Take a Look Inside a Firetube Boiler

A firetube boiler is one of many different types of industrial boilers available, and is popular due to its relatively simple design and ease of operation, as well as its compact footprint. The term “firetube” is a bit of misnomer, since there is no actual fire inside the tubes; however, the name does rightfully imply that the inside of the tubes is hot, and the heat is used to boil water surrounding the outside of the tubes. Firetube boilers are found in a great number of industrial and commercial facilities, supplying low pressure (up to 450 psig), saturated steam to processes, buildings, and machinery.

In its simplest form, a firetube boiler has a fuel source, one or more tubes, a boiler shell, water inlet, steam outlet, and a chimney. Fuel is heated in a chamber with excess air. The hot gasses leave the chamber and pass through the inside of the tube(s), then exit through a chimney or stack. On the outside of the tubes, water contained in a cylindrical boiler shell is heated to its boiling point. The steam given off during boiling rises to the top of the boiler shell into a dome, where it is extracted and distributed to the facility.

Take A Look Inside A Firetube Boiler Take a Look Inside a Firetube Boiler

Early firetube boilers were used to drive steam engines (railroad and marine), drive industrial equipment, power line shafts in manufacturing facilities, and provide process heat. They had a firebox that contained fuel (usually a solid fuel such as wood or coal), a once-through bank of horizontal tubes, and a stack through which to exhaust flue gasses. Water was pumped into the bottom of the boiler shell and steam was extracted from the top.

A modern firetube boiler takes advantage of today’s clean-burning fuels and is designed to maximize the use of the available heat. The fuel source is usually a self-contained, high-efficiency gas or oil burner, and the gasses make two, three, or four passes through the boiler shell before being exhausted to take advantage of all the heat contained in the system. In some cases, the flue gasses are used to preheat the water entering the boiler, thus increasing thermal efficiency. External Superheaters are also occasionally included to dry out and heat up the steam leaving the boiler.

Take A Look Inside A Firetube Boiler 2 Take a Look Inside a Firetube Boiler

From the outside, a firetube boiler is a skid-mounted horizontal cylinder. The cylindrical shell contains the process water at operating pressure, and inside the cylinder is an array of horizontal tubes, secured on each end by a tubesheet. At one end sits a burner unit, and an exhaust stack is located on the same or opposite end based on the number of passes the flue gas makes through the boiler shell. Internally, the design gets more and more complex as the number of gas passes increases. The flue gasses have to be turned around at each end and redirected back through the boiler shell for each pass, so chambering becomes an integral part of the head design. There may also be multiple water inlets and multiple steam outlets, depending on the size of the unit.

Firetube boilers are compact in design, relatively easy to install, operate, and maintain, and less expensive than many other types of industrial boilers. They can provide saturated steam at pressures up to 450 psig, with capacities up to 2500 HP, and their high-efficiency burner design means they can comply with federal and state emissions limits. They are an ideal choice for any small or medium-size facility that needs a constant supply of low-pressure steam economically.

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

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Posted in Boiler Manufacturer, Heat Recovery Steam Generator, Industrial Boilers, Industrial Steam Boilers, Natural Gas, Steam Boiler Maintenance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

It’s all in the Execution

Never before has flawless execution been so critical in the markets that Victory Energy serves.  It’s more competitive than ever – with customers demanding much more. They’re forced to comply with Boiler MACT legislation and need to remain competitively vibrant. Lead times are continually being shortened.  What was once deemed to be heroic delivery performance is now the norm.  As customers ask more of Victory Energy, we ask more of ourselves.

Its all in the execution It’s all in the Execution

These market dynamics are what inform the basis behind the “concept to completion” mantra of Victory Energy.  It’s more than a slogan; it’s a way of thinking and acting across the company.  Executing the right way every time is critical to our success and that of our customers – from bid submission through to start-up.  All employees live this operating mentality.  It’s a part of who our employees are and what makes them great.

Itsallintheexecution2 It’s all in the Execution

Every action that Victory Energy takes is based upon meeting or exceeding the customer’s expectation throughout every step of the project journey that starts out as an idea or concept and ends as a fully-functioning and operating boiler.

At Victory Energy, “Concept to Completion®” is viewed as a game changing way of selling, manufacturing and servicing/supporting our product portfolio of industrial boilers.  Our Pulse Line manufacturing operation now allows the company to manufacture a line of boiler products in only a month.  What was once thought of as impossible is now a reality. It’s another example of Victory Energy setting an industry standard against which other boiler manufacturers will be forced to compete.

With execution being so critical, Victory Energy is making strategic investments to bring on board great project management influences to support project activation and implementation.  Project execution is a critical component in delivering on a “concept to completion” promise.  It’s about being both faster and smarter.  Execution is king.

Lean thinking is now informing many decisions across the plant floor.  We’re reducing waste and removing redundant steps in our processes.  As our customers evolve, we’re changing in lock step right along with them.  We’re building more than industrial boilers; we’re working on relationship engagements that are meant to last far beyond the project completion date.  Our high incidence of repeat purchase customers is a testament to the passion and commitment that we put into delivering on the “concept to completion” promise.

It is understood by everyone that touches a project engagement, throughout both our Collinsville and Cushing facilities, that you’re only as good as your last product that shipped out the door.  The Victory Energy brand means and stands for something, both internally and externally.  If you don’t execute flawlessly on a project from “concept to completion,” it  is meaningless.  What is important to understand is the way that this philosophy is exemplified and rendered throughout the course of a relationship.  The customer is the ultimate judge of performance.  That’s why it’s all about the execution; always has been and always will be.

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

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Our Face to the Market – The Value of Reps

Choosing the right sales channel to reach markets and customers is daunting and challenging.  The path that manufacturers take with sales channel methodologies and selling influences needs to be well informed and thought through on many levels.

Many choose the direct sales route; others rely on distributor and dealer sales teams or a representative sales model.  All have their distinctive merits and upside and downside risks.  The product mix – technological requirements and geographic concentration of customers − is often a driving factor and motivator in the decision process.

Employing a representative sales force is an approach that works for Victory Energy.  It offers the ability to recruit and select the best and most talented rep firms in each geographic sales territory.  Our reps are among the finest, if not the best reps, in the industries that we serve.

our face to the market Our Face to the Market   The Value of Reps

Reps are the driving force behind Victory Energy’s success.

These rep firms bring extensive engineering and sales experience with industrial boilers, gas turbine HRSG’s including CHP, along with in-depth knowledge of all served industries – from power and utility and chemical processing to pulp and paper and oil sands.  They have deeply embedded relationships with the major EPC firms.  They’re respected and valued partners in the project process.

Reps are a vitally important component of the success of Victory Energy.  They act as our eyes and ears in the territories they serve, being the first to know when a project hits.  At Victory Energy, they’re viewed as being a part of the fabric of the company.

A great manufacturer/rep relationship model involves intensive interactions and exchanges – healthy conversations that involve give and take on both sides.  At Victory Energy, we believe that our success is incumbent upon our reps being successful.  Too many manufacturers don’t value the real contribution of the reps and view the relationship from a transactional mentality.  That’s not the case with us.

our face to the market 2 Our Face to the Market   The Value of Reps

Training and education of reps is a critically important element
of maintaining a great manufacturer/rep relationship

Victory Energy has always believed in a rep-based sellingstrategy and will remain loyal to this approach.  Many reps have been with the company for years and have been an important part of the incredible growth that we’ve achieved.  We’re in it with our reps as much as they’re in it with us.

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

 

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Victory Energy Launches New Website Guide to Achieve and Ensure Boiler MACT Compliance

Victory Energy has launched their website, www.boilermactsolutions.org in order to create a definitive guide to achieving and ensuring Boiler MACT Compliance.

At lot has changed since the initial Boiler MACT was unveiled by the EPA in March of 2011.  The latest Boiler MACT version lists various changes and modifications to testing requirements, subcategories and what is and what is not exempt.  It is a continual quest to stay informed and on top of what’s required to meet Boiler MACT Compliance – whether you’re categorized as an Area Source or Major Source boiler installation.

What haven’t changed are the deadlines and what won’t be altered in the foreseeable future are compliance dates.  The compliance date for Major Source Boiler MACT is January 31, 2016.  The grace period for existing sources subject to the Area Source Boiler MACT was March 21, 2014.  While the January 31, 2016 date is fast approaching, many boiler owners and operators are hoping and waiting for potential extensions or waivers as has been the case throughout the history of Boiler MACT legislation.

With as much change as the Boiler MACT legislation has experienced over the past few years, having the most up-to-date and current information regarding Boiler MACT is difficult to find outside of the EPA site.  Victory Energy has heard this concern expressed by many customers as well as from across the Representative community that has contact with Victory Energy customers on a local level.

To help educate owners and operators about all things Boiler MACT, Victory Energy has produced www.boilermactsolutions.org as a thorough go-to information resource to help boiler operators through the myriad of issues and challenges they’re facing with Boiler MACT compliance.

Victory Energy Launches New Website for Boiler MACT Compliance 1024x518 Victory Energy Launches New Website Guide to Achieve and Ensure Boiler MACT Compliance

BoilerMACTsolutions.org, sponsored by Victory Energy.

www.boilermactsolutions.org is aimed at providing in-depth information about all the various Boiler MACT considerations and requirements for both Major Source and Area Source perspectives.  The site offers a comprehensive step-by-step guide for navigating the complexities of all the Boiler MACT legislation.  A FAQ section provides detailed answers to the commonly asked questions that Victory Energy is experiencing regarding Boiler MACT.  A decision tree navigation component within the site graphically explains the various paths that can be taken to achieve compliance by the mandated compliance dates.  A Victory Energy Perspectives component guides operators through the various methodologies for arriving at a Boiler MACT compliance resolution.

To learn more about Victory, please visit www.victoryenergy.com. You can also find us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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Victory Energy Announces New Website Resource For Boiler MACT Compliance

Victory Energy announces www.boilermactsolutions.org – the definitive how-to resource to help operators achieve and ensure future Boiler MACT Compliance.

Victory Energy, a preeminent manufacturer and supplier of custom engineered gas-turbine HRSGs, packaged boilers and enhanced heat recovery systems, launched www.boilermactsolutions.org  as a thorough go-to information resource to help boiler owners and operators navigate the myriad issues and challenges they’re facing with Boiler MACT compliance.

With several different versions having been published surrounding Boiler MACT legislation over the past few years, www.boilermactsolutions.org is aimed at providing in-depth information about all the various Boiler MACT considerations and requirements from both Major Source and Area Source perspectives.  The site offers a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for navigating the complexities of all the Boiler MACT legislation.  A FAQ section provides detailed answers to the commonly asked questions that Victory Energy is experiencing regarding Boiler MACT.  A decision tree navigation component within the site graphically explains the various paths that can be taken to achieve compliance by the mandated compliance dates.  A Victory Energy Perspectives element guides owners and operators through the various methodologies for arriving at a Boiler MACT compliance resolution.

“Given the amount of conversation and discussion that we’re hearing from our customers, as well as feedback from our Rep network, it was apparent that the issue of Boiler MACT compliance was top of mind with many.  Victory Energy has always been viewed as being an information resource and thought leader about all things boilers.  It’s a part of who we are and what we do.  This new site, www.boilermactsoultions.org, is a demonstration of the commitment we’ve made to support all industries we serve with timely information and knowledge.” stated President and CEO John Viskup.

Plans are in place to continually update www.boilermactsolutions.org over the course of the next two years with timely information and updates on all significant Boiler MACT issues.  This includes a “best practices” section that shares actual information for how operators are achieving Boiler MACT compliance.

ABOUT VICTORY ENERGY

Victory Energy is a leading single-source boiler supplier of custom engineered gas-turbine HRSGs, packaged boilers and enhanced heat recovery systems.  Headquartered in Collinsville, Oklahoma, the company delivers on lean manufacturing principles against a vertically integrated concept to completion positioning point of difference.

To learn more about Victory, please visit www.victoryenergy.com. You can also find us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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How to Extend the Life of Your Industrial Boiler

An industrial boiler is an enormous capital expense and a huge investment for a facility, in some cases, the biggest. It is imperative you take care of your boiler system by following all available best practices in order to maximize its life. When properly maintained and operated, an industrial boiler should last for decades. On the other hand, a neglected or poorly operated unit will be a constant source of unplanned expense and downtime for your facility, affecting production and downstream processes that rely on its continuous service.

Although the function of an industrial boiler is relatively straightforward, there are several parameters you must monitor if you want to extend its life. Water quality, steam quality, and boiler efficiency are the primary focus areas during boiler system operation. Failing to establish well-designed and managed programs, monitoring criteria, or corrective actions in any of these areas will shorten a boiler’s life, some faster than others.

How to extend the life of your industrial boiler 300x225 How to Extend the Life of Your Industrial Boiler

A well maintained facility with a pair of D-style Boilers.

Water quality has the ability to degrade an industrial boiler very quickly, even leading to catastrophic failures. Any “ingredient” in the boiler feedwater that is not H2O has some effect on the steam, boiler metallurgy, or heat transfer properties; the higher the operating pressure and temperature of the boiler, the more pronounced and rapid the effects will be. Water pH that is too high or too low, dissolved minerals and halides not removed from the feedwater stream, or dissolved oxygen not properly gassed off will all create problems for your boiler, as will many others. To maximize the life of your industrial boiler, the water should be demineralized before it enters the boiler, de-aerated to remove oxygen, and chemically treated to prevent attack of the steel in the tubes and other pressure parts. Continuous monitoring of the boiler blowdown and feed will provide you with constant feedback, and your operators can make slight changes to keep the chemistry in range.

Carryover of water or chemicals in the steam leaving the boiler system (steam quality and steam purity, respectively) can also have a pronounced effect on boiler life. Water droplets will impinge on superheater tubes and downstream process equipment and erode or pit them. Any chemicals carried over (regardless of whether they were introduced with the boiler feedwater due to improper water preparation or added in the boiler to control chemistry) can scale or corrode the heat-transfer surfaces, leading to inefficient operation of your industrial boiler or even tube failure due to lack of proper heat transfer. Automated drum level controls and mechanical separators are necessary to prevent this from becoming a problem for your boiler.

Boiler efficiency is probably the least obvious of the control parameters that can have a negative impact on your industrial boiler’s life. An inefficient boiler is the result of poor heat transfer and occurs for a variety of reasons, including dirty heat transfer surfaces, poor heat distribution, or unusually high excess oxygen levels in the flue gas. To counteract an inefficient operation, operators will fire excess fuel (which can create areas of localized high heat that will shorten the life of tubes and other pressure parts), or increase the flue gas flow (which will increase carryover and thus erosion, particularly in solid-fuel boilers). Monitoring stack temperatures, excess oxygen at the stack, and fuel/steam ratios will ensure that the boiler is being operated efficiently.

Companies don’t have money to spend freely on new equipment or expensive repairs. If you want maximize profits and maintain a competitive advantage in your facility, you must make sure your industrial boiler is equipped with the instruments, processes, and procedures it needs to operate properly. A well-managed boiler will not only run efficiently, but will provide service for a long to come on a continuous basis.

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

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Understanding the Latest in Canadian Oil Sands News

With the price of crude oil reaching and sustaining prices well over $100 per barrel, alternative forms of petroleum production are becoming economically viable. The Canadian oil sands, found primarily in the province of Alberta, are a major source of petroleum and a focus of extraction and refining efforts. This sizeable reserve of low-grade crude is estimated at 500 billion barrels by Alberta regulators, which is a quantity larger than the recoverable crude oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela combined.

Oil sands, also known as tar sands, are actually bituminous sand deposits that contain naturally occurring combinations of sand, clay, water, and highly viscous bitumen. These types of deposits are common throughout the world, but Canada has the largest reserves by far—roughly 70 percent of the total. With processing, the bitumen can be extracted from the other materials and converted in refineries to synthetic crude oil and higher quality liquid fuels including gasoline and diesel fuel.

The traditional method of separating the bitumen is to dig up the material in open pit mines and truck it to a recovery facility to extract the product before sending it on to a refinery for further processing. More recently, another extraction method has been developed where the oil is extracted in place. This in-situ extraction of the oil sands involves injecting steam and solvents directly into the ground in areas where the bitumen is too deep to be surface mined. Steam and solvents are injected near the top of an oil sand reservoir, allowing the hot, solvent-rich bitumen displaced in the upper layer to flow by gravity (a process known as steam-assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD) down to the lower layer of the reservoir, freeing up even more bitumen. It is then extracted and pumped back to the surface for processing.

Understanding the latest in canadian oil sands news Understanding the Latest in Canadian Oil Sands News

© 2014 VICTORY ENERGY OPERATIONS, LLC

In-situ extraction sites must have boilers to generate the steam needed to heat the ground, and inject solvents into the ground. Groundwater contamination is obviously a concern, as are the boilers, which use fossil fuels to generate the steam, emitting greenhouse gasses in the process. Critics are most concerned, however, about the contribution the oil sands make to the overall petroleum stream, perpetuating global demand for oil.

The Canadian oil sands, and the recent technological advances that make bitumen extraction economical and profitable, create a potential boon for an oil-thirsty global community; it’s also a potential threat to the natural resources and ecological balance of the region. With an estimated production of 5 million barrels per day by the year 2030, oil sands petroleum will be a major contributor to the global fossil fuel supply going forward. The production output is expected to rise in the coming years, and new technologies may even allow extraction rates to exceed current estimates. With so many emerging nations demanding oil for their economies, the Canadian oil sands will continue to increase in importance as a feasible source of supply.

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

 

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Industrial Boiler Leaks: Cause, Detection, and Remediation

Leaking tubes in an industrial boiler are one of the main causes of extended unscheduled downtime. An unattended leak will continue to grow, damaging other nearby tubes or equipment and increasing the cost and downtime needed to repair the unit. The goal of every boiler owner should be to prevent leaks, and if they do occur, they must be found and fixed quickly to minimize downtime and damage.

Leaks can occur anywhere within an industrial boiler, from the waterwalls to floor to downcomers, superheaters, the boiler bank, feedwater heaters, and economizers. Leaks can occur for any number of reasons, including poor water chemistry, erosion or corrosion from the fireside or waterside, excessive heat, mechanical damage, thermal cycling, and age, to name a few. An industrial boiler can run for a long time with a leak, but it costs the owner in terms of lost efficiency, extra feedwater chemicals, and, in some extreme cases where leaks have gone unrepaired, catastrophic failure, leading to extensive damage to large areas of the heat exchange surfaces or firebox itself.

The best way to avoid leaks is to identify areas within the industrial boiler where leaks can occur, and fix them before they start to leak. Periodic internal inspections by a third-party NDE company and boiler inspector are essential to identify tubes that are thinning, pitted, or scaled over, so that a certified or “R-Stamped” mechanical maintenance team can make the necessary repairs. The inspector and NDE team will perform a visual inspection, looking for cracks, areas of extreme wear, unusual coloration of the tubes, or tubes out of alignment. The NDE team will also perform thickness testing on the tubes themselves to determine the amount of remaining life, and other tests to look for internal scale, pitting, cracking, and corrosion. Any areas where defects are identified should be repaired by replacing the affected tubes, overlaying metal to re-establish thickness, or adding reinforcement to the tube walls.

Aside from regular inspections, leaks can also be avoided if the industrial boiler has a good feedwater chemistry program with established parameters for oxygen, pH, silica, sodium, iron, sulfur, and hydroxide control. An industrial boiler likes stability, so sudden, drastic changes in output, heat input, and discharge pressure should be avoided if possible. In particular, firing and shutting the boiler down places a significant stress on the pressure parts and structure, and therefore should be minimized. If the boiler is seasonal or fired for extra capacity on occasion, the number of internal inspections may have to be increased to look for thermal stress cracking.

Finding leaks, especially small leaks, can be difficult, but not impossible. Routine walkdowns by the boiler operators are a cost-effective and valuable way of finding leaks. Pooling water, wet ash, and plugged hoppers are all ways operators can detect leaks in industrial boiler. Also, because wet air has a different density than hot, dry air, the boiler operator may notice that boiler drafts are acting unusual, or that flyash is sticking to the tubes or walls of the boiler. Leak detection is also possible by high-frequency audiometric inspections, where a trained operator looks for unusual high-pitched sounds emanating from inside the boiler, indicating that high-pressure water or steam is escaping into the boiler cavity. A water-balance program is another method that can be very effective at detecting small leaks, but such a program requires an extensive array of instrumentation and controls. The PLC or DCS takes the measured flow and temperature inputs from the feedwater, output steam, continuous blowdown, and any other side stream, and looks for subtle variations between what is going into the boiler and what is coming out. If a discrepancy is detected, the system alarms that a leak is present.

With proper inspection and maintenance, boiler water chemistry, and stability online, an industrial boiler can operate its entire lifetime with few or no leaks. By utilizing your knowledgeable operators, and possibly more sophisticated audiometric inspections or computerized programs, you can find leaks early before they do extensive damage to your boiler. Leaks in a boiler require downtime to repair, and that can be costly not only from a lost capacity standpoint, but also from the ancillary damage they cause to other parts and components nearby. Preventing leaks should be a top priority for industrial boiler owners.

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

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Waste Heat Recovery

Waste heat recovery is a great way to make the most of available resources by utilizing otherwise wasted thermal energy. As companies across the globe look for ways to save energy they are turning to alternative energy sources like waste heat recovery.

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

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Victory Energy ABMA Scholarship Program

The American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) Scholarship Fund for the Promotion of Careers in Boiler Engineering and Fabrication is accepting applications until June 1st. This scholarship was created in 2010 to assist graduating high school students who want to pursue an education in commercial, institutional, industrial or power-generating boiler, combustion and other related equipment industries.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Graduating high school senior of an ABMA Member Company employee.
  • Graduating high school senior “sponsored by” an ABMA Member Company.
  • Graduating high school senior with good grades and commitment to community service.

Application Process:

  • Fill out application
  • Submit high-school diploma, GPA certifications & proof of college/school acceptance
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A 750-word essay on perception of the future of boiler and combustion equipment industry, its role in and importance to the American economy and why they chose this industry for a possible career

To apply for this scholarship, visit the ABMA Scholarship Program site.

Scholarship decisions will be announced by June 30 via email and paid directly to the student’s university, college or school. Five winners were selected last year, each earning a $3,250-scholarship.

Victory Energy is proud to be a part of the ABMA and is dedicated to the advancement and growth of the boiler and combustion equipment industry.

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

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