Title:
REGENERATIVE BURNER APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A baffle for a regenerative burner has a primary reactant port, secondary reactant ports, and internal flow paths. The primary port is centered on an axis. The secondary ports are arranged in an array that is asymmetrical relative to a plane containing the axis. The internal air flow paths convey secondary air streams from the regenerative bed to the secondary ports. A reactant delivery structure for use with the baffle includes a pilot burner, a main fuel conduit, and a primary air conduit. The pilot burner projects a pilot flame toward the primary port. The main fuel conduit has an annular outlet that directs a main fuel stream over the pilot flame and outward from the primary port. The primary air conduit has an annular outlet that directs a primary air stream outward from the primary port over the main fuel stream.



Inventors:
Cain, Bruce E. (Akron, OH, US)
Patrick, Brian M. (Cleveland, OH, US)
Lucas, Clive D. (South Euclid, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/942232
Publication Date:
05/21/2009
Filing Date:
11/19/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
431/171
International Classes:
F23D11/44; F23M9/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NDUBIZU, CHUKA CLEMENT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT GROUP 2N (CLEVELAND, OH, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus comprising: a regenerative bed; and a baffle having a primary reactant port centered on an axis, an array of secondary reactant ports that is asymmetrical relative to a plane containing the axis, and internal air flow paths communicating with the regenerative bed to convey secondary air streams from the regenerative bed to the secondary reactant ports.

2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 further comprising a pilot burner configured to project a pilot flame toward the primary reactant port, a main fuel conduit having an annular outlet arranged to direct a main fuel stream over the pilot flame and outward from the primary reactant port, and a primary air conduit having an annular outlet arranged to direct a primary air stream outward from the primary reactant port over the main fuel stream.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein the pilot burner has an outlet that is coplanar with the outlets of the main fuel conduit and the primary air conduit.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein the baffle defines a bore through which the coplanar outlets of the conduits and the burner face axially toward the primary reactant port.

5. An apparatus for use with a regenerative bed in a furnace, comprising: a refractory structure defining a primary reactant port centered on an axis, a secondary reactant port, and an air flow path configured to convey a secondary air stream from a regenerative bed to the secondary reactant port; a pilot burner configured to project a pilot flame toward the primary reactant port; a main fuel conduit having an annular outlet arranged to direct a main fuel stream over the pilot flame and outward from the primary reactant port; and a primary air conduit having an annular outlet arranged to direct a primary air stream outward from the primary reactant port over the main fuel stream.

6. An apparatus as defined in claim 5 further comprising a reactant supply and control system configured to provide the pilot burner with pilot fuel and pilot air streams, and to modulate the pilot fuel and pilot air streams independently of the main fuel and primary air streams.

7. An apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein the pilot burner has an outlet that is coplanar with the outlets of the main fuel conduit and the primary air conduit.

8. An apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein the refractory structure defines a bore through which the coplanar outlets of the conduits and the pilot burner face axially toward the primary reactant port.

9. An apparatus for use with a regenerative bed in a furnace, comprising: a baffle having a primary reactant port centered on an axis, an array of secondary reactant ports that is asymmetrical relative to a plane containing the axis, and internal air flow paths configured to convey secondary air streams from a regenerative bed to the secondary reactant ports; a pilot burner configured to project a pilot flame toward the primary reactant port; a main fuel conduit having an annular outlet arranged to direct a main fuel stream over the pilot flame and outward from the primary reactant port; and a primary air conduit having an annular outlet arranged to direct a primary air stream outward from the primary reactant port over the main fuel stream.

10. An apparatus as defined in claim 9 wherein the pilot burner has an outlet that is coplanar with the outlets of the main fuel conduit and the primary air conduit.

11. An apparatus as defined in claim 10 wherein the baffle defines a bore through which the coplanar outlets of the conduits and the pilot burner face axially toward the primary reactant port.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This technology relates to a furnace with regenerative burners.

BACKGROUND

Regenerative burners may be used to heat a process chamber in a furnace. Each regenerative burner has a bed of heat-regenerative material, and is arranged in a pair with another regenerative burner. The two burners are cycled alternately such that one burner is actuated while the other is not. When a burner is actuated, it discharges fuel and combustion air into the process chamber for combustion to proceed in the process chamber. Much of the combustion air is pre-heated by driving it through the regenerative bed. Alternately, when a burner is not actuated, exhaust gases from the process chamber are drawn outward through the regenerative bed at that burner. The exhaust gases heat the regenerative bed to provide the thermal energy that pre-heats the combustion air when the burner is again actuated to fire into the process chamber.

SUMMARY

An apparatus for use with a regenerative bed in a furnace includes a baffle with a primary reactant port, secondary reactant ports, and internal flow paths. The primary reactant port is centered on an axis. The secondary reactant ports are arranged in an array that is asymmetrical relative to a plane containing the axis. The internal air flow paths convey secondary air streams from the regenerative bed to the secondary reactant ports.

A reactant delivery structure for use with the baffle includes a pilot burner, a main fuel conduit, and a primary air conduit. The pilot burner projects a pilot flame toward the primary reactant port. The main fuel conduit has an annular outlet that directs a main fuel stream over the pilot flame and outward from the primary reactant port. The primary air conduit has an annular outlet that directs a primary air stream outward from the primary port over the main fuel stream.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing parts of a furnace with regenerative burners.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a regenerative burner assembly shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the burner assembly of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a part shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a side view of another part shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a rear view taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 8 is a front view taken on line 8-8 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 9 is a schematic view illustrating an operational feature of the furnace of FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 also is a schematic view illustrating an operational feature of the furnace of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The furnace 10 shown in the drawings has parts that are examples of the elements recited in the claims. The following description thus includes examples of how a person of ordinary skill in the art can make and use the claimed invention. It is presented here to meet the statutory requirements of written description, enablement, and best mode without imposing limitations that are not recited in the claims.

As shown partially in the schematic view of FIG. 1, the furnace 10 has a wall structure 12 defining a process chamber 15. Burner assemblies 16, one of which is shown in FIG. 1, are arranged in pairs in which one burner assembly 16 fires into the process chamber 15 while the other exhausts from the process chamber 15. Each burner assembly 16 is mounted over a respective regenerative bed 18. When a burner assembly 16 fires into the process chamber 15, it receives preheated combustion air from the regenerative bed 18. Alternately, when a burner assembly 16 exhausts from the process chamber 15, it directs exhaust gases into the regenerative bed 18. This heats the regenerative bed 18 which, in turn, heats the combustion air when the burner assembly 16 once again fires into the process chamber 15.

As shown in FIG. 2, this example of a burner assembly 16 has a generally cylindrical body 20 with a central axis 21. A primary port 25 is centered on the axis 21 at the front of the body 20. A reactant delivery structure 26 extends along the axis 21 from the rear of the body 20 toward the primary port 25. Secondary ports 27 also are located at the front of the body 20. Air flow passages within the body 20 communicate the secondary ports 27 with a base 28 at the bottom of the body 20. The base 28 is configured to communicate with the regenerative bed 18 (FIG. 1).

As shown in FIG. 3, the reactant delivery structure 26 includes an array of concentric conduits centered on the axis 21. These include a pilot fuel conduit 30 at the center of the array. The pilot fuel conduit 30 has an inlet 32 at its rear end and an outlet 34 at its front end. A flame stabilizer 36 projects from the outlet 34. Surrounding the pilot fuel conduit 30 is a pilot air conduit 40 with an inlet 42 at its rear end and an outlet 44 at its front end. A section 46 of the pilot air conduit 40 is located forward of the pilot fuel conduit 30. That section 46 is tapered radially inward to promote the mixing of fuel and air axially between the stabilizer 36 and the outlet 44. In this arrangement, these two conduits 30 and 40 together define a pilot burner that is configured to provide a pilot flame that projects axially forward from the outlet 44.

A main fuel conduit 50 surrounds the pilot air conduit 40. A primary air conduit 52 surrounds the main fuel conduit 50. These conduits 50 and 52 have inlets 54 and 56 at their rear ends and outlets 58 and 60 at their front ends, respectively. This provides a main burner that is configured to provide a main flame that projects axially forward from the outlets 58 and 60. In the illustrated example, the concentric outlets 44, 58 and 60 are coplanar and radially adjacent. More specifically, the pilot burner outlet 44 is the circular space bounded by the surrounding edge of the pilot air conduit 40. It is spaced radially inward from the main fuel outlet 58 by only the thickness of the conduit 40 that is interposed radially between those two outlets 44 and 58. The main fuel outlet 58 is the annular space bounded by the concentric edges of the pilot air conduit 40 and the main fuel conduit 50. That outlet 58 is spaced radially inward from the surrounding outlet 60 by only the thickness of the main fuel conduit 50. The primary air outlet 60 likewise has an annular configuration defined by and between the concentric edges of the main fuel conduit 50 and the primary air conduit 52.

The cylindrical body 20 in the illustrated example has three major portions. These include a rear portion 70, a central portion 72, and a front portion 74. The rear portion 70 includes a refractory structure 80 within a steel shell 82. Lower portions of those parts 80 and 82 define the base 28 at which the burner assembly 16 is mounted over a regenerative bed. The refractory structure 80 within the steel shell 82 defines a plenum 85 extending upward from a port 87 at the lower end of the base 28. The refractory structure 80 further defines a generally conical pocket 89 (FIG. 4) that is centered on the axis 21.

As shown separately in FIGS. 5-8, the central portion 72 of the body 20 includes a refractory structure configured as a baffle 90. The baffle 90 in this particular example has a generally conical configuration centered on an axis 93. The primary port 25 is located on a circular front surface 98 of the baffle 90. A cylindrical bore 100 (FIG. 6) extends into the baffle 90 along the axis 93. A tapered bore 101 extends forward from the cylindrical bore 100, and has a front end at the primary port 25. The tapered bore 101 constricts radially inward from the cylindrical bore 100, and then flares radially back outward to the primary port 25.

The secondary ports 27 also are located on the circular front surface 98 of the baffle 90. Two pairs 104 and 106 of air flow passages extend from the rear of the baffle 90 to the secondary ports 27 at the front surface 98. As shown in FIG. 8, the secondary ports 27 are arranged in an array that is asymmetrical with respect to a plane 109 containing the central axis 93. In this arrangement of the secondary ports 27, at least a major portion of their combined flow area is located at one side of the circular area of the front surface 98.

As shown in FIG. 3, the baffle 90 is fitted coaxially within the pocket 89 at the rear portion 70 of the body 20. The front portion 74 of the body 20 includes a ring-shaped refractory structure 122 that surrounds and projects axially forward from the baffle 90. The reactant delivery structure 26 extends fully into the cylindrical bore 100 in the baffle 90, with the coplanar outlets 44, 58 and 60 facing outward through the tapered bore 101 toward the primary port 25. The air flow passages 104 and 106 extending through the baffle 90 communicate the secondary ports 27 with the plenum 85 and the port 87 at the lower end of the base 28.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the furnace 10 has a reactant supply and control system 140. This system 140 connects the furnace 10 with a source of fuel 142, which is preferably the plant supply of natural gas, and a source of combustion air 144, which may include one or more blowers. The reactant supply and control system 140 includes a controller 146 and a valve assembly 148. It further includes fuel lines and air lines that connect each burner assembly 16 with the valve assembly 148 in the manner shown schematically in FIG. 1. The burner assemblies 16 and regenerative beds 18 are thus connected with the sources of fuel and air 142 and 144 for combustion to proceed in the process chamber 15, and are also connected with a flue 150 for discharging exhaust gases from the process chamber 15. Specifically, a pilot fuel line 160 delivers pilot fuel to the inlet 32 of the pilot fuel conduit 30. A pilot air line 162 delivers pilot air to the inlet 42 of the pilot air conduit 40. A main fuel line 164 delivers main fuel to the inlet 54 of the main fuel conduit 50. A primary air line 166 delivers primary combustion air to the inlet 56 of the primary air conduit 52. Moreover, a secondary air line 170 carries secondary combustion air to the regenerative bed 18, and an exhaust line 172 carries exhaust gases away from the regenerative bed 18 for transmission to the flue 150.

The controller 146 has hardware, software, or a combination of hardware and software that is configured to control the valve assembly 148. The controller 146 may thus comprise any suitable programmable logic controller or other control device, or combination of control devices, that is programmed or otherwise configured to perform as recited in the claims. As the controller 146 carries out those instructions, it actuates the valve assembly 148 to initiate, modulate, and terminate independent flows of reactant streams through the burner assembly 16.

In one particular example of a start-up sequence, the controller 146 first directs the valve assembly 148 to supply the reactant delivery structure 26 with streams of pilot fuel, pilot air, and primary air, and also actuates an igniter (not shown). This causes a pilot flame to project axially forward toward the primary port 25 (FIG. 3). The controller 146 then monitors a pilot flame supervisory device 180 for a period of time, such a five seconds, to confirm the presence of the pilot flame. If the pilot flame is not confirmed, the controller 146 directs the valve assembly 148 to terminate the stream of pilot fuel. If the pilot flame is confirmed, the controller 146 next directs the valve assembly 148 to supply the reactant delivery structure 26 with a stream of main fuel. The main fuel stream flows through the main fuel conduit 50 to emerge from the annular outlet 58 over the pilot flame. The primary air stream flowing through the primary air conduit 52 emerges from the annular outlet 60 over the main fuel stream.

The streams of main fuel and primary air begin to mix as they flow together through the tapered bore 101 toward the primary port 25, and continue to mix as they flow outward from the port 25 into the process chamber 15. The mixture surrounds, ignites and begins to combust over the pilot flame. As shown schematically in FIG. 9, this stage of combustion occurs in a primary reaction zone 185 defined by the main fuel and primary air streams as they form a main flame projecting axially and radially outward from the primary port 25.

Secondary combustion air flows through the secondary air line 170 to the regenerative bed 18. The plenum 85 (FIG. 3) receives the secondary combustion air as it flows from the regenerative bed 18 upward through the port 87 in the base 28. The air flow passages 104 and 106 in the baffle 90 (FIG. 5-7) convey the secondary combustion air from the plenum 85 to the secondary ports 27. The air streams emerging from the secondary ports 27 enable secondary combustion to occur in the process chamber 15 at locations spaced axially downstream from the baffle 90. This occurs as the secondary air streams project axially and radially outward from the secondary ports 27 to form secondary reaction zones 187 (one of which is shown schematically in FIG. 10) where they intersect the primary reaction zone 185. With the combined flow area of the secondary ports 27 located on one side of the plane 109 (FIG. 8), the secondary reaction zones 185 are likewise located predominantly on that side of the plane 109. This enables a recirculation zone 189 to form beside the front surface 98 of the baffle 90 on the opposite side of the plane 109.

A main flame supervisory device 186 monitors combustion in the primary reaction zone 185. If the main flame supervisory device 186 fails to confirm combustion of the main fuel and primary air, the controller 146 directs the valve assembly 148 to terminate the main fuel stream. If combustion of the main fuel and primary air is confirmed, the controller 146 directs the valve assembly 148 to continue supplying those reactant streams to maintain a regenerative firing condition until the burner assembly 16 is switched to a regenerative exhaust condition.

The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples of how the invention can be made and used. Such other examples, which may be available either before or after the application filing date, are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they have equivalent elements with insubstantial differences from the literal language of the claims.