Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

Boiler inefficiency can be avoided

May 2014 Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

The cost of buying a boiler is small compared to the amount of money spent operating it year on year, an expense governed by boiler efficiency. Although boiler efficiency is an important parameter when specifying a new boiler, little attention is given to it once it is steaming.

The myth is that the boiler will always generate steam at the rated efficiency. The truth is that one of the most critical parameters in boiler operation is its actual delivered efficiency. What distinguishes one boiler from another is the actual cost at which steam is generated.

Surveys show the true delivered boiler efficiency to be lower by 3-12% than rated. Usually ignored, the boiler continues running at lower efficiency and consuming more fuel than it actually should. Data collected from hundreds of boilers show low operating efficiencies. As the fuel bills mount, it becomes more and more expensive to turn a blind eye to this inefficiency.

Impact of boiler efficiency on steam generation

Consider a typical steam and condensate loop, Figure 1 shows the flow of energy through the system. The impact of a drop in boiler efficiency is seen when a drop in boiler efficiency of 10% results in a consumption increase of 16%.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

The cost of fuels has increased significantly in the recent past, but rated boiler efficiency has not. This has pushed up the steam generation costs significantly. Also, the basic costs to monitor boiler efficiency have come down recently. Both these factors have made boiler efficiency monitoring economical and beneficial, even for small capacity boilers starting at 1 TPH. Boiler efficiency monitoring has never made as much sense as it does today.

If boiler efficiency is not being measured and optimised, users stand to lose significantly on fuel costs. The clock is ticking and it has become necessary to monitor boiler efficiency on a continuous basis.

Environmental Process Analytics offers a fully comprehensive boiler efficiency monitoring and control system. The Effimax system offers touch screen technology for the instantaneous display of all parameters that impact boiler efficiency. Features include:

* Online boiler efficiency measurement with break-up of losses (as per BS845).

* Graphical analysis of boiler performance metrics.

* Boiler performance diagnostic reports with alarms.

* Web based remote performance monitoring.

For more information contact Stuart Truebody, Environmental Process Analytics, +27 (0)12 661 6656,,


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