Too often a high-efficiency package boiler is purchased at a premium price and then allowed to decline in performance from lack of proper maintenance or from incorrect operation. Today’s boilers are rugged and finely-tuned machines. Digital burner controls and on-board flue gas analysis make the job easier, but it’s as important as ever to keep an eye on the goal of optimum efficiency.
In recent years, government authorities have enacted legislation to reduce emissions, particularly NOx and CO. Innovations in packaged boiler and burner technology continue to focus on meeting increasingly strict emissions regulations while boosting efficiency.
As boilers age, they can become less efficient, causing an increase in fuel costs. The main cause of energy inefficiency is system heat loss. Here are several ways to reclaim the heat loss in an effort to reduce facility operating costs.
Industrial and utility boiler systems alike are under increasing scrutiny for steam quality. Steam quality plays a significant role in boiler performance and efficiency, production reliability, and the longevity of the machinery itself. Steam system immprovements can save 10% or more in fuel costs at a typical industrial facility, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Maximizing efficiency with hydronic boilers enable a facility to better control the
delivery of heat when and where it is needed.
Before condensing boiler technology was introduced, boilers
operated at 80% to 85% efficie
Since the beginning of the last century, watertube boilers have been developed to meet the need for higher pressures and faster response times. Today, watertube units are dominant in many industrial applications, Fire-tube units, tubeless units, and hybrid boilers have their places, but when an industrial user needs medium or high-pressure steam, and lots of it, watertube boilers usually get the nod.
The main cause of boiler inefficiency is heat loss, and upgrading the controls is one of the most effective ways to recapture lost heat in an existing system. There are several control options available, depending upon a facility’s needs and goals.
For the past eight years, the plant has manufactured some three-dozen massive boilers used to generate huge quantities of steam used to remove heavy crude from Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands, the same oil TransCanada is shipping in Keystone pipeline, and wants to ship in the Keystone XL.
One-third of a facility’s energy
bill can be directly attributed to its boiler room, and system inefficiency
leads to higher energy costs. Replacing
an older boiler system is one way to achieve energy savings, but it is not the
only option. Retrofitting an existing
boiler is another way to increase efficiency, reducing both operating costs and
In 2011, the EPA enacted the Area Source Rule, making it mandatory for
many commercial, institutional and manufacturing facilities to monitor fuel
usage on a monthly basis and conduct biennial tune-ups.