In our power plant, we pay special attention when the subject of Heat Rate comes up.
The exhaust gases of some engines are used to generate steam in waste heat boilers. This steam heat up the Heavy Fuel Oil.
First of all, it is necessary to establish a benchmark Heat Rate for each engine. Then, determine the actual performance of each engine.
In order to maintain the Heat Rate (to improve it comes later), we dedicate a particular effort controlling the following:
- Cleanliness and pressure drop of the intake air filters.
- Charge air temperature and pressure. This temperature and pressure are dependent of the inter coolers proper operation.
- Fuel injection system works properly. Special controls are applied to the fuel injection pumps adjutments and fuel injectors calibration.
- The fuel oil treatment system works perfectly.
- Instruments assessment. Probably, this is one of the most important items.
All these controls (among others) have an unique purpose: to supply the engine with an air and a fuel oil with the temperature, pressure, viscosity and quantity appropriated for a good combustion; because, do not forget that the Heat Rate is dependent of the Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC).
Heat Rate = SFC x Higher Heating Value
[BTU/kWh] = [lbs/kWh][BTU/lb]