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10 Boiler Operating Mistakes on Ships That Can Cost Big Time

1. Starting a Boiler Without Pre-purging the Furnace: Almost all boilers come with
an automation system of starting and stopping comprising of programmed pre-purging
and post-purging of furnace before the burner is fired. Never ignore or isolate this safety
feature. If the boiler has to run manually, it must be pre-purged by means of FD fan for
at least 2 minutes. Avoiding this step can lead to blowback and even explosion.

2. Ignoring Furnace Blowback: Several accidents in the past involving furnace

blowback have lead to fatal situations on board ships. Still marine engineers often
overlook this danger and fire furnace even when the first attempt ends with flame failure
and blowback. One of the reasons for this is stated above i.e. no pre-purging of furnace.

3. Bypassing Safety and Alarm: This is a common practice among seafarers, who
bypass some of the safety or automation sequences to shorten operating procedure of
boilers. Such systems are installed to ensure safety of ship personnel and thus should
never be missed.

4. No checks on Boiler Refractory: Boiler refractory provides better heat-exchanging

efficiency and closes/seals gaps to restrict fire, heat, ashes etc. inside the boiler .
Regular inspection of boiler refractory is important as damaged refractory would expose
the boiler shell to flame and heat, leading to bulging or even cracking of the boiler shell.

5. Dirty Gauge Glasses: Gauge glasses installed on the boiler are the only physical
means to check the water level of the boiler. Every engineer knows the procedure to
blow the gauge glass for avoiding any kind of blockage. Neglecting this can lead to
wrong water level indication and heavy damage to boiler tubes.

6. Pilot Burner Check: Many engineers remove the pilot burner to check the electrode
spark. Such practice can lead to electrical shock and even fire if the surrounding are not
properly cleaned or the pilot burner is kept on oily floor plate with rags. The best way to
check the pilot burner operation is to fit it in place and watch the firing from boiler
inspection manhole located opposite of the burner.

7. No Clean-up After Burner Maintenance: When any maintenance work is done on

the burner assembly (pilot or main burner) and the surrounding area is not cleaned
before trying out the boiler, there are high chances of fire and explosion as blowbacks
are normal during starting-up after maintenance. Oil spilled inside the furnace and over
the burner assembly can add more to this blowback, converting it into an explosion.

8. Cold Condition Thermal Shock: Never fire a boiler continuously when starting
from cold condition to avoid thermal shock. Thus in cold condition, boiler should be
started by following an intermediate firing pattern, for e.g. 2 minutes of firing followed by
10 minutes of break. Also, once the boiler starts to warm up the break time gradually
decreases and the firing period increases simultaneously

9. Wrong Operation of EGB Circulating Pump: Exhaust gas boiler (EGB) normally
comes with water circulating pump. It is important to start this pump well ahead, at least
2 hours, of starting the main engine and to be stopped 12 hours (the time may reduce
depending upon the capacity of the boiler and the geographical condition) after stopping
the main engine to avoid thermal shock and EGB fire.

10. Cleaning of EGB tubes: The exhaust gas boiler (EGB) tubes are arranged in the
passage of exhaust gases, which heats the water in the tubes. If these smoke tubes are
not cleaned regularly, it can lead to soot deposits over the tubes and during low load
operation or improper combustion oil can mix up with the soot. When ignited, the soot
can lead to major soot fire followed by hydrogen or iron fire.

Energy Audit on Ships: Audit of Marine Boiler

Basic Steps of Boiler Audit

Data Collection: Finding how the ship uses steam, costs of fuel consumed per day and
issues by reducing steam consumption for utilities. For example reduction of domestic
hot water temperature or reduction of accommodation heating etc.
Data Analysis: Identifying measures that would lead to energy conservation. These
include measures with no investment, with medium investment and with large
Audit Report: The report has to be presented to the owners with the economic viability
to enable making decision.

Instruments Required for Boiler Audit

In any energy audit the use of proper calibrated instruments is essential. The
instruments that are required to carry out an in depth boiler energy audits are as follows:

Portable Oscilloscope: Its an all in one tool. It is used for visual display and
interpretation of data, trend analysis, data logger, spectrum analyzer and measuring
capacitance, resistance, continuity, AC and DC voltage, power measurement for single
phase and three phase, total power, apparent power, reactive power, power factor,
frequency and current etc.
Infrared Remote Thermometer: It is used for temperature measurement and for finding
hot spots.
Tachometer: For speed measurement of motors and shafts as slippage of belts and
lowering of speeds can cause improper air fuel ratio.
Master Pressure and Temperature Calibrator: For calibrating the online instruments
and sensors in the boiler control panel.
Infrared Camera: This camera can take infrared photographs thus indicating trouble
areas and hot spots.
Flue Gas Analyzer: For analyzing flue gas and measuring concentration of O2, CO2,
CO, NOx, and SOx etc.
Ultra Sonic Leak Detector: It is used for checking steam traps that are leaking and pin-
hole leakages of steam.
Other Instruments: The other instruments that are used are digital manometers,
calibrated pressure gauges, Multi meter, Clamp ammeter, Contact thermometer, Non
contact water flow meter, power analyzer etc.

Pre-audit Precautions

Before carrying out energy audit on the boiler some precautions must be taken to
ensure accuracy and reliability of measurement.

The boiler load should be kept constant during the audit.

No soot blowing should be done during the audit.
No blow down should be done during the audit.

Energy Conservation and Optimization opportunities

Depending on the layout of the ship, make of the boiler, the quality of maintenance and
the condition of the boiler there may be some ship specific problems and
recommendations; but in addition to these there are some common areas where
generally loss of heat occurs and there is scope of energy conservation

Excess air in combustion: Specified quantity of air is required as per stoichiometric air
fuel ratio for combustion. However as metering in inadequate some extra air is always
supplied to avoid incomplete combustion. Excess air lowers efficiency because it does
not take part in the combustion and takes away the heat of the furnace.
Less air in combustion: If the air is less than the recommended stoichiometric air fuel
ratio, incomplete combustion will result. Carbon will not fully burn to carbon-di-oxide but
will partially burn to form carbon monoxide. This will cause loss of energy.
Maximum Waste Heat Recovery: The funnel stack temperature must be as low as
possible but with sufficient margin to be above the dew point to avoid sulphur corrosion.
Generally a funnel temperature of 165 to 195 deg C when using Fuel Oil is considered
optimum. In any case when the funnel (Exhaust Stack) temperature is higher than 200
deg C, a more stringent waste heat recovery program should be required.
Feed Water Preheating: If the funnel temperature is higher than 200 deg C it can be
utilized for feed water preheating, thus increasing the waste heat recovery. It will
increase the overall efficiency of the plant
Combustion Air Preheating: In case there is still a margin in funnel temperature
combustion air preheating may be considered.
Blow- Down Optimization: The blow down of the boiler is required for controlling the
amount of TDS in the boiler. Blow down must be calculated and done after measuring
the TDS amount. Some engineers merrily blow down the boiler excessively without
need even when the parameters are in control and it results in loss of precious water
and heat. Blow down must be done in response to the conductivity and the pH.
Practical Tips On Improving Boiler Efficiency for Professional Marine
One of the important tasks of marine engineers on board ships is to ensure that all the machinery
systems are running efficiently. Each machinery in the engine room is dependent on a variety of
aspects, which decides its overall efficiency and performance.

Boiler is one such important machinery in the ships engine room that needs special attention,
considering the fact that it supports several other operations and machinery, including the main
engine. Maintaining and improving boiler efficiency requires taking note of a number of factors.

Mentioned below are 6 important points that must be considered in order to improve boiler

1. Feed Water Temperature

To improve any systems efficiency, it is important to maintain the standard of all the inputs of
that system. In boiler system, it is the feed water which plays an important role in deciding the
overall efficiency. For this, the feed water temperature must be maintained at approx. 80- 85 deg
C to ensure boiler is operated at high efficiency. Any reduction in the water temperature will lead
to more time for heating up the water to produce steam, more fuel consumption and decrease in
the overall efficiency.
The hot well needs to be monitored for correct temperature and level. Any sudden fall in the
level of hot well means more addition of cold water to maintain the level, which leads to
reduction in the feed water temperature.


Maintain Feed Water temp- 80 to 85 deg. C

Ensure hot well level controller is operating properly
Monitor feed water temperature through hot well

2. Supply of Air/Steam to Burner

Air/steam is required to ensure adequate fire is generated inside the furnace through good
combustion. It is therefore important to know the percentage of air/steam for efficient
combustion. For fuel oil fired marine boiler with register type burner, 15-20 % by weight of air is
required for efficient combustion.

Controlling excess air within the required range will lead to decrease in the flue gas losses. Every
1% reduction in the excess air supplied to the furnace results in approx 0.6% increase in the
boiler overall efficiency.


Excess Air/steam to be reduced or avoided

Know the stoihiometric air fuel ratio for your boiler under its current rating
Keep a check on the content of combustion gases using flue gas analyzer to adjust the air fuel
ratio accordingly

3. Structural Importance

The boiler is a high pressure vessel generating high temperature steam for various purposes. The
outer shell or structure is an important part which not only contains the pressure but keeps the
temperature of the flue gas intact inside the boiler for better heat exchanging ability.

Things to Check:

Leakage from the boiler shell must also be checked. This occurs mainly due to deformation or
bulging of shell leading to cracks and leakage.
The insulation of the boiler must be checked for any damage or leakage.
The refractory should be checked at least once in a month for their condition. Any damage in
the refractory will lead to localized heating of the shell and damage to the same.

Check refractory and replace the damage refractory as soon as possible

Check for any black spots in the outer plates of the boiler. This indicates the boiler shell has
cracks and it is leaking
Ensure insulation of the shell is properly maintained to minimise the heat loss and to maintain
the boiler efficiency

4. Blow Down Control

It is normally observed that boiler blow down is not performed regularly by operators. Blow
down is only performed when the water test results are high in chloride or when high
conductivity alarm occurs. This leads to uncontrolled continuous blowdown which is actually
waste of boiler heat and efficiency. This reduces prominent amount of high temperature water
inside the boiler and addition of moderate temperature water from hot well.

The boiler burner will now fire for longer period to maintain the steam pressure hence fuel
combustion will increase reducing the efficiency. It is recommended to perform regular
blowdowns for short period which not only maintains the chloride level but also reduces the
thermal stresses within the boiler.

Pro Tips:

Avoid continuous long blowdown

Regular short blowdown are recommended
Keep a regular check on boiler water chloride content

5. Boiler Loading

Ships provided with more that one boiler or steam generators must ensure that the load of the
boiler is neither too low nor too high. The best operating range to get the maximum boiler
efficiency is 2/3rd of the boiler full load. If the boiler is operated below 50% load, more air is
required to burn the fuel which increases the sensible heat loss. It is always better to run less
number of boiler at high load than more number at low load.

Pro Tips:

Highest efficiency of boiler can be achieved at 2/3rd of the full load

Avoid running the boiler at below 25% load as the efficiency reduces significantly below this load
6. Soot deposits

The oil fired boilers are prone to soot deposits in the tube and internal boiler surface which
reduces the heat transfer rate. An elevated tube stack temperature is indication of increased soot
deposits over the tube. An estimated 1 percent efficiency loss occurs with every 22 deg C
increase in stack temperature and 3 mm of soot can cause an increase in fuel consumption by 2.5
percent due to increased flue gas temperatures. A regular cleaning of boiler and economiser
tubes must therefore be performed. Record and observe the stack temperature for indication of
soot deposits.

Pro tips:

Recommended to install a dial type thermometer at the base of the stack to monitor the
exhaust flue gas temperature
When the flue gas temperature rises to about 20 oC above the temperature for a newly cleaned
boiler, it is time to remove the soot deposits

Types of Exhaust Gas Boiler (EGB) Fires and Ways to Prevent Them
Every system, which is operated at high temperature, always has a risk of fire. This
applies to EGB which has the inlet temperature of exhaust gases @ 300-400 deg. C.
The most common type of Exhaust Gas Boiler (EGB) used on ships are water tube

In water tube type of arrangement, the water passes through tube stack, which is
arranged in the path of exhaust gas inside the exhaust gas trunking of the main engine.
The exhaust gas flows over the tube stacks and heats the water, thus producing steam.

The main constituent of the soot deposit is particulates but in addition, some unburnt
residues of fuel and lubricating oils may be deposited in the boiler.

Soot deposit and fire in the EGB can be-

1. Due to the poor combustion of fuel in the main engine

2. Due to prolong slow steaming
3. Long maneuvering of the ship
4. Frequent starting and stopping of the engine
5. Poor grade of fuel oil/ cylinder oil
6. Low exhaust gas velocity passing the EGB
7. Low water inlet velocity in the water tubes
8. Low circulation water flow ratio

Types of Exhaust Gas / Soot fire in the Exhaust Gas Boiler (EGB)
For a better understanding, it is better to distinguish the EGB fire in stages rather than in
types. EGB fires can be differentiated in two or three stages depending upon the
intensity of fire.

Stage 1: Normal Soot fire

Stage 2: Hydrogen Fire

Stage 3: Iron Fire

Stage 1: Normal Soot Fire:

Soot is deposited in the water tube of the exhaust boiler. When the ship is at slow
speed, the exhaust temperature of main engine may vary from 100 to 200 deg C. This
temperature is enough to ignite wet soot whose ignition temperature is around 150
deg. C.

If the soot is dry, it will not get ignited at such low temperature (150 deg. C) but when
the engine is running at higher speed and the temperature of gases reaches to above
300 deg. C, then in the presence of excess oxygen the deposits of combustible
materials will liberate sufficient vapor, which can be ignited by a spark or a flame.

The above soot fires are called small or normal soot fire because the heat energy is
conducted away by the circulating boiler water and steam. Also the sparks remain
inside the funnel or diminish while passing through the flame arrestor in the funnel top.

Stage 2: Hydrogen Fire

Hydrogen fire in a EGB occurs when the chemical reaction of dissociation of water
takes place at a temperature above 1000 deg. C. This leads to formation of Hydrogen
(H2) and Carbon mono-oxide (CO) which are both combustible in nature.

2H2O= 2H2 + O2 (Dissociation of water Leading to formation of hydrogen-H2)

H 2 O + C =H 2 + C O (Reaction of water with carbon deposit leading to formation of

carbon monoxide-CO)
Stage 3: Iron Fire

At this stage, the chain reaction of oxidation of iron metal starts at a high temperature of
1100 deg. C which means at such high temperature the tube will start burning itself,
leading to complete meltdown of tube stacks.

2Fe + O2 2=FeO+ heat

It is strictly advisable not to use water or steam at this stage to fight the fire because the
overheated iron will react with water to continue this reaction.

Fe + H2O =FeO+ H2 + heat

Steps for Prevention of Fire

Avoid slow steaming of main engine

Ensure good fuel combustion in the main engine
Ensure fuel is treated and is of good quality while supplying to the engine
Do regular soot blow of boiler tubes
Do water washing in ports at regular interval
Ensure design of exhaust trunk to be such to provide uniform heat to complete tube
Pre-heated circulating water to be supplied to boiler mainly at the time of start up
Circulating pump should not be turn off at any time while main engine is running
Do not stop circulating pump for at least two hours after the main engine is stopped
Start circulating pump prior to 2 hours before starting the main engine

How to Tackle EGB Fire?

The response for tacking EGB fire will be different for different stages.

When there is stage 1 fire, i.e. normal soot fire:

a) Stop the main engine, and thereby the oxygen supply to the fire

b) Continue operating the water-circulating pump. Never stop the pump

c) Never use soot blowers for fire fighting whatever type it is Steam or Air as both will
accelerate the effect of fire

d) Ensure all the exhaust valves in the stopped Main engine are in closed position so as
to cut any chance of air supply to the soot fire
e) Cover the filter of turbocharger

f) Water washing, if fitted, may be used to extinguish the fire. This is normally connected
to the ships fire fighting water system

g) External boundary cooling can be done

For Major Fire:

a) Stop the main engine, if it is not stopped already

b) Stop the circulating water pump.

c) Shut all the inlet and outlet valves on the water circulation line

d) Discharge the (remaining) water from the exhaust gas boiler sections by draining

e) Cool down with plenty of splash water directly on the heart of the fire (Take care not
to splash water in other parts as water can accelerate the reaction)

What To Do During Marine Auxiliary Boilers Flame Failure or Fuel Pump

Marine auxiliary boiler is only used in port and the exhaust boiler caters for all heating
and steam needs while at sea. Generally if the burner routines are carried out religiously
and the filters are cleaned, there is no major maintenance or routine that needs to be

In this article the author is relating a problem faced on one ship and the troubleshooting


One day the boiler shut down after flame failure alarm came. After many futile attempts
to restart the boiler on HFO, the boiler was changed over to diesel and manually fired.
The auto firing mode was non operational and the FO pressure low alarm was coming
and fuel pumps stopping.
The following checks were done that helped to restart the boiler:

Correct pressure setting of the boiler: Generally the Fuel Oil pressure at the burner must
be between 2 to 4 bars. In case the pressure is too high more fuel will be sent and the
air fuel ratio disturbed. Less fuel pressure will give a lean mixture and flame will be
unsteady and fail.

The fuel pump might trip on overload. Check the pump for mechanical damage and
jamming. It should be free to turn by hand.

The over current relay may be at fault. Check the OCR setting and try increasing it if not
correct. There is generally a test lever at back of OCR for testing.

The fine filter also called as dirt trap on the burner may be dirty.

The pressure transmitter may be giving wrong pressure feedback, check the wires.

The pressure transmitter for DO is normally different from FO line, Check this pressure

The PLC will give command to stop due to pressure transmitter fault. Try calibrating the
transmitter with the Master calibrator and check output. Output should be between 4 to
20 mA.

The fuel oil line may be choked and blocked. This can be ascertained by high back

The fuel oil temperature should be around 90 deg C. Check heater for correct
functioning. High temperature can cause vapor lock that can lead to ignition failure.

The PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) has a reset buttons and resetting it restores
the default values, often solving the problem.

Check any error code flashing on the display of the PLC or logic module and consult the

If a fuel oil (FO) low pressure alarm is generated it may be due to restriction in the line
going to the pressure transmitter. There are also valves for isolation, they must be

Local FO pressure gauge may be replaced with a new / calibrated one to get correct

If the boiler is firing on diesel oil (DO) then the burner should be generally ok, however if
filters are partially dirty or the nozzle is partially choked, it may lead to this problem.
Overhauling the burners may give correct picture. If the nozzle is choked it will create a
back pressure.
There are two fuel oil (FO) pumps, try starting the second pump.

Check supply and return lines for correct functioning of valves.

Check the megger reading of the pump motor.

Check the suction line change over and return line change over valves.

In case the system includes separate pressure control valves for HFO and MDO, change
over the three way valve from MDO position to HFO position or close the stop valve
before the MDO pressure control valve.

Near the FO change over valves and near the burner assembly, there are pressure
regulating valves on MDO and HFO line, try to adjust the pressure within 3 to 4 bars for
HFO. Moreover there may be another pressure regulating valve near the pressure
gauge of burner assembly. Use this for fine adjustment.

If the fuel pumps are tripping in manual firing then there is pump problem or back

In manual mode PLC should not be involved and as still pump is tripping there is some
other fault.

Check the input voltage to the pump and also the current by clamp meter.

If both the pumps are tripping then it indicates Pressure switch or back pressure

Understanding Boiler Feed Water Contamination

The quality of boiler water plays an important role in deciding the overall marine boiler
efficiency. Contamination of boiler water leads to several types of problems, including
the main ones corrosion and scale formation. To eradicate the problem from the roots,
it is important to understand the boiler water chemistry and how contaminants enter
boiler feed water.

Inside the boiler system, the boiler feed water passes through a series of pipelines,
tanks, and equipment. The feed water is always chemically treated to reduce the effects
of harmful minerals and gases. However, the boiler feed water is not the only one
responsible for problems related to boiler water contamination and boiler efficiency. The
boiler feed water is always clean and chemically treated, and is mainly affected by the
corrosion of the boiler system, which is mostly harmless.
The main problem starts when a lot of this boiler feed water is lost through leakages and
processes such as boiler blow down, soot blowing etc., and make-up water is needed to
be introduced to compensate this loss. It is this make-up water that brings in a majority
of the impurities into the boiler system.

How the make-up feed water is more contaminated?

The new feed water is taken into the boiler system by two ways

1. From fresh water tanks whose water is meant for drinking purpose
2. From sea water distillation plan or fresh water generator

Boiler feed water is mainly taken from the fresh water generator. The sea water
contains a large amount of salts and other dissolved minerals and gasses. Moreover,
the fresh water generated in the fresh water generator would often carry small droplets
of salt water from the vapours. Salt droplets are also a result of salt water leaks in the
distillate condenser. The feed water thus contains several dissolved minerals and salts.

Also, the dissolved gases in the seawater which are either absorbed from the air or are
a result of decayed plant and animal bodies are also carried over with the vapour to the
distilled water. Many of these gases and impurities are harmful, and which eventually
lead to boiler problems.

Problems Due to Contaminated Boiler Feed Water

The problems arising due to contaminated boiler feed water can be classified into two
main types:
1. Corrosion

2. Scale formation

Technically, both the above mentioned problems are interlinked. Both of them results in
loss in boiler efficiency and can cause boiler tube failures and inability to produce


One of the most common reasons for boiler corrosion remains the action of dissolved
oxygen in the make-up and feed water. Corrosion leads to failure of machinery from
inside also reduces over all boiler efficiency.

Scale Formation

Scale formation or deposits in the boilers results from hardness contamination of feed

The primary minerals in the water that make the feed water hard are Calcium
(Ca++) and Magnesium (Mg++).

These minerals form a scale over the surface of piping, water heaters, and on
everything it comes in contact with. Hardness contamination of the feed water may also
result from either deficient softener systems or raw water in leakage of the condensate.

This kind of scale/ deposits act as insulators and lower the heat transfer rate.

The insulating effect of deposits also causes the boiler metal temperature to rise and
lead to tube-failure by overheating.

Large amounts of such deposits throughout the boiler would reduce the heat transfer
enough to drop the overall boiler efficiency.

Boiler Starting Failure Troubleshooting

Failure in boiler starting is a common phenomenon on ship. There can be several
reasons for the failure in staring of a boiler. In this article we will learn about the most
common reasons for not starting of boiler.
1) Fuel inlet valve to the burner is in close position:

The fuel line for boilers burner consists of several valves located at fuel tank, pumps
suction, discharge valve, or valve before the boiler burner. Any of these can be in
closed position resulting in starvation of fuel.

2) Line filter at the inlet of the fuel line for burner is choked:

If the system runs in heavy oil then there are chances of filters in the line getting choke.
To avoid this, boiler system are normally built for changeover from diesel to heavy oil
during starting and heavy to diesel during stopping. This keeps the filter and the fuel line

3) Boiler fuel supply pump is not running:

There are two main reasons for fuel pump not running. Normally when the pumps are in
pairs, the change over auto system is kept in manual position, and if the operating pump
trips, the stand by pump will not start automatically. Another reason is tripping of pump
due to short circuit in the system etc.

4) Solenoid valve in the fuel supply line is malfunctioning

Nowadays most of the system adopts advance automation, but their can be a possibility
wherein the solenoid in the fuel supply line is malfunctioning and not opening.

5) Flame eye is malfunctioning:

A Flame eye is a photocell operated flame sensor fitted directly on the refractory to
detect weather the burner is firing or not. If the flame eye unit is malfunctioning, then it
will give a trip signal even before the burner starts firing.

6) Air or Steam ratio setting is not proper

For proper and efficient combustion, air fuel ration is very important, if the supply of air
is excess then there will be excess of smoke, and if it exceeds more than normal level
the combustion will burn off causing flame failure.

7) Forced draft fan flaps malfunctioning

For removing excess gases trapped inside the combustion chamber forced draft fan
(FDF) are used for pre purging and post purging operation and are connected with a
timer to shut the fan flaps. If the flaps are malfunctioning then continuous forced air will
go inside the chamber, preventing the burner to produce flame causing flame failure of
the boiler.

8) Any contactor switch inside Control panel is malfunctioning

Boiler control panel consist of several contactors and PLC cards. Even one contactor
malfunctioning may result in trouble for boiler starting.

9) Trip not reset

If any previous trips like low water level, flame failure, emergency stop etc. has not been
reset than boiler will not start.

10) Main Burner atomiser is clogged

Main burners consist of atomizer for efficient burning of fuel. If the atomizer is clogged
by sludge and fuel deposits then burner may not produce flame and trip the boiler..

11) Pilot Burner nozzle is choked :

A Pilot burner nozzle is very small and can be blocked by carbon deposits and sludge
resulting in flame failure. Some pilot burner consists of small filter which can be clogged
after continuous operation resulting in flame failure because of carbon accumulation.

12) Electrodes are not generating spark

Initial spark for generating a flame is produced by electrode which may be due to
carbon deposits on them or fault in the circuit of electrodes etc.

Important Points for Boiler Cleaning on a Ship

Boiler cleaning is one of the most important processes that are to be performed
routinely on marine boilers on a ship. Boiler cleaning is done to prevent and remove
carbon and particle deposits from the boiler.

However, there are certain important points that are to be kept in mind while doing
boiler cleaning. In this article we learn about these important points.
Boiler Cleaning: Important Points

If the boiler water is treated properly with chemicals and the concentration of chemicals
is within the acceptable range then the deposits on the walls of water and steam side of
the boiler will be minimal.
If boiler is operating on fresh water rather than heavy water the deposits inside the tubes
will also be minimal and can be removed by boiling out. The hard deposits inside the
tubes are removed with the help of scrubber and brush from the upper drum.
If the boiler oil burner is functioning properly and proper maintenance is being carried out
from time to time then the soot deposits inside the oil fired boiler will be minimal. But
the soot deposits cannot be completely avoided as during starting of boiler soot
formation is more and over a period of time it collects inside the boiler space.
The soot deposits can be removed with the help of water washing with 10 percent soda
solution through the inlet door in the uptake with the help of water hose.
Necessary precautions are to be taken during water washing. It is to be noted that the
refractory present inside the boiler does not get wet.
During water washing the refractory should be covered with the plastic sheet and water
should be drained off continuously through the drain provided at the bottom.
In case the refractory gets wet, the lighting of boiler should be done very slowly,
otherwise the refractory will crack and drop down and finally cause overheating and
deformation inside.