OT - It has become apparent ...

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dpb wrote:

I noticed that - and I appreciate your thinking as well. As happens sometimes when there's a sudden wealth of ideas, I find myself more than just a bit distracted by the possibilities...

You've worked on some interesting projects! (Recalling what you said in the cyclone separator thread, back when, and adding this...)
One aspect of the private foundation route would seem to be the need to identify those whose interests align with the hoped-for results - I can't help but wonder how enthusiastic an energy industry related foundation is likely to be for developments intended to shrink their markets...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote: ...

Yes, that's key when writing proposals -- they need to be directed. One of the assets the local or university incubator centers bring into play is knowledge in that area of where to go for seed money -- not only do they know the well-known players (The Gates Foundation, Paul Allen, etc., that everybody knows about), they know and have contacts w/ the lesser-known and those who specialize in specific areas.
I don't know exactly where DeSoto is, but even here in very rural SW KS we're fortunate to have a Community College which has a Corporate Development Division and a budding incubator program in cooperation w/ K-State. I would expect there would be similar resources near you.

Very.
Change your point of view--you're not actually shrinking their markets; in reality you're expanding them only with an alternate generation source. You're too close and thinking your fighting against them rather than look at the big picture of "where do we go from here?".
EPRI has had involvement in alternate energy sources "for since forever", long before country---err, make that green was cool.
There was a demonstration combined wind/solar project w/ TVA as the prime utility near Kingston where the I&C Center is 15 years or more ago. They've put quite a lot of funding into fuel cell and hydrogen as well and that's just the tip of the iceberg. If there's anything whatsoever to do, however remote, w/ generation and transmission, EPRI's interested.
As I emphasized in the sidebar w/ Lew, these are energy companies and their objective is MW on the grid at reasonable cost and at the necessary reliability. It's those last two little tidbits that are all too often being ignored in the present discussion. The objective isn't "green" generation--that, after all, is actually a fairly trivial problem if that's the only ultimate objective. It's getting it at an acceptable cost point and particularly, making it a portion of an actual operating grid that is 24/7 that is the hard part.
That's where I worry about falling into the German trap of over-committing too early to a particular technology and getting a large infrastructure in place that is simply not cost-effective. That has the very high risk of making the entire country even more at a disadvantage in the global economic picture and it is, despite anybody's wishes otherwise, a global economy and competitive position therein is and is going to remain significant.
I've not looked at what DOE has in their Advanced Generation funding programs for current RFPs for quite some time. That's where the coal flow test loop funding came from after EPRI had put in about $1.5M over roughly six years looking at initially five alternate technologies before eventually choosing the one to continue with. A couple of the others w/ other vendors are still continuing w/ other funding sources (either internal or other backers than EPRI).
While that focuses on the general grid generation issue, there's great interest in the niche markets as well. I personally think your concepts would be well received.
--
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"dpb" wrote:

While still a student, our thermo class got to take a tour of a local coal fired utility plant.
Still remember, the boilers were at least 5-6 stories tall.
The coal was pulverized finer than face talcum, then blown into the boilers at the top and burned as it fell to the bottom.
The clinker that was formed at the bottom of the boilers was almost like glass chards.
It couldn't be used for road bed or anything else useful at the time.
Was told by our professor that a lot of research money was available to find a use for this clinker.
Since you have been involved with the utility industry, let me ask the question:
Did the industry ever solve the clinker/chard problem?
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

...
Don't suppose you recall the particular plant, perchance--or, if you remember who and where it was, if I don't know it already I can easily find it and answer specifics of that unit more accurately.
But, from the description, that would be an usual design for a pulverized-coal fired unit--in fact, I'm not aware of any top-fired unit that isn't stoker-fired. Not to say there aren't some I've not run across as, as I said earlier my primary area is in I&C and I'm a transplanted NucE to the fossil side, anyway... :)
But, to answer the actual question, I'd say for the most part, yes. The answer/solution is basically in controlling the coal types and quality for the specific furnace. That's not to say there still aren't times when a furnace will slag or form clinkers, but it's a livable level of problem in general as long as don't try to change coal properties too drastically.
That, of course, is a continuing experiment by all utilities to continue to push the envelope on coal, in particular the Western low-sulfur, low-rank coals that do have a much lower heating value and higher intrinsic ash content thus requiring far more actual material to be processed.
Although as I read the question again, perhaps that isn't what you mean by "solving" the problem, I don't know...
--
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"dpb" wrote:

The Illuminating Co, E72nd & Shoreway, Cleveland
The coal was from strip mines in SE Ohio.

You end up with a clinker/chard pile of waste.
Other than haul it to a land fill, did the industry ever find a use for it?
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Relatively few liquid slag units still; most have been retired and newer units are dry ash.
No indication this unit still on the books according to the 1995 Directory of Electric Power Producers so can't determine anything more about what it actually was, specifically. Probably pretty small, perhaps an early cyclone unit to hazard a complete guess.
Interestingly, we did some of the early test work on the coalflow instrumentation project at the East Lake plant.
A fair amount of ash is used for aggregate--concrete, block, asphalt, etc., ... As long as unburnt C is <0.4-5% it's suitable.
Ash disposal is an issue although I'm still of the opinion there's no real reason that which isn't used might as well go back into the hole from which it came...
--
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"dpb" wrote:

Doesn't surprise me, it was an old plant back then.
The majority of the generation came from Avon Lake and Eastlake.
Eastlake will live in infamy as the plant that took the east coast down a few years ago.
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote: ...

My recollection is that while the incident started there, it was a failure to disconnect elsewhere in the grid that actually was the cause of the widespread outage. I'd have to review the incident reports again, however, to be positive of the sequence.
--
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My mother who lives jsut outside of Cleveland was online reading her email when he PC went dead. She assumed she did some thing wrong, but couldn't figure out what. Abandoning the computer she then discovered that the lights in her house didn't work later. That really worried her. Breaking the computer was one thing, but the house lights?
To make a long story short she figured out what had happened before she blamed herself for the loss of power to the entire Eastern US.
--
FF




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In article <e450b639-e4b0-482b-a6a2-a764d888ad14

Sheesh, how naive. It was obviously Window's fault the Eastern US crashed.
-- Keith
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You have just been disqualified. Stoker units died a death many moons ago. Many.
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Robatoy wrote: ...

Yes, as did this unit...although I didn't say it was; only that a top-fired downfired pulverized unit would have been unusual and something I personally hadn't ever seen. Of course, I also noted there's stuff out there I've not seen as I'm mostly I&C and a nuc-transplant to the fossil side.
I'd guess this unit was probably 40 yr old when Lew visited and that was probably around that long ago as well making it somewhere near many moons since it was new...ymmv if you know something specific about that particular unit it would be interesting to know.
--


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"dpb" wrote:

That plant was long in the tooth when our class visited which was '58 time frame.
My guess is that it passed the century mark several years ago.
That utility was strictly a belt and suspenders bunch.
Their engineering dept considered 50 year old technology as break thru.<G>.
Lew
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Well, Lew... now you're into my area of expertise. The bulk of pulverized coal turns into 'fly-ash' and is caught by electrostatic precipitators. The clinkers are a minimal product of most coals burned for power generation. That doesn't mean I disagree with the possibilities of using fly-ash as fillers for road contructuon, etc, but the mineral remnant is notoriously weak in structure and is hard to bind with anything cheap.
I am sure of one thing though. the first guy to find a use for fly-ash will be a bezillionare over-night.
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"Robatoy" wrote:
Well, Lew... now you're into my area of expertise. The bulk of pulverized coal turns into 'fly-ash' and is caught by electrostatic precipitators. The clinkers are a minimal product of most coals burned for power generation. That doesn't mean I disagree with the possibilities of using fly-ash as fillers for road contructuon, etc, but the mineral remnant is notoriously weak in structure and is hard to bind with anything cheap.
I am sure of one thing though. the first guy to find a use for fly-ash will be a bezillionare over-night.
Good old fly ash.
Have some fly ash customers who like our solution for continuous fly ash silo level measurement.
It is not an easy application.
Lew
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I used to work for Stock Equipment company, though sadly, not until after Arthur Stock had sold the company. The bread and butter of our business was gravimetric feeders.
As I am sure you know, like coal itself fly ashes have enormous variation in their properties. Something like 10 - 15% are pozzolanic, meaning they set like cement.
A few years ago utilities were experimenting with adding materials to their scrubbers to produce, on the fly, useful materials like (IIRC) gypsum.
A major impediment to this sort of innovation is that Electric power companies are in the business of producing electricity, not 'stuff'.
A worse impediment to cost savings and especially fuel savings measures in general is the economic regulatory structure. Utilities typically have two sources of funding. Investors, and ratepayers. The Public Utility Commissions (affectionately referred to as pukes) typically restrict expenditures for capital improvements to invested dollars, while allowing ratepayer dollars to be spent on operational costs. Rates (with some limitations) are allowed to go up and down with fuel usage and costs. Investors expect a relatively short term return on their investment. Consequently, when I was in the business a utility would not make any improvements not required by law unless they expected a return on the investment within nine months.
That problem is by no means unique to the power industry and is a major reason for why our economy has largely become a house of cards. No long term investment.
So, while conversion from volumetric to gravimetric feeders would typically reduce coal usage by 15% a number of utilities would not do it.
Sometimes a utility would receive permission from their puke to invest ratepayer money in a capital improvement. This was typically reported in the Press as "charging customers for electricity they had not yet generated", though that particular phrase was more often used in the context of investing rate- payer money in nuclear plant construction.
--
FF

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"Fred the Red Shirt" wrote:

after Arthur Stock had sold the company.
Are you still in the Cleveland area?
Lew
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No, but I frequently come back to visit.
--
FF

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"Lew Hodgett" wrote

I knew you were a Californian, but ...
;)
--
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"Swingman" wrote:

Naw, just a displaced Buckeye who can't type.
By definition:
Before you ask, a Buckeye is defined as a worthless nut.
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