What is a boiler and how to do Marine Boiler Automation?

Marine boiler automation

What is a boiler and purpose of marine boiler automation?

The boiler will heat the liquid to get steam energy and this generated steam will be accumulated in the boiler. Marine boilers are utilized in ships that operate on marine diesel engines. Boilers play an important part in the vessel propulsion system. Boilers are utilized in ships in which the main engine is steam-powered.

Marine boilers are utilized for auxiliary machinery in the vessel and this machinery is used for engine operations. Marine Boiler automation will be really useful to handle emergency situations. Marine boilers will operate securely and properly because of boiler automation. You can determine the pressure, temperature, and water level of a marine boiler by boiler automation. There will be alarms and shutdowns in the boiler automation system to handle emergency situations.

• Water level control

• Burner control

• Pressure and temperature control

• Control of feedwater supply

What is marine boiler automation and how it is done on ships?

In marine boiler automation, several sensors are utilized with the boiler to determine the status of the marine boiler. Temperature sensors and pressure sensors will be utilized in boiler automation. Control valves play an important part in marine boiler automation to reduce the pressure level, steam level, etc.

Marine boiler automation
marine boiler automation

What is the importance of marine boiler automation?

Boiler safety can be achieved by marine boiler automation, and malfunctions can be prevented by boiler automation. Preventive maintenance can be achieved by marine boiler automation. Several safety components will be added to the marine boiler such as sensors, water level indicators, pressure gauges, alarm systems for emergency situations, etc. All the parameters of the boiler can be determined by marine boiler automation and this will be really useful to reduce the maintenance cost.

What is the difference between a marine boiler and an industrial boiler?

Industrial boilers are utilized to run several industrial machineries. An industrial boiler has water in it and it will heat the water with the help of a fire source. Marine boilers are utilized for ships that operate on diesel engines and also in the steam-powered engine. The operating pressure of the marine engine is 60barg and in the case of industrial boilers, it will be 30barg.

How does a boiler operate?

The boiler is utilized to create high-pressure steam. Heat energy is created by burning the fuel to vaporize the water. This steam energy is stored at high pressure and temperature. Combustion will take place in the boiler and air will supply based on the requirements of the combustion chamber.

What are the different types of marine boilers?

There are two major types of marine boilers one is a water tube boiler and the other one is a fire tube boiler.

marine boiler
marine boiler

Water tube boiler

Water tube boilers are utilized for high-pressure and high-temperature applications. These boilers are utilized when a huge amount of steam is required. These boilers are utilized to create steam for propulsion turbines.

Fire tube boilers

Fire tube boilers are mostly utilized for auxiliary purposes and these boilers are utilized for low steam applications These boilers are also called smoke tube boilers.

The major difference between the fire tube and water tube boiler is that in the smoke tube boiler hot gas flows through the tube and the water surrounds it. In a water tube boiler water will flow through the tube and the hot gas surrounds it.

How marine boiler automation is done and what are the features of SMEC marine boiler automation?

Marine boiler automation is done to achieve proper boiler control. Automatic boiler control, automatic combustion control, steam level control, pressure, and temperature control, and a lot more can be achieved by boiler automation. Boiler automation can be achieved by utilizing several sensors, transmitters, PLCs, etc.

Boiler water level control

Boiler control is mostly achieved by controlling the feedwater pump. The feedwater pump should be started and stopped automatically to achieve automation. In case the feedwater pump wasn’t closed at the required time then there will be overflow which can lead to priming. If the pump doesn’t provide water at the required time then there will be thermal stress and overheating of the boiler.

Marine Boiler automation will be a solution for all this. The boiler water level can be determined by utilizing the level control probe and it will be placed on the boiler drum.

Boiler combustion control

The boiler combustion control can be carried out by utilizing several instrumentation and control systems. The combustion control can be automatically carried out by utilizing the sequence control. According to the load requirement proper firing ratio will be achieved. A proper Air fuel ratio is required to maintain better combustion. PLC is utilized to carry out the combustion control in the marine boiler.

Boiler ACC

Boiler advanced combustion control can be used to provide proper combustion under different load conditions. Advanced boiler combustion control is utilized in marine boiler automation. This will provide good performance for marine boilers. This advanced boiler combustion control can be utilized in the auxiliary boiler which is used in oil rigs and also in different types of vessels. This boiler control can be done remotely and also there is a water level gauge. PLC will be connected to the boiler and this will be really useful to determine the boiler status. There are several sensors in the boiler such as the pressure, temperature, etc to determine the boiler status.

The boiler requirements will be determined with the help of the summing relay and all these requirements can be handled. There is a high signal and low signal selector which can be utilized to handle the load changes. The fuel requirements and the airflow requirements can be determined because of the advanced control of the boiler. This advanced control system will let you control the boiler combustion, steam, water level, etc.

Boiler MDO HFO fuel change

Mostly marine diesel oil is utilized in pressure jet burners. These burners will be able to operate in HFO too. In several boilers rotary burners are used in this burner MDO and HFO are utilized. The fuel changeover in the boiler must be done properly and this changeover could affect certain burners in the boiler. The heavy fuel oil should be in the proper temperature range during the fuel change. This changeover must be done securely by checking several parameters such as viscosity, temperature, engine load, etc.

Flame Eye

The flame eye will let us know if the burner is firing or not. This will be really useful to determine the flame’s presence. In case there is any equipment malfunction then it can cause flame failure in the combustion chamber. Falme eye can determine all these problems.

Boiler BMS

The marine boiler must be operated safely and this can be ensured by utilizing the boiler management system. Safe start-up and shutdown of the boiler can be achieved by utilizing the BMS feature. Installing the Burner management system in the marine boiler will reduce the maintenance cost, and improve the uptime. Boiler BMS systems can operate properly with the help of a microprocessor and it can be used to control the boiler operation. The flame detector in the marine BMS will determine the presence of the flame. There are control valves to control the flow of gas or oil in the boiler.

Inert gas generator

The major advantage of utilizing the inert gas in the boiler is that it will remove the flammable atmosphere in the boiler system. This will provide major safety to the boiler automation system. Inert gas is utilized in the boiler exhaust gas inerting system to reduce the hazardous situation.

Boiler PLC

PLC plays a major role in boiler automation. PLC can control the water level in the boiler and also PLC can be utilized to carry out the boiler firing. There are several advantages of using PLC for boiler operations such as reduced maintenance. PLC can be useful to control the water level in the boiler, steam pressure, combustion, control valve operation, and a lot more. The current status of the boiler can be determined by utilizing the PLC. There will be several sensors in the boiler and all of these sensors can be checked by the PLC.

Author – Ashlin A J