Boilers are one of the fundamental tools in every industrial process and, also, it is one of the elements which generates the highest consumption.
Its operation and its performance must be managed at a high level of effectiveness trying to reduce costs as tight as possible and to obtain double benefits.
At first, acquiring a boiler with the right features can be a high investment, but in terms of money, it pays for itself over time. In addition, energy savings help contribute to the environment by achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Electric boiler consumption
When it comes to the consumption of electric boilers, it will depend on the price of electricity in that moment. One of its main advantages is that its CO2 emissions are zero.
Installation process is very simple since they are shipped assembled and wired on a skid (metal structure).
Although one annual review is necessary and mandatory, the maintenance cost is practically null.
Also, the global efforts for decarbonization and the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels make it fit into the new corporate responsibility policies. The cost of an electric boiler is indeed higher than that of a conventional one, but this is offset by all the advantages mentioned above.
Firetube boiler consumption
The consumption of a conventional industrial boiler depends on more parameters than for the first case of study. The type of fuel to be used will be decisive. (Natural gas, propane, diesel, biogas…), as well as other factors such as pressure and temperature.
If the value of the steam temperature at the outlet is quite high, the thermal energy contained in the gases can be used to heat the feed water. In this way, using an economizer, it is possible to increase the performance of the boiler.
Ways to reduce consumption and improve the efficiency
If our goal is to obtain the highest possible efficiency and the greatest energy savings, the perfect solution will be to manufacture a tailor-made boiler which is designed according to the customer’s working conditions.
Many times, the mistake of choosing a standard boiler is made because it is cheaper. At the time of purchase, it may seem the most sensible, but throughout the life of the boiler it is confirmed that this is not the case. If it is designed according to the needs of the customer, this initial investment will end up being amortized throughout its useful life.
The combinations to reach the objective are many since there are infinite ways to reduce consumption. We will count the most used ways to achieve this goal.
Regarding optimizing the use of a burner, including a frequency driver is something highly recommended since it has a favourable impact on fuel savings. This allows the speed to be regulated more precisely, significantly reducing purging processes.
Another factor to consider is using of superheaters and economizers, mentioned in the previous section. A superheater is a gas-steam heat exchanger that helps to superheat the steam above the saturation temperature.
Another notable aspect to take into account is quality water. The use of chemical dosing or softeners is totally recommended. The responsibles for taking care of the boiler should be emphasized on the correct treatment of feed water and the proper maintenance tasks since proper monitoring will prevent more severe problems.