What is a Boiler and How does It Work?

What is a Boiler and How does It Work?


In this video, we are going to discover what
an industrial boiler is, and how it works. But first, let us consider the term heat. Heat is vital in everyone’s day to day lives. Whether it be heat to
warm up our surroundings, or heat to be able to cook food, we all use it
to some extent in our day to day activities. Water and steam are great heat carriers
and are not damaging to our environment. The boiling point of water at
atmospheric pressure is 100°C or 212°F. By pressurizing the boiling system
by giving it an airtight seal, we can actually increase the boiling point. This is how pressure cookers work. An airtight vessel to increase the
pressure to increase the boiling point. This makes the food cook in a much shorter
time than if an open saucepan were to be used. So how does this compare
with an industrial boiler? Well, for a start, industrial boilers can cope
with pressures much higher than a pressure cooker. Industrial boilers are often made by
welding together thick steel plates, allowing extremely high
pressures to be made. It has to be made incredibly strong
to cope with the high pressure, as failure to do so will result in
forces close to an exploding bomb! before we get started on today’s video if you love our videos, be sure
to click the like button below. then make sure to click subscribe and the little bell to receive
notifications of new RealPars videos. This way you never miss another one! The function of a boiler is to
either produce hot water or steam. Hot water boilers heat water
for the purpose of domestic or commercial heating and hot water supply. Steam boilers generate steam in order
to power turbines for power generation and various other industrial
heating applications. To visualize the effects of steam
generation using a boiler, think of the steam powering a turbine. When the steam passes through
the blades of a turbine, the force turns the blades
and accelerates the turbine. Steam contains an enormous
amount of energy, so it makes the turbine quite efficient and, depending on the fuel used to boil
the water, quite energy efficient too. There are different types of boilers for
all sorts of different applications. We are going to cover a couple
of the different types, including how each of the methods
is able to generate heat, so you can familiarise yourself, and
be able to correctly identify them. Firstly, fire-tube boilers. The typical make up of this
type of boiler is a furnace, a water tank acting as a
boiler and a smokestack. There are tubes running through the water
tank carrying the heat from the furnace, and the smokestack vents the heat and
gases caused by the heating effect so that the pressure does not continue
to rise above the intended level. So, the fuel is burned inside the furnace. The tubes transfer the heat of the
furnace through the water in the tank. Once it is heated, the steam
generated is moved along downstream. Fire-tube boilers tend to be the
cheapest type of boiler to produce, as they have a fairly simple construction but are typically limited for low
to medium pressure applications due to the thickness of the outer
shell containing the water. Now that we have covered the fire-tube boiler,
let’s have a look at a water-tube boiler. The design is fairly similar
to a fire-tube boiler, but instead of the furnace heating
fire tubes to heat water in a tank, the furnace heats water
tubes inside the furnace. In the same way, a fuel source
is burned in the furnace, causing the water tubes inside to heat up. Once again, when the water is boiled,
steam is generated and moved downstream. A water-tube boiler is more thermally
efficient than a fire-tube boiler, but they are more complex to construct and the quality of the water
can be a limiting factor. The water may need filtering
to operate most effectively. Combustion is the process
of burning a fuel source. To create a reaction, there must be a fuel
source, heat, and an oxidizing agent. Boilers can be designed to burn a specific fuel,
using any number of different technologies, but the main component to consider here is the
heat source,or otherwise known as the fuel. The fuel is one of the most
important aspects of a boiler and is what burns inside the
boiler to generate the heat. There are many different
sources that can be used. Coal is a standard fuel source. In industrial boiler applications, the
coal tends to be ground to a fine powder as it burns more completely
than traditional bricks. Electric can be used as a heat source, either
by resistance heating coils or electrode units. Electric would normally only be used for
smaller commercial or domestic use. Electrode type applications require very high water
quality and conductivity to work effectively. Maintenance is key to electrode
type applications too, as cleaning the insulators is required to
prevent arcing between the electrodes. Gas fired boilers work by using
either propane or natural gas, whereas oil-fired boilers work using
gasoline or petroleum-based fluid. So let’s now recap a few of
the things learned today. Boilers are an extremely versatile and
important piece of engineering equipment, that only for us on a domestic level, but
at a commercial and industrial level too. There are so many different
applications that boilers are used for. They are used in the food industry. Food, at various stages of production, needs
to be heated or boiled as it is processed. Another interesting use of boilers
is in the brewing of beer! During the beer brewing process, the malt
needs to be ground and mixed with water, a process called mashing. This ‘mash’ is then heated, using steam, for several hours before the yeast is
introduced to trigger the fermentation. To generate heat, we need a fuel source. The reaction of having a fuel
source, heat and an oxidizing agent allows for a reaction to take place. This keeps the heat source going. By heating tubes of water, and
using fire tubes to heat a tank, steam is produced at extremely high pressures
to produce enormous amounts of energy! Ok, that’s all for today’s video. If you have learned something
new from this video, it would mean the world
to us to like this video. And if you can think of anything
you’d like us to cover, let us know in the comments and we’ll see if
we can put together a video on your topic too! Catch us next time for another
informative video, that’s it for now! Want to learn PLC programming
in an easy to understand format and take your career to the next level? Head on over to realpars.com

27 thoughts on “What is a Boiler and How does It Work?

  1. Excellent video.

    How is steam actually used for heating something in a closed tank for example? In the example shown, wouldn't adding steam to the mashing process increase water content in the product?

  2. I deal with boilers Zantingh – good ones, but combustion controller unites (Autoflame MK7) are very poor quality, problems with CPU
    It would be great to cover in next video automatization of boiler, nitrogen generators, work of UV-sensor

  3. Please make series of videos about simatic net and functions blocks of communication partner and gateways and cellular gateways please

  4. Water quality is key in fired Boilers. Please do a video on methods and technologies for cleaning the inside of the Tubes. And do say something about "soot blowing " the outside of the Tubes. Thanks for the helpful presentation

  5. Excellent video…I wish you continued making these videos about thermodynamics and maybe explained the concept of exergy, with an exergetic analysis of a boiler or a turbine? It'll be so useful with your unique style of teaching Engineering things

  6. We are using coal fire tube boilers @ work for steam generation for process . Would you kindly make a video on the mobrey switches and pressure sensors attached to the boilers . Thank you

  7. Thanks for a nice lesson, can you also make a video about a safety relays, how to wire it and they actually work.

  8. @realpars or anyone in the comment section….is there a device that can simulate analog output as an alternative to buying an analog output module that a PLC uses? I know of analog input simulation devices but have never seen one for analog output…In this case I'd want to send digital signals to this device input then it outputs analog output just as a simulation

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