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Boiler Basics 101: Economizers for Increased Efficiency

The price of fuel is constantly fluctuating and with it comes creative ways to be more economical. Finding methods to be more energy efficient is never a waste of time. In the boiler room, efficiency improvements can be found by many sources, however, a common option for energy savings includes the use of an economizer. What is an economizer? The economizer is a fabricated assembly of finned tubing that captures waste heat extracted from the boiler’s stack flue gases; the exhaust that leaves the boiler stack (or “flue”).

It’s all about the principle of Heat Transfer. While low temperature water, or feedwater, enters a boiler system, high temperature flue gas exits. An economizer captures heat from the flue gas that would typically go to waste, and utilizes it to preheat the feedwater. By doing this, an economizer is able to increase thermal efficiency by decreasing the energy required to heat the water to steam. This will typically result in a reduction of 1% in fuel cost per 10 degree rise in feedwater temperature. Overall, an economizer can be a major cost savings for boiler owners and will easily provide a quick return on investment.

The economizers’ simple technology and static parts provide longevity and low maintenance, and they are available in multiple designs and configurations. Conventional economizers are cylindrical or rectangular and come in a range of sizes for both firetube and watertube boilers. Rectangular designs are more commonly used for larger industrial watertube boilers, and can be configured for vertical or horizontal gas flows, finned or bare tube design, and other additional options if needed. A condensing economizer can improve waste heat recovery even further by cooling the flue gas below its dew point, reclaiming both sensible heat from the flue gas and latent heat by condensing the flue gas water vapor.

BOILER EFFICIENCY COMPARISON
  Combustion Efficiency at
4% Excess Oxygen
Stack Gas
Temperature
 Boiler  78% to 83% 350F to 355F
 Boiler with Standard Economizer  84% to 86%  250F to 300F
 Boiler with Condensing Economizer  92% to 95%  80F to 150F


When determining whether an economizer is ideal for your boiler equipment, the location of the economizer into stack is important. To ensure the most thermal recovery during the process, you need to make sure the economizer is installed as close to the furnace breach as possible. This will help avoid thermal loss and cooling.

At Nationwide Boiler, we offer our EconoStak economizer as an optional addition (or a standard addition in some cases) on our fleet of watertube rental boilers. The EconoStak consists of the economizer as well as all of the associated piping and structural supports required for very efficient and safe operation. In addition, we are a West Coast representative for E-Tech Heat Recovery Systems, a leading provider of economizers for new, replacement, and retrofit applications.

Contact Nationwide Boiler today to see if an economizer is the right option for you, and be sure to check out our previous Boiler Basics 101 blogs. We review various topics each month, so stay tuned for the next edition!

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Monday, 09 December 2019 08:15
Guest — Emma
Nice blog. It will surely help beginners update their knowledge. The efforts you have put in to create the posts are quite interes... Read More
Tuesday, 10 March 2020 08:02
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6 Tips for Improved Efficiency & Reduced NOx Emissions

75,000pph Rental Boiler with Urea-Based SCR System for Single Digit NOx

Nationwide Boiler's Director of Environmental Solutions, Sean McMenamin, provided content for this month's issue of Process Heating Magazine. The topic of discussion this time around is reducing NOx emissions and improving overall boiler efficiency.

Sean has provided six tips to ensure the highest possible thermal efficiency, and lowest possible NOx output. This includes:

1. Reducing Stack Gas Temperature to Increase Efficiency
2. Managing Excess Air Levels for Optimum Performance
3. Utilizing Flue Gas Recirculation (FGR) to Reduce NOx Emissions
4. Selective Catalytic Reduction for Ultra-Low NOx Performance
5. Combining Economizers & SCR Systems for Emissions & Efficiency Gains
6. Monitoring Emissions & Efficiency Performance

For additional details related to these tips and tricks for reducing NOx and increasing efficiency, check out the full article in Process Heating's September 2018 issue!

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Guest — Nisha Sabnis
Excellent blog post. I already bookmark it. Your content is the very depth informative tips regarding improves efficiency and redu... Read More
Friday, 16 November 2018 12:34
Guest — Siya Sharma
Awesome Tips! I am learning so many things from your blog.I found your post full of new information which help us . The blog you ... Read More
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 06:05
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See The DataStak Demo at Power-Gen!

Nationwide Boiler's newest innovative product - the DataStak Emissions and Efficiency Monitoring System - was highlighted in the latest issue of Today's Boiler Magazine. See the article here: goo.gl/3n2W4v

The DataStak provides boiler operators with information related to the emissions output and efficiency of their boiler systems. In today's marketplace, this data is not just something that most energy and facility engineers want to know, but many need to know this information for reporting purposes.

We designed the DataStak system to provide real-time, unified data at your fingertips, from one convenient, on-site source. It is more than just a combustion or NOx analyzer. The DataStak is a cost effective, packaged emissions and efficiency monitoring system with O2, NOx, CO, and CO2 measurements, in addition to real time boiler efficiency, fuel usage and carbon footprint calculations.

Representatives from Natiownide Boiler are in Las Vegas, NV this week for Power-Gen, the largest power generation event of the year. Experience the power of the DataStak, live and in-person at the show! Visit us at booth #6019 to learn how the DataStak can help you stay informed on how your boiler is performing.

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Guest — Nia Nelson
Energy efficient appliances are a necessity these days. Everyone should inculcate the habit of using only the energy efficient ap... Read More
Tuesday, 18 December 2018 08:06
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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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