Types of ecological steam boiler for the industrial sector

Ecological steam boiler: Every day more companies, industrial sector, and healthcare facilities are looking for ways to be greener. Some have to deal with increasing emissions restrictions while others simply want to reduce their carbon footprint. It is at this point that many companies take this issue into account when selecting what types of ecological steam boilers exist on the market, whether for manufacturing, hot water generation, or heating systems. Next, we will see how steam heat can be obtained while remaining eco-friendly, simply by correctly choosing the most ecological type of boiler available.

What types of ecological steam boilers are there?

There are a number of factors that go into a company’s needs when selecting a boiler system, and one factor can easily outweigh another. For example, a steam boiler may have a low greenhouse gas emission rating but still lead to higher energy bills. Or it may be the case that the boiler has a high energy efficiency rating but is still running on fossil fuels such as natural gas or propane. When selecting among types of green steam boilers, a business must balance a desire for environmental responsibility with reasonable expectations of getting the steam and hot water it needs to function properly.

What factors determine the different types of ecological steam boilers?

As a general rule, the factors that are taken into account when determining the ecological character are the following:

  • Energy efficiency:

The ability to produce steam with as little energy waste as possible. Boiler systems are typically rated based on an efficiency rating called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The more heat energy that goes into the water and the less heat energy that goes out through the flue, the better the AFUE rating will be. An AFUE of 100 means that no energy is lost between fuel and steam production. However, even the most energy-efficient boilers do not usually reach that figure. Energy efficiency also means less fuel is needed to get all the steam because less heat is wasted.

  • Clean energy:

This factor refers to the amount of pollution that goes into the air when the fuel is burned to produce steam. Boilers with low emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides are considered greener because they send fewer greenhouse gases into the air.

  • Fossil fuels versus renewable energies:

Many low-emission boilers are still powered by fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas which take millions of years to form and cannot be replenished once used. Renewable energy cannot run out or is continuously renewed. Most boilers are still powered by fossil fuels because ways have yet to be developed for them to run efficiently on renewable energy, although some boilers, such as condensing boilers, do recover some of the waste heat, effectively renewing some of the energy they use.

  • Carbon neutrality:

It is not so much about clean energy as it is about the boiler not sending more carbon into the air than it absorbs. Biomass boilers are considered carbon neutral because the wood pellets they use have absorbed the same amount of carbon during their formation as the amount of carbon that is returned to the air.

Different types of ecological steam boilers

  • Conventional Fire Tube Boilers: The most common type of steam boiler, fire tube boilers are considered the least environmentally friendly because they run on fossil fuels, require a lot of water to operate, and are not energy efficient because they take a long time to heat up and must often remain on even when steam is not needed.
  • Condensing Boilers: Condensing boilers have a very high AFUE rating because they are designed to recycle some of the waste heat back into the water source instead of letting it out through the flue. They are not always profitable for companies that need large amounts of steam.
  • Electric boilers: Electric boilers have no emission problems and for this reason, they are considered the cleanest type of boiler, with an AFUE rating close to 100. However, as electricity is also quite expensive in most places, these boilers are also not very profitable for large companies.
  • Water Tube Boilers: For many companies looking for an environmentally friendly and energy efficient boiler, the water tube boiler is the best option because it requires much less water to operate than conventional boilers due to its unique design. In addition, modular boilers are also more efficient in terms of fuel consumption. Although they run on fossil fuels, they can be turned on and off in minutes, meaning they don’t run constantly. The modular design is better at producing steam in a shorter period of time than larger conventional boilers. And finally, water tube boilers are known for producing fewer harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

On the way to a more sustainable future, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions emerge.

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