Martin Cooke, Technical Director at EOGB Energy Products Ltd, discusses the critical considerations to bear in mind when selecting a replacement industrial heating system.


Unlike other sectors which are seeing an increased usage in renewable technologies, industrial heating systems typically do not offer the same opportunities as they still require the overall power of larger burners to meet the requirement for substantial heat demands in either direct or indirect fired applications.


However, alongside the government’s focus on reducing the amount of carbon that is produced within industry in the UK, we have seen a bigger focus on plant designers making sure that their industrial heating systems are operating at full efficiency in a bid to reduce their impact on the environment.


Meeting energy efficiency standards


Energy saving is always one of the top priorities in the industrial market as cutting down on energy costs has a direct and significant impact on final product costs.


With careful consideration at the stage of selecting a heating system, a huge impact on efficiency, costs and overall environmental impact can be achieved.


When selecting a burner it is critical to consider the following:


  • If it is fully modulating instead of two stage operation
  • Whether it is pre-mix or blown gas
  • Its turndown ratio (the amount a burner can increase and decrease its power across its range)
  • The use of inverter driven fan motors
  • If it has a low NOx combustion head (class 3 as per EN 676)
  • If it has advanced combustion control, such as O2 and CO trim

All the above should be specified at the point of order. However, certain features such as combustion controls can often be retrofitted if required, providing the controls are compatible.


Energy saving can be significant when combustion control is added. For example, the EOGB/Baltur TBG ME range of burners uses the Lamtec BT320 burner management system which is extremely versatile and allows extra control systems to be incorporated to suit the plant requirements.


Adding CO trim to the Lamtec BT320 or BT330 used by EOGB and Baltur allows combustion systems to get closer to stoichiometric conditions whilst remaining safe. CO sensors use a modified version of zirconia O2 sensors that enable them to detect the products of incomplete combustion.


The Lamtec CO trim is a self-learning algorithm that last for eight hours and then learns all over again to adapt to any changes in conditions. By monitoring CO it ensures that the plant is running as efficiently as possible as it will keep excess air in combustion to the minimum and reduces excess heat being drawn up the flue and wasted.


For example, a single 3MW plant which uses burners with added CO combustion control and variable speed inverter drives, can incur estimated savings of over £6,000 as well as CO2 reduction of approximately 20 tonnes (based upon 4,000 hours of operating time per annum).


When selecting a replacement heating system, initial equipment cost is a huge factor. But, selecting what may seem the cheapest option initially, may not offer any long term savings.


People often think that implementing integrated energy saving measures will be expensive. However, by fitting technologically superior burners and controls, there is potential to pay back the initial extra investment within 1-2 years and continue to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions significantly year-on-year.


Environmental Considerations


Along with attempting to ensure the plant is as efficient as possible, there is also the environmental impact of burning fuels that now is a major concern for air quality. Nitrogen Oxide levels are another extremely important factor to consider when selecting the correct heating equipment.


As per EN 676, gas burners are classified into three classes, with Class 3 being the lowest NOx levels up to 80 mg/KWh. All EOGB/Baltur gas burner heads are now class 3 as standard.


              Burner Class       NOx mg/KWh Methane          NOx mg/KWh LPG
                           1                  Up to 170                  Up to 230
                           2                  Up to 120                  Up to 180
                           3                  Up to 80                  Up to 140


Burner optimisation


When a burner is matched to an industrial appliance it is extremely important to ensure that the burners working field (i.e. the range in which the burners fan can overcome the back pressure of the appliance it’s fitted to) is looked at very closely.

The information that is needed to make a perfect burner/appliance match is:

  • The ‘over pressure’ of the appliance – the internal resistance of the combustion chamber that the burners fan must overcome.


  • The appliance maximum heat input – the amount of heat required usually in KW to produce the required output. Losses will always happen during the combustion process therefore it is always required to put more heat in than you will get out.


  • Internal heat exchanger dimensions – this is important to ensure that adequate flame space is available for the combustion chamber. Ideally the flame from the burner will burn without directly impinging on the surface of the heat exchanger.


  • The burners ‘working field – the working field is the parameters in which the burner can operate within. This field is created when a burner is tested to see what resistance it can overcome within a heat exchanger, and at the same time the output it is able to fire.


Ideally a burner will be selected to allow the maximum turndown ratio. In order to obtain this, the burner that operates towards its maximum output against the appliance resistance pressure for the output of the appliance is the best suited. This is particularly important when selecting a modulating burner to ensure a broad operating range.


Overall, there are many options available to installers and specifiers when selecting burners for an industrial application which can have a considerable effect on efficiency. However, as shown in the examples above, choices should not always be made based on initial cost.


EOGB can provide site surveys and advise on potential energy saving measures on your plant free of charge. For further information, call 01480 477066 or email