Procedures for testing online coal analyzers

March 20th, 2013

Coalsmith has seen increasing activity in online coal analysis this year. More utilities are looking for ways to efficiently utilize opportunity fuels with lower quality that can be blended to reduce cost and prevent outages. Three at once i am Working on a laser induced breakdown spectrometer, an X-ray fluorescence, and Prompt Gamma neutron activation machines at a couple of locations. Hope to generate some case studies for the ASTM D6543 standard being redrafted by our task group. We will have a redraft available in May for the ASTM committee week meeting in Indianapolis May 22. Stay tuned!

National Weighing and Sampling Association Conference Feb 18-20, 2013

January 11th, 2013

We are planning a technical conference in Charlotte, NC (Doubletree Airpont Hotel) starting at 1pm on Feb.18 and running through the 21st. NWSA generates a technical program with a dozen or so presenters with the latest projects in weighing and sampling. NIST will hold their Handbook 44 workshop immediately following our technical program on weighing, sampling, online analysis, and inventory measurement. The program and registration materials can be found at our website, along with presentations from past years meetings in St. Louis, MO. This will be our first year to meet in Charlotte and everyone is excited about the new venue.  Come join us for a tour of the railroad museum, CEU credits, and meet some of the professionals in the weighing and sampling industry for coal and bulk material handling.

Summer heat

June 22nd, 2012

It’s getting hot out there in the coal yard, so be sure to wear

sunscreen and stay hydrated. Remember you have access to

all our technical presentations in the NWSA presentation library.

Email to Dick Storm of Storm Technologies

March 21st, 2012

Dear Mr. Storm,

Not sure if I showed you this before, but wanted you to review and comment on this presentation on Carbon Dioxide Measurement at our NWSA website. Paul Wolff and I studied correlations of coal type and carbon / BTU correlations from USGS data, and found high correlations of Carbon and Btu with coal type. This means that one can accurately predict CO2 emissions from coal type, more accurately than CEMS or coal sampling. Todays carbon monitoring legislation (Carbon mass balance, I.e. coal sampling, and CEMS continuous emission monitors) is based on possibly the two LEAST accurate methods of measurement of the four available types. The conclusion is that accurate heat rate monitoring systems and use of a constant for carbon in the fuel based on coal rank (based on linear relationships from the USGS database) is the best way to measure carbon dioxide emissions and avoid “Gaming” the system for carbon reporting being mandated by EPA. This would also give clear incentives to power plant owners to act to reduce heat rate and increase efficiency whenever possible. As you know, efficiency improvement is the only true way to reduce emissions in real time, with sequestration being the only other alternative. With the EPA’s ruling it is likely that “Gaming” the system will prevail. And all engineers know, efficiency just makes sense. This parallels your thesis of revitalizing America’s coal plants with newer, modern materials to get more power from the same coal consumption.

American Coal Article

November 26th, 2010

Bethany Snoby and I have an article in American Coal Councils publication American Coal (issue 2, 2010) on “Valuation of Precombustion Coal Cleaning Facilities for Power Plants” which describes a model for calculating the financial value of tradeoffs between coal prep costs and combustion efficiency improvements. This helps unfamiliar users estimate the amount to spend on coal prep plants to get the improvements in electric plant efficiency and performance, and what level of cleaning to pursue for optimum results. Contact me if you want to see it.

LCRA Report

September 29th, 2010

Finishing up the final report of testing for LCRA’s Sabia analyzers. The testing is completed and results are under review.

September 20th, 2010

Duke may retire several coal plants over the next 5 years, prefering to mothball them rather than pay carbon tax.

EPRI Analyzer Report

September 19th, 2010

Next few days i will be completing interviews with utility analyzer uses and summarizing some 40 published papers. Two or three case studies will be drafted.

Online analyzer testing

September 4th, 2010

Online coal analysis testing compares the laboratory results from a conventional sampling process, to the analyzer results using PGNAA and the current calibration. The objective is to statistically compare the two readings for ash, sulfur, and btu/lb and determine if the calibration linear equation is confirmed.

There are two types of tests that can be performed. A static test of coal or prepared sample tubes is used to confirm factory calibration after installation. This checks the repeatability of the device and software to initial manufacturers specs.

The next type of test is more dynamic. Coal is flowing on the belt in batches, whose mass matches the desired response time, say 5 or 10 minutes. This mass of coal is then sub-sampled by stopped belt increment or a sweep sampler. The analysis of about 30 batches are compared by the Hotelllings t2 statistic, a multivariate student’s t test. The results should be within 10% relative variance compared to the average of the reference, the conventional coal sample. This shows why accurate coal sampling is a must for good analyzer calibration.