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Tips for Selecting the Right Steam Boiler

No matter what type or size of boiler you are looking to purchase, there is always one question you must always answer when selecting a steam boiler: What is the basis for design?  Fulton Company recently published a list of 10 features you wish every boiler had.   It is important to review this list and be sure to know which attributes are most important to you and your specific application.  In addition, when selecting the right boiler provider, remember that any qualified boiler company should be able to provide you with accurate boiler specifications, performance data, and drawings, all of which will make the decision process easier and will help you along the boiler decision process.

*** With emission requirements changing everyday, it is also important to make sure that you are proactive when selecting equipment that will comply with future air regulations.  Nationwide Boiler has the most experience in selecting boiler equipment that will meet current and future NOx requirements and we developed the CataStak SCR system as a solution for ULN compliance.  Contact Nationwide Boiler today to discuss the requirements of your new or used boiler systems.  We will be happy to help. Toll free: 1-800-227-1966.

1. High Pressure Vessel Mass

The mass of the boiler will be a good indication of the amount of metal used to manufacture the pressure vessel. Mass is related to thickness and thickness is related to durability. Inherently, low mass boilers will not last as long as high mass boilers.

2. High Water Volume

Water under pressure will store steam. Higher water volume means higher stored steam. Applications where you have rapid swing loads will require a high water volume boiler design.

3. High Efficiency

We all would like to have the most efficient boiler. Efficiency, however, must be defined and compared on equal terms. Ensure boiler pressure, feed water temperature, firing rate, fuel BTU value and stack CO2 levels are all defined on the same playing field.

4. Quick Startup Times

Simply put, you want steam in a reasonable time frame. Boilers that can make steam quickly likely will have low water and low mass, which may be non-desirable features. One must also realize a quick startup will facilitate a quicker cool down. The boilers on the market today typically require 5 to 20 minutes startup time or more, depending on the size of the boiler

5. Low Footprint

Boiler room real estate is quite valuable these days and the less room a boiler occupies, the better. Be sure you take into consideration the amount of room required to perform maintenance on the boiler as part of the overall footprint.

6. Low Heat Flux and High Heating Surface Area

Heat transfer is represented by the equation

Q =m x Cp x ?T

where m is the heating surface area.

Most heating surface area listings are for the fire-side surface area, with higher fire-side surface area values indicating higher the heat transfer efficiency. However, one also must consider the wetted heating surface area. The wetted heating surface area determines heat flux. Consequently, low wetted heating surface area can have very high heat flux, which can create higher metal temperature and increase scaling potential.

Boilers with high fire-side and high wetted heating surface areas will be the most efficient and have low heat flux.

7. Ease of Clean Out

This is a measure of effectiveness of blow down and ability to keep the pressure vessel clean.

8. Effective Turndown

This feature has a lot to do with the burner performance. Effective turndown is a measure of how low the fuel input and air can be adjusted to maintain good combustion efficiency. Some burners will turn down the fuel but leave high excess air on low fire. This will create high turndown but poor overall combustion efficiency. Look at the highest turndown level while still maintaining good combustion efficiency.

9. Ease of Maintenance

Hardly ever will a specifying engineer think about maintenance when selecting a boiler. They should. Blow down valves, stack location, feed water inlet, control panel location, tube removal, burner removal and gas piping maintenance should all be considered as criteria of boiler selection.

10. Large Steam Disengagement Area

Like heating surface area, the more steam disengagement area, the better. Higher steam disengagement area produces higher steam quality, especially for low pressure steam applications. Consequently, horizontal boilers generally will produce higher steam quality than a vertical boiler of the same output.

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CataStak Quote Request Form Now Online



Complete Nationwide Boiler’s CataStak Quote Request form and join the list of over 100 hundred customers who have reaped the benefits of a CataStak™ SCR system (sales and rentals).  Once we receive all relevant information pertaining to your system, we will provide an accurate quote that will aid in your decision process.

Nationwide Boiler’s CataStak SCR system has never failed a third-party source test and is proven to work in applications including boilers, heaters, and natural gas-fired turbines. In addition, ammonia-free solutions are also available.

Contact Nationwide today for a no obligation quote and visit our website for additional product literature and resources.

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White House Executive Order Supports Combined Heat & Power Initiative

Last week the White House announced an executive order supporting Combined Heat & Power (CHP) and industrial energy efficiency.  The order calls for a national combined heat and power deployment goal of an additional 40 GW by 2020.

CHP systems can reach efficiencies above eighty percent (80%) and currently supply twelve percent (12%) of U.S. energy capacity. There is approximately 82 GW of CHP installed in the U.S. and industry estimates indicate the technical potential for additional CHP at existing sites in the U.S. is approximately 130 GW (plus an additional 10 GW of waste heat recovery CHP).

Investments in industrial energy efficiency, including combined heat and power, offer significant benefits to manufacturers, utilities and communities across the country, including:

    • Manufacturers could save at least $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade, improving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness

 

    • Meeting the 2020 goal could mean $40 to $80 billion of new capital investment in American manufacturing facilities and helps to create jobs

 

    • Offering a low-cost approach to new electricity generation capacity to meet current and future demand:  Investments in IEE, including CHP, cost as much as 50% less than traditional forms of delivered new baseload power

 

    • Significantly lowers emissions:  Improved efficiency can reduce nationwide GHG emissions and other criteria pollutants.



USCHPA Executive Director, Jessica Bridges, said "CHP technology can be deployed quickly, cost-effectively and with few geographic restrictions. Establishing this national goal toward greater CHP deployment will significantly advance cleaner energy generation in the U.S., benefit the environment, and help create much-needed manufacturing and industrial jobs. I applaud the White House for its efforts to support clean power generation through CHP and pledge the combined heat and power industry's support to help achieve this goal."

USCHPA is a trade association whose membership includes manufacturers, suppliers, and developers of combined heat and power (CHP) systems.  CHP lowers demand on the electricity delivery system, reduces reliance on traditional energy supplies, makes businesses more competitive by lowering their energy costs, reduces greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions, and refocuses infrastructure investments toward next-generation energy systems. CHP is a proven and effective energy resource that can be immediately deployed to help address current and future global energy needs by incorporating commercially available and domestically produced technology.  For more information, visit www.uschpa.org.

In support of the Executive Order, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency released a new report Combined Heat and Power: A Clean Energy Solution  that provides a foundation for national discussions on effective ways to achieve 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020, and includes an overview of the key issues currently impacting CHP deployment and the factors that need to be considered by stakeholders involved in the dialogue.

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CataStak™ SCR Best Option for System Upgrades

In February of this year, the Boiler MACT rule was published in the Federal Register, causing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to propose new regulations calling for system upgrades on boilers and auxiliary equipment in many plants.  The costs associated with these upgrades can reach up to $35 billion according to the EPA, but because the costs will be specific to each individual plant, no one will know the real costs until the boiler equipment is evaluated to comply with new and future regulations.  Boiler operators are hesitant to spend the money due to the uncertainty of regulations, but eventually something will need to be done.

There are resources available, and the U.S. boiler and combustion equipment industry is readily able to meet the demand for these system upgrades. Randy Rawson, President of the American Boiler Manufacturer’s Association (ABMA), said, “We have the workforce resources to meet the needs of our customers, as long as our customers don’t push compliance go the last minute.”

The largest air districts in California have passed rules that require NOx compliance as low as 5 ppm by the year 2015.  Few burner manufacturers have been successful with developing new ultra low NOx (ULN) burner technology that easily and safely performs at 9 - 7 ppm NOx.  Many users that have tried ULN burners suffer the consequences of high FGR or excess air rates that compromise not only efficiency, but also the operational limits of boiler equipment, resulting in limited turndown capabilities, flame pulsations and unstable operation.

Today, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology has taken over as the best available control technology for complying with ultra low NOx emission requirements.  Nationwide Boiler, having invested in SCR technology for our rental fleet over the last ten years, has both the experience as an user and a supplier of the CataStak™ SCR system.   Our SCR systems have met or exceeded emission requirements for over one hundred boilers, steam generators and gas turbines installations.

The Nationwide Boiler CataStak™ SCR system is proven to decrease emissions, increase energy efficiency, reduce fan horsepower and provide greenhouse gas / carbon reductions. Typical users can save significant energy costs by reducing flue gas recirculation which substantially reduces fan horsepower (HP) and when compared with a typical 9 ppm burner, fan HP can be reduced by as much as half.

If you are concerned or have questions about how your facility is planning to comply with local air quality regulations, send am email to info@nationwideboiler.com and together we can come up with a solution that can perform as low as 2.5 ppm NOx and pass any current air regulation with the lowest carbon footprint.

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