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Performance assessment of an electrostatic precipitator of a coal-fired power plant—A case study for collecting smaller particles
Producing sustainable clean energy is one of the key challenges in modern power generation systems. Coal-fired power plants are one of the main sources of electrical energy due to the low cost of coal compared to other fossil fuels. However, one of the major problems of the coal-fired power plant is the exhaust emission of fine particulate matter. Most of the coal power plants and other process industries generally use electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) because of their effectiveness and reliability in controlling particulate matter. The dust particles from the flue gas are separated using flow dynamics and an electrical force induced by the ESP. Baffles and plates are used to obstruct the flue gas flow and to increase residence time to force particle deposition. ESPs are the most reliable control devices to capture the fine particles and their efficiency is also high. However, the precipitator has some serious limitations when capturing smaller size dust particles, especially those less than 2.5 micron. Another drawback is the collection of dust from low-temperature flue gas. In this chapter, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of flow distribution inside the ESP has been discussed which can be useful for collecting smaller particles regardless of operating temperature. A case study is presented showing a wide variety of flow simulation by inserting different shapes of baffles inside the ESP and their effect on particle collection. The collection efficiency of the particles affected by different flow distributions and the possible modifications in the existing ESPs used in the power plants are also discussed. © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018.