An S: F variation of even 0.25 translates into 1.85% excess fuel consumption. Hence, it is important to continuously monitor boiler operating parameters.

The year-on-year operating cost of a boiler is much higher than the capital cost of procuring the boiler itself. This is a known fact, as is also known that this expense is determined by boiler efficiency.

Expenditure pie chart

Although “boiler efficiency” is an important parameter in the boiler specifications when purchasing a boiler, little attention is given to it when the boiler is steaming.

Boilers by themselves don’t operate efficiently, but need to be operated in a manner such that they deliver the best efficiency. In order to do so, the first parameters to measure is the Steam to Fuel ratio (S: F), which simply put is a ratio of the total steam generated to the total fuel consumed.

Monitoring this parameter regularly is essential. A minor change in S:F from say 13.5 to 13.25 translates into a 1.85% variation in fuel consumption. Steps should be taken to sustain a high S:F.