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Happy International Women's Day from Nationwide Boiler!

womens day

At Nationwide Boiler, we are proud that we are able to break the barriers in a male-dominated industry, by employing valuable, hard-working women throughout many departments. We believe that all of the women at Nationwide Boiler make a big impact on who we are and what we stand for as a company. Hear from some of the Women of Nationwide about their pastimes and how they feel they make an impact:  

Michele Tomas - VP Finance
"The tides of the boiler industry are shifting, where more women are being recognized for their valuable contributions to organizations that serve the needs of steam generation. As a leader at Nationwide, I feel empowered to have my voice, as well as others, heard within the organization. Our skills and inputs are not only recognized, but are known and credited as vital inputs to the ongoing success of the company."                                       

Holly Lepo - Quality Control & Facilities Manager
“Because of my years of service and the numerous job positions that I have held, I have had a unique opportunity to see how Nationwide has grown in terms of Women in the workplace. From a time when we had Women only in clerical positions to now when we have many Women in management, accounting, engineering, marketing, and quality control. I have had the honor of working closely with and getting to know most of our Women.  It is wonderful to see how Women have advanced into the Working Women of today.

One of my favorite outside activities is to hop in my RV and venture out with my Women’s group, friends, and family.  Of course, at one time it would be quite unusual to see a Woman driving, maintaining, and setting up an RV by herself!”

Chelsey Ryker - Marketing Manager
“I enjoy being part of the small group of working women in the boiler industry, and I appreciate the many opportunities for growth that I have received at Nationwide. It’s nice to work for a company that promotes a work-life balance, with flexibility that allows me to be a working mother of two. And as a woman that is part of the leadership team, I feel empowered to provide new ideas that will help improve processes and day-to-day activities throughout the company.”

Shalini Kumar - Senior Accountant
“I feel that I have made an impact at Nationwide in many ways since I started working here in January 2018. I have made processes more clean and organized, and I have made many employees in the company feel that I am a “go-to” person. They know that I will definitely try to assist them or guide them to the appropriate person. I always try to be positive and have a smile on my face, in hopes of bringing a smile to others in the company and allowing them feel comfortable approaching me.”

Sandy Nevels - Shop Admin
“I feel that I make an impact working at Nationwide by always be willing to do whatever it takes to get my tasks done quickly and efficiently.

I enjoy being part of a team and I am always willing to help out my co-workers when needed. People often come to me with questions about certain work topics and I direct them to the proper person to which they can get the answer, or I volunteer myself to assist. You can say I’m helpful and a go-to person. Although I am Holly’s admin,  I also enjoy assisting the shop, service, and other departments throughout the company when needed.

When I’m out of the office for an extended period of time, I am told that I was missed and that people are glad that I’m back, which makes me feel valued. I always come to work with a positive mindset and try to make each day the best it can be.”

Ruthy Brand - Office Admin
“I like volunteering, cooking, travelling, and spending time with my family and friends. In fact, this coming Saturday, I am volunteering for my second year with California Dental Association (CDA).  Twice a year they provide free dental works for Northern California and Southern California residents.”

The women at Nationwide Boiler truly are remarkable and appreciated every day. Celebrate International Women’s Day and don’t forget to tell the women around you how much you appreciate them.

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Boiler Basics 101: What is Steam?

To kick-off our ‘Boiler Basics 101’ series, we are starting at the very beginning. The extremely useful resource, produced by the commercial and industrial boilers that we rent, sell, service and maintain… that resource is steam.

Our business, and the boiler industry as a whole, revolves around steam. We provide boilers and related equipment for both temporary and permanent applications; equipment that works together to produce the valuable resource of steam, utilized in an abundance of processes across many different industries. So, what exactly is steam and what is it used for?

Let’s start with the chemical composition of steam. Water can exist in three physical states; solid, liquid, and vapor. These physical states, in more common terms, are referred to as ice, water, and steam. When water is heated at atmospheric pressure, its temperature rises until it reaches the highest temperature at which water can exist at this pressure. This temperature, 212F or 100C, is the saturation temperature, or boiling point. As water boils and temperature continues to increase, water particles begin to form small bubbles that rise to the surface and vaporize. This is how steam is formed.

Traditionally, steam was associated with locomotives and the Industrial Revolution. However, now steam is an integral part of modern-day technology. Not only is it an excellent source of energy and heat, but it is also sterile, which makes it ideal for use in the food, pharmaceutical, and health industries. Many other industries also utilize steam for processing, petroleum refining, utility and power, and manufacturing.

Steam has become an invaluable part of our world.  Without it, many of the advances and technologies in today’s time would not be as effective or efficient as they are now.

Stay tuned for the next article in our Boiler Basics 101 series to learn about the basic anatomy of a boiler system.

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Boiler Basics 101: Types of Boilers

When we think about boilers, there are a two types that typically come to mind; firetube, or scotch marine, and watertube boilers. These types of boilers can be classified as hot water, steam, high pressure, and low pressure. In today’s blog post we will be answering the question: what are the basic differences between the different types of boilers?

Although their final function is the same, the main difference between a firetube and watertube boiler is the construction and design of each system. In a firetube boiler, water inside a vessel is surrounded by tubes that contain combustion gases. In other words, the ‘fire’ is inside the tubes, making it a ‘firetube’. Watertube boilers are essentially the opposite in design. Combustion gases surround a series of tubes that contain water, coining the name, watertube.

By definition, high pressure boilers are built to a maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) above 15 psig, while low pressure boilers are designed for operation at 15 psig or below. Low pressure boilers are most commonly utilized in heating applications and require less maintenance than that of a high pressure unit. Furthermore, firetube boilers can be built for both low and high pressure applications, while watertube boilers are typically built for high pressure needs.

Some may think that firetube and watertube boilers are in the same category as hot water and steam boilers. However, steam and hot water boilers are actually a classification, and can be considered a subcategory to firetube & watertube boilers.

Hot water and steam boilers operate in a very similar manner, but hot water boilers don’t actually produce steam. In reality, a hot water boiler is just a fuel fired hot water heater, in which heat is added to increase the temperature to a level below the boiling point. Hot water boilers are not as powerful as steam boilers, which is why they are more commonly used in heating applications providing hot water at 120 – 220F.

Steam boilers heat water to levels that are above boiling point, in order to produce steam. They are much more powerful and are utilized in more industrial and heavy-commercial applications. Steam boilers can be designed to produce either saturated or superheated steam, which we will discuss further on in a future post.  

Be it a firetube, watertube, hot water, or steam boiler, they are all effective and efficient in their own unique ways. To learn in more detail about the differences between boiler types, visit the section on our website, “What Boiler Is Best For You”.
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Boiler Basics 101: Superheat vs. Saturated Steam

Playing off our last topic, some might argue that there is another boiler type, or classification, to consider. In today’s article, we will discuss the difference between saturated and superheated steam boilers, and the applications that they are most commonly used for.

Let’s begin by talking about the science behind these two types of steam. Simply put, when water is heated to its boiling point, it will begin to vaporize and saturated steam is produced. Superheated steam occurs when the water is continually heated to temperatures beyond the boiling point, without any increase in pressure. Also known as dry steam, superheated steam has a much lower density and produces zero condensate.

As with the other types of boilers previously discussed, saturated and superheated steam boilers each have their own unique advantages and disadvantages and are better geared for certain applications over others. Saturated steam has a high density and is an excellent heating source. Commonly utilized in food processing, sterilization, district heating, and pulp & paper processing, saturated steam has the following advantages: 

  • Produces fast and even heating due to latent heat transfer
  • The temperature can quickly be established through the control of pressure
  • Has a high heat transfer coefficient, which requires a smaller heat transfer surface and in turn, allows for reduced initial
  • equipment costs

Superheated steam is not typically utilized in heat transfer applications. However, due to its dry composition and ability to cool while remaining in the same physical state, it can be extremely versatile and is most commonly utilized in refineries, for generating electricity, and for powering turbines.

Superheated steam is ideal for powering turbines for the following reasons:

  • The dry steam allows for steam-driven equipment to function effectively and efficiently (while condensate from wet steamwould negatively affect performance of the equipment)
  • Improves thermal efficiency and work capabilities of turbines
  • Contains zero condensate, minimizing the risk of corrosion and erosion damage

With a low heat transfer coefficient that is equivalent to that of air, superheated steam has more energy and can work harder than saturated steam, but the heat content is less useful. In addition, boilers that are built to produce superheated steam require more expensive components on the boiler system, in comparison to a saturated steam boiler. Therefore, it is extremely important to do your homework ahead of time to determine which type of steam is best suited for your particular application.

Did you know that Nationwide Boiler maintains a fleet of both saturated and superheated steam boilers for rent and for sale? In fact, we own the World’s Largest 125,000 lb/hr saturated steam mobile boiler, and the World’s Largest 110,000 lb/hr superheated steam mobile boiler!  Visit our website at nationwideboiler.com to learn more.

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