A boiler economizer, or sometimes known as a flue gas economizer, is used to increase energy efficiency by capturing waste heat. According to Nationwide Boiler Incorporated, an economizer can be simply understood as a heat exchanger.
What is a Boiler Economizer?
A boiler is essential to the heating system of a building. The Federal Trade Commission uses annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) to measure the heating efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “AFUE doesn’t include the heat losses of the duct system or piping, which can be as much as 35% of the energy.” Moreover, low-efficiency heating system may already waste about 30% to 44% of the heat. How to keep the heat that you already paid for from being wasted?
In order to prevent large heat loss from a boiler system through the exhaust stack, some facility managers may choose to use a boiler economizer to recover the wasted heat from flue gases.
How does a Boiler Economizer Work?
According to Nationwide Boiler Incorporated, when the flue gas exits the boiler, “it enters an economizer with finned tubes.” The economizer will capture the escaped heat in the finned tubes and return it back to a water system. The heat in the water system can reduce the energy needed for the boiler.
By adapting an economizer to the boiler system, the boiler is able to increase efficiency by 10 to 12%.
How Manufacturing Companies Could Benefit from Using a Boiler Economizer?
The energy savings potential of an economizer depends on the following factors, according to Michaels Energy:
- The existing stack temperature
- The cost of the boiler fuel
- The hours of operation of the boiler
- Average boiler firing rate
- Economizer entering water temperature and flow rate
Typically, the higher the demand for heating, the more the company will save with an economizer. For example, in a manufacturing company, the boiler may have to operate everyday in a year. With an economizer, the temperature of the flue gas can be significantly reduced. Therefore, the energy needed to keep the boiler operating is also decreased.
In order to determine whether your company needs an economizer, you can simply take your annual boiler fuel bill and subtract 5 to 10% of the cost. If the cost is a lot to your company, then an economizer may be a good choice for you. And if you are still unsure, you can click here to contact our energy experts for a free consultation.