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Flow computer makes it easy to measure true steam boiler efficiency

17 May 2015

With the launch of the Spirax Sarco B850 Flow Computer, steam system operators can now accurately measure true boiler efficiency without the need for Building Management or SCADA systems that can be costly and time consuming to implement. 

Typically, steam system operators use burner efficiency to indicate boiler efficiency. However, this ignores energy losses that can occur after the burner, such as scaled or dirty heat transfer surfaces or excessive boiler blowdown rates. The only way to obtain true boiler efficiency is to meter all energy into the boiler (in the gas and feed water) and compare this with the useful energy out of the boiler (in the steam). 

The B850 Flow Computer is an all-in-one unit that uses input data from gas, water and steam flowmeters to calculate the energy efficiency of the boiler system without the need for additional equipment. 

The unit can display real-time and historical data for an easy way to detect drops in boiler efficiency and identify their causes quickly. This enables swift action to be taken to prevent unnecessary costs arising from inefficient boiler blowdown procedures, degradation of insulation or a system failure (for example, in heat recovery equipment). Using burner efficiency data alone, such changes can often go unnoticed until an expensive fuel bill comes in. 

The B850 Flow Computer therefore enables energy and facilities managers to benchmark the efficiency of boiler settings and operating procedure, allowing energy and cost saving measures to be effectively implemented. It also provides proof of return on investment for any related expenditure.

The B850 Flow Computer is compatible with all Spirax Sarco flowmeters - including the new ELM10 electromagnetic flowmeter for measuring fluid flow - and comprises standard 4-20mA pulse, BacNet, Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP/IP outputs for easy integration into existing BMS/IT systems.  It is easily commissioned via PC-based software using a set-up wizard, ensuring minimal downtime. 


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