In early 2008, we were approached by EDF to examine what could be done to relieve an ongoing high-level of gas-gas heater fouling, which was leading to boiler inefficiency at West Burton Power Station. We quickly assessed the problem, and decided that a combined steam and high pressure water, fully retractable sootblower was required to blow up from the underside of the rotor. The only way to install the unit was to construct a cantilever platform, some 120 ft. above the ground onto which the sootblower could be attached.
The structural design was carried out and after being approved by EDF’s engineering department, the platform was fabricated in our factory and then transported to site. Once all the preparatory work was complete, our experienced team of installation engineers then proceeded to install the platform. During installation a 120 Tonne crane was utilised and after 3 days the final pipe work connections were then able to be made. Further modifications were required within the gas/gas heater which required a fibre glass drip tray to be located underneath the sootblower lance.
The construction phase of this project took 5 weeks. The criterion for project success was to provide the equivalent of 10Mw of power production, which equates to considerable savings and efficiency improvements for the energy company. The first installation was a complete success and a further 2 units have now been installed with the last scheduled for 2011.
This project showcased our engineering capabilities and required adhering to rigorous health and safety requirements, including confined space and working at height.