ADVANCED THERMAL-HYDRAULIC MODEL OF HEAT RECOVERY STEAM GENERATORS
Steam-side oxidation at elevated temperatures in heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) can lead to overheating of local tubes, potential oxide scale exfoliation, and damage to critical equipment. Predicting the oxide growth distribution requires detailed knowledge of the distribution of tube metal temperatures. To address these challenges, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a high-pressure superheater (HPSH) was developed within the Siemens' STAR-CCM+ CFD commercial software. The HPSH section of the steam generator was selected for modeling because of its high oxidation rates.
The model development included several steps. In the first step, an oxidation model based on a parabolic oxidation relationship was implemented. The oxidation growth predicted by the model was then verified for a full-load boiler operation case. In the second step, a three-dimensional CFD model was developed to account for the thermal and flow physics involved in HRSGs. The CFD model was then verified and validated on a
simplified geometry that contained six row-tubes which mimicked the tube arrangements of an HPSH section. Numerical results compared well with published experimental results. In the third step, the oxidation model was coupled to the HRSG's CFD model, and a comparison study was performed for two cases: (a) regular finless tubes and (b) finned tubes. Preliminary results showed that the oxide thickness predicted by the case with tube fins was higher compared to that of the finless tube case, thus demonstrating the need to model the effects of the tube fins on oxide thickness.