Career Episode -2
My Second career episode is based on my project ‘THE DESIGN OF SURPLUS
STEAM UTILIZATION SYSTEM IN SULPHURIC ACID PLANT’. The project was initiated by me when I was doing my B tech in
Mechanical Engineering. The project duration was 1 month and carried out in
April 2012. The project was based in FERTILISERS AND CHEMICALS TRAVANCORE LTD,
The project was done in the SAP (SULPHURIC ACID PLANT)
of FACT (FERTILISERS AND CHEMICALS TRAVANCORE LTD), COCHIN DIVISION, India.
FACT is a public sector industry in the country that produces major part of the
nations fertilizer needs. The main problem faced by FACT was the high cost of
production. But company cannot increase the price of fertilizers accordingly
since it serves the farmers of the country and increase in the price of
fertilizers will affect the agriculture sector. The sulphuric acid plant inside
the company emits steam during its working. The aim of my project was to
utilize the surplus steam eliminated by the sulphuric acid plant to run the
cooling water pump installed in the plant by use of a steam turbine. This will
further reduce the total operating cost of the company. The project was a
design project and my finding and suggestions has been submitted to the company
management highlighting the operational benefits.
I have performed the following tasks during the project;
prepared a project synopsis on the feasibility of the project.
project planning and monitored the planning throughout the
and studied the working of sulphuric acid plants.
cost estimation and cost benefit analysis of the system.
Prepared a schematic diagram of the system
using a AUTOCAD.
detailed study about the required components for the system and selected the
Prepared mathematical design calculations.
Prepared a draft for maintenance
recommendations and precautions to be taken during fabrication and installation.
regular project meetings with the project guide and the team.
Below is the hierarchy of the project highlighting my position
c) Personal Engineering Activity
started with literature review and detailed research on the title. After research
and studies, I drafted a brief project synopsis narrating the
motivation behind the project and results expected. After
the approval of the synopsis from the project manager and guide, I planned the
project and prepared a schedule for timely completion. The project was planned
to complete within 1 month. In the first face, I studied the working of
sulphuric acid plant and analyzed the quantity of steam
generated by it per hour. The plant generates about 48 tons of steam per hour
at a pressure of 37 atmospheric pressure and at a temperature of 325 degree
Celsius when working in 100 % load of its capacity. I prepared a draft with the
findings from initial stage of analysis.
After initial stage analysis on the working of sulphuric acid plant, I
estimated the running cost of the motor which runs the cooling
water pump. The motor is a 3 phase
induction motor with a power of 310 KW and efficiency 70%. It is working
throughout the year and 24 hours a day. I estimated the electrical power
consumption and electricity charge for running it. After making a draft of the
estimation, I presented the same to my project manager.
Then I started designing the surplus steam utilization
system and prepared a flow chart of the operation of the system highlighting
the main components. The main components of the designed system are a pipe to
take the steam from the plant, turbine to run the pump, shaft and gear box to
transfer the power from turbine to pump, lubrication system and a spur gear to
run it. After choosing the parts, I estimated the cost of installing the system. The total cost including the
cost for procurement, foundation building, electrical work, labor cost was
estimated and I prepared an analysis on the cost benefit the system can offer
over the traditional system of cooling by induction motor. The report has been
presented to the project manager with a summary statement highlighting that the
design will be profitable to the company in long run.
I prepared a drawing of the overall system using
AUTOCAD. The steam generated from the sulphuric acid plant was designed to pass
through the first blade rim and then to the second blade rim of the turbine.
Water and vapor leakage drain will be fixed inside the turbine case. The power
generated by the turbine is taken to the pump using a gear box. The lubricating
system will be operated by taking the power from turbine itself using a spur
The main difficulty faced during the design was the
choosing of parts. The steam turbine should match with the power of induction
motor currently using. The turbine proposed was a single
stage impulse type with one velocity compounded stage consisting of a rotating
wheel disc with two rows of blades and a row of stationary, reversing blades
positioned between the rotating blades and attached within the turbine housing.. Also, pipe lines are one most integral part of the
system since super-heated steam has to pass through it. I proposed to use IBR
pipes which are manufactured under Indian Boiler regulatory act. Even though
the project aim was to design the system, I proposed precautions to be taken
care while fabricating the system after consulting with an experienced team. I
made a draft regarding the maintenance of the system which includes proper
cleaning, oil change, checking mechanical parts etc.
Another difficulty was to build a foundation to install the system
and make it noise and vibration free. I consulted with the civil engineering
department of my college and designed the foundation and drafted the precautions
to be taken care while installing the system,
In this project, I applied
the knowledge gained from my engineering study. My knowledge in the field of
fabrication, engineering drawing, material planning, working of different
machines, electronics and electrical components and in engineering mechanics
was helped me to accomplish my aim. I spend time in home work especially for
reading related books and searching through the internet. The training I
attended in the plant of FACT and the time spend in the workshop for a
practical experience on fabrication and working of machineries helped me a lot
in accomplishing the result.
I ensured the key concepts of team management were followed in all
the stages. I got a hardworking and experienced team and I guided them properly
which really helped me to complete the project on time without any delay. I
properly coordinated with the plant manager, project planning manager, civil
engineering department of my college and the workshop supervisor. My project manager
and guide provided me needed advices and I updated the project progress to my
department head in regular intervals. The materials were collected after proper
study and visit on to the showrooms and shops.
The detailed project report has been prepared by me after the success
of the project which includes the overall processes, design calculations, drawing,
cost analysis, specifications of mechanical components, critical findings and
recommendations for maintenance and photos. Proper channels were adopted by me
in purchasing the materials. I strictly
followed the rules of the company while working in the premises. After the completion of the project, my knowledge and skill level
improved and got myself equipped in facing problems that can arise in my future
career. It also helped me in improving my team management and coordinating
I completed the project within the scheduled time frame. It was a success and I was
personally involved throughout the course of the project. The aim of designing
a system for utilizing the surplus steam produced by the sulphuric acid plant was
fulfilled. Even though the initial cost for installing the system will be high,
the installing cost would be regained within one year of successful plant
running. By the implementation of this project, company can reduce the
production cost and can operate on profit without increasing the price of fertilizers.