In 2010 Total, working closely with its selected licensor and basic engineering contractor, Technip E&C Limited (‘TECL’), developed a philosophy for the burner management system (‘BMS’) of a pair of new furnaces being designed for Total’s Gonfreville site (part of the Normandy Platform). The key features were operator safety; compliance with the European standard (EN 746-2:1997 – ‘Industrial thermoprocessing equipment Part 2: Safety requirements for combustion and fuel handling systems’); and reliability. The idea of having remote ignition (from a local panel) and relying on flame monitoring (no visuals) was rather unusual for a cracking furnace. The operators were especially concerned. In practice the system has proved to be both reliable and convenient.
The BMS was adapted by TOTAL and retrofitted to a pair of older furnaces at Gonfreville.
Later, after TECL was awarded a contract for a near-duplicate pair of furnaces for the Antwerp Platform, TOTAL provided detailed feedback from the experience in Gonfreville to allow the design to be fine-tuned. It was also reviewed for compliance with the new edition of the European standard (EN 746-2:2010-10).
In the paper the authors will describe, compare and contrast the design of the BMS’s for the three cited references and report on how the systems performed in practice. Finally they consider the implications of the publication of ISO 13577-2:2014-09, ‘Industrial furnaces and associated processing equipment — Safety — Part 2: Combustion and fuel handling systems’ that will eventually supersede EN 746-2 in Europe, and is likely to become the standard adopted by countries which do not currently have a national standard.
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