CFB Boilers recently completed a major steam boiler plant upgrade for the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) in South Mimms.

NIBSC specialises in the field of biological standardisation, developing and producing over 90% of the international standards used to assure the quality of biological medicines. It is also the UK’s Official Medicines Laboratory and a centre of the UK Health Protection Agency.

“Efficiency and low carbon emissions are key targets for the Government, and given the Institute’s status, it is important that we lead from the front in terms of energy and environmental responsibility,” explains Jude Hughes environment and energy manager at NIBSC.

The existing boiler plant at South Mimms consisted of three 4-tonne steam boilers, all approximately 25 years old. Although they provided sufficient steam for the site, the boilers were no longer efficient when compared with modern alternatives and there was considerable scope to make significant cost and carbon savings.

CFB specified three Universal 3-pass horizontal boilers, type UL-S 4000 x 10bar.g, each configured for a maximum steam output of 3868kg/hr (4000kg/hr from and at 100°C). Manufactured by LOOS in Germany, the UL-S features a patented off-centre burner, which results in drier steam and enhanced heat transfer efficiency.

The boiler also has high integrity water level and feedwater pump controls, which provide 72 hours of certificated un-manned operation, and a fully modulating burner. It is also equipped with a touch-screen, MODBUS-enabled control panel display functions including load control, boiler and burner operation hours counter, plain English operation and fault signals.

CFB provided NIBSC with a detailed energy assessment for the boiler system, which took into consideration the predicted energy savings achievable using each of the standard and optional features.

These figures then had to be validated by NIBSC’s own energy department. In addition, NIBSCs representatives visited a CFB-installed UL-S boiler to see it in operation. They also carried out factory acceptance tests at the manufacturing plant in Germany, and conducted interviews with CFB’s previous customers.

NIBSC installed the UL-S steam boiler system complete with the range of auxiliary features. These included enhanced integral flue gas economisers – which alone save about 18kW – CO2 monitoring and acoustic shrouds for the burners, flash/heat recovery for total dissolved solids (TDS) blowdown discharges, O2 trim, a fully deaerating system, and demisters on the main steam outlets.

Vicki Swaisland, projects manager at NIBSC reported: “We are monitoring the boilers operation closely and already we have noted good energy savings, particularly over the winter period. This project has therefore not only reduced our energy consumption, energy costs and carbon emissions, but has also helped reduce our CRC Payments.”