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Understanding Industrial Boilers & Burners

Understanding Industrial Boilers & Burners

Industrial processes require highly specialised equipment to ensure a number of important factors in the working environment. From keeping plants under proper humidity control, providing heating, offering power and energy, right through to cooling and cleaning.

Each of these factors needs to be carefully seen to if plants are to ensure the quality of their products, the efficiency and economy of the business as a whole, and even the safety of the immediate working environment.

For a great many of these concerns, there is a need for high-quality industrial burners and boilers that can meet these basic functions with reliability. This, of course, means that plant and factory owners need to have an understanding of these systems, what they do, how they work, as well as what their advantages and disadvantages are.

To help you get a better understanding of these critical components, let’s explore both burners and boilers in a little more detail.

We will do this by taking a closer look at what they are, how they work, how they are used in an industrial setting, as well as their various advantages and drawbacks when put to work in your facility.

So, let’s get started by taking a look at what burners and boilers are:

What are Industrial Burners and Boilers?

The terms ‘boilers’ and ‘burners’ are often mistakenly used interchangeably, however, these two pieces of equipment are used for different functions, despite their similarities. So let’s take a moment here to explore the key similarities and differences between industrial burners and boilers.

Industrial Boilers?

Industrial boilers are always closed vessels since they need to keep their internal fluids properly encased in order to be effective.

Fluid inside of boilers is heated, though not necessarily boiled (depending on your needs for a boiler). Once it has been heated or vaporised, this fluid will then exit the boiler from where it can be used for a fairly wide range of industrial processes; ranging from heating and cooling to sanitation and humidity control.

To meet these ends, there are two main types of boilers that you can use; fire-tube boilers and water-tube boilers.

They are also classified according to the types of pressure they work under, as well as whether they produce steam or heated fluids.

Industrial Burners?

Industrial burners, on the other hand, are typically used to create and maintain a stable flame. They do this by mixing oxygen and gas through a hollow metal disk that has holes punctured in its perimeter. The mixture can be made up of either propane gas or from natural gas.

The gas and oxygen mixture can be turned up and down to achieve higher or lower heat settings for the flame, by increasing or decreasing the output flow of the combustible mixture to adjust the size of the flame.

For those looking to invest in this sort of equipment, it is important to know that there are many different types of industrial burners:

These are pressure jet, spill type pressure jet, variable orifice pressure jet, spinning cup, steam-assisted and ultrasonic burners.

The type that you choose to opt for will depend on the needs and challenges of your industrial environment, and so they are often best chosen under the advice of a professional supplier.

How Are They Used in Industry?

With a basic understanding of both industrial boilers and heaters out of the way, you may already be wondering how these types of equipment are used during various industrial processes.

We have already touched on how they are used to heat and cool environments, produce power (generally through steam and heat) for a number of industrial tools, how they are used to control levels of humidity in industrial environments, and how they are even used directly as a part of a number of industrial processes.

Of course, the differences between industrial burners and boilers means that they serve very different purposes in industry. So, let’s explore each in a little more detail here:

Industrial Boilers

Industrial boilers are associated with providing steam for heating and humidity control in a number of industrial processes. The number of functions that this leads to is extensive, so let’s concentrate on some of the most common uses for boilers:

Generating Hot Water for Sanitation

It is no secret that one of the most effective cleaning agents is simply heating. Most bacteria can withstand temperatures below 60°C.

This is a particular point of interest for industrial processes that require careful control of facility hygiene (such as in food and chemical processing), where chemicals cannot be used for sanitation purposes, as they may lead to contaminants ruining the quality of the final product.

In such cases, boilers are used extensively to produce temperatures that can effectively combat bacteria within an industrial environment.

Generating Heat for Facilities

Boilers are often used to fulfil the very basic function of simply heating spaces, particularly when paired with fluid control systems that allow this heat to be transferred throughout a facility.

In such instances, hot water or even steam will be generated within the boiler and distributed throughout the facility using connected pipes that are insulated to reduce heat loss, allowing the heat to be passed through the facility effectively, and at far less of a cost when compared to using electronic heating apparatus.

Powering Machinery with Steam

Much of the machinery used inside of industrial processes require heat and steam for power, which is not only effective and efficient, but also works out much cheaper than using the power grid to operate such machinery.

Things like hydraulic presses, turbines, guillotines, and many other types of pressurised equipment require steam for power, and industrial boilers supply it amicably.

Industrial Burners

With these primary functions for boilers out of the way, let’s turn our attention to the functions that industrial burners offer to industrial processes, to see what makes them a staple across a number of industries:

Industrial burners provide facilities with the means to create an open, though controlled flame for a range of applications. This could be for simple heating, generating steam or supplying thermal energy, or for being applied to a number of manufacturing processes.

This could be for metal fabrication, providing initial heat to boiler systems, glass blowing, welding, heating fluids, instigating chemical reactions, metal melting, recycling and much, much more.

Wherever there is a need for heat or fire during an industrial process, industrial burners are able to provide; making their list of applications substantial and diverse.

How do They Work?

Now that we know what they are and how they work, let’s take a moment to explore how industrial burners and boilers actually work.

While they do come in different types meant for varying capacities and applications, both burners and boilers each work off of a base set of principles that are slightly adapted depending on their uses and functions.

We will take a closer look at these basic functions here:

Industrial Boilers

Much like in burners (which we will discuss below), industrial boilers operate by reacting to a mixture of fuel and air. This creates a controllable flame that is encased inside of a tube.

This tube is submerged in water in the tank, and will gradually heat the water up through thermal transfer.

In most cases, the water inside of the tank is heated past boiling point so that it can generate steam through evaporation.

This steam then exits the boiler through an attached system of pipes, so that it can be distributed throughout the facility, into areas where it needs to be used for a multitude of processes.

This steam also has the effect of creating pressure within the system, which can also be used to power a variety of specialised tools.

Industrial Burners

As their most basic functions, burners are the tools used to mix fuel and oxygen (as described above) in order to create a combusting reaction that produces a controlled flame and heat-release pattern.

This gives operators fingertip control over the temperatures produced by the burner within a combustion chamber so that it suits the exact needs of the facility using it.

The Benefits of Each:

With an understanding of their basic workings, function and applications, you are no doubt wondering how your facility can benefit from using industrial burners and boilers. Each comes with a wide range of advantages that add value to your facility in one way or another.

So, let’s take a closer look at the advantages offered by each:

Industrial Boilers

Industrial boilers offer a range of advantages to different industries including the healthcare sector, to universities, food and beverage industries, to laundromats, and even the textile industries, to name a few.

Most notably is the cost-effectiveness of these solutions when heating entire facilities, since they operate more efficiently than most other heating solutions. This is because they draw little to no power when creating heat, thanks to their mixed-use of oxygen and fuel.

They also allow you to distribute heat evenly throughout an entire facility with absolute control, allowing you to take a turn-key approach to temperature and humidity control in a facility.

They also operate noiselessly, offer exceptional zone control for temperatures, cost less to run than forced air systems, and require very little maintenance during their use; resulting in further long-term cost savings for your facility.

Industrial Burners

Industrial burners of (just about) all types offer a number of unique advantages to the facilities they are used in. Their first advantage, which we have touched on above, is that they offer exceptional control over the levels of heat produced since they are adjustable in terms of the type and level of combustion produced.

On top of that, they are positively noted for their performance levels due to the fact that they are able to rapidly produce heat and power when compared to other heating solutions.

In addition to the abovementioned advantages, industrial burners are also highly cost-effective.

This is because they require very little long-term maintenance, allow for more efficient production processes (and time is money after all), and benefit from the affordability of natural gases and fuels as opposed to the cost of heating devices that make use of the electrical grid.

The Drawbacks of Each:

Of course, with any specialised solution, it isn’t all cost-savings and effectiveness, there are one or two drawbacks to both industrial burners and boilers that you should be aware of it you are to use them effectively and safely.

Industrial Boilers

For boilers to be effective they need to be attached to the appropriate fluid and steam distribution systems. This means that investing in a boiler by itself, isn’t enough, and you will have to look at which attachments and systems you need to get along with them.

Replacing parts on boilers can be expensive as well, and while you won’t need to do it frequently, the harsh conditions they work under does mean that the time will come when you need to conduct these expensive repairs or replacements.

Industrial Burners

Burners are characterised by much of the same disadvantages presented by boilers, in that they are typically used within a larger system for heat control.

Additionally, replacements and repairs can be fairly expensive (though infrequent), which is something that industrial facilities need to be prepared for if they wish to avoid any unnecessary downtime.

Contact Combustion & heating Systems for Details on Our Offers

Are you looking for the perfect supplier of industrial burners and boilers for your needs and facility? Be sure to get into contact with a representative from Combustion & Heating Systems today, or visit our website for additional information on our offers.

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