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Boiler- & Burner-Related Glossary Terms

Trying to learn your way around your boiler? These terms are a great place to start.

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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 33 names in this directory beginning with the letter P.
package boiler
A boiler that comes completely assembled, with its own pressure vessel, burner, draft fans, and fuel train.
panelboard
A wall-mounted distribution cabinet containing a group of OCPDs and short-circuit protection devices for lighting, appliance, or power distribution branch circuits.
parallel positioning
A modulating control strategy that uses steam pressure as the input signal and outputs one signal to a fuel valve to modulate the fuel flow and another signal to a variable-speed blower motor or to an air damper to modulate the airflow.
particulate matter (PM)
Fine ash particles emitted from a boiler that remain individually dispersed in the products of combustion.
perfect combustion
Combustion that occurs when all the fuel is burned using only the theoretical amount of air.
personal protective equipment (PPE)
Any device worn by a boiler operator to prevent injury.
pH
A measurement representing whether a substance is acidic, neutral, or alkaline.
pH meter
A water analyzer used to monitor the acidity or alkalinity of the boiler water.
plant master
A master controller that calculates and distributes steam production requirements across several boilers to maintain the steam pressure at the setpoint.
PM10
Particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns.
pneumatic level control
See displacer.
pneumercator
See bubbler.
pop test
A safety valve test performed to determine if a safety valve opens at the correct pressure.
popping pressure
The predetermined pressure at which a safety valve opens and remains open until the pressure drops.
positioning control system
See modulating control system.
positive-displacement flow meter
A flow meter that admits fluid into a chamber of known volume and then discharges it.
Post purge
A purge that occurs after burner shutdown.
pour point
The lowest temperature at which a liquid will flow from one container to another.
power boiler
See high pressure steam boiler.
prepurge
A purge that occurs before a burner is al­lowed to fire.
pressure atomizing burner
A fuel oil burner that uses pressure to force the fuel through a nozzle or sprayer into the furnace where the vaporized fuel mixes with air and is ignited. Also known as a pressure jet burner.
pressure jet burner
See pressure atomizing burner.
pressurized furnace
A furnace that operates at slightly above atmospheric pressure.
primary air
The air supplied to a burner to atomize fuel oil or convey pulverized coal and control the rate of combustion, thus determining the amount of fuel that can be burned.
primary element
A device that measures a process variable and produces a usable output in the form of mechanical movement, electrical output, or instrument air-pressure output. Also known as a sensor.
priming
Large slugs of water and impurities carried out of the boiler into the steam lines.
programmer
See burner management system.
programming device
A human-machine interface (HMI) device used to control the actions of a PLC, DDC system, or computer.
proving the main flame
Sighting the main flame through a flame scanner to verify that the main flame is lit.
proving the pilot
Sighting the pilot through a flame scanner to verify that the pilot is lit.
proximate analysis
An analysis used to determine the amount of moisture, volatile gas, fixed carbon, and ash in a coal specimen.
pulverized coal
Coal that is ground into a fine powder and is then blown into the combustion chamber where it is burned in suspension.
purge cycle
A predetermined period of time during which air is blown through the furnace to remove any combustible vapors.
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