Burn Baby Burn, but Safely

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 @ 07:02 PM gHale

By Nicholas Sheble
“Eighty percent of the accidents relating to burner management systems fall into the operations and maintenance area,” said Ron Sustich, “and these new NFPA revisions help us devise safer ones.”

Sustich, Siemens Senior Target Account Manager, helped draft the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Codes for furnaces and ovens in the 1990’s.

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The revised codes to which he refers are the 2011 versions of NFPA 85: Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code and NFPA 86: Standard for Ovens and Furnaces.

They apply to the full range of large boiler installations and pulverized fuel systems including:
• Large boilers, including atmospheric fluidized bed boilers with a minimum fuel input rating of 12.5 million Btu/hr (3.6 MW)
• Stoker operations
• Pulverized fuel systems
• Fired or unfired steam generators used to recover heat from combustion turbines
According to the NFPA, major changes include:
• New definition and rules for a Combustion Turbine Purge Credit enabling designers and operators to establish and maintain a “purged” condition for heat recovery steam generators between restarts
• Streamlined requirements for continuous trend display for single burner boilers
• Revised boiler requirements for purging the boiler enclosure where no fans remain in service
• Expanded guidance on burner management system (BMS) design describes the types of signals and transmitters used to initiate safety alarms and interlocks and appropriate monitoring methods
• Added guidance regarding flue gas analyzers installed in the flue gas stream

One can buy the revised standards on the NFPA website for around $200.

The goal of the Siemens webinar was to bring the user up to speed on these latest revisions to NFPA 85 & 86. The company sees the new versions as helpful in designing a compliant BMS that minimizes risks and reduces costs, while enhancing safety in process and control facilities.

“The older versions didn’t offer much guidance on the use of automation systems for BMS and left too much to interpretation,” Sustich said.

Webinar topics included:
• Determining if your existing BMS is compliant to the latest (2011) NFPA standards
• Assigning safety integrated levels (SIL) to your BMS
• Understanding strategies that will help drastically reduce operator errors
• Designing a more flexible, yet cost-effective, BMS
• Reducing need for manual manipulation by automating combustion permissive sequences during start up, shutdown and dynamic transitions
• Bridging communication gaps between operations and software design teams

You can listen to this webinar and others relating to industrial safety, security, and automation anytime. . The title is Understanding NFPA 85 & 86 2011 Revisions for Development of Flexible, Cost-Effective Burner Management.
Nicholas Sheble (nsheble@isssource.com) is an engineering writer and technical editor in Raleigh, NC.

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