How To Choose The Best Industrial Gas Steam Boiler?

The industrial gas steam boiler is an important and integral piece of equipment to generate steam for various industries and businesses. Industrial gas steam boilers are powered by natural gas or propane and are more efficient than other types of industrial boilers. Gas steam boilers can be used for industrial purposes and low pressure applications.

Gas steam boiler selection is an important step that helps in the optimisation of the overall Industry. Hence, choosing and industrial gas steam boiler is important. However, one should first understand about What is An industrial gas steam boiler, and how does gas steam boiler work? A steam boiler is a pressurized system that generates and collects steam used for heating and energy sources in Industries and commercial businesses.

EPCB Boiler is the leading industrial boiler manufacturer and supplier, we offers turn key gas steam boiler solution for a wide range applications. In this blog, let us explore how to choose best industrial gas steam boiler? We think it will help you a lot.

1. What Is An Industrial Gas Steam Boiler?

An industrial gas steam boiler is a type of boiler specifically designed for industrial applications. It is typically constructed with durable materials such as cast iron and titanium to withstand the demands of industrial use.

These gas steam boilers are powered by natural gas or propane, which is piped into the boiler from an external source. This fuel is connected directly to the boiler, providing a continuous supply for efficient combustion.

Compared to standard boilers, industrial gas steam boilers offer higher efficiency in converting fuel into usable heat. This results in reduced fuel consumption and lower operating costs.

The configuration of the gas steam boiler determines how the heat is distributed. It can be designed to generate steam for various industrial processes or to provide heat for low-pressure applications. The versatility of industrial gas steam boilers makes them suitable for a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, chemical processing, food processing, and more.

The Industrial gas steam boiler uses gas as a fuel source which contributes to lower emissions compared to other fossil fuels. This makes industrial gas steam boilers a more environmentally friendly option.

An industrial gas steam boiler is a robust and efficient boiler designed for industrial applications. It utilizes natural gas or propane as a fuel source, providing reliable heat generation for industrial processes or low pressure applications.

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2. How To Determine Types of Industrial Steam Boilers?

A steam boiler has a container, a heating source, and a valve to process water to steam using a heat source. However, Industrial boilers are different from Domestic boilers as the Industrial heating systems have different temperature and pressure outputs suitable to heat Large commercial properties. There are many industrial steam boilers, but the most commonly used are fire tube boilers and water tube boilers. Firetube boilers are Low-pressure boilers known for their easy operation and small steam capacity. They offer a cost-effective solution with a simple design and minimal maintenance. However, Water tube boilers are high-pressure boilers that operate at high power and temperature.

After the determination of Boiler type/Design needed, businesses should consider the following aspects to choose a suitable steam Boiler:

2.1 Boiler Safety

Boiler Safety is the foremost and essential factor to consider while choosing a steam boiler. As steam boilers with high or low pressures can be dangerous, one needs to be cautious while handling them. Hence, while selecting the required steam boiler, look for its safety system. A boiler with a low water content design makes a catastrophic explosion impossible.

2.2 Boiler Cost

Calculating the Cost of the boiler for the long term purpose is also essential. One should not purchase a cheap boiler and then spend more on repair and maintenance later on. Although Price is important, consider the overall cost of operation while choosing a Steam Boiler. Different factors such as rated capacity, pressure, temperature, fuel type, and run hours are crucial to selecting an efficient boiler. As Cost and efficiency go hand in hand, we should give these specifications of industrial gas steam boiler’s Performance attention.

2.3 Reliability

For a smooth business run, a steam boiler should run smoothly as well. The reliability and durability of the boiler system is another important factor. High mass boilers have thick metal used in the manufacturing of pressure vessels, leading to an increase in the boiler’s durability. Hence, industrialists should choose reliable machinery with a long lifespan.

2.4 Fuel Sources

The type of fuel needed to generate heat should consider knowing the resources available to the Industrialist. Steam boilers system uses coal, natural gas, biomass, and other energy to generate heat. Such Coal boilers are pretty costly with High emissions, whereas Biomass boilers are the most economical cheap, and readily available.

2.5 Ease of Maintenance

One needs to consider the period of maintenance an industrial gas steam boiler needs to work efficiently for an extended period. A well-maintained industrial boiler system involves suitable pressure vessels, water treatment, Tanks, and reverse osmosis systems. Hence, Look for an effective monitoring and control Boiler system with a support plan for routine maintenance issues. And Govern their upkeep and maintenance from time to time for smooth functioning.

2.6 Boiler Size

The less space an industrial gas steam boiler occupies, the better. A gas steam boiler with a low footprint is better for both space and money. Industrialists should take proper measurements before Purchasing any steam boiler. Also, they should consider the space required for maintenance as well in the overall Footprint.

2.7 Steam Boiler Emission

Due to the increase in air pollution, the atmospheric gas emission limit is an essential factor to consider. Earlier, there were limits on the region of provenance. One must choose a steam boiler to reduce harmful emissions of gases according to Thai laws & regulations.

2.8 Combustion Technology

One should look for a High turndown level while maintaining good combustion efficiency. A indutrial steam boiler’s Thermal and combustion efficiency is essential for the burner’s performance. Industrial Boilers burn coal, biomass and fluids using different combustion Technologies such as low NOx burner. Here, effective turndown measures the lowest level of fuel input and air adjustment for good combustion efficiency.

2.9 Start-Up Time

Time is Money! One needs steam in a narrow time frame. Water-tube boilers are such boilers that require less startup time and convert water into steam in a short period. Hence one should consider boilers with 5 to 20 minutes of startup time for efficient usage.

2.10 Low Heat Flux and High Heating Surface Area

A boiler heating surface area should be relatively large, leading to high boiler efficiency, low exhaust gas temperature, and fuel consumption with fully utilized heat from fuel combustion. Boilers with higher fireside surface area values indicate high heat transfer efficiency. And the wetted heating surface determines heat flux. Hence, boilers with high firesides and wetted heating surfaces are considered efficient steam boilers.

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3. How To Choose The Best Industrial Gas Steam Boiler?

In order to be able to choose from among the various industrial steam boilers available, one must first understand how they’re built and how they work. Industrial gas steam boilers are generally made up of 2 main components: the burner and the boiler body. The industrial boiler body itself is made up of a combustion chamber and tube bundles, which follow various pathways depending on the applications. Depending on whether combustion flue gas or water flows through these tube bundles, the unit is classified as either a fire tube or water tube steam boiler.In addition to these two categories, there are also many others, which even include smaller products for domestic use.

This article will discuss gas steam boilers for industrial use, which are extensively used for a wide range of applications in production lines all around the world.
In an effort to provide more specific numerical indications, we have examined various cases in which fire tube steam boilers are utilized, given their widespread use throughout the industrial world.

As previously mentioned, steam boilers are comprised of a burner and a boiler body.

The burner is inserted into the combustion chamber and controls the flame, where hot flue gas travels through the boiler body’s tube bundles to heat the surrounding water.

The pathways of the tube bundles vary depending on the application, providing different performance levels. Now then, let’s take a look at the main parameters to take into consideration when choosing an industrial gas steam boiler.

The most important are the following:

  1. Steam flow rate and maximum available pressure;
  2. Efficiency, in terms of electricity and natural gas consumption;
  3. System emissions;
  4. Daily management and maintenance;
  5. Water treatment.
EPCB industrial gas steam boiler solution ODM

3.1 Steam Flow Rate And Maximum Available Pressure:

Let’s begin with the most simple and trivial technical characteristics. Based on your production plant needs, you will likely have already determined its daily steam requirements in terms of both pressure and flow rate. 

Starting with these values, and adding a safety margin (20-30% is recommended), we can obtain the necessary flow rate and pressure values. Each industrial gas steam boiler model taken into consideration must comply with these parameters. The calculation of the pressure values and flow rates required of the steam boiler becomes increasingly crucial as the system’s complexity increases.

In fact, while the steam flow rate and pressure value calculation are rather simple for a small dairy that only uses steam for pasteurization, it becomes more complex when other needs have to be met, like heating ovens, humidification, and system sterilization.

3.2 Steam Boiler Consumption:

Together with the initial cost of a new system, it’s operating and maintenance costs are certainly the second most important aspect.In order to clarify what this means, we studied a number of our steam boilers used by different companies for various applications over the course of 10 years.

We added up all the costs incurred over that 10-year period for the initial purchase, installation, natural gas and electricity consumption, and maintenance interventions.

The analysis showed that the industrial gas steam boiler’s initial cost was less than 10% of the entire cost of the system (a figure that grew progressively smaller the longer the system was in service).The majority of the costs were due to natural gas and electricity consumption and maintenance.This reveals why it is so important to decrease these cost items as much as possible.

Let’s begin with the largest items, or rather the cost of natural gas and electricity.
In order to estimate electricity consumption, it is necessary to analyze the installed power, normally expressed in kilowatts (KW), and to multiply it by the estimated time of use, and, finally, the average cost per kW/h.This would be the case if we were to hypothesize the boiler’s constant use at maximum power, so the data must then be broken down based on the industrial gas steam boiler’s actual everyday use.

When calculating natural gas consumption, on the other hand, it is best to start with the desired steam output, for example, 1 ton per hour. Knowing the boiler’s efficiency and the heat needed to bring the water to a temperature of 80 degrees with steam at 10 bar, we can calculate the total amount of heat necessary, and therefore the amount of gas necessary.As you can see from the simplified formula, the industrial gas steam boiler’s efficiency plays a fundamental role.

For the sake of simplicity, we have calculated the volume of natural gas necessary hypothesizing the industrial gas steam boiler’s use at 100%.However, steam boilers often operate at variable outputs, depending on the load required.

The efficiency values shown on the technical data sheets refer to maximum load conditions, but they change progressively based on the output dispensed.

The daily and seasonal load conditions must, therefore, be taken into consideration when evaluating the industrial gas steam boiler’s efficiency.

If the steam requirements vary significantly within the span of 24h, it becomes important to have a modulating burner capable of adapting to the various conditions, while at the same time maintaining good efficiency.

In short: Electricity and natural gas consumption are two important cost items.
For each of these two items, calculate how much the new system can make you save, and how. Afterward, compare the data of the various manufacturers, and choose the model that guarantees you the best operating conditions, and therefore savings, for your daily use.

3.3 Steam Boiler Emissions:

A third aspect that’s becoming increasingly important is atmospheric gas emission limits. Much like cars, industrial gas steam boilers are also subject to increasingly strict regulations in terms of emissions. And in this case, as well, the problematic gas types are nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The limits, which were previously broken down based on the region of provenance, have now been unified under a single nationwide limit of 100 mg/Nm^3. This limit only refers to industrial thermal systems and does not retroactively apply to previously installed industrial gas steam boilers. While this is the Italian limit, it should be kept in mind that various countries around the world have even more restrictive limitations due to the harmfulness of these gases. California and China, for example, will impose maximum limits of 25-30 mg/Nm^3 in the coming years. The limits that China and California have imposed upon themselves are derived from the technologies currently available on the market.

Given the industrial gas steam boiler present on the market, anyone looking for a new industrial gas steam boiler should certainly take emissions into account, in order to protect the environment as much as possible.

3.4 Daily Management and Maintenance:

Once the boiler has been chosen and installed, the “problem” of its daily management arises. As you certainly already know, steam boilers are pressurized machines that require constant supervision.This supervision must be provided by an operator who has received specialized training on the boiler’s management.
One way to decrease the operator’s workload is to have the boiler certified for continuous unsupervised operation for 72h.

Another way to simplify the daily management of a heating plant room is through the use of connectivity.

In fact, many industrial boilers are equipped with numerous sensors to monitor their performance parameters, and these can be sent to a remote server via an Internet connection, where they can be independently viewed by the system’s manager.

If this aspect is combined with the possibility of controlling these parameters remotely, the time required for daily management decreases even further.
But in addition to the boiler’s daily management, maintenance must also be taken into consideration.

And while it’s difficult to come up with a precise estimate of the maintenance costs, you can, however, get a general idea.

For example, some companies offer ordinary service contracts for new boilers, while other local service centers offer practical spare parts kits to be kept on hand.
It is also recommended to check the origins of any pumps, sensors, and valves, and to only choose those from reliable and well-known manufacturers.

In terms of both ordinary management and maintenance, having an electronic control system connected to the Internet certainly facilitates work activities.
Once again, be sure to check that the new boiler is connected to the Internet and that the manufacturer can even provide support remotely by directly accessing the boiler’s controls.

This facilitates the interactions between the 2 parties’ technicians and limits the intervention time necessary to resolve any problems.

3.5 Water Treatment

The last important aspect is the treatment of industrial gas steam boiler water.
In fact, it’s important to continuously monitor the water’s parameters and to ensure that they are consistent with those required by the manufacturer. The water must be devoid of salinity to avoid scale build-ups, dissolved gases to eliminate the risk of corrosion, and organic substances to prevent the formation of foam and deposits.

The less salinity and dissolved gases present in the water, the longer the industrial gas steam boiler will remain in function and the less maintenance will be required. Every steam boiler manufacturer installs different water filtering and blowdown systems.

Specific information must be requested in this regard during the purchasing phase in order to ensure that these systems constantly monitor the water, prevent needless waste, and, if possible, are connected to the Internet.

Waste is most likely to occur via the blowdown systems. In fact, these systems eliminate the water from the industrial gas steam boiler body in order to allow any salt deposits on the surfaces and the bottom to be removed. In doing so, the blowdown systems discharge numerous liters of water that have already been treated and, above all, has already been heated.

This naturally has an impact on the industrial gas steam boiler system’s overall efficiency.

It is therefore recommended to check the types of blowdown systems that are utilized and the amount of water that is eliminated every day in order to determine which industrial gas steam boiler system wastes the least.

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4. Conclusion

In this article, we examined the most important parameters to be taken into consideration when purchasing a new industrial gas steam boiler.
Let’s go over them once again briefly.

It is first necessary to evaluate the production system’s daily and seasonal requirements in terms of both steam flow rate and pressure.

In order to improve the system efficiency, it is necessary to calculate requirement curves that are as accurate as possible.

The most suitable industrial gas steam boiler can be chosen based on the trends.
When choosing an industrial steam boiler, it is important to keep in mind that the initial investment (purchase cost) only represents a small portion of the overall costs that will be incurred throughout its lifetime.

In fact, the greatest savings can be obtained by taking the entire lifespan of an industrial gas steam boiler into account.

In the end, the best efficiency and savings can be obtained by considering the electricity and natural gas consumption parameters, as well as the daily management and maintenance costs.

While a certain system, valve, water pump, or burner may seem somewhat costly, it could provide slightly better efficiency, which, over the long term,  you operational costs.

Thank you for reading.

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