A boiler is an enclosed vessel that provides a means for combustion and transfers heat to water until it becomes hot water or steam. The hot water or steam under pressure is then usable for transferring the heat to a process.
Water is useful and cheap medium for transferring heat to a process. When water is boiled into steam its volume increases about 1,600 times, producing a force that is almost as explosive as gunpowder. This causes the boiler to be extremely dangerous equipment and should be treated carefully.
Liquid when heated up to the gaseous state this process is called evaporation.
The heating surface is any part of the boiler; hot gases of combustion are on one side and water on the other. Any part of the boiler metal that actually contributes to making steam is heating surface. The amount of heating surface of a boiler is expressed in square meters. The larger the heating surface a boiler has, the more efficient it becomes.
The boiler system is made up of:
1. Feed water system
2. Steam system
3. Fuel system
The feed water system provides water to the boiler and regulates it automatically to meet the steam demand. The water supplied to boiler that is converted to steam is called feed water. The sources of feed water are:
1. Condensate or condensed steam returned from the processes
2. Makeup water which is the raw water which must come from outside the boiler room and plant processes.
The steam system collects and controls the steam produced in the boiler. Steam is directed through a piping system to the point of use. Throughout the system, steam pressure is regulated using valves and checked with steam pressure gauges.
The fuel system includes all equipment used to provide fuel to generate the necessary heat. The equipments required in the fuel system depend on the type of fuel used in the system.