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A Deep Dive Into Combustion Control and How It Emerged

Still of a room of large combustion boilers.

For most people, the word combustion is likely associated with the beloved internal combustion engine. This type of engine, of course, provides incredible durability and drivability and is quite relevant to about 250 million highway transportation vehicles that use this type of engine. In addition to gasoline and diesel, they can use renewable or alternative fuel. If you deal with or are involved with commercial and industrial boilers, however, you also understand the importance of combustion control systems in the industry. 

The Heart of the Car — Combustion Engines 

Where would modern American life be without the vehicle. After all, one of the things that set this country apart from most others, is our incredible highway systems and the love of the open road. Americans love their cars and the truth is that on a day-to-day basis most Americans might not give a second thought to the process that allows them to get to work or get home or go to the movies. The heart of the vehicle is, of course, the combustion engine.  Since the year 1680, ideas and early designs of the internal combustion engine began to emerge. And from the year 1680, there were several engineers and inventors involved in the continuous attempt to develop, improve, and further advance this system. Up until the early 1900s, all of the previous attempts at internal combustion helped inspire the design of automobiles. 

A Word About the Famous Benz and Ford

These are likely two familiar names to anyone that has ever driven a car. Well, before it was Mercedes-Benz, German mechanical engineer, Karl Benz, built the first practical automobile to be powered by an internal combustion engine and received the first patent for a gas-fueled car. Henry Ford also played an important role in what would become the development of cars and internal combustion engines that are efficient and produced in mass. He was, after all, the first one to begin the assembly line manufacturing process which means some of the first Ford vehicles were assembled in about 93 minutes. 

Combustion Engines Continue

Combustion is burning; it’s the basic chemical process that happens when you mix fuel and air mixture. Sometimes this process can produce emissions that have been deemed undesirable for the environment. Over the last couple of decades, research and innovation have helped manufacturers reduce harmful emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter by more than 99%.

Today there are two types of internal combustion engines. One is the compression ignition diesel engine and the spark ignition gasoline engine. Most of these engines are what we refer to as four-stroke cycle engines, which requires four pistons to fire off before one cycle is completed. 

The Boiler Combustion System — The Use of Fuel/Air Ratio

The boiler combustion control system is designed to maintain a proper air-fuel mixture under varying conditions. This is often called FAR in the industry— standing for fuel/air ratio.   These control systems in natural gas or oil-fired industrial boilers use the links in the machines between the fuel control valve and air damper to adjust. Good combustion control helps minimize the overall air pollution. The combustion control system (CSS) is an important component of modern industrial boilers. 

According to the U.S Department of energy, there are more than 45,000 industrial and commercial boilers larger than 10 MMbtu/hr in the U.S. The twenty-first century is largely concerned with energy efficiency and the improvement of emissions systems.  There are several ways that the efficiency of boilers can be improved:

  • Replacing old boilers with new boilers
  • Replacement of the burner
  • Installation of a combustion control system 

A good combustion control system gets continuous feedback and measures oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide concentrations and thus improves combustion efficiency while it maintains low carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.  A good system continually monitors the boiler performance. 

Large industrial facilities or commercial facilities are looking for the ability to adjust the fuel-to-air mixture in order to maximize efficiency while controlling emissions in order to comply with regulatory requirements. The Department of Energy encourages systems that help facilities improve their energy efficiency while reducing the release of harmful emissions into the environment. 

Effective combustion control systems have the potential to increase fuel savings by several percentage points. This gain in efficiency is due to the reduction of oxygen in the flue gas. Most systems will have a monitoring and data logging device that provides real-time feedback on the boiler performance. This allows for consistent assessment and measurement of savings and efficiency. Energy savings can be achieved in most facilities when equipped with well functioning equipment and a trusted boiler combustion control system. 

If your facility uses an industrial boiler, you want to ensure that you have an effective system that is working properly and functioning at its highest capacity without wasting energy. 

Get Boiler Service and Combustion Control Systems from Wyler Industrial

 Here at Wyler Industrial, we are boiler experts. Whether you are looking to install a new boiler, repair an old one, maybe replace the burner, or to install a combustion control system, we are here to do the job right.

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