Saturated coal does not have to dampen plant efficiency

The Scherer coal plant, operated by Southern Co., had spent many years suffering from issues with transfer system efficiency due to wet coal. Wet coal has forced the coal plant’s bulk handling systems to reduce, or “derate,” capacity on conveyors for more than 15 years.

Power plant operations have become accustomed to derated operation under certain conditions and have begun to accept it as normal. A redesign and retrofit of critical bulk-handling systems, taking wet coal into account by leveraging cutting-edge 3-D laser scanning and modeling technology, increased transfer system efficiency and throughput.

After the Scherer retrofit, the redesigned chute-work systems so effectively conveyed wet coal that the plant was unprepared for the first time wet material arrived at the pulverizers. The increased throughput in the redesigned transfer systems exposed other weaknesses in the handling system downstream. A thorough analysis of these bottlenecks provided the ability for the Scherer team to budget for rework where necessary. Working in close coordination with the Scherer team, Acensium was able to assess client goals based on their priorities and deliver a retrofit that fulfilled the set goal beyond stated expectations.

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