Split Flame® Technology

For over twenty years, CCA has been an industry leader in the design, development, testing and manufacture of high efficiency, low emission combustion systems for industrial and utility boilers. Particular emphasis has been placed on the continued development of atomizers for heavy oil applications. With both very low NOx and opacity as the goals, two of the most difficult conditions to obtain simultaneously when firing heavy fuel oil, this product development has resulted in the patented Split Flame®atomizer. In addition to achieving the original goals, the atomizer can simultaneously operate at lower excess oxygen and carbon monoxide levels compared to other atomizers on the market today. Reductions in SO3 have also been measured using standard EPA test methods, resulting in lower visible opacity.

Assuring the highest level of quality control over the engineering and in-house manufacturing, CCA produces the Split Flame®atomizer for both steam and mechanically atomized oil systems, and has successfully applied this new technology on both wall fired and tangentially fired burners.

Split Flame® Atomizer & NOx Formation

The Split Flame® atomizer, in both the mechanically atomized and steam atomized designs, produces a divided spray pattern with both dense and lean phases, which in turn produces fuel rich and fuel lean zones. Providing fuel rich zones in the atomizing spray pattern can slow the formation of NOx. This spray pattern reduces the peak flame temperature and excess oxygen available for conversion of fuel nitrogen to Nox, thus reducing the formation of both thermal and fuel bound NOx. Each Split Flame® atomizer is tested in CCA’s laboratory using a Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer to ensure the optimum spray distribution and quality, mass ratio and pressure/flow relationship.

Steam Atomized Split Flame® Atomizer

The air or steam atomized, Split Flame® atomizer is of the internal mix design and comprises the spray plate, back plate or plug and retaining nut. Fuel enters the back plate or plug in the outer ring of holes, the oil changes direction by 90 at the outlet of the back plate and is directed towards the center of the plug through a series of radial slots where the oil is sheared by the atomizing steam passing through the inner ring of holes. Reversal of the oil and atomizing steam orientation is possible depending upon the application. The oil/ steam mix enters the mixing chamber of the spray plate and exits as angled sectors from graduated size orifices. The number of sectors is determined by the specific application. The Split Flame® atomizer can be designed as part of a new oil gun assembly, or it can be retrofitted to most existing oil guns.

Pressure Atomized Split Flame® Atomizer

The pressure atomized Split Flame® atomizer, which can be used on either the “once through” or simplex system or the spill return system, is of the pressure-atomized design and comprises a spray plate, back plate and retaining nut. On the simplex system, oil enters the back plate at high pressure through the outer ring of holes, changes direction by 90 degrees at the outlet of the back plate and is directed towards the center of the plug through a series of whirl slots. The oil enters a conical shaped whirl chamber with a high degree of rotational energy at the rear of the spray plate and exits through a circular orifice at the outlet of the cone. A slot milled at the outlet orifice creates the outlet divided spray pattern. The number of slots is determined by the specific application.

The spill return system operates with more fuel oil being flowed to the atomizer than is required for combustion. The oil enters and exits the outer ring of holes in the back plate, passes through the whirl slots into the conical spray plate chamber as with the simplex system. The excess oil not required for combustion returns through the inner ring of holes in the back plate, where a valve external to the oil gun controls the oil flow. The Split Flame® concept can be adapted to virtually any OEM oil gun.

Split Flame® Performance

The performance of the Split Flame® atomizer is unparalleled in industry today. Not only does it produce low NOx and low opacity simultaneously but also low CO and excess O2. The results shown below are from a 600 MW wall fired boiler and compare the retrofitted Split Flame® internal mix atomizer with the original OEM low NOx atomizer.

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