Increased boiler efficiency is one of the simplest ways for a company to save money on operational costs. Examining how recently you completed boiler maintenance and how efficient your boiler is is an excellent place to start minimizing your bills.
We must first understand boiler efficiency before we can provide efficiency tips. The stack or boiler water is where the majority of heat is lost in your boiler. The goal is to create conditions that produce the least quantity of flue gas feasible at the lowest temperature achievable. As a result, boiler efficiency is improved.
Consider this: the boiler sucks chilly air in, heats it up, and then exhausts it through the stack.
Because the greater the temperature, the more energy escapes with the flue gas, a lower stack gas temperature is optimal. The boiler system, on the other hand, takes in cold water, heats it to steam, and then uses it.
You must save money whether you rent or own a heater. Here are some simple ways to improve the efficiency of your boiler system and save money on your monthly bills:
What is a steam boiler?
A steam boiler is a heating system that produces steam. It generates energy by boiling water and producing steam. It’s a heat exchanger with a combustion chamber and a water container that produces steam for outdoor use. There are tiny steam boilers and huge steam boilers for more difficult jobs among the various types of steam boilers.
A steam boiler heats water by burning fuel. Steam is created when heat and water are combined. Radiation, convection, and conduction are the three types of heat needed to create steam.
1. Check how much energy you’re using
To measure and monitor your gas usage, add a gas meter to your system. This information can be used to determine energy-saving potential. If you have a data analyst on staff, they can analyze the data for you. Otherwise, research gas monitoring and measurement.
Each company is unique. An energy audit is the most effective technique to determine what in your company consumes the most energy. An energy auditor can examine your energy bills as well as the way you run your business to determine where you’re wasting energy and what you can do about it.
It’s usually a good idea to seek guidance and knowledge from firms and industry associations that are comparable to yours.
2. Utilize heat recovery
Heat recovery is a technique for rerouting and utilizing heat that would otherwise be vented outdoors to pre-heat boiler feed water. Use condensate recovery, which involves directing condensate into your boiler’s feed water tank.
To get the most out of your boiler, blast down the water using steam pressure on a frequent basis to remove any impurities and boost the system’s efficiency.
3. Stack temperature should be lowered
A simple day/night switch could help lower stack temperatures. When steam boilers are idling at night or on mild days, this reduces the operating pressure and temperature.
4. Install an economizer
An economizer heats the feed water on its approach to the boiler using the discarded hot flue gas. This should be your first priority if your steam boiler lacks an economizer or if your economizer fails. Economizers conserve energy and protect the boiler from the harmful effects of the cold water supply.
5. Regularly tune the burner
Another difficulty that arises when it comes to boiler efficiency is not obtaining enough air. A particular amount of oxygen is required for proper fuel combustion inside the boiler. If there isn’t enough air, the carbon in the fuel will be oxidized, resulting in carbon monoxide. Because the fuel isn’t entirely burned, less heat is released, lowering fuel use efficiency. Soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide are all harmful byproducts of low air. In addition, too much air affects efficiency. The excess air enters the stack cold and exits hot, losing heat.
The ideal procedure allows the fuel to burn safely with just enough air. An O2 probe is used to determine the amount of air required. While tuning the burner for maximum efficiency, we insert the probe into the stack. The temperature of the air brought into the burner, however, fluctuates with the seasons in some facilities. For best savings, this necessitates more regular burner tweaking.
6. Make your system more operational by adding operational controls and a variable speed drive
To make your system more efficient, operational controls and variable speed drives work together. The system can be turned on or off, and the temperature may be adjusted based on demand, thanks to operational controls.
The speed of combustion air fans and feedwater pumps can be adjusted using a variable speed drive.
7. Fireside cleaning
Soot can accumulate on the fireside of boiler tubes over time, especially with older equipment. This soot layer works as an insulator, slowing heat conduction and increasing fuel consumption. Because of the slower heat transfer rate, hot gases pass through without transmitting heat to the water, raising the temperature of your stack. Soot is kept to a minimum by cleaning and examining your boiler tubes as part of routine boiler maintenance. This improves the boiler’s overall efficiency.
8. Combustion air with preheat
With the flame, the burner must heat the incoming combustion air. It takes less fuel to produce the same amount of steam in the boiler if the air delivered to the burner is warmer. A simple 40°F increase in fresh air temperature can save 1% on gasoline costs. Even with our historically low gas rates, if you run huge boilers around the clock, this can quickly mount up. An air preheater can pay for itself in as little as a year in some situations.
9. Waterside must be cleaned
Water treatment is necessary to keep the waterside of your boiler clean and leak-free. Regularly inspect the waterside of your boiler. To ensure good heat conduction from the metal to the water, clean out any mud legs or mud drums. Because of high water hardness, incorrect chemicals, and not blowing out the boiler on a regular basis, the scale will build up on heat transmission surfaces.
This scale will obstruct heat transfer, lowering the efficiency of your boiler. Water will be unable to cool these heat transfer surfaces due to the scale. If the scale is not removed, it can cause the boiler to overheat, resulting in expensive boiler repairs and leaks.
10. Boiler blowdown heat restoration
Recovery of heat from boiler blowdown, such as returning condensate to the boiler, can improve boiler efficiency. The blowdown valve is used to remove soluble and insoluble solids from boiler water. It helps avoid boiler scale by lowering the level of dissolved particles in the boiler water.
Unfortunately, removing hot water wastes energy as well. A blowdown heat exchanger, flash tank, or a combination of the two can assist your boiler system recover some of this energy. Improve energy efficiency by using heat recovery to chill the blowdown and heat the make-up water.
11. Lessen the carry-over
Carry-over water is steam that has left the boiler yet is still water. It transports contaminants like dissolved solids. These pollutants collect in the steam system and leave deposits. They become entangled in complex equipment such as control valves and pressure regulators. This results in significant damage and increasing maintenance costs.
In terms of efficiency, the moisture in the steam lowers the BTU content at the point of usage. This is essentially more water that was heated in the boiler but did not provide usable heat before entering the condensate system. Carry-over occurs for a variety of reasons. The cause determines the remedy. As a suspect, suspect operational methods such as bringing loads on quickly, high TDS, or inadequate separation equipment.
12. Stream traps survey
Steam traps that are stuck, worn out, or simply damaged can open, allowing important steam to escape into the condensate system. Regularly inspect your steam traps and repair any that are broken or sticking to guarantee that you are operating at full efficiency.
Don’t know where to start or don’t have the time? We can locate and replace any broken or malfunctioning traps, saving you time and money.
13. Reduce your steam use
Reducing steam usage in your processes is the best approach to save on fuel and electricity for your boiler. Insulating steam-heated pipework and tanks, for example, can dramatically reduce steam consumption and thus fuel consumption. High-pressure condensate systems can minimize both steam and fuel consumption in the boiler.
Controlling your monthly expenditures begins with ensuring the efficiency of your boiler. Having your burner, boiler, and steam system serviced on a regular basis can help you guarantee that your boiler is as efficient as possible.
14. Routine maintenance
To ensure that your system is running well, schedule frequent maintenance with a technician.
Check regularly for:
- effectiveness of burner combustion
- leaks of steam
- Losses of heat
- defective steam traps
This can help you save up to 5% on your energy cost.
15. Measure and evaluate your system’s performance
To track usage, install electricity and gas meters in your boiler, steam, and process heating systems.
The meter can tell you how much and when the system utilizes energy. This data can be examined to discover if it is functioning properly or not.
You can have an operations manager analyze the data for you. Call a technician if you don’t have an operations manager.
Ivandrea Ollero is a content writer who researches and writes custom content about home improvements, travel, fashion, and beauty. She graduated from St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism in 2016. Ivandrea provides helpful tips and hacks on various topics for her readers.