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Nationwide Boiler Steamlines Newsletter: Available Now!

Nationwide Boiler's first Steamlines Newsletter of 2021 is out and available for viewing! Read up on the latest happenings at Nationwide, industry news, technical tips, and more, including... 

A SOLUTION TO STEAM SUPPLIER OUTAGES
Nationwide has nearly 55 years of experience responding to emergency needs, and there is no doubt that we are able and ready to dispatch equipment in a moments notice. What may come as a surprise to some is that unplanned and emergency rentals make up a smaller portion of our business than planned outages. And at times, rental boilers are used for process steam when the outage is planned by the steam supplier next door.

REMOTE WORK: IS IT THE FUTURE?
Since the pandemic forced many companies (including NBI) to move to a temporary remote work model, some corporations like Google, Dropbox, Facebook, and Salesforce are going all in with remote work as a permanent way of business. But is remote work for everyone, and is it the future? Hear from our President & CEO, Larry Day, for his take on the matter.

GETTING TO KNOW OUR STORAGE YARDS
Nationwide Boiler has a purpose built rental fleet featuring firetube and watertube boilers, mobile steam plants, and boiler auxiliary equipment. Partnering with multiple distinguished companies in our industry for the storage & maintenance of this equipment allows us to offer a quick and cost effective solution when a temporary steam need arises.

CALIFORNIA EMISSION RULE UPDATES
More changes are upon us here in California, and at Nationwide Boiler we make it a priority to stay abreast of AQMD emission rulings that will affect our customer base. The three areas of focus at this point are the South Coast AQMD, San Joaquin Valley APCD, and San Diego APCD.

REP SPOTLIGHT: COMBUSTION SYSTEMS, INC.
With headquarters in Indianapolis, IN, Combustion Systems, Inc. (CSI) is the exclusive Nationwide Boiler representative covering the territories of Indiana, Illinois, and most of Wisconsin. Check out this edition of our representative spotlight to learn more.  

NEW RENTAL BOILERS FOR THE FLEET
With over 100 rental boilers currently in our inventory, we still find the need to add new units to fill in the gaps, replace sold equipment, or to boost our numbers for equipment that is often in high demand. Learn about some of the new equipment currently being built for our rental fleet.

View this current edition and past editions of our Steamlines Newsletter, on our website now!

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Preventing Freeze Damage This Winter

It's that time of year again for our annual freeze protection reminders. As you know, winter can bring extremely cold weather conditions, especially in Canada, the Northeast, Midwest, and Upper Midwest. To reiterate what we have been saying for years, here are a few things to consider to protect your rental boiler and auxiliary equipment (deaerators, water softeners, etc.) from damage due to freezing temperatures this winter.

1. If you are renting a trailer or skid-mounted firetube or watertube boiler and installing the unit outdoors, these systems are completely exposed to the environment. User's should consider enclosing the front and/or the rear end of the boiler, or build a temporary enclosure around the entire system. An external heating source should also be used. 

2. Install the proper heat tracing (steam or electric) and insulation on all main lines and piping components, regardless of whether the boiler (or auxiliary equipment) is in operation or sitting as stand-by. This should include the following lines: 
      - Sensing lines for all transmitters
      - Primary and auxiliary low-water cut-offs
      - Water column and connected piping
      - Bottom blowdown and surface blow-off piping, depending on the length of the piping runs. These valves should also be left open. 

3. During non-operational periods, drain all sensing lines and fill these lines with alcohol or a 50/50 water/glycol solution if possible and/or practical, making sure to re-connect each line. 

4. When an extended downtime is expected, completely drain the boiler, deaerator, pumps, water softener, and all associated piping (NBI installs the drain valves on all of our equipment for this purpose), as well as all stagnant water lines. 

5. If you are renting a trailer enclosed system or have enclosed system or have enclosed the rental boiler with a structure, please make sure there is an electric power supply to the system at all times, even if the unit is out of service and fully drained. The electric heaters in the trailer or structure require power, and if the rental boiler is needed it is considerably easier to bring a heated system to service. 

6. When filling a system in cold weather, remember that water may freeze when it comes in contact with cold piping. 

7. In extremely cold areas, you should consider adding electric heaters to the trailer-enclosed systems and inside temporary enclosures. Again, it is considerably easier to bring a system in to service in a heated area. 

8. Be sure to remove snow and ice from the roof of the trailer or enclosure. The accumulation of snow or ice can lead to blocked vent lines. 

9. If the boiler or auxiliary equipment is out of service, it is important to visually inspect the equipment on a routine basis to make sure all valving, piping, and sensing lines are sound and haven't frozen and split. 

If you are renting equipment, you're most likely paying a fair amount of money for the equipment and you will want the equipment to be operational if and when needed. Take these steps and be assured that the system will be available if needed. 

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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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Boiler Basics 101: Blowdown

Routine maintenance on your boiler is a critical component for proper and efficient boiler operation. One of the main factors to improper maintenance that can also lead to boiler failure is not understanding the concept of blowdown. In this month’s Boiler Basics 101, we will be going over what blowdown is and how it will help improve your boiler’s health.

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When boiler water turns to steam, solids from the water are left behind. The blowdown process involves partially draining the boiler to remove the sludge those solids create. If these are not removed, boiler performance will be reduced and ultimately, it can lead to boiler failure.

Industrial boilers have three types of blowdown procedures:

  • Low Water Cutoff
    This blowdown procedure should take place after every shift. The water column must be kept clean to ensure the water level in the gauge glass accurately represents the water level in the boiler. Regular checks on the boiler verifies that the low water cutoff is operating correctly and cleans it out.
  • Bottom Blowdown
    Bottom blowdown is done by manually opening a set of two valves that drains water out of the bottom of the boiler. The purpose of the bottom blowdown activity is to clean out solids that accumulate at the bottom of a firetube boiler or in the mud drum of a watertube boiler. Solids are pushed through a blowdown separator designed to take water from the boiler during blowdown and reduce it to atmospheric pressure for disposal. During this process, steam is rapidly separated from blowdown water and vented out the top of the blowdown separator. From there, the cooled blowdown solids can be safely removed from the boiler.
  • Continuous Blowdown
    The purpose of the continuous blowdown is to help control the water quality in the boiler; the more impurities and the more chemical treatment required, the greater the amount of blowdown required. It is a procedure facilitated by a pipe entering the upper section of the boiler, typically located in the steam drum of a watertube boiler or the upper steaming portion of a firetube boiler.

The continuous blowdown process is generally automated and does not require much manual interaction, like with bottom blowdown. When operating continuous blowdown, adjust the valve to maintain the recommended boiler water dissolved solids level. This helps control the dissolved solids in boilers that are operated at a steady load.

It is important to consider proper blowdown procedures to keep the water piping clean and the boiler in working condition. If you would like to learn more about the different blowdown procedures, check out ABMA’s article outlining the steps for each type.

Be sure to check out our previous Boiler Basics 101 blogs and stay tuned for the next edition!

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