In the past, steam boilers were used to power locomotives and steamships. In modern times, the boiler is a common method of heating commercial and industrial buildings. In colder climates, boilers remain a popular residential heating method. Many commercial and manufacturing facilities now use boilers to turn electric generators and supply power for a plant or office.
One drawback of a steam boiler system is the potential for premature decay of the boiler tank and components. Generating steam from feed water releases both oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules. Oxygen attaches to the metal of the tank interior and begins the process of oxidation. Dissolved carbon dioxide can form carbonic acid and erode tanks and components.
To remedy this problem, deaerators were developed. A deaerator pumps feed water through super heated water. It is then run through a series of metal trays which catch dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide. These gases are then scrubbed from the trays and released to the outside air.
In another method, metal trays are not used. Rather, a fine spray of water is sprayed on steam. The contacting the steam, the oxygen and carbon dioxide are released and vented to the outside air. A multitude of spray nozzles are used to deaerate sufficient feed water for the boiler application. The steam then condenses back to water. In both cases, the deaerated water is then converted to steam in the boiler system which is then utilized in the boiler application.
The deaerator pumps used to operate the deaerator system must produce high volume water flow and pressure. Some deaerator systems require pumps transferring up to 165,000 #/hr. When a multitude of spray nozzles are used for the process, the pump must have sufficient control mechanisms to adjust the rate of low as is necessary for the operations. For those systems requiring a higher pressure system, triplex piston driven pumps are often used. In most cases, a central control panel to adjust each component of the deaerator pumps is needed. Because of the technical complexity of a deaerator system, a plant or building manager should consider consulting with a deaerator system manufacturer to find the best system for the boiler needs.