The difference between fire tube boiler and water tube boiler can be done on various points. These points includes types of fluid flows within the tubes, steam generation rate, floor area required for the steam generation, transportation, efficiency, fluctuating loads, operating cost etc. the knowledge of the difference about these two boiler is very crucial.

Also read – How Exactly Does A Fire Tube Boiler Operate?

difference between fire tube and water tube boiler

Difference Between Fire Tube Boiler and Water Tube Boiler Fire tube boiler Water tube boiler
1 In this boiler the hot flue gases is present inside the tubes and water surrounds them The water is present inside the tubes and the hot flue gases surrounds them
2 They are low pressure boilers. The operating pressure is about 25 bar. They are high pressure boilers and the operating pressure is about 165 bar.
3 The steam generation rate in fire tube boiler is low, i.e.9 tonne per hour. Steam generation rate in water tube boiler is high i.e. 450 tonne per hour.
4 For a given power the floor area required for steam generation is more i.e. 8 m2 per tonne per hour. The floor area required for the steam generation is less, i.e. 5 m2 per tonne per hour.
5 The transportation and erection in this type of boiler is difficult. The transportation and erection is easy as its parts can be separated.
6 The overall efficiency of this boiler is upto 75%. The overall efficiency is upto 90% with the economizer.
7 It can works on fluctuating loads for shorter period of time. It works on fluctuating loads all the times.
8 The direction of water circulation in fire tube boiler is not well defined. The direction of water circulation in water tube boiler is well defined i.e. a definite path is provided for the circulation of water.
9 Operating cost is low. Operating cost is high.
10 Bursting chance is less in firetube boiler. Bursting chance in water tube boiler is more.
11 Due to bursting, there is a greater risk to the damage to the boiler. The bursting in this boiler does not produce any major destruction to the whole boiler.
12 It can be operated with less skilled person. A skilled person is required to operate this boiler.
13 Low maintenance cost. High maintenance cost.
14 They are light in weight. They are heavy in weight.
15 It is suitable for small power plant. It is suitable for large power plant.