boiler efficiency & accidents

i’ve been doin research on boiler efficiency since this is one of d major areas where industrial companies can save a lot of money while minimizing their organization’s global warming potential. bad emissions is a sign of money being burnt….w/ dcost of fossil fuel continuously being volatile, making a boiler work efficiently should be d standard….fuel efficiency is not only bout money savings but also bout safety….an inefficient boiler means trouble….big trouble…it’s like dealing w/ a pressure cooker in d kitchen, it’s very dangerous when u don’t deal w/it properly.

at d start of this holly week, a heat exchanger tank of a boiler system exploded in a styrofoam factory in bulacan province. according 2d news, der wer almost a dozen pple killed in d accident.

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many companies are converting their boilers 2utilize biomass just like this styrofoam factory, i.e. dey’r using rice husks as fuel 4d boiler. biomass boiler owners should be particularly carefull bout d fireside since soot accumulation is inevitable….soot in d fireside of a firetube boiler means less heat transfer so more fuel is needed 2burn 2heat d same amount f water. accordingly: ‘soot has five times the insulating value of asbestos. allowing it to accumulate in boiler firetubes wastes fuel-a 3/16″ accumulation in the firetubes will waste more than 20% of the boilers’ fuel.’

in d waterside, water scale, lime & rust accumulate n have a significant impact on heat transfer….more scales means more fuel needed…

therefore, bad boiler maintenance means bad air emissions, inefficient heat transfer, more fuel being burnt…and most of all….it can be an accident waiting 2happen….

when companies loose 10 million pesos (not including d cost of lost lives) like this styrofoam factory….dey will no longer think bout d cost-benefit-analysis of preventive maintenance….an efficient boiler is not only bad for d company’s bottomline in d short-term (due 2expenses 2b incurred) but also good 4d environment as well as d safety & health of d workers in d long-run….

if d styrofoam company can prove dat dey have a working boiler efficiency program  (bep)….i can only agree dat wat happened is really an accident…

if companies can calculate how much savings is d 20% of deir million peso fuel expenses & d cost savings in preventing an accident….it will den be a no-brainer 2implement a bep…..

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4 Comments

  1. Keith Knapp said,

    May 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Eric,
    You speak well about boiler cleanliness and how it is a major contributing factor to overall boiler efficiency. Soot accumulations on the fire side and scale deposits on the water side can both significantly reduce heat transfer efficiency. As you point out here, reduced boiler efficiency leads to increased fuel usage, increased maintenance cost and increased emmissions.
    A poorly maintained boiler is not only bad for the environment, it is also bad for the company’s profitability and so in it’s own small way is a contributing factor to the overall economy.
    Keep up the good work by informing more people of the long ranging effects that boiler efficiency can have with regard to the cost of doing business both economically and environmentally
    Keith

    • Eric Raymundo said,

      May 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm

      Sir Keith,

      Tnx 4d nice comment. Feel free 2hare ur experiences regarding boiler efficiency….hopefully we can talk more bout this topic here in d near future…

  2. Eric Raymundo said,

    April 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    sir arief,

    tnx 4a very nice comment, my good old classmate from indonesia. we can’t physically collaborate as of d moment due2 distance constraint. but nevertheless, we can exchange ideas. hope u can share some of ur enviro-friendly activities in ur place of work….

    nice 2hear fr u again….after all tis yrs….

  3. Arief Wibowo said,

    April 12, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Hallo Bro.. Eric! Long time no c u! After following and tracing u through CPT3 milist and this blog, I am very proud of u that u are consistently maintain ur idealism. Not only talk, but also action…. You give us all the good example.

    Right now, I am working in food industry. I am interested in OHSE, cleaner production, GMP, etc. Your blog is a good medium for sharing ideas.

    Good job, Eric!
    Arief Wibowo


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