Boilers are designed to produce steam to accomplish a multitude of tasks; from powering a plant to sterilizing hospital equipment. In simple terms, a boiler is a closed container in which water is heated to its boiling point to produce usable steam. In order to produce steam, there are two key items that must be involved: water and heat.
A boiler is comprised of two seperate systems: the steam-water system (waterside), and the fuel-air-flue system (fireside). As you might have guessed, water is first introduced into the waterside of the boiler. Alternatively, the fireside of the boiler provides heat, produced through the combustion of fuel (commonly natural gas or fuel oil, but can be another source) and air, which is controlled by the burner. The heat that is created within the fireside is transferred to the waterside to produce steam.
To complete a boiler system, additional elements are required. This typically includes the following major components:
- - Burner: a mechanical device that supplies the required fuel and air for proper combustion.
- - Controls: the BMS (burner management system) protects the equipment and personnel from safety issues.
The CCS (combustion control system) controls the air and fuel for proper combustion.
- - Fan: supplies air for the combustion to take place.
- - Water Softener: pre-treats the boiler feedwater for removal of hardness, which would otherwise cause detrimental scale
inside the boiler system.
- - Deaerator / Feedwater System: removes oxygen and gases from boiler feedwater supply (which will also damage boiler
internals), and feeds it to the boiler system via high pressure feedwater pumps.
All of these elements come together to create a robust steam supply system that is utilized in an abundance of processes throughout many different industries. Boilers truly are a work of art, with many pieces working as one system to make something extremely powerful and impactful, which is why we at Nationwide Boiler are so passionate about what we do.
Stay tuned for the next article in ur Boiler Basics 101 series to learn more about common types of boiler systems.