Include Efficiency Testing in Boiler-Maintenance Programs

By James Piper, P.E.  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Boiler Maintenance: Establish a Water-Treatment ProgramPt. 2: Boiler Maintenance: Determine Ideal Blowdown RatesPt. 3: Boilers: Perform Annual or Biannual Cleaning and InspectionPt. 4: This PagePt. 5: Boiler Maintenance: Safety ConsiderationsPt. 6: Boilers: Repair or Replace?

All boiler-maintenance programs must include routine efficiency testing. Because boilers are among the largest energy users in buildings, even small increases in operating efficiency can translate into major reductions in annual energy costs. For small boilers, annual testing might be sufficient, but for larger systems, ongoing efficiency monitoring is typically the best option.

Today's generation of computerized combustion controls allow boiler operators and technicians to monitor performance and efficiency while maximizing efficiency under a range of operating loads. As a side benefit, these systems provide operators with data they can use to diagnose problems early, before they become serious.

Besides identifying ways to decrease operating costs, efficiency testing can help managers track performance over time. By comparing test results, managers can track long-term trends in performance, information that is important when evaluating the benefits of repairing or replacing an existing installation.

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  posted on 12/30/2009   Article Use Policy

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