Improvements in consumer-grade, computerized controls like the ones used in home-automation to manage heating and cooling have finally hit the boiler industry. Where service technicians were required to manually adjust most every part on a boiler, we now see high-tech, computer-driven controls that make minute adjustments and show data instantly. These upgrades save time and make your job easier, but they also dramatically increase efficiency.
What the Tech?
One such new technology allows for linkage-free burner control. Instead of having a tech come and adjust linkage to fine-tune your burner, a simple set of sensors and controls automatically adjust the burner to maintain optimum combustion.
Boiler operators can access computerized screens that show the status of the boiler’s steam pressure, water and fuel flow rates. The centralized control screen also features an organized error log, which saves a trip to the control room to check such data. In a similar vein, emissions data logs can be recorded automatically and sent directly to the environmental department’s computers, saving time recording and organizing data from one department to another.
Automatic for the People
Implementing these fancy control stations isn’t just about looking cool, either. They provide efficiencies in management, fuel consumption and and manpower hours. This is especially important considering the shortage of skilled boiler technicians around the country. Automating parts of the boiler means having the same control over your system without the need for time-consuming manual control and management.
This is not to say that automation eliminates the need for technicians. We will always need them for other aspects of boiler maintenance that can’t be automated. But new sensors and control panels can actually tell you where the point of failure is on a boiler without you having to spend hours troubleshooting. With fast information, you can order a replacement part and get the boiler working again much sooner. These same sensors can also alert you to potential failures or other issues, allowing you to fix or replace parts before a catastrophic failure happens.
Upgrading your boiler controls with these systems makes perfect sense. They are easy to use, effective at what they do and provide money-saving efficiencies. Do it now — and reap the rewards in paybacks.