Page 217 - WaterSense at Work

October 2012
Boiler and Steam Systems
Install automated chemical feed systems to monitor conductivity, control blow-
down, and add chemicals based on make-up water flow. These systems minimize
water and chemical use while protecting against scale buildup and corrosion.
Replacement Options
Because replacing a boiler involves significant capital costs, first implement efficient
operations and maintenance procedures and perform any retrofits available to opti-
mize the current boiler’s management scheme. After exhausting all efficient manage-
ment practices, consider the costs and benefits of boiler replacement.
Boiler replacement options will vary depending upon the size of the facility and
existing equipment. Conduct an energy audit to help reduce heating loads; ensure
the boiler system is appropriately sized; and identify whether it is possible to reduce
the boiler size. When looking to replace an existing boiler, consider installing a small
summer boiler, distributed system, or heat-capture system for reheating or dehumid-
ification requirements. Also, consider alternative technologies such as heat pumps.
Savings Potential
Significant water savings can be achieved by improving the boiler system manage-
ment scheme. A key mechanism to reduce water use is to maximize the cycles of con-
centration. Installing an automatic blowdown control system is one way to minimize
blowdown and maximize cycles of concentration. Switching to an automatic control
system can reduce a boiler’s energy use by 2 to 5 percent and reduce blowdown by
as much as 20 percent.
Additional Resources
American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 1994.
Consensus Operating Practices for
Control of Feedwater/Boiler Water Chemistry in Modern Industrial Boilers
Council of Industrial Boiler Owners (CIBO). November 1997.
CIBO Energy Efficiency
DOE, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. January 2012.
Minimize Boiler Blowdown
DOE, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. January 2012.
Return Condensate to
DOE, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Federal Energy Management Program.
July 1999.
Steam Trap Performance Assessment: Advanced technologies for evaluating
the performance of steam traps