How Much Does a Boiler Feed Water Treatment System Cost? (Pricing, Factors, Etc.)
When companies come to us looking for a boiler feed water treatment system, one of the hardest questions to answer is, “How Much Does a Boiler Feed Water Treatment System Cost?” The costs can be complex to estimate, but it’s not impossible to narrow down what you might spend based on several factors—varying boiler pressures, manufacturer recommendations, and makeup water chemistry will all contribute to the configuration of your treatment system. Here’s what you need to know.
The main factors that will determine the cost of your boiler feed water system
When it comes to treating boiler feed water, knowing the water quality and makeup quantity needed is essential, as inadequate water treatment can lead to the scaling, corrosion, and fouling of the boiler and downstream equipment.
Assuming the process is beginning with properly pretreated water, these are the main factors that will determine the technologies you might need for your system, and therefore the cost:
Quality and quantity of water needed for your boiler
All in all, there are three main factors that drive the cost of a raw water treatment system:
- Quality. What is the quality of your raw water source and what are the purity requirements of the treated water?
- Quantity. What amount of water do you need to process per day and how fast? (This is your required peak gallons per minute, or GPM.)
- Plant lifespan. How long will you need to run the system? Five years? Thirty?
If you can answer these questions, it will help you narrow down what your needs might be and provide a better sense of the budget you might be looking at.
Let’s break down these three main factors and consider how they might fluctuate your system price:
The quality of your water source and the equipment needed to treat it
The quality of feed water needed for your individual boiler depends on many factors, but the primary element to consider is the pressure at which you need to run your boiler in relation to the amount of water you need to process per day and how fast (this is your required peak gallons per minute, or GPM). For certain pressures, there is a maximum level of contaminants to you can feed into the boiler, and as you increase the pressure in your boiler, it becomes more critical for thorough water treatment that yields higher quality water.
- Low pressure boilers (600 PSI and lower). Typically the technology used for lower pressure boilers includes simple filtration to make sure no dirt gets into the boiler and a water softener to take out the hardness. As the water chemistry might dictate, or as the pressure increases, you might use a water softener in addition to a dealkalizer for a lower alkalinity feed. In general, the cost for a lower pressure boiler feed water treatment system (using properly pretreated water) can run you about $50,000–$100,000 at 100 GPM for equipment, $100,000–$250,000 if you need a softener and dealkalizer.
- High pressure boilers (600 PSI and higher). Treating your feed water for a higher pressure boiler usually requires some type of ion exchange or electrodeionization (EDI) polishing. Resin-based sandwich or mixed bed polishing devices can also be used, and these technologies can be permanent (regenerable in place) or portable (requiring an exchange service from an outside provider). They are typically used on high pressure boilers in power plants or refineries where extremely high purity water is desired. A typical prepackaged 100 GPM system for a high pressure boiler can be anywhere in the $500,000–$1 million range for equipment, depending on the quality of your pretreated water. At 200 GPM, you can expect the numbers to be $1–$1.5 million.
Also note that boiler/turbine manufacturers each have their own requirements for water quality, so be sure to check with your manufacturer what their recommendations are.
Boiler makeup and chemistry
Your boiler makeup/chemistry is a complex calculation, but this will help dictate the technology you need to treat your feed water. SAMCO has years of experience helping our customers understand this complex chemistry. If you have questions about how your boiler’s specific makeup might affect your treatment system, feel free to contact us and set up a call with one of our engineers.
[Download our free boiler feed water treatment e-book.]
Other important factors to consider when pricing a boiler feed water treatment system
- Feed water sourcing. Choosing your feed water source is a critical parameter to minimizing your capex and opex costs. While city water sources might reduce your system cost overall, keep in mind that the charge for incoming water can be high. SAMCO can help you evaluate the various sources available to your site and recommend the best options for your plant. These sources might include city water, city treated effluent, in-plant wastewater recycle (cooling tower blowdown recycle), well water, or any other surface water source.
- Up-front planning. There are costs associated with developing the concepts, designs, and regulatory requirements for boiler feed system projects. Typically, the cost of engineering for a project like this will be about 10–15% of the entire project cost. This cost is usually phased in over the course of the project.
- Installation rates. Installation rates for a boiler feed water treatment system will usually run you 15–25% of the project. In general they have a smaller footprint and don’t require as much civil work. Another thing to keep in mind is the installation rates in your area, which may fluctuate by location. Since the boiler feed water treatment systems are usually prepackaged, their footprint is typically smaller (about 100 x 100 feet is the average size). SAMCO specializes in these types of turnkey, prepackaged systems, and for more information about what we offer, you can visit our website here.
- Shipping the system to your plant. When you are coordinating the shipping details of your system, you usually want to factor in about 5–10% of the cost of the equipment for freight. This can vary widely depending upon the time of year you are purchasing your system in addition to where your plant is located in relation to the manufacturing facility.
- The need for higher-end materials. A basic boiler feed water system for a commercial facility may have multiport valves, plastic piping, and plastic vessels. Industrial facilities such as power plants and refineries require a more robust treatment system, rubber-lined vessels, stainless steel piping with industrial valve nests, and these industrial standards can increase the cost of the system 50–100%.
- Off-site regeneration services. Many companies that need a polishing component in their boiler feed water treatment system outsource resin regeneration. This minimizes the amount of labor required and keeps your capital cost down. It also eliminates the need for you to keep certain chemicals on hand, such as acid and caustic, and therefore you won’t have to worry about discharge regulations. SAMCO is experienced in this type of resin regeneration, so if this is a service you might need, feel free to reach out to us for more information or visit our off-site regeneration page on our website here.
- Other possible costs and fees. When purchasing a boiler feed water treatment system, you might also want to keep in mind what other hidden costs and fees might be. For example: Will there be any taxes on the system or additional purchasing fees? What are your possible utility costs to the installation area? Will there be any environmental regulatory fees and/or permits? Any ongoing analytical compliance testing you need to pay for? Also consider that there will be costs to treating the secondary waste produced by the system. With stringent environmental regulations, you will need to either treat the waste for discharge or solidify and transport to third party disposal firm. You can learn more about SAMCO’s wastewater treatment systems on our website here.
Although figuring out what your boiler feed water treatment system needs might be can seem complex, SAMCO has over 40 years’ experience custom-designing and manufacturing these types of systems, so please feel free to reach out to us with your questions. For more pricing information or to get in touch, contact us here to set up a consultation with an engineer or request a quote. We can walk you through the steps for developing the proper solution and realistic cost for your boiler feed water treatment system needs.
Other SAMCO articles that relate to boiler feed water include:
- Common Boiler Feed Water Treatment Issues and How to Avoid Them
- How to Choose the Best Boiler Feed Water Treatment Technologies for Your Plant
- Do You Need a Boiler Feed Water Treatment System for Your Plant?
- Scaling vs. Corrosion: Why It Matters for Your Boiler Feed Water System
- 10 of the Best Boiler Feed Water Treatment Equipment Supply and Technology Companies
- How Much Should a Boiler Feed Water Treatment System for a Thermal Power Plant Cost?
- What Is a Boiler Feed Water Treatment System and How Does It Work?