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Competence No.6 (Course covered 6.2)6.2/9. Theoretical knowledge
of construction and operation of marine boilers including materials used.

A boiler is a closed pressure vessel wherein steam is generated by boiling

distilled water / feed water under pressure.
All boilers have a furnace or combustion chamber where fuel is burnt to release
its energy. Air is supplied to the boiler furnace to enable combustion of the fuel to
take place. A large surface area between the combustion chamber and the water
enables the energy of combustion, in the form of heat, to be transferred to the
water. Boilers are fitted with one steam drum and one water drum each to ensure
steam and water can be separated. There must also be a variety of fittings and
controls to ensure that fuel oil, air and feed water supplies are matched to the
demand for steam.

Fig 1
Requirement of a Marine Boiler:
• It should be capable of generating the maximum quantity of steam with
minimum fuel consumption
• It should be light in weight and should not occupy much space
• It should have safe working conditions
• The initial cost, installation cost and maintenance cost of the boiler should be
• It should be accessible for easy inspection and repair.
• It should be capable of quick starting and should be able to meet rapid
variations of load.

Types of boilers:
• Fire tube boilers
• Water tube boilers

Fire tube boilers:

In fire tube boilers, the hot gases pass though the tubes that are surrounded by
water. The water is heated up and converted into steam. E.g. Cochran, Scotch boiler
& Clarkson boiler. The FTB is usually chosen for low-pressure steam production on
vessels requiring steam for auxiliary purposes. Operation is simple and feed water of
medium quality is used.

Water tube boilers:

In water tube boilers, water is
circulated though the tubes and hot
flue gases flow outside the tubes.
e.g. Bobcock & Wilcox, Admiralty
three drum, Y-160 and Foster
wheeler D-type. The water tube
boiler is employed for high pressure,
high temperature, high capacity
steam applications, e.g. providing
steam for main propulsion turbines of
cargo pump turbines. Firetube
boilers are used for auxiliary purposes
to provide smaller quantities of low
pressure stem on diesel engine
powered ships.
a. Smoke uptake m. Footing
b. Economizer n. Waterwall
A heat exchanger that transfers Tubes welded together to form a
heat from Boiler Flue Gases to
Boiler Feedwater. wall.
c. Steam outlet o. Waterwall Header
Saturated steam from the Steam Distribution box for waterwall and
Drum to the Superheater downcomers.
d. Cyclone p. Back side waterwall
A device inside the steam drum that q. Boiler hood
is used to prevent water and solids r. Waterwall Header
from passing over with the steam. Collecting box for waterwall and
e. Stay tube risers.
for superheater s. Riser
f. Stays Tubes in which steam is generated
for superheater tubes due to high convection or radiant
g. Superheated steam outlet heat. The water-steam emulsion
h. Superheater rises in these tubes toward the
A bank of tubes, in the exhaust gas steam drum.
duct after the boiler, used to heat t. Downcomer
the steam above the saturation A tube through which water flows
temperature. downward. These tubes are
i. Superheater Headers normally not heated, and the boiler
Distribution and collecting boxes for water goes through them to supply
the superheater tubes. the generating tubes.
j. Water drum u. Steam drum
k. Burner separates the steam from the
l. Waterwall Header water.
Distribution box for waterwall and v. Economizer Header
downcomers. Distribution box for the economizer

Construction of boilers:
The construction of water tube boiler, which use small-diameter tubes and
have a small steam drum, enables the generation or production of steam at high
temperatures and pressures. The weight of the boiler is much less than that of the
fire tube boiler and steam raising process is much quicker. This boiler has two drums
namely steam drum (bigger in size) and water drum (smaller in size) and an integral
This furnace is at the side of the two drums and is surrounded on all sides by
walls of tubes. Between these two drums, large numbers of smaller diameter
generating tubes are fitted. Tubes neighboring furnace are called fire row tubes of
screen tubes which act as an upriser. Large bore down comer pipes are fitted
between steam drum and water drum to ensure good natural circulation of water. In
this arrangement, super heater is located between the drums, protected from the
very hot furnace gases by several rows of screen tubes. Refractory material or brick
work is used on the furnace floor and the burner wall. The double casing of the boiler
provides a passage for the combustion air to the control of register surrounding the
The furnace side, the floor and roof tubes
are welded into the steam and water drums.
The lower water wall headers are connected by
external down comer from the steam drum and
upper water wall header are connected to the
steam drum by riser tubes. The gases leaving
the furnace pass through screen tubes which are
arranged to permit flow between them. The
large number of tubes results in considerable
heat transfer before the gases reach the
secondary superheater. The gases then flow
over primary superheater and the economizer
before passing to exhaust.
Water circulation:
In the steam generation process the feed water enters the boiler where it is
heated and becomes steam. The feed water circulates from the steam drum to the
water drum and is heated in the process. The water from the water drums rise up to
the steam drum due to the thermo-convection current through uprisers consisting of
generator row tubes and screen tubes. The downcomers fitted on each boiler bring
down the relatively cooler water from the steam drum to the water drum to establish
a positive circulation during normal operation. Some of the feed water passes
through tubes surrounding the furnace, i.e. water wall and floor tubes, where it is
heated and returned to the steam drum (in case furnace is cooled by water filled
tubes). Large bore downcomer tubes are used to circulate feed water between the
drums. The downcomer tubes pass outside of the furnace and join the steam and
water drums. The steam is produced in a steam drum and drawn of as a ‘saturated
steam’ which contains small quantities water particles. Alternatively the steam may
pass to a superheater which is located within the boiler. Here steam is further
heated and dries, i.e. all traces of water are converted into steam. This superheater
steam then leaves the boiler for use in the system. The temperature of this steam
will be above that of the steam in the drum. An attemperator may be fitted in the
system to control the temperature of the superheated steam as per requirements.

Materials Used in Boiler Construction.

Component Material Composition & Description
Boiler Casing Mild steel plates (low C, Si, Mn, (Hot finished rolled plates)
Steam Drum Mild steel plates (low C, Si, Mn (Hot finished)
carbon) TS-430-490MN/m2
Fire Row & Gen. Cold drawn seamless (low C, Si, Mn, S, P (cold drawn)
Row Tubes carbon steel)
S/H Tubes Cr, Molybdenum alloy steel Cr, Mo, C, Si, Mn, Mi (cold finished)
S/H Tube Support Heat resistant austenitic C, Si, Mn, Ni, Cr, P, S (hot finished)
Steam Piping (S/H Cr-Mo low carbon alloy C, Si, Mn, P, S, Ni, Cr, Mo (cold
range upto 9500F) steel finished)
Economiser Tubes Cold drawn seamless steel C, Si, Mn, P (stud resistance welded
to tubes)

Water Drum Mild steel plates (low C, Si, Mn (hot finished rolled plate)

6.2/10. List the services provided by boilers and the typical pressures

• For main engine propulsion/turbines (in case of steam ships)

• For power generation (to run steam turbo generators)
• For running auxiliaries (in case of steam ships)
• For soot blowing and for the steam atomized burners.
• For fresh water generation (Evaporators)
• For fire major fighting (steam drenching)
• For heating duties (ME fuel oil heater, Galley supply, Purifier, Calorifier,
Galley, Accommodation heating, Sea chests tracer lines for pipeline heating)
• For cargo heating
• For fuel treatment plant tank coil heating
• For deck machineries
• For running Cargo pump turbines
• For operating bilge, stripping and other steam driven pumps.
• For tank washing in tanker ships and general cleaning.
• For using as a steam ejector media for ejector pumps and vacuum devices
• For Driving steam driven deck machineries like winches etc.,

Pressures used:

The working pressure used in marine boilers will vary from boiler to boiler as
required. Still the normal working pressure of boilers used is as below:-

For Steam ships High pressure 60 bar and above

For Motor ships Low pressure 6-15 bar
Medium pressure 17-30 bar
For Tanker Vessels Medium pressure 17-30 bar.
6.2/11. Define a) Fire tube boiler b) Water tube boiler c) Packaged
boiler and briefly explain the differences and why one type of boiler is
preferred over other

Fire tube boilers:

In fire tube boilers, the hot gases pass though the tubes that are surrounded by
water. The water is heated up and converted into steam. e.g. Cochran, Scotch boiler
& Clarkson boiler. The FTB is usually chosen for low-pressure steam production on
vessels requiring steam for auxiliary purposes. Operation is simple and feed water of
medium quality is used.

Water tube boilers:

In water tube boilers, water is circulated though the tubes and hot flue gases
flow outside the tubes. e.g. Bobcock & Wilcox, Admiralty three drum, Y-160, Foster
wheeler D-type. The water tube boiler is employed for high pressure, high
temperature, and high capacity steam applications.

Package boiler:
Where relatively small,
intermittent steam demands are
to be met, use is often made of
package boilers. This term is
usually applied to self contained
units mounted on a single
bedplate and comprising a steam
generating section, feed water
system and pump, fuel oil system
and pump, together with a forced
draught fan. In addition suitable
control equipment will also be
required. This package now only
needs connections Fig.4
to the ship’s electrical supply and other necessary services to become operational.
Fully automatic controls are provided and located in a control panel at the side of the

Differences between fire tube and water tube boilers:

S No Fire tube boilers Water tube boilers

a. Hot flue gases pass through tubes Water is circulated through tubes that
which are immersed in water are surrounded by hot flue gases
b. Pressure range is limited to 25 bar This can generate steam at a pressure
of 200 bar
c. Raising of steam is slow Raising of steam is more rapid

d. Reduced evaporation since heating Evaporation rate is high since water is

surface area is less circulated though tubes
e. Bursting of even one tube affects Bursting of one or two tubes does not
the function of boiler very much affect the function of the boiler very
f. The chances of bursting is less The chances of bursting is more

g. Suitable for rapid changes in load Preferable for large load fluctuations
like locomotive boiler extending over longer durations
h. Space occupied per kg of steam Space occupied per kg of steam
generation is less generation is more
i. It is not suitable for power plants It is best suitable for power plants
since reduced evaporation
j. Construction of this boiler is Cheaper for the same capacity of fire
costlier and difficult tube boilers.
k. The drums are protected form flame
impingement or direct heat.

6.2/12. Explain why shells of cylindrical forms are preferred and why
end plates of spherical types are to be preferred over flat end plates

When a force is applied to a curved plate as shown in fig, internal forces are
set up which enable the plate to withstand the force without undue distortion. The
stress acting on a circumferential area will be equally distributed throughout its area,
hence the force acting per unit area gets distributed and load bearing capability is
increased. The cylindrical end joint need not be as strong as longitudinal joint. The
cylindrical shape has an advantage of reduction in space consumption and no
supporting stays are required. Whereas in case of flat plate the force applied tries to
bend the plate until equilibrium is obtained, thus comes the requirement of stays.
The pressure vessels are often given hemispherical ends but, if this is not possible,
any flat surfaces must be stayed or of sufficient thickness to resist the pressure
without undue distortion.

Bursting Stress
to any radius
Component of stress to balance

Fig.5 Stress in a curved plate

Internal stays

Hemispherical end plates no

Flat end plates internal stays must be
internal stays required fitted to support them

6.2/13. What are different types of stays used in boiler and why?

Stay tubes are used in marine boilers to support boiler tubes in construction to
resist the pressure without undue distortion.
Types of Stays:
• Girder stays
• Gusset stays

Girder stays: Girder

stays are used to support the
top of the combustion
chamber, transmitting the
bending stresses from the top Girde
wrapper plate onto the r
vertical tube plate and back
plate of the chamber.
Gusset stays: The Cochran is
typical tank boiler of vertical type
suitable for producing small
amounts of low pressure steam for
auxiliary purposes. In this boiler,
the combustion chamber top
requires support, and this is
provided by means of a gusset stay
which transfers the stresses from
the flat top of the chamber into the
boiler shell. Gusset

6.2/14. Explain the advantages of using corrugated furnaces

Furnaces are corrugated for strength; the arrangement also gives increased
heating surface area as compared to a plain furnace of similar dimensions. Various
types of corrugation are available, but the suspension bulb type is preferred since for
a given working pressure and furnace diameter the material thickness can be less than
any other form of corrugation, hence heat transfer will be improved.

6.2/15. Describe how tubes are expanded in tube plates and explain the
differences in following:- a) Plain tube b) Stay tube c) Single flow tube (d)
Swirl flow tube (e) Thimble tube

Attachment of tubes in water tube boilers

Tubes can be attached to drums and headers by expanding or by welding. In
most cases the generating, screen and water wall tubes are expanded into plain seats,
and then bell mouthed. The tube ends must be cleaned, and then carefully drifted,
or roller expanded into the holes in the tube plate. They must project through the
tube plate by at least 6mm. To prevent tubes pulling out of the tube plate, they
must be bell-mouthed. In case of tubes with larger diameters, such as down comers,
it is usual to use grooved seats. Super heater tubes are also usually expanded and
bell-mouthed up to steam temp of about 450⁰ C, above this the tubes are often
attached by welding.
Piping systems

Machinery space pipe work is made up of assorted straight lengths and bends
joined by flanges with an appropriate gasket or joint between or very small bore
piping may use compression couplings. The piping material will be chosen to suit the
system conditions.

The pipes are supported and held in by hangers or pipe clips in such a way as to
minimize vibration. Steam pipes or pipes in systems with considerable temperature
variation may be supported on spring hangers which permit a degree of movement
and are called ‘load hangers’. An alternative to spring hangers is the use of expansion
loops of piping or an expansion joint.

Expansion of pipes

An expansion piece is fitted in a pipe line which is subject to considerable

temperature variations. One type consists of a bellows arrangement which will
permit movement in several directions and absorb variation. The fitting must be
selected according to the variation in system temperatures and installed to permit
the expansion and contraction required in the system.

Plain tube
The plain or common tubes are used in the boiler between steam and water
drum to generate steam and are expanded into the tube plates at both ends. The
tubes have a diameter of about 65mm with a thickness of 5mm. The front end of the
tube often swelled out to allow for easier tube removal. The back end of the tube is
bell-mouthed after expansion, or may be spot-welded.

Stay tubes
Fire tube boiler has a number of flat surfaces which require support. Stays are
fitted in the steam drum and in the annular water space, which together with a
number of tubes provide the necessary support is called stay tubes. These tubes
being screwed and then expanded into both tube plates. The thickness of these stay
tubes varies according to the load to be supported, but must not be less than 5mm
the base of the thread. After the tubes has been screwed and then expanded into the
tube plates, nuts are usually fitted at the front end but not in the combustion
chamber to avoid overheating. Welding can be used after screwing the stay tubes
into the tube plates but the tubes must be expanded before and after welding.

Swirl flow tube
The vertical smoke tubes are known as swirlyflow tubes, they have a special
twist along the greater part of their length, only a short portion at each end being
left plain to allow for expansion. It is claimed that these tubes are more efficient
than normal plain smoke tubes in that they cause the gases passing through to swirl so
coming into more intimate contact with the tube wall and therefore increasing the
rate of heat transfer.

Thimble tube
The boiler was developed to generate steam by causing a prolonged series of
spasmodic ebullitions to take place in a series of horizontal tapered thimble tubes
heated externally, without any special means being provided for circulation within
the tube. It enhances the heat transfer between the tubes and feed water to produce
steam. It consists of an outer shell enclosing a cylindrical furnace surmounted by the
combustion chamber into which the thimble tubes project. These are expanded and
bell-mouthed into a cylindrical tube plate forming the combustion chamber. These
boilers will operate for long periods without internal cleaning although, if an undue
amount of scale forms inside the thimble tubes, it is very difficult to remove. Thus
reasonable quality of feed water should be provided. The formation of scale will
subject the thimble tubes to a certain amount of overheating. The tubes have a
diameter of about 100mm.

Stay tube, screwed into plate fitted with

nut and expanded

Stay tube within nest, expanded before

and after welding
Margin stay tube, expanded before
and after welding


Plain tube, expanded

Fig.5 Scotch boiler tubes

6.2/16. Sketch the path of water circulation and gas paths in boilers
Path of Water circulation and gas paths:
6.2/17. List all boiler mountings: a) on shell b) internal and describe
briefly their purposes

Boiler Mountings
Various valves and other fittings are required for the proper working of the
boiler. Those attached directly to the pressure parts of the boiler are referred to as
boiler mountings which are being performed either directly, or indirectly, by means of
extended rods, spindles. Boiler Mountings fitted on boiler are safety valves, main
steam stop valves, aux sup steam stop valves, sat steam stop valve, main feed check
valve, aux feed check valve, water gauges, pressure gauges, air cocks, running down
valves, blow down cocks, super heater header drain valves, robot feed regulator,
boiler sampling cocks and soot blowers.
(a) Safety valve. These are fitted to protect the boiler form the
effects of overpressure. As per international regulations, at least two safety
valves are fitted to each boiler, but in practice it is usual to fit three safety
valves – two on the steam drum, and one on the super heater outlet header.
This is fitted to release excess steam pressure from the boiler.

(b) Main steam stop valves This is mounted on the superheater outlet
header, and enables the boiler to be isolated from the steam drum. Two may
be fitted to control the passage of steam from the boiler to the main steam
range and of SDNR type to prevent steam flowing into a damaged boiler in the
event of loss of pressure due to a burst tube.

(c) Auxiliary superheated steam stop valve Fitted to supply steam to

auxiliary superheated steam range to run the auxiliaries
and TAs and may be utilized to augment steam to the main steam range means
for turbines through a suitable cross connection valve in case of an emergency.
This too of SDNR type.

(d) Saturated steam stop valve Fitted on the steam drum to supply saturated

(e) Feed check valve To give final control over the entry of feed water into the
boiler and they must be SDNR valve so that in the event of a loss of feed
pressure, the boiler water cannot be back into the feed line. Main and aux
feed checks are fitted with extended spindles so that checks can be operated
easily and quickly from the operator’s convenient positions.

(f) Feed water regulator. The water level in a boiler is critical. If it is

too low, damage may result from overheating, too high and priming can occur
with resultant carry-over of water and dissolved solids into superheaters steam
lines. So automatic feed regulator are fitted to control the flow of water into
the boiler and maintain the water level at its desired value. The regulator is
fitted in the feed line (after the feed heater if provided) before the main feed
check valve.

(g) Air cocks or Air vents. These are fitted to the upper parts of the
boiler as required to release air from drums and headers either when filling the
boiler, or raising steam. These ‘air cocks’ are fitted to purge out the air
when the boiler is being topped up we have to release air while raising steam
and also during ‘run down’ of a boiler.

(h) Water level indicators. The DOT demand that at least two water
level gauges must be fitted on each boiler steam drum. In practice the usual
arrangement consists of two direct reading water level gauges mounted on the
steam drum, and a remote reading indicator placed at a convenient position.

(i) Pressure gauges Each boiler is fitted with two pressure gauge
tappings on steam drum. One is for direct reading pressure gauge and the
other for sensing pressure gauge. The sensing pressure gauge tapping after
steam drum further branches to indicate drum pressure in boiler room and a
remote position.

(j) Running down valves The purpose of these valves is to run down the water
from the water drum when there is a need to lower the level of water in the
steam drum before steaming or to drain the boiler when it has to be emptied.

(k) Blow down cocks There are mostly two blow down cocks fitted on each
boiler. These cocks are fitted in series with two other valves i.e. the
“intermediate blow down valve” and the “overboard blow down valve”. The
main purpose of these cocks is to blow down the boiler water deposits when
the boiler is steaming thereby reducing density.

(l) Superheater header drain valves These are fitted as required to boiler
superheater header. These valves are fitted in connection with a steam trap to
drain off water from the headers.

(m) Boiler water sampling cocks The main purpose of the ‘sampling
cock’ is to take samples of the boiler water to calculate the alkalinity and
salinity of the boiler water. Water drum is provided with one sampling valve
which allows the sampling water to pass through a cooling coil which reduces
its temperature.

(n) Soot blowers Soot tends to accumulate between the tubes

of the boilers, superheaters and economisers. It requires to be cleared at frequent
intervals while steaming to prevent subsequent blockage thereby reducing the
boiler output. Soot blowers consist of a steam nozzle which when operated
directs a jet of steam through the tube banks. The soot blowing routine is
undertaken as required.
(o) Chemical Dosing valve. These are fitted to the steam drum to enable
feed treatment chemicals to be injected directly into the boiler

(p) Scum valves. These should be fitted when there is a possibility of

oil contamination of the boiler. They are mounted on the steam drum, having
an internal fitting in the form of a shallow pan situated just below the normal
water level, with which to remove oil or scum from the surface of the water in
the drum. These valves discharge into the blow down line.

6.2/18. Explain purpose and working of a a) reducing valve b) steam

straps c) drains

Reducing valve:
Reducing valve is used for the reduction of steam or air pressure. As steam
passes through the valve no work is done since the reduction process is the throttling,
hence the total heat before and after pressure reduction is nearly the same. The
reducing valve would normally have a body of cast steel or iron. A valve, valve seat
and spindle of steel or bronze. Choice of materials depends upon operating
conditions. Fitted on the discharge side of the valve is a pressure gauge to record the
reduced pressure and relief valve to prevent damage to the low pressure side of the
system in the event of the reducing valve failing.

Steam traps:
A steam trap is a special type of valve which prevents the passage of steam but
allows condensate to pass. It works automatically and is put into drain lines so that
these drain off condensate automatically without passing any steam. As its name
implies and permits only the passage of condensed steam. Steam traps of three
types, they are:-
(a) Mechanical type
(b) Thermostatic type
(c) Thermodynamic type

Mechanical type
Mechanical (operated by changes in fluid density) - This range of steam traps
operates by sensing the difference in density between steam and condensate. These
steam traps include 'ball float traps' and 'inverted bucket traps'. In the 'ball float trap',
the ball rises in the presence of condensate, opening a valve which passes the denser
condensate. With the 'inverted bucket trap', the inverted bucket floats when steam
reaches the trap and rises to shut the valve. Both are essentially 'mechanical' in their
method of operation
Thermostatic type (Bimetallic steam trap)

As the name implies, bimetallic steam traps are

constructed using two strips of dissimilar metals
welded together into one element. The element
deflects when heated. Deflection of the bimetallic
strip with increasing temperature closes the valve.
There are two important points to consider regarding
this simple element:

Fig. Simple bimetallic element

• Operation of the steam trap takes place at a certain fixed temperature, which
may not satisfy the requirements of a steam system possibly operating at
varying pressures and temperatures
• Because the power exerted by a single bimetal strip is small, a large mass
would have be used which would be slow to react to temperature changes in
the steam system.

The performance of any steam

trap can be measured by its response
to the steam saturation curve. The
ideal response would closely follow the
curve and be just below it. A simple
bimetal element tends to react to
temperature changes in a linear

Fig. Operation of a bimetal steam trap with two leaf element

Thermodynamic type

High pressure drain traps are chiefly of the thermodynamic type. Condensate
and air raise the trap disc to permit the flow. When steam reaches the trap, the
velocity under the disc is increased and recompression above the seat straps is shut.
Heat loss from the control chamber causes pressure to decrease and this causes the
trap disc to open again and discharge condensate. When the hot condensate reaches
the chamber some of it flashes off into low pressure steam (saturated) which is taken
away into the exhaust range. The remaining condensate drains at low pressure through
a ball float trap to the unit drain cooler, or to a drain tank where there is a cooling
element supplied with circulating water from the auxiliary circulating system.
The drain tank is pumped out to the tank by a suitable pump.
The thermodynamic trap is an extremely robust steam trap with a simple mode
of operation. The trap operates by means of the dynamic effect of flash steam as it
passes through the trap, as depicted in Figure. The only moving part is the disc above
the flat face inside the control chamber or cap. On start-up, incoming pressure raises
the disc, and cool condensate plus air is immediately discharged from the inner ring,
under the disc, and out through three peripheral outlets [Fig (i)]. Hot condensate
flowing through the inlet passage into the chamber under the disc drops in pressure
and releases flash steam moving at high velocity. This high velocity creates a low
pressure area under the disc, drawing it towards its seat (Figure ii). At the same time,
the flash steam pressure builds up
inside the chamber above the disc,
forcing it down against the
incoming condensate until it seats
on the inner and outer rings. At
this point, the flash steam is
trapped in the upper chamber, and
the pressure above the disc equals
the pressure being applied to the
underside of the disc from the inner
ring subject to a greater force than
the underside, as it has a greater
surface area. Eventually the
trapped pressure in the upper
chamber falls as the flash steam
condenses. The disc is raised by the
now higher condensate pressure and
the cycle repeats (Figure. iv).
Fig. Thermodynamic
Advantages of thermodynamic steam trap
• Thermodynamic traps can operate across their entire working range without
any adjustment or change of internals.
• They are compact, simple, lightweight and have a large condensate capacity
for their size.
• Thermodynamic traps can be used on high pressure and superheated steam and
are not affected by waterhammer or vibration. The all stainless steel
construction offers a high degree of resistance to corrosive condensate.
• Thermodynamic traps are not damaged by freezing and are unlikely to freeze if
installed with the disc in a vertical plane and discharging freely to atmosphere.
However, operation in this position may result in wear of the disc edge.
• As the disc is the only moving part, maintenance can easily be carried out
without removing the trap from the line.
• The audible 'click' which occurs as the trap opens and closes makes trap testing
very straight forward.
Drains: The drains are fitted to auxiliary exhaust and low pressure saturated steam
systems. In this system, initially the drains are put onto bilges in the boiler /engine
room and thereafter may be led into suitable drain tank for use.

6.2/19. Explain a) how lengths of steam pipes are joined b) how the pipes
are supported c) how expansion is allowed for

Pipe Installation
Pipe connections should be as direct as possible, sharp bends and loops must be
avoided. The loop could increase turbulence and be the location of an air pocket.
Vibration is the frequent cause of eventual pipe failure but supports and clips to
prevent this problem must permit free expansion and contraction. A pipe, which has
to be twisted or bowed when being connected, has inbuilt stress which can lead to
ultimate failure. Pipes should be accurately made and installed with simple supports
before being permanently
clipped. The pipework is
assembled cold with a
spacer piece, of length
equal to half the
expansion, between two
flanges. When the
pipework is fully installed
and anchored at both
ends, the spacer is
removed and the joint
pulled up tight (see Figure). The pipework system must be sufficiently flexible to
accommodate the movements of the components as they expand. In many cases the
flexibility of the pipework system, due to the length of the pipe and number of bends
and supports, means that no undue stresses are imposed. In other installations,
however, it will be necessary to incorporate some means of achieving this required

Expansion arrangements
The expansion fitting is one method of accommodating expansion. These
fittings are placed within a line, and are designed to accommodate the expansion,
without the total length of the line changing. They are commonly called expansion
bellows. Other expansion fittings can be made from the pipework itself. This can be a
cheaper way to solve the problem, but more space is needed to accommodate the
pipe. Provision must be made in pipe systems to accommodate changes in length due
to change of temperature, and so prevent undue stress or distortion as pipes expand
or contract. One type of expansion joint has an anchored sleeve with a stuffing box
and gland in which an extension of joining pipe can slide freely within imposed limits.
Simpler schemes allow for change of length with a right angle bend arrangement or a
loop. For high pressures and temperatures with associated greater pipe diameter and
thickness other methods may be more appropriate. Stainless steel bellows expansion
joints are commonly used since they will absorb some movement or vibration in
several planes, eliminate maintenance, reduce friction and heat losses.
Maximum and minimum working temperatures must be considered when
choosing a bellows piece, which must be son installed that it is neither over-
compressed nor over-extended. Its length must be correct for the temperature
change. Stainless steel is the usual material for temperatures up to 5000 C. Beyond
that and for severe corrosive conditions, other materials are required. Normally the
bellows has an internal sleeve, to give smooth flow,
to act as a heat shield and to prevent erosion. If
exposed to the possibility of external damage, it
should have cover. In usual marine application,
bellows joints are designed and fitted to
accommodate straight line axial movement only and
the associated piping requires anchors and guides to
prevent misalignment. It will be apparent that, in certain cases, the end connection
will act adequately as anchors and that well designed hangers will be effective

Horseshoe or lyre loop

When space is available this type is
sometimes used. It is best fitted horizontally
so that the loop and the main are on the
same plane. Pressure does not tend to blow
the ends of the loop apart, but there is a very
slight straightening out effect. This is due to
the design but causes no misalignment of the
flanges. If any of these arrangements are
fitted with the loop vertically above the pipe
then a drain point must be provided on the
upstream side as depicted in Figure 10.4.8.
Fig. 10.4.8 Horseshoe or lyre loop
Expansion loops
The expansion loop can be fabricated from lengths of straight pipes and elbows
welded at the joints (Fig). An indication of the expansion of pipe that can be
accommodated by these assemblies is shown in Fig.
It can be seen from Fig that the depth of
the loop should be twice the width, and
the width is determined from Fig,
knowing the total amount of expansion
expected from the pipes either side of
the loop.

Fig. 10.4.9 Expansion loop

6.2/20. Describe correct procedure of raising steam boilers and coupling

them to steam system
6.3/7. Describe operation and control

Boiler operation
The procedure adopted for raising steam will vary from boiler to boiler and the
manufacturer’s instructions should always be followed. A number of aspects are
common to all boilers and general procedure might be as follows:-

The uptakes should be checked to ensure a clear path for the exhaust gases
through the boiler; any dampers should be operated and then correctly positioned.
All vents, alarm, water and pressure gauge connections should be opened. The super
heater circulating valves or drains should be opened to ensure a flow of steam
through the superheater. All the other boiler drains and blow-down valves should be
checked to ensure that they are closed. The boiler should then be filled to slightly
below the working level with hot de-aerated water. The various header vents should
be closed as water is seen to flow from them. The economizer should be checked to
ensure that it is full of water and all air vented off.
The operation of the forced draught fan should be checked and where exhaust
gas air heaters are fitted they should be bypassed. The fuel oil system should be
checked for the correct positioning of valves, etc. The fuel oil should then be
circulated and heated.

Raising Steam
The forced draught fan should be started and air passed through the furnace
for several minutes to ‘purge’ it of any exhaust gas or oil vapours. The air slides
(checks) at every register, except the ‘lighting up’ burner, should then be closed.
The operating burner can now be lit an adjusted to provide a low firing rate with good
combustion. The fuel oil pressure and forced draught pressure should be matched to
ensure good combustion with a full steady flame. Initially, the boiler is to be flashed
up for minimum 24 hrs to ensure the settlement of furnace and correct combustion
The superheater header vents may be closed once steam issues from them.
When a drum pressure of about 2.1 bar has been reached the drum air vent may be
closed. The boiler must be brought slowly up to working pressure in order to ensure
gradual expansion and to avoid overheating the superheater elements and damaging
any refractory material. Boiler manufacturers usually provide a steam raising diagram
in the form of a graph of drum pressure against hours after flashing up.
The main and auxiliary steam lines should now be warmed through and then
the drains closed. In addition the water level gauges should be blown though and
checked for correct reading. When the steam pressure is about 3 bar below the
normal operating value the safety valves should be lifted and released using the
easing gear.
Once at operating pressure the boiler may be put on load and the su-
0perheater circulating valves closed. All other vents, drains and bypasses should then
be closed. The water level in the boiler should be carefully checked and the
automatic water regulating arrangements observed for correct operation.

6.2/21. Describe how to check correctly the water level in steaming

boiler, the dangers of low level and high level and corrective actions
required in either place.

Checking correct water level in boiler:

Following is to be strictly adopted to ensure the correct functioning of gauge

glass to check water level in boiler.
(a) Shut the steam and water cocks. Open the drain cock. If the drain is
clear, the pressure remaining in the water level glass will be blown to bilge.
(b) Open and close the steam cock. If the steam cock is clear it will blow to
(c) Open and close water cock. If the water cock is clear it will blow to bilge.
(d) Close the drain cock.
(e) Open the water cock slowly.
(f) Open the steam cock slowly.
After ensuring the correct functioning of gauge glass watch keeper has to
monitor closely the boiler water level and any variations in water level to be attended

High water level in boiler (Priming of Boiler)

(a) High water level in boiler
(b) Feed regulator non-operational
(c) Auxiliary feed check valve opened accidentally
(d) Rapid increase in power
(e) High salinity of boiler water
(f) Addition of excess boiler compound
(g) Underwater explosion close to the ship.


(a) Dimming of lights.

(b) Sudden drop in steam temperature.
(c) Drop in speed of main machinery.
(d) High water level in boilers.
(e) Vibrations, noise and leaks in steam system due to water hammer


(a) Upon symptoms boiler controls are taken over to servo manual and
appropriate valve pertaining to control the feed to be operated. Burners are
taken off the affected boiler and all steam stops are shut. Drains of FD
blowers and TAs are opened. The unaffected boiler water level is maintained
using the main feed check valve.

(b) In the engine room, the main engine throttles are shut, but the affected
shaft can be expected to trail. Put all drains to bilges. Monitor and check
feed water tanks for contamination.

Low water level in boiler (Tube leak / tube failure)


(a) Flame impingement due to badly aligned burners.

(b) Lack of circulation in boiler tubes.
(c) Low water level in boiler tubes by means of valve stuck/partial open .
(d) External corrosion of tubes.
(e) Impurities in feed water.
(f) Very high firing rate in the beginning that causes steam blanketing and
ultimately tube burst.


(a) Leakage will result in high rushing noise of water.

(b)Heavy loss of feed water. Gauge glass showing dropping water level.
(a) Boiler controls are taken on servo manual and boiler is flamed out
immediately. The auxiliary feed pump is started on cold suction and the
affected boiler is flooded with cold water.
(b) All clear evaporators are changed over to MUF. All steam stops on the
affected boiler are shut. Boiler is fed with water till the furnace becomes
(c) Shaft restrictions may be imposed.

6.2/22. Explain how water treatment is provided and why is it necessary

Purity of Boiler Water

Most ‘pure’ water will contain some dissolved salts which come out of solution
on boiling. These salts then adhere to the heating surfaces as a scale and reduce heat
transfer, which can result in local overheating and failure of the tubes. Other salts
remain solution and may produce acids which will attack the metal of the boiler. An
excess of alkaline salts in a boiler, together with the effects of operating stresses,
will produce a condition known as ‘caustic cracking’. This is actual cracking of the
metal which may lead to serious failure.
The presence of dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide in a boiler feedwater can
cause considerable corrosion of the boiler and feed systems. When boiler water is
contaminated by suspended matter, an excess of salts or oil, then ’foaming’ may
occur. This is a foam or froth which collects on the water surface in the boiler drum.
Foaming leads to ‘priming’ which is the carry over of water with the steam leaving
the boiler drum. Any water present in the steam entering a turbine will do
considerable damage.
It has been estimated that a 3mm thickness scale increases the fuel
consumption by 16% and 6mm by 50%. This proves that the effect is not a straight
line gradient but is exponential. Salts whose solubility decreases with increase in
temperature are those that form scale upon heating surfaces . Salts whose solubility
increases with increase in temperature do not normally form scale upon heating
Common impurities found in the boiler water are chlorides, sulphates and
bicarbonates of calcium, magnesium and, to some extent sulphur. These dissolved
salts in water make up what is called the ‘hardness’ of the water. Calcium and
magnesium salts are the main causes of hardness. The bicarbonates of calcium and
magnesium are decomposed by heat and come out of solution as scale-forming
carbonates. These alkaline salts are known as temporary hardness. The chlorides,
sulphates and nitrates are not decomposed by boiling and are known as permanent
hardness. Total hardness is the sum of temporary and permanent hardness and gives
a measure of the scale-forming salts present in the feed water

Necessity of boiler water treatment

(a) To prevent scale formation in the boiler

(b) To give alkalinity and minimize corrosion
(c) To condition sludge (by sodium aluminate).
(d) To remove oxygen from water.
(e) To reduce risk of caustic cracking.
(f) To reduce risk of carry over of foam (by antifoam)
(g) To minimize feed and condensate system from corrosion and filming

Feed water treatment:

Feed water treatment is achieved by adding suitable chemicals with the boiler
water in appropriate quantities and is as below:-
(a) Prevention of scale formation in the boiler and feed system by (i) using
distilled water or (ii) precipitating all scale forming salts into the form of a
non-adherent sludge.
(b) Prevention of corrosion in the boiler and feed system by maintaining the
boiler water in an alkaline condition and free from dissolved gases.
(c) Control of the sludge formation and prevention of carry over with the steam
(d) Prevention of entry into, the boiler of foreign matter such as oil, waste,
mill-scale, iron oxides copper particles, sand, weld spatter, etc. By careful
use of oil heating arrangements (close watch on steam drains), effective
pre-commission cleaning and maintaining the steam and condensate systems
in a non-corrosive condition.

It has been stated for corrosion to take place O 2 must be present to accomplish
the formation of metal oxides. Hence de-aeration of the feed water is essential. De-
aeration can be accomplished either mechanically or chemically, or a combination of
both. It is usual to carry a reserve of chemicals in the boiler water in order to deal
with any ingress of dissolved oxygen that may result due to mal-operation of the de-
aerating equipment, or some other circumstances. The chemicals used for this
purpose are usually sodium sulphate or hydrazine. Hydrazine should be stored in a
cool, well ventilated place since it is a fire hazard. When handling, protective
clothing should be worn- treat in the same way as caustic soda.
6.2/21. Describe the construction of steam plants as fitted on board the
6.3/6. Describe the steam plant as fitted on board the ship including the

Steam Plants

Water in the form of steam has the ability to store great amounts of energy.
With its ease of control and delivery, steam brought the advent of power to the
shipping world. There are still some steam powered vessels such as ULCC ( Ultra
Large Crude Carrier ) where steam turbines can provide the necessary, high power
shaft requirements to propel the ship. However it's time as passed; most ships
nowadays use the more economical diesel or heavy fuel engines.

Although boilers may no longer be commonplace for ship propulsion they are almost
guaranteed to be one boiler for various duties on board a ship. Duties like heating
cargo, fuel, and accommodations. Some ships also use boilers for auxiliary power.
Such as deck winches and pumps, where electrical machines would prove to be a
hazard as in the oil industry.

Steam Theory

Within the boiler, fuel and air are force

into the furnace by the burner. There, it
burns to produce heat. From there, the
heat (flue gases) travel throughout the
boiler. The water absorbs the heat, and
eventually absorb enough to change into a
gaseous state - steam. To the left is the
basic theoretical design of a modern
boiler. Boiler makers have developed
various designs to squeeze the most
energy out of fuel and to maximized its
transfer to the water. But it all boils
down; pardon the pun, to the basic design
shown here.

The water tube boiler

As you can see, the Babcock Marine Water Tube Boiler (below) looks very
complicated. Thousands of tubes are placed in strategic location to optimize the
exchange of energy from the heat to the water in the tubes. These types of boilers
are most common because of their ability to deliver large quantities of steam.
The large tube like structure at the top of the boiler is called the steam drum.
You could call it the heart of the boiler. That's where the steam collects before being
discharged from the boiler. The hundreds of tube start and eventually end up at the
steam drum. Water enters the boiler, preheated, at the top. The ht water naturally
circulates through the tubes down to the lower area where it is hot. The water heats
up and flows back to the steam drum where the steam collects. Not all the water gets
turn to steam, so the process starts again. Water keeps on circulating until it becomes
steam. Meanwhile, the control system is taking the temperature of the steam drum,
along with numerous other readings, to determine if it should keep the burner
burning, or shut it down. As well, sensors control the amount of water entering the
boiler, this water is know as feedwater. Feedwater is not your regular drinking
water. It is treated with chemicals to neutralize various minerals in the water, which
untreated, would cling to the tubes clogging or worst, rusting them. This would make
the boiler expensive to operate because it would not be very efficient.

Rear/Front Water wall drum

Water wall heater




On the fire side of the boiler, carbon deposit resulting from improper combustion or
impurities in the fuel can accumulate on the outer surface of the water tube. This
creates an insulation which quickly decreases the energy transfer from the heat to the
water. To remedy this problem the engineer will carry out soot blowing. At a
specified time the engineer uses a long tool and inserts it into the fire side of the
boiler. This device, which looks like a lance, has a tip at the end which "blows" steam.
This blowing action of the steam "scrubs" the outside of the water tubes, cleaning the
carbon build up.
Water tube boilers can have pressures from 7 bar (one bar = ~15 psi) to as high
as 250 bar. The steam temperature's can vary between saturated steam, 100 degrees
Celsius steam with particle of water, or be as high as 600 - 650 degrees Celsius, know
as superheated steam or dry steam (all water particle have been turn to a gaseous
state). The performance of boiler is generally referred to as tons of steam produced
in one hour. In water tube boilers that could be as low as 1.5 t/hr to as high as 2500
The fire tube boiler

This type of boilers started it all. This is the original design of boiler which
brought the tide of power to the marine world. On a modern ship, the fire tube boiler
meet the ship's heating needs and is generally not used for deck machinery. The
steam produced will circulate through coils in the cargo tanks, fuel tanks, and
accommodation heating system. They are generally supplied as a complete package,
such as the one pictured above.
This is a single furnace, three pass type fire tube
boiler. Heat - flue gases - travels through three
different sets of tubes. All the tubes are surrounded by
water which absorbs the heat. As the water turns to
steam, pressure builds up within the boiler, once
enough pressure has built up the engineer will open
main steam outlet valve slowly, supplying steam for
service. Fire tube boilers are also known as "smoke
tube" and "donkey boiler".
Auxiliary boiler

On smaller ships the auxiliary boiler can be a

stand alone unit and would most likely be of the fire
tube boiler arrangement as described above. But on a
larger vessel it is more efficient for the auxiliary boiler
to take advantage of the main engine's flue gases to heat the water. Basically this
means that the hot gases from the main engine must pass through a heat exchanger
(the auxiliary fire tube boiler) before exiting to the atmosphere. It is called the
"cargo heating boiler".
As you can imagine if the ship's main engine was not running, there would be no hot
flue gases to make steam. The auxiliary boiler also has a burner assembly which can
be operated while the ship is in port or when the flue gases are not hot enough to
provide the necessary steam.
With this Cochran type boiler, the flow of flue gases from the engine is controlled by
a damper. Should the damper not allow engine flue gases through, the burner would
automatically come on and provide heat for the water to absorb. It would do so until
the controls of the damper allowed the flue gases to flow through the boiler providing
the necessary heat for the water, the burner would then shut down.

Fig. 9

6.3/8. Describe circuit of generated steam





Fig. 10


6.3/9. Describe preparations to be made for putting the steam plant in


Before closing up the boiler inspect the internal surfaces to ensure they are
clean all openings to the boiler mountings clear obstruction buy means of search
balls, flexible wires, air or water jets. Replace any internal fittings which have been
removed, checking to ensure they are correctly positioned and secured. The header
handhole plugs and lower manhole doors are now replaced. Operate all boiler
mountings to ensure they work freely, leaving all the valves in a closed position.
Check the gas side of the boiler is clean and in good order. Make sure the soot
blowers are correctly fitted, and operate over their correct traverse. Operate any gas
or air control dampers fitted to ensure they move freely for their full travel. Leave
them closed or in mid-position as necessary. The boiler casing doors are now
replaced. Open the direct reading water level gauge isolating cocks, together with all
boilers, alarm and pressure gauge connections. The super heater drains are also
opened. Check that all other drains and blow down valves are closed.
Commence to fill the boiler with hot deaerated water. At this stage the initial
dose of chemical treatment can be added through the top manhole doors, which are
then replaced. Continue to fill until water just shows in the water level gauges.
Close any header vents as water issues. Remove the funnel cover, and ensure that all
air checks operate correctly and that the forced draught fans are in working order. If
gas air heaters are fitted that should be by-passed. Check the fuel oil system to
ascertain it is in good order. Start up the fuel oil service pumps and check for leaks.
The boiler is now ready to commence raising steam.
Heat the fuel oil to the required temperature, using the recirculating line to
get the heated oil through the system. If no heat is available for this, use gas oil until
sufficient steam is available to heat the residual fuel oil normally used. Start the
forced draught fan, and with all the air checks full open purge the boiler, making sure
any gas control dampers are in mid position so giving a clear air passage. Carry out a
final check to make sure water level gauge cocks are open, water is showing in the
glass, and that steam drum and superheater vents are open. Now close all the air
checks except for the burner to be flashed up, this being done byu means of ignition
equipment or a paraffin torch. Use the lowest possible firing rate. Adjust about one
hour steam should show at the drum and superheater vents and, when issuing
strongly, open the superheater circulating valve and close the air vents. When the
steam pressure reached a value of about 300 kN/m2 blow through the water level
gauges to ensure they are working correctly. The isolating valves on the remote
reading water level indicator can now be opened, and the indicator placed in service.
With the steam pressure at about 1000 kN/m2 follow up the nuts on all new
boiler joints. At a pressure of bout 1400 kN/m2 open the drains on the auxiliary
steam lines, crack open the auxiliary stop valve and warm the auxiliary line through.
Now close the drains and fully open the auxiliary stop valve. Various auxiliary
equipment such as fuel oil heaters, turbo-feed pumps, can be put into service and,
provided this entails a flow of steam through the superheater, the superheater
circulating and drain valves are closed.
Bring the boiler up to working pressure, keeping the firing rate as steady as
possible, and avoiding intermittent flashing up. Check the water level alarms. Open
the main steam line drains, and crack open the main stop valve and warm through the
main steam line. Then close the drains and fully open the main stop valve. The
procedure from flashing up to coupling up at full working pressure should take about
four to six hours. Only in emergency should it be carried out more rapidly. If new
refractory material has been installed carry out the procedure more slowly. At all
times during the raising of steam the superheaters must be circulated with steam to
prevent them overheating. If the temperature of the superheater goes above the
permitted value for the boiler reduce the rate of firing.
It must be noted that, due to the great variety of water tube boiler designs in
use, the foregoing procedure is only to be taken as a guide, for example, header
boilers with their greater amount of refractory material will require about eight hours
to reach full pressure. Thus the engineer should always follow the procedure laid
down for his particular boiler, which may vary in detail from the basic principles
previously stated.

6.3/10. Describe checks to be made during firing up of boilers

 Inspect the internal surface to ensure they are clean e.g. no tools, rags or
other things left inside.
 All opening of the mountings are clean properly.
 Mountings to be fixed back with new set of gaskets or joints.
 Ensure all tools are accounted for.
 The header hand hole cover and bottom manhole door now replaced.
 Operate all mounting valves to ensure they work freely and leave all valves in
closed position.
 Top manhole door is replaced.
 Check gas side of boiler and ensure they are clean e.g. no tools, rags, or other
thing left inside.
 Soot blowers are correctly fitted and air control dampers move freely for their
full travel.
 Furnace door is replaced with new joint.
 Open the gauge glass steam, water cocks and shut drain cock.
 Open vent, alarm and pressure agauge connection valves.
 Ensure all other drain valves are shut.
 Switch on the power for the combustion control panel, feed water pump,
forced draft fan and fuel oil pump
 Now commence to fill boiler with hot distilled water until water level below
normal water level.
 Initial chemical dosage can be added.
 Check all control air is available to the combustion control, controllers &
control valves.
 Ready for raising steam.
 Start the forced draught fan and purge the boiler 3-5 minutes.
 Start fuel pump, ensure re-circulation is operating.
 Bring the air damper to firing position.
 Fire the boiler, at lowest possible firing rate, ensuring air supply is adjusted for
best combustion.
 As boiler heats up water level rises to about normal level.
 When steam c0omes out the vent, then shut the vent.
 When steam pressure is about 3 bar then blow though the gauge glass to ensure
they are working correctly.

6.3/11. Describe automatic control for starting up & shutting down

exhaust gas boiler and oil fired boiler

Marine boiler plants require adequate control systems to raise steam, maintain
design conditions for steady steaming, secure the boiler units and detect promptly
malfunctions and failures. The automatic control arrangement on a shipboard boiler is
divided into two parts:

(a) Safety system that controls that all values are within the predetermined
limits and give automatic alarm if some of them are not, and also initiate an
automatic burner trip in case of a dangerous situation.

(b) Continuously control of the different parameters for water level

control, steam pressure control, fuel oil pressure control, fuel oil temperature
control, blowdown control, superheat temperature control etc.


Feed box
boiler Master

air indiactor signal

high and initiatin

Fixed low g relay
Water level
limb level

Variable fuel

Photo cell
. Solvent valve
fuel initiator


conducting Electrode electrode initiator

relay signal
fluid traps dc
… fan
. .. . dv

.. .. .. .supply
.. .. .
. . . .. /\/\/\/\/\/\
.. . Level feed not –
... . controller
.. . .... and amp

.. ... signal lines

shown dotted
Variable Centrifugat
speed feed pump






Automatic boiler control system:
(a) The pressure switch initiates the start of the cycle., The switch is often
arranged to cut in at about 1 bar below the working pressure and cut out at
about 1/5 bar above the working pressure (this differential is adjustable)
(b) The master initiating relay now allows ‘air on’. The air feedback
confirms ‘air on’ and allows 30 second time delay to proceed.
(c) The master now allows the arc to be struck by the electrode relay. The
‘arc made’ feed back signal allows a 3 second time delay to proceed.
(d) The master now allows the fuel initiating signal to proceed. The
solenoid valve allows fuel on to the burner. The ‘fuel on’ feed back signal
allows a 5 second time delay to proceed (this may be preceded by a fuel
heating sequence for boiler oils).
(e) The master now examines the photo electric cell. If in order the cycle is
complete, if not then fuel is shut off, an alarm bell rings and the cycle is
repeated. Refer to fig. 7 for emergency devices.

Obviously failure of any item in the above cycle causes shut down and
alarm operation. In addition the following apply;

(i) High or low water levels initiate alarms and allow the master to
interrupt and shut down the sequential system.

(ii) Water level is controlled by an Electroflo type of feed regulator

and controller. Sequential level resistors are immersed in conducting
mercury or non-conducting fluid, so deciding pump speed by variable
limbs level. The fixed limb level passes over a weir in the feed box.

The combustion control system maintains constant steam pressure by

controlling the flow of air and oil to the burner. The more advanced combustion
controls transmit the air and oil loading simultaneously but with a slight lag between
air and oil, so that with an increased boiler load, the air will lead the oil, and on a
decrease in the boiler load the oil will lead the air. Such an arrangement makes it
possible to minimize the emission of smoke during maneuvering. All the classification
societies have special requirement for marine applications due to the environment
and the fact that one can't escape from an accident nor get service when the ship is
sailing at sea. Things just have to work.
Shutting down procedures of oil fired boiler

Following routines are to be carried out assiduously for shutting down of boilers:-
 Inform Chief Engineer and inform duty officer in bridge.

 Reduce boiler pressure as required.

 Change over M/E, A/E and boiler to diesel oil

 Top up diesel oil service tank, stop HO and LO purifiers

 Stop all tanks and tracing steam heating and carry out soot blow

 Change over from automatic combustion control to manual firing of boiler.

 Stop firing of boiler. As burners are taken off, steam purge, retract and park

 Switch off power and off the circuit breaker for forced draft fan, FO pump,
feed pump and combustion control panel. Hang necessary notices.

 Shut main steam stop valves and shut all fuel valves to boilers.

 Let the boiler cool down, do not blow down.

 Shut down boiler. Stop lighting up pump (if provided).

 Pump up boilers for 30 sec over the top by opening appropriate feed check
 Take care to establish a controlled rate of increase before the level leaves the
top of the gauge glass

 Check header drains shut.

 Check all auxiliary master, throttle and exhaust valves shut on shut down

 Ensure boiler pressures are dropping.

 Clean boiler room for inspection by Chief Engineer

6.3/12. Describe safety devices of plant mandatory safety requirements.
Workers that use, maintain, and service boilers know that they can be
potentially dangerous. Though boilers are usually equipped with a pressure relief
valve, if the boiler fails to contain the expansion pressure, the steam energy is
released instantly. This combination of exploding metal and superheated steam can
be extremely dangerous. Only trained and authorized workers should operate a boiler.
Workers should be familiar with the boiler manufacturer's operating manual and
instructions. Boiler operators should frequently inspect boilers for leakage, proper
combustion, operation of safety devices and gauges, and other functions. Many older
boilers and hot water and steam piping may have asbestos insulation coatings, wraps,
or “lagging.” Workers should periodically inspect these areas to make sure that the
materials are not damaged, flaking, or deteriorating. Damaged materials should be
reported and repaired or removed immediately by a certified asbestos contractor.
Signs of cracked surfaces, bulges, corrosion or other deformities should be repaired by
an authorized technician immediately. Detailed logs of boiler operation and
maintenance can help ensure boiler safety.

Boilers should always be brought on line slowly and cold water should never be
injected into a hot system. Sudden changes in temperature can warp or rupture the
boiler. Because many boilers are fire-operated by natural gas, diesel or fuel oil,
special precautions need to be taken. Boiler operators should ensure that the fuel
system, including valves, lines, and tanks, is operating properly with no leaks. To
prevent furnace explosions, it is imperative that boiler operators purge the boiler
before ignition of the burner. Workers should check the fuel to air ratio, the condition
of the draft, and the flame to make sure that it is not too high and not smoky.
Ventilation systems should also be inspected and maintained to make sure that
combustion gases do not build up in the boiler room.

The area around the boiler should be kept clean of dust and debris, and no
flammable materials should be stored near any boiler. Floors are often sealed
concrete and can be very slippery when wet. Spills should be mopped or cleaned up
immediately. Make sure that adequate lighting is provided and that malfunctioning
light fixtures are repaired immediately. Because boilers have hot surface areas, there
should be plenty of clearance for workers to move around the room. Boiler rooms can
be noisy, so the area should be posted and workers should wear hearing protection
when working inside the boiler room.

Boiler repairs are allowed only by authorized boiler repair technicians. Repair
workers should wear personal protective equipment such as hard hats, heavy-duty
work gloves, eye protection and coveralls. When entering a boiler for service or
repair, authorized boiler repair workers should treat the vessel as a permit-required
confined space. When the boiler is shut down for repair, all sources of energy should
be isolated using approved Lock-out / Tag-out procedures and residual pressure in
steam, water, and fuel lines should be relieved by following proper bleed and block or
capping procedures.

(a) Every steam boiler and every unfired steam generator shall be provided with
not less than two safety valves of adequate capacity.
(b) Each oil fired boiler which is intended to operate without manual supervision
shall have safety arrangements which shut off the fuel supply and give an alarm in the
case of low-water level, air supply failure or flame failure.
(c) Water tube boilers serving turbine propulsion machinery shall be fitted with a
high water level alarm.
(d) Every steam generating system which provides services essential for the safety
of the ship, or which could be rendered dangerous by the failure of its feed water
supply, shall be provided with not less than tow separate feed systems from and
including the feed pumps, noting that a single penetration of the steam drum is
acceptable. Unless overpressure is prevented by the pump characteristics, means
shall be provided, which will prevent over-pressure in any part of the system.
(e) Boilers shall be provided with means to supervise and control the quality of the
feed water. Suitable arrangements shall be provided to preclude, as far as
practicable, the entry of the oil or other contaminants, which may adversely affect
the boiler.
(f) Every boiler essential for the safety of the ship and designed to contain water
at a specified level shall be provided with at least tow means for indicating its water
level, at least one of which shall be a direct reading gauge glass.
Safety valves
These are fitted to protect the boiler form the effects of overpressure. As per
international regulations, at least two safety valves are fitted to each boiler, but in
practice it is usual to fit three safety valves – two on the steam drum, and one on the
super heater outlet header. This is fitted to release excess steam pressure from the
boiler before a dangerous pressure can be built up. Pressure setting of one steam
drum safety valve should be same as the design pressure of the boiler and the other
should be 2-3% more than the design pressure of the boiler.
Fusible plugs

A fusible plug is a threaded metal plug, usually of bronze, brass or gun metal,
with a tapered hole drilled completely through its length. This hole is sealed with a
metal of low melting point, usually lead or tin. It is screwed into the crown sheet (the
top plate) of a steam engine firebox, typically extending about an inch into the water
space above. Its purpose is to act as a last-resort safety device in the event of the
water level falling dangerously low: when the top of the plug is out of the water it
overheats, the lead core melts away and the resulting noisy release of steam into the
firebox serves to warn the operators of the danger before the top of the firebox itself
runs completely dry. The temperature of the flue gases in a steam engine firebox can
reach 1000 °F (550 °C), at which temperature copper, from which historically most
fireboxes were made, softens to a state which can no longer sustain the boiler
pressure and a severe explosion will result if water is not put into the boiler quickly
and the fire thrown out. The hole is too small to have any great effect in reducing the
steam pressure and, as little or no water passes through, it is not expected to have
any great impact in quenching the fire.

Stays, or ties, physically link the firebox and boiler casing, preventing them
from warping. Since any corrosion is hidden, the stays may have longitudinal holes,
called tell-tales, drilled in them which leak before they become unsafe.

6.3/13. Describe the testing and treatment of boiler feed water

What is the purpose of boiler water treatment?

(a) To prevent scale formation in the boiler
(b) To give alkalinity and minimize corrosion
(c) To condition sludge (by sodium aluminate).
(d) To remove oxygen from water.
(e) To reduce risk of caustic cracking.
(f) To reduce risk of carry over of foam (by antifoam)
(g) To minimize feed and condensate system from corrosion and filming

The principal objects of boiler feed water treatment should be:-

(a) Prevention of scale formation in the boiler and feed system by
(i) Using distilled water or
(ii) Precipitating all scale forming salts into the form of a non-
adherent sludge.
(b) Prevention of corrosion in the boiler and feed system by maintaining the
boiler water in and alkaline condition and free from dissolved gases.
(c) Control of sludge formation and prevention of carry over with the
(d) Prevention of entry into the boiler of foreign matter such as oil, waste,
mill-scale, iron oxide, copper particles, sand weld spatter etc. By careful use
of coil heating arrangements, effective pre-commission cleaning and
maintaining the steam & condensate system in a non-corrosive condition.
Boiler water should be regularly tested and the treatment of the boiler water
should be conducted according to the results obtained from the results. For low
pressure boilers salinometers and litmus paper s are still frequently used as testing
equipment. For accurate testing of the boiler water, above said tests are inadequate.
Refined tests are being practiced to ascertain the exact quantity of alkalinity and
salinity concentrations.


Apparatus Reagents

1-Burette, automatic, 10 ml 16 oz, bottle Versenate solution

Ethylenedimaine Tetraacetate
(1ml equals 1 ml as CaCO3)
1-Evaporating Dish 4 oz. bottle Drew Dry total
Hardness Buffer Reagent with plastic
1-Cylinder, graduated,100ml capacity 4 oz. bottle Drew Dry Total
Hardness Indicator
1-Strirring Rod
1-Brass measuring scoop


1. Transfer 50 ml feedwater sample to the evaporating dish.

2. Add one plastic scoop of Drew Dry Total Hardness indicator. Stir until
3. Add one brass scoop of Drew Dry Total Hardness indicator. Stir until dissolved.
4. If a pure blue color develops, the hardness is zero. Any reddish color indicates
hardness is present.
5. Titrate with standard versenate solution, adding the reagent drop by drop with
continuous stirring as the red color fades. The end point is a pure sky blue color
without any reddish tinge.


Total hardness (PPM as CaCO3) equals ml versenate solution X 20. If test result
is in excess of _____________ add ____________ B according to dosing instructions
and investigate source of contamination.


10 ml automatic burette
White porcelain evaporating dish
100ml graduated cylinder
Stirring rod


Sulfuring acid N/50 16 oz. bottle with burette

Phenolphthalein Indicator1 oz dropping bottle
Total Alkalinity Indiacator 1 oz. dropping bottle



1. Fill burette to 0.0 mark with N/50 sulfuric acid\

2. Using graduated cylinder, measure 50ml of boiler water to be tested.
3. Add 4 drops of phenolphthalein Indicator. Stir.
4. If no pink or red color develops, record Zero phenolphthalein alkalinity.
Proceed to Part B (Total Alkalinity test)
5. If, however, sample turns pink or red with Phenolphthalein, add N/50
sulfuric acid drop by drop while stirring continuously. Continue until pink
color disappears (sample is back to its original color.)
Do not discard sample do not refill burette
6. Calculations of results
(Ml of N/50 sulfuric acid) X 20 = (ppm phenolphthalein alkalinity). For
convenience, use the titration chart to get result.
7. Record the Phenolphthalein Alkalinity in the daily log and proceed with Part B


1. Do not refill burette. Use the same sample that was used for the
Phenolphthalein Alkalinity test and add exactly 4 drops of Total Alkalinity
Indicator. Sample will turn a green color.
2. Add sulfuric acid, drop by drop, stirring continuously. A purple color will
soon begin to form where the drops fall into the sample. When a
permanent, pale purple color develops throughout the sample, the test is
ended. Color change will go from green to slate gray to purple. The purple
color is the end point.
3. Calculation of result:
(Total ml of N/50 sulfuric acid – 0.6) X 20 = ppm Total Alkalinity. For
convenience use titration chart to get results.
4. Record the total alkalinity in the daily log. Discard sample.


10 ml automatic burette
White porcelain evaporating dish
100ml graduated cylinder
Stirring rod


Mixed Chloride Indicator – Make up fresh every 4 weeks. Discard any indicator over 4
weeks old
Nitric Acid N/50 1 oz. dropping bottle
Mercuric Nitrate, 0.0141 N 16 0z.bottle with burette

Preparation of mixed chloride indicator


100 ml graduated cylinder

4 oz. Amber glass dropping bottle


1 capsule of mixed chloride indicator (Diphenyl Carbazone Indicator) Methyl alcohol



1. Empty capsule of indicator powder into 4 oz. amber glass dropping bottle.
2. Measure 100ml alcohol and add to bottle.
3. Cap bottle, Dissolve powder by swirling or shaking.
4. Make up fresh every 4 weeks. Discard any indicator that is 4 weeks old.


Test procedure

1. Do not use th4e sample that was used for the Alkalinity tests. Fill burette to
0.0 mark with 0.0141 N Mercuric Nitrate.
2. Using graduated cylinder, measure 50 ml of boiler water and transfer into the
evaporating dish.
3. Add 10 drops of Mixed Chloride Indicator. Stir.
4. Add N/5 Nitric Acid drop by drop, while stirring. Continue until sample just
turns yellow. Then add another 5 drops of the acid.
5. Add 0.0141 N Mercuric Nitrate drop by drop while stirring until the sample
shows the first permanent violet color. Read the burette.
6. Calculation of results:
(Ml of 0.0141 N Mercuric Nitrate) X 10 = ppm Chloride. For convenience, use
the titration chart to get results. Compare test result with limit marked on the
control chart. If too high, start continuous blowdown and investigate source.
Repeat test in 30 minutes.
7. Place the comparator base slide in its slot the base. Move the slide form side
to side, while comparing the color of the sample with those of the standards in
the slide. Continue until the color of the sample color appears to be between
two standards. In the latter case, take the average of both readings.
NOTE that a comparison can be made only when one of the white lines on
the slide is opposite the middle (sample) tube.
8. When a color match is obtained, read the test result in ppm phosphate from
the numbers on the slide. Compare phosphate readings with limit marked on
the control chart. Readings in excess of limits require blowdown. Readings
below recommended limits require proportionate dosing. Refer to dosing
If the results of the phosphate test show a reading above the upper limit of 25 ppm, it
will be necessary to repeat the testing using a diluted sample.


(1) Filter 5 ml of boiler water into the phosphate mixing tube. Dilute to 10 ml
with distilled or demineralized* water. Proceed with steps 2 through 8 and, for
results, double the ppm reading. (for example if slide shows 15 ppm with diluted
sample, the actual reading is 30 ppm).

* To make demineralized water, simply fill plastic bottle with distillate and
squeeze though demineralizer cartridge. The water discharged from the cartridge
will be equivalent to distilled water.
The cartridge is good until the demineralizer beads change color as indicated in
the manufacturer’s instructions. (In the “Deem” cartridge, the color change is from
blue to brown.) When this occurs, simply replace the cartridge.

Boiler water treatment using “BOILER WATER TEST KIT (FULL SERVICE) SPECTRAPAK 311

This test kit is for phosphate, P&M alkalinity chloride and pH. The hydrazine is
an optional extra (Spectrapak 312).

A representative ware sample is required. Always take water sample from the
same place. Allow the water to flow from the sample cock before taking the sample
for testing to ensure the line is clear of sediment.

Phosphate PPM PO4

• Take the comparator with the 10 ml cells provided.

• Slide the phosphate disc into the comparator.

• Filter the water sample into both cells up to the 10ml mark.

• Place one cell in the left hand compartment

• To the other cell add one phosphate tablet, crush and mix until completely

• After 10 min place this cell into the right hand compartment of the

• Hold the comparator towards a light.

• Rotate the disc until a colour match is obtained.

• Record the result obtained on the log sheet provided, against the date on
which the test was taken.

P Alkalinity (PPM CaCO3)

• Take a 200ml water sample in the stopped bottle.

• Add one P alkalinity tablet and shake or rush to disintegrate.

• If alkalinity is present the sample will turn blue.

• Repeat the tablet addition, one at a time (giving time for the tablet to
dissolve), until the blue colour turns to permanent yellow.

• Count the number of tablets used and carry out the following calculations:-

P Alkalinity, ppm CaCO3 = (Number of tablets x 20) – 10

e.g. 12 tablets = (12 x 20)-10 = 230 ppm CaCO3

• Record the result obtained on the log sheet provided, against the date on
which the test was taken.
• Retain the sample for the M Alkalinity test.

M Alkalinity (PPM CaCO3)

• To the P alkalinity sample add one M alkalinity tablet and shake or crush to

• Repeat tablet addition, one at a time (giving time for the tablet to dissolve),
until the sample turns to permanent red/pink.

• Count the number of tablets used and carry out the following calculations:-

M Alkalinity, ppm CaCO3 = (Number of P & M tablets x 20) – 10

e.g. 12 P, and 5M. Alkalinity tablets are used

M alkalinity = [(12+5) x 20)]-10 = 330 ppm CaCO3

• Record the result obtained on the log sheet provided, against the date on
which the test was taken.

Chloride (PPM) Cl

The range of chloride to be tested determines the size of water sample used.
The higher the chloride level the smaller the size of water sample used – this saves
e.g. for low chloride levels use 100ml water sample
for higher chloride levels use 50ml water sample
• Take the water sample in the stoppered bottle provided.
• Add one chloride tablet and shake to disintegrate. Sample should turn yellow
if chlorides are present.
• Repeat the tablet addition, one at a time (giving time for the tablet to
dissolve), until the yellow colour changes to permanent red/brown.
• Count the number of tablets used and perform the following calculations:-
For 100ml water sample –
Chloride ppm = (Number of tablets x 10)-10
e.g. 4 tablets = (4 x 10) – 10 = 30 ppm
For 50ml water sample –
Chloride ppm = (Number of tablets x 20)-20
e.g. 4 tablets = (4 x 20) – 20 = 60 ppm
For smaller steps of ppm chloride use a larger sample.
For larger steps of ppm chloride use a smaller sample.
• Record the result obtained on the log sheet provided, against the date on
which the test was taken.
pH Test 7.5 – 14.0 For boiler water
6.5 – 10.0 For condensate water
• Take a 50ml sample of water to be tested in the plastic sample container
• Using the white 0.6grm scoop provided, add one measure of the pH reagent to
the water sample, allow to dissolve. Stir if required.
• Select the correct range of pH test strip and dip it into the water sample for
approximately 10 seconds.
• Withdraw the strip from the sample and compare the colour obtained with the
colour scale on the pH indicator strips container.
• Record the pH value obtained on the log sheet provided, against the date at
which the test was taken.
Hydrazine PPM Spectrapak 312
This is an optional extra (order Spectrapak 312). This test must be performed
below 210C. A cooling coil should be fitted at the sampling point or the sample should
be cooled immediately under cold running water. Cloudy samples should be filtered
before testing.
• Take the comparator with the 10ml cells provided.
• Slide the hydrazine disc into the comparator.
• Add the water sample to both cells up to the 10 ml mark.
• Place one cell in the left hand compartment of the comparator.
• To the other cell add one measure of hydrazine powder (using the black 1grm
scoop provided) and mix until completely dissolved.
• Wait 2 minutes and place the cell in the right hand compartment of the
• Hold up to the light and rotate the disc until a colour match is obtained.
• Record the reading shown as ppm hydrazine.
Safety: These reagents are for chemical testing only. Not to be taken internally.
Wash hands after use. Keep away from children.

FAQs on Marine Boilers

Question: Boiler drum level control goes haywire

We are having 100 tones FBC boilers. Frequent problem observed is that whenever
there is sudden load change the boiler drum level control goes haywire leading to
tripping of boiler and turbine on drum level low or high. Our drum level control is 3-
element control in auto mode.

Answer: The most common fault with a three-point level controller is the steam
flow transmitter. Loosen the impulse pipes and cleanse the holes into the measuring

Question: Firing light crude oil

Can a Main Boiler built to fire 380 cst HFO, be fired with light crude oil directly from
the cargo-tanks?

Answer: A completely new fuel system is required, from deck to the burner rails
of the boiler. To prevent any possibility of gasses leaking from flanges, there have to
be ducting enclosing the entire fuel-system with forced draft fans that vent 30 times
the volume of the trunking to the outside. Also there have to be a burner hood to be
constructed all over the burner roof, equally vented. Naturally there have to be new
burners and so is the burner management. There are two main contractors who are
capable and willing to carry this out: HAMWORTHY-Combustion Engineering in UK and
SAACKE in Germany.

Question: Seawater in the boiler

If the boiler had to be operated with seawater what would be the result.

Answer: The salinity will rise rapidly since the salt remains in the boiler while the
water boils off. Salt will son precipitate and accumulate on the bottom and also on
the heating surface where it, just as boiler-scales, inhibit the heat transmission to the
water and causes the metal to overheat and in worst case burst. You may also get
foam in the boiler that will cause difficulties to maintain the water level and water
droplets might follow with the steam, causing problems with turbines and engines.
It is very dangerous to operate a boiler with salt in it, and you have to control the salt
concentration by frequently blowing off from the bottom of the boiler and form the
water surface to keep the salinity below 9.5% (boilermakers and classification
societies may recommend other values). It would also be a good measure to reduce
the capacity of the boiler. After this emergency operation it would be wise to open
up the boiler for inspection since seawater further accumulation of scales.
In the old days some ships sailing on lakes used the lakes water as make up water for
their boilers, but even that water caused problem with salt in the boilers although it
is supposed to be fresh-water.

Question: Heavy fuel oil viscosity

Heavy fuel oil viscosity is defined in the standards as the viscosity at 100°C yet the
oils are often described in terms of their nominal 40 or 50°C temperature viscosities.
e.g. a G35 oil (35cst at 100°C) is often described as anything from a 350cst to 390cst
oil. Refineries blend to control the viscosity at 100°C. Testing aboard ship or in boiler
houses appears to test the viscosity at 50°C. Because of the variation in quality of the
residual oil and distillate that make up a heavy fuel oil, it is difficult to make a good
correlation between the 50°C and 100°C measurements. My question is, how is the
blending of oil in the terminals or on fuel barges controlled? and how reliable is this in
achieving the required viscosity?

Answer: The values you get from my Fuel Oil Calculation program are normally
sufficient for firing a boilers heavy fuel oil burner. For a diesel engine on the other
hand, I assume that an automatic viscosity-controller would be indispensable.

Question: Heating up a fire-tube boiler

Is there a minimum temperature that a fire-tube boiler should reach before going to a
high fire state to prevent tubes from leaking?
Answer: The important thing is to heat up the boiler slowly so all parts of the
boiler expand just as much. The leaks occur when some part expands more, or less,
than the rest of the boiler. You will be on the safe side if you slowly heat up the
boiler to, or almost to, normal operation pressure before you start high firing.

Question: Combustion air preheating

Please tell me how air inlet temperature affects boiler efficiency. What are the
benefits of air preheating?
Answer: The combustion air will be heated to the flame temperature. This
heating cost money. If you have some waste heat to be used for preheating the
combustion air it will pay.

Question: Water in the heavy fuel oil


Is it possible to overheat heavy fuel oil thus causing any water in it to turn to steam
and cause problems at the pump and burner?

Answer: Yes it is. The temperature of the heavy fuel oil is very often 130°C to
150°C and water introduced to that temperature would immediately evaporate into
steam. When boiling, it expands about 1590 times. The situation might be dangerous
since the safety valves not are designed for steam. This kind of problem is very likely
to occur when you change fuel oil tank and some water from a poorly drained pipe
mixes with the heavy fuel oil.

Question: Oil showing in the water level gauge glass

Whilst on your engine room rounds, you discover oil showing in the water level gauge
glass of an auxiliary boiler. Describe the remedial actions you would take, explaining
why such actions must not be delayed.

Answer: Stop the burner immediately. Oil present, even small quantities, in
boiler water will cause foaming and moisture carry-over. It also forms a heat
insulating film, sometimes a carbonized layer, over tubes or shell surfaces. Even a
very thin layer may result in tube or plate material failure due to overheating.
The oil manifests itself by forming an oily ring inside the water gauge glasses, at the
water level.

Question: Emergency low boiler water level

You are an officer on watch, & finds the boiler water-level gauge glass to be empty &
the burner firing...What is your course of action? (Assuming the gauge glass to be
clear & good working order)

Answer: Normally a boiler is provided with two independent sensors for

emergency low water level burner cut-outs. So this would never happen. However, if
it does, don’t take any chances! Shut off the burners immediately! Before you start
raising the level in the boiler you have to find out if any part of the furnace walls has
been overheated. If you raise the level over a glowing steel-wall then the boiler might
produce more steam than the safety valves can handle and a nasty explosion would be
the result.
A quick test to see if it is safe to put water into the boiler is to temporarily
close the steam cock on the gauge glass. If the level rises to the top of the glass, it
means that there is still a water level in the water leg, which is also over the highest
heat exchange surface in a firetube boiler. The water rises because of the vacuum
caused in the glass with condensing steam.

Question: Differential pressure transmitters for the steam drum level

Way is the high pressure leg of the transmitter connected to the water side and the
low-pressure leg connected to the steam side?

Answer: The signal from the transmitter ought to increase when the water level
raises and decreases when the level falls. Furthermore the signal shall be zero, and
give impulse to stop the burner, in case of transmitter malfunction, power failure or
cable breakdown. Both requirements will be fulfilled if the transmitter is mounted
with the high pressure measuring point connected below the lowest water level and
the low pressure measuring point connected above the highest water level. The
output will increase when the level is raised. To compensate for the water column in
the reference leg the output signal's zero-point has to be elevated. This is the
common method. If the transmitter is swapped, with the low pressure side to lower
end and the high pressure side to upper end, then the signal will decrease when the
level is raised. This signal can be used to control the level as well, but the signal can
not be used to stop the burner for emergency low level in case of power failure or
cable breakdown. This system requires an extra sensor to trip burner at emergency
low water level. One can of course use the emergency high water level alarm to stop
the burner, but this is not correct. The emergency high water level shall stop the feed
water pump and whenever applicable stop the steam turbine, but not the burner.
Question: Fluctuating boiler water level
The feed water control valve is fully open and the water levels fluctuate at normal
boiler load.

Answer: Check if:

• The control valve really is fully open by means of the hand-maneuver device.
• All stop valves in the line are fully open.
• The suction filter to the feed water pump is satisfactory clean.
• The feed water pump discharge pressure is sufficient.
• The feed water control valve pressure drop is normal. (>=2 bar or >=30 psi)

Question: The burner starts and stops very often

The burner starts and stops very often, sometimes every second minute. An alarming
temperature-raise has been observed in the combustion air fans electric motor.

Answer: Increasing the burners turn down ratio would be a nice solution, but it's
not always possibly.
• Run the burner in minimum load, i.e., prevent the burner from increasing the
load just after the burner start.
• Install a five to ten minutes' time-delay in the fan-motor stop function. Then
the fan will continue to run during the shortest burner stops and the
combustion air fan motor will get a little rest from the start current.

Question: Most likely source of errors

In which part of a boiler control system is it most likely to get a failure.

Answer: When you have problem with a boiler control system you should keep in
mind that most faults occur outside the control cubicle, but on the other hand, your
problem might not be among the most common.

Statistically calculated faults in control systems.

Transmitters and sensors 40 %
Actuators 25 %
Controllers 10 %
Loss of electric power 5%
Others 20 %

Question: Open steam valves slowly

Why has a steam valve, or at least a big steam valve, to be opened slowly?

Answer: If you have a one liter of water standing in the pipe just after the valve
and open the valve too fast, then you will get a projectile of one kg rushing down the
pipe. At next valve, bend or other obstacle the speed of the water mass will be
converted into pressure. You can hardly imagine the damage this energy can cause.
Thermal stress is another reason to be very cautious and drain out water carefully
when you open a steam valve. A large steam valve ought to have a small by-pass valve
to simplify preheating of the pipe.
Question: Fuel Oil Ignition Quality, CCAI
What is the CCAI of a fuel oil?

Answer: The CCAI, the Calculated Carbon Aromaticity Index, is a measure of the
Fuel Oils Ignition Quality.

Question: Composite Boilers

What is the inherent problem in Composite Boiler?
Answer: There are different types of composite boilers. Normally one part of the
boiler is heated by means of a fuel oil burner and the other part is heated by the
exhaust gases from a diesel engine.

• Heating of one part of a boiler at the time often causes thermal stress that may
lead to leakage.
• One single composite boiler does not fulfill normal requirement of redundancy
when the steam is used for essential service purpose.

Question: Steam valves open causing a sudden large load

I have two 82,000 lb/hr natural gas fired boiler that is designed for 300 psig and
operating at 205 psig (saturated). The boilers serve a large campus with numerous
buildings, each with an integrated building management control system. Due to an
unresolvable characteristic of the building control system, occasionally all of the
building steam valves open causing a sudden large load on the boilers that lasts for 20
to 30 minutes. The demand for steam is not real in that no heat is actually required
by the buildings. When this condition occurs we have a serious water carryover
problem. My question is how can we maintain boiler pressure and water level while
either ignoring or controlling the sudden false load. Our combustion control system is
a PLC based system, metered/cross limited air-fuel ratio , three element drum level
and oxygen trim. Shall we try to correct thorugh the control algorithm or add
backpressure control valves. I look forward to any advise.

Answer: The steam capacity doesn’t seem to be sufficient to supply all the fully
open control valves. First of all recalculate the control valves. Over-sized control
valves are very common cause of problems.

Question: Transport superheated steam

Is it possible to transport superheated steam of the order of 45 t/h at 30 bar pressure
and temp of 300 deg from a aux boiler to a distance of 1.5 Km?

Answer: Calculate with a velocity of 15 m/s (49 ft/s). To avoid water hammering
the pipe-line should slop slightly downwards in the steam flowing direction. To start
up the line you will need a drain valve on every 30 m (100 ft).
♣ Untuk mengelakkan tekanan boiler mencapai tahap tekanan maksimum dan membahayakan
keselamatan. Safety valve akan melepaskan stim ke atmosfera secara automatik apabila telah
mencapai tekanan maksimum yang telah ditetapkan. Ini dapat mengelakkan sebarang kejadian
yang tidak diingini berlaku.

♣ Tekanan maksimum dapat ditetapkan dengan melaraskan pelaras yang bersambung dengan
spring pada safety valve.

♣ Dipasang bahagian penghasilan stim yang paling atas di boiler.


♣ Untuk menunjukkan nilai tekanan yang sebenar untuk mewujudkan keadaan operasi yang

♣ Siphon diletakkan sebelum tolok tekanan untuk melindunginya dari kerosakan.

♣ Dipasang bahagian penghasilan stim yang paling atas di boiler

♣ 2 jenis yang selalu digunakan ialah :

i) Bourdon

ii) Diaphragm