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Posted by Boiler Guy on February 27, 2004 at 05:24:37:
In Reply to: Re: Fire tube Boiler Applications posted by Dan on February 26, 2004 at 21:01:49:
: You don't need to sell me on watertubes. Im just saying there is nothing unsafe about a big firetube and claiming that they are is just untrue. Boilers are inherently dangerous but with proper care, their should not be a problem with them, IMHO. Its a matter of preference and the customer is the one who pays the bills and if they want a firetube or watertube, its their choice. Theres no need to be all doom and gloom about it because if a manufacturer couldn't sell then they would make em.
Dan, I agree - with proper operation, maintenance, and good water chemistry there should never be a problem with any boiler configuration. My point is stuff happens and the explosive potential of a firetube far exceeds that of a watertube. My concern is the significant potential for damage from these larger firetubes. Boilers have been blowing up for 150 years now but I don't think we have enough experience with this new generation of ultra-large firetube boilers. I know the manufacturers that build these things and they are exceptional companies and build a high quality product. I wouldn't think twice about approving a 500 HP boiler from any of those companies into a plant I engineered. I am just worried about the potential should stuff happen to an ultra-large firetube, which over a 20 or 30 year life is a possibility. Maybe I am too conservative (doom and gloom as you say) of an engineer but it tends to keep me out of trouble.
Its another story about the customer. True they foot the bill so should make the choice, but they also need reliable support from experienced and knowledgeable operators and engineers. Along the same line, with everyone sweating being in business or having a job tomorrow let alone in 20 years, long term decision making isn't as important as it once was. If I am a purchasing agent and I see a way to bring a project in 10% under budget then hurray for me ! I'll get a good annual evaluation. So what if some boiler operator is going to have problems 3,5 or 10 years down the road, it won't be my problem. Heck we may not even be in business long enough to have a problem.
The industry is certainly changing. Good conversation Dan, I enjoyed it.
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