To know which of these boiler types is the most convenient for you, let us see what a boiler is. “A boiler is an enclosed vessel in which a fluid such as water is heated to produce steam or the vaporized form of a liquid. The steam or hot water is then circulated through a piping system to transfer heat for various applications such as heating, power generation, and other processes. Boilers and associated pieces of equipment are efficient heat exchange systems. However, they can be dangerous if not properly maintained and operated”.

There is a wide variety of boilers for a myriad of applications; from heating a room, to drive the turbines of a utility company. Although all of them produce steam and hot water, they have different designs, differ in their operation, and use various types of fuel. As a result, it is convenient to know more about the boiler types available, so that you can decide which one is the most suitable for your application.    

Industrial Boilers

Fire-tube Boiler

Fire-tube steam boilers are cylindrical vessels that hold water that surrounds a set of tubes conducting hot gases produced by a furnace. Consequently, the heat in the tubes transfers to the water surrounding them, producing steam.

The installation and relocation of modern fire-tube steam boilers are possible because they are available as portable packages. Also, they are easy to maintain. Nevertheless, due to the massive amounts of water at high pressure that the boiler holds, it requires safe operating procedures. The users of fire-tube boilers are industrial and commercial facilities whose processes demand lower steam pressures from this type of boilers. 

Water-tube boiler

Water-tube boilers are highly efficient machines that, by their design, produce superheated dry steam at very high pressures. It feeds large amounts of vapor (several million pounds-per-hour), at very high pressures, up to 5,000 PSIG, to industrial processes. A water-tube industrial boiler has a larger size than a fire-tube.

They are the kind of boilers capable of feeding the processes of heavy industry and utility companies. However, the acquisition and installation costs are high. In the case of heavy industries, they are custom made on the installation site, which can be complicated and time-consuming. Furthermore, they are challenging to maintain. Thus, they require highly skilled personnel for operation and maintenance. 

Commercial Boilers

Commercial boilers have different ways to generate heat; firetube, small water tube, and electric resistance. Their ideal users are universities, libraries, office buildings, schools, laundries, hospitals, and other similar facilities,

Among the different boiler types, commercial boilers are some of the most diverse. These units can use propane, natural gas, electricity, or light oil to provide hot water or steam for process requirements or comfort heating. Based on the type of boiler selected and its application, these systems boost fuel efficiency as high as 99%.

A central heating boiler’s size is proportional to the size of the facility. The ideal size for a boiler is one that can cope adequately with the heating needs the coldest season of the year. A typical commercial heating system has four main components: The boiler produces the heat. The pipes, pumps, and valves, distribute the heat. Radiators and convectors, irradiate the heat to the specific room. Finally, there is a control system that regulates everything.

Home Boilers

Condensing Boilers

Condensing boilers typically extract over 90% of the heat from the fuel they burn, making them both cost-effective and energy-efficient. 

Combination Boilers

A combination boiler is a type of condensing boiler. They are highly efficient and compact, making them ideal for smaller homes. They can act as both, a water heater and also a central heating unit. 

System Boilers

A system boiler directly heats a house’s central heating and also produces hot water for the storage cylinder. It is a heat-only boiler. 

Boiler Types by fuel consumption

Another way that boilers can be classified is by the type of fuel that they burn. The most common are:

Coal 

Most industrial coal-fired boilers run on crushed or pulverized coal, which burns more efficiently than large coal clumps.

Gas and Oil

Gas-fired boilers operate using natural gas, most often a mix of methane, ethane, butane, pentane, or propane. Oil-fired boilers burn gasoline, diesel, and other fossil fuels.

Biomass

Biomass boilers burn plant materials like wood chips, wood construction debris, and corn husks.

Boiler Types by Combustion System

All the boilers mentioned before typically fall into one of the following combustion method categories.

Thermic Fluid

Thermic fluid heaters use fossil fuel inside a closed system. The sealed system can lead to greater efficiency, although it is not ideal for specific applications.

Fluidized Bed

It is the most common method used for burning solid fuels in boilers today; fluidized bed technology involves a bubbling hot mixture of water and material particles (like sand) with fuel in suspension. This mix allows for rapid heat transfer and cleaner, more efficient operations.

If you need one of these boiler types, Teems Steam is here to provide solutions for all of your boiler rental, sales, installation, and operation needs.

Sources: Superior Boiler, Odesie

From all the industrial boilers in the market, you want to buy one that meets your needs and runs at pick operational efficiencies for the longest period of time. Accordingly, there are many factors affecting the buying decision that you have to consider. Those key aspects are types of boilers available, price, lifetime efficiency, operational specifications, size, safety, maintenance, fuel, and accessories.

Types of Industrial Boilers

There are three types of industrial boilers, water tube, fire tube, and firebox. They are configurable for use in many types of operations.

Water Tube Boilers

They are the type of industrial boilers where water passes through tubes while the hot combustion gas flows on the other side of the pipes. Water Tube boilers are more expensive and efficient and less dangerous than fire tube boilers. They produce high temperatures and steam pressure.

Fire Tube Boilers

They are the type of industrial boilers where heat and gases of combustion (from the furnace) pass through tubes that are enclosed on water. They have a lower cost than water tube type and require less maintenance. However, they are not capable of producing high heat, pressure, and steam.

Fire Box Boilers

They are a traditional “locomotive” type of boiler. The “firebox” is the space where the heat originates, producing hot gases that pass through the tubes, heating the fluid. It is reliable but limited in its applications.

Price of an Industrial Boiler

A steam boiler is an expensive piece of equipment. Consequently, price is a crucial variable to be considered when buying one. Nevertheless, in the long run, you may spend more money in downtime for repairs, maintenance, and fuel consumption if you buy a lower price boiler.

Lifetime Efficiency

It is crucial to make the buying decision with the lifetime efficiency of the boiler in mind. Hence, It would be best if you did a cost-benefit analysis for the expected useful life of the boiler. Specifically, you should consider: running times, operational costs, maintenance schedule, and costs, and expected lifetime of the machine. Buying the right kind of boiler saves you money and trouble in the long run.

Operational Specifications

The operational specs give you the matching points with the demands of your facility. Therefore, it is essential to know them beforehand. For instance, if your plant demands high temperature and pressure for its production processes, you need a high-performance boiler. Furthermore, they are a vital input in the feasibility study. Some of them are heat output capacity, temperature, thermal efficiency, and maximum pressure.

Size of an Industrial Boiler

It is vital for various reasons. The more steam you need for operating the facility, the larger the boiler size that you require. Consider that the run costs of an oversized boiler are higher compared to the run costs of an undersized one. Nevertheless, the latter may not be able to meet the high-temperature requirements needed by your facility.

Industrial Boilers Require Safety First

Safety is a primary consideration when buying a boiler. Handling the operation of a boiler is a highly technical job that requires well-trained personnel. They must follow the operational procedures in detail, due to the potential hazard of the high temperatures and pressures involved. High-quality boilers take safety first as an original manufacturing specification. Accordingly, you should check the safety track record of the specific brand and model that you want to buy.

Maintenance of Industrial Boilers

It is vital to take into consideration the maintenance schedule of the boiler. Since you want it to be functioning at peak efficiency for the longest time possible. Additionally, low-quality boilers require frequent repairs, which means that they have to be replaced sooner than one of higher quality.

Fuel for Industrial Boilers

Before buying a boiler, the owner has to consider the type of fuel that the boiler uses, evaluating its availability and cost. Boilers use oil, electricity, coal, natural gas, and propane.

Accessories

Many accessories are necessary to complement the operation of the boiler: de-aerators that remove excess oxygen from the water, safety valves, and others.

Conclusion

You are responsible for the operation of a facility that depends on the high efficiency, long-running times, and extended use-life of an industrial boiler. Therefore, it is crucial to make a decision that you are not going to regret later on. Because you don’t want to have your plant shut down for boiler repairs. Or worse, to have part of your personnel suffering injuries for malfunction of the boiler that you selected.

Accordingly, you want to buy the right model and size of the boiler for your plant requirements. Afterward, you should install it correctly and keep it well operated and maintained by highly skilled personnel. Then, you will have your facility operating at optimal levels for a long time. We have that boiler, call us here to have a conversation about it.

Sources: Superior Boilers

If your boiler shows signs of not working well, remember that when choosing a boiler company to service the boiler of your building, you should make sure to consider a few key things.

The repair or replacement of the boiler in a commercial or industrial environment requires extensive knowledge and experience, here’s a guide of questions you should ask yourself when embarking in this journey.

How long has the boiler company been in business?

The longer a boiler company has been in business, the more likely it is that they have experience in finding and repairing problems such as those experienced by your company.

Another advantage of a company with a long time in business is financial stability; established companies are less likely to fail in the middle of the repair and more likely to repair their service if something went wrong.

Do they have experience in your industry?

If you run a specific type of factory, don’t expect a boiler company that works primarily in office buildings to have experience in your boiler applications. Choose a company that has experience in your industry.

Does the boiler company guarantee parts and service?

Select a boiler company that gives you a guarantee for the work done. If an arrangement does not correct your problem, a part and labor warranty could offer you protection so that you will not be charged for the same repair.

Is a pre-start inspection included in the deal?

Let’s say a fan in your boiler needs to be replaced, and the boiler service company repairs it. Make sure they restart the computer and perform a pre-start inspection.

Doing so allows the seller to make sure no other repairs or maintenance are present, but if they do, your provider can fix it before leaving. It makes your business run more efficiently by reducing equipment downtime.

Can they provide proof of license, insurance, and certification?

Even if a company does not need a specific consent to operate in its state, the city in which it is based will likely grant one.

The license is essential, as the threat of loss of permit significantly contributes to enforcing your agreement with the provider.

Insurance is always necessary to protect your company against the additional risk of property damage or injury to your employees or visitors.

When a service or your technician is certified in the repair and installation of boilers, you know that you are hiring a company with the updated skills and equipment necessary to provide quality work.

What are their safety procedures?

At work, safety is also a constant concern. Does your candidate company have a safety plan? How often do they train staff on this? How many days of work do they have without a workplace injury? Will they follow the boiler safety plan of your installation?

Are they a representative of the manufacturer?

Is the company the manufacturer’s representative of its boiler brand? If so, this could be an indication that their technicians are kept up to date on the brand’s product line.

What is the cost of an annual service contract?

Do not confuse the price with the cost. A cheaper provider can save you money in the short term, but it will cost you more in the long run due to a below-average service. Choose a company with a reputation free of complaints about poor quality services.

Boiler company references

Ask and verify their references. Make sure they are from companies in your industry with boiler needs similar to yours. Verify the performance, professionalism, and customer service of the candidate company. Less than stellar criticisms in any of these categories strongly suggest that you continue your search.

Asking these questions will help you make sure you find the right boiler service company for your building or installation and will save you many long-term headaches.