How to Right-Size Your Modular Boiler Plant
A modular boiler system consists of a group of small boilers that work together as one to deliver variable levels of steam according to your load demands. Making sure your modular boiler plant is right-sized is crucial for ensuring optimal efficiency. Here are four modular right-sizing tips that will save your money and energy, as well as set up your boiler plant for future growth and success.
1. Carefully determine the correct number of boilers
Determining the correct number and size of modules you need to meet your steam load demands is critical for optimizing your operations. In general, you’ll need somewhere between three and five heat exchangers for a modular boiler plant. When you choose a modular boiler system designed and manufactured by Miura, not only is it easy to produce the exact amount of steam you need, but it’s also incredibly simple to meet your facility’s N+1 requirements.
2. Consider your space and flexibility for future needs
When right-sizing your modular boiler plant, the actual physical size of your boiler units and the space they take up is important to consider. If you’re modifying an existing boiler plant, you need to account for any renovation costs. For example, are there any walls or ceilings that need to be temporarily opened up, or must the boiler plant be expanded to accommodate new units? If you’re working with a new construction, you have a lot of options available to you, but you also want to look ahead to the future to make sure your boiler plant can accommodate new boilers as your business grows and your load demands increase.
In either situation, a compact modular water tube boiler system is the way to go because it offers the greatest flexibility in boiler size and space. At Miura, our modular boilers offer an incredibly small footprint due to their low water volume and the fact that they do not require tube pull-space or door-swing space. Our LX-200 is even capable of fitting through a standard-sized doorway! And while most boilers need ample space between them for maintenance access, Miura boilers allow for zero-size clearance. Zero-size clearance means you can space them close together or even directly against a wall and still be able to access them for maintenance.
3. Pay attention to boiler turndown ratios.
A boiler’s turndown ratio refers to a boiler’s output when it is running at high fire versus running at low fire. As explained in this HPAC Engineering article, your boiler system isn’t going to be running at full capacity at all time:
“Turndown is crucial because boiler plants are designed for the coldest days of the year. These ‘design days,’ however, account for <1% of the total boiler runtime. Most of the time (>50%) the boiler plant will be operating at a significantly reduced input during the colder months. Since condensing boilers are more efficient at lower firing rates, having a high turndown will translate directly to fuel savings.”
Making sure your boiler system has adequate turndown helps prevent excessive cycling, which can lead to increased costs and wear and tear on your equipment. At Miura, our LX boilers feature blower motors equipped with Variable Frequency Drive controls, which give them high turndown ratios.
4. Rotate boilers to extend the life of your boiler investment.
One of the best ways you can maximize the longevity of your right-sized modular boiler plant is through a practice known as boiler sequencing.
Boiler sequencing involves rotating the responsibility of “lead boiler” across your different modules. Not only does this reduce the overall wear and tear of your boilers, but it also allows you to perform maintenance and make repairs on a boiler whenever you need — without sacrificing valuable operation time.
To learn more about choosing a boiler system that is properly right-sized for your facility, give Miura America a call at 1-855-817-3722 or locate a Miura rep in your area.