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NTPC Limited

NCPS, Dadri


Contributed By – AHP­TH, Dadri. 
Compiled & Edited by:  Sh. S K Sen. 
                : AGM(EM­TH)   
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri


1.   Rerouting of APH Vacuum Lines in ST‐1 & ST‐2:

2.   Shifting of Economiser Flushing Apparatus in ST‐2

3.   Laying of Additional Bottom Ash Discharge pipelines


5.   Material improvement of rotary segregating valve (RSV seat & gate)  


8.   Material improvement for control cone of Vacuum pump STAGE‐2 


10.   Replacement of ACI pipes With Cast Basalt Pipes in FATL of St‐I 

11.   Modification in St‐II Slurry Discharge Pipeline

12.   Provision of Cross over valves in FATL and BATL lines
13.   High Vibration Problem in Silo Vent Fan of Stage‐II
14.   Removal of Looping & relocation of stepping in the FATL of stage‐II 
15.   Provision of dedicated sludge pumps for surge and settling tanks of stage‐II
16.   Provision of Effective fluidising of the air lock tank of buffer hoppers 

NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

1. Title:

Rerouting of APH Vacuum Lines in ST-1 & ST-2:

Existing Scheme:

Ash is evacuated through vacuum system from APH hoppers to buffer hoppers. From
Buffer hoppers it is conveyed to silos for utilisation.
Evacuation of fly ash from APH hoppers was a regular problem and many times ash was
being dumped on ground. On analysis it was found that vacuum lines were laid in such a
way that so many bends, upward and downward flow in line and longer length of piping
were the cause of the problem. This was resulting in very high vacuum in the line and ash
flow was getting stalled. This high vacuum was also causing damage of bag filters and
cages in bag house of buffer hoppers.

Before Re-routing
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NCPS, Dadri


APH vacuum line was re-routed as per in house designed route. This resulted into
reduction in number of bends from 08 Nos. to just 02 Nos. Upward and downward flow of
ash in the vacuum line was eliminated and total length of line was reduced by 12 meters

After Re-routing


APH hoppers are being evacuated through fly ash system successfully. Evacuation cycle
time of pass (ESP hoppers+ APH hoppers) was reduced to 60 minutes. Erosion rate of
pipes in APH vacuum line is reduced and damages of bag and cages in bag house of
buffer hopper has come down. More importantly fugitive emission of ash is stopped since
no dumping of ash is happening from APH hoppers.

2 Title:

Shifting of Economiser Flushing Apparatus in ST-2

Existing Scheme:

Ash from economiser hoppers is evacuated through 04 Nos. flushing apparatuses. In

these apparatuses high pressure water through nozzle is used which mixes up with ash
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NCPS, Dadri

and forms slurry. Further this slurry flows to Bottom Ash Hopper and disposed through
Bottom Ash Hopper de-ashing system.
In U # 5 & 6, initially two flushing apparatuses were placed at 19 meters and another 02 at
30 Meters elevation on flue gas duct. This was causing unbalance in flushing water flow
and many a times this was resulting in either overflow of ash from flushing apparatuses or
chocking of economiser hoppers. After chocking of economiser flushing system, there was
a problem of ash accumulation in economiser hoppers & this ash was being carried over to
APH hoppers along flue gases. Being coarser ash, this was causing problems in fly ash
evacuation system also. Spilled ash onto flue gas duct was causing extra burden on the


02 flushing apparatuses were shifted from 30 meters elevation to 19 meters elevation. For
this a pipe sleeve was fitted in flue gas duct and pipe from economiser hopper to flushing
apparatus was passed through this sleeve. Flushing water pipelines and discharge ash
slurry pipelines were re-laid for these flushing apparatuses.

Before Shifting After Shifting

NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri


: Ash from economiser hoppers are being evacuated through these flushing apparatuses.
There is no spillage of ash now. Chocking of ash slurry pipelines of economiser hopper is
almost eliminated. Since economiser hoppers are not chocked hence coarse ash
carryover from economiser hopper to APH hoppers is stopped and fly ash system is
running smoothly.

3 Title:

Laying of Additional Bottom Ash Discharge pipelines

Existing Scheme:

In unit 5 & 6 bottom Ash from Bottom ash hopper is evacuated by 04 nos. hydro ejectors.
There were 02 bottom ash discharge pipelines; each connected to two hydro ejectors.
Bottom ash slurry is conveyed from bottom ash hopper to slurry pit through these
discharge lines. From this pit ash slurry is transferred to hydrobins by BA slurry pumps.

In case of any one of these discharge line is chocked, then de-ashing from one side of
bottom ash hopper cannot be done timely which may result into ash build up in bottom ash
hopper. This may cause reduction of load or forced shutdown of unit.

Before Modification After Modification

NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Modification / Improvement:

Additional two bottom ash discharge pipelines were laid in parallel to existing lines as per
in house developed design. Two new pipelines were laid and connected to hydro ejectors
in such a manner that each hydro ejector is connected to independent bottom ash
discharge line.

After Modification


After modification delay in bottom de-ashing is avoided totally as in case of choking of any
of the pipeline another hydro ejector can be taken in service for bottom de-ashing. Now
there is no chance of ash build up in bottom ash hopper, hence no possibility of load
reduction on account of delay in bottom de-ashing. Choking of bottom ash discharge
pipeline can be cleared without affecting the bottom de-ashing system. Laying of additional
two pipelines has ensured better system availability and reliability.

4 Title:


NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Existing Scheme:

In unit 5& 6 fly ash is evacuated from ESP hoppers to buffer hopper through material
handling valve (MHV) and vacuum pipelines. There are total 160 MHV and 16 vacuum
headers in each unit of stage #2 ESP. Vacuum headers have multiple couplings and
segregating valves. Height of the vacuum header and MHV from ground is around 5
metre. There was a problem of approach and safety during operation and maintenance of
MHV, segregating valves, coupling of vacuum header, pneumatic cylinder of MHV,
solenoid of MHV, drain valve and side plate of ESP hoppers, air check valve of MHV, KGV
of ESP hoppers and orifice of the vacuum headers.

Modification / Improvement

For the first time in NTPC, we have designed, fabricated and erected platform to facilitate
maintenance of MHVs, vacuum pipelines and fittings, segregating valves, solenoid valves,
pneumatic cylinders, KGVs, air check valve, drain plug, side cover etc. Erection of platform
was done just below the vacuum headers of ESP hoppers.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri


Now maintenance of fly ash system is quite safe and less time consuming. Because of the
platform we can independently approach all the fly ash equipment below ESP hoppers

Vacuum headers without platform

NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Vacuum headers with platform and staircase


5 Title:

Material improvement of rotary segregating valve (RSV seat & gate)

Existing Scheme:

In unit 5 & 6 there are 16 buffer hoppers. Each Buffer hopper has four rotary
segregating valves. RSV plays a vital role in dumping of fly ash and maintaining
vacuum in buffer hopper. Each RSV has one seat and one gate. RSV operates in
every 45 seconds. RSV seat and gate has metal to metal contact and is in direct
contact with Fly Ash. RSV is very important valve as it operates between vacuum at
one side of valve and pressure at the other end. Seat and gate have very high erosion
rate due to erosive nature of ash. Vacuum variation was occurring in buffer hoppers
due to this erosion. So fly ash evacuation was getting affected. Before improvement
of material of construction life of the RSV seat and gate was around one week only.


NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

  Before improvement
Modification / Improvement:

Initially M/s The Indure Pvt Ltd supplied these seat & gate with hardness 250 BHN only
which were getting eroded within a week time. Now the material of these spares has been
upgraded to cast steel of ASTM A-532, grade III A with hardness of 600 BHN. Now
average life is about 04 months.


Now vacuum variation in the buffer hoppers is very rare. Evacuation of fly ash is smooth
and uninterrupted on account of erosion of seat and gate. Breakdown time of the buffer
hopper has also reduced considerably. PM of buffer hopper is less time consuming and
more reliable. Thus we have saved the considerable money by increasing life of the seat
and gate.


After improvement of
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NCPS, Dadri

6. Title:

Existing Scheme:

In unit 5 & 6 there are 4 Clinker Grinders for each unit and they play a vital role in de-
ashing of Bottom Ash Hopper. Major function of Clinker Grinder is to break large clinkers
of ash into smaller pieces (<25mm) so that they can be carried by High Pressure (HP)
water through hydro ejectors to Ash Slurry Sump.
Clinker Grinder is critical equipment as its adverse health may affect the evacuation of
Bottom Ash. Clinker Grinder assemblies are generally replaced during Overhauling but
sometimes replacement in running unit is required to be carried out if the performance
degrades. Clinker Grinders are mounted just below the Bottom Ash Hopper Gate Housing.
Originally, the mounting of Clinker Grinder was such that the mounting bolts were inside
the Bottom Ash Hopper Gate Housing. Replacement of Clinker Grinder in operational unit
was very difficult and unsafe due to confined space, heat and hot water flow from Bottom
Ash Hopper.


Modification / Improvement:

: The size of the mounting flange of clinker grinder has been enlarged. Now mounting bolts
are fixed outside the housing. The rigid seal water pipelines have been replaced by
flexible hose pipes to check seal water flow as and when required.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri


After modification the replacement of Clinker Grinder assembly in operational unit is safe
and less time consuming. The fasteners can be accessed from outside and replaced as
and when needed. The flexible hose pipe facilitates easy cleaning of seal water pipelines
which gets frequently chocked. The increased size of mounting flange has also eliminated
chances of any leakage through the mounting.


After Modification
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

7. Title:


Existing Scheme:

Each unit in stage –I has 6 Hydro ejectors, 4 for evacuating Bottom ash Hopper and 2 for
evacuating coarse ash tank. Nozzle is very important component of hydro ejector as it is
responsible for creating vacuum effect in hydro ejector which sucks the ash slurry from
clinker grinder and discharges it into BATL. The effectiveness of hydro ejector depends
upon the diameter of nozzle. If dia of nozzle increases due to erosion the performance of
hydro ejector drops drastically.
Originally, in system supplied by M/S The Indure the nozzles were made of SS which were
giving an average life of about 1 month. To change the nozzle whole hydro ejector
assembly had to be dismantled and bottom ash hopper to be kept empty by continuous
operation of other hydro ejector which exerts strain on system and is very energy

Modification / Improvement:

A ceramic sleeve was developed in collaboration with M/S Grindwell Norton which was
fitted inside the eroded nozzle after boring to enhance the life of nozzle.

NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri



he life of nozzle increased to 3-4 months. The nozzle can be reused by replacing the
sleeve which only costs Rs. 600 only against original nozzle cost of Rs 5000 approx. This
modification resulted in decreased downtime, better reliability, cost and energy saving.

8. Title:

Material improvement for control cone of Vacuum pump STAGE-2

Existing Scheme:

In unit 5 & 6 there are 8 vacuum pumps in each unit. Vacuum pump plays important role in
fly ash evacuation system .Major function of vacuum pump is to develop vacuum in buffer
hoppers. Vacuum pump has two control cones, one casing, one rotor and two side covers.
Stage # 2 vacuum pump is water ring type. Actually seal water forms water ring between
control cone and rotor inside the vacuum pump. Vacuum pump is connected to buffer
Hopper through bag house so that no ash is passed to atmosphere. However, some ash
particles still may pass through bag filters due to damage or deteriorated condition of bag
fabric over a period of use. Sometimes DP across bag filter is increased due to poor
performance of air pulse jet system. As a result of these reasons erosion in control cones
and side covers takes place.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Modification / Improvement:

Initially M/s VACUNAIR ENGG CO PVT LTD supplied these control cones of material CIFG 260 which were 
getting  eroded  within  4‐5  months.  Now  the  material  of  these  cones  has  been  upgraded  to  SS  410  and 
average life of cones has increased up to one year. 

CIFG 260) SS 410)


Now cone life is increased and new vacuum pump is more reliable then old vacuum pump.
Thus we have saved the considerable money and made the pumps more reliable by
increasing life of the control cones.

9. Title:
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NCPS, Dadri



Existing Scheme:

In unit 5 & 6 there are 3 Transport Air Compressors (TAC) and 3 Fly Ash transport Line (FATL)
in each unit. TACs and FATLs are connected through 2 TAC air pipe line as shown in schematic
diagram below. The design of fly ash evacuation system is such that normally 2 TAC & 2 FATL are
in service and one is for standby. Since there are only 2 TAC Air pipelines all 3 FATLs cannot be
taken into service if condition demanded. FATLs had problem of frequent pressurization in the
rainy season. So there was a requirement of 3rd TAC airlines for each unit of stag#2.

Modification / Improvement:

Additional 3rd TAC air line was laid in parallel to existing lines as per in house developed design.
The C&I logic was also modified to facilitate the valve operation as per new layout. The schematic
diagram after modification is as follows.

Before Modification
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NCPS, Dadri


Now during pressurization or chocking the third FATL can be taken in service thus the
evacuation of fly ash is not affected during emergency. Reliability and availability of system
is increased.

10. Title:

Replacement of ACI pipes With Cast Basalt Pipes in FATL of St-I

Existing Scheme:

There are 2 Fly Ash Transport Line (FATL) for each unit in stage-I. Thru FATL fly ash is
carried from buffer hopper to silos by means of pressurised air. Fly ash particles travel at a
very high speed inside the pipe line and hence the erosion caused by them is very severe.
Originally the FATLs were provided with alloy cast iron (ACI) pipes which were getting
eroded in every 3-4 years.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Frequent punctures were observed throughout the length of FATLs. The loss of air
through leakages caused FATL chocking.

Modification / Improvement:

: Replacement of ACI pipes with cast basalt pipe was carried out. Cast Basalt is highly
abrasion resistant. Pipes with 20mm thick Cast basalt lining were used for replacement in
a phased out manner.


Due to very low wear rate of cast basalt pipe the leakages in FATL were reduced
drastically. The down time of system was reduced and reliability and availability of system
was increased.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

11. Title:

Modification in St-II Slurry Discharge Pipeline

Existing Scheme:

In U# 5 & 6, slurry pumps are used to pump slurry from slurry pit to hydrobin. These slurry lines
play a very vital role for running of bottom ash slurry disposal system. For pumping of slurry to
hydrobins, 03 nos. slurry pumps are fitted and according 03 lines are laid from slurry pumps to
After coming out from slurry pump house these lines were laid in the trench and near ESP corner
these lines are laid on surface. During this course lines goes down to 05 mtr depth and again comes
back to surface and at the same time 06 nos. of bends were fitted in each line. Since in this slurry
line the pipes are attached to each other through sleeved couplings, these many bends were resulting
in very frequent coupling leakages as well as line was getting chocked frequently because of
difference in levels of line. Further for attending any type of above defects complete dewatering of
trench was to be done which was causing delay in attending defects hence resulting into non
availability of system for a longer time.
Slurry Pump
House Stage-2


NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Modification / Improvement:

These lines were re-laid on the surface. For this the pipe lines were dismantled and removed from
trench, trench was filled back and slabs were laid on the trench. Then MS pipe of 300 NB was laid
above these slabs, and was connected directly to above surface line near U#5 ESP. For facilitating
of pipe crossing on the road pipes were laid through pipe sleeves and a ramp was built above these

Slurry Pump
House Stage-2
Hume Pipe Existing



Coupling leakages has been eliminated. Now time taken to attend the defect has been reduced.
Since level difference in line has been removed, no line choking has occurred after modification.
Hence this modification resulted into better system availability, reduced leakages and better
working environment.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

12. Title:

Provision of Cross over valves in FATL and BATL lines

Existing Scheme:

Three FATL (Fly ash Transport lines) are provided in each , unit 5 & 6. Each line is connected to
all the four Silos of stage-II. Originally one valve was provided at the inlet target box of each silo
and no valve (Cross over valve) was provided in the FATL leading to subsequent silos. Similarly ,
Each Hydrobins of stage-II , six nos., is connected with Three (BATL) Bottom Ash transport Lines
coming from.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Cross over

Modification / Improvement:

The matter was taken up with Engg.-CC and with the agency. The modification was implemented
for silo and hydrobin both. Necessary changes in operational logic and DPU address were created
with the help of O&M-C&I and AHP operation. For the above modification M/s Indure has to
procure additional valves and cable etc.


Cross over v/v

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NCPS, Dadri


Now we are able to dump ash in any of the hydrobin or silo for operation. No choking of
any downstream portion of the line is taking place and system is running smoothly.

13. Title:

High Vibration Problem in Silo Vent Fan of Stage-II

Existing Scheme:
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

There are four silos for stage-II dry ash handling system. The silos are made of metal
plates and installed on metallic columns and beams. The top of the silo is made of 8.0 mm
chakker plates. Each silo has one vent fan for venting of conveying air. The silos has
problem of very high vibrations since beginning. Once the base frame strengthening was
done and vibrations were reduced to good level but slowly it again increased. Balancing of
rotor was also not resulting in improvement in the vibration level.

Modification / Improvement:

The problem was studied by MTP and by vibration specialist (Ex BHEL). It was observed
that the vibration was mainly caused due to flexible base frame , which itself was vibrating.
In the first attempt strengthening of the base frame was done resulting in reduction in
vibration level. After some time vibration increased to 400 Micro m displacement. To
increase the mass of base frame of the vent fan refractory aws poured. It was allowed to
settle. Now all the Vent fan of stage-II are running with acceptable vibration level.


Additional reinforcement
of base frame

Modifications in the base frame of the silo vent fans of stage-II

NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

With low and acceptable level of vibration the equipment can be run on continuous basis
without any premature failure. As only one vent fan has been provided in each silo,
reliability of vent fan will result in availability of all the silos for ash dumping and
intermediate storage. This will help in more ash utilisation.

14. Title:

Removal of Looping & relocation of stepping in the FATL of stage-II

Existing Scheme:

Problem of frequent pressurisation of Fly Ash Transport Line (FATL) was observed in
stage-II ash handling system. Various aspects of operation were studied. On close
observation of the piping system it was found that the one loop near new chimney was
additional resistance in the pipe line . the total length of each FATL is about 600 mtr. The
FATL step from 300 nb to 350 nb was put at a distance of 140 mtr. from the last buffer
hopper of ESP. It was probably causing reduction of conveying velocity below the
minimum critical velocity resulting in choking tendency of the FATL.

Modification / Improvement:

In the loop zone of the FATL additional platform was created and all the six FATL of
Unit#5 & 6 both were routed in this platform. The new routing has avoided two nos. 90
deg. Bends in each line. The stepping of FATL line from 300 nb size to 350 nb size was
relocated at a distance of about 250 mtr from the last buffer hopper of the unit. The third
stepping 350 nb to 400 nb is at about 450 mtr.
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NCPS, Dadri


Advantages: New

After the implementation of the above two modifications the operation of FATL is smooth.
Instances of pipe leakages has also been reduced due to reduction in the pipe
pressurisation instances.

15. Title:

Provision of dedicated sludge pumps for surge and settling tanks of stage-II

Existing Scheme:

In the beginning two nos. of sludge pumps were provided with one working and other
standby pumps. The pumps were having very long suction pipe of size 100 nb. The
discharge size is also 100 nb. The suction line was getting choked very frequently and the
sludge removal from settling/surge tank was not taking place. The matter was taken with
the EPC contractor. They were convinced for providing dedicated pumps for surge and
telling tanks separately with a provision of one working and one standby pumps

Modification / Improvement:

Total four nos. of new pumps were procured by the agency along with the motor, electrical
and C&I system. New base frame near to the each tank was made. All the piping were
modified accordingly. Earlier no provision for flushing of the pump suction was not there.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

We have laid about 350 mtr 100 nb piping for providing flushing and gland sealing water to
all the sludge pumps.

Improper location of sludge pumps.

• Two nos. common p/ps with large suction
line length provided.

Sludge/settling tank

Location of Two p/p for one

common sludge tank


Now sludge pumps are being put in service on continuous basis. The sludge removal from
surge and settling is taking place effectively.
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

16. Title:

Provision of Effective fluidising of the air lock tank of buffer hoppers: 

Existing Scheme:

ESP ash evacuation is done under vacuum and brought up to buffer hoppers. From hoppers the ash is 
discharge into Fly Ash transport Lines through air lock tanks ( two Nos.) provided in each buffer hoppers. 
For effective discharge of ash from airlock tanks proper fluidising of the ash in air lock tank must take place. 
It is essential to provide plus 0.5 Kg/cm2 pressure for fluidising when the air lock tank in connected to the 
pressure port of the three way valve and the ash is discharging the FATL. Earlier the fluidising air was 
provided from the conveying air by providing orifice in the compressed air line upstream of the ash 
discharge point. Airlock tank was not getting fully empty and in turn it was resulting the filling of buffer 
hoppers. It was practically demonstrated at site by reverting back the fluidising to conveying air and after 
some time buffer  got filled up. 

Modification / Improvement:

the matter was also discussed with OS‐CC. it was deliberated that in stage‐I fluidising arrangement is from 
IAC network through heating arrangement. In stage‐I separate fluidising blowers were provided but  it was 
changed to IAC system as the fluidising was not effective. Therefore  in stage‐II first it was implemented on 
trial basis in set of two buffer hoppers and then it was replicated to remaining buffer hoppers of the units. 
After the tapping from instrument air header a pressure regulating valve has been installed. Through 
provision of Pilot valves fluidising air supplied is ensured to the air lock tank which is in process of 
discharging ash in the FATL and the other air lock tank air remains isolated. 
NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri

Fluidising Pilot Valve



With this modification fluidising if effectively taking place. No instance of buffer hopper filling is
observed due to fluidising problem.

NTPC Limited
NCPS, Dadri