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Effective Boiler Utilization

Why go to all the trouble ?

Steam is an easy method for transferring heat energy from a heat source to a heat load. Addition of heat and moisture into the material improves processing. Goal is to produce a gelatinized material with improved feed value.

Install a steam flow meter or water flow meter in your facility and calculate your steam generation costs.  (Use a water flow meter on water feed into the boiler will also cover boiler blow down effects.) .Benchmark your cost of steam production. Compare your actual costs with the benchmark.    Determine your annual fuel cost based on utility bills.

Performing Benchmark  You will need to know the following. Type of fuel used.1 60 80 90 100 Energy Required to Produce One Pound of Saturated Steam.8 1056.7 1165.6 101 1112.     Feed Op Pressure (PSIG) Water Temp Operating boiler pressure. Btu. .0 1058.2 1020.5 1118.4 1119. Cost of fuel.1 1058.1 162 1051.2 1116.0 1166. 53 1160.4 1023. Feedwater Temperature.9 1167.5 1022.7 198 1016.

119.000. Btu/Sales unit Combustion Efficiency.700 149. gallon Coal.7 89.000 lb steam .50/MMBtu/106 Btu/MMBtu) * 1.6 90.1 Btu/lb/0. 101 Deg F feed water. %  Example Natural Gas. and $7.000 138.50/MMBtu Natural gas.7 85.030.000 85.6 Oil. Steam Cost = ($7.857 Steam Cost = $9.3 Producing 100 psig steam. Ton 1.2 Oil.000. gallon Residual/No.700 27. MMBtu Natural Gas.000 lb * 1.7 88.Benchmark Continued Fuel Type and Sales Unit Energy Content. Thousand cubic feet Distillate/No.000 1.79/1.

Steam Traps  Condensate Return  Insulation  .      Feed Water Temperature.Factors Effecting Steam Cost’s. Heat Transfer (Chemistry). Burner Efficiency Steam Application Distribution System.

000 lb of steam 162 Deg F = $9.26/1.000 lb of steam production .000 lb of steam A difference of $0. 54 Deg F = $10.Feed Water Temperature   Proper feed water temperature control can be a major factor when looking at improving steam system efficiencies.21/1. Compare Benchmark calculation for 90 psig steam at 53 Deg vs 162 Deg F feed water.95/1.

. Proper condensate return and blowdown heat exchangers. Install Feedwater Economizer. Two of the most common methods would be: Direct Steam injection into the feed water make-up tank with thermostatically controlled valve. 3. 2.Feed Water Temperature  1. There are a several ways to increase the feed water temperature in the system.

*Economizers have limits for both cold . F reduction in flue gas temperature.  Economizer Generally. Steam injected directly into the feed water tank can be used as a heat source. but it is important to remember that this is also a heat load on the boiler and will not provide a high energy savings.Feed Water Temperature  Direct Steam Injection. end corrosion and exhaust gas temperatures that must be observed. boiler efficiency can be increased by 1% for every 40 Deg.

Heat Transfer  Proper Boiler Chemistry control is critical in efficient boiler operation as well as boiler safety.   .000/ year. 1/50th of an inch of hard scale buildup on boiler tubes can result in an increase in fuel usage of up to $20. Find a reliable boiler chemistry company and perform tests as required.

An efficient natural gas burner requires only 2 to 3% excess oxygen.Burner Efficiency  The purpose of the burner is to mix molecules of fuel with molecules of air.  . or 10 to 15% excess air. A boiler will run only as well as the burner performs. Burners are designed to maximize combustion while minimizing the release of emissions.

The oxygen “Trim” system provides feedback to the burner controls to automatically minimize excess combustion air and maximize the fuel-to-air ration .   Oxygen Trim Systems If fuel composition is highly variable or in cases where steam flows are highly variable. stack gas temp. an online oxygen analyzer should be considered.Burner Efficiency   Flue Gas Analyzers The percentage of oxygen in the flue gas can be measured by inexpensive gas absorbing test kits.. and boiler efficiency.000. More expensive analyzers are available that display % Oxygen. These are recommended for boilers with annual fuel costs over $50.

. One of the main differences is with the condensate return system. In short.Steam Application   Boiler systems in the feed industry have few similarities with industrial boiler systems. Commercial boiler systems can return over 90% of the condensate while boiler systems in the feed industry typically return less than 5% condensate into the feed water system. almost all of the steam delivered into the distribution system is used or lost.

.$7. we can achieve enough heat input to cook while minimizing the total steam contribution. 60 psig .198 deg F .50/MMBtu = $8.89/1000 lb steam 100 psig – 198 deg F .$7.75/MMBtu = $8.Steam Application  Performing the Benchmark test we learned that even the best situation will result in a given steam production cost.95/1000 lb steam  By insuring that we are not over-steaming.

14 per ton.95/1. 100 psig – 198 Deg F .000 lb of steam Adding 6% moisture in the steam chest requires approx. At $0.55 per ton. Compare this to adding only 3% moisture.56 per ton for 3% The higher pressure also insures that enough heat will be added for cooking with the reduced stem addition . 127 lb of steam application.000 lb of steam Adding 6% moisture in the steam chest requires approx.89/1.0089 per pound of steam that means that adding 6% moisture (127 lbs) will have a cost of $1. and a cost of $0.50/MMBtu $8.0090 per pound of steam.13 per ton. Compared to $0. 62 lbs. 127 lbs of steam application. At $0.50/MMBtu $8.$7.Steam Application 60 psig – 198 Deg F . that means that adding 6% moisture (127 lbs) will have a cost of $1.$7.

.Steam Application There are a few options when looking at monitoring steam application. The object is to provide enough heat input for cooking while minimizing pounds added.  Steam Flow Meters: There are a number of steam flow meters that can be installed in the distribution system to allow operators to monitor and adjust steam application within specified ranges to insure adequate cooking while minimizing the pounds applied.

while not actually part of the distribution system may also offer some efficiency options and should be looked at. The boiler blow down system.Distribution System   The steam distribution system includes everything from the boiler discharge valve out to the processing units and any condensate return system that may be in place. .

Distribution System    Steam Traps Every distribution system should include steam traps. While extremely important in turbine applications. . they also are important in our process to insure the highest energy and best quality steam is being applied. Steam traps provide a means for removing water droplet and condensate from the header prior to utilizing the steam for heating.

8 119 211 475   ¼ 3/8 Steam traps should be tested to insure they are not cold plugging or failing open allowing steam to escape directly into the CR line Four ways to test: Temp.2 52. Sound. Steam loss. Visual. Electronic Traps should be tested monthly to Quarterly. . lb/hr 100 psig  Trap Orifice Diameter. Inches 1/32 3..3 1/16 1/8 3/16 13.Steam Traps  Steam loss from traps.

Condensate Return  Returning hot condensate to the boiler makes sense for several reasons. the less makeup water is required. Fuel savings with higher temperature make-up water. 4. 1. 3. . The more condensate that is returned. Chemicals and Chemical treatment costs. 2. Reduced boiler blowdown with return of high purity water.

and CR lines. Proper insulation can typically reduce energy losses by 90% and help insure proper steam pressure at processing equipment. steam piping and fittings. Any surface over 120 Deg. F should be insulated including boiler surfaces.Insulation    Un-insulated steam piping is a constant source of wasted energy. .

.Insulation Pipe Size. Inches MMBtu/yr loss per 100 feet  0. A 6-inch gate valve may have more than 6 sq. flanges and traps. feet of surface area.5 1 2 4 6 8 10 12 160 240 400 700 985 1270 1550 1820  Proper insulation can provide a great deal of energy savings when properly selects and maintained. Use insulating jackets for valves.

it is impossible to tell if you are being efficient. If you don’t know what your cost of steam production is.Conclusion     There are obviously a number of factors that effect boiler utilization and efficiency. how can you improve it. If your not monitoring your steam usage. Use the various resources available to you for better steam and boiler utilization .

gov/industry/bestpractices This site has a lot of information available and can be a great resource for improving efficiencies.Resources  .eere.