The U.S. EPA’s Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) regulations are heating up. First published in 2011 as a mandate from the Clean Air Act, this rule aims to limit pollutants from commercial and industrial boilers and process heaters.

Companies with small units (stores, hotels, apartments, etc.) must comply with Area Source Boiler MACT 40 CFR 63, subpart JJJJJJ.  And Major Source Boiler MACT subpart DDDDD covers the large units you’ll find in refineries,  plants, and other industrial processes.

January 31, 2017 marked the end of the three-year grace period from the date the final rules were published. Therefore, American plant managers who have not brought their boilers to compliance standards may face penalties. If you’re one of those managers, then maybe we can get you in shape before the EPA comes knocking on your door.

Boiler tuning increases efficiency

In the long run, these regs will help you as well as the air. Boiler MACT requires users to report boiler emissions, a rule already adopted in most states. The mandate only requires that users “tune” new boilers when they first start and retune periodically.

This tuning helps improve boiler performance. How well does your boiler turn fuel (oil, gas, coal) and water into steam? A tuned boiler runs at around 80 percent efficiency. If your boiler drops below 80, then you not only risk polluting our air but also lose money through wasting energy. So fix that boiler! Fixing entails stopping leaks, adding insulation, and cleaning heat exchanger tubes. These steps add to the cost of boiler maintenance but reduce the cost of energy loss.

Ultraflow U1000 Ultrasonic flow meter with display

3 keys to tune your boiler for Boiler MACT compliance

To properly tune a boiler, you need three key measurements: air and fuel inlet flow, feedwater flow, and steam output.

Here at Sierra, we recommend thermal flow meters for gas, ultrasonic flow meters for water, and vortex flow meters for steam output. We have a wide array of flow meters that can reduce your energy costs and meet Boiler MACT regulations.

1. Fuel flow

You must precisely measure fuel intake (oil, gas, coal) to tune and then optimize for efficiency. Sierra’s BoilerTrak thermal mass flow meter, designed to measure natural gas precisely for heaters and boilers, can support your fuel reporting and boiler tuning.

For more complex gas mixtures, you can use QuadraTherm 640i/780i thermal mass flow meters.

2. Feedwater flow

The feedwater flow will clue you into how well your boiler turns water into steam. Our InnovaMass 240i vortex volumetric flow meter provides a low-cost solution for new boilers, while the InnovaSonic 205i ultrasonic works for existing boilers as a clamp-on meter. And if you don’t have measuring devices in your process, you can use the 210i portable ultrasonic as an analysis tool and for periodic tuning.

3. Steam output

For measuring steam output, the InnovaMass iSeries vortex flow meter leads the industry in steam measurement. With its ability to measure five process variables at the same time and correct for density changes, the InnovaMass can accurately assess your boiler’s efficiency and maximize your productivity.

Boiler MACT decreases emissions

Through Boiler MACT compliance, facilities tune their boilers to boost efficiency, which in turn reduces air pollution.   

Flow meter companies like Sierra can be part of this bigger solution because we can measure boiler input and output. And from that data, users can find out how well their boilers run and what comes out of their flues. So Sierra has everything you need to fully comply with Boiler MACT now.

To know more about such measurements, you can get in touch with our engineers and we will be happy to help.

Recommended articles