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Publication numberUS3719524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 6, 1973
Filing dateMay 13, 1970
Priority dateMay 13, 1970
Publication numberUS 3719524 A, US 3719524A, US-A-3719524, US3719524 A, US3719524A
InventorsC Ripley, Neill G O
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Variable flow steam circulator
US 3719524 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 6, 1973 c, c, mp ETAL VARIABLE FLOW STEAM CIRCULATOR 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Original Filed April 10, 1968 llPEP/JHTED STEAM INVENTORS CHARLES C. RIPLEY Fig. lc

GERALD L. O'NEILL March 6, 1973 c. c. RIPLEY ETAL VARIABLE FLOW STEAM CIRCULATOR Original Filed April 10, 1968 WA TEA C- C. RIPLEY ETAL VARIABLE FLOW STEAM CIRCULATOR March 6, 1973 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Original Filed April 10, 1968 mw m United States Patent 3,719,524 VARIABLE FLOW STEAM CIRCULATUR Charles C. Ripley and Gerald L. ONeill, San Jose, Calif., assignors to General Electric Company Original application Apr. 10, 1968, Ser. No. 720,320. Divided and this application May 13, 1970, Ser. No. 48,642

Int. Cl. F04f 5/46, 5/48; G210 17/28 US. Cl. 417-180 2 Claims ABSTRACT or THE DISCLOSURE This application is a divisional of US. Pat. No. 3,607,- 635, entitled Nuclear Reactor With Variable Flow Steam Circulator by Charles C. Ripley et al., issued Sept. 21, 1971.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Recently, a device called the aerothermopresser has been developed for use, typically, in improving the efficiency of gas turbines. The aerothermopresser includes a short, narrow cylindrical throat section attached to the turbine exhaust with a diverging generally conical section attached to the throat section. Means are provided to in+ ject water into the flowing exhaust gases at the narrow throat section. The water evaporates, increasing the stagnation pressure at the aerothermopresser exit, improving the efiicency of the gas turbine. The aerthermopresser is described in further detail of A. H. Shapiro et al., in an article entitled The Aerothermopresser-A Device for Improving the Performance of a Gas Turbine Power Plant, Transactions of ASME, April 1956, pp. 617-653.

Still more recently, a somewhat similar device, called the steam thermopresser has been developed for use in a steam circulating system. The steam thermopresser includes, in seriatim, a generally conical converging inlet section, a short throat section and a generally conical diverging diffuser section. Means are provided to inject water as very fine droplets into the thermopresser at the throat section. Superheated steam is fed into the inlet section and through the thermopresser. As the superheated steam accelerates through the converging inlet, a drop in pressure occurs. The pressure recovery during deceleration in the diffuser section, as the density of the flowing steam is increased by the injected water which evaporates while desuperheating the superheated steam, is substantially greater than the pressure drop required for the acceleration process. Thus, a net increase in the stagnation pressure will have occurred. This system is further detailed in D. P. Hines US. Pat. No. 3,565,761.

As is further described in said copending patent application, this system is highly effective as the steam coolant circulating means in a steam cooled nuclear reactor.

A large quantity of superheated steam is required for full capacity operation of a steam thermopreser. During startup of a steam-cooled nuclear reactor or other system requiring superheated steam circulation, this large quantity may not be available. Under these circumstances, the steam thermopresser may be operated as a jet pump, with a single large centerline nozzle upstream of the thermopresser throat supplying driving fluid. Such a system is detailed by C. C. Ripley in U.S. Pat. No. 3,575,807.

3,719,524 Patented Mar. 6, 1973 Steam circulating systems using the steam thermopresser are highly efficient, especially since there is no requirement that large quantities of steam be directly pumped, as is required by the widely used Loefiler system. However, further improvements in the system can be achieved. Problems remain in operating a steam thermopresser at partload. Where the flow of superheated steam through the thermopresser is decreased, the water-evaporating capacity decreases. If the flow of injected Water is not properly adjusted, excessive water may be entrained in the saturated steam leaving the thermopresser. Also, the configuration of the thermopresser inlet and throat sections which are optimized for full capacity fiow will not be optimum for lower flow rates. Similarly, an inlet and throat design which is optimum for thermopresser operation may not be suitable for jet-pump operation during system start-up.

Thus, there is a continuing need for improvement in steam thermopressers to permit variable load operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide a steam thermopresser which overcomes the above-noted problems.

Another object of this invention is to provide a steam thermopresser capable of eflicient operation over a wide range of steam flow.

Another object of this invention is to provide a steam thermopresser system especially suitable for circulating steam in a steam-cooled nuclear reactor.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a steam circulating system which operates efficiently as both a steam thermopresser and a jet-pump.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide variable configuration inlet and throat sections for a steam thermopresser.

The above objects, and others, are accomplished in accordance with this invention by providing a thermopresser in which the Water injecting means is in the form of an axially movable toroidal manifold within the thermopresser inlet section. Water flow through spray nozzles on the manifold may be adjusted in accordance with superheated steam flow into the thermopresser. As the manifold ring is moved forward, toward the thermopresser throat, it decreases the throat cross-sectional area. Finally, the manifold contacts the thermopresser wall near the throat section. This permits steam fiow only within the toroidal manifold which now acts as the thermopresser inlet wall. Thus, the thermopresser inlet wall may be designed for optimum full load operation and the inside surface of the toroidal manifold may be designed as an optimum inlet surface for part load operation. This system is highly effective in a steam cooled nuclear reactor power plant, since the load may be desirably varied over a substantial range.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Details of the invention, together with various preferred embodiments thereof, will become further apparent upon reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. la shows a schematic representation, in section of a thermopresser according to this invention arranged for full load operation;

FIG. lb shows the thermopresser shown in FIG. la arranged for /3 load operation;

FIG. 10 shows the thermopresser shown in FIG. la arranged for Va load operation;

FIG. 2 shows a section through a preferred embodiment of a thermopresser according to this invention; and

FIG. 3 shows a preferred arrangement in a nuclear power plant of the thermopresser of this invention.

3 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to FIGS. la, 1b and there is seen a thermopresser according to the present invention arranged for full, /s and /3 load operation, respectively. These figures show a variable flow thermopresser including a feed section 10 through which superheated steam is admitted into the thermopresser body. Feed section 10 is connected to thermopresser inlet section 11 by flanges 12 and 13. Inlet section 11 is connected to diffuser section 14 by flanges 15 and 16. Diffuser sect-ion 14, which is shown broken away, consists of a gradually diverging, generally conical, tube.

Inlet section 11 and diffuser section 14 make up the thermopresser body. The narrowest portion of the thermopresser body, about at the location of flanges 15 and 16, is referred to as the thermopresser throat.

Within inlet section 11 is located a toroidal manifold 17 having a plurality of small spray nozzles 18 therein, located to spray very fine droplets of water or other suitable liquid into the throat section of the thermopresser. Any suitable spray nozzle may be used. A variety of suitable nozzles are described in the above-noted copending application of D. P. Hines, Ser. No. 701,228, filed Jan. 29, 1968. Manifold 17 is divided into inner and outer sections by a generally ring-shaped divider 19. Water is delivered to manifold 17 through pipes 20 and 21. Diverters 22 are included in manifold 17 adjacent the connections to pipes 20 and 21 so that pipe 20 supplies water only to the inner section of manifold 17 while pipe 21 supplies water only to the outer section of manifold 17.

A jet pump nozzle 23 is located within manifold 17 on the centerline of the thermopresser. Driving fluid is supplied to jet pump nozzle 23 through feed pipe 25.

Water is supplied to pipes 20 and 21 through a divided cylindrical conduit 26 which surrounds feed pipe 25 and is secured thereto. Conduit 26 is divided along line 27 so that water Which enters outer housing 28 through pipe 29 passes to pipe 20 through openings 30 and water which enters through pipe 32 passes to pipe 21 through opening 33.

Feed pipe 25 is mounted for axial movement along the thermopresser centerline. Manifold 17, pipes 20 and 21 and conduit 26 are secured to pipe 25 and move with it. A plurality of fins 34 guide the array during movement. Seals 35 and 36 serve as bearings for pipe 25 and conduit 26 where they pass through housing 28 and feed section 10, respectively. Guides 38 serve to guide conduit 26 during movement and to divide the water supply entering through pipes 29 and 32.

FIG. 1a shows the assembly during full-flow operation. Superheated steam is entering at the maximum rate. Manifold 17 is in a position furthest from the walls of inlet section 11. The configuration at the wall of inlet section 11 is optimized for most efficient full-flow operation. Water is fed to manifold 17 from pipes 29 and 32 at full system capacity. Typically, about M; of the total water enters through pipe 29 while about of the total water enters through pipe 32.

As flow of saturated steam through feed section 10 decreases, as for example where load on a turbinegenerator decreases, manifold 17 is moved towards the walls of inlet section 12 and flow of water to manifold 17 decreases proportionately.

It has been found that where superheated steam flow is less than that for which the thermopresser throat crosssectional area was optimized, the throat area should be decreased to retain operating efficiency. As manifold 17 approaches inlet section wall 11, a choking effect takes place, decreasing the effective throat area. Also, as superheated steam flow decreases, the quantity of water required decreases proportionately.

FIG. 1b shows the system arranged for most efficient operation where superheated steam is entering at about full flow. Manifold 17 has been moved to the right until the throat cross-sectional area is again optimum.

The shape of the inner and outer walls of manifold 17 may also be designed to give optimum flow characteristics over a wide range of steam flow rates. Pipe 29 still supplies water at about /3 of the full flow rate to the spray nozzles on the inner section of manifold 17 F low of water through pipe 32 to the spray nozzles on the outer section of manifold 17 has been cut in half, from about /3 to about /3 of the full flow rate. Thus, when steam flow drops to /3 full flow, total water flow is also decreased to about /3 full flow through each of pipes 29 and 32).

FIG. 1c shows the system arranged for superheated steam flow at about /3 full flow. Here, manifold 17 has been moved to the right until it contacts the wall of inlet section 11. Now the inner wall of manifold 17 acts as a thermopresser inlet section of much decreased crosssectional area. Pipe 29 still supplies water at the original rate, about /3 of the full water flow rate. No water is supplied through pipe 32. Thus, throat area and water supply have decreased in proportion to the decrease in steam flow. Also, water is still being sprayed directly into the steam stream, only through the nozzles on the inner section of manifold 17.

This system is capable of smoothly varying output over a range of from to full capacity. The system may be designed, of course, for a wider or narrower range.

Jet pump nozzle 23 and feed pipe 25 serve both as a system start up means (as detailed in the above-noted copending application Ser. No. 701,229) and as means for moving the manifold assembly axially within thermopresser inlet section 11. Water flow and manifold position may be manually adjusted if desired. Where steam flow rate changes frequently, or where more accurate control is desired, valves in the water feed line and the manifold positioning means may be motor driven under the control of a conventional controller which senses variations in steam flow.

FIG. 2 shows an especially preferred embodiment of a variable flow thermopresser, partly in section.

The assembly is connected to a source of superheated steam by flange 100. Entering superheated steam passes to thermopresser 101 consisting of a converging inlet, a narrow throat and a diverging diffuser.

Located coaxially within the thermopresser inlet section is a toroidal manifold 102. While a single manifold is shown, two or more coaxial manifolds may be used if desired. A divider ring 103 within manifold 102 divides the manifold into inner and outer sections. A plurality of small spray nozzles 106 are located in inner wall 104 and outer wall 105.

Water is admitted into manifold 102 through three feed pipes evenly spaced around manifold 102. Only two of these feed pipes are seen in FIG. 2. Feed pipe 108 feeds water to the inner section of manifold 102. Feed pipe 109 feeds water to the outer section of manifold 102 as does the third feed pipe (not shown). These feed pipes recieve feedwater from a conduit 110 which surrounds a jet pump nozzle supply pipe 111.

A housing 112 formed as an integral part of the thermopresser supports conduit 110 by means of a removable insert 113 and includes passages 115 and 116 through which feedwater is admitted. Water entering through passage 115 passes through openings 117 in insert 113, then through opening 118 into conduit 110. Water entering through passage 116 passes through opening 119 in insert 113, then through opening 120 into conduit 110. Conduit 110 is divided into two sections by transverse wall 121 and two axial walls (not shown) which serve to isolate a passage from opening 120 to feed pipe 108. The remainder of conduit 110 connects openings 118 to feed pipe 109 and the third feed pipe (not shown).

Conduit 110 is mounted for axial movement with pipe 111 over bearings 123 and 124 which also serve as seals. Slight water leakage past bearings 123 and 124 is not detrimental to system performance.

Supply pipe 111 bears external threads 125 along a portion just outside insert 113. Threads 125 are engaged by internal threads in a drive means 126. Drive means 126 is rotatably mounted on insert 113. Cooperating flanges on drive means 126 and insert 113 prevent axial movement of drive means 126. Thus, as drive means 126 is rotated, as by handwheel 127, supply pipe and the manifold assembly are moved axially.

Leakage around supply pipe 111 and insert 113 is prevented by packing 128 and 129, respectively. Insert 113 is held in place by bushing 130 which is fastened to housing 112 by studs and nuts 131 and which bears on packing 129.

In operation, at full steam flow through the thermopresser, manifold 102 is positioned at an optimum distance from the thermopresser throat and water is sprayed from spray nozzles 106 at the full design rate. Preferably, in the embodiment shown, A of the full water flow is introduced through feed pipe 108 and the inner spray nozbles while of the water is introduced through feed pipe 109 and the third feed pipe (not shown) and the outer spray nozzles. As steam flow decreases, flow of water to the outer spray nozzles is decreased proportionately. Simultaneously, manifold 102 is moved towards the thermopresser throat to maintain an optimum throat cross-sectional area. When steam flow has dropped to about /3 of full fiow, manifold 102 will be in contact with the thermopresser throat and no water will be sprayed from the outer spray nozzles.

Supply pipe 111 serves to support conduit 110, act as part of the manifold drive assembly and also to supply driving fluid to jet pump nozzle 135 during system start-up.

While throughout the above discussion, the injection of water droplets into a superheated steam stream has been described, it should be remembered that the invention will function with the injection of other liquids into other hot gas streams. For example, water, alcohol or a mixture thereof might be injected into gas turbine exhaust gases passing through a thermopresser to increase turbine efliciency. However, the water-steam system is highly preferred because of the unique and surprisingly high conversion efiiciency obtained in the steam thermopresser. In electric power plants in which turbines are driven by superheated steam, where the steam is produced in a fossil-fired or nuclear steam supply system, it is generally necessary to pump large quantities of saturated steam through the superheater. The steam thermopresser is uniquely capable of producing large quantities of high pressure saturated steam and of driving this steam through the superheater.

The variable flow thermopresser system of this invention has special utility in steam-cooled nuclear reactors which supply superheated steam to a turbine-generator set or other load. A typical nuclear power plant is shown schematically in FIG. 3.

The nuclear power plant includes, basically, a nuclear reactor 200 to supply superheated steam to turbine 201. Reactor 200 includes an upright cylindrical pressure vessel 202 closed at the bottom by a dish-shaped lower head 203 and at the top by a removable dome-shaped upper head 204.

Within pressure vessel 202 is located the core 205 containing nuclear fuel material in a heat generating arrangement. Heat output of core 205 is controlled by a plurality of control rods, one of which is schematically indicated at 208. Vertical openings through core 205, generally indicated at 206 and 207, permit coolant to pass through the core and remove heat therefrom.

Core 205 is located with a shroud 210 which is mounted on lower head 203. Within shroud 210 and below core 205 is located an inlet plenum 211 in which substantially saturated steam collects before passing through core 205. Also within shroud 210, above core 205, is located an outlet plenum 212 to which the now-superheated steam passes from the core.

A portion of the superheated steam in outlet plenum 212 passes upwardly through pipe 213 to turbine 201. Turbine 201 drives generator 214 to produce electrical power. The steam is condensed in main condenser 215 and pumped by condensate pump 216 to storage tank 217.

A plurality of steam thermopressers are located in a water-filled annulus between shroud 210 and the inner wall of pressure vessel 202. Only one of these thermopressers is shown in FIG. 3 for clarity. Thermopresser 220 is positioned to receive superheated steam from outlet plenum 212 and return substantially saturated steam to inlet plenum 211. Axially movable manifold 223 is supplied by two water feed pipes 224 and 225. This arrangement is similar to that shown in FIGS. la, lb and 10. About /3 of the full water flow rate is pumped by pump 226 through line 227 and valve 228 at a constant rate to the inner spray nozzles on manifold 223. Pump 229 pumps water through line 230 and throttle valve 231 to the outer spray nozzles on manifold 223. Throttle valve 231 controls water flow from no flow up to about of the total water flow.

Controller 233 senses steam flow through thermopresser 220 and adjusts throttle valve 231 and operates drive means 234 to adjust the position of manifold 223 relative to the thermopresser throat.

A start-up boiler 235 is provided to provide steam to jet pump nozzle 236 through pipe 237. Flexible section 238 in pipe 237 permits movement as the manifold position is adjusted. Of course, other devices, such as telescoping pipe sections, may be used in place of flexible section 238 to allow movement of manifold 223 while maintaining the fluid supply connection between line 237 and jet pump nozzle 236.

As the load varies, the amount of steam leaving outlet plenum 212 to turbine 201 will vary. When load decreases, control rods are moved into the core decreasing the core heat output. Stream circulation through the thermopresser decreases, so controller 233 partially closes throttle valve 231 and moves manifold 223 towards the thermopresser throat. When the load increases, more steam is required, so controller 233 moves manifold 223 back while permitting more water to pass through valve 231. Thus steam circulation is easily varied and thermopresser 220 operates efiiciently at all times.

Although specific arrangements and proportions have been described above, other suitable arrangements and components may be used, as indicated above, with similar results.

Other modifications and ramifications of the present invention will occur to those skilled in the art upon reading the present disclosure. These are intended to be included within the scope of this invention.

We claim:

1. A variable flow steam thermopresser comprising:

(a) a thermopreser body comprising in seriatim a converging inlet section, a throat section and a diverging diffuser section;

(b) at least one toroidal manifold located coaxially within said inlet section;

(c) spray means on said manifold adapted to spray finely divided water droplets into said throat section;

(d) means to feed water at a variable rate to said spray nozzles on said manifold including independent means for feeding water to a first array of spray nozzles on the inner side of said manifold and to a second array of spray nozzles on the outer side of said manifold; and

(e) means to move said manifold along said axis towards and away from the thermopresser wall adjacent said throat section.

2. The thermopresser of claim 1 wherein said means for feeding water directs water to only said first array of 7 8 spray nozzles on said inner side of said manifold when 2,355,458 8/1944 Mastenbrook 261-DIG. 13 said manifold is located substantially in contact with said 2,254,472 9 1941 Dahl 261--DIG. 13 thermopresser wall.

' CARLTON R. CROYLE, Primary Examiner References Cited 5 R. E. GLUCK, Assistant Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,575,807 4/1971 Ripley 176-56 2,479,776 8/1949 Price 60-264 X 417--183, 188; 261DIG. 13; 176-56, 61, 65

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U.S. Classification417/180, 417/188, 976/DIG.303, 417/183, 376/372, 261/DIG.130
International ClassificationG21D3/14, F04F5/46
Cooperative ClassificationY10S261/13, F04F5/467, F04F5/461, F04F5/466, G21D3/14, Y02E30/40
European ClassificationF04F5/46S, G21D3/14, F04F5/46A, F04F5/46P