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Waste not.

Using a steam plant's waste heat to preheat the combustion air stream can increase coal boiler efficiency by as much as 25 percent, according to a manufacturer of heat recycling equipment. The manufacturer, Paragon Airheater Technologies of Corona, Calif., tells us that, as long as the system's seals are tight, a 500 MW plant can reduce coal consumption by as much as 1,500 tons per day by capturing heat before it goes up the flue.

According to Paragon, leakage in air heaters wastes energy and money, and most plants have no idea how bad their actual air leakage really is. The company estimates that after 10 years of service, an air heater not using high-performance seals can be assumed to be leaking at least 25 percent of its heat. Paragon said that in some plants leakage has been found to be more than 40 percent.

Of course, Paragon is interested in telling us about the problem because it is in the business of selling a solution. The company claims that air heater leakage can be cut in half at most plants.

The company has designed self-adjusting radial seals that incorporate a bellows-like section, which produces a spring force to maintain contact with the sealing surface. It also has designed interlocking circumferential seals to be used on the perimeter of the air heater's rotor. According to Paragon, they are designed to resist the type of leakage suffered by standard-type seals during rotor turndown.

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Title Annotation:technology focus; Paragon Airheater Technologies
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Words:243
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