Boiler Water Treatment Solutions
At Chemstar WATER, we design our boiler water treatment programs to protect the integrity of boilers and all related heat exchange equipment, such as economizers, air preheaters, deaerators, superheaters, and steam turbines.
Many leading industrial and government customers have been trusting Chemstar WATER with their large steam boilers for decades. As you will see in one of our case studies, Chemstar WATER delivers outstanding performance regarding scale, deposit, and corrosion control in the boiler systems.
Why is Pretreatment Needed for Boilers?
Pretreatment of boiler feedwater is important because it helps to ensure that the water used in a boiler is free of impurities that could cause problems such as corrosion, scaling, and foaming. These problems can lead to reduced efficiency, damage to the boiler, and decreased lifespan.
- Pretreatment involves several steps, including filtration, pH adjustment, and chemical treatment. These steps are designed to remove impurities such as suspended solids, dissolved minerals, and gases that could cause problems in the boiler.
- Filtration is typically the first step in the pretreatment process and involves using a series of filters to remove suspended solids and other contaminants from the feedwater. This helps to reduce the risk of corrosion and scaling in the boiler.
- pH adjustment involves adding chemicals to the feedwater to adjust the pH to the proper level. This is important because the pH of the water can affect the corrosion rate of the boiler’s metal surfaces.
- Chemical treatment is the final step in the pretreatment process and involves adding chemicals to the feedwater to prevent corrosion, scaling, and other problems. This may include the use of corrosion inhibitors, scale inhibitors, and oxygen scavengers.
Overall, pretreatment of boiler feedwater is important because it helps to ensure that the water used in the boiler is clean and free of impurities that could cause problems. This helps to improve the efficiency and lifespan of the boiler and reduces the risk of costly repairs and downtime.
Why do you need Water Treatment for Boilers?
As facility managers, it is important to understand the importance of water treatment for boilers to maintain the efficiency and longevity of your building’s heating system. Boilers are a critical component of many buildings, providing heat and hot water for occupants and powering other industrial processes. However, the water used in boilers can contain impurities that can cause various problems if left untreated.
Impurities in the water, such as hard water minerals and dissolved gases, can lead to scale formation, corrosion, and foaming in the boiler and its associated piping. These issues can reduce the system’s efficiency, increase energy costs, and potentially cause damage or failure to the equipment. To prevent these problems, it is important to treat the water used in boilers to remove impurities and maintain the proper chemical balance.
Water treatment typically involves a combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes, such as filtration, pH adjustment, and adding chemicals to inhibit corrosion and scale formation. This ongoing process requires regular monitoring and adjustments to ensure the system is operating at peak efficiency. By investing in proper water treatment, facility managers can help ensure that their boilers are operating safely and efficiently, saving money on energy costs and reducing the risk of costly repairs or replacements.
The water used in boilers can come from various sources, including rivers, lakes, and groundwater, and it may contain impurities that can cause problems if left untreated.
Impurities in the water can lead to a variety of issues, including:
- Scale formation: Hard water minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, can react with the boiler’s heat to form scale on the internal surfaces of the system. This scale can insulate the heat exchanger, reducing its efficiency and increasing energy costs. It can also cause corrosion and other damage to the system.
- Corrosion: Impurities in the water can also cause corrosion of the boiler and its associated piping, weakening the system and leading to leaks or failure.
- Foaming: Dissolved gases in the water can cause foaming and carryover, which can interfere with the operation of the boiler and cause damage to other equipment downstream.
To prevent these issues, it is important to treat the water used in boilers to remove impurities and maintain the proper chemical balance. This typically involves a combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes, such as filtration, pH adjustment, and adding chemicals to inhibit corrosion and scale formation. Water treatment is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and adjustments to ensure the system is operating at peak efficiency.
Waterside Problems in Boiler
These waterside problems are generally the result of the following:
- Oxygen pitting: This occurs when dissolved oxygen in the water reacts with the metal surfaces of the boiler, creating small pits that can weaken the metal and lead to leaks.
- Unified unit corrosion: This type of corrosion occurs when the water’s pH falls below the neutral range, causing the metal to become more susceptible to corrosion.
- Deposits and boiler scale:
- These deposits can form when the water in the boiler contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. The deposits can reduce the boiler’s efficiency by reducing heat transfer and increasing the risk of overheating.
- Scale can also cause problems by clogging pipes and valves, making it difficult for the water to flow through the system.
- Thermal shock: This can occur when cold water is introduced to the boiler too quickly, causing the metal to expand rapidly and potentially leading to cracks or other damage.
- Major fouling: This refers to a build-up of dirt, rust, and other contaminants on the surfaces of the boiler, which can reduce heat transfer and cause the boiler to become less efficient.
- Boiler water treatment carryover: If the chemicals used in the water treatment process are not properly controlled, they can carry over into the steam produced by the boiler. This can cause deposits to form in the steam lines, potentially clogging valves, heat exchangers, turbines, and superheaters.
- Condensate return systems: If these systems are not treated or are treated poorly, they can return a significant amount of iron to the feedwater, causing corrosion and scale to form in the boiler.
These problems will result in the following:
- Increased maintenance and overall operating expenses: If the water in the boiler is not properly treated or maintained, it can lead to corrosion, scale, and other problems that require frequent repairs or maintenance. This can increase the overall operating costs of the boiler.
- More downtime: If the boiler experiences water-related problems, it might need to be taken offline for repairs, which can result in lost production and revenue.
- Unplanned equipment expenses: Poor water treatment and maintenance can lead to premature equipment failure, which can be costly to repair or replace. By properly maintaining the water in the boiler, you can help extend the lifespan of the equipment and avoid unexpected expenses.
- Unsafe environment: If the water in the boiler is not properly treated, it can cause the metal components to corrode or become weak, potentially leading to leaks or other safety hazards. Proper water treatment and maintenance can help ensure that the boiler operates safely.
Boiler Water Treatment Program
At Chemstar WATER, we are proud to have a team of Certified Water Technologists (CWT) technicians who specialize in developing and maintaining our Cooling Towers and Boiler Water Treatment and Safety Programs. With extensive experience in fire tube and water design systems, as well as high heat flux steam generators and electric boilers, our team is well-equipped to handle any challenge.
Upon initial consultation, you will receive a comprehensive system assessment, including a technical review and analysis of your options for establishing a water treatment management plan optimized for your specific goals. Our team is OEM-agnostic and committed to providing the best possible solutions, whether that means installing new equipment or providing ongoing maintenance and support.
In addition to having a dedicated technician, you will also have access to 24/7 reporting and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your boiler system is being expertly managed. Choose Chemstar WATER for top-quality service and reliable results.
Maximize Boiler Water Treatment Efficiency
Boiler systems are energy-intensive and costly. Therefore, it is in our customers’ best interest to maximize boiler efficiency through increased steam production and reduced fuel consumption in a two-step process:
- The first step is to ensure steam and condensate losses are controlled well, including treating condensate return.
- The second step is minimizing blowdown, which can be achieved by using makeup water pretreatment systems, including water filtration and softening systems, demineralizers, dealkalizers, reverse osmosis systems, electrodialysis reversal as well as water treatment chemicals such as polymer organics.
Through these methods, most of our customers’ energy savings exceed their annual water treatment costs.
Effect of a Good Boiler Water Treatment Program
One measure of the value of good blowdown and deposit control is related to these factors’ impact on fuel costs. Even a thin deposit on the boiler tubes dramatically increases the fuel needed to generate the required steam.
Consider these examples:
- A 1/32” deposit in a 1,000-HP boiler system operating at 50% load can increase fuel costs by over $150,000 annually.
- Excess blowdown can also greatly impact fuel requirements and costs. Maintaining a 10% blowdown rate (10 feedwater cycles) instead of 5% (20 feedwater cycles) in the same 1,000-HP boiler system can increase fuel costs by over $75,000 per year.