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Being Prepared is Key: Emergency Planning

The best time to plan for installing a temporary steam plant is before the need actually arises. Being prepared is key not only for emergency outages, but also for planned maintenance, increased capacity demand, and other factors that my call for rental equipment. 

Nationwide Boiler's Emergency Preparedness Plan was created to provide users with guidance through the contingency planning process. Inside you will learn the different types and sizes of boilers available, average boiler weights, fuel and power requirements, and more. 

Download your copy today and get to planning!

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Plant Safety Measures & Lockout/Tagout Procedures

The importance of implementing plant safety measures is undeniable, especially when exposed to heat processing equipment. Accidents and injuries in industrial plants are common but can be easily avoided if the right precautions are taken.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), injuries caused by hazardous energy account for 10 percent of accidents in many industries. Hazardous energy is found in electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal or other sources in machines and equipment. OSHA’s “lockout/tagout” (LOTO) procedures provide guidelines for controlling this hazardous energy when servicing or maintaining equipment.

LOTO requires that prior to any routine maintenance or service on equipment, an authorized employee must follow certain procedures to ensure safety. After the equipment is turned off and disconnected from its energy source, to prevent the release of hazardous energy a lockout or tagout device must be applied to the energy-isolating device and it must be verified that the energy has been isolated effectively.

If the correct safety measures are not taken, the release of this stored energy could cause serious injury. It is highly recommended that employers create a procedure for employees to follow when dealing with potentially hazardous energy.

For more information on LOTO, procedure requirements and sample procedures, visit OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy webpage.

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Proper Boiler Water Treatment is Key

Boiler operators know that one of the most critical aspects of operating a boiler is well balanced water chemistry.  To ensure a well balance mix involves continually monitoring makeup water, condensate, feedwater and boiler water qualities.  

ABB Inc’s Jon Penn recently published an article in Power Engineering that lists four major contaminants that jeopardize power plant operation and maintenance:  dissolved oxygen, hydrazine, sodium and silica.  As mentioned in the article, “The absence of adequate monitoring and control will almost certainly lead to both increased costs and more frequent component failures. Evidence shows that allowing boiler chemistry to vary from specified limits can result in expensive plant outages, potentially incurring costs of more than $1 million per day.”

This is an important subject for all boiler owners and proper water treatment will increase the life of your equipment.  You can read the entire article at: http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-118/issue-2/abma-special-section/four-boiler-contaminants-that-jeopardize-power-plant-operation-and-maintenance.html

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Why Maintain a Boiler Log?

A boiler log provides a written record of the boiler operating conditions on a given day and at a given time. The log can be used for both hot water and low and high pressure steam boilers. The purpose is akin to that of a patient’s hospital chart. The log provides a clear historical record of the boiler’s conditions, which enables the boiler operator or service technician to evaluate and correct problems before they become serious.

The following paragraph is from an Engineering Bulletin entitled “Boiler Log Program”, published by the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company:

“Not every accident is preventable. The results of accident investigations show, however, that by far the great majority of accidents to boilers are preventable. The number of such accidents can be effectively reduced through the proper application of operating and maintenance logs.”

The need to regularly check water level controls and the waterside of the pressure vessel cannot be overemphasized. Most instances of major boiler damages are the result of operating with low water or the use of untreated or incorrectly treated feed water.

Here’s an example of how a boiler log can also help increase uptime and reduce fuel costs:

After taking readings for one week, you notice that the boiler stack temperature has been climbing. By reviewing your log sheets, you also determine that the gas pressure has increased a couple of inches of water column per day. Looking at the two pieces of information, you might conclude that the problem lies in a faulty gas pressure regulator, producing possible sooting and causing a reduction in heat transfer.

Maintaining a boiler log sheet allows you to make an intelligent, informed decision based upon historical data, not a guess based on a spur of the moment reaction. It can save companies a substantial amount of time and money, and potentially save lives in a high risk situation.

Contact Nationwide Boiler for a sample log sheet by emailing us at info@nationwideboiler.com.

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