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Application Story: Temperature Measurement and Control for Industrial Boilers with Process Sensors

Application Story: Temperature Measurement and Control for Industrial Boilers with Process Sensors

For those of us who don’t live in the tropics or have electric heating, a boiler provides heat for our homes. A boiler is a tank or vessel where a fluid circulates and heats up. Boilers are not just for the home, as they are also used in industrial processes, power generation, and sanitation. The fuel source for boilers and industrial boilers may be natural gas, coal, oil, wood, trash or even nuclear fission.

Industrial Boilers Types

There are three main types of boilers: fossil fuel boilers, biomass or hog fuel boilers, and recovery boilers.

Temperature measurement of FEGT hog fuel industrial boiler

Fossil Fuel

Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas burn to heat water into steam.


Compared to fossil fuels, biomass fuels burn water into steam. Biomass fuels are often a mix of wood processing byproducts like bark, chips and strands called “hog fuel.”  Similarly, biomass fuels also supplement fossil fuel such as oil or natural gas. These improve variation in moisture and energy content.


In contrast of biomass, a recovery boiler lets organic materials combust with black liquor (a black, syrupy, organic byproduct of producing paper) to heat water into steam.

Boiler Burning Process

Regardless of the type of boiler, it is important to measure the burner/flame and steam temperatures in an industrial boiler, but it is also important to monitor Furnace Exit Gas Temperature (FEGT) for optimal performance and to ensure the health of boiler. Excessive FEGT can result in unnecessary fuel consumption,  refractory and boiler tube fouling or damage, and unwanted levels of oxygen-nitrogen oxides (NOx) which increase smog, acid rain and ozone.

Temperature Measurement Points

A Process Sensors Corporation (PSC) “Infra-boiler” non-contacting infrared detection Pyrometer system mounted on the exterior of a boiler  measures the temperature of FEGT and/or the boiler flame. Therefore, non-contacting temperature measurement is important as contact-type thermocouples only measure boiler wall temperature. Soot and fly ash deposits can warm thermocouples resulting in poor measurements. As a result, the “Infra-boiler” system triggers an alarm when the highest FEGT temperature reaches efficient operation, therefore preventing fouling or damage to boiler tubes as well as unwanted NOx emissions.

“Infra-Boiler” system: Metis MY45 or MY46 pyrometer, graphical Sensor Tools software and all accessories needed for proper cooling and sighting.

To learn more about how PSC can optimize your boiler operation, please fill out the contact form below.

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