New thermal imaging camera system for coal-fired boilers improves plant efficiency

LumaSense’s BoilerSpection increases coal plant productivity by providing thermal infrared camera system for boilers with continuous through-flame imaging capability
New thermal imaging camera system for coal-fired boilers improves plant efficiency

LumaSense Technologies, Inc. has introduced a unique thermal imaging camera system that uses high-quality video and data analysis software to help coal-fired power plants run their boilers and produce power more efficiently: The LumaSense BoilerSpection? is a heavy-duty, radiometric thermal infrared imaging system that allows operators to see through combustion flames, providing clear images from inside boilers, furnaces and kilns ( ). This helps plants to better monitor boiler tubes and slag deposits that prevent boilers from running at peak efficiency. By proactively maintaining boilers with infrared thermography and continuous thermal vision, coal plants can improve boiler uptime by reducing the number of manual cleaning cycles and decreasing tube erosion typically caused by excessive cleaning.

For example, Alabama Power’s Miller Steam Plant – located in West Jefferson, Ala. – has significantly reduced the number of „de-slags“ on two of its four boilers using LumaSense’s IR imaging camera and thermography system BoilerSpection, and eliminated the need for online washes during a six-month beta period. Prior to using BoilerSpection, the plant estimates it performed approximately 51 de-slags on the boilers in 2010, a process that decreases generation on the units from 720 megawatts to 300 megawatts for approximately 4-6 hours. During the six-month beta test with the new thermal image camera system, they performed only 12 of these processes. The plant is planning to outfit its remaining two boilers with BoilerSpection. „The cost savings on cleaning the boilers alone is worth the investment, but the increased productivity that BoilerSpection enables makes the plant much more efficient overall,“ said Brent Hand, maintenance team leader at the Miller Steam Plant. „The sharper images and analysis capabilities provide us the information we need to run the plant more efficiently, extract more energy from the coal, and run a better operation.“

BoilerSpection is a turn-key solution for continuous infrared imaging inside boilers with short term return on investment (ROI) improving coal plant efficiency by reducing cleaning frequencies, extending boiler tube life, and optimizing fuel switching strategies. Infrared temperature measurement with thermal imagers using BoilerSpection provides clearest, most informative through-flame imaging, thermal vision and imagery for boilers, and e. g. real time hotspot monitoring. The system includes an infrared imaging camera with a cooled borescope lens, automatic retraction system, mounting hardware, a networked software system integrated into the plants DCS, and full-service field installation and maintenance.

BoilerSpection enables plant operators to manage multiple thermal imaging camera systems, configure trip alarms for automating soot-blowers or water cannons, and establish minimum acceptable levels of clinker formation. The camera itself is protected by a heavy-duty enclosure with an integrated cooling system. The IR thermal camera imaging system also uses cooled borescope optics and a 3.9-um infrared wavelength to see through combustion flames and monitor the boiler tubes and slag deposits. In addition to the high-resolution thermal imager designed to withstand harsh boiler conditions, BoilerSpection’s data analysis software allows operators to measure and track changes over time, trigger events or alarms to help prevent unplanned shutdowns, archive data, and view images anywhere in the plant using HTML platforms, among other functions. „With increased consumer demand and tighter environmental regulations, the top objective for any coal plant today is to squeeze out more energy from the same amount of coal,“ said Brett Sargent, vice president of global sales for LumaSense Technologies. „BoilerSpection is designed specifically for that purpose. It provides a continuous picture of how boilers are operating and gives plants the data they need to more efficiently maintain their boilers and reduce unnecessary downtime. By reducing the number of cleaning cycles, customers lose less production time and produce more energy.“
About LumaSense Technologies?

LumaSense Technologies, Inc. ( ) provides temperature and gas sensing solutions that optimize the performance of equipment, environments and organizations. We are a trusted partner to both end-user and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), drawing on our proven technologies and deep industry expertise to develop state-of-the-art infrared and fiber optic temperature sensors, radiometric thermal imagers and gas analyzers. With offices in Asia, Europe and the Americas, LumaSense is ideally positioned to serve the needs of the energy, industrial and clean technology markets worldwide.

LumaSense Technologies Inc.
Jeff Becker
3301 Leonard Court
95054 Santa Clara, CA
+1 408 235 3828