What is a boiler? Well, a boiler is a closed vessel in which some kind of fluid or water can be heated. This fluid or water is then used for various reasons. Boiler has got a pressure vessel in it which is usually made up of steel or wrought iron. As far as creating heat is concerned, well, heat is created by use of various types of fuels like wood, oil, coal and natural gas. In case there is electric boiler than the heat is produced with the help of electricity. Boilers are classified in various configurations. They are:
1. Pot Boiler: Pot boiler is also known as haycock boiler. It is like old kettle where the water was heated by a fire below the kettle. Due to less efficiency, new boilers were invented.
2. Fire – tube Boiler: In this particular boiler, water is partially filled in the vessel and some water is filled above to create the steam. Such boilers are normally used in locomotives.
3. Water – Tube Boiler: In this type of boiler, water tubes are arranged in furnace in almost all possible ways in order to generate maximum heat. One drawback in water – tube boiler is that in this case, there is less space in the boiler.
4. Sectional Boiler: Sectional boiler is also commonly called pork chop boiler. There are iron sections and water is stored in these cast iron sections. These sections are always created at the place the boiler is required. The sections are assembled at the site.
One should know that boilers have got a history of injuries attached to it. Many times, due to heavy pressure and small mistakes, boilers explode leaving a lot of people around injured or even worse. There needs to be proper precaution and safety measures to bee followed in and around the boiler. Even a single leak in the steam pipe can lead to serious problems.
There are various fittings and accessories to be mentioned when one discusses boilers. Some of them are:
1. Safety Valve: In order to prevent boiler explosions, a safety valve is there which is used to release pressure.
2. Water level indicators: The person who operates the boiler, get to know the level of water or the fluid filled in the vessel with the help of water level indicators.
3. Bottom Blow down Valves: With help of these, the condensed solid particles which accumulate in the boiler during the process of heating get removed. This valve as the name suggest is normally located in the bottom of the boiler.
4. Continuous Blow down valve: This allows a continuous release of water out of the boiler in order to avoid saturation of water.
5. Hand Holes: For the purpose of inspection and checking, steel plates are installed in the header. They are known as Hand Holes.
Apart from the ones mentioned above there are various other fittings and accessories are like flash tank, circulating pump, surface blow down line, steam drum internals, feed water check valve, top feed, chemical injection line etc.