Brahma Case Studies

Project Spotlight:

Buena Vista Boiler Rebuild

Buena Vista Biomass Power is a clean burning biomass plant designed to output 18MW of base load electric generating capacity. Located five miles south of Ione, California, the Buena Vista Power Plant produces electricity by burning urban and agricultural biomass waste in a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler.

In late May of 2013, the plant’s combustor over-pressurized, damaging various parts of the combustor, cyclone and convection section. Buena Vista turned to Brahma. We responded, assessing the damage and acting as the lead contractor to rebuild all on-site mechanical work. Using many qualified fabricators, we quickly completed the project.

The boiler rebuild consisted of both pressure and non-pressure work. Concerning the pressure work, we replaced 22 water wall combustor panels, encompassing 450 tube welds. Additionally, we replaced 70 generating bank tubes and installed a super heater surface.

We take pride in the work we do and always maintain pristine quality control.

As a result, we successfully passed all hydrostatic testing on the first round. As for the non-pressure work, we replaced large expansion joints and major spring hangers. 

We didn’t just rebuild the boiler. As we have done for many power plants throughout the nation, we also worked with Buena Vista to improve future performance and reliability. Central to our proactive approach, we performed various projects including cyclone inlet modifications, flow balancing baffles and tube alignment bars.

We’re happy with the end result. The cyclone inlet modifications improved boiler operations, and we relocated pressure parts and an expansion joint, while adding a new straightened section of wall. Buena Vista immediately experienced an increased load and improved boiler efficiency. They no longer need to add bed material during operation.

Another pride point for us: We designed and installed baffles to reduce tube erosion. Following the baffle and alignment bar projects, super heater tube failures decreased by 80% over the next two years.