Indeck Rental Boilers Q and A: Superheater Boiler vs Saturated Boiler

Rental Boilers - Indeck Power Equipment Company

The Indeck rental department gets the calls 365 days a week.  During an emergency situation, we occasionally get someone that is not sure what type of boiler they need.  Here are some answers relative to superheat boilers:

1.  How are superheated boilers different than saturated boilers?

The key difference is the addition of a radiant or convective superheater.  In a superheated boiler, the saturated steam produced in the steam drum is routed through a superheater which further heats the saturated steam beyond the saturated steam point.  Superheated steam has a higher temperature and lower density than saturated steam at the same pressure.

2.  Why would a refinery, petrochemical or food processing plant use a superheat boiler?

Superheated steam is more advantageous over saturated steam because it contains tremendous amount of internal energy that can be used for kinetic reaction through mechanical expansion against steam turbine blades and reciprocating engines that ultimately produces rotary motion to a shaft.  i.e. steam turbine drives coupled to an electrical generator.

3.  How do superheat boilers benefit a plant’s production or output?

This depends on the plant’s operations and use for the steam.  Potential uses of superheated steam include:  powering steam driven turbines, steam oxidation, and chemical reaction processing, and catalysis.  In refining and hydrocarbon applications, superheated steam is mainly used for stripping and cleaning purposes.

4.  What should plant operators or engineers look for when selecting a superheat boiler or manufacturer?

Most importantly, review boiler safety and performance features.  Clients expect the latest safety features that meet/exceed client’s Hazardous Operation review: compare the fuel and electrical savings from one offering to the next; and check to see is the boiler being provided by the manufacturer or the middle-man supplier.