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Atomizing Oil

In the world of boilers and power plants, oil burners remain indispensable. Despite the rise of natural gas and bio-fuels, oil-fired burners persist, necessitating the choice between two primary methods of oil atomization: pressure and air atomization. Understanding the nuances of these methods is crucial for optimizing burner efficiency.

Pressure Atomization

Pressure atomization relies on oil pressure inside the nozzle tip, akin to a spray bottle, producing micronized oil droplets. These droplets mix with combustion air in the burner head, igniting the process. Key components include the oil pump and pressure regulator, ensuring the pump meets gallons per hour (gph) requirements and the regulator maintains the correct pressure, typically between 100-300 psi. Pressure atomization’s turndown ratio is typically 3:1 or 4:1.

Air Atomization

In air atomization, oil is pumped into the nozzle and sheared by intersecting air streams. The resulting mixture exits the nozzle tip, blending with combustion air in the burner head. Both oil pressure and atomizing air pressure are essential, with air pressures ranging from 5-75 psi, depending on burner design and firing rate. Air atomization offers a higher turndown ratio, usually 6:1 or 8:1.

Choosing the Right Method

Each method has its merits. Pressure atomization demands a potent pump and motor assembly, while air atomization requires an air compressor. Pressure atomization simplifies piping, involving fewer components, whereas air atomization mandates additional elements like solenoid valves and air pressure regulators.

The choice boils down to application specifics and available resources. Air atomization’s superior turndown ratio allows for efficient operation at lower rates, accommodating varying loads. Pressure atomization, while simpler in piping, might require cycling or venting excess steam to match loads.

In the realm of oil burners, the choice between pressure and air atomization is pivotal. As technology advances, understanding these methods becomes paramount. This knowledge empowers industries to make informed decisions, optimizing efficiency, and reducing environmental impact. As we share this expertise, we empower a greener, more efficient future for oil burner applications.

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