What are the best return-on-investment enhancements that can be made to our boilers?
We typically think in terms of net present value, as a boiler's life is much longer than the period it takes to return on money spent to enhance operations. We typically see that changing from parallel positioning to cross limited combustion control strategies, economizer installation, and improving turn down ratios provides the highest returns and best net present value.
Do we need to re-certify our boiler if we change anything?
Not necessarily. A controls change out typically will not require any sort of re-certification process unless the valve train is opened, but check with your individual insurance carrier.
Why should we care about stack analytical information?
Dollars going up the stack!! For every 1.5% excess oxygen in emissions is as much as 1% additional fuel cost. For every 0.2% excess CO in emissions is as much as 1% additional fuel cost. If stack emissions are properly analyzed, and the controls can react and adjust for this variability, significant fuel savings can be demonstrated.
Synergy talks a lot about boiler controls retrofit, how long does it take to complete?
Typical projects working a single shift can be ready for light off and boiler tuning in under a week. This can be improved should client's production demands require shortened outage times, but we will not sacrifice safety for speed.
My loads have been decreasing over the years, and now my plant is constantly venting steam. What is turn down ratio, and how can that be improved?
Turn down ratio is the lowest possible safe firing rate that a specific boiler can fire. Synergy can make gains on turn down ratio by installing a variable frequency drive on the combustion air fans thereby removing the existing dampers, removing jack shaft (parallel positioning) controls, and potential replace the burner.
What can I do to improve turn down ratio without replacing the burner?
Our clients have seen significant turn down improvements by implementing variable frequency drives on combustion air fans, and implementing cross limited combustion control logic and removing the jack shaft / parallel positioning control strategy.
Should I replace the fuel valve train?
Depending on the age of the boiler, fuel train replacement can be a worthy investment. Our new valve trains conform to the current revision of NFPA 85, which ensures the safest possible operation; however valve trains are a costly investment and depending on factors of age, condition, and instrumentation upgrading parts can improve safety and reliability.
What about redundancy at the controls level?
Synergy offers three different levels of control solutions that meet your unique needs: first level is a simplex controller, second level is a redundant controller arrangement, and lastly we have a SIL2 safety rated solution. Level of redundancy is typically driven by boiler size and requirements of insurance carrier.
What is so important about drum level control?
The level maintained within the drum will impact all aspects of the boiler's performance. The amount of water in the drum impacts heat load and steam production. There is a need to maintain this level as stable as possible to keep steam production meeting the changing demands and eliminate any thermal shock to the boiler. Synergy utilizes three-element control, an industry standard, but our enhanced human machine interface makes this complex control strategy easy for operators to understand and interact, which is a common deficiency of three element control that has been installed throughout industry.
When is it time for a new boiler altogether?
Synergy works with our clients to evaluate the current boiler conditions and examines both retrofit options versus purchase of a new replacement boiler. Together, should we find that replacement a more financially responsible solution, we are the local partner of Babcock and Wilcox package boilers and will work to specify the right boiler that meets your needs and manage the entire project on your behalf.
Why upgrade the burner management system?
Technologies are available to give the boiler operators more information regarding trip conditions and get to the root cause of a boiler trip. Additionally, automatic controls can reduce the number of nuisance trips.
How do I get started?
Synergy would be happy to evaluate your current boiler operations and installation. Our combustion engineers are anxious to understand what your pain points are within your utility plant and how we can eliminate those problems. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation walk through.
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