A water tube boiler is able to operate at higher pressures than other systems, which makes it an attractive option for some situations. The fire tube boiler design is much weaker, and this makes it unsuitable for high pressure boilers. Water tube boilers are more modern and a more sophisticated design than fire tube designs.
What is a Water Tube Boiler?
A water tube boiler is a special type of boiler where water circulates in small pipes. These pipes are heated by a furnace inside of the heater. The water will circulate inside of these pipes.
Advantages of Water Tube Boilers
Water tube boilers can work at much higher pressures than fire tube designs. The fuel burnt inside the boiler will create hot gas, which is then used to turn the water into steam. The steam is then used to transport the heat around the house and to the radiators.
How a Water Tube Boiler Works
Thin tubes inside the boiler carry water which is heated by burning fuels. This will then change the water from a liquid into a gas which is then stored inside a steam drum.
If any of the steam becomes too cold then this will condense and drain out of bottom of the drum. This will cause the water to re-enter the heater where it will be converted into steam again. The hot steam at the top of the drum is then used to send round the radiators and as hot water heaters.
Water tube boilers are extremely commonly found on boats for a number of reasons. These water tube boilers are often much lighter than their fire tube counterparts. They are also able to generate heat and steam much quicker.
Water tube boilers are much more efficient than other types of boiler and also much more flexible. It will be possible to customize these boilers to make them suitable for lots of different applications.
The water will also circulate much easier naturally because of the steam pressure. This means that the boilers can be heated to a very high temperature when it becomes steam. This pressure is then used to eliminate the need for pumps to circulate the hot water and deliver it around your house.
High Capacity High Pressure Boilers
Water tube boilers are available in much higher capacities than most firetube designs. They are also able to recover much quicker. The walls of the watertube design are much stronger which means that they are better suited to a high pressure environment.
These watertube boilers are however much larger and more expensive than firetube designs. This is why they are rarely found in domestic applications and are actually only normally found where they offer advantages. This makes them ideal for use on boats and other high pressure environments.