Boilers are found everywhere, not only in industrial plants and refineries but also in homes and in various processes for public and private use and utilities. In industries, they play a crucial role in energy production and, in most cases, signify a sizeable investment by the enterprise.
We have all seen boilers right from the earliest memories – because they have been used in steam-powered locomotives, in heating systems, external combustion engines as we all inside power plants.
Why are boilers so much in use?
While the main function of a boiler is to produce hot water or steam, its operations can be quite complicated depending on what domestic or commercial use the specific boiler is being put to. Steam boilers generate energy to power turbines for power generation and other industrial heating applications. The energy is released from the combustion of fossil fuels or from process waste heat.
It may be of academic importance to know that the three main types of boilers are – combination boilers, system boilers, and conventional boilers (also termed traditional, regular, open vent, or heat only types). But we should be aware that the most important part of a boiler contains parts like the Burner, the Circulation Pump, the Combustion Chamber, the Heat Exchanger, the Vent, and the Plumbing Apparatus. The more one knows about these different parts of a boiler, the better care one can take of it.
How to ensure safety for boilers
Since boilers are ubiquitous, useful, operated for different purposes, and of various types, proper care has to be taken – because, for all their efficacy, they have the explosive potential of a bomb.
Therefore, right from the start, we cannot be too careful. Boiler systems should only be installed and maintained by trained and licensed technicians. As they contain intense heat energy, they can be very dangerous if not properly installed or used.
It is equally necessary to keep all boilers working at peak efficiency – because that would not only ensure minimal waste of fuel and energy but also safeguard against explosions. A boiler that is looked after professionally has residue and debris removed from the combustion chamber, its gaskets replaced, and all parts tested and temperature monitored.
Why do boilers explode?
An explosion of a boiler is a hazardous failure and the main cause is usually because the steam under pressure is suddenly brought under much lower pressure, i.e. atmospheric pressure. This results in an abrupt expansion of the contents to almost ten to fifteen times its volume. The tremendous amount of energy stored in the pressurised boiler is instantaneously released. This leads to an immediate conversion of the energy in what is called ‘Flash steam’ where 15 to 20% of the water evaporates.
Professional solutions offered by MSK
As mentioned earlier timely inspection, spot analysis of problems, instant interventions, and all-round care and maintenance is the only way to prevent an untoward accident like a boiler explosion. Peace on the mind can now be assured by MSK’s detailed study of such explosions and investigation of incidents. MSK follows a Flow Chart which emphasises on materials that should be used for construction, advice on the type of construction for greatest efficiency and safety, break-down of the boiler air/airflow ratio, notes on making control systems foolproof, causes for the gradual deterioration of boilers over time, as well as early warning systems and quality management systems to prevent boiler explosion.
Over and above these safety measures, MSK has researched into making boiler operation more economical in the long run. For this to happen, boiler engineers have to develop the expertise to prevent disaster by rigid examination and immediate repairs. By reading the warnings in time steps can be taken to avert disaster.
MSK’s experience and expertise show how to eliminate the likelihood of accidents, possible fatalities, and certain damage and financial loss from reading the present in a way that can predict safety in the future.