Point of issue

It is expected that the temperature of the world will increase by 5 degrees celcius within the next 100 years.

We asked ourselves what we can do as part of the world wide movement to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
Our primary business is the supply, service and maintenance of boilers for various industries.

It is obvious that we are a contributor to the burning of fossil fuels, in that the machinery we supply and maintain requires combustion as a heat source to produce other heating mediums.

Our own review on our responsibility towards global warming produced the following questions.
· Can we achieve better combustion for our clients, saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions?
· Can we control the heat source better and reduce the quantity of fuels required?
· Can we use less heat to produce the same results?

All three questions had the same answer, yes we can, but the issue is cost. No improvement will come cheap but our question to you is what is cheap for the next generation of our families. The planet will not support the future generations due to lack of quality food growing areas, displacement of land under water , and reductions in types and species of food unless we take more responsibility. Three basic questions that as a company we needed to address.

1) Can we achieve better combustion for our clients?

The answer is yes we can by simply improving the combustion equipment.
· Flow meters for monitoring fuel burn rates, which when used, can determine the correct firing rates, which can reduce over firing.
· Portable or fixed O2 monitoring equipment, which can ensure that the combustion is correct at all stages of firing.

2) Can we control the heat source better and reduce the quantity of fuels required?

The answer is yes we can by improving the combustion equipment even more.
· Modulating burners with servo motors and VSD drives to allow larger turn down ratios The introducing of servo motors can manipulate the firing curve and ensure that turn down ratio's can be increased on some combustion equipment. On others ensuring reliability to correct settings of fuel and air supply for combustion. VSD drives can reduce current draw on motors and can also help with the setting of combustion in regard to air flow
· VSD drives on boiler feed pumps will also reduce the energy input required to run the pumps.
· Micro logic controls to improve the modulating combustion controls and pressure transmitters to get more accurate settings.
· Upgrading boiler feed water controls from single element control to two or three element control with modern feed water modulating control valves.
a) Boiler water level control (single)
b) Steam flow demand (two element)
c) Feed water demand (three element)

3) Can we use less heat to produce the same results?

The answer is yes we can by improving a variety of aspects of the process.
Reducing the requirement to use energy to heat feed water
Introduction of Chemicals
Internal condition of the vessels
Reducing leaks within the processing equipment
Reducing heat losses of processing plant and pipe lines
Servicing condensate traps

In theory it takes X amount of fuel to produce X amount of energy in a boiler. The completion of this equation is the temperature of the water at point of entry into the boiler. As the water must be heated to the desired temperature and the greater the difference the more energy required. If the temperature difference is reduced the boiler can use its energy to maintain the desired temperature at a more constant load.

Reducing the requirement to use energy to heat feed water:

Increasing water temperature by either:
Introducing a heat exchanger,
Injection of steam into a feed tank or,
The use of the condensate return.
· On a steam boiler depending on the size of the boiler, an economizer can improve the efficiency of a boiler by 6 degrees celcius and some times more, depending on the exhaust gas temperature. These are normally only fitted to boilers with modulating feed water control valves to ensure water flow through the economizer but on smaller
  boilers a closed system can be used circulating into the feed tank. Steam injection into a heating tank of feed water, (but you need to produce that steam first which therefore means using extra energy).
· A high return of condensate or good use of the condensate return via a heat exchanger to preheat feed water. This return in condensate will mean less make up water, less chemicals and high water temperature. A heat exchanger again is a very energy efficient way to heat the feed water but dependant on the condensate return rates. A rise of 6 degrees celcius in boiler water temperature by condensate return can produce a fuel saving of 1 percent

Improving the heat transfer between the energy source and heating medium:
· Simply by ensuring the internal condition of the boiler, free of scale and sludge, by using chemicals, good quality feed water and TDS controls to remove unwanted solids. Fuel consumption can increase by up to 5 to 8 percent for a boiler with scale on its tubes.
· Again correct combustion will ensure that there is no fouling on the combustion side. A thick layer of soot can increase the fuel consumption by up to 2.5 percent.

1. Gas fired boilers will soot up from incorrect combustion encasing the heating surfaces and reducing heat transfer.

2. Solid fuel fired boilers will foul up even quicker unless mechanical means are provided to ensure that the gas passes are kept clean

Reducing leaks within the processing equipment:
Any leaks in process equipment and pipe work is just a loss of energy, requiring the replacement of water, meaning more energy to heat that water and chemicals to maintain a balanced water system
· Leaking valves and glands is a very common cause for the loss of steam and easily remedied by servicing valves regularly and replacing gland packing to ensure valve spindles are not damaged through erosion.
· Leaking joints caused by expansion and contraction of pipe work, inferior gaskets with no memory or just gaskets that have out lasted there use.

Reducing heat losses of processing plant and pipe lines:
Exposed pipe work and equipment can reduce the temperature of the heating medium and therefore more energy is required to prevent heat losses required to operate equipment.
· Insulating pipe work or process plant

Condensate traps:
By ensuring that all condensate traps within the process are well serviced and operating correctly will ensure that steam is not lost returning back to the feed tank or going to drain. Most condensate traps can be checked with an instrument without removing the traps from the system and this should be done at periodic intervals.

Most of the suggestions we have provided here are not costly, and those that are will probably have a pay back of less than two years from the savings attributed from their introduction. As mentioned previously any savings in the burning of a fuel will help with the overall cost of running a business and be good for your environment and the world