A steam boiler’s operating costs are water and heat energy.
As the steam is pure water then any impurities (minerals) from the water are left behind in the boiler water and these need to be removed via the boiler blow-down. The amount of blow-down is dictated by the British Standards for Treatment of Water for Steam boilers and Water Heaters.
The boiler blow-down is hot so in addition to discharging water down the drain the heat energy is also wasted.
Reclaiming the heat via heat exchangers and flash steam recovery will significantly reduce the heat loss but it may not be possible to reclaim the heat to the feed system as it could exceed the maximum operating temperature of the feed system and cause the boiler feed pumps to cavitate.
Ideally minimising the boiler blow-down via pre-treating the water is the most efficient method of operation as this will reduce the boiler blow-down and the need for chemical addition.
In most cases any steam boiler will benefit by the installation of a reverse osmosis to treat the boiler feed water and anticipated paybacks will normally be within the first year (although heavy users can often see a return on investment within a few months).
Should you wish to quantify the potential savings please contact PWEL either by phone or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and the relevant information will be calculated for you.