The Role That Control Panels Play In The Efficient Operation Of Boilers & Heating Systems

Around 85% of the UK’s commercial and industrial buildings are currently heated by gas. However, the heating of UK properties is about to undergo a substantial change as we transition towards low carbon energy systems.

Gas still has a role to play as a transition technology, potentially supplemented by hydrogen in the gas network, although the endgame is likely to be predominantly electric heating systems for UK businesses, driven by heat pumps and electric heating, and fuelled by renewable and low carbon power sources.

Efficiency and Emissions

In the commercial and industrial sectors, there is an ever-increasing focus on efficient boiler operation to minimise operating costs whilst at the same time continuing to maximise comfort for users and to minimise CO2 emissions.

Advanced control systems have an important role to play in enabling gas-based commercial heating systems to achieve optimal operational efficiency, both from an economic and emissions perspective. Similarly, such control solutions need to evolve to deliver the full benefit of any electrical heating solution.

The ‘brains’ behind such systems are advanced controllers, housed within custom control panels, designed around the needs of each application.

What Does a Boiler Control Panel Do?

The control panel houses the boiler controller itself, along with other switchgear required to manage the heating system. Components may include:

  • ⮚ Industrial boiler controllers – these are programmable controllers similar to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) of Building Management Systems (BMS) controllers but designed specifically for the commercial and industrial boiler market. High-quality control units are available from various manufacturers, including Bosch and JBC.
  • ⮚ Control drives for the supply and extractor fans.

Sensors and actuators are mounted around the system to monitor and control its operation.

Control panels capable of handling complex electric controls, ensuring they can manage complicated industrial setups.

How Modern Boiler Control Systems Improve Boiler Efficiency and Reduce Emissions

By combining a modern digital boiler controller with an efficient burner, and a variable speed drive to manage the burner fan speed (in place of a mechanical open/close damper and a constant speed fan motor), modern commercial boilers can achieve high turndown ratios of 9:1 – 10:1, eliminating the hysteresis losses experienced by mechanical drive systems.

Turndown can be used to match the boiler’s energy input to the required energy output – i.e. the variable heating demands of the building – reducing energy consumption and lowering operating costs.

At the same time, accurate digital combustion controls enable operators to control the variables that produce nitrogen oxide (NOX), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions during combustion – for instance by controlling the fuel/air ratio.

Next Steps - Working With You To Find The Right Solution

At Bensons Panels, we work with specialists to design and manufacture control panels for commercial boilers and heating systems in a range of applications. From distilleries and workshops to care homes and leisure centres.

Whatever setting you require an advanced boiler control panel for, Bensons have you covered.

We work with our customers to maximise efficiency and minimise CO2 emissions, incorporating any specialist equipment required for the advanced boiler control. To find out more or to request a free quote, please contact one of our control panel specialists or give us a call today on +44 1924 894162.

Image Source: Unsplash

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