Colannino points out other problems that arise with tall flames when flames merge and coalesce, creating undesirable flame patterns or "fire clouds" that compromise heat transfer efficiency and uniformity and further constrain process throughput. Large heaters typically use arrays of multiple burners compounding the problem of long flames interfering with one another.
"Improvements in flame shape in refinery process heaters," says Rutkowski, "can make a difference of tens of millions of dollars a year in increased process throughput and improved energy efficiency at a single site and there are more than 800 refineries worldwide. A single installation can comprise thousands of individual burners among the various refinery heaters."
Unlike conventional low NOx burners, ClearSign's design uses a different and proprietary mechanism to keep NOx at bay. Rather than stretching the flame to cool it, ClearSign's Duplex burner lifts the flame and re-stabilizes it in an elevated position. The volume of flue gas entrained in the fuel stream is dramatically increased so that the flame is simultaneously both cooled and shortened.
ClearSign's Duplex burner features a circular array of fuel nozzles around its base, and is specifically designed to resemble commercial burners commonly used in process heaters such as refinery heaters or ethylene cracking heaters.
The upper tier of the burner is a flat disc that contains a central aperture ringed by a band that is perforated with a series of small diameter cylindrical vertical cavities. The vertical position of the upper tier can be adjusted depending upon the desired amount of flue gas entrainment, but this upper tier flame holder can be positioned as much as two to three times the distance the fuel nozzle as compared to the primary, lower tier, flame holder.
Rutkowski continued, "We were asked by a very large potential customer to investigate whether we could shorten a momentum-dominated flame, such as those used in refinery heater burners by 30% to 40%. It turns out that we can. We were in fact able to reduce flame length by as much as 80% or 90% using this new Duplex burner design.
"We believe this is a major innovation. Not only has no-one ever built a burner like this using electrical fields, but so far we cannot find evidence that anyone has ever conceived of such a two-tiered burner of any kind. If that's the case, the breadth of the available intellectual property protection may prove to be significant. We believe this may represent a powerful extension of our patent portfolio. It has already inspired a considerable number of new inventions."
The company believes that refinery and petrochemical systems such as process heaters, ethylene cracking furnaces, and high-pressure flares are early candidate applications for ECC and the Duplex burner technology. The company also believes that this architecture could be well suited to package boilers.
For more information on the ClearSign flat-flame burner design and market implications, please visit www.clearsign.com/applications
About ClearSign Combustion Corporation
ClearSign Combustion Corporation designs and develops technologies that aim to improve key performance characteristics of combustion systems including energy efficiency, emissions control, fuel flexibility and overall cost effectiveness. Our Electrodynamic Combustion Control (ECC) platform technology improves control of flame shape and heat transfer and optimizes the complex chemical reactions that occur during combustion in order to minimize harmful emissions. For more information about the Company, please visit www.clearsign.com
Cautionary note on forward-looking statements
This press release includes forward-looking information and statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and the provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Except for historical information contained in this release, statements in this release may constitute forward-looking statements regarding our assumptions, projections, expectations, targets, intentions or beliefs about future events that are based on management's belief, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management. While we believe that our expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurances that our goals and strategy will be realized. Numerous factors, including risks and uncertainties, may affect our actual results and may cause results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf. Some of these factors include the acceptance of existing and future products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, general business and economic conditions, and other factors detailed in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed with the SEC. We specifically disclaim any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
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Dennis S. Dobson, Jr.
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