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Glass &Windows Selection

BOILER is a pressure vessel designed to transfer heat A(produced by combustion) to a fluid. The definition has been expanded to include transfer of heat from electrical resistance elements to the fluid or by direct action of electrodes on the fluid. In most boilers, the fluid is usually water in the form of liquid or steam. If the fluid being heated is air, the heat exchange device is called a furnace, not a boiler. The firebox, or combustion chamber, of some
boilers is also called a furnace.

Excluding special and unusual fluids, materials, and methods, a boiler is a cast-iron, steel, aluminum, or copper pressure vessel heat exchanger designed to (1) burn fossil fuels (or use electric current) and (2) transfer the released heat to water (in water boilers) or to water and steam (in steam boilers). Boiler heating surface is the area of fluid-backed surface exposed to the products of combustion, or the fire-side surface. Various codes and standards define allowable heat transfer rates in terms of heating surface. Boiler designs provide for connections to a piping system, which delivers heated fluid to the point of use and returns the cooled fluid to the boiler.

A boiler is a closed vessel that heats water to a pre-set temperature and feeds it to a circulator, which transfers the water to radiant heating units including some or all of cast iron radiators, slim baseboard radiators, under floor tubing or wall panels. Some boilers produce steam for heating purposes


Boilers may be grouped into classes based on working pressure and temperature, fuel used, material of construction, type of draft (natural or mechanical), and whether they are condensing or non condensing. They may also be classified according to shape and size, application (such as heating or process), and the state of the output medium (steam or water). Boiler classifications are important to the specifying engineer because they affect performance, first cost, and space requirements. Excluding designed-to-order boilers, significant class descriptions are given in boiler catalogs or are available from the boiler manufacturer. The following basic classifications may be helpful.

Working Pressure and Temperature

With few exceptions, boilers are constructed to meet ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Section IV (SCIV), Rules for Construction of Heating Boilers (low-pressure boilers), or Section I (SCI), Rules for Construction of Power Boilers (high-pressure boilers).

Low-pressure boilers are constructed for maximum working pressures of 15 psig steam and up to 160 psig hot water. Hot water boilers are limited to 250°F operating temperature. Operating and safety controls and relief valves, which limit temperature and pressure, are ancillary devices required to protect the boiler and prevent operation beyond design limits.

High-pressure boilers are designed to operate above 15 psig steam, or above 160 psig and/or 250°F for water boilers. Similarly, operating and safety controls and relief valves are required.

Hydronic and Steam
Heating Equipment and Systems.

Steam boilers are generally available in standard sizes up to and above 100,000 lb steam/h (60,000 to over 100,000,000 Btu/h), many of which are used for space heating applications in both new and existing systems. On larger installations, they may also provide steam for auxiliary uses, such as hot water heat exchangers, absorption cooling, laundry, and sterilizers. In addition, many steam boilers provide steam at various temperatures and pressures for a wide variety of industrial processes.

Water boilers are generally available in standard sizes from 35,000 to over 100,000,000 Btu/h, many of which are in the low pressure class and are used primarily for space heating applications in both new and existing systems. Some water boilers may be equipped with either internal or external heat exchangers for domestic water service.

Every steam or water boiler is rated for a maximum working pressure that is determined by the applicable boiler code under which it is constructed and tested. When installed, it also must be equipped at a minimum with operation and safety controls and pressure/temperature-relief devices mandated by such codes.

Fuel Used

Boilers may be designed to burn coal, wood, various grades of fuel oil, waste oil, various types of fuel gas, or to operate as electric boilers. A boiler designed for one specific fuel type may not be convertible to another type of fuel. Some boilers can be adapted to burn coal, oil, or gas. Several designs accommodate firing oil or gas, and other designs permit firing dual-fuel burning equipment. Accommodating various fuel burning equipment is a fundamental concern of boiler manufacturers, who can furnish details to a specifying engineer. The manufacturer is responsible for performance and rating according to the code or standard for the fuel used

Construction Materials

Most noncondensing boilers are made with cast iron sections or steel. Some small boilers are made of copper or copper-clad steel. Condensing boilers are typically made of stainless steel or aluminum.

Cast-iron sectional boilers generally are designed according to ASME SCIV requirements and range in size from 35,000 to 13,975,000 Btu/h gross output. They are constructed of individually cast sections, assembled into blocks (assemblies) of sections. Push or screw nipples, gaskets, and/or an external header join the sections
pressure-tight and provide passages for the water, steam, and products of combustion. The number of sections assembled determines the boiler size and energy rating. Sections may be vertical or horizontal, the vertical design being more common




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