How Do Steam Boilers Work?


Nov 15, 2017

What Does A Boiler Do?

A steam boiler is a type of heat exchange system where water is heated to its’ boiling point via combustion of a fuel blown through a tube submerged in water. The heat produced in this system is then rejected into the system as steam. This steam flows through pipe systems to the equipment that is being heated, whether it be hot water coils in air handling units, or other water heating equipment.

Steam boilers are often used in applications such as comfort heating, maintaining industrial process temperatures, and many other applications.

 

How Does A Boiler Work?

A steam boiler operates through a combustion reaction between fuel and air, which ignites a flame into tubes that are submerged in water. The heat from this combustion is then transferred from the tube to the water in which the tubes are submerged. The water is then evaporated into steam. This steam is then taken into piping to be used in the specific heating application.

After the heat from that steam is taken and transferred into the process needing heat, the steam condenses back into water as condensate. This can be collected and returned to the boiler to be used through a condensate return line. This saves the amount of needed make-up water, as well as needed chemicals since the condensate has evaporated away dissolved solids.

 

Why Do I Need Water Treatment In A Boiler?

 In order to maintain an efficiently operating boiler, proper chemical water treatment is important. This is because of the naturally dissolved solids that exist in the make-up water, which can cause scale or corrosion.

A thin layer of scale in the boiler can dramatically decrease the efficiency of the heat transfer process, driving up fuel costs. Keeping dissolved solid concentrations below the threshold solubility of the water allows for maximum use of the water, without the problem of scale.

This can be achieved through a proper boiler blowdown procedure, and boiler water treatment through chemical inhibitors to reduce risks of scale and corrosion.

For more about chemical water treatment in boilers, contact us at Chardon today!