Upgrade or replace? Maximising industrial boiler performance

An industrial boiler should stand the test of time, but as technology improves, clinging on to your dated inefficient boiler can often prove to be a false economy. Upgrading or replacing your system before the end of its life has the potential to maximise efficiency, and reduce running costs at the same time.

As with any energy system, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution, and a like-for-like swap with what’s in place may not always be the best option. A detailed site survey should take place before any decisions are made to consider what is required and the upgrade options available.

So what exactly are the options worth considering when you’re looking to boost your boiler house?

A pre-packaged solution
Investing in a boiler housed in a container could be better than constructing a building to accommodate a new boiler. It can be delivered and installed on site, close to the process application requiring heat or steam output. It is also great if you already have a boiler on site and just need another to cater for additional output.

In applications where the tanks need to be pre-heated before a process takes place, the boiler on site is often oversized. A containerised solution can be better sized and located closer to the point of use with appropriate controls to maximise efficiency.

Taking control
Boilers can be turned on and off remotely through a Building Management System (BMS) which can save you a huge amount in running costs. What’s more, there is no need for someone to be on site during the night or early hours of the morning to fire it up before a day’s use. The boiler also monitors its own performance to guarantee it’s operating correctly.

Technologies on offer
When it comes to upgrading a heating or hot water system on site, you should speak to a manufacturer or supplier that can offer a wide range of technologies so the site survey is completely unbiased.

You can also combine multiple technologies to cater for the entire heating, hot water and process heating requirements. When you break everything down and separate the heating and hot water usage from the process heating requirements, it can be cheaper to install a smaller, separate system to cater for hand wash basins and other non-process heating requirements.

Ultimately though, a detailed site survey is the best route to go down first. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of understanding the requirements of the people and processes on site before any decisions are made on products.

Rob Brown, Technical Manager for Industrial Boilers at Bosch Commercial and Industrial