To meet a goal of energy economy and reduced downtime for its cyclical manufacturing processes, the company chose two EX-200 SGO dual-fuel units from Atlanta-based Miura Boiler, a maker of ultra-low NOXmodular on-demand steam solutions. The customer anticipates a two-year payback.
“Overall, we run cyclical reaction batch processes,” says Manuel Calero, FujiFilm’s maintenance manager. “We heat up our reactors and then cool them down. We had two old locomotive-style boilers which were not well-suited to the turndown when we cooled the reactors. Those boilers just sat there and made steam that was not being used, which was very inefficient.”
Calero researched the latest industrial steam boilers on the market, obtaining quotes from three companies, one of which was from Miura. Assisted by Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, Tenn., FujiFilm examined the efficiency specifications of each brand and model of boiler, then chose Miura.
“The Miura boilers definitely provide better cost-efficiencies,” says Calero, adding that current figures indicate a savings of approximately 33 percent in natural gas costs, and that he expects even further improvement. “And whereas we once had two boilers with a full combined output of 450 horsepower, we now have one on-demand 200 horsepower Miura boiler basically running the facility on low fire, with the second on-demand Miura sitting there on standby.
“The dual-boiler system has reduced potential downtime situations due to equipment failures. In the past it was difficult not to impact production for maintenance. Now the facility is able to operate with one boiler while performing repairs on the second unit. In addition, the facility is experiencing a reduction in production downtime when repairs are performed on steam piping. Once the repair is completed, steam service is back within five minutes. It took the old boilers about 20 minutes, or 80 percent longer.”
The Miura boilers generate full steam from a cold start in five minutes or less. The modular on-demand steam capability makes them well-suited to a multiple installation in which boilers can be selectively turned on or off as needed to best manage changing load conditions, as opposed to idling in standby while they consume energy and generate emissions.
Calero says that the units manage the plant’s peaks and valleys.
“Whenever a reactor comes on line to be heated, the Miura boiler provides the steam required, and maybe 10 to 15 minutes later, it goes to low fire and drops off,” he says, adding that the boilers also heat the facility, running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. FujiFilm anticipates that the boilers never will have to shut down because of steam problems. “That’s going to give us a great deal of savings,” Calero explains. “We recently had to upgrade our gas meter and tweak our condensate-dumping system, but the facility didn’t even ‘notice’ we had done that. There was no drop in service.”
According to Miura, the boilers have lower output levels of both NOXand CO2, achieving low-NOXperformance by reducing the boiler’s flame temperature, which in turn reduces the amount of excited nitrogen atoms available to bond with oxygen to form nitrogen oxides.
FujiFilm’s two EX-200 SGO boilers are in a central plant that pipes steam more than 1,100 feet to two separate buildings. The compact footprint enabled Calero to have both boilers installed in an existing building instead of spending $70,000 on a new one. The dual-fuel capability provided another advantage.
“They just finished tuning the boilers for diesel and I was expecting to see a drop in combustion efficiency, but I didn’t,” Calero says. “Efficiency numbers were just as good with diesel as they were with natural gas. With the old boilers, whenever we would switch to diesel it would take about 20 minutes for them to level out and begin to provide consistent steam to the facility. With the Miura boilers, we are able to switch back and forth almost seamlessly between natural gas and diesel.” For more information about Miura, go to www.miuraboiler.com.
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