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The Importance of Combustion Control in an Industrial Setting

Combustion Control boiler all set up

Today, industrial facilities have to navigate a world of safety regulations, guidelines, and the need for efficiency and performance. We work with all components used in industrial settings from boiler repair to welding to mechanical repair or pressure piping. We understand the difficulty many industries face. In previous posts, we’ve discussed the history of combustion and the combustion engine before and how it plays a role in various industrial applications. In an industrial setting, combustion control is necessary to ensure optimal operation and safety, pollution control, and operation efficiency. 

Why Combustion Control is Necessary for Optimal Performance 

Newer industrial boilers are equipped with more sophisticated combustion control systems that allow for the regulation of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions monitoring. The Department of Energy has energy goals when it comes to various sectors and industries and their use of energy and environmental impact. According to some government estimates, over 45,000 industrial and commercial boilers are larger than 10MMBtu with a total fuel input capacity of 2.7 million MMBtu/hr. And according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, boiler efficiency can be improved in three ways: 

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

What Does a Newer Combustion Control System Do?

Burners are an essential component of many industrial applications. Gas and oil burners are responsible for powering package boilers, furnaces, and other heat processes. Newer combustion control systems and their respective gas sensors set the opening of fuel and air inlets. The system is constantly providing feedback and measurements of oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide concentrations. 

Improving Efficiency for Industrial Boilers 

Effective combustion control and monitoring systems will improve the overall efficiency of an industrial boiler. The idea is that combustion efficiency is achieved through a burner’s ability to burn fuel, as measured by unburned fuel and excess oxygen in the exhaust. These systems tend to be digitally controlled and are capable of monitoring a boiler system’s efficiency. These systems will also monitor boiler performance, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve fuel efficiency. 

As defined by the United States Department of Energy, Combustion efficiency is a measure of how effectively the heat content of a fuel is transferred into usable heat. Key indicators of combustion efficiency are the stack temperature and flue gas oxygen concentrations.

A Quick Example of Boiler Efficiency and Energy Usage 

As published by the U.S. Department of Energy, if a boiler operates for 8,000 hours per year and consumes about 500,000 million MMBtu of natural gas produces about 45,000 lb/hour of 150-PSIG steam. The stack gas measurements will be 44.9% with a flue gas air temperature of 400 degrees. From this equation, the combustion efficiency can be measured at 78.2%. Improving the efficiency that reduces the excess air even by 9.5% with a temperature of 300 degrees, the efficiency increases to 83.1% with annual fuel costs of about $235,856. The difference is substantial and why efficiency matters for energy use consumption.

The Stoichiometric Balance – Finding the Right Ratio 

Finding the right amount of air for the operation allows for the perfect balance that achieves optimal efficiency. A stoichiometric chemical equation is essentially balanced. The equation for combustion will usually involve Co2 and H2O from the reaction of another chemical and oxygen O2. Combustion conditions are never in perfect harmony, but any excess air must be used up to burn the fuel. This is called a stoichiometric amount of air. To ensure that the fuel will be used up, there is excess air. This air increases the amount of oxygen to the combustion. Stoichiometry involves using relationships between reactants or products in a chemical reaction to find precise results or data. 

The Benefits of Combustion Control Systems 

As combustion control systems become more commonplace and accessible, they are making it easier for industry levels to ensure that their systems are working at an optimal level. The main benefit of a combustion control system is the overall energy savings. The gain inefficiency is a result of a reduction of oxygen used. Other benefits include: 

  • Carbon monoxide monitoring checks for potentially unsafe or inefficient combustion does not happen 
  • Very low levels of oxygen in the exhaust flue gas improve efficiency 
  • Real-time data and boiler performance 
  • A control system that monitors gases and helps avoid accidents 
  • It prevents unsafe conditions from happening 

Get Combustion Control for Your Industrial Boiler or Application

When it comes to industrial boilers or equipment, Wyler Industrial has you covered. We offer combustion control services to help you achieve boiler efficiency and optimal performance. We ensure your equipment is working like it’s supposed to, not only for safety but for efficiency. 

Ready to see the efficiency potential of your boiler with combustion control? Call Wyler Industrial today and learn more.