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Types of Rental Boilers

The rental boiler industry, starting approximately fifty years ago, solved industry’s need for short-term or emergency steam needs. One of the first true mobile rental boilers was a 20,000 lb/hr, 300 psig design, watertube package boiler specifically designed by Nationwide Boiler for use on a highway-legal open deck trailer. This true road-worthy solution eliminated the time-consuming task of offloading skid-mounted boilers from railcars.

Today, rental boilers are available for the smallest residential project to the largest industrial superheated steam application. Self-contained mobile boiler rooms and mobile steam plants available in fully-enclosed trailers, containerized transportable steam plants and the largest watertube boilers on open-trailers are the most popular arrangements, with most being pre-piped and wired for immediate installation and start-up. The most common rental boiler configurations are explained below.

Trailer-mounted

Trailer-mounted boilers are designed and built on dedicated highway-legal trailers for easy transport by truck, with no cranes or rigging required for offloading. Boilers up to 120,000 lb/hr can be transported by trailer/truck and detachable goosenecks and booster extensions can be removed for space restrictions.   Because trailer-mounted boilers are essentially self-contained, only utilities and steam and blowdown connections are typically required. A non-return main steam valve is shipped loose. Feedwater and water treatment systems can be provided when needed.

Mobile Boiler Room

Mobile Boiler Rooms are self-contained, complete steam plants within enclosed vans. Everything needed to produce steam is included in a mobile boiler room, including the feedwater treatment systems. Most Mobile Boiler Rooms, with a few exceptions, are available from 50 hp to 650 hp in size. The equipment inside a Mobile Boiler Room includes a package firetube boiler (with low or ultra low NOx burner capabilities), duplex water softener with brine tank, chemical treatment tank & pump, and a deaerating feedwater system with pumps.

All that is required to operate a Mobile Boiler Room is a fuel supply, make-up water supply, and an electrical power source. For users wanting an aesthetically pleasing, secure weatherproofed solution, a mobile boiler room is the right choice.

Mobile Steam Plant

Similar to a Mobile Boiler Room, a Mobile Steam Plant includes the same equipment of a Mobile Boiler Room, except that the equipment is installed on an open flatbed. Mobile Steam Plants are not protected from the weather and precautions must be taken for freeze protection (heat tracing and insulation or temporary housing shelters).  

Transportable Steam Plant

Transportable Steam Plants are complete steam plants that are normally built inside of a standard 20 or 40’ shipping container. This makes them popular for overseas projects. Transportable Steam Plants are available with either a vertical or a horizontal boiler arrangement depending on space and clearance requirements. A crane or forklift is required for off and onloading. Transportable Steam Plants, except with some special-order units, generally have less capacity than a mobile boiler room.

Skid-mounted Boilers  

Skid-mounted boilers are shop-assembled package boilers that are available up to 250,000 lb/hr in size. As their name suggests, these are not mobile units. Auxiliary systems (feedwater or chemical treament systems) are not included with skid-mounted boilers and must be provided as required for reliable steam system operation. Although typically built with NEMA 4 panels, controls, and wiring connections, skid-mounted boilers, as with the above mobile steam plants require freeze protection (heat tracing and insulation or temporary housing shelters) as necessary. Depending on the size of the boiler, skid-mounted boilers can be transported on a flat-bed trailer or by rail.  

Other Selection Criteria

Depending on which type of rental boiler is selected, there are a number of special considerations that must be factored in when selecting the type of rental boiler:

-        Steam or hot water system

-        System load in boiler horsepower, lbs/hr, or BTU/hr

-        System operating pressure and temperature (for hot water heating and superheat steam systems)

-        Quantity of boilers, if redundancy is required

-        Property or floor space available

-        Access space for maintenance

-        Location of existing piping and utilities

-        Boiler weight limitations and foundation requirements

Nationwide Boiler supplies a variety of rental boilers ranging from 47.5 hp mobile boiler rooms to 200,000 lb/hr skid-mounted package boilers. Contact a Nationwide Boiler Sales Representative for a complete listing of rental boilers available in your area.

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