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.