Ultimate Guide To Most Common Two Types of Steam Boilers

From large industrial production, and home heating systems to small water heaters, there are most common two types of steam boilers used for centuries to provide steam heating and hot water. At a glance, it may seem that all types of steam boilers are more or less the same, but the truth is that steam systems can be very different from each other. In terms of structural layout, fuel, use, working pressure, etc., there are many differences. Different types of steam boilers need to be selected according to different application scenarios. So what are the types of steam boilers, and what are the two types of steam boilers most commonly used? In this blog, let’s delve into the questions in our minds from the following aspects:

  • What Is A steam boiler?
  • What Are The Types of steam boilers?
  • What Are The Most Common Two Types of Steam Boilers?
  • What Are The Practical Applications of The Two Most Common Types of Steam Boilers?

As an ODM/OEM steam boiler manufacturer and exporter, EPCB Boiler has many years of research experience in steam boilers. We will introduce and objectively evaluate the two most common types of steam boilers from the definition, types, and characteristics of steam boilers.

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1. What Is A Steam Boiler?

1.1 Definition

A steam boiler is a device used to create steam by applying heat energy to water. This heat energy can come from various sources such as burning fossil fuels, biomass, or even solar energy. Steam boilers are widely used in industries and households for various purposes.

EPCB steam boilers mainly serve the industry. Focusing on the desire to enhance users to save energy and enhance the competitiveness of enterprises, we provide users with more high-yield industrial boilers and related product solutions.

1.2 The Working Principle of the Steam Boilers

The working principle of a steam boiler is based on the concept of thermodynamics. When heat energy is applied to water, it undergoes a phase change from a liquid state to a gaseous state, forming steam. This process occurs in a closed vessel known as the boiler. The heat energy is transferred to the water through conduction, convection, and radiation. The steam produced is then used for various applications.EPCB steam boilers are used in a wide range of industries, including food, textiles, biotechnology, power generation, services, and many others.

1.3 A Short History of Steam Boilers

The earliest known example of a steam boiler can be traced back to ancient Greece, where a device called an “aeolipile” was invented by Hero of Alexandria in the 1st century AD. This device used steam to rotate a sphere, demonstrating the power of steam. One of the most significant advancements in steam boiler technology occurred during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this period, steam power became a driving force behind the rapid industrialization and technological advancements. 

EPCB Boilers specializes in the design and production of steam boilers and pressure vessels with 70+ years of experience. Over the past 70 years, EPCB boilers have been continuously developed and improved to save fuel and promote the sustainable development of society.

2. What Are The Types of Steam Boilers?

There are many types of steam boilers, and different types of steam boilers are configured according to different application scenarios. Steam boilers can be classified from different perspectives, and the following are several common classification methods.

2.1 Classification According to Boiler Structure

Fire tube boiler: The combustion chamber is connected to the boiler barrel, and the gas is heat transferred to the water supply through the fire tube.

Water tube boiler: the combustion chamber is separated from the cylinder, and the flue gas is transferred to the water supply through the water pipe.

Shell and tube boiler: composed of a combustion chamber, a boiler barrel, and a flue gas tube shell, in which the flue gas transmits heat to the water supply.

2.2 Classification by Boiler Application

Industrial boilers: used for steam supply in industrial production processes, such as chemical, textile, food processing, etc.

Power generation boiler: Steam generation unit used in power plants to produce high temperature and high pressure steam to drive steam turbines to generate electricity.

HVAC boiler: Hot water or steam supply for heating systems.

2.3 Classification According To Boiler Working Pressure:

Low-pressure boiler: the working pressure is less than 1.6MPa.

Medium pressure boiler: the working pressure is between 1.6-4.0MPa.

High-pressure boiler: the working pressure is between 4.0-9.8MPa.

Ultra-high pressure boiler: the working pressure exceeds 9.8MPa.

2.4 Classification By Boiler Fuel

Coal fired boiler: A boiler that uses coal as fuel.

Oil fired boiler: A boiler fueled by petroleum or heavy oil.

Gas fired boiler: A boiler fueled by natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas.

Biomass fired boiler: a boiler fueled by biomass particles, straw, etc.

3. What are The Most Common Two Types of Steam Boilers?

From different perspectives and different application scenarios, the two most common types of steam boilers are also different. On the whole, fire tube boilers and water tube boilers are the two types of steam boilers most commonly used.

3.1 Fire Tube Boilers

Fire tube boilers are the most common type of steam boiler, known for their simplicity and ease of maintenance. In a fire tube boiler, the hot gases produced by the combustion of fuel pass through tubes that are surrounded by water. The heat from the gases is transferred to the water, which is then converted into steam. Threaded smoke pipes are used as flue gas flow channels for EPCB boilers to make the flue gas turbulent and heat transfer better.
One of the key advantages of fire tube boilers is their compact design, making them ideal for small to medium-sized applications. They are also relatively inexpensive to install and operate.

3.2 Water Tube Boilers

Water tube boilers are another common type of steam boiler, known for their high efficiency and ability to handle high pressures. In a water tube boiler, water flows through tubes that are heated by hot gases produced by the combustion of fuel. The heat from the gases is transferred to the water, which is then converted into steam.

Water tube boilers are preferred for applications that require high steam pressures or large steam capacities, such as power generation plants or industrial processes. They are also more efficient than fire tube boilers, as they can achieve higher steam temperatures and pressures. SZL are two common types of water tube steam boilers for EPCB boilers, and they are very efficient in producing steam.

Fire tube boilers and water tube boilers are the two most common types of steam boilers used in various industries. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of the application. Both types of boilers play a crucial role in providing a reliable source of steam for heating, power generation, and other industrial processes.

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4. What Are The Practical Applications of the Two most Common Types of Steam Boilers?

4.1 Fire Tube Boilers

Heating buildings and providing hot water for domestic use: Fire tube boilers are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings to provide heat and hot water for heating purposes.
Power generation: Fire tube boilers are also used in power plants to generate steam for electricity production.
Of course, the practical application of fire tube boilers is not limited to the above two types. The typical representative of the fire tube boiler in the EPCB boilers is the WNS boiler, which is also a fuel oil or gas boiler. It has strong adaptability to different fuels and can burn heavy oil, light oil, natural gas and city gas. It has the characteristics of high combustion efficiency, safety and stability, space saving, fuel saving, large load adjustment ratio, and so on. The boiler adopts fully automatic control and has good adaptability to the burner.

4.2 Water Tube Boilers

Industrial processes: Water tube boilers are commonly used in various industrial processes such as chemical manufacturing, food processing, and textile production where high-pressure steam is required for heating, sterilizing, or drying materials.
Power generation: Water tube boilers are also used in power plants for electricity generation as they can produce high-pressure steam efficiently.
Water tube boilers are also widely used in industrial production, so they are one of the most common types of steam boilers.SZL boiler is a typical representative of EPCB boilers full water tube boiler, it has low water quality requirements, convenient cleaning of each heating surface, efficient operation, high safety, fuel (coal) adaptability, and other characteristics.

Overall, both types of steam boilers are essential for various applications in industries, buildings, and power generation, providing a reliable source of steam for heating, processing, and power production.

the types of steam boilers

5. Conclusion

The two most common types of steam boilers, each have their own characteristics. The fire tube boiler is suitable for small industrial production and is easy to operate. Water tube boiler is suitable for large-scale industrial production, and the heat transfer efficiency is high. When choosing a steam boiler, it is necessary to determine which type of steam boiler to use according to the production scale and demand in order to improve production efficiency and reduce costs. EPCB boilers through social resource supply chain integration, customer application scenario ingest research and check to find the best solution and implementation, to create wealth for customers while contributing to society, for users and rapid projection capabilities, technological transformation, and research and development capabilities to achieve the vision.

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