A typical boiler experiences 5-10% of downtime over a single year. In many plants, this can amount to almost 1,000 hours a year that a boiler is not operational. With no plan in place ahead of time, however, the overall cost (including repairs, shutdown, and time) can be much higher. This is a concern that plagues most plant managers, as preventative boiler maintenance and equipment repairs are often neglected which reduces both the boiler’s reliability and safety.
Emergencies such as these happen often and plant shutdowns are inevitable, so it’s always best to plan ahead. How can you do so? Simple: redundant systems.
A redundant system is just that - a backup system to be used in the event of downtime. Having a redundant piece of equipment, whether it be a feedwater pump or a boiler, eliminates the risk of emergency downtime and allows for proper scheduling of preventative maintenance. This proper equipment maintenance helps increase the mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) while decreasing the mean-time-to-repair (MTTR).
Some sites require 100% redundancy for critical systems, but others opt for three units sized for just over 50% of the load to lower upfront and running costs and extend the useful life of each piece of equipment. For an average boiler system, a unit sized for 50% of the maximum load will provide enough output to cover 65% of the operating conditions.
When controlled correctly, the redundant boilers will only come online when the first boiler is unable to satisfy the load, which greatly reduces operating costs. The control system allows for intelligent firing to ensure all boilers are fired evenly for operational hours. This type of installation allows for a less frequent preventative maintenance schedule, higher reliability across the system, and lower operational costs.
Powerhouse can help engineer, design and layout, or install redundant systems for any situation. Contact us today to learn about custom redundant systems for your business!