Industrial gas boilers are a key component in the total industry output and in the total energy consumption of the United States. As an illustration, in the US, the energy consumption of industrial boilers accounts for 37% of the total industrial energy consumption. Additionally, about 51% of the US industrial boiler capacity uses natural gas as their primary fuel.

Industrial Gas Boiler

Industrial gas boilers are closed pressure vessels that produce high or low-pressure steam or hot water for industrial use. Specifically, plants commonly use natural gas boilers to produce power for multiple applications.

The competitive advantage of industrial gas boilers is the availability of natural gas resources and its high energy-to-heat ratio. Generally, there are two types of boilers used in industrial applications—Fire-tube and Water-tube boilers.

The use of a fire-tube or water-tube industrial boiler depends on the industrial process for which they are going to generate steam or hot water. 

Fire-tube Industrial Gas Boiler

Fire-tube boilers are cylindrical vessels in which the flames in a furnace produce hot gases that pass through tubes surrounded by water. Consequently, the heat contained in the tubes transfers to the water, heating it and producing steam.

Fire-tube boilers can be either low or high pressure. Most low-pressure boilers produce hot water for heating purposes, while the high-pressure boilers produce steam for process use.

Pros and Cons

Fire-tube boilers are widely available in packaged form, allowing smooth relocation and installation. Additionally, they are also easy to operate, control, and maintain. However, they take longer to respond to fluctuations in the pressure demand. As a result, their uses are for space heating and diversity of industrial operations that do not require high pressure.

Water Tube Industrial Gas Boiler

Water-tube boilers have a furnace that burns gas or another type of fuel, whose combustion heats water-containing tubes. As a result, the tubes produce steam by transferring the heat received to the water circulating inside them. Afterward, the resulting vapor reenters the furnace through a superheater to generate extra pressure.

In particular, this device heats the saturated steam above the boiling point at very high pressure, turning it into superheated dry steam, which leaves the boiler with pressure high enough to drive large turbines. They are used by industries and utilities that demand high-pressure steam for their processes.

Pros and Cons

Water-tube boilers are highly efficient, produce very high pressures, and for their low water content, respond fast to fluctuations in demand for steam. Nevertheless, the degree of steam pressure limits its availability as ‘packages” because as the pressure generated increases, so does the size of the boiler.

There is a point beyond which they have to be custom assembled and installed in their working location. As a result, they have big sizes, are challenging to maintain, and the cost of acquisition and installation is higher than fire-tube.

If you require information or assistance for buying, renting, installing, and operating industrial Fire-tube or Water-tube boilers, contact us here.

  • The Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme, ETSAP , provides key information about Industrial Combustion Boilers, including highlights around: Process and Technology Status, Performances and Costs, Potential and Barriers. It provides in addition, with a Summary Table with Key Data and Figures.

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

A boiler is a closed metal container with a heating element. Its purpose is to produce steam or heat water by increasing the temperature inside the chamber so that it is higher than that of the environment. Boilers also increase the pressure so that it is greater than atmospheric.

The combination of a boiler and a superheater is known as a steam generator.

How do boilers work?

The basic principle of operation of the boilers consists of a chamber where combustion occurs with the help of combustion air. Then, through the use of a heat exchanger, the transfer of heat is performed and the water is heated.

Taking that into account, the term “boiler” is a remnant of the past when steam boilers boiled water to generate steam. Modern boilers generally heat water using natural gas, butane, or propane.

This hot water is distributed to each radiator through a network of pipes. This causes heat to be distributed more evenly throughout the room and provides a more homogeneous temperature throughout the building during the winter months.

What is the structure of a boiler?

The actual structure of a boiler will depend on the type; however, in a general way, we can describe the following parts:

  • Burner: used to burn the fuel.
  • Home: it houses the burner inside and its where the fuel is burned to generate the hot gases.
  • Heat exchange tubes: The heat from the gases is transferred to the water as they travel through these tubes. It also generates steam bubbles.
  • Liquid-vapor separator: it is necessary to separate the drops of liquid water from the hot gases before feeding them to the boiler.
  • Chimney: it is the escape route of the fumes and combustion gases.
  • Housing: contains the home and the heat exchange tube system.

Boiler classification

Several characteristics define the type of boiler:

A. Depending on the relative position between the fluid and the flue gases

1. With multiple smoke pipes – Pirotubular.

2. With multiple tubes of water pipes – Acuotubular.

B. Depending on the number of steps:

1. One step of gas travel.

2. Multi-step.

C. Depending on the energy needs of the process:

1. Hot water boilers.

2. Thermal fluid.

Advantages of gas boilers at home

Price: There are boilers with a variety of prices.

Speed, comfort, and space: for home use, the heating process can be quite fast. You can regulate the consumption and temperature using the built-in thermostat. Also, they do not usually take up much space.

Shelf life In general: this type of boiler lasts longer than other heaters.

Cleaning: Natural gas boilers, unlike some of the alternatives, do not pollute, unlike other means of heating that do emit waste.

 

Knowing how an industrial boiler works is very important because they are machines widely used in many industrial processes. Boilers are equipment for steam generation. They are thermal instruments that have the purpose of converting water into steam by burning fuel.

The steam, which is produced by a generator, advances at high pressure through pipes. Industrial boilers heat water and generate vapor, using two prevalent methods: the smoke pipe and the water pipe.

At the beginning of the industrial revolution, when industrial boilers became popular, those with heat pipes were the most popular.

The hot gases of the fire, made with coal or wood, passed through pipes to heat the water in the tank, generating steam for use in industrial processes.

This type of boiler is considered hazardous because the tank is fully pressurized. For instance, if the tank explodes, the explosion can cost several lives or severely injure people nearby.

What you should consider before a boiler installation

Before installing boilers, you must ask yourself a series of questions that will help you make the acquisition much more efficient.

Types of boilers according to their fuel

You should choose a boiler that uses a fuel that’s widely available and affordable near the area where you live.

Gas boilers:

They can be of two types:

Natural gas: It is the one that emits less gas from all types of fuel. You need to pass the relevant controls and proper ventilation.

Butane gas: Usually used wherever there’s very little need for heating.

Oil or diesel boilers

They need to store the gas in their tank. Oil or diesel boilers can be by accumulation or snapshots.

Types of boilers according to their typology

-Atmospheric. They are the ones that use the cabin air where they are for combustion. They are illegal in many countries.

– Stakes: They are called watertight because combustion takes place in a sealed chamber.

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