With fuel prices skyrocketing and the need to conserve natural resources and “go green,” many boiler room engineers are investing in upgrading their equipment to reduce fuel consumption and increase boiler room efficiency.
Heating oil alone has jumped from two ($2) dollars a gallon to five ($5) dollars a gallon over the past few months. So how are boiler operations affected by rising fuel and inflation costs, and how can boiler room engineers keep expenses to a minimum?
In addition to providing boilers, burners, controls and boiler room equipment for industries throughout Florida, Engineered Energy Equipment (EEE) supports applications including laundries in hospitals, hotels, and theme parks. Our equipment enables storage facilities to preserve our coveted Florida citrus. And with Florida’s distillery and craft brewery boom, we help to “keep the kettle burning,” as our Swan Brewery client Daniel Thumberg noted.
Regardless of the facility and the application, a large percentage of the energy/fuel consumption is attributable to the boiler operation. Accordingly, significant energy (and costs) can be saved by optimizing boiler, burner, and control systems.
EEE represents ten (10) state-of-the-art manufacturers whose equipment will help you optimize your boiler room operation. While we continue to suffer the effects of higher operational costs, discover how to reduce fuel consumption in your Central Energy Plant (CEP), so you can start saving today.
Send an e-mail to the Boilerman, or give us a call in Lakeland at 863-682-3333. Our boiler room technicians will evaluate your current boiler room equipment to reduce fuel consumption; order the equipment that you need; and install it into your facility.
You can #ThankTheBoilerman for clean linens, a hot shower, and delicious libations from our Florida distilleries, when you vacation (or staycation) in the Sunshine State. Our EEE Team is #FloGrown, and we are proud members of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (CFHLA), whose membership includes nearly 80% of the more than 125,500 hotel rooms in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. #VisitCentralFlorida
The following tips were provided in an article by Benchmark Solutions for creating a more efficient boiler room:
- Excess air reduction: A typical combustion process in boiler involves burning of fuel in presence of oxygen to produce heat. Air is used as a source of oxygen. To unsure complete combustion, excess air is provided than required. Since excess air reduces boiler efficiency by removing heat, the objective is to ensure that optimum amount of excess air is used. Usually 10 to 15% of excess air than stoichiometric ratio is provided for complete combustion. For boilers operating at high excess-air levels, the combustion burner operation needs to be tuned to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio. This can normally be achieved by adjusting the mechanical linkages that control fuel and air flow to the burner to provide the correct ratio between the two at different operating loads for the boiler. Ideally, an oxygen (O2) trim system should be installed, which can continuously monitor the oxygen level in the flue gas and automatically adjust the air-to-fuel ratio to maximize combustion efficiency.
- Burner and control upgrades: Some old burners may require more excess air than others. This boiler can be replaced with low excess air burner to improve efficiency.
- Variable speed drives on combustion air flow: variable frequency/speed drives or VFDs are can be used to control air flow. This can reduce electricity energy consumption than fixed drive fan and save money.
- Fuel switching: Many modern boilers are duel fuel type. The fuel cost may vary based on seasons or due to other reasons. A particular fuel may not be most economical at all times. So, switching between fuel based on cost can help reduce cost.
- Optimizing pressure system: Boiler has a maximum operating pressure rating based on their construction, as well as a minimum value to prevent carryover of water. Since boiler efficiency depends on operating pressure, where operating pressure is very high, it can reduced to actual requirements to save energy. In addition to improve efficiency, reducing steam pressure will help to reduce steam leaks.
- VFDs on feed water pump: in larger system, multiple boilers can be served by a common feed water pump. In this system, individual boiler take the required water by opening the feed water valve and excess water is returned back to the feed water tank. This results in wastage in electrical energy. This system can be improved to reduce the energy by using VFD pumps which helps maintain a set pressure in the feed water header pipe.
- Minimizing conduction and radiation losses: Boiler, auxiliary equipment and steam distribution piping system are much hotter than surrounding areas. So they lose heat by radiation and conduction. To minimize heat loss, all hot surfaces should be insulated with proper material and insulation should be of adequate thickness and in good condition.
- Heat recovery from the flue gas: Since the temperature of the flue gas leaving a boiler typically ranges from 150 to 2500C, heat can be recovered from the flue gas by passing it through a heat exchanger (economizer). Recovered heat can be used to preheat boiler feed water, combustion air or in other applications in the facility.
- Automatic boiler blowdown and heat recovery: Make up water used in boiler contains various impurities. When water is converted to steam, the concentration of impurities that remain in the boiler increases. This impurities may lead to accelerated corrosion, scaling and fouling. So, boiler blowdown is necessary where concentrated water is removed at steam temperature periodically or continuous and fresh water is entered in the boiler to maintain a certain level. Energy losses can be minimized if automatic blowdown is installed and heat from blowdown can be recovered. In automatic system, it monitors the pH and conductivity blowdown happens only when required to maintain acceptable quality of water. Heat can be recovered from blowdown by installing a heat exchanger to preheat the boiler feed water.
- Condensate recovery: The condensate in steam system contains a significant amount of heat energy. If the condensate is returned to the boiler feed water tank, it will result in significant heat energy savings. Recovered condensate will help to reduce water consumption, water treatment cost and blowdown.
- Steam traps: Steam traps are used in steam systems to remove condensate and noncondensable gases. Over time, internal parts of steam traps wear out and result in failure to open and close properly. While an open trap would result in loss of live steam, a closed trap could result in loss of heat transfer area and water hammering. Water hammering can eventually result in damage to valves and other components in steam systems, which could result in steam leaks. So, traps should be periodically inspected and repaired or replaced to ensure that they are in good working condition. In addition, the correct type of steam trap should be selected for each application
- Steam leaks: Steam leaks can be found in pipes, flanges, valves, fittings, connections, traps and in other process equipment. If all of the leaks can be eliminated, substantial amount of money can be saved from steam distribution system.
- Cleaning of heat transfer surfaces: Fouling, scaling and soot build up on heat transfer surfaces of boilers act as insulator and may lead to reduced heat transfer. Typically, 1-1.5 mm soot build up in the fire side may lead to 3 to 8 percent more fuel consumption. Similarly, 1 to 1.5 mm scale build up in the water side may increase the fuel consumption by about 4 to 9 percent. When these occur, boiler heat transfer area should be cleaned. Besides, preventive actions need to be takes to save energy and money.
Engineered Energy Equipment is your one-stop-shop for finding equipment to reduce fuel consumption and increase boiler room efficiency. Our team and our manufacturers provide energy saving strategies that not only reduce fuel costs and increase boiler efficiency but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions that promote a healthier workplace and create a cleaner environment. #ProductsThatProduceResults