Boiler House Efficiency: Improve Efficiency and Reduce Energy Bills
The rising cost of energy and global warming have made us all aware of the need to conserve energy and minimise waste where possible.
Improving overall efficiency in energy centres, such as steam and hot water boiler houses are an obvious place to start. Knowing where to begin and finding the time to assess and carry out the improvements can prove a challenge on their own. Compressed air systems can also prove similarly expensive to operate.
How efficient is your boiler? You can find this out by measuring the steam and fuel flow rates. Can you recover heat from the flue gas?
Can the combustion air easily be warmed. Is the excess air required for combustion optimised?
If the plant room feels hot, where is the heat coming from? Unlagged pipes, uninsulated hot surfaces, pipes and valves.
Small hot water, steam and compressed air leaks apart from posing a hazard and looking unsightly can waste a significant amount of energy over a year.
Flash steam and low pressure vented steam are sometimes unavoidable, but they are all wasting energy. Hot Water tanks, condensate receivers, safety valves can all waste energy. Preventing the leaks can often by resolved inexpensively and quickly.
Steam systems need regular maintenance for both operational and safety reasons. Steam traps blocked shut or passing live steam can both lead to inefficient plant and energy being wasted. Regularly checking their operation with a steam trap survey and then repairing or replacing the traps is a well-established method for saving energy.
Steam boilers need regular blowdown to remove sludge and maintain an acceptable level of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are mandatory and take on additional significance where boilerhouses are left unattended for periods of time. Capturing the heat in the blowdown water and finding a use for it can make a significant impact on the cost of running a boilerhouses.
Poor feedwater water quality can lead to excessive boiler blowdown, corrosion or scaling surfaces. Water quality for both steam and hot water boilers must be maintained within set limits such as set out in BG04 or BG50/2021. There are several ways in which this can be optimised from looking at bulk water treatment to how water quality is measured and where it is sampled.
The production of compressed air is quite expensive and often more expensive than producing steam or hot water. Capturing the waste heat generated by an air compressor, fixing compressed air leaks and checking the function of compressed air traps can make significant energy savings.
Modern LED lighting systems use far less electricity than other forms of lighting and can reduce the overall electrical consumption. The boilerhouse can sometimes be overlooked.
Removing or bypassing redundant hot pipework and plant can reduce the overall energy use and will often make a plant room safer and easier to maintain. Identifying what is redundant can take time and may require specialists who are able to take a holistic look at pipework.
Get in touch
Valveforce is a specialist engineering company with an established engineering team who help customers reduce their energy bills. We have integrated teams advising on and supplying valves and pipework solutions, heat exchangers and pumps. Our in-house control panel manufacturing business compliments our services.
If you would like to discuss how we can help your company reduce your energy bill, feel free to give us a call on 0121 711 1908 – we’re here to help!