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Innovative Leaders: Virtual FAT Testing

Nationwide Boiler is known as being an innovative leader in the rental boiler industry. Over fifty years ago we pioneered the mounting of a 24,000 lb/hr package watertube boiler to a highway-legal trailer, and followed with many other firsts including the world’s largest trailer-mounted saturated and superheated steam boilers (125,000 lb/hr and 110,000 lb/hr, respectively).

In this age of digital technology and pandemic isolation requirements, Nationwide Boiler’s control division, Pacific Combustion Engineering, realized the need for virtual factory acceptance testing (FAT). An FAT is an essential element of the testing and acceptance of new critical control systems. The main goal of this test is to prove and certify performance built for a specific application and ensure all design requirements are attained.

Pacific Combustion’s new test gear consists of a 19” HMI that replaces toggle switches, indicating lights, potentiometers, and analog gauges. A PLC drives relays and consists of contacts that can be configured for the voltage that is required for input simulation. Outputs are displayed via selectable 120vac and 24vdc terminals. Analog 4-20ma inputs are selectable as either loop or self-powered.

During the virtual FAT, a web portal is accessible by the client through an audio/video link to the testing, and the client can actually operate the test rig HMI screen from their location. Links are also furnished to the burner management / combustion control system PLC and HMI.

This is a truly unique innovation at a time where travel can be difficult, providing an alternative to the traditional FAT and allowing business to continue even in heightened times like a global pandemic.

For more details on our virtual FATs, be sure to check out our upcoming feature in Process Heating Magazine. We will post the direct link as soon as it's available. And be sure to give Pacific Combustion Engineering a call to assist with your next control system upgrade. 360-335-1443

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Advantages of Renting a Mobile Boiler Room

Temporary steam will be necessary at some point in the lifetime of a boiler, so boiler owners should be prepared and know what rental boiler options are out there. Let’s review one of the most convenient rental boiler types available on the market today: The Mobile Boiler Room.

Mobile Boiler Rooms come in a wide range of sizes, typically ranging from 50 to 1,000 hp with design pressures of up to 290 psig. They are completely pre-piped and wired and incorporate all necessary auxiliary equipment for a functioning mobile steam plant. This typically includes a feedwater system, duplex water softener, chemical feed system, blowdown separator, and motor control center. Some units are dual-fuel fired, while others are natural gas only to achieve ultra-low NOx emissions compliance. In addition, Nationwide Boiler maintains multiple units that are pre-permitted for use in the SCAQMD to help simplify the air permitting process for our customers.

Mobile Boiler Rooms are often utilized in heavy commercial and industrial applications for added capacity or for supplemental steam. Some of the main advantages to this type of system include:

   - A Mobile Boiler Room is permanently mounted to a highway-legal trailer, so there is no time lost locating a suitable trailer
     for transportation.
   - Being permanently mounted to a trailer also avoids the need for cranes for loading and un-loading, saving both time and money.
   - Mobile Boiler Rooms are completely enclosed and fully weatherproof – no need for temporary enclosures.
   - No expensive and time-consuming foundations are necessary. Only a reasonably level surface is required.
   - All the necessary auxiliary equipment is included, pre-piped and wired. This saves valuable field time and expense.
   - Customers only connect the steam, fuel, water, and electricity drains, everything else is assembled and ready to go.

A Mobile Boiler Room is the closest you can get to a “plug-and-play” rental boiler system. They provide a packaged temporary steam plant that can be up and running in hours if an emergency need arises.  In fact, units have been installed and operational in just eight hours after arrival.

Visit our website to see all rental boilers available from Nationwide Boiler and give us a call today to assist with your next planned or unplanned temporary steam project.

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The Cost of Renting a Boiler

The rental boiler industry is unique and operates nowhere near the e-commerce business model; you may find it near impossible to find and compare pricing online. With that said, how can a user understand the potential cost of renting a boiler in the preliminary stages of their project, before they are ready to start reaching out and gathering information and pricing from vendors?

To get you started on the journey, these six major costs categories should be considered when looking at renting a boiler.

Equipment. Your process, as well as the steam capacity requirement, will often dictate which type of boiler is best fit for your operation. A watertube boiler, often best for larger capacity needs, will run at a higher cost than a firetube. If additional equipment is required like a deaerating boiler feedwater system, water softener, or SCR system for reduced emissions, additional costs will be realized.

You can save on costs if you are able to connect to existing auxiliaries, however, that is not always an option. A mobile boiler room, which includes a firetube boiler installed with a feedwater system, water softener, and blowdown separator, is a convenient option for customers needing an entire steam plant. Because it is a complete, pre-piped and wired system, the cost would be higher than that of a boiler-only option.

Freight. Often coordinated and re-billed by the rental boiler supplier, this will be a separate cost billed after each time the equipment moves (from the storage facility to your site, and then back to the storage facility). Costs will vary based on number of shipments required and how far the boiler must travel. Some companies, like Nationwide Boiler, have multiple maintenance yards to help facilitate quick and lower-cost shipments.
 
Installation. This is a piece of the process that is typically coordinated by the end-user and with a third-party supplier. Installation costs can vary greatly depending on the size of a project. The cost to install a mobile boiler room for a temporary project, as close as you can get to a “plug and play” system, would likely be much lower than the cost to install a large watertube boiler. Watertube boilers are more commonly installed in industrial applications along with economizers, SCR systems, and ductwork – heavy equipment that requires forklifts and/or cranes for installation.
 
Start-up. Most often, your rental boiler vendor will supply a technician for start-up with costs billed on a time and material basis. It’s important to ensure that the equipment is completely ready for start-up with all utilities piped and available, to reduce extra time costs. You will also want to consider any time required for site-specific safety training.
 
Utilities. Obviously, the utilities are the responsibility of the end-user, however, it is an expense that should not be overlooked. You will incur costs associated with the fuel, water, and electricity required to produce steam. Rental economizers and blowdown heat recovery systems can be utilized to help reduce these costs.
 
Water Treatment. This is an extremely important part of maintaining a rental boiler, and if not done properly can lead to extreme costs for equipment repairs. The cost of contracting with a water treatment supplier will be much less than what it would be to replace or repair damaged rental boiler equipment.
 

Ultimately, reaching out to your supplier of choice and obtaining a detailed proposal will be the best way to understand all costs involved with renting a temporary steam plant. Call or email your trusted Nationwide Boiler sales representative for a detailed cost proposal at 800-227-1966 or info@nationwideboiler.com.

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Ramping Up Our Stock Boiler Program

At Nationwide Boiler, we are known for our relationship with B&W as a partner and stocking distributor. The FM-120-124 B&W D-Type Package Watertube Boiler, also known as our “World Boiler”, is always in stock and has been sold to six of the seven continents in the world. In recent years, we have ramped up our stock boiler program to also include new Superior firetube boilers in a variety of configurations.

To start off, we added two specialized, factory integrated packages. These 47.5 hp and 119 hp skid-mounted package boilers are pre-piped and wired and include a duplex feedwater system and blowdown separator with after-cooler. The 47.5 hp boilers are pre-certified for use in the most stringent California air districts, while the 119 hp packages are PEER compatible for both the SCAQMD and SJVAPCD jurisdictions. Our 475 hp, 150 psi design Superior skid-mounted firetube boiler, equipped with a Webster 7ppm NOx burner, is also ideal for customers in the most stringent areas of California. All three of these systems are currently available from our shop in Fremont, CA. 

To round out our stock inventory of pacakge firetube boilers, we now have the following brand new Superior boilers available for quick ship and immediate needs: 

These stock boilers are pre-built with the burner left purposely un-mounted to allow for greater flexibility in matching the unique fuel, emissions, and combustion needs of each customer. The burner can be quickly mounted prior to delivery or installed at the site, based on customer preference. The boilers are designed for indoor and outdoor applications, with most currently being stored at the manufacturing facility in Hutchison, KS. All units are now available for immediate shipment upon customer request.

We also have our very first, zero emissions electric boiler now available for rent or for sale. This boiler, built to provide 50 hp steam at a design pressure of 150 psig, is another one of our factory integrated units, with feedwater system and blowdown separator pre-piped and wired as a skid-package.

In addition to the new boilers that we purchase specifically for our stocking program, our fleet of rental boilers and auxiliary equipment range in size and in age. We are always open to providing a solution from our rental fleet as well, if the opportunity arises. Be sure to check out or complete inventory of boilers available for sale to find a unit that fits your unique needs. 

Please give us a call at 800-227-1966 if you have an immediate boiler need that can be fulfilled from our stock of brand new boilers, reconditioned boilers, or equipment from our rental fleet.

And check out our latest Steamlines newsletter, to find this article as well as other recent project highlights, equipment spotlights, and company updates.

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