Fulton bespoke electric steam boiler system at the Diamond

Bio-engineered degree enabled by bespoke electric steam boiler system

  • 7 Oct 2016

Fulton has developed and installed a bespoke skid-mounted EFS electric steam boiler system for the benefit of the University of Sheffield’s bio-engineering students.

The Diamond building represents the University of Sheffield’s biggest investment in learning facilities. Spanning six floors, the building offers teaching spaces, laboratories and library and IT services, for the benefit of students from its Faculty of Engineering.

The Diamond is used to by all seven departments and three interdisciplinary programme areas. In addition to traditional mechanical engineering, materials science and aerospace, the University’s bio-engineering degree is taught inside the building.

The course encourages students to use engineering techniques to analyse important questions in biology and medicine. To ensure operation, the bio-engineering department required a source of low and high pressure steam.

Fulton bespoke electric steam boiler system at the Diamond

Low and high pressure steam

The department uses low and high pressure steam for process control in its laboratory-scale Solaris bio fermenters. The systems are used to produce single-cell organisms with the capacity to break down cells, extract DNA and examine protein extraction and expression. High pressure steam is required for vessel sterilisation.

Initially, steam generators were considered; however, the Diamond’s technical operations team was unable to find a solution with the capacity to provide the faculty’s required mass flow rate. Traditional fuel-fired steam boilers were also disregarded.

Eventually, Fulton was contracted to provide a bespoke, skid-mounted EFS electric steam boiler system for installation.

Fulton EFS boilers

Fulton’s four-model EFS range has been developed to deliver the short period/high demand steam loads that are typical of laboratory applications. The EFS range is able to meet fluctuations in steam loads, as well as the short-term peak flow rates of a steriliser cycle.

The boilers aspire to reduce entrainment of water droplets; as a result, they are able to produce contaminate-free steam. They are protected and supported by a control system, which ensures seamless operation.

Bespoke electric steam system

Fulton bespoke electric steam boiler system at the DiamondFulton worked in close collaboration with Solaris to ensure its bespoke boiler met the fermenter’s process steam requirements. The company was able to survey, design, deliver and install the system within the University’s required three-month timescale.

The boiler was designed to BS1894 Class 2 and PED EC/97/23/EC. Working from a 400V 3ph 50HZ electrical supply, the system also includes an EFS54 automatic carbon steel electric flash steam boiler, rated at 86kg/h.

The steam boiler was fitted within the ground floor laboratory. As a large proportion of the Diamond’s façade is glass – the plant room is also surrounded by a glass partition – Fulton skid-mounted the system with a BDV2 blowdown vessel, housed in an identical cabinet to the boiler, to ensure a clean aesthetic. The boiler was installed alongside the Solaris fermenter, within the self-contained, glass-fronted pilot plant.

By ensuring the ventilation of excess steam to roof-level, via convoluted risers, Fulton resolved all safety and planning aspects of the installation.

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