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Combined Heat and Power or CHP refers to using the waste heat in the exhaust of a turbine or engine to make steam or hot water. Preferred is getting active in CHP projects with Williams & Davis boilers of Dallas, TX. Their specially designed boilers can accept the exhaust from a diesel generator to make steam or hot water. For this project, Preferred supplied an API-AF burner to fire the boiler to full steam capacity when the engine isn’t running or isn’t producing enough waste heat to meet the plant’s thermal demand.

CHP projects make sense anywhere electricity is very expensive, fuel is cheap, and customers have a relatively constant demand for steam or hot water. Instead of purchasing electricity off the grid, a plant or building owner can purchase a natural gas- or diesel-fired generator, and use the hot exhaust to make steam or hot water for building heating. The Preferred burner allows the steam or hot water production to be independent of building electrical load.

Electric utilities actually encourage this practice because when customers provide their own electricity, they are peak shaving for the utility. During peak electricity usage periods, like hot Texas afternoons in August, the utilities are running all of their generating plants to meet demand, including their oldest, least efficient plants. The utilities lose money selling electricity from their oldest plants, so they incentivize customers to make their own electricity during these periods in the hopes the utility won’t have to fire up their oldest generating plants. In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, people living in buildings with back-up power and heating became very popular for friends to come by, charge up their devices, take a hot shower, and have a hot meal.

CHP covers a lot of different ways to provide both electricity and steam or hot water to a facility. This approach with Preferred and Williams & Davis is geared towards customers that have steam or hot water loads between 200 HP and 1,000 HP, and need the flexibility to fire the boiler at any load regardless of generator load. If you have customers that may be interested in this CHP approach, contact David Eoff for more details.

 
 
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.

 

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

 
 

Preferred’s products and online tools can help Florida nursing homes and assisted-living facilities (ALF) meet state proposed fuel storage legislation.

After emergencies during and following Hurricane Irma, B 7028 and HB 7099 make permanent rules that require every nursing home and ALF in Florida to have emergency generators, keeping residents safe and their facilities functional at least until help can be sent to them after disasters. (Florida Governor’s statement)

The online tools provide a head start on emergency generator system design and planning. Our fuel load web tool calculates main tank storage size based on generator kW.

We offer a web tool to check suction conditions and size fuel oil pumps and piping systems here:

And finally, you can generate a complete Facility Fuel Oil specification section based on Preferred products.

Preferred’s ATPSF duplex pump sets include integrated pump controls and optional tank gauge and leak detection systems. We also offer day tanks, return pumps, fill boxes, and all the accessories to make a complete fuel oil handling system.

Although our engineers can custom design a system for any number of generators, our standard pump control program can handle up to two-day tanks and up to two main storage tanks right out of the box. With no programming and minimal engineering required, these systems are available with very short lead times.

Contact us to speak with an experienced Preferred engineer.

 

Preferred’s Fuel Oil Handling and Boiler Control Cabinets now have California’s OSHPD Seismic Preapproval. This certification, required by the building code for all hospitals and large nursing facilities in California, verifies the integrity of manufacturer’s equipment and components in event of a seismic disturbance, an earthquake. Through “shake table testing,” Preferred’s boiler and fuel oil handling panels have received the certification that proves its functional ability survive an earthquake and keep your facility running.

 

A New Jersey paper mill came to Preferred Utilities recently needing a quote for a new burner for their 1961 Preferred Utilities Unit Steam Generator. What is wrong with their existing Preferred burner? Nothing. The plant is being forced to convert from No. 6 heavy fuel oil to natural gas.

Will their next burner last 56+ years? Maybe. It depends on who they buy it from.

Note, Preferred still had the documentation on the existing burner and boiler. But we had to go to 49 year Preferred veteran engineer Ricky Erickson to find it.

This plant needs a Low NOx burner that meets the emissions regulations in New Jersey. Preferred designs and builds burners that can meet the strictest regulations, and provides configurable NOx settings, “future-proofing” them against lower emissions requirements that states may adopt in the coming years.

Built for the environment. Built to last.