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Fuel switching may cause poor ESP performance...

Requiring ESPs to be rebuilt or converted


Powder River Basin (PRB) coal, a coal very low in sulfur and sodium, was being economically fired in two units at an utility plant in the southeastern part of the United States. The plant decided to fuel switch its remaining two units from an Alabama low sulfur coal to PRB coal. This would require that the Buell hot side ESPs on Units 1 & 2 be converted to cold side operation to avoid sodium depletion problems when burning PRB.


The utility contracted EPSCO to complete a study for the following:

  • Review the specifications included in the formal request for quote (RFQ) and suggest improvements.
  • Establish the minimum SCA requirement and other parameters necessary to meet required performance.
  • Equalize the varied bids in such a way as to allow the utility to reach a logical decision on a procurement to fit the established budget.

EPSCO’s study enabled the utility to successfully evaluate the varied responses to their RFQ. The range of tenders varied from a rebuild in kind to a complete replacement of the ESP equipment, and everything in between, i.e. additional parallel capacity


The common thread in all of the tenders was that none of them met the letter of the specification, and so required a great deal of interpretation and evaluation to get them to a common basis.


EPSCO enabled the utility to clarify their equipment needs and also to evaluate the submitted proposals from various suppliers without the use of a tremendous amount of internal man-hours or relying solely upon supplier information.






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