What is Steam Boiler? Applications and Function of Boiler

What is Steam Boiler

A steam boiler is a device used to create steam by applying heat energy to water. Although the definitions are somewhat flexible, it can be said that older steam generators were commonly termed steam boiler and worked at low to medium pressure (1–300 psi or 6.895–2,068.427 kPa) but, at pressures above this, it is more usual to speak of a steam generator.

Source – Wikipedia

Purpose of Steam Boiler

  • For generating power in steam engines or steam turbines
  • In process industries for various processes.
  • For heating the buildings in cold weather and for producing hot water for hot water supply

Primary Requirements of a Steam Boiler

  • The water must be contained safely
  • The steam must be safely delivered in the desired condition (as regards its pressure, temperature, quality and a required rate

Steam Boiler Functions & Terms

  • Shell: Consists of one or more steel plates bent into a cylindrical form and welded together. The shell ends are closed with end plates
  • Grate/ Bed: it is a platform in the furnace upon which fuel is burnt. It can be a Simple Grate for combustion of solid Fuel or a Nozzle Bed for Fluidized Bed Combustion.
  • Furnace: it is the chamber formed by the space above the grate and below the boiler shell, in which combustion takes place.
  • Water space and steam space: the volume of the shell that is occupied by the water is termed as water space while the entire shell volume less the water and tubes is called steam space
  • Mountings: The items which are used for the safety of the boiler are called mountings
  • Accessories: The items which are used for increasing the boiler efficiency are called accessories
  • Water level: The level at which water stands in the boiler is called water level
  • Refractory: insulation material used for lining combustion chamber
  • Foaming: Formation of steam bubbles on the surface of boiler water due to the high surface tension of water
  • Scale: A deposit of medium due to extreme hardness occurring on the water heating surfaces of the boiler because of an undesirable condition in the boiler water
  • Blowing off: The removal of mud and other impurities of water from the lowest part of the boiler. Accomplished with the help of blow off cock or valve
  • Lagging: Insulation wrapped on the outside of the boiler shell or steam piping

Read more about Boiler terminology

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