Goodway Analyzer: Flue Gases Are Window to Energy Efficiency

As you are probably aware, Goodway is a huge advocate of a regular maintenance program for your equipment. Cleaning of tube bundles and heat-transfer surfaces is critical to operating your equipment in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. While those maintenance functions are critical for improving safety and efficiency, by their nature, they don’t address the money and energy that is literally and figuratively going up your chimneys.

Taking the measurements you need to evaluate the efficiency of your boiler or other combustion-based equipment doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Truth is, measuring stack efficiency could be one of the easiest and smartest things you do this year ensure performance improvement.

Over the past few months we’ve been stressing the importance of a regular, ongoing maintenance program covering your boilers, chillers and other major equipment. Well, as common sense would lead you to ask: how can you know if something is working properly if you aren’t able to measure it?

As with any piece of equipment that relies on combustion to generate heat, some boilers will operate more efficiently than others, some will operate with lower efficiency than others and some will start out more efficient but become less so over time.

Without being able to directly measure the combustion process taking place deep within the bowels of your equipment, you are forced to use indirect, secondary measures of performance such as fuel consumption or total energy cost to assess the state of your system’s health and what maintenance might be needed.

The by-products of combustion – oxygen, carbon monoxide and carbon-dioxide – can also serve as windows into how efficiently your combustion equipment is operating.  In a perfect world, you would have just enough excess oxygen to burn the amount of available fuel. Too much air can lead to heat loss out your flue and too little can lead to unburned fuel, the formation of dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide and added soot creation.

You may be asking: how do I measure the chemical composition and temperature of my flue gas so I can maximize performance and efficiency? The answer to that one is easy:  with a hand-held computer-based analyzer like the the SET-200 from Goodway.

Just turn it on so it can calibrate itself.   When it is ready, select the type of fuel you are burning and insert the probe into the flue. That’s it. The Goodway SET-200 will automatically read oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and the flue gas temperature and then calculate carbon dioxide, excess air and combustion efficiency. Change your operating settings and see how the changes affect performance – on the fly.

As you fine-tune your combustion process to improve performance, keep in mind the often-quoted rule of thumb that states boiler efficiency can be increased by 1% for each 15% reduction in excess air or 40°F reduction in stack gas temperature. This can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings in fuel costs and reduced maintenance requirements, benefits which Goodway is pleased to partner on with you to achieve.

Rich Silverman
Goodway Blogging Team

2 comments


  • I need infomration and brochure of equipment Analyzer of combustion Goodway SEP-200P

    October 12, 2011
  • Tim

    Thanks for your interest. Information is available on our website at this link http://www.goodway.com/products/stack-efficiency-tester. If you are interested in a quote, simply fill out the quick quote system by clicking the quote button on the page and a customized quote will be with you shortly.

    October 12, 2011

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