Boiler Feedwater

Backgrounder – Why Doesn’t a Super-Critical Boiler Have the Same Water Treatment as a 700-PSIG Boiler?

By James Stewart, PhD

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Safe and dependable operation of a steam boiler is critical—whether the boiler is a super-critical unit in a utility power station, or a 700-pound-per-squareinch-gauge (psig) boiler at an industrial plant. Does a 700-psig boiler require different water treatment than a super-critical unit? Or, is the treatment the same? Throughout the history of steam generation for driving machinery and generating electricity, issues with the water being fed to the boiler or steam generator have led to reliability issues. Problems may arise with a boiler driving a steam-piston or a steam turbine. There also may be failure issues with the boiler metals, loss of control of water in the boiler, among other concerns. In this article, we contrast water requirements for a 700-pounds-per-square-inch-gauge (psig) boiler and those of a super-critical steam generator.

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