Difference between Fire tube boiler vs water tube boiler? [with Pdf]

The main difference between Fire tube boiler vs water tube boiler is in its name itself. fire tube boiler indicates that hot flue gases are passed through the tubes and water is outside of the tube while the water tube boiler indicates water is flowing through the tubes which are heated by surrounding hot gases.

Fire tube vs water tube

What is fire tube boiler?

In a fire tube boiler, water is contained in the large size of the shell and a number of coils are passed inside of the shell. The hot gases from the furnace flow through the tubes.

Fire tube boiler works at low pressure up to 20 bar.

This type of boiler is generally used in manufacturing plants for process steam generation.

What is water tube boiler?

In water tube boiler, water flows through the tubes which are heated externally by hot gases. This type of boiler gives higher pressure steam and higher rate of steam generation.

It is generally used in in high capacity power plants.

Sr. No.Fire tube boilerWater tube boiler
1Hot flue gases are passed through the one or more tubes that heat the water in a containerWater is passed through the tubes which is heated by hot gases
2initially, it takes time to start steam generation after firing the boilerIt takes less time for steam generation after firing the boiler
3rate of steam generation is lowerrate of steam generation is higher
4This boiler generator low-pressure steam up to 20 bar.This boiler generates high-pressure steam up to 200 bar.
5Suitable for heating in chemical processes and also used as process steamSuitable for high capacity power generation
6It has less risk of accidentsHigher risk of an accident because of higher operating pressure
7The initial cost is lessHigher initial cost
8The size of the boiler is larger for the same rate of steam generation.the size of the boiler is small as compared to fire tube boiler for the same rate of steam generation
9It takes more floor areaIt takes less floor area
10it requires less skilled operators for its operationIt requires a skilled operator for its operation
11The rate of heat transfer is slower hence evaporation rate is lowerThe rate of heat transfer is faster hence it gives a higher evaporation rate
12The cleaning of boiler is difficultIt is easy to clean this type of boiler
13Only particular fuel has to use.As it is externally fired any available fuel for the furnace can be used
14transportation and installation is difficult because of the large size of the shelltransportation and installation is easy as it can be dismantled in number of parts
15The maintenance is difficult in this type of boilerIt is easy for maintenance
16Less efficient compared to water tube boilerIt is a highly efficient boiler
17Example: Cochran boilerExample: Babcock and Wilcox boiler, Lamont boiler
fire-tube-boiler-vs-water-tube-boiler

FAQ:-

  1. What is the difference between fire tube and water tube boiler?

    The difference between fire tube and water tube boiler is the Fire-tube boiler indicates that hot flue gases are passed through the tubes and water is outside of the tube while the water tube boiler indicates water is flowing through the tubes which are heated by surrounding hot gases.

  2. What is the advantage of fire tube boiler than water tube boiler?

    The advantage of a fire tube boiler than a water tube boiler is
    1) It has less risk of accidents
    2) The initial cost is less
    3) less-skilled operators for its operation

  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a water tube boiler over the fire tube boiler?

    Advantages:
    1) Rate of steam generation is higher
    2) This boiler generates high-pressure steam up to 200 bar
    3) Suitable for high capacity power generation
    4) the size of the boiler is small as compared to the fire tube boiler
    5) It is a highly efficient boiler
    6) It is easy for maintenance

    Disadvantages:
    1) Higher risk of an accident because of higher operating pressure
    2) Higher initial cost
    3) It requires a skilled operator for its operation

  4. Where are fire tube boilers used?

    fire tube boilers are used in industries where low-pressure steam is used as process steam, and for heating purposes.

  5. What are the disadvantages of fire tube boiler?

    The disadvantages of fire tube boiler are
    1) Low-pressure steam.
    2) It takes more floor area.
    3) rate of steam generation is lower.
    4) Transportation and installation are difficult.
    5) Less efficient boiler.
    6) Maintenance is difficult in this type of boiler.

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