When it comes to generating steam to provide heat and hot water for a major university campus, load demands can vary greatly in a short span of time. When that university also is a signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Challenge, the need for a boiler system that combines on-demand steam with a reduced environmental footprint becomes essential. This is why the University of Arkansas installed six Miura LX-300 natural-gas-fired steam boilers to handle the steam-generation needs of the many buildings on its 350-acre Fayetteville campus.
"Being in Northwest Arkansas, we have weather and temperatures that can vary widely," explains Scott Turley, the University’s Director of Utility Operations and Maintenance. "Also, being a university campus, we have high morning warm-up loads when students are getting up for class and taking showers, but that drops off pretty quickly throughout the day. Trying to accommodate that varying load demand with old, large, central-stationed boilers is not the most efficient approach. Replacing them with Miura’s modular, rapid-start, step-fired boilers that can match our load profile much more closely is more appealing to us."
The university is not alone in its opinion. Recent guidelines issued by the Federal Energy Management Program recommend boilers that can operate efficiently during reduced-load conditions as well as meet peak heating demands when needed. The guidelines cite modular systems, which are more efficient because they allow each boiler to operate at, or close to, full-rated load most of the time, with reduced standby losses.
Miura boilers also have a "once-through" vertical-tube design that produces steam on-demand in five minutes or less while also using less water and energy.
"On-demand steam is a great asset for us," Turley adds. "To be able to spool the boiler up very quickly and then take it back down offline when the load dies down is really helpful."