Across the United States, industrial boilers account for approximately 37% of the total energy consumed in the industrial sector. Fortunately, there are several ways you can increase boiler efficiency, ranging from no-cost options, low-cost options, up to large capital improvements, such as a new boiler installation. A few of the most effective ways to increase boiler efficiency are discussed below.
Increase Boiler Efficiency with Regular Boiler Maintenance
One of the best and most cost effective ways to keep your equipment operating efficiently is with a regular boiler maintenance program. A good maintenance program will enhance efficiency, slow boiler deterioration, reduce operating costs, and ultimately maintain reliability.
Operate with the Proper Excess Air
The proper operation of a boiler requires a certain level of excess air to ensure complete combustion. If the system operates with too much excess air, it can reduce the boiler efficiency by heating and throwing away this "cushion" of air. In contrast, operating the boiler with no excess air can cause:
- Air pollution
- Sooting on the fireside
- Decreased efficiency
- Potential explosive flue gases
By monitoring the oxygen content, flue gas temperature, and the carbon dioxide content, you will be able to optimize this cushion of air and fine tune the boiler for maximum efficiency. Fixed or portable combustion efficiency tests are available and may be used to adjust combustion air quality.
If you have a firetube boiler, installing a turbulator may be an effective way to bolster efficiency. A turbulator is a device inserted inside of the tubes of the boiler, tube heat exchangers, and other equipment responsible for transferring heat.
This device increases the heat transfer efficiency by maintaining a turbulent flow through the boiler passes. In most instances, turbulators are installed in the final boiler pass. Turbulators are one of the most cost-effective efficiency upgrades for firetube boilers that are older.
Upgrade Boiler Burners
Over time, the burners on the boiler will start to lose efficiency and deteriorate. Once this happens, the burners should either be replaced or retrofitted. Regardless of the type of fuel you burn or type of industrial boiler you have, there are multiple burner options you can consider for a replacement. Even if you are not in the position to consider new boiler burners, retrofitting the burner may offer significant savings for a fraction of the cost.
Improve Boiler Insulation
Large commercial and industrial boilers have expansive surface areas exceptionally vulnerable to the loss of heat, especially when improperly insulated. You may be able to bolster the efficiency of your boiler through the use of insulation.
The primary type of insulation used for industrial boilers is a refractory material, which is used to line the boiler. If you decide to replace this refractory material, make sure to conduct a full structural analysis to determine the amount of weight the boiler can effectively support.
Contact Applied Technologies of New York
In many instances, it is more cost effective and timely to upgrade to a new boiler system. At ATI of New York, we are the manufacturers' representatives of the leading and most efficient new boiler systems. We offer a broad range of equipment for a variety of industries, including:
Regardless of your needs, Applied Technologies of New York can help. Contact Applied Technologies of New York today to schedule a consultation.