In coal-fired power plants, fuel-fed igniters initiate the boiler flame and start the combustion process. Most power plants use natural gas or atomized fuel oils such as light grade #2 or heavy grade #6. Natural gas and propane can also be used. In combined-cycle plants, gas turbines often use natural gas and liquid fuel oils as ignition fuel. Large gas turbines are designed to operate alternately or simultaneously with both gas and liquid fuels. In dual-fuel plants, a False Start Tank will temporarily hold diesel fuel after an unsuccessful attempt to fire the turbine. Plants may have several fuel oil storage tanks for different purposes such as these.
Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the power industry, detailing measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the power generation process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.
Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations
At any plant where fuel is stored, the risk of fire and accidents has to be carefully managed. The level of fuel must be kept stable to prevent overflow and spillage. All possible fire safety precautions must be taken. In particular, crude oils with lower flash points represent a greater fire hazard and require more extensive fire protection systems. Switches and transmitters should be safety certified to ensure they provide the strongest possible protection. They should also be reliable at detecting both low and high levels.
Level Measurement Solutions
MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for fuel oil storage tanks:
- For point level
Displacer level switches
- For continuous level
Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter; Pulsar® Model R86 pulse burst radar transmitter; or Echotel® Model 355 non-contact ultrasonic radar transmitter