Automatic fly ash purge system for power stations

  Inspecta Automatic Purge System is a cost-effective, ambient-air purge system that requires neither compressed air nor an additional power source to remove the fly ash build-up within the Inspecta pipe-sets, for leak detection in power stations.

The installation of this system eliminates routine manual purging of the pipe-sets and maintains the leak detection system at peak performance, without manual intervention.

Installed in most ESKOM power stations, Inspecta ASLD systems use acoustic detection technology that detects tube leaks less than 2mm in diameter in the large boiler structure. The coal used by ESKOM is very high in ash content, so there is a considerable amount of fly ash remaining after combustion. This fly ash swirls inside the boiler and quickly blocks the ‘listening’ pipe-sets that contain the sensitive leak-detection microphones. Unless the systems are frequently manually or automatically cleaned their ability to detect the leaks early, is significantly degraded.

The Inspecta APS system can be installed into the current Inspecta ASLD configuration by simply replacing the existing Inspecta pipe-set with an Inspecta APS enabled one. All existing plant wiring remains the same. If there is a delay in the detection of a fast-progressing tube leak by just a few hours, the downtime to repair the boiler may increase by more than 5 times compared to a leak that is detected earlier.

Installing Inspecta APS onto a boiler ensures the pipe-sets are automatically kept clear of fly ash, ensuring that the sensitivity of the Inspecta steam leak detection system is not compromised. This, in turn, will enable the system to reliably detect small tube leaks at a very early stage.

Benefits of the Inspecta APS

  • Complements the existing Inspecta ASLD system.
  • Easily retrofitted to Inspecta ASLD plant sensor network. The Binder connector fitted, is compatible with the Inspecta HA-3 sensor. An option exists to fit power station-specific connectors if required.
  • Significantly increases the effectiveness of the Inspecta ASLD system by automatically maintaining optimum performance levels.
  • Improved early leak detection means that boiler outage times can be significantly reduced.
  • Inspecta APS removes the routine maintenance human factor. It is automatic and does not require any human intervention to function.
  • The system is purpose-designed to work in the extreme environmental conditions of a power station boiler house.
  • AI-driven adaptive performance

If early leak detection is achieved by installing Inspecta APS, and consequently reducing downtime for leak repairs in a large generation unit, by only one day, the savings in electricity production loss exceed the cost of the system by ten-fold.

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