Newsletter 02 - August 2012

Hi, this is Dominic Murnane of Compass Software again and as 'heating season' is approaching, this newsletter is going to look at boiler servicing.

Thankfully, many times I have been in the company of a man who had a lifetime passion with regard to servicing boilers and he gave me some great insights into what were his personal views of a good or poor boiler service. These I hope to share with you here.

Don't forget the benefits and abilities of our Regional Pro2 EAM software package will allow you to track and monitor your boiler service and build up a lifespan picture of the ongoing health of your boiler plant.

Contact us before August 31st and save up to 20% off the cost of Regional Pro2.


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Boilers have probably one of the longest lifespans of any facilities plant and are generally built like 'tanks'. We expect them to work perfectly when the first cold day arrives and to keep running throughout the entire 'heating season'. Because of our expectations, we should ensure that they are well maintained and the following are some tips to look out for, when your boilers are being serviced this Autumn.

1. Combustion Analysis
When your boiler has been serviced you will get a full combustion analysis report, which now should show you that the boiler is now running at optimum performance, usually 90+ percent efficiency. But what about before the service was done?
It would not be surprising to find that if a combustion analysis is completed at the very start of the service, that efficiency depending on the age of the boiler could be below 80%. So what does this mean?

One of the biggest concerns today is how can we Improve Fuel Efficiency The largest sources of boiler heat losses are shown Figure 2 below. Heat energy leaving the system exhaust flue (or stack) is often the largest single source of lost fuel energy and is made up of the Dry Gas loss and Latent Heat Loss. Although some flue loss is unavoidable, an equipment tune-up using combustion analysis data can often significantly reduce this source of heat loss and save fuel costs by improving fuel efficiency.
Table 1 gives examples of yearly cost savings that can be realized by improving equipment efficiency by five percent. (Source TSI Incorporated 2004 -

While the figures above are based on US units, a 300HP / 225Kw would be a fairly typical sized boiler. In short you could be wasting considerable amounts of fuel and damaging the environment over the heating season due to poor boiler efficiency. The Compass Regional Pro2 EAM software package has built in fuel usage calculators based on current fuel prices and the specifications of your own in-house boilers.

2. The Combustion Chamber
Depending on the age of your boiler, it is well worth getting a full report on the status of the combustion chamber. With age, the walls can slowly deterorate with cracks (see photo on right below) which can cause CO gas (potentially dangerous) to leak into the plant room, cracks can penetrate the water tank causing leaks and expensive repairs, burn marks on a heating boiler or furnace (shown in the photo on left below) can also be due to collapse or damage to the combustion chamber liner - a serious fire hazard needing immediate attention. Severe smoking and soot puffback from oil fired heating equipment is also dangerous and requires immediate action.

The last thing you need in a cold winter is a boiler to go offline. The older the boiler, the harder it can be to get spare parts. An old boiler (especially oil fired), can accumulate a lot of dirt and debris, so ensuring that the combustion chamber is checked and clean is a way of prolonging its life, and keeping it working at the right temperature.

3. Visual Inspection
Many potential problems can be detected at an early stage by simply having a good look around your boiler plant. The most obvious can be staining on the ground from water leaks, or soot stains on the outside of the boiler. Check cables and enclosures for any signs of damage and when in doubt get it checked out.

The Regional Pro2 EAM software package can monitor and track over 50 different checks that apply to boiler maintenance.

Contact us today for more information and see how we can reduce costs and improve the efficiency of your plant maintenance.

You want to change how you operate your Plant & Facilities Maintenance.
We want to help you do it.

Compass Software Technology Ltd.

Head Office: Killarney Road, Macroom, Co. Cork, Ireland

Rubicon Centre, CIT Campus, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland

Tel: Ireland: 026 23616 / 087 607 6565
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Compass AFM is a trading name of Compass Software Technology Ltd.