Burner replacement at James Madison University

  • JMU Burner Conversion JMU Burner Conversion


  • New burner, flue gas economizer, and better automated controls to reduce energy costs for JMU
  • New burner capacity is 50.6 MMBTU/Hr
  • New flue gas economizer has a heat transfer rating of 2.2 MMBTU/Hr.
  • Piping both fuel sources to the new equipment
  • Replacing the flowmeter that monitors steam flow
  • Upgrading the automated control systems
  • Installing a new flue gas ecomizer
  • Replacing the instrumentation controls that interfaced with the boiler/burner assembly
  • Entire project spanned a 4 month period

About this PROJECT.

JMU wanted to reduce energy usage on their heating and cooling expenses. One of the best ways to accomplish this was replacing the burner in one of the three boilers located within JMU’s power plant. Burner replacement in the other two boilers had been done previously, and the third replacement completed the boiler upgrade project.

The boiler, producing 40,000 lbs. of steam per hour, included a dual-fuel burner, which ran off of bio-diesel and natural gas, with natural gas being the primary source.


Unique Project Challenges

1.Installation of a flue gas economizer created a unique challenge because one did not exist in the previous system. This required the development of new engineering designs, created the need to configure and add additional piping, and included the integration of new control systems.

2.In addition to the challenges of adding an economizer to the system, the size of the economizer required additional structural steel support. The amount of space was limited and the task of getting the new economizer into the power plant required specialized rigging. Waco contracted with a crane company and worked side by side to get the new unit properly in place.

3.Configuring the new automated control systems to work with the older equipment was challenging. Waco personnel have extensive experience with the latest control systems, and were able to install and test the new systems to ensure proper operation.

Why WACO was chosen

Another contractor had installed the two previous burners as part of the boiler replacement and expansion project. Waco participated in the State bid process for replacing the third burner and was chosen for the project. In addition to the favorable bid, Waco’s extensive experience at JMU on other projects had earned them a reputation for technical capability, quality work, and strong project management. JMU was familiar with Waco’s extensive resume of boiler projects and valued the R-Stamp from The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.

Summary of Results

Lee Waldeck and Sean Davies were Co-Project Managers on this project. Only one change order was required due to refractory insulation that needed to be replaced on the burner wall. This was impossible to know ahead of time. JMU clearly understood and allowed this exception. There were no workplace injuries and the project was completed on schedule allowing the university to begin reaping the energy savings benefits immediately.

Contact Waco at 888-822-7285 for more information.


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