How Boilers Work
Boilers are pressure vessels designed to heat water or produce steam, which can then be used to provide space heating and/or service water heating to a building.
Basic working of boiler:
- Both gas and oil fired boilers use controlled combustion of the fuel to heat water.
- The key boiler components involved in this process are the burner, combustion chamber, heat exchanger, and controls.
- The burner mixes the fuel and oxygen together and, with the assistance of an ignition device, provides a platform for combustion.
- This combustion takes place in the combustion chamber, and the heat that it generates is transferred to the water through the heat exchanger.
- Controls regulate the ignition, burner firing rate, fuel supply, air supply, exhaust draft, water temperature, steam pressure, and boiler pressure.
- Hot water produced by a boiler is pumped through pipes and delivered to equipment throughout the building, which can include hot water coils in air handling units, service hot water heating equipment, and terminal units.
- Steam boilers produce steam that flows through pipes from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, unaided by an external energy source such as a pump.
- Steam utilized for heating can be directly utilized by steam using equipment or can provide heat through a heat exchanger that supplies hot water to the equipment.
- The discussion of different types of boilers, below, provides more detail on the designs of specific boiler systems.