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Top-fired reformers

Top-fired steam reformer designs commonly used in hydrogen, ammonia and synthesis gas plants around the world. We can design and supply top-fired reformers based on our own design or third-party designs.

These units are noted for a number of alternating rows or lanes of tubes and burners located within a rectangular firebox. The burners are mounted on the arch level and their flames are 'drafted' downward by large power-consuming forced-draft and induced-draft (ID) fans. Loss of power to either fan requires immediate shutdown of the reformer as it cannot be operated in natural-draft mode.

All the tube support systems, burners, burner piping and inlet manifolds/pigtails are located on top of the radiant box in a 'penthouse'. Special designs are required to maintain ventilation and man safe conditions in the penthouse. As the flues gases are drawn downward by the ID fans a plug flow effect has to be maintained for proper operation. The flues gases are collected at the bottom brick tunnels, often called 'coffins', and exit to a grade-mounted convection section.

The top-fired radiant box is more compact compared with single-row designs when it comes to large-scale units. However, this advantage will be diminished or even eliminated by the large amount of additional plot space required for the convection section with air preheater, fans, and stack, as they cannot be mounted on top of the reformer box.

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