Vibrator/Bulk Solids How Vibrators Solve the Problem of Sticking Bulks

Author / Editor: MARK NEUNDORFER / Dominik Stephan

Material flow problems in coal fired power plants are not so uncommon: Coal gets stuck in bunkers, hoppers and hold or forms material bridges within the conveying system. But there is something that can be done about it: Modern vibrator systems can help to get bulk materials flowing freely again...

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Dislodging sticky material from hopper walls using a BH6 vibrator
Dislodging sticky material from hopper walls using a BH6 vibrator
(Picture: NAVCO)

When a coal fired power plant in the Northern United States experienced sticking and bridging of coal in coal bunkers, a field technician and the area distributor of National Air Vibrator Company (NAVCO) visited the plant to view the application and make recommendations.

Shaken, Not Stirred

The solution they proposed was the installation of their systems featuring a NAVCO BH6 impacting vibrator on each of the eight coal bunker hoppers. According to the manufacturer, the BH6 is a pneumatic vibrator with a 6“ piston designed to provide reliable and effective performance, even when exposed to severe adverse elements. A complete system was supplied by NAVCO, which included all accessories required for proper operation.

A ‘No Flow’ indicator was also incorporated above each feeder to provide information to the control room as well as operate the vibrators. This control feature greatly increased the efficiency of the overall system.

Getting the Maximum Flow

The plant now experiences continual coal flow providing maximum production efficiency. As no more hammering is required after installation of the NAVCO device, hammer damage to the hoppers has been completely averted. It has also reduced the potential for ‘hot spot’ combustion.

The safety hazards too during cleaning of bunkers have reduced. As we find, the size and operating characteristics of the BH6 make it suitable for solving very heavy duty bulk material flow problems.

* The author is President of NAVCO