Low Water Content Boilers: The Safest Boiler Design
Safety is always of the utmost importance when it comes to industrial boilers. Miura recognizes this by having a remote monitoring system and other safety measures in place to ensure our boilers are safe and reliable. However, our boilers also feature a low water content design that makes them inherently safer than traditional boilers.
How Does the Low Water Content Design Work?
The primary difference with low water content boilers is in the heat exchanger and the amount of water volume. Conventional fire tube boilers typically operate with a large volume of water that is heated by fire-tube elements inside the pressure vessel. With Miura’s water-tube design, the configuration is essentially the opposite: the water is heated as it flows through the tubes, which are heated externally by the fire. A Miura boiler system contains a little over 100 gallons of pressurized steam and water versus a fire tube boiler, which can hold almost 2,000 gallons of pressurized water and steam. The result is a high-efficiency design that greatly reduces the risk of explosions, not to mention being able to produce steam in minutes from a cold start.
With conventional boiler systems, a boiler failure comes with a certain amount of fear because it can be very dangerous. Conventional fire tube boilers typically operate with a large volume of water that acts basically as a heat shield for the flame to prevent the metal inside the boiler from melting. However, having that much water can also be a problem if too much of it is flashed into steam because the boiler won’t be large enough to handle it, resulting in an explosion. Additionally, if the water level runs low, which is possible at times, the metal will shrink. If this happens, and there is an introduction of cold water into the boiler, the metal may rapidly expand and potentially cause an explosion. Such explosions, while rare, can be catastrophic in nature. Not only do they impact a large area, but they can also be potentially deadly for those nearby.
Such issues don’t exist in Miura’s water tube boilers. Miura’s “floating header” design allows for all of the water inside the boiler to be confined to tubes that are “floating” freely inside the boiler while it produces steam. With all the water inside the tubes, Miura’s boilers require roughly 10% of the water in fire tube boilers. This helps to confine potential problems to one specific tube so the entire boiler won’t be put at risk of a massive explosion. In fact, even if a Miura boiler does fail, tests have shown that if a Miura boiler explodes, it will release energy from the stack of the boiler, not the doors, as is the case with conventional boilers. If energy is released from the stack, it will minimize any damage caused by the boiler failure.
Miura’s low water content design also makes it easy to control the water level inside the boiler, a feature not seen in conventional systems. The boiler’s control board makes sure that the flow rate and pressure of the feed water are both what they need to be to maintain the appropriate water level. If a Miura boiler doesn’t have the right water level, it will automatically go offline until the problem can be fixed by someone working onsite. Even if there is an issue, Miura boilers are also equipped with a monitoring system and excellent safety controls that can detect potential issues. A Miura boiler will not run if it does not satisfy its safety checks. This feature, too, reduces the risk of danger in the unlikely event of a boiler failure.
A Track Record for Safety
Of all the benefits of Miura boilers, safety is near the top of the list–and our track record for safety is nearly flawless. Let’s look at a couple of reasons for this.
Safety by Design
The key to Miura’s unblemished safety record is the water tube design of its boilers that is much safer and requires much less water than traditional boilers. Miura’s low water content design makes it easy to control the water level inside the boiler, a feature not seen in conventional systems. The boiler’s control board makes sure that the flow rate and pressure of the feed water are both what they need to be to maintain the appropriate water level. If a Miura boiler doesn’t have the right water level, it will automatically go offline until the problem can be fixed by someone working onsite.
State-of-the-Art Monitoring and Diagnostics
Miura boilers are also equipped with a monitoring system and excellent safety controls that can detect potential issues. A Miura boiler will not run if it does not satisfy its safety checks. This feature reduces the risk of danger in the unlikely event of a boiler failure. In addition, Miura offers a remote monitoring system called MOM that allows Miura representatives to view real-time data of any Miura boiler. This helps Miura technicians figure out if there’s a problem with the boiler and troubleshoot with onsite personnel to get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Even without physically inspecting the boiler, the MOM system allows minor issues to be solved before they become bigger problems.
Boiler explosions are not exactly a common occurrence, but when they happen, they can have catastrophic consequences. However, that’s never been an issue with any of Miura’s boilers, as the company has an impeccable track record when it comes to safety. With over 150,000 Miura once-through pressure vessels in operation throughout the world, there has never been a serious explosion.
In short, conventional fire tube boilers can be dangerous because of the high volume of water and the vast amounts of pressure. But these issues are mitigated by Miura’s low-water content boilers. Not only can they withstand more pressure than fire tube boilers, but Miura’s once-through water tube boilers have far less water in them, making it almost impossible for them to experience a catastrophic failure.
To find out more about our low water content boilers, please contact your local Miura representative.