‘Super Boiler’ Technology Tested in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - Results of the first field test of the new "super boiler" conducted here indicate the new boiler technology could revolutionize the energy efficiency of industrial steam generation leading to billions of dollars in energy savings for U.S. companies.

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - Results of the first field test of the new "super boiler" conducted here indicate the new boiler technology could revolutionize the energy efficiency of industrial steam generation leading to billions of dollars in energy savings for U.S. companies.

The super boiler is the culmination of more than seven years of research and development by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Gas Technology Institute of Des Plaines, Ill., and Cleaver-Brooks Inc. of Milwaukee. Alagasco joined the partnership, bringing the test site to a location in the utility's service area. The first U.S. test site for the ultra high-efficiency super boiler is Specification Rubber Products Inc. based in Alabaster, Ala.

The plant, a subsidiary of American Cast Iron Pipe Co., manufactures parts for the water works industry. In July 2006, the Gas Technology Institute and Cleaver-Brooks installed a 300-HP high-pressure steam super boiler that has been running 24 hours a day, five days a week. After more than 6,000 hours of operation, fuel to steam efficiency consistently has been in the 93-94% range, and nitrogen oxide levels have been less than 9 parts per million. Annual gas savings have averaged nearly 13%. In Alabama alone, replacing 2,000 boilers with this modernized equipment that is now available could save 7.2 Bcf of natural gas. "One of the goals of this partnership was to develop technology for boiler users like Specification Rubber that would use energy efficiently while protecting the environment," said Alagasco President Dudley Reynolds. "Alagasco saw this project as an opportunity to help advance technology that could benefit our industrial customers here in Alabama."

The field test in Alabama is the first step toward transforming the energy efficiency of industrial steam generation. Additional field tests are planned at Clement Pappas & Co., Ontario, Calif., and at Third Dimension Inc., West Jordan, Utah. The DOE has estimated that by 2020, the super boiler technology could save more than 185 trillion Btus of energy. That amount is equivalent to the natural gas consumed by more than two million households. "Steam generation accounts for about one-third of all the energy consumed in U.S. manufacturing," said Alexander Karsner, assistant secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, recently joined DOE officials, developers of the super boiler technology and Alabama companies at Specification Rubber Products to discuss the technology's benefits and Alabama's involvement in improving industrial energy efficiency at home and across the U.S. Sessions also toured the plant and got a first-hand look at the new super boiler. "I applaud the efforts of executives at Specification Rubber Products who have worked hard to bring the new super boiler online at their Alabaster facility," Sessions said. "The super boiler will decrease the facility's demand for natural resources such as oil and natural gas.

One of the critical steps that we must take to reduce our dependence on foreign fuel is to adopt advanced technologies that use energy more efficiently here at home. I am proud that yet another Alabama company has taken major steps toward that goal." Additional information is available at www.gastechnology.org