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Category: Plant Basics
Question: What could be considered a good upper threshold for heating boiler feed water (BFW)?
Keywords: boiler,feed,water,pump,npsh,preheating,cavitation
Answer: Preheating boiler feed water (BFW) is common practice and it's a great way to conserve energy in your boiler. However, the entire system must be examined to determine how much preheating is safe. One of the largest bottleneck in the preheating will be the boiler feed pump. These are usually high speed pumps that require about 60 ft (18 m) of liquid head at the inlet nozzle. This means that the liquid should be fed to the pump at a pressure that is at least 23-25 psi (1.7 bar) above the pressure at which the water will boil. The entire system should be examined closely to be sure that adequate NPSH is always supplied to the boiler feed pump. Remember calculate the pressure losses in all of the delivery lines, heat exchangers, valves, etc. A pump with insufficient NPSH will NOT last long in this type of application.Reference: Dave Fitz