How Boiler Turndown Ratio Affects Boiler Performance


How Boiler Turndown Ratio Affects Boiler Performance

Do you want to make sure you get the most out of your boiler system? If so, you need to learn more about something called burner/boiler turndown ratio. This ratio is between the highest firing rate (the maximum output) and the lowest firing rate (the minimum output). Different burner/boiler types have different turndown ratios, so it is important to be familiar with what they are, how they work, and how they dictate the performance of the boiler system.

Calculating Boiler Turndown Ratio

First, it is important to understand how the burner/boiler turn-down ratio might be calculated. For example, you may have a burner/boiler that offers a 3:1 ratio. If that is the case, the burner/boiler can operate your steam or hot water load down to 33 percent of its maximum firing rate. If you have a burner/boiler that operates at a 5:1 ratio, then this is a sign that the boiler can operate your steam or hot water load down to 20 percent of its maximum firing rate. You might even have a burner/boiler that has a 10:1 ratio, which means the burner/boiler operates down to 10 percent of its maximum firing rate, while still maintaining your steam or hot water load.

Before you purchase new equipment, have a burner retrofit or controls upgrade, make sure you understand the efficiencies of the unit you are purchasing and how it’s turn-down ratio can greatly affect your efficiency. A burner/boiler that only offers 3:1 turn down compared to higher turndown will lead to what is called short cycling. “Short cycling” is when a burner/boiler keeps turning on then off for very short durations. A “short duration” in this instance is generally defined as less than a minute up to a few minutes long

Why a Boiler Turndown Ratio Matters.

There are several reasons why you need to pay attention to the boiler turndown ratio. First, if you have a burner/boiler with a high turndown ratio, this offers more flexibility for your boiler system.

You need to be able to operate the boiler at a relatively low capacity from time to time. You probably do not need the boiler operating at its maximum capacity constantly, so you don’t want to waste energy. If you can turn down your boiler when you don’t need it, you can extend its lifespan, prevent boiler shutdowns, and save money. If your boiler doesn’t have a high turndown ratio, you may have to run the boiler at a higher setting more frequently. In turn, this will result in higher utility bills and operational costs. 

Find the Right Boiler System with McKenna Boiler

If you are trying to find the right boiler system to meet your needs, it would be our pleasure to help you. At McKenna Boiler, we offer a wide variety of boilers with first-in-class efficiency and high turndown ratios. Our collection of boiler technicians and sales engineers, will help you locate the best boiler to suite your business. We can review the benefits and drawbacks of each option with you, helping you find the boiler with the right turndown ratio for your needs. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you find the right boiler! 

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