Figure 4-76. - A combination cascade heater expansion drum installation.
The expansion tank contains the mechanical-gas cushion and is connected to the HTHW system return line just ahead of the circulating pump suction connection. The tank contains an inert gas (usually nitrogen) and is the source of pressure in this method. When the system has been pressurized by the nitrogen, pressure in excess of saturation must be maintained; that is, the water temperature throughout the system must always be less than its saturation temperature. In the nitrogen-pressurized system, the expansion tank is installed in the system as a standpipe arrangement so the water does not flow through it. The water in the lower part of this tank is stagnant, except for the changes caused by expansion and contraction brought on by load fluctuations. If you assume the water is virtually incompressible, the tank provides the space available for these changes in the water volume of the system.
Here are some characteristics that are typical of this design. The expansion tank is independent of the generator and remains cool. Corrosion is practically eliminated because the heating system is flooded with the exception of the nitrogen space in the expansion (cushion) tank. When properly designed, the system is sealed with its fixed charge of water and nitrogen. However, this design does not contain a steam drum or any steam spaces that permit the accumulation of steam. The generator tubes are the weakest link in this entire system. An explosion caused by the dissociation of hydrogen and oxygen cannot occur. The formation of steam cools the otherwise red-hot metal surfaces. Hot-water conditions do not allow the flashing of steam.
To ensure normal operation, fill the system with treated water taken from the water softener. To prevent oxygen corrosion, add the chemicals for treating the water to furnish 20 to 40 parts of sodium sulfite per million parts (ppm) of water. You thereby maintain a pH value of 9.3 to 9.9. While the water is circulating in the generator and in the system, you should fire the boiler at about 25 percent of its rated capacity to bring the system up to normal operating temperature. You should allow the expansion drum vent in steam-pressurized systems to blow for about 1 hour to rid the system of all oxygen and other non-condensable gases.
The start-up and firing of HTHW boilers or generators arc done in much the same manner as for domestic hot water and steam boilers, depending upon the type of fuel-burning equipment used. The specific start-up and operating procedures vary with different installations. Therefore, this information is furnished by your local supervisor and the manufacturer of the equipment.
Coal, oil, and gas are the types of fuels normally used to fire the boilers of HTHW systems. The specific type of fuel used depends upon the type of firing equipment installed in the plant. Each type of fuel requires designated inspections be made -and certain precautions be taken to eliminate fire and safety hazards.
When you are transferring fuel oil from one tank to another, be sure both tanks are grounded. Checks must then be made to ensure excessive oil pressures are not generated in the tanks by the expansion of the fuel. Although natural gas is not normally stored on a base ashore, liquid petroleum (LP) gas is often stored near the heating plant. You should check the areas whereContinue Reading