Watertube vs. Firetube Steam Boilers

There are two main boiler types that you can choose from for your specific application; watertube and firetube boilers. Deciding which of these two types will work best for you is not as easy as it may seem. It is like comparing apples to oranges; you can’t simply compare prices with steam capacity, as there are significant differences to consider.

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Steam vs Hot Water Requirements

The primary purpose of a boiler is to supply energy to a facility’s operations, and the nature of the application will dictate whether you will need a steam or hot water boiler.

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Saturated vs Superheat Steam Conditions

In a boiler, energy from the fuel is transferred to liquid water in order to create steam. Once the water is heated to boiling point, it is vaporized and turned into saturated steam. When saturated steam is heated above boiling point, dry steam is created and all traces of moisture are erased. This is called superheated steam.

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New or Reconditioned Boilers

In general, boilers have a long service life and many can be used for over thirty years or more if properly maintained. When deciding whether to purchase a new or reconditioned boiler it is first important to know when you need the boiler.

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Types of Rental Boilers Available

The rental boiler industry, starting approximately fifty years ago, solved industry’s need for short-term or emergency steam needs. One of the first true mobile rental boilers was a 20,000 lb/hr, 300 psig design, watertube package boiler specifically designed by Nationwide Boiler for use on a highway-legal open deck trailer. This true road-worthy solution eliminated the time-consuming task of offloading skid-mounted boilers from railcars.

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Quantity of Boilers Needed

There are many different factors why a facility may choose a certain number of boilers.  Redundancy reasons and for back-up purposes are just a few.

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Auxiliary Equipment

Effective and efficient boiler operation requires the use of auxiliary steam plant equipment. For some projects, users can pipe their existing auxiliary steam plant equipment to the new or rental boiler for safe operation. In other cases, new or rental auxiliary steam plant equipment may be required.

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Fuels

The largest operating expense in a boiler plant is the fuel cost. Boilers can operate on varying types of fuels, each affecting the performance and maintenance of the boiler differently.

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Efficiency

The goal of any boiler owner is to have their equipment performing as efficiently and reliably as possible. Efficiency for boilers can be measured three distinct ways: combustion efficiency, thermal efficiency and fuel-to-steam efficiency.

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Emission Pollutants

The Clean Air Act by the EPA (last amended in 1990) created National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to address six principal “criteria” pollutants that they considered harmful for public health and the environment. State and local agencies use the information created by the EPA in developing emission reduction strategies, plans and programs to assure they meet NAAQS. Current criteria pollutants include: nitrogen compounds (NOx), Sulfur compounds (SOx) Carbon Monoxide (CO), Particulate Matter (PM), ozone (03) and lead.

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Air Permitting

Air pollution regulations vary by region and have become very stringent, especially in California and Texas. Enacted at the federal, state and local level, industrial and commercial boilers are required to meet specific emission requirements that vary for different fuels, boiler sizes, and in some instances total emissions limits from a facility.

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CataStak SCR Systems for Single Digit NOx Emissions

CataStak™ SCR Systems for Single Digit NOxAs allowable stack emissions become more stringent, plant facilities seek the lowest possible emissions to meet the newest standards, to add plant capacity without increasing overall emissions, or to minimize NOx emissions offset costs. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Systems are designed to reduce green house gases from boilers, specifically NOx, CO and VOC.

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