The 3 main solutions for an industrial boiler

Industrial boilers are used to produce steam or hot water for space heating or to generate mechanical or electrical energy needed for business production processes.

The 3 most common types of boilers in the industrial sector are:

  • Industrial steam boilers:

Steam generators use a heat exchanger to heat water and convey it to a piping system connected to radiators. The operating mechanism uses pressure and gravity to deliver hot steam to the radiators and return the condensed steam to water in the boiler, where it is reheated.

  • Industrial water-fired boilers:

Industrial hot-water boilers rely on the temperature, volume, and pressure of water, which is distributed into the network by pumps. As the water is heated to the desired temperature, as it expands, it increases its volume until it reaches the radiators, which radiate heat into the room. The cooled water returns to the boiler by gravity or through a circulation pump to be reheated.

  • Industrial diathermic oil boilers:

Diathermic oil (thermally conductive fluid) boilers act as a substitute for water in boilers, and their unquestionable advantage is the lack of corrosion and scaling. Diathermic oil, which does not evaporate, does not subject the system to excessive pressure. In addition, the gas or crude oil needed for combustion is heated by the thermal oil, which, compared with steam boilers, minimizes the risk of explosion.


There are many other types of industrial boilers available in the market.

The most important aspect when choosing an industrial boiler is definitely its function, that is, whether it will produce hot water or steam. The other two important aspects to consider are the technology used to burn the fuel (burner) and the heat source. Based on the latter, the most common industrial boilers, in addition to the 3 already mentioned, are divided into:

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  • Industrial gas boilers (oil) Gas boilers are powered by natural gas, which is pumped through an underground gas line. Often, rural ones use propane gas from a large tank placed outside the house, since in most rural areas there is no main line for natural gas. Gas boilers are the most common type of boiler in the United States and have great advantages: they are very efficient, they are small in size, operation is very economical, and maintenance is quick and easy.
  • Solid fuel industrial boilers

Coal is the standard fuel source for industrial boilers, but boilers fired by other fuels, such as gasoline or other petroleum-based fluids, are very common. They have high efficiency in that they quickly reach the required temperature to produce heat and at the same time ensure maximum production of the coolant temperature.In contrast, the disadvantages are the large size of the plant and the need to maintain large stocks of fuel to keep their efficiency high.

  • Electric industrial boilers Electric boilers do not rely on fossil fuels, such as gas or oil, to produce heat, do not generate exhaust fumes, are quiet, space-saving, and above all, environmentally friendly: they use electricity to cause efficient, clean, and safe water heating. They require high quality water.

Electricity is used in the form of resistance or electrode heating coils primarily to provide heat to very low-capacity boilers, such as those for commercial or domestic use.

  • Industrial biomass boilers

Industrial biomass boilers burn wood, agricultural waste products, and other types of organic materials as fuels. Although they too pollute, they are still less harmful to the environment than fossil fuel boilers because the carbon burned in biomass is part of the natural carbon cycle, whereas the same is not true for carbon burned in fossil fuels.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the importance of industrial heat recovery boilers, which are very common for pulp production and the paper industry. These types of boilers recover the potential energy of waste heat (steam, hot fumes, wastewater, etc.) and use it as fuel. In this way, they are more efficient and sustainable.

An example of a heat-recovery boiler is the condensing boiler, in which some of the latent heat from the flue gases is recovered before they are expelled: the flue gases are routed inside a heat exchanger, which subtracts the latent heat generated by the condensation of water vapor

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