Boiler Selection Considerations

Perhaps no other piece of equipment is more important to a facility than the boiler. Proper boiler selection, to meet the needs of the application, is a critical factor in the design of any steam or hot water system.
This section provides information to consider when selecting a boiler. This information is divided into three main subsections:

1. Boiler Types
Typical boiler types are defined, including: firetube, firebox, industrial watertube, and commercial watertube boilers. General information is provided on the differences in boiler types (sizes, ranges, pressures, etc.). For more detailed information on boiler products, refer to the specific boiler product section.

2. Boiler Selection
Provides information on codes and standards; when to use steam or hot water boilers; defines load
requirements; defines the number of boilers needed; discusses performance issues; and addresses special requirements.

3. Payback Analysis
There are many factors that affect the decision to purchase a particular piece of boiler room equipment. This section addresses economic considerations only, and provides a procedure that can be applied to individual equipment selection or evaluation of alternative systems.

To assist with understanding information in this section, it will be necessary to understand the following definitions.
Boiler horsepower (BHP) is a measure of boiler energy output. One boiler horsepower (from and at 212 °F):

• BHP = 34.5 lbs/hr
• BHP = 33,472 Btu/hr
• BHP = 9.8 kW
• BHP should not be confused with other horsepower measurements.
Boiler Trim: Accessories added to the boiler, such as auxiliary low water cutoff, special tappings, special gas trains, etc.
Btu: Amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one °F.
Input: Total amount of fuel input to the burner in Btu/hr.
Output: Total amount of energy released from a steam or hot water boiler measured in boiler horsepower, lbs/hr of steam, or Btu/hr.

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