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A boiler is a closed vessel in which water or other fluid is heated. The heated or vaporized fluid exits the boiler for use in various processes

or heating applications such as central heating, boiler-based power

generation, cooking.


Steam boilers are used as generator to produce electricity in the energy business.

Steam boilers are used in agriculture as well for soil steaming. in the industry for example in heating systems or for cement production.

Horizontal, Vertical and Inclined Boiler, Fire Tube & Water Tube Boiler,

Externally Fired & Internally Fired Boiler,

Forced Circulation & Natural Circulation Boiler, High Pressure & Low Pressure Boiler,

Stationary & Portable Boiler,

Single Tube & Multi Tube Boiler.

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Some of common type of boilers which are used in industry over years are: FIRE TUBE Cochran Boiler Locomotive Boiler

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Babcock & Wilcox boiler Stirling Boiler

It is a type of vertical multi-tubular boiler and has a number of horizontal fire tubes ,a internally fired type of boiler.

It is also a low pressure boiler (MAX.15 bar) & stationary type of boiler.

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Shell Diameter.2.75 meter Height5.79 meter Working Pressure6.5 bar

Steam Capacity3500kg/hour
Heating Surface120 square meter efficiency70 to 75%

It is a horizontal multi-tubular, fire tube, internally fired Boiler It is also a low pressure, portable type boiler.

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Barrel diameter & length ..................2.095 m and 5.026 m Size & no. super heater tubes14 cm and 38 Size & no. of ordinary tube.....5.72 cm and 116 Steam capacity.9000 kg/hour Working pressure & Heating Surface ..14 bar & 271 square m efficiency..70%

This is a Horizontal type of boiler. It is a Externally Fired type of boiler. It is a Natural Circulation type Stationary boiler. It is also a High Pressure boiler.

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Diameter & length of drum1.22 m & 6.096 m Size of water tubes.7.62 cm Size of super heater tubes.3.84 cm Working pressure.40 bar (max.) Steam capacity.4000 kg/hour Efficiency60 to 80%

It is a bent tube boiler and when used for large central power stations their steam capacity is as high as 50000kg/hour. widely used around 1900, it has now fallen from favor and is rarely seen.

The boiler mountings are the part of the boiler and are required for proper functioning & for safe working of a boiler. Some of the important mountings are:

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Water Level Indicator

Pressure Gauge
Safety Valve Fusible Plug Feed Check Valve Blow Off Cock Stop Valve or Junction Valve

Water level indicator is located in front of boiler in such a position that the level of water can easily be seen by attendant.

Two water level indicators are used on all boilers.

It consists of a glass tube, two safety ball and seals. The glass tube is protected by means of a cover, made of specially toughened glass which will prevent any accident that may happen due to the breaking of glass tube.

A pressure gauge is fitted in front of boiler in such a position that the operator can conveniently read it.

It reads the pressure of steam in the boiler and is connected to steam space by a siphon tube.

The most commonly, the Bourdon pressure gauge is used.

Safety valves are located on the top of the boiler. They guard the boiler against the excessive high pressure of steam inside the drum.

If the pressure of steam in the boiler drum exceeds the working pressure then the safety valve allows blow-off the excess quantity of steam to atmosphere.

There are four types of safety valve which are used. These are (1.) dead weight s.v. (2.) lever s.v. (3.) Spring loaded s.v. (4.) high steam & low water s.v.

It protects the boiler against overheating. It is located just above the furnace in the boiler. It consists of gun metal plug fixed in a gun metal body with fusible molten metal.

During the normal boiler operation, the fusible plug is covered by water and its temperature does not rise to its melting state.

The feed check valve is fitted to the boiler, slightly below the working level in the boiler.

It is used to supply high pressure feed water to boiler. It also prevents the returning of feed water from the boiler if feed pump fails to work.

The function of blow-off cock is to discharge mud and other sediments deposited in the bottom most part of the water space in the boiler, while boiler is in operation.

It can also be used to drain-off boiler water. Hence it is mounted at the lowest part of the boiler.

When it is open, water under the pressure rushes out, thus carrying sediments and mud.

The steam stop valve is located on the highest part of the steam space. It regulates the steam supply to use. The steam stop valve can be operated manually or automatically.

The accessories are mounted on the boiler to increase its efficiency. These units are optional on an efficient boiler. The following accessories are normally used on a modern boiler:

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Economizer Super heater Air Pre-heater Feed Water Pump

Steam Injector

An economizer is a heat exchanger, used for heating the feed water before it enters the boiler.

The economizer recovers some of waste heat of hot flue gases going to chimney.

It helps in improving the boiler efficiency. It is placed in the path of flue gases at the rear end of the boiler just before air pre-heater.

It is a heat exchanger in which heat of combustion products is used to dry the wet steam, pressure remains constant, its volume and temperature increase.

Basically, a super heater consists of a set of small diameter U tubes in which steam flows and takes up the heat from hot flue gases.

The function of an air pre-heater is similar to that of an economizer. Due to preheating of air, the furnace temperature increases. It results in rapid combustion of fuel with less soot, smoke and ash. The air pre-heater is placed between economizer and chimney.

A steam injector lifts and forces the feed water into the boiler. It is usually used for vertical and locomotive boilers and can be accommodated in small space.

It is less costly.

It does not have any moving parts thus operation is salient.