturated, also known as dry, vacuum, superheated and clean.
Steam generation components alongside a power and heat conversion mechanism to produce and supply energy in various forms, including electrical. Steam generators save a lot of energy and power for manufactures. As steam produced by the boiler it can produce a power to generate a turbine through shafts that connected to the pump. steam energy reduces economic dependence on energy sources like oil and gas, whose economic costs and environmental impacts are huge. Some manufactures uses steam generators instead of the power to grantee the manufacture doesn’t stop production in case of electrical problems.
Steam generation equipment can be classified based on application: boiler, distribution, end use and recovery. And it will be explained further as I go on the project.
Steam energy itself is cleaner when compared to other energy sources.
I will cover the process in details starting from water ending with steam with machines involved like the boiler and show its part with diagram.
The aim of this study is to investigate and suggest methods that can be used in improving the efficiency of the Rankine steam generation cycle from the feed water in the condenser, through the boiler, and towards the steam turbine and back for regeneration. To achieve this, various modifications will be explored. First is heating of the regenerative feed water. This will be achieved by taking some low-pressure steam from the turbine when the expansion process takes place. The steam will be used to preheat feed water before actual evaporation in the boiler. To achieve this, it will be necessary to change the common back-pressure turbines with extraction condensing turbines. Also, the usage of boilers for high pressure that are fitted with condensing as well as extraction steam turbines will be explored. It is expected that the latter method will improve the ratio of power to heat production in the boiler. On the other end, the former method will reduce the steam necessity in low pressure. The low-pressure steam generated will, however, be used differently depending on the type of factory. On the other hand, steam generated in high pressure will be used in running the turbines of electrical generation.