How to Maximize Boiler Efficiency
Here is a summary of steps as a part of energy management needed to improve the boiler efficiency in industries:
1. Maintaining a clean heat exchanger
Clean boiler heat exchange surfaces allow for maximum heat transfer from the burning fuel to the boiler water. Feedwater quality is critical to prevent deposit formation within the boiler and maintain peak efficiency. Water-side deposits will insulate heat exchange surfaces and sharply increase fuel consumption. Regular monitoring of water chemistry and critical operating parameters (i.e. stack, tube, or coil temperatures) is recommended to provide early indication of fouling. Visual inspections of the water-side of a boiler should also be performed to ensure the effectiveness of the current treatment program.
2. Automating boiler blowdown
Too little boiler blowdown can cause carry over of boiler water in steam also resulting in excess fuel and chemical consumption. The installation of an automated blowdown control system allows for active monitoring of the boiler conductivity and optimizes the volume of blowdown based on fluctuating steam loads. A well designed automated blowdown system will lead to increased boiler efficiencies and promote improved steam quality.
3. Reduction in blowdown requirements
Boiler blowdown rates are mainly dependent on the amount and type of minerals entering the system. The installation of pretreatment equipment that will alter or remove the minerals in the make-up water can significantly reduce the required blowdown and the consumption of water treatment chemicals. To ensure you achieve the maximum amount of savings, it is important to thoroughly evaluate all of the pretreatment options for your specific application and water source.
4. Maximize condensate return rate and temperature
Returning high temperature condensate will reduce the cold water make up rates and save on water, energy, and treatment costs. Since condensate typically contains low levels of dissolved solids, it will also reduce the required blowdown rates providing further savings.
5. Metering and benchmarking utility
Though the installation of meters on a steam system may not directly impact the efficiency of a boiler, the data they collect will allow you to gain insight into the current operating conditions and provide a clearer understanding of the overall cost of steam production.
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