Removable Insulation for Oil-Fired Boilers

With the price of fuel oil fluctuating as it does one important constant remains, energy savings. Oil Fired Boilers tend to be are still a very common component used to make hot water or steam. In today’s world we need to look for any way possible to save valuable energy dollars. With the oil-fired boiler that begins with the insulation.

It is important to look for “hot spots” on the metal jacketing on any style oil-fired boiler, a hot spot can signify a problem with the internal insulation. Other places to look for energy savings are the steam drum doors, mud drum doors, the front of the boiler around the burner and the back of the boiler.

One area of great heat loss is the front of the boiler. The immediate area around the burner is usually quite hot. Typically, this area is not insulated because of maintenance tasks. Using a removable, reusable insulation jacket or cover solves that problem. Various materials are available for the insulation core of the removable insulation jacket, however, Type E Needled fiberglass, with a density of 9 to 11lbs./ft³ is the most popular choice.

The back of the boiler is another area that should be looked at, however certain types of boilers will begin to fail if the back of the boiler is insulated. We urge you to contact the boiler manufacture with the model number and ask the manufacture if additional insulation will damage the back of the boiler. As with the boiler front, the best way to insulate the back is with the removable, reusable insulation jacket and Type E needled fiberglass.

Smaller Industrial steam boilers often have the steam drum extend forward from the front of the boiler 18” or so. It is extremely important to get the front of the steam drum and rear of the steam drum insulated. If the steam pressure is 100psi, the drum temperature is going to be 338°F. If the steam drum is 20” in diameter and extends 18” out from the boiler then we have 10.04 ft² of bare surface area. If the steam pressure is 100psi and the ambient is 75°F. The result is that a loss of 726 BTU’s/hour/ft² is happening! Multiply that by 10.04 that is 7,289.04 BTU’s/hr lost!! If the boiler runs 12 hours per day we are losing 87,468.48 BTU’s/day which results in a total yearly loss of 31,925,995.2 BTU’s!

To simplify, we will call this 31.9 MMBTU. At a standard cost of $14.27 per MMBTU we have a loss of $455.58 each year. That is a lot of money for one small 10 Square Foot area to lose!! A typical Industrial boiler will average 91.13ft² of surface, now that $455.58 becomes 9 times the loss or $4,100.25 Dollars. That is only the front of the boiler!

It is extremely important to make sure the piping leaving the boiler is well insulated and the non-return valve, gate valves and any other component are well insulated with Thermaxx removable, reusable insulation jackets.

For more information on insulating oil-fired boilers, contact us.

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