Understanding the Industrial Boiler

by | Dec 30, 2013 | Construction and Maintenance

Boilers work hard to provide power and heat to a building. A very large boiler used to help power or heat a commercial type of building is known as an industrial boiler. Although many people understand the principle behind the use of such boilers, understanding precisely how they work can be slightly more challenging. Boilers work pretty simply.

As you can imagine, boilers use water. The water is located in the boiler itself. An industrial boiler usually runs on some sort of fuel, which could be coal, gas, or even oil. The fuel helps to heat up the boiler, which in turn heats up the water. As the water becomes hot enough, it turns into steam. This steam then travels through pipes to a destination where it can serve its purpose—whether that be to power certain types of equipment, to sterilize certain items, to heat areas of a building, or some other programmed task.

There are two main types of systems for boilers: open and closed. A closed system tends to circulate the steam back to the boiler, where it can condensate and turn back into water. In other words, the steam is recycled so that it can be used again. This is great for processes that keep the steam pure. If the steam is being used in such a way that it could possibly collect contaminants, it is more likely that an open system will be used, as it does not circulate the steam back to the boiler.

Two types of commonly used boilers are the firetube and the watertube. With a firetube boiler, the water is outside of pipes, and the fire or gas passes through the pipes to heat up the water. This is also called a shell boiler. Most boilers used today are firetube boilers.

Watertube boilers have the water pass through tubes, and the heating occurs on the outside of the tubes. These boilers usually have a few drums for separation of water and steam, as well as sludge collection. This type of boiler is generally used when the firetube type cannot produce enough power.

The industrial boiler is made up of many different types, two of which happen to be the firetube and watertube. Many people understand that boilers are important, but not really how they work. Boilers heat up water to produce and direct steam to carry out specific tasks, whether that be to sterilize or heat up an area.

Finding out the type of industrial boiler your building has can help you better understand exactly what it is used for. You might not ever take your industrial boiler for granted again.

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