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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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Proper Preparation for Boiler Inspections

Boiler inspections are very common and usually required periodically to ensure that the equipment is being taken care of correctly and working safely and properly. The Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) has published a short but useful guide on how to prepare your boiler for an external and internal inspection.

An external inspection is done when the boiler is still in-service. It is important that the inspection is scheduled at a time where short interruptions (due to the inspection) will not affect facility operations. Make sure that personnel are notified of the inspection and qualified operators are available for any testing the Boiler Inspector may need done.

Internal inspections are done when the boiler is not in service and are a lot more complex, which is why HSB created a list outlining how to prepare for an inspection. Make sure that you prepare for the inspection correctly because if not, the Boiler Inspector can refuse the inspection until the boiler is properly prepared.

For internal inspections, you should:

  1. Shut down the boiler using proper shut down procedures as required by your boiler operating instructions.

  2. Lockout and tag all steam, water, and fuel valves, the ignition system, and electrical disconnects.

  3. Allow boiler to cool completely, 24 to 28 hours depending on the style and size of the boiler.

  4. Open all drain and vent lines and drain the boiler.

  5. Remove inspection plugs in water column connectors.

  6. Remove all manhole and handhole cover plates.

  7. Remove all washout plugs.

  8. Flush all sludge and loose scale from boiler interior. Check with your Boiler Inspector first as some inspectors prefer to leave scale and sludge in the boiler for their inspection.

  9. Open all low-water fuel cutout device float chambers.

  10. Open all low-water fuel cutout device cross tee piping plugs.

  11. After draining and flushing the boiler, close, lockout, and tag blow off valves.

  12. Open all fireside access panels/doors, front and rear.

  13. Remove all soot and ash from boiler furnace surfaces and grates (if applicable). Again, check with your Boiler Inspector to see if he wants to examine the area before cleaning.

  14. Have new gaskets ready for all openings; do not reuse gaskets.


To learn more about boiler inspections and general boiler maintenance, visit Hartford Steam Boiler’s website and check out their Information Resources.

Taken from: http://www.hsb.com/HSBGroup/uploadedFiles/HSB_COM/Information_Resources/769%20%20%20My%20Inspector%20Called%20to%20Schedule%20an%20Inspection%20-%20How%20Should%20I%20Prepare%20my%20Boiler.pdf
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Improving Boiler Efficiency

It is important for a boiler to run at its most efficient level in order to avoid costly issues and obtain the best results. Excess air is essential in boiler operation to minimize heat loss and improve combustion efficiency.  Here are some tips to help you make sure your boiler is running at the most efficient level possible:

  1. Periodically monitor flue gas composition and tune your boilers to maintain excess air at optimum levels.

  2. If there is a continuous blowdown system in place, consider installing a heat recovery system.

  3. If there is a non-continuous blowdown system, then consider converting it to a continuous blowdown system coupled with heat recovery.

  4. Reduce operating costs through maximizing the return of hot condensate to the boiler.

  5. If a condensate return system is absent, estimate the cost of a condensate return and treatment system (as necessary) and install one if economically justified.

  6. Repair steam distribution and condensate return system leaks.

  7. Insulate condensate return system piping to conserve heat and protect personnel against burns.

  8. Review your blowdown practices to identify energy saving opportunities.

  9. Examine operating practices for boiler feedwater and blowdown rates developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Considerations include operating pressure, steam purity, and deposition control.

  10. Consider an automatic blowdown control system.


Taken from http://www.process-heating.com/Articles/Feature_Article/2afcce64fe4fd010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____
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Quality Reconditioned Boilers From Nationwide Boiler Available for Immediate Delivery

When time is of the essence and you need a reliable boiler right away, look no further than Nationwide Boiler.  With manufacturer’s lead times ranging between 12-24 weeks, Nationwide Boiler can provide a new or reconditioned boiler immediately and typically at 60% of the cost of a new boiler. We stock a variety of boilers, each unit carrying the same guarantee as a new unit and warranted for 6-12 months (contact Nationwide Boiler for specific terms and conditions).

Nationwide regularly updates our New and Used Equipment Inventory List online with the most up to date equipment details and photos.Once a boiler is selected, prospective buyers can visit Nationwide’s facility in Fremont, CA for a visual inspection of the unit.  We assure that every boiler is ASME code certified and meets or exceeds the current industry standards for emissions and controls.  In addition all units are internally inspected and hydrostatically tested, with all systems checked prior to final delivery. If you are looking for a new or quality reconditioned boiler system, contact Nationwide Boiler today or visit our website to view our latest equipment offerings.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, we are happy to assist you find a solution that best suits your specific needs.

This month’s equipment spotlight: 700 hp Low NOx Skid-mounted Boiler (3 in stock for immediate delivery)

 

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