Chris Coleman, Condensate Handling Specialist
If you are under pressure to reduce the running costs of your boiler house, then I have some tips you may find useful.
Why? Because with a few adjustments even the most inefficient boiler house can be turned into a beacon of efficiency, reducing fuel consumption, carbon emissions, water use and, ultimately, operating costs.
Here’s my top five tips to get that boiler house under control:
1: Consider reverse osmosis
I won’t go into the technicalities, suffice to say that Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a water purification technology that uses semipermeable membranes with pores so fine that 98 % of all salts are removed. What does this mean for you? Well, by extracting these minerals from the water, the resulting purer water reduces boiler scaling, lowers energy consumption, reduces water losses and provides savings on maintenance, treatment and fuel.
2: Use automatic total dissolved solids (TDS) controls
If you aren’t using automatic TDS Controls then you’re missing a trick. The process measures conductivity in the boiler water, compares it to a set point specific to the boiler and, if the TDS are too high, it will automatically open a blowdown control valve. This process ensures a clean, dry steam supply, which is essential if you’re looking to maximise efficiency. It also helps to minimise the loss of energy and treated water from manual blowdown. I’ll let you do the maths but of course this will save you money.
3: Think about flash steam recovery
Great for your back pocket and also environmentally friendly, flash steam recovery does exactly what it says on the tin, namely recovering energy from flash steam. Using a flash vessel you can recover the energy by separating the flash steam from the condensate. Feeding this back into the system can save up to 26% in energy and recover 80% of heat from blowdown. It’s a bit of a no brainer, really.
4: Investigate exhaust gas heat recovery
Exhaust gas heat recovery is a common application for economisers in steam power plants. Recovering exhaust gas heat can help to preheat water entering the boiler, which means fuel and energy costs are reduced, as there is less energy required to heat the water. Also, you may be pleased to hear that exhaust gas heat recovery offers a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
5: Look at steam system conditioning
A clean boiler, as previously mentioned, is important, however it’s only part of the picture. Steam system conditioning is basically water and condensate treatment which improves the quality of steam within your system. By using a steam system conditioning service you can truly maximise efficiency and deliver a whole host of benefits from reduced chemical usage through to greater system reliability.
So, there you have it, my five simple ways to get your boiler house under control.
If you need a bit of a helping hand along the way, get in touch and request our Boilerhouse Efficiency Quick-Start Guide.
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The fact that you’re reading this suggests that, just like us, you have an interest in steam. The difference is: your level of familiarity with steam might not be as extensive as you’d like it to be – particularly if you’re responsible for plant maintenance or repair. Thankfully, help is at hand.
With plant operators under increasing pressure to reduce operating costs and improve productivity, the launch of a new guide is promising to help boost efficiency right from the heart of the boilerhouse.
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