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-Today’s Boilers


This is a Letter to the Editor written by David Eoff of Preferred Utilities to Today’s Boiler regarding an article in the Spring 2018 edition called: Warning–A Boiler Breakdown may be in your Future story.

As Geoff Halley, the author of this article stated, the low water cutout switches that prevent a boiler from dry firing are prone to failure, and require periodic maintenance and testing. Low water cutout float switches can become stuck due to accumulation of sediment on the float mechanism, or due to the float getting deformed and sticking against the side of the switch housing. Probe type low water cutouts can fail due to accumulation of sediment on the probes, broken wires, and malfunctioning relays. Both types of low water cutout devices can be wired wrong, or intentionally jumpered by boiler operators.

As a back-up to traditional, code required low water cutoff switches, Preferred Utilities recommends a high stack temperature cutoff be installed in all boilers. A high stack temperature cutoff set at 200-300 degrees F. over normal stack temperature will quickly shut the boiler down if it is dry fired, and is not likely to cause nuisance trips. The high stack temperature cutout usually consists of a thermocouple installed in the stack that reports back to the boiler flame safeguard controller. Preferred Utilities’ BurnerMate Universal and BurnerMate TS controllers have included this feature for decades. Preferred’s JC-15D stack temperature monitor will open a dry contact if the stack temperature goes above a pre-determined setpoint and can be added to virtually any flame safeguard system.

Several Preferred Utilities representatives and technicians have reported these high stack temperature cutoff devices have saved boilers from dry firing when the traditional low water cutoff switches failed. People who have experienced a close call like this insist on installing a high stack temperature cutoff on every future boiler.

A stack temperature thermocouple is inexpensive, reliable, reads constantly so you know the device is working, and requires no maintenance. It’s cheap, reliable insurance against a catastrophic dry firing event.”

–David Eoff

 

The EPA made changes to the 1988 Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulations back in 2015, but the changes have not gone into effect until a date soon approaching, October 13, 2018. According to the EPA, the changes to the UST regulations are because of new technology proven to be reliable and accurate and the wide variety of new fuels on the market.

There are four main reasons for the EPA’s changes to the UST regulations: 

·       Operating and maintaining UST equipment properly

·       Prevent and detect UST spills and Releases

·       Protect against groundwater pollution

·       Even standard for all UST


Below are some of the following new changes to the EPA regulations that must be completed by October 13, 2018.

1.       Secondary Containment, Interstitial Leak Detection, Dispenser Containment1

When installing or replacing UST and piping owners must install secondary containment. Along with secondary containment, the owner must place interstitial monitoring as spill monitoring in these new tanks and pipes. Every new UST must have an Under-Dispenser Containment (UDC) installed.

2.       New Minimum Training Requirements2

Each operator working with a UST must be trained on the equipment by the manufacturer. Class A and B operators must receive training before October 13, 2018, or within 30 days of returning to work responsibilities. Class C workers must be trained before October 13, 2018.

3.       Walk Through Checks and Tests of Equipment3

Every 30 days the following equipment must be checked and tested: spill prevention equipment, release detection equipment, containment sump testing, and release detection system.

4.       Updated Criteria for Storing New Fuels4

New regulations for UST storing new emerging fuels.

5.       Past Deferrals for equipment were Removed5 6

The old deferral system for emergency generator tanks, field constructed tanks (FCT), airport hydrant systems (AHS) and wastewater treatment tank systems has changed due to new technology giving operators the ability to correctly and securely monitor these tanks.

6.       Updated Codes of Practice7 

New and updated codes of practice.

7.       State Program Approval (SPA)8

The EPA now requires that your state follow the new updated changes made to the UST regulations, even if you are in Indian country.

For a comprehensive list of changes made by the EPA go to: https://www.epa.gov/ust/revising-underground-storage-tank-regulations-revisions-existing-requirements-and-new#compliance

For a more detailed breakdown of each change go to: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-07/documents/regs2015-crosswalk.pdf

These kind of changes blindside many facilities. Preferred Utilities can help. We provide expertise along with a wide variety of valves, leak detection probes, and tank monitoring systems that help facilities keep up to date with the new regulation compliance. Preferred Utilities’ full staff of knowledgeable engineers work to keep the best products available, so your facility stays safe, secure and compliant. 

For the full line of services and products Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation offers please click on the link below or call 203-743-6741.

Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation

 

 

References and Links

1. https://www.epa.gov/ust/secondary-containment-and-under-dispenser-containment-2015-requirements

2. https://www.epa.gov/ust/operator-training-minimum-training-requirements-and-training-options

3. https://www.epa.gov/ust/operating-and-maintaining-ust-systems-2015-requirements

4. https://www.epa.gov/ust/emerging-fuels-and-underground-storage-tanks-usts

5. https://www.epa.gov/ust/emergency-power-generator-ust-systems-2015-requirement-release-detection

6. https://www.epa.gov/ust/field-constructed-tanks-and-airport-hydrant-systems-2015-requirements

7. https://www.epa.gov/ust/underground-storage-tanks-usts-laws-and-regulations#code

8. https://www.epa.gov/ust/state-underground-storage-tank-ust-programs#which

 
 
As the city’s apartment complex managers know all too well, New York City’s electricity rates are some of the highest in the country. Surprisingly, one of the biggest sources of energy usage for these structures is often the building’s boiler, which runs nearly continuously through the long, cold winter.

 

That is why it’s not a bad idea to start thinking of upgrading to a boiler that will give off fewer emissions, in the middle of the summer.

The Big Apple also has some of the worst smog in the country. Though it has improved since peak levels in the mid-20th century as a result of national restrictions on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, New York City does not currently regulate NOx emissions at the local level. This is likely to change. Responding to public pressures for clean air, states and municipalities across the country have brought the locally allowable NOx emissions far below federal standards, often focusing on large boiler emissions. Most of California, for instance, holds boiler emissions to a strict nine parts per million NOx limit. Other states have enacted more moderate standards of 20 to 30 parts per million. At some point, this trend will reach New York, and building owners who take the long view are already planning for it.

Solving these two problems—reducing the electricity cost of boilers and bringing down their emissions—are seemingly at odds. Ultra-low NOx emissions burners use more power because they burn fuel at lower temperatures over a longer period of time. However, with recent advancements in boiler technology, there are a couple of ways that New York building owners can strike a balance between saving on electricity in the short term and future proofing against emissions regulations likely to be enacted in the future.

First would be combustion control.

Whether you’re burning oil or natural gas, fuel must be delivered to the burner along with air (oxygen) at specific ratios, which account for variables, such as humidity and temperature. Traditionally, this is accomplished manually using a jackshaft linkage to set the ratio. These systems are inherently difficult to keep configured correctly because bolts connecting the linkage loosen over time, allowing incorrect amounts of fuel or air to be delivered to the burner, which has a surprisingly large negative impact on efficiency.

The alternative to jackshaft linkages (which still account for the majority of burners in New York City) is a more modern parallel positioning system in which the fuel and air valves are monitored and adjusted digitally. There is no slippage in these systems, and configuration settings can be dialed in precisely on a computer. Simply by maintaining optimal fuel and oxygen proportions, the system reduces both emissions and electricity costs. The only downside is the installation, which can run as much as $20,000 due to custom design and wiring. Despite the long-term benefits, this upgrade can be hard to fit into the tight budgets of many New York City apartment buildings.

In just the last few years, new parallel positioning systems that are “plug and play” drop-in replacements for older jackshaft systems have become available. This reduces installation costs to as low as $5,000, which in most cases pays for itself in the first year of reduced electricity costs. Stapleton Houses, one of the largest housing developments on Staten Island, found that its heating system, some of which dated back to the complex’s construction in 1960, had grown quite inefficient in its electrical and natural gas use. The New York City Housing Authority brought in a parallel positioning system and reduced electrical usage of its boiler by 75 percent.

Second would be choosing between using less power and making fewer emissions.

For some time now, ultra-low NOx burners that meet the strictest standards have been available. For facilities with older burners, switching to a modern ultra-low NOx burner may reduce electricity use simply because older burners are so inefficient. However, a burner with moderate NOx emissions would be even more fuel efficient and potentially use even less electricity.

This creates a dilemma: should one choose the future-proofing of an ultra-low NOx burner or the reduced electrical costs of a moderate NOx burner? Recently developed configurable NOx emissions technology allows building owners to have it both ways. These systems allow the NOx emissions to be adjusted with a few keystrokes so that New York City facilities can enjoy maximum efficiency in the short term, and easily adjust to meet new standards as they are enacted.

Fix the Boiler in July to Limit Emissions in the Winter!

Dan Wallace is the vice president of research and development at Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation.

 

Do you know all of Preferred’s capabilities?

Our products include fuel oil handling systems and components, boiler instrumentation and controllers, high quality burners and nuclear power plant outage reduction tools and component parts. Continuous research and development is applied to our existing products and is helping us to lead the industry with new and innovative power plant solutions.

Take a trip through our headquarters/ manufacturing facility and catch a glimpse of our engineering and production team at work! 

 

The end of summer is marked by the departure of our fine group of interns who join our team May through August. Before they go, interns and managers get together so each intern can present their major completed projects to peers and Preferred team members.

 

Thank you for your great work at Preferred and best wishes for a successful semester:

Jeff Hamilton, Nina Constable, Jake Powell, Nick Bishop, Scott Borgstedt, Christopher Bohn, Richard Bohn, Tim Vanderhave, and Michael Little.

 

 

 

 

Team members from our Danbury, New York, and Boston offices along with associates of Preferred Utilities got together on August 9th for the 7th Robert G. Bohn Memorial Invitational golf tournament. This tournament is hosted by David Bohn and Preferred annually to celebrate the life and successes of Mr. Bohn’s father, the late Robert G. Bohn.

 

A U.S. Naval Air Corps pilot, Robert G. Bohn graduated from Greenbriar Military Academy and Dartmouth College and joined the family business after WWII in 1947. President and CEO of Preferred from 1963 to 1995; he continued as CEO and Chairman of the Board until 2011.

Robert Bohn’s accomplishments at Preferred include acquiring three companies: the instruments division of General Controls, W.N. Best, and Rimcor. These companies provided Preferred’s instruments, controls, and combustion lines of equipment. He was also the creator of Preferred Engineering with a group of local engineers.

One of our favorite traditions here at Preferred is remembering Robert G. Bohn with a sport he loved, and honoring his memory as a gentleman, leader, colleague, and friend.

 

The Coen “AC” valve has been nearly irreplaceable because of it complicated, characterized design and expense – until now!

As just one of its capabilities, the Preferred Voluvalve directly replaced and exceeded the performance of the Coen “AC” valve at this recent project site.

The Voluvalve can be made to drop in as a direct replacement for a COEN “AC” valve or be used in a parallel positioning type control strategy as was utilized at this jobsite with our BurnerMate Universal Combustion Controller and Flame Safeguard System. 

Using a custom and proprietary drilled hole pattern inside the valve, it allows the valve to repeatedly, and accurately match the optimal efficiency flow rate, and fuel air ratio characteristics for any burner.

Designed and Manufactured in Danbury, CT USA and started up in the field, if requested, by our application engineers. Contact us for more information.

 

Pictured: one of two Preferred Special Combustion burners and control cabinets to be installed at an American steel manufacturer in Ohio, and utilized on twin super heaters used in the steel manufacturing process.

The burners, atmospheric element style heaters, use stoichiometric combustion to produce heat input for the super heater. The Preferred UV Self-Checking Quanta-Flame Scanner monitors the flame.

The control cabinets are PCC-IV based, multi-loop controllers combined with the Preferred M-85 Flame Safeguard Controller and Preferred Quanta-Max, a state-of-the-art microcomputer-based burner management system (BMS).

These components work in tandem with the scanner and other safety products on the burner and fuel train to produce safe, stable, and efficient combustion process.

Learn more about Preferred Special Combustion Equipment (PSCE)

 

A high efficiency and very “green” 50 KPPH Packaged Burner System about to ship out to one of the world’s largest privately held companies. 

Preferred Special Combustion Engineering (PSCE) provides a complete package combustion system for new or OEM watertube boiler projects. A complete packaged burner system (including controls) all from one source will optimizes burner to boiler special interface, allows for maximum pre-wiring of the system devices, provides a more complete checkout process, and minimizes field errors and commission time.

These often overlooked factors add up to real dollars saved.

For more information or to discuss your application, contact Brian Sy at (203) 297-4800 or by email at bsy@preferred-mfg.com

 
 

Advances in bio fuel and combustion control technology can help New England colleges and universities meet the 2020 emissions reduction goals of the President’s Climate Leadership Commitments, signed in 2007.

Preferred Utilities is advancing environmental combustion technology on several fronts with burner and control equipment that use renewable fuels, and ultra-High efficency technology which reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

See the article here: http://www.nebhe.org/thejournal/down-in-the-boiler-room/