By Bernard H. Herre, PE, Manager - Chemical Laboratory, PPL Generation, LLC and Chris Westlake, ABB Instrumentation, Analytical Industry Manager
Silica analyzers in modern power plants keep operators aware of harmful silica concentrations in the water-steam turbine cycle. In the boiler silica forms silicate deposits that interfere with heat transfer and are very difficult to remove. In the turbine, silica deposits on the blades and causes drastic decreases in efficiency. Power plants with high pressure boilers closely monitor silica concentrations to avoid these problems.