Plant & Works Engineering
Increased boiler efficiency at expanded Romanian operations
Published:  26 March, 2021

With a requirement for new steam boilers with increased capacity, higher efficiency and more eco-friendly emissions when expanding their operations at a second facility in Romania, Universal Alloy Corporation turned to heat transfer specialist Fulton. PWE reports.

Heat transfer specialist Fulton has supplied, assisted with installation and commissioned two gas-fired, horizontal RBC3000 steam boilers for Romania-based Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC), a manufacturer and fabricator of high-strength, hard alloy extrusions for aircraft structures or where precision-engineered products are critical. This is UAC’s second Fulton installation in Romania – at an all-new facility built to cope with increased demand from the airline industry – and third installation across its sites in Europe and Vietnam.

In accordance with strict Romanian regulations on the installation of new plant equipment, including steam boilers, as the OEM Fulton had to be in attendance at the system testing stage, ensuring reliable, maintainable steam could be provided ahead of a planned visit by several prestigious UAC customers. This meant that Fulton’s engineering services supplied support from the UK and, in line with current COVID-19 guidelines, had to self-isolate for two weeks following the test-fire visit.

Under normal operating conditions, the two RBC steam boilers at the new Romanian facility are setup for N+1, with steam being used to heat water in several large vessels via coils, with the water being used for quenchingpurposes during component processing. Steam is also being passed through coils for a heater-dryer system at the end of the same processing line.

For the steam boilers supplied to UAC, Fulton partnered with burner manufacturer Weishaupt and supplied the RBCs with two low-NOx, fullymodulating burners and reconfigured the boiler steam outlet nozzles to run at just 2 bar. The use of a Siemens high integrity digital burner management system means the boilers are capable of achieving at least 7:1 turndown, something not always achievable from large horizontal firetube boilers.

Additionally, unlike typical gas pressures in the UK of approximately 20 mbar or 60 mbar on the continent, the supply at UAC’s site in Romania was 1.6 bar, so Fulton and Weishaupt provided an over-protection rig for the gas components in the gas train. While the gas supply to the gas train is now regulated to 95 millibar, the over-protection rig ensures that a slam-shut system is enabled should the gas pressure exceeds 180 millibar, completely negating any possible component damage.

In addition to November’s test-firing visit, two of Fulton’s engineers visited Romania in September to service the RBC boiler at UAC’s original facility and commission the two boilers at the new plant. Again, both engineers followed COVID-19 guidelines on self-isolating when returning to the UK.

Both visits also provided an opportunity for the training of key boiler operators at UAC’s new manufacturing facility which, as well as the usual instruction and guidance, also ensured that operators were educated on the start-up procedures in both low fire hold and auto modulation modes for these particular boilers.

Offering higher capacities than the 2500 kg/h maximum for its VSRT range of vertical boilers, with outputs to 4787 kg/h and a maximum working pressure of 10.34 bar, Fulton’s RBC range can be specified with matched multi-stage oil, modulating gas or dualfuel burners as standard, with other burners available on request. The boilers are constructed to BS12953 standard, meet current and anticipated legislation and have been engineered to provide a substantial performance margin.

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