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Burner Retrofit Success Story

June 10, 2020

A large St. Paul health and fitness facility had trouble maintaining a piece of equipment critical to their operation. Their decades-old cast iron section Burnham V11 3.9 million input boilers not only serve the space heating requirements, but also the laundry, domestic water, and pool heating loads.

The problem was not the heat exchangers, but the original natural gas burners made by a manufacturer that went out business a decade ago. The linkage-based burners needed constant attention impacting reliability and boiler efficiency. The mechanical contractor with the service contract could not reliably source parts and recommended that the burners simply be replaced and upgraded. Replacing the entire boiler plant was considered but deemed cost prohibitive and the interruption to operation unacceptable. The burners could be replaced one at a time without having to shut down the entire plant. The Mulcahy Company Industrial Group was brought in to consult and suggest various options.

The original two-stage burners were high-tech for their day but transitioning to new burners allowed the customer to take advantage of the latest in proven technology from Power Flame Inc. and Siemens Burner controls. The total combustion overall included:

  • Two Power Flame CR Full Modulation Burners
  • Linkage-less controls to provide excellent combustion control over a 10:1 firing range
  • Siemens LMV -3 Series touch screen to handle boiler plant controls

The refurbished boilers will improve the overall boiler efficiency an estimated 2-3% at full input. In addition, the full modulation firing coupled with the new ability to adjust water temperature will add to the efficiency gains. As an added benefit to the project, the owner received substantial rebates to help offset the cost of the upgrades.

In the end, the owners and operators of the facility ended up with a highly reliable and efficient boiler plant that will serve them for years to come.


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