Maximing Boiler Performance: Monitoring Unburned Fuel to increase Maintenance Efficiency and Safety
Combustion and the Significance of Unburned Fuel
Combustion takes place when fuel reacts with oxygen to produce energy in the form of heat. The energy generated when fuel is burned is used in the operation of a variety of equipment, including boilers, furnaces, kilns, and engines. In addition to heat, CO (carbon monoxide), CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (water) are created as byproducts of the chemical reaction.
Optimal combustion occurs when energy from the burning of fuels is harnessed in the most efficient way possible through limited heat loss and complete fuel consumption. However, inefficient and potentially unsafe combustion can occur when conditions within a burner/combustion system are below optimal due to normal wear and tear resulting from boiler age or general malfunction, causing the direct release of unburned fuel (hydrocarbons) such as natural gas, methane, propane, etc as a byproduct. Emissions of unburned fuel in combustion indicate revenue loss and a potential serious threat to safety.
Maximizing Combustion: Monitoring Maintenance Efficiency and Safety
Maximum Maintenance Efficiency is defined as the performance of a combustion process that is in mint condition as per the manufacturer’s design and burning with good combustion. Safety is closely linked to maintenance efficiency and is of concern in any type of combustion process. As burner components and other combustion process parts get older, deteriorate, corrode or break the maintenance efficiency will decrease and may result in dangerous conditions. To ensure that a boiler’s maintenance efficiency is near optimal and that the system is safe, it is important to:
1. Perform the maintenance and relevant visual inspections recommended by the boiler & burner manufacturers
2. Closely monitor the gases associated with combustion including the amount of excess O2 needed to achieve good combustion and emissions such as carbon monoxide (CO) and any unburned fuel, or hydrocarbons (CxHy) in the flue gas
Monitoring of combustion efficiency is standard practice among HVAC professionals. However, assessing and controlling for the Maintenance Efficiency and Safety of a system, two parameters that directly impact overall boiler performance, is an often overlooked, and potentially dangerous omission. Instrumentation designed to address these two important parameters is imperative for the professional aiming to provide better and expanded service capabilities to customers interested in understanding the overall efficiency, cost, safety and productivity of their combustion systems.
Maintenance Efficiency and Safety Monitoring Solution: Sauermann Si-CA 230
Sauermann provides the ability to quickly and easily assess BOTH the combustion efficiency and the maintenance efficiency & safety with our Si-CA 230 hand-held combustion gas analyzer. This specialized combustion flue gas, emissions, and safety
analyzer can measure gases and calculate parameters relevant to combustion efficiency including O2, CO, NOx, CO2, combustion efficiency, excess air & lambda for air-to-fuel ratio, flue gas & differential temperature, gas pressure, and draft. It can also provide proper maintenance efficiency & safety analysis by directly measuring the unburned fuel (CxHy Hydrocarbons) in the exhaust stack simultaneously with all of the other combustion parameters. The Si-CA 230 can also perform ambient CO monitoring and heat exchanger integrity testing to help ensure a safe environment around the combustion equipment.
This unique gas analyzer includes the Sauermann Combustion app and PC software with, wireless connection printing for on-site reporting and record keeping, robust unbreakable metal connections, field replaceable sensors, and easy-to-use functionality backed up by Sauermann’s unmatched technical and customer support.