There has been a rise in the popularity of coil type steam generators in recent years with a wide variety of steam users requiring relatively small amounts of steam at short notice for their process. Coil type generators are ideal for this role, but users often have small numbers of staff who have little or no technical or safety knowledge relevant to steam generation and distribution. This is a gap in the industry that now has a solution.
Steam generators are typically manufactured in ranges from around 150 kg/hr to 8000 kg/hr, the largest sizes being significant plant installations whereas smaller generators can sit in laboratories or in tiny plant rooms. Pressures up to 20 barg are readily available (higher pressures can be achieved), and the boilers can be in vertical or horizontal coil arrangements. Most installations are gas fired, and there are estimated to be at least 1000 steam generators in use in the UK today, with many small breweries and distilleries using coil generators as well as food manufacturers and educational establishments.
Coil generators offer a number of advantages over other steam raising equipment such as availability of steam from cold start in as little as 3 minutes, a low volume of water under pressure (which means safety even at very high pressure), and a compact installation local to the steam user giving reduced pipe work costs. However, these boilers are not ‘fit and forget’, and users need to be aware that they have a responsibility for the continued safe operation of the boiler.