Boiler Insights


Boiler Insights is primarily aimed at the engineer and supervisor who is responsible for small scale steam plant operations. His steam boiler probably fires pea coal and produces less than 30 tons of saturated steam per hour at less than 20 bar pressure. These limitations exist because of the boiler configuration – it is a chain grate fire tube boiler, consisting of one or two furnace flues.

After 35 years in the boiler industry René le Roux has learned and experienced sufficiently much to know that his original boiler mentors had it wrong in many respects, primarily because everything was based on hear-say and perceptions; very little along the lines of solid scientific and engineering principles entered the scene. After all, in those days coal was still plentiful, cheap and of good quality.
In 2018 he decided the time had come to put pen to paper and to note his experiences and learning to demystify the intricacies of coal combustion, its control and factors determining its efficiency.

Hence these short publications came to light, dealing with all kinds of boiler related matters. No lengthy scientific and mathematical formulas and lectures though; René has rather tried to explain scientific principles in a logical and easy to understand way so that everyone involved with steam plant operations will be able to grasp why their plant is and works the way it does.
He does not claim to know it all but being a researcher at heart he has made it his business to understand the engineering principles governing the operation and control of coal fired steam boilers.

René’s desire is that Boiler Insights will serve to create a greater understanding of coal combustion among boiler operating and management staff and may serve to enrich the lives and careers of many, and for many to apply it towards conserving energy, reducing pollution and protecting steam plant assets.

René le Roux is a graduate mechanical engineer (University of Stellenbosch 1972) and registered professional engineer (1977). He also obtained a government certificate of competency (Factories) in 1987.
From 1983 to 2005 he headed the maintenance department of Clover Dairies and was also responsible for utilities (including steam boilers) and occupational health and safety.
In 2005 he founded the BCT combustion optimisation company, where he gained extensive experience in all aspects of safe and efficient boiler operation and control. The company merged with Energy Partners in 2014.
Currently he is a combustion engineer with Le Roux Consulting, specialising in various aspects of boiler and combustion efficiency, as well as coal analysis and characterization.

Please do not hesitate to contact Steam Generation if you would like to have René conduct a survey on your plant / boilers, send your enquiry to info@steamgeneration.co.za.

01 Introduction to Optimizing Steam Plant Operations

02 Basic Requirements for a Boiler Control System

03 What level of Automation

04 The Mission of Steam Plant Operations

05 Principles of Combustion