What are the benefits of upgrading boilers with high efficiency low NOx burners? (Energy Efficiency Tip of the Day)

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What are the benefits of upgrading boilers with high efficiency low NOx burners? (Energy Efficiency Tip of the Day)

Tip summary

·       Due to differing temperature requirements and wide range of boiler models, a wide variety of burners are available and burner technology is continuously improving.

·       Improvement in boiler burner efficiency is mainly associated with optimum combustion efficiency and improving the heat profile inside the combustion chamber.

·       The efficiency of boiler burners is closely linked with the boiler controls regulating the fuel-to-air ratio. For example, inefficient fuel-to-air ratio control will reduce the efficiency of the burner.

·       An efficient burner provides the proper air-to-fuel mixture throughout the full range of firing rates, without constant adjustment. Many burners with complex linkage designs do not hold their air-to-fuel settings over time. Often, they are adjusted to provide high levels of excess air to compensate for inconsistencies in the burner performance.

·       Consider purchasing a new energy-efficient burner if your existing burner is cycling on and off rapidly. Rotary-cup oil burners that have been converted to use natural gas are often inefficient.

·       Usually the upgrade is associated with using Low-NOx type to cope with most of the modern NOx regulations.

Proposed actions

·       Determining the potential energy saved by replacing your existing burner with an energy-efficient burner requires several steps.

o  First, complete recom­mended burner-maintenance requirements and tune your boiler.

o  Conduct combustion-efficiency tests at full- and part-load firing rates. Then, compare the measured efficiency values with the performance of the new burner.

o  Most manufacturers will provide guaranteed excess levels of oxygen, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide.

·       If excess oxygen always exceeds 3%, or combustion efficiency values are low, consider modernizing the fuel/air control system to include solid-state sensors and controls without linkage. Also consider installing improved process controls, an oxygen trim system, or a new energy-efficient burner.

·       A new energy-efficient burner should also be considered if repair costs become excessive, reliability becomes an issue, energy savings are guaranteed, and/or utility energy conservation rebates are available.

·       Install a smaller burner on a boiler that is oversized relative to its steam load.

·       Evaluate the economics of the required changes.


o  System retrofit will have low to medium cost but quick ROI.


o  Estimated energy savings range: 1-3% of boiler energy use.


o  High efficiency burners can save 3% of boiler energy use.

o  Please share this tip with others to share knowledge and increase energy efficiency awareness.

o  Please contact me for any advice or support about this issue or other energy management issues.

Tip video




Slides link

My blog: www.360proactiveengineer.com

#Energy #energyefficiency #energymanagement #steam #steamsystem #sustainable #sustainability #engineering #engineer #chemicalengineering #steamboiler #360practiveengineer #controlsystem #burner #lowNOxburner

Magdy Aly

Energy manager, Energy efficiency consultant Passionate to help others to save Energy and Environment.

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