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CORRECTLY SIZING A STEAM BOILER – WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

may-14-19CORRECTLY SIZING A STEAM BOILER – WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

“The correct selection of a steam boiler output is critical to its operation, efficiency and performance” Carl Knight, Fulton Ltd

If undersized for the system load, then steam pressure will rapidly decrease thus causing the boiler to collapse its steam space, in turn causing low water alarms and ultimately burner lockout. (Read More)
 
To prevent this, the boiler needs to be matched correctly to the system steady state demand and any short-term peak demands that may occur. In short, ensure that the boiler is sized to the system’s worst case scenario!
 
To achieve optimum system steam supply to demand ratio, it is important to know what you’re trying to achieve. For example what you are heating, its mass and the temperature rise you require, over which timescales (i.e. how quickly do you need to heat your product?) You will also need to consider the extra energy required to heat the tank.
To determine the boiler rating to achieve the required steam load, consideration needs to be taken into account of the “F&A 100ºC” rating. All steam boiler manufacturers use this rating because they must take the standard assumption that water evaporates at 100ºC and that feed water is 100ºC.
 
The actual evaporation temperature of water at higher pressures is more than 100ºC and the amount of condensate return will affect the feed water temperature. For example, the evaporation temperature of water from a boiler operating at 7 barg is 170ºC and a low condensate return level could see feed water as low as 30ºC. At this point you will require steam to heat the feed tank to 85 to 90ºC.
 
You also need to add 30 to 35% to a calculated system load to take into account the F&A rating and general system losses from pipework and blowdown.
 
Taking all this into consideration – and to quote an example – if your process requires a system load of 154kg/h, you will require a boiler rating of 208kg/h F&A 100ºC. That’s equivalent to a Fulton 15J vertical steam boiler!

Fulton Limited, Fernhurst Road
Bristol, BS5 7FG, UK
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