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Different components or parts of a boiler

Steam drum

Earlier the drum of boilers were used to be made from riveting method, but now
with advancement in the welding technology, drums are made with welding.
And all this type of work is done in guidance of different classifications society
and the welded piece are tested for their strength by using various tests.
The whole making of steam drum employed using four plates namely: two
dished end plates, a thick wall tube plate (thicker to accommodate the drilled
holes for inserting tubes) and completed with a thinner wrapper plate. Now in
order to weld all plates together we use the welding method to accomplish the
same. Since we know that we need to carry put tests on the plates in order to
see test their strength, during welding some tests plates are also welded
longitudinally. This in turn helps us to measure the strength of the welded joint.
Generally we should have the strength of the welded part to be more then the
parent metal. All this type of welding does not involve human effort and only
sues the automatic machine to accomplish the same.

Generally we do non-destructive testing- such as x-ray photography and

this gives the result regarding the worthiness of the weld. If any fault comes in
the way then it is rectified as soon as possible.
In order to test the boiler against the leakage, we use the hydraulic testing and
by this we are able to check any type of leakage occurring in the steam drum.
The space above the water line acts as reserve steam space needed to
maintain plant stability and helps in separation of the steam and water
emulsions formed in the water walls and the generating tubes. It is usual that
water will be getting carried away in the steam, so in order to separate the
same; we have the perforated steam plate which separates the water from

Water drum

Water drum acts as the main storage house of the water and the whole water
from the down comers come to this only. But the size of the water drum depends
upon the generating tubes and the down comers. Water drums also acts as the
platform where the corrosions, waste material settle down and they are blow

downfrom here only. But now in some modern boilers, the water drum is
replaced with the down comers only.


If we see the working of headers, then we wont find any difference between the
working of water drum and the headers. Yes but they do working on a small
scale. That is the reason why in some modern boilers, the headers have
replaced the water drum. The same of these can be in square, round etc.

Generating tubes

These tubes are the main tube that come in contact of the flue gases and
transmits heat to the water. Although they are not found in the modern boilers
as they have replaced by the economizer tubes, but still they are used in
many boilers.

Screen tubes and Water wall tubes

Screen tubes are also like generating tubes, but they have much more diameter.
The main purpose of using the screen tubes is to protect the super heater tubes
from unwanted heat. The reason for this is that steam latent heat of
vaporization is very poor and it cannot take more heat away as this is already a
steam only.

In order to increase the insulation of boilers, we use the water wall tubes. In
water wall tubes, water flows and takes away the heat surrounding it. Thus the
heat inside the boiler does not get transmitted to the outside of the boiler. These
are of three designs namely: water cooled with refractory covered studded
tubes; Close pitched exposed tubes and membrane Wall.

Down comers and Riser tubes

Down comers are the pipes that functions as the supplying water from
steam drum to the water dream. As name suggests the water from the steam
drum reaches the water drum with the help of these pipes

These tubes return steam from the top water wall headers to the steam drum.

Super heater tubes

Super heater tubes as name suggests are sued to generate steam of superheated
quality. Generally they are protected by screen tubes. The reason for this has been
shown with the yellow color above.

Condenser (heat transfer)

In systems involving heat transfer, a condenser is a device or unit used to condense a substance
from its gaseous to its liquid state, typically by cooling it. In so doing, the latent heat is given up by
the substance, and will transfer to the condenser coolant. Condensers are typically heat
exchangers which have various designs and come in many sizes ranging from rather small (handheld) to very large industrial-scale units used in plant processes. For example, a refrigerator uses a
condenser to get rid of heat extracted from the interior of the unit to the outside air. Condensers are
used in air conditioning, industrial chemical processes such as distillation, steam power plantsand
other heat-exchange systems. Use of cooling water or surrounding air as the coolant is common in
many condensers.

Examples of condensers[edit]

A surface condenser is an example of such a heat-exchange system. It is a shell and tube

heat exchanger installed at the outlet of every steam turbine in thermal power stations.
Commonly, the cooling water flows through the tube side and the steam enters the shell side
where the condensation occurs on the outside of the heat transfer tubes. The condensate drips
down and collects at the bottom, often in a built-in pan called a hotwell. The shell side often
operates at a vacuum or partial vacuum, often produced by attached airejectors. Conversely, the
vapor can be fed through the tubes with the coolant water or air flowing around the outside.

In chemistry, a condenser is the apparatus which cools hot vapors, causing them to
condense into a liquid. See "Condenser (laboratory)" for laboratory-scale condensers, as
opposed to industrial-scale condensers. Examples include the Liebig condenser,Graham
condenser, and Allihn condenser. This is not to be confused with a condensation reaction which
links two fragments into a single molecule by an addition reaction and an elimination reaction.
In laboratory distillation, reflux, and rotary evaporators, several types of condensers are
commonly used. The Liebig condenser is simply a straight tube within a cooling water jacket,
and is the simplest (and relatively least expensive) form of condenser. The Graham
condenser is a spiral tube within a water jacket, and the Allihn condenser has a series of

large and small constrictions on the inside tube, each increasing the surface area upon
which the vapor constituents may condense. Being more complex shapes to manufacture,
these latter types are also more expensive to purchase. These three types of condensers
are laboratory glassware items since they are typically made of glass. Commercially
available condensers usually are fitted with ground glass joints and come in standard lengths
of 100, 200, and 400 mm. Air-cooled condensers are unjacketed, while water-cooled
condensers contain a jacket for the water.

Larger condensers are also used in industrial-scale distillation processes to cool

distilled vapor into liquid distillate. Commonly, the coolant flows through the tube side and
distilled vapor through the shell side with distillate collecting at or flowing out the bottom.

A condenser unit used in central air conditioning systems typically has a heat exchanger
section to cool down and condense incoming refrigerant vapor into liquid, a compressor to raise
the pressure of the refrigerant and move it along, and a fan for blowing outside air through the
heat exchanger section to cool the refrigerant inside. A typical configuration of such a condenser
unit is as follows: The heat exchanger section wraps around the sides of the unit with the
compressor inside. In this heat exchanger section, the refrigerant goes through multiple tube
passes, which are surrounded by heat transfer fins through which cooling air can move from
outside to inside the unit. There is a motorized fan inside the condenser unit near the top, which
is covered by some grating to keep any objects from accidentally falling inside on the fan. The
fan is used to blow the outside cooling air in through the heat exchange section at the sides and
out the top through the grating. These condenser units are located on the outside of the building
they are trying to cool, with tubing between the unit and building, one for vapor refrigerant
entering and another for liquid refrigerant leaving the unit. Of course, an electric power supply is
needed for the compressor and fan inside the unit.

Direct contact condenser

In this type of condenser, vapors are poured into the liquid directly. The vapors lose
their latent heat of vaporization; hence, vapors transfer their heat into liquid and the liquid
becomes hot. In this type of condensation, the vapor and liquid are of same type of
substance. In another type of direct contact condenser, cold water is sprayed into the vapour
to be condensed

A superheater is a device used to convert saturated steam or wet steam into dry steam used
in steam engines or in processes, such as steam reforming. There are three types of superheaters

namely: radiant, convection, and separately fired. A superheater can vary in size from a few tens of
feet to several hundred feet (a few metres to some hundred metres).


A radiant superheater is placed directly in the combustion chamber.

A convection superheater is located in the path of the hot gases.

A separately fired superheater, as its name implies, is totally separated from the boiler.

Steam engines[edit]
In a steam engine, the superheater re-heats the steam generated by the boiler, increasing
its thermal energy and decreasing the likelihood that it will condense inside the engine.[1]

Superheaters increase the thermal efficiency of the steam engine, and have been widely adopted.

Steam which has been superheated is logically known as superheated steam; non-superheated
steam is called saturated steam or wet steam. Superheaters were applied to steam locomotives in
quantity from the early 20th century, to most steam vehicles, and to stationary steam engines. This
equipment is still used in conjunction with steam turbines in electrical power generating
stations throughout the world.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]

The main advantages of using a superheater are reduced fuel and water consumption but there is a
price to pay in increased maintenance costs. In most cases the benefits outweighed the costs and
superheaters were widely used. An exception was shunting locomotives (switchers). British shunting
locomotives were rarely fitted with superheaters. In locomotives used for mineral traffic the
advantages seem to have been marginal. For example, the North Eastern Railway fitted
superheaters to some of its NER Class P mineral locomotives but later began to remove them.
Without careful maintenance superheaters are prone to a particular type of hazardous failure in the
tube bursting at the U-shaped turns in the superheater tube. This is difficult to both manufacture, and
test when installed, and a rupture will cause the superheated high-pressure steam to escape
immediately into the large flues, then back to the fire and into the cab, to the extreme danger of the
locomotive crew.