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This guideline was written by the American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) to provide boiler owners and operators, as well as consulting or design engineers and contractors, and other interested parties with current minimum industry guidelines to enhance the safety and reliability of the combustion controls for industrial and utility boilers. The paper focuses on gas and/or liquid fired boilers, and covers the design of the two predominant combustion control schemes (Parallel Positioning and Metering) and the applicability of each. Also, it includes minimum recommended features for the hardware required for a combustion controls application. The paper discusses the proper commissioning of a new combustion control application, and the importance of maintenance, operator training and adequate operator staffing. An example of the system design and commissioning cycle for a hypothetical metering control system is also offered.

The specific goals of this guideline are to:
  • Provide concerned parties with an understanding of the requirements for safe and reliable combustion controls so that they can be properly specified for new and retrofit applications.
  • Provide concerned parties with an understanding that combustion controls are a "system". This system incorporates the control scheme (suitable for the requirements of the application), the actual controller, the final control elements, the field measurement devices, the startup/commissioning and the subsequent operation and maintenance. The safe and reliable implementation of a combustion controls application on a multiple-burner boiler requires thoughtful attention to all of these elements of the control system.
  • Provide concerned parties with the understanding that lower boiler emissions requirements drive the need for additional combustion control precision.
  • Provide specific guidelines regarding the design and selection of components for combustion control systems.