Instant knowledge: The boiler house

This information is intended to give a brief, non-technical overview of the steam plant. It offers an overall explanation of how the different parts of the steam plant relate to each other — and represents useful reading for anyone who is unfamiliar with the topic, prior to progressing to the next level, or indeed, before taking any form of detailed study of steam theory of steam plant equipment.


The boiler house

The boiler is the heart of the steam system. The typical modern packaged boiler is powered by a burner which sends heat into the boiler tubes.

The hot gases from the burner pass backwards and forwards up to three times through a series of tubes to gain the maximum transfer of heat through the tube surface to the surrounding boiler water. Once the water reaches saturation temperature (the temperature at which it will boil at the pressure) steam bubbles are produced, which rise to the water surface and burst, causing vaporization. The steam is released into the space above, ready to enter the steam system. The stop or crown valve isolates the boiler and its steam pressure from the process or plant.

Content provided by Spirax Sarco, originally published in Steam News Magazine.

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