Cleaver-Brooks ProFire SBR-30 low-NOx, dual-fuel burner series is capable of less than 30 ppm NOx emissions without flue gas recirculation (FGR). It features a unique firing head design to achieve controlled combustion, leading to low emissions with 3% O2, low-NOx, low CO emissions, and up to 10:1 turndown on natural gas. These features pushed this series of burners to the top of our list, as our panel of engineering judges selected it as the 2021 Commercial Comfort Product of the Year award winner in the Heating Equipment category.

“There are numerous benefits created through the elimination of FGR,” said Kevin Pheney, vice president, burner systems, Cleaver-Brooks. “Elimination of the need for FGR in high-stack-temperature steam boilers will reduce energy efficiency by 0.5%-1.5%, extending the turndown and minimizing on-off cycling. FGR pipes are massive and space-consuming, and they generate extensive energy loss in the boiler room. All of this can be eliminated with the SBR-30 non-FGR solution, also extending turndown up to 10:1 on natural gas applications.”

The SBR-30 is suitable for use with a variety of boiler types, including firetube, flextube, and industrial watertube boilers as well as thermal oil heaters utilized in process steam, industrial process, waste heat recovery, hospital and health care, laundry and dry cleaning, and refinery and petrochemical applications.

It also features low excess air operation. If the application condition is satisfied, it can be operated with 15% excess air across the operating range when firing natural gas, leading to less fuel per Btu and less kWh per Btu.

The unit meets National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 31, 54, and 85 and is automated with parallel positioning control after commissioning. Additionally, the unit uses numerous interfaces, including Fireye, LMV, and Cleaver-Brooks HAWK 4000.

The product is well-supported across the industry through the Cleaver-Brooks Representative Association (CBRA), a dedicated sales and service network that includes 36 member organizations across the country. The CBRA provides comprehensive, ongoing support — from commissioning the system to providing parts and service after the sale, as well as extensive product training.

Additional features include:

  • Maximum efficiency provided by standardized parallel positioning;
  • Uniform flame for equal heat transfer allowed by premix fuel;
  • Easy-access air housing for internal components;
  • Silent operation with an advanced combustion air fan wheel using less horsepower and less noise;
  • Lower maintenance cost with no FGR or air filters needed;
  • Low-NOx/CO achieved without a fragile surface combustion burner head, making it safer and more reliable with less maintenance requirements; and
  • Integrated controls with remote IoT monitoring capabilities.

Passing Judgment

The environmental impact — or lack thereof — was a major factor for two of our engineering judges.

“The Cleaver-Brooks boiler burner design provides better burner efficiency, lower fan energy cost, and reduced emissions,” said one judge. “Boilers are a major source of carbon emissions, and this burner can make a substantial contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“It’s commendable that they’ve created a low-NOx, dual-fuel burner series that’s capable of less than 30 ppm NOx emissions without FGR,” said another judge. “The product support network is fairly robust across the United States, which is definitely a plus. I also appreciate the fact that this burner addresses the environment, which is an important consideration these days.”