Power Engineering Magazine featured an article in their February 2015 edition entitled “Best Boiler Cleaning Practices”. The article outlined a variety of ways that boiler owners and operators can clean their equipment in order to increase efficiency and even reduce emissions.
Slag deposits, or built up ash that acts as insulation on boiler tubes and protects the tubes from heat, will form on a boiler over time if proper cleaning is not performed. When a boiler is filled with slag, it will require more fuel to reach the same temperature and produce the same output as a clean boiler. A clean boiler will perform 1 to 4 percent more efficiently than a boiler with slag deposits, and because less fuel is required for the same amount of power, it will also produce lower emissions.
Boiler owners and operators can choose from the following methods to perform cleaning on their boilers:
- Acoustic cleaning; utilizing acoustic energy to knock ash off of boiler tubes without risking damage to the tubes
- Water lances; high pressure water jets or hydroblasting boiler tubes to remove the slag deposits
- Soot blowers; a component installed with the boiler that uses compressed air, steam or water to keep slag buildup from occurring without having to shut down the boiler
- Explosives; quick and convenient way to remove slag without the use of water
Some of these methods can be done while the boiler is running, and others will require the boiler to be taken offline. If offline cleaning is performed, a planned outage will take place and a boiler rental will likely be required to keep plant operations running. Nationwide Boiler can supply rental boilers in a number of sizes and types, from 47.5 hp firetube mobile boiler rooms to the world’s largest 120,000 lb/hr watertube trailer-mounted boiler.
Contact Nationwide Boiler at 1-800-227-1966 for more information, and check out Power Engineering’s full article for more details on these boiler cleaning practices.