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|Improve Your Boiler’s Combustion Efficiency|
|Written by USDOE Office of Industrial Technologies|
|Thursday, 01 July 2010 08:01|
Improve Your Boiler’s Combustion Efficiency
Operating your boiler with an optimum amount of excess air will minimize heat loss up the stack and improve combustion efficiency. Combustion efficiency is a measure of how effectively the heat content of a fuel is transferred into usable heat. The stack temperature and flue gas oxygen (or carbon dioxide) concentrations are primary indicators of combustion efficiency.
Given complete mixing, a precise or stoichiometric amount of air is required to completely react with a given quantity of fuel. In practice, combustion conditions are never ideal, and additional or “excess” air must be supplied to completely burn the fuel.
The correct amount of excess air is determined from analyzing flue gas oxygen or carbon dioxide concentrations. Inadequate excess air results in unburned combustibles (fuel, soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide) while too much results in heat lost due to the increased flue gas flow—thus lowering the overall boiler fuel-to-steam efficiency. The table relates stack readings to boiler performance.
Assumes complete combustion with no water vapor in the combustion air.
On well-designed natural gas-fired systems, an excess air level of 10% is attainable. An often-stated rule of thumb is that boiler efficiency can be increased by 1% for each 15% reduction in excess air or 40°F reduction in stack gas temperature.
Annual Savings = Fuel Consumption x (1–E1/E2) x Fuel Cost
= 29,482 MMBtu/yr x $8.00/MMBtu
Flue Gas Analyzers
Oxygen Trim Systems
Adapted from an Energy TIPS fact sheet that was originally published by the Industrial Energy Extension Service of Georgia Tech.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
EERE Information Center
Industrial Technologies Program
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585-0121
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