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What Is an Economizer?

Economizers are mechanical devices intended to reduce energy consumption or perform a useful function such as preheating a fluid. In basic terms, an economizer is a heat exchanger. The orientation of an economizer can be vertical, horizontal, or cylindrical depending on boiler size and space available, and it is fitted directly to the boiler near the flue gas outlet.

How does it Work?

In a boiler system, an economizer captures the heat of the flue gas and transfers it to the feed water. The process is simple. As the flue gas exits the boiler, it enters an economizer with finned tubes. The finned tubes absorb the heat and raises the temperature of the boiler feed water, lowering the needed energy input.

Why Add an Economizer?

Adding an economizer will increase boiler efficiency by 10-12%. In addition, the reduced amount of energy required for heating results in reduced fuel consumption and cost.

Nationwide Boiler’s EconoStak Economizers

A Nationwide Boiler EconoStak consists of the economizer and all of the associated piping and structural supports required for very efficient and safe operation. It is a fabricated assembly of finned tubing that uses hot stack gases to heat the boiler feed water. The EconoStak economizer reduces stack emissions and thermal pollution, as well as provides fuel cost savings. It can be can be utilized with one of Nationwide’s trailer-mounted rental boilers, or can be purchased with a new or reconditioned boiler.

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One of the leading causes of poor boiler performance is improper water treatment.  Improper water treatment, or not treating your boiler water at all, can cause irreversible boiler tube damage called scaling. To avoid scaling, boiler water should be circulated through a water softener before it is fed to the boiler. A water softener removes hard water minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which can cause scaling and damage in the boiler tubes. Acting as an insulator, scale deposits can prevent proper heat transfer, decrease boiler efficiency, and lead to costly downtime and even premature boiler failure. 

The Chemical Process – Ion Exchange

Hard water contains positively charged ions, like magnesium, calcium, and iron. An ion exchange in the water softener removes the positively charged ions from the water through the use of resin beads. The resin beads that are inside the resin tank are negatively charged by brine, which contains salt and potassium. As the water  goes through the resin tank, the magnesium, calcium, and iron are chemically attracted to the negative charge of the resin beads, sticking to the resin as the water runs through the tank. This process removes majority of the “hard” minerals from the water, creating “soft” water. 

The Cleaning Process – Regeneration

Regeneration cycles are required to clean the resin beads, allowing the system to continually remove hardness from the water supply. The regeneration process, which can take roughly one to two hours, consists of flushing out the solids, drawing brine from the brine tank, and recharging the resin beads. If your softener only has one resin tank, the boiler will be supplied with hard water during the regeneration process. In a system with two tanks, the standby resin tank will become operational during regeneration of the first tank to continue the flow of soft water to the boiler.

The Bottom Line – Soft Water Supply

It is important to supply your boiler with soft water at all times to avoid damage and costly repairs. Water softening, when combined with a reliable water treatment chemical program and blowdown schedule, can lead to many years of reliable boiler system performance.

Nationwide Boiler has installed duplex water softening systems in all of our mobile boiler rooms, mobile steam plants, and mobile feedwater systems to ensure optimal boiler performance 24/7. We also have larger skid-mounted, stand-alone water softeners available for rent or for purchase. For more information on products and services available, visit our website at www.nationwideboiler.com.

 

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Nationwide Boiler recently completed production of the world's first 1,000 hp mobile boiler room, designed at 290 psig for a larger range of operating pressures. We are proud of this collaborative effort between Nationwide Boiler and Superior Boiler Works, which came about in response to customer requests for a larger capacity and small footprint.

For an inside look at this unique piece of equipment, check out our latest video!

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Are you aware of the advantages of Nationwide Boiler's Mobile Boiler Rooms? One of the biggest advantages is that all the necessary auxiliary equipment (feedwater tank, pumps, water softener, chemical feeders, blowdown tank, and motor control center) is included inside the trailer and is pre-piped and wired, saving valuable field time and expense. All of our mobile boiler rooms are fully weatherproof, so they can be installed outside and an enclosure is not necessary when the temperature drops. 

Our mobile boiler rooms are truly mobile, with the steam plant integral to the trailer. This offers multiple advantages, including no time lost looking for a suitable trailer, and no extra costs incurred for on and offloading crane and rigging. Since the mobile boiler rooms stay on the trailer, only a reasonable level surface is required; expensive and time-consuming foundations are not necessary.

Nationwide mobile boiler rooms are designed for ease of installation once they arrive on-site. Just connect the steam, fuel, water, and electricity, and everything else is assembled and ready to go. Our mobile boiler rooms have been installed and operational within eight hours of arrival!

If you have a temporary steam requirement and want to save time and money with our mobile boiler rooms, give us a call at 1-800-227-1966.

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