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Today’s Tools Ease Tough Boiler Decisions

Tip Sheet: January 2012

Key Facts

  • The need to increase efficiency often drives the decision of whether to upgrade or replace a boiler system
  • BOOST software predicts the efficiency calculation and associated dollar savings of replacing versus upgrading current equipment
  • BOOST reports also show a company’s after-tax savings, net present value, internal rate of return and after-tax payback

A BOOST analysis for Indian Summer, a food manufacturer, helped facility management determine it was time to purchase a new boiler. The new boiler saved them 18.9% in energy expenses and reduced NOx emissions by 17%.


Sooner or later, management is faced with the decision as to whether to upgrade or replace a steam boiler. Typical decision drivers are: a need to increase fuel efficiency, a requirement to decrease emissions, a heightened demand for steam, a process load decrease or escalating maintenance costs on existing equipment.   

One software program available to help aid in the upgrade vs. replacement decision is BOOSTSM (Boiler Operation Optimization Savings Test). This program, available through Cleaver-Brooks representatives, details the annual cost savings to a company for making certain energy-efficient upgrades, retrofits or replacements.   


BOOST generates tailored reports that predict the efficiency calculation and associated dollar savings of replacing versus upgrading current equipment. The reports also provide detailed financial analysis that shows a company’s after-tax savings, net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and after-tax payback.  


One company that used BOOST to determine whether to repair or replace its equipment is Indian Summer, manufacturer of apple juice and apple sauce, located in Ludington, Mich. The company was running three boilers between 100 - 300 HP, two of which were more than 30 years old. It had added more pasteurizers and filtration equipment to increase production, but according to Larry Morton, maintenance manager for Indian Summer, the boiler system was already maxed out.  


Dean Boiler, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., ran BOOST reports for a number of upgrade versus replacement scenarios. After analyzing the reports, Indian Summer purchased a Cleaver-Brooks CBLE 500-HP boiler with economizer, feed system, blow down heat recovery and separator at a total project cost of $350,000 - $400,000.  

According to BOOST, the overall savings were projected to be $965,312 over a 10-year period with an estimated 18.9% reduction in overall energy expense and a 17% reduction in NOx emissions.  


The BOOST analysis for Indian Summer was conducted with the expectation that the company would have to run one of its older boilers alongside the new system, but that has not been the case. According to Morton, “The new boiler runs the whole plant without any problem at all. We went from running three boilers to running one at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle. It doesn’t even run wide open. It’s a world of difference.”  

Installing a new boiler system was the right decision for Indian Summer. When faced with the decision of replacing or upgrading the boiler system, employ a tool such as BOOST to make the wisest choice.