‘Super Boiler’ technology passing the test

Source: PlantServices.com

Jan 10, 2008

“Super Boiler” technology is up and operating at three locations with the hopes of adding more sites before commercialization of the process in 12 to 18 months.

Successful operation of the technology for more than one year at Specification Rubber Products, Inc., a subsidiary of American Cast Iron Pipe Company in Alabaster, Ala., was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). “It has operated virtually trouble-free for the last 18 months and we’re recognizing a savings in gas of about 13%,” says Philip Robertson, president, Specification Rubber. “Also, we’re using considerably less water. It’s been a very successful venture for us. It’s doing what they said it would do and saving us money.”

The Super Boiler can reportedly deliver better than 94% thermal efficiency, while at the same time producing fewer pollutants than conventional boiler technology. By 2020, the technology could save more than 185 trillion Btu, estimates the DOE. This is equivalent to the natural gas consumed by more than 2 million households.

“Steam generation accounts for about one-third of all the energy consumed in U.S. manufacturing,” says Alexander Karsner, assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “The Super Boiler is expected to help save energy, increase efficiency and improve environmental performance throughout the manufacturing sector.”

The Super Boiler is the culmination of more than seven years of DOE-sponsored research and development by the Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, Ill., and its partner, Cleaver-Brooks, Milwaukee, Wis. This work has also been supported by Utilization Technology Development, Des Plaines, Ill.; the Southern California Gas Company, Los Angeles; the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Diamond Bar, Calif.; the California Energy Commission, Sacramento, Calif.; and the California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, Calif.

In July, 2006, the Gas Technology Institute and Cleaver-Brooks installed a 300 hp high-pressure steam Super Boiler that has been running 24 hours a day, five days a week with excellent results. After more than 6,000 hours of operation, fuel-to-steam efficiency has been consistently in the 93% to 94% range, and NOx levels have been less than 9 ppm. Annual gas savings have averaged nearly 13%.

Additional field tests are underway at Clement Pappas & Co., Ontario, Canada, and Third Dimension, West Jordan, Utah. Cleaver-Brooks’ goal is to have five test sites up and running before the product goes to market. “Approximately 80% of the boilers out there are 25 years old,” says Dan Willems, vice president product engineering, Cleaver-Brooks. The company hopes to be able to replace 25% of those boilers with the new technology. “It can be applied to existing boilers,” Willems says. “You can get very close to 90% efficiency.”

Watch a short video about the Super Boilers at www.deangroup.com/clients/superboiler/.