How Does the Boiler Industry Use Green Energy?

Climate change, the diminishing availability and subsequent cost of fossil fuels, and greenhouse gas generation concerns have had a tremendous effect on manufacturers and operators in the boiler industry. Older, poorly maintained units at commercial facilities, institutions, and industrial complexes cost their owners too much money to continue operating in their current conditions, particularly in light of recent federal regulations and global treaties. As a result, many owners are considering redesigning and rebuilding their boilers to make them more efficient and capable of burning alternate fuels. New start-up units might be a better alternative, as they are designed with efficiencies and flexibility in mind. The boiler industry is taking advantage of green energy practices and fuels to reduce costs and convert more heat input into usable energy output.

“Green energy” is a term with a far-reaching definition. In its broadest sense, green energy is the efficient manufacture and use of power without adversely impacting the global ecosystem. Many critics want to limit the discussion to the use of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, animal waste, and hydrodynamic power, but the issue encompasses much more. The reality is that, while conversion to completely renewable energy is a grand goal, the existing infrastructure will not stop demanding electricity in the meantime. The boiler industry must find a way to meet the demands of power producers and users while reducing the overall impact on the environment. That’s what the boiler industry is doing.

Boiler manufacturers are approaching the need for green energy on three fronts: efficiency improvements, alternative fuel usage, and post-combustion controls. Owners of the equipment in the boiler industry are in full support of these methodologies, and are responsible for providing the funding and driving the changes. All three of these areas are being addressed simultaneously, and the results to date show a marked improvement in the amount of greenhouse gasses generated, a reduction in fossil fuel usage, and more steam and energy being generated per pound of fuel used.

Efficiency improvements in the boiler industry are helping units generate even more electricity without increasing the amount of fuel used in the process. Such steps include the use of redesigned burner fronts; the installation of economizers, preheaters and air heaters; air and fuel-flow tuning; upgrading or replacing instrumentation and controls; and the installation of gas-fired turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs).

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EXPLORER® Series Economizer being installed by Victory Energy.

Eliminating sources of heat loss is also accomplished through installing insulation, reducing air leakage, and capturing condensate and heat from boiler blowdown streams.

Alternative fuel usage includes firing biomass, tire-derived fuels (from used tires), old railroad ties, post-consumer waste, co-fired fuels, replacing oil and coal with cleaner burning natural gas, firing methanol and methane gas. Post-combustion controls include the installation of treatment systems for NOx, SOx, and HCl, improved particulate collection systems, stack-mounted continuous emissions monitors (CEMs), and the installation of utility power HRSGs with auxiliary burners to destroy emissions and convert any unburned fuel into energy before it is exhausted.

The boiler industry is making changes and upgrading its equipment, processes, and practices to take advantage of green energy technology, save money, and have a positive impact on emissions and the planet’s ecology. By using energy more efficiently, using renewable fuels, and reducing greenhouse gasses, the industry is making a real contribution to conserving available resources while still meeting the needs of existing and emerging economies.

For more information, visit the Victory Energy website. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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Clean Energy/Power and how Boiler Design Impacts Green Initiatives

There is a growing interest in green energy which has created a larger demand for clean energy solutions. So how does this relate to boiler design and application? Find out now in Victory Energy’s recent video.

For more information about Victory Energy, visit our website. You can also find us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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Learn more about the right custom boiler solution for your application by contacting Victory Energy today. Talk with a sales representative by calling (888) 907-6335 or fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
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Victory Energy Discusses the Benefits of Cogeneration

Many companies think co-generation is too costly. However, our latest video explains how, with the abundance of natural gas, co-generation will save money in the long run.

For more information about Victory Energy, visit our website. You can also find us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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Learn more about the right custom boiler solution for your application by contacting Victory Energy today. Talk with a sales representative by calling (888) 907-6335 or fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
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Visit Victory Energy at the Electric Power Conference & Expo

Victory Energy is preparing to attend the Electric Power Conference and Exhibition, scheduled April 1-3 in New Orleans. Presented by POWER Magazine, the Electric Power Conference is an annual event for the movers and shakers in the electrical power industry.

The Electric Power Conference draws thousands of key professionals from top generating companies, EPCs and OEMs in the power industry from all over the world. In 2013, over 35 countries and 1,900 companies were represented at this expo.  Themed networking events, special programs and conference sessions allow for participants, exhibitors and sponsors to network and spend quality time with similar-minded people.  You can learn more about developments all across the many fuel sectors, examine the full range of co-generation options, and discover new technology from the power generation industry.

You can find Victory Energy at booth #946, where we will be offering a comprehensive range of innovative products and technology related to industrial boilers. We’re proud to be a part of the 2014 Electric Power Expo.

For more information about Victory Energy, visit our website. You can also find us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Contact Us

Learn more about the right custom boiler solution for your application by contacting Victory Energy today. Talk with a sales representative by calling (888) 907-6335 or fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.
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Top 10 Facts Your Company Needs to Know About Boiler MACT Changes

Boiler MACT legislation continues to change.  Keeping up is a considerable challenge. There have been a multitude of changes and iterations to the initial rule published in March 2011 to the final version that’s now written in the Federal Register.  Many boilers are now excluded from the regulations based on the fuels they fire, and those that must comply should be able to do so with relative ease as compared to the tight earlier versions of the standard.  As a rule, Boiler MACT (maximum achievable control technology) now only applies to boilers in industrial, commercial, or institutional service that burn coal, fuel oil, or biomass.

The following are the top ten facts that you need to know about that are part of the final rules as written into the Federal Register:

  1. Two separate rules are now in effect: One for Major Sources and another for Area (minor) Sources. Major Sources are designated as those that have the potential to emit more than 10 tons per year (TPY) of any single Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) or a combined total of 25 TPY of HAPs. Area Sources are all other units that are not considered Major Sources.
  2. Numerical limits are now established for the following: particulate matter (PM), hydrogen chloride (HCl), mercury (Hg), total selected metals (TSM), and carbon monoxide (CO) for both Major and Area Sources.
  3. An energy assessment is required for all existing boilers with a heat input limit above 10 MMBTU/hr at Major Source facilities.
  4. There are 19 subcategories within the Major and Area Source categories for boilers and process heaters—12 for Major Sources, seven for Area Sources.
  5. For units affected by Boiler MACT, the established emission limits vary.  They are more stringent for about 30 percent of boilers, less stringent for up to around 50 percent of users, and unchanged for the remainder based on the limits present in the final rule published in March 2011.
  6. CO monitoring has been established as a surrogate measure of organic HAPs, HCl monitoring will serve to prove acid gas and mercury emission compliance, and TSM measurement will be used as a surrogate for non-mercurial HAPs, as well as dioxin and furan.
  7. A Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) is allowed by Boiler MACT to prove CO compliance using a rolling average of either 10 days or 30 days, depending on the boiler’s subcategory.
  8. Boilers with a heat input limit of less than 10 MMBTU/hr are not subject to the emissions limits, but must establish a tune-up frequency of between 2 and 5 years, depending on use.
  9. The initial tune-up or energy assessment (as required for affected boilers) must be completed by March 21, 2014.
  10. The deadline for compliance for existing Major Sources is Jan. 31, 2016, and for Area Sources by Feb. 1, 2016. For new sources (those that began operation on or after June 4, 2010), compliance is commensurate with start-up.

These useful facts provide a glimpse into the most significant changes made to the Boiler MACT rules from the date of their initial publication in March 2011 to the final document placed into the Federal Register on Jan. 31, 2013 for Major Sources, and Feb. 1, 2013 for Area Sources. The 19 subcategories in which a source can be placed substantially alters the rules for compliance.  With deadlines fast-approaching, it’s time to actively begin assessment, understanding compliance standards, and making modifications to the boilers in your facilities.

For more information, visit the Victory Energy website. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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What to Expect When You Buy an Industrial Boiler

In most organizations, purchasing a major piece of equipment like an industrial boiler can be a time-consuming and arduous process. Determining the exact needs of your facility, completing a minimum effective design analysis, and selecting a vendor can take months. Whether you’re purchasing a complete boiler system to replace or upsize an existing unit, or installing one as part of a greenfield deployment, waiting too long to begin the process can be costly. Regardless of whether you buy a standard or a custom-designed industrial boiler, months will pass between the time the order is placed and the time it is operational. Planning ahead and placing an order early are the keys to having your boiler up and running in your desired time frame.

When the order is placed, it may take 26 to 36 weeks to build your industrial boiler. Detailed engineering, design and flow drawings must be approved by your facility staff, and materials have to be ordered and delivered before manufacturing can begin. Material delivery to the manufacturer can take 6 to 10 weeks alone if special metallurgies are required. Often custom-designed boilers, take additional weeks depending on the ancillary equipment specified.

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VOYAGER® O-style boiler being delivered to final destination
in Boston, Massachusetts.

Once your industrial boiler has been fabricated and tested, it is ready for shipment. Depending on the size of the boiler and location of your site, delivery can take anywhere from one to seven weeks. If it is to travel by highway, special permits must be obtained, routes must be planned and approved, and transportation usually is restricted to certain hours of the day. If your facility is located near a navigable waterway, you have the option to ship it by barge. Such routes are rarely direct, however, and it will still take time to plan the route and move the boiler to your facility. If your facility is served by rail and the boiler you order fits upon the rail car it normally becomes the preferred method of transport.

Installation and commissioning on-site will also take six to 10 weeks, depending on the intricacies of your site and its complexity. Tie-ins to process piping and plant control systems, operations and maintenance training, system flushing, and checks of safety and operational control systems must all be completed before your industrial boiler is ready for operation. You can help expedite this process by having a dedicated site installation, commissioning, and start-up team identified, available, and committed to the project.

Placing an order for a new industrial boiler long before it is needed is essential if you are to start up your facility on time or keep your existing plant running until it arrives. At a minimum, expect that it will take 36 weeks to be operational, and over a year if you have special design needs and a remote site location. Obviously, all of these timelines can be expedited, but it will probably cost you more money, and the added expense is unnecessary if you plan ahead.

For more information, visit the Victory Energy website. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Why Water Control Systems Are Important for Your Industrial Boiler

Maintaining proper drum level in your industrial boiler is critical for the longevity of the pressure parts as well as the downstream equipment. Most modern boilers are fitted with automatic high and low drum level trip switches and drum level controls for this very reason. If your boiler does not have these vital safety components, you should seriously consider installing them before a mishap causes major damage to your boiler system or downstream equipment, as well as extended downtime for the processes that depend on them.

Drum level trips are needed because the fired fuels and flue gas temperatures in an industrial boiler can easily exceed the maximum allowable design temperature of the steel in the tubes and pressure parts. It is the water and steam on the opposite side of the tubes that keep the steel cool so it maintains its strength and abrasion resistance. Without cooling steam and water, the pressure parts would soften and degrade rapidly, dramatically shortening the expected life or causing a tube leak that requires a shutdown of the boiler system.

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TITAN® level equipment manufactured by Victory Energy.

For the protection of the industrial boiler components themselves, a low water level trip is necessary. Level controls ensure that an adequate amount of water is present in the boiler at all times while a fire is present in the boiler. If the level drops below the minimum allowable level, the controls trip the fire and shut down the forced draft fan to prevent overheating of the tubes. In a gas-fired boiler, the cool down is rapid after the burners are tripped. In a solid-fuel-fired boiler, the cool down is much slower, since the residual fuel continues to produce heat. In solid-fuel boilers, an additional step, like dumping the grates, may be necessary to get the heat out of the furnace quickly to minimize damage.

For the protection of the components downstream of the industrial boiler, a high-level drum trip is required. A high drum level allows low quality (wet) steam to carry over into the superheater or downstream equipment. This wet steam can quickly damage components designed to see only gas (due to impingement or pitting), or at a minimum create scale in the tubes, reducing heat transfer and eventually causing them to overheat and fail. Wet steam is particularly troublesome to steam turbines, which have been known to wreck when low quality steam is introduced to the HP section. Like the low-level trip, a high drum level trip will shut off the fuel and shut down the FD fan; it will also trip the feedwater pump and open the rapid drain/blowdown valves, if the boiler is so equipped.

High- and low-level trip devices should be installed strategically in the drum or level gauge column and wired in series with the FD fan, burner valves and feedwater pump (high level only). These devices are inexpensive to purchase and install, and should be used for redundancy even if the boiler is equipped with a drum level transmitter.

To maintain the longevity of your industrial boiler, water control systems in the form of automatic high and low drum level trips are critical. They can prevent catastrophic failure of the pressure components due to overheating, and protect your expensive downstream equipment from damage or failure. If your boiler system is not equipped with these devices, take the steps to get them installed now.

For more information, visit the Victory Energy website. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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What’s the Best Material to Use for an Industrial Boiler and Why?

Industrial boilers provide steam for processing and heating in a wide range of facilities, from hospitals to food manufacturing to chemical plants. Firetube-design boiler systems are very typical for this service, where the heat from the fuel passes through the inside of the tubes, and water contained in a pressurized vessel surrounding the tubes is heated and converted to steam. Firetube industrial boilers are designed with ratings up to 450 psig and 1500 HP, making them a perfect solution for many small and medium-size facilities.

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© 2014 VICTORY ENERGY OPERATIONS, LLC

Since the components in a firetube industrial boiler are exposed to heat, combustion byproducts, and boiler feedwater, metallurgy plays a vital role in the reliability of these boiler systems. The materials must be able to withstand heat, pressure, thermal cycling, compression and tension, erosion, and corrosion for decades to make the investment worthwhile. So which materials stand up to these conditions, and what metallurgy is best for a firetube industrial boiler?

Early industrial boiler manufacturers used high-grade wrought iron for the tubes and shells, and copper for the fireboxes. Connections were riveted or compression-fit into place. Unfortunately, the stress presented at the rivet holes, combined with a non-homogenous material like wrought iron and constant thermal stressing, caused boiler shells to fail catastrophically, leading to many disastrous and lethal explosions in the fledgling industry.

When steel became available in the early 20th century, manufacturers quickly gravitated to it because it was stronger and less expensive than wrought iron. Welding soon replaced riveting as the preferred connection method in industrial boilers because it was faster and more reliable. The fatigue properties of steel were also much better than those of iron, making the boiler systems safer.

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© 2014 VICTORY ENERGY OPERATIONS, LLC

Today, carbon steel alloyed with a variety of trace metals is still the preferred material for high pressure, high temperature firetube industrial boiler components, including shells, tubes, tubesheets, fireboxes, and baffles. Although stainless steel is widely available, ASME Section I of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code does not allow its use in wetted areas of the boiler; however, ferritic stainless steel is used in superheated steam service because of its superior strength and erosion resistance at high temperatures. With the exception of small tabletop or demonstrator models, brass and copper are not used in industrial boilers because they are expensive, and don’t hold up well in high temperatures. Cast iron is too brittle to withstand years of continuous thermal and pressure cycling in high-pressure boilers.

Carbon steel has high fatigue strength, good yield strength, excellent thermal characteristics, and retains its properties at temperatures typically found inside firetube industrial boilers. It is not the most corrosion- or abrasion-resistant material, but can be made suitable for long-term sustained use by adding chromium, nickel, vanadium, sulfur, or other components to the alloy. It is inexpensive, easily obtained, and can be purchased with the necessary paperwork to satisfy ASME pressure vessel codes. It is also easily tested during boiler shutdowns for cracking, corrosion, and erosion, and can be suitably repaired if damage is found while still maintaining the integrity of the boiler.

There are plenty of newer and more exotic materials on the market today, but for all of the reasons listed above, and more, carbon steel is the still the preferred material for construction of firetube industrial boilers. It is a time-proven material in this service that will likely not be replaced anytime soon.

For more information, visit the Victory Energy website. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Victory attends the HRSG User’s Group 2014 Conference & EXPO

Victory Energy is gearing up for the HRSG User’s Group 2014 Conference & Expo, scheduled February 24-26 at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. The conference is an annual gathering point for power plant management, EPC contractors, and equipment and service providers.

Open to all industry participants, the annual HRSG User’s Group Conference & Exposition is the premier combined-cycle/cogen conference and exposition. Hundreds of plant management professionals and leading suppliers gather for three days of extensive networking events, open-forum discussions and learning opportunities. The overall problem-agenda invites participation from all. “At HRSG User’s Group, Everyone is a Speaker.”

You can find Victory Energy at booth #317, where we will be offering a comprehensive range of innovative products and technology related to industrial boilers. We’re proud to be a part of the 2014 HRSG User’s Group Expo.

For more information about Victory Energy, visit our website. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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HRSG’s Users Group 2014 Conference & EXPO

Victory Energy, will attend the HRSG User’s Group 2014 Conference & Expo in Las Vegas February 24 through 26.

The HRSG Expo is an annual meeting of the professional association, HRSG User’s Group, to discuss the technical challenges in their industry and network. This conference has become the premier gathering place for the entire combined-cycle/cogeneration operator industry. It draws around 500 attendees and covers a myriad of engineering challenges associated with today’s combined-cycle/co-gen plants.

Why You Should Go

This is the premier combined-cycle/co-gen conference and exposition, with quality technical content, networking receptions and loyal attendance by hundreds of plant management professionals. Plus you receive two continuing education units (CEUs) for the conference, and one additional CEU for attending the pre-conference workshop.

What To Look Forward To

Conference Case Study Presentation for 2014

  • Using performance-monitoring software at a 2×1 combined-cycle plant
  • Inspecting HRSGs during a planned outage
  • Fighting the P-91 wars in an operating combined-cycle fleet
  • Cleaning HRSG tubes with dry-ice blast
  • Preventing gas-side corrosion problems

Pre-Conference Workshop

Contemplating a large capital project? Constructing a new powerplant? Seeking insurance for these endeavors? The pre-conference workshop has assembled the leading authorities in these matters to help you:

  • Select the proper contract type
  • Know when the owner should get involved, and when to stay out of the way
  • How to pre-qualify contractors and the project team
  • Assign responsibility for procurement and installation of equipment
  • Avoid legal claims, and construction fraud
  • Use bonus and damage provisions to boost performance
  • Manage risk throughout the entire process
  • Choose design specifications vs. performance specs
  • Properly conduct performance tests
  • Resolve problems of non-compliance

Don’t miss out on this invaluable opportunity. Make sure you attend the HRSG Annual Conference and Expo. Don’t forget to find us at the HRSG Conference in booth #317. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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