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Minimizing Boiler Short Cycling: Lessons from WARE

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  • 2/19/2015 |
  • 10:00 am
Minimizing Boiler Short Cycling: Lessons from WARE
Ware's recent newsletter gives their readers a tip to save thousands of dollars!





A boiler cycle includes a firing interval, a post-purge, an idle period, a pre-purge and a return to firing. Boiler short cycling takes place when an oversized boiler quickly fulfills process or space heating demands and then shuts down until heat is required again.





Boiler efficiency can be calculated over the cycle duration by taking the useful heat provided by the boiler and dividing it by the useful heat plus losses. Boiler efficiency is reduced when short cycling occurs or when several boilers are operating at low firing rates.







Boilers can be too large for the required processes for several reasons. It could be that process heating demands fluctuate over time or additional capacity was added to restart a facility quickly after being closed overnight. Boilers may have been installed based on plans for additions and expansions to a facility that never happened. In addition, concessions may not have been made for heat contributions from other sources such as lights and equipment.





If a facility has installed energy conservation or is employing heat recovery methods, the heat demand can be reduced and therefore a facility could have multiple boilers operating at several times the maximum expected capacity.





Suggestions:

Determine the efficiency and operating cost of each boiler

Adopt a control strategy for maximizing boiler operations

Avoid short cycling by purchasing a burner with a high turndown ratio or by adding a small boiler to the boilerhouse to provide better flexibility and high efficiency at all loads





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