Boiler Operating Costs with Natural Gas and #6 Oil

Dr. Herbert Eckerlin Center for Boiler Studies Raleigh, NC March 27, 2002

Why Measure Parasitic Losses?
• Cost comparison based on “stack loss” only ignores parasitic losses and costs associated with oil-firing • Important to quantify thermal losses and parasitic losses to determine the “true bottom line” efficiency and steam cost • Bottom line efficiency helps in choosing the most economic fuel

Stack Loss Tg % O2 l ue F Fire Tube Boiler .

CO. or O2 (%) Incomplete Combustion Excess Air O2 10 CO2 CO2 5 CO 0 -50 0 50 100 150 200 Excess Air (%) .Effects of Excess Air on Flue Gas Composition 15 CO2.

Typical Oil Firing Set-up + + + .

Thermal Losses Common for Natural Gas and #6 Oil – stack loss Q Stack + + + .

Thermal Losses Common for Natural Gas and #6 Oil • Stack Loss – Largest single loss – Depends on flue gas temperature. measure all above parameters . ambient air temperature. excess air and type of fuel – To determine stack loss.

Thermal Losses Common for Natural Gas and #6 Oil – CO and Un-burnt CH Q Stack Q CO CH + + Q + .

Thermal Losses Common for Natural Gas and #6 Oil • CO and un-burnt CH – – – – Caused by incomplete combustion Lack of air to support complete combustion Poor mixing of fuel and air Poor atomization of fuel oil .

Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil Tank Heating Q Q Stack Oil Storage Tank Q CO CH + + Q + .

Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil • Oil Tank Heating – Fuel oil is viscous and requires heating to facilitate pumping – Generally heated to 140 F – Heat loss can be quite high for single wall uninsulated oil storage tanks .

Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil Pumping & Preheating Q Q Stack Oil Storage Tank Q CO CH + + Q Oil Heater Q + Q Oil Pumping .

Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil • Oil Pumping – Pumps are required to circulate oil from storage tank to the burner • Oil Preheating – To ensure proper atomization. oil must be heated 200 – 220 oF – Generally heated by steam or hot water – In some fire tube boiler application. steam/hot water heating is augmented by electric heating .

Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil Atomization Q Q Stack Oil Storage Tank Q Atom Q CO CH + + Q Oil Heater Q + Q Oil Pumping .

oil must be broken up into small particles – Done by injecting steam or compressed air into small oil supply at the burner .Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil • Oil Atomization – For proper combustion.

Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil Soot Blowing Q Q Stack Oil Storage Tank Soot Blowers Q Q Atom Q CO CH + + Q Oil Heater Q + Q Oil Pumping .

Parasitic Losses for #6 Oil • Soot Blowing – – – – – – Soot is created by oil burning Soot leaves deposits on boiler tubes Reduces heat transfer to boiler fluid Generally cleaned by steam or compressed air Fire tube boiler generally do not use soot blowers Soot removal must be done by punching the tubes when stack temperature gets too high – Should be done at least quarterly to prevent high stack temperature resulting in high stack loss – Boiler must be shut down when tubes are punched .

Flue Gas Temperature Over Time 450 400 #6 Oil High Fire Deg F 350 300 250 200 0 5 10 #6 Oil Low Fire Gas High Fire Gas Low Fire 15 Days 20 25 30 .

Additives. Q Q Stack Oil Storage Tank Soot Blowers Q Q Atom Q CO CH + + $ Oil Inventory Q Oil Heater Q + Q Oil Pumping $ Maintenance $ Corrosion $ Fuel Oil Additives Additional Makeup Water $ Chemical $ Water $ Preheating . Maintenance etc.Parasitic Losses and Cost for #6 Oil Inventory.

Parasitic Losses and Cost for #6 Oil • Oil Storage Inventory – Storing oil on site ties up capital – This investment yields no return • Oil Additives – Purposes • • • • Reduce sludge in oil storage tank Improve combustion Reduce soot deposits reduce cold end corrosion .

Parasitic Losses and Cost for #6 Oil • Corrosion and Maintenance – Sulphur in oil causes cold end corrosion – Adds to maintenance costs – Reduces boiler life .

0% Soot Blowers Q Q Atom 0.Summary of Thermal and Parasitic Losses Q Q Stack 12.40% Radiation 1.93% 220oF Q CO CH + + Q $ Oil Inventory 0.41% $ Corrosion $ Fuel Oil Additives Additional Makeup Water $ Water $ Preheating $ Chemical .30% Oil Heater 0.15% $ Maintenance 3.4% Oil Storage Tank 8.35% Q + Q 140 F o Oil Pumping 1.

35 Bottom Line Efficiency 72% Oil Tank Heating 8.0 Oil Pumping 1.15 Oil Atomization 0.41 Oil Inventory 0.4 Radiation 1.93 Corrosion & Maintenance 3.Bottom Line Efficiency for Oil Firing 100 Stack Loss 12.3 Oil Heating 0.4 .

High Efficiency Boiler #6 Fuel Oil .Bottom Line Boiler Efficiency Comparison 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 82.G.5 90 72 N.G. Standard Boiler N.

6 Cost of Delivered Steam $/GJ (considering stack and parasitic losses) cents/litre Incremental Cost Increase $/GJ (due to parasitic losses) cents/litre .09 $7.6 $1.Effect of Parasitic Losses on Cost of Delivered Steam Average Fuel Cost Cost of Delivered Steam (considering stack and radiation losses) cents/litre $/GJ $/GJ 22.23 8.0 $5.27 $6.32 30.

parasitic losses can add about 9 cents per litre to #6 fuel oil price • Take into account all parasitic losses and costs associated with #6 fuel oil firing while comparing costs with natural gas • Keep boilers properly tuned for maximum efficiency .Conclusions • On average.

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