What is a Boiler?
Most commonly, the boiler is defined as a closed vessel into which water is heated the point it is converted into steam at the imperative pressure. The boiler function is either to produce hot water or steam. Hot water boiler heats water for the domestic or commercial purpose heating and hot water supply. Steam boilers generate steam to power turbines for power generation and other various industrial heating applications.
To visualize the steam generation effects using a boiler, think about the steam powering a turbine. When the steam flows via the turbine blades, the force turns the blades and accelerates the turbine.
Steam has an enormous amount of energy, and so that it makes the turbine quite efficient and based on the fuel used to boil the water, quite energy-efficient too. Boilers work under pressure to heat any liquid types for external use by the combustion of fossil fuels.
Parts of Boiler
The boiler parts or boiler components are classified into two divisions, which are given below.
These are the essential parts that define the boiler’s performance. The main components of boiler include:
Pressure Gauge: This gauge type is used to measure the pressure inside the boiler, fitted at the boiler’s front
Water Level Indicator: This is the one, used to check the inside water level of a boiler, fitted in the front of the boiler having a glass tube and three cocks and
Stop Valve: Using this, we can control the flow of steam from the boiler to the steam pipe
Safety Valve: This valve is fitted on the drum, which is used to prevent the boiler explosion due to high pressure, which blows off when the inside pressure exceeds the limit. Always, these are present two in number
Blow Off Cock: This cock is used to blow off water and mud, and is used to empty the boiler. It is fitted at the bottom of the drum
Grate: It is nothing but space in the furnace used for fuel-burning
Feed Check Valve: This valve is used as a Non-Return Valve, and is fitted on the drum slightly below the normal water level. It is used to regulate the water supply.
These parts are responsible for boiler efficiency. The main components of boiler include:
Super Heater: This heater is used to superheat the steam before it is passed in the turbine as saturated steam that causes corrosion
Feed Pump: We use this to pump the water into the continuous boiler working. Steam or electricity or turbine is used for the feed pump running
Air Preheater: This component is also used to increase the boiler’s efficiency by preheating the air
Economizer: It is used to increase the boiler’s efficiency as the flue gases from the boiler is prepared to flow through the economizer before releasing it to the atmosphere
Working Principle of a Boiler
It is simple to understand the boiler working. To understand it, let us have a look on it.
The boiler is a closed vessel, where the water is stored. Hot gases are formed by burning fuel in the furnace. These gases are made to come in contact with the water vessel, the point where the heat transfer takes place between the steam and water. Thus, the boiler’s basic principle is to convert water into steam with heat energy. There are various types of boilers available to use for different purposes.
Efficiency of Boiler
It is defined as the total percentage of heat exported by the outlet steam to the total supplied fuel.
Boiler Efficiency (%) = (Heat Exported by Outlet Steam) / (Heat Supplied by the Fuel) * 100
Classification of Boiler
Boiler’s classification is based on the following criteria:
According to the Relative Passage of Hot Gases and Water
Fire-Tube Boiler: This is the one where the hot combustion gases are surrounded by the water
Water-Tube Boiler: In this, the water flows via the tubes, surrounded by hot combustion gases
According to the Arrangement of Water Circulation
According to the Usage
Locomotive: Used in the railway engines
Marine Boiler: Used in ships
Stationary Boiler: Used for power plants
Portable Boiler: These are used temporarily in sites and are movable
According to the Boiler’s Position
According to the Pressure Generated by the Steam
Medium Pressure Boiler: The maximum pressure is of 20-80 bars and is used to generate power
Sub-Critical Boiler: If the boiler produces steam at a pressure less than the critical pressure it is called sub-critical
Low-Pressure Boiler: The maximum pressure is of 15-20 bar and is used for the purpose of heating
High-Pressure Boiler: This boiler has a maximum pressure of more than 80 bars
Supercritical Boiler: These are used to produce steam at a pressure greater than the critical pressure
According to Charge in the Furnace