How Does a Watertube Boiler Work?

How Does a Watertube Boiler Work?

One of the more recent innovations in steam production is the use of watertube boilers. Slowly but surely they are replacing traditional fire tube boilers as the top option regardless or an organization’s steam needs. They are safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly than fire tube boilers. So, how exactly do watertube boilers work and what makes them better than conventional boilers?

As their name implies, the key to a watertube boiler is a series of tubes that sit in the middle of the boiler. The tubes are roughly the same length of the boiler and designed to withstand great amounts of pressure so that they don’t crack or leak. When the furnace is lit, hot gas flows throughout the boiler, heating up the water inside the tubes in order to create steam.

The smaller size of watertube boilers helps the hot gas flow back and forth within the boiler, creating more heat to boil the water without requiring large amounts of fuel. Essentially, the heat source is evenly distributed throughout the inside of the boiler, which helps to heat the water in each tube quickly and efficiently, causing it to boil and rise to the steam drum at the top of the boiler. At the bottom of the steam drum is boiling water that will soon become steam that can be used for heating and other purposes.

Watertube boilers also include a downcomer tube that connects the steam drum at the top of the boiler with the feed water drum that sits at the bottom of the boiler. Some of the steam created from the boiling water will inevitably cool and condense back into water that will then travel through the downcomer tube back to the feed water drum. This process allows that water to once again flow into the tubes to ultimately become steam, which helps to reduce the amount of water the boiler needs to function.

The entire process only takes a few minutes, even if the watertube boiler receives a cold start-up. Things are a little slower to get going in traditional fire tube boilers, which is one of the main reasons why the smaller watertube boilers are becoming the preferred option for companies that rely on industrial steam boilers.

Contact Miura today to learn more about our watertube boilers.