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Similar to their domestic counterparts, Industrial Hot Water Boilers for process use typically operate with gas or oil-fired burners mounted to the boiler front for ease of operation and maintenance. Where they differ primarily is in size: Industrial Hot Water Boilers are significantly larger than domestic boilers to reflect their larger heating capacity.
As a form of direct heating, a significant heat transfer surface between the water and the process is required for the heat transfer to work efficiently. Where the process does not allow for this, or if the required water temperature is above 100°C, the use of High-Pressure Hot Water Boilers is a tried, tested and proven solution. Clearly, working with higher pressures means a stable, robust boiler design is essential and Babcock Wanson achieve this by offering their TPC-AS High-Pressure Hot Water Boiler.
Industrial Hot Water Boilers follow a relatively similar design concept to Steam Boilers in many respects, although they are completely filled with water during operation whereas Steam Boilers operate with a water level and steam space.
A burner fires into the boiler furnace and tubes to heat the water inside the boiler shell. The heated water is delivered to the process using a simple circulating pump and pipework and returned to the boiler to be heated again. Any loss of water must be compensated by chemically treated fresh water to avoid corrosion.
The boiler pressure vessel is typically a horizontal, closed cylindrical tube surrounded by insulating material. The most common Industrial Hot Water Boilers are two or three passes; each pass being a different set of tubes that the hot flue gas travels through before making a turn within the boiler. In addition to these are reverse flame Industrial Hot Water Boilers where the burner fires into a blind furnace and the combustion gases double back on themselves within the same chamber to ensure full combustion. This also makes for a more compact design.
What are Industrial Hot Water Boilers Best Suited to?
Industrial Hot Water Boilers are generally selected when the required process temperature is relatively low – typically less than 90°C. When higher temperatures are needed then alternative forms of heating such as high-pressure hot water, steam or efficient Thermal Fluid systems are used. However, the simplicity and generally low installation cost of hot water boilers have meant their continued use across a range of industries such as chemical, food and beverage where the temperature permits.