Save Time and Money:
Rent temporary steam plant
Larry K. Day, Vice President of Marketing, Nationwide Boiler Inc.
Sooner or later, it is likely that district energy system owners and
managers will need to rent a boiler.
There are three common situations in
which this is the case: ( 1) a planned outage, during which time boiler maintenance or upgrades are carried out; ( 2) an
emergency boiler outage caused by accident, equipment failure or other event
that prevents the steam plant from supplying required steam; or ( 3) at peak load,
when, for a time, a facility’s permanent
Although installing a temporary
boiler – or temporary steam
plant – may be viewed with
trepidation…[f]ollowing the Boy
Scout motto “Be Prepared” is
probably the best guideline for
boiler is incapable of meeting total steam
demand. System operators may encounter
other situations requiring boiler rental as
well, such as research projects or construction projects, but these scenarios are
rare and account for less than 10 percent
of boiler rental application.
Although installing a temporary boiler
– or temporary steam plant – may be
viewed with trepidation, doing some preliminary planning can reduce if not com-
pletely eliminate installation and operation
difficulties. Following the Boy Scout motto
“Be Prepared” is probably the best guideline for minimizing problems. Thorough
preparation can increase the overall
reliability of a district energy system by
assuring a constant steam supply, even if
an interruption of normal service is
The first step in renting a boiler – or
a complete steam plant with water treatment equipment, feedwater pumps, economizers, nitrogen oxide (NOx) reduction
systems and other ancillary items – is to
establish your requirements. Steam capacity, pressure and quality top the list.
Following close behind those are identifying what local, regional, state and federal
rules must be adhered to, particularly
regarding NOx and carbon monoxide
(CO). With this information in hand, you
can obtain the necessary permits and
plan your project.
Once requirements are defined, you
will need to prepare your district energy
facility to accommodate a rental boiler.
Final preparations will not be possible
until you select the specific boiler from a
supplier and identify exact interfaces.
You can still make certain, however, that
you have ready access to steam mains
and that there are adequate supplies of
fuel, electric power and makeup water.
You will also need to be certain that there
is enough accessible space available to
place the temporary equipment. Trailer-mounted boilers are generally more economical because there is no need for
cranes and rigging to position the equipment. They do require slightly more space
and road access, however.
With your requirements established
and facility factors under control, it is
time to consider potential suppliers. By
asking a few relatively simple questions
and getting the right answers, you can be
confident that you will not waste your
time selecting a supplier that will not or
cannot meet your needs. The most
important questions to ask include the
Is the potential supplier a full-time,
professional boiler rental firm? You
don’t want to contract with a local
‘plumber’ who happens to know someone who has an idle boiler.
How close to your facility is the supplier’s nearest service technician? In
case something isn’t right once the
equipment is on line, you don’t want
to wait days for a service technician to
arrive on site.
Will the supplier send a sales engineer to your facility to discuss your
requirements? This will assure you
that the access and interface requirements are adequate for the equipment
they plan to supply.