Linkageless systems use a burner with individual stepper engines to manage air and fuel proportions. There are major benefits of a linkageless burner, while mechanical linkages may have strict limits.

Linkage versus Linkage-free Systems

Regardless of the nature of the linkage, there is often a certain hysteresis or “drift” in the contact point of a linkage arrangement as the outcome of an action. 

Many possible issues related to the intrinsic hysteresis of linkages have included performance compromise. For instance, if a burner is able to operate effectively at a defined rate of fire of 3% oxygen (O2) but there are several contact points from the modulating motor to the fuel or air-control devices, such control systems do not automatically return to exactly the same location when forced up like they do when lowered. For this simple fact, an O2 level usually must be raised higher to adjust for this effect. This decreases the effectiveness of combustion, which tends to increase the cost of fuel. If a connection point on a linkage system continues to fail in a manner that a joint becomes disengaged, it is feasible, if not plausible, that air or fuel settings will drastically change. It might, at best, trigger a loss of effectiveness. At the very worst, a combination of fuel-air which causes extreme levels of carbon monoxide may accumulate to a predetermined point to trigger an accidental explosion. The locations of all air and fuel control devices are continuously checked and verified by the control unit using a linkage-free system. Either way, a placement mistake allows the burner to stop working in a safe manner. A warning shows the cause for interruption “positioning error” and specifies the stepper motor is mistakenly placed.

Dual-fuel burners benefit from providing a designated “curve” for each fuel, which would be the place of each of the servo motors for fuel, air, and other adjustments as needed. Every curve is entirely different from other fuel setups. Linkageless burner systems also allow a bit more flexibility in a burner’s overall design: there are no mechanical restrictions, as there are linkage restrictions.

Linkageless control systems have the ability to lessen or remove multiple component specifications and the costs associated. Control functions, like the proportional/ integral/derivative (PID) control, cold start, pressure and temperature control, O2 trim, and valve proving, are combined into a control as a single object. There are no mismatching or installation costs associated with utilizing separate elements from various manufacturers. These characteristics give a stable and unified control package with multiple choices.

Installing Burner Systems

A burner is just as effective as the commissioning technician. Linkage burners can pose significant challenges to a technician. When a modification is done to improve the production process for one fuel in a standard linkage setup, it may possibly affect the setup of another fuel. It is not surprising to have to make adjustments with a burner when trying to switch from gas to oil and vice versa. In general, this needs an on-site expert to make the necessary changes.

Using a programming pad, a linkage-free burner is built. The positioning of each servo motor is customizable and autonomous (i.e., power, suction-side air, pressure-side air,  etc.) The location of each motor driver and the percentage of its capability are shown on the programming pad in real-time. Since a stepper motor’s repeatability would be less than 0.5 of an angular degree (even less on certain systems), each is thoroughly monitored for position. The fuel/air proportion can be increased for the optimum performance without any need to compromise. For each type of fuel, there really are distinct and individual configurable fuel curves, minimizing the need to make adjustments when trying to switch fuels.

System Safety and Data Management

Burner systems have three levels of password protection: original equipment manufacturer, service technician, and the end-user. This helps to prevent any crucial and sensitive parameters from being adjusted unintentionally or inappropriately.

In case the primary control module or programming pad is damaged and must be replaced, the system-commissioning information is stored as data collected.In this condition, the commissioning components can be easily packaged into a replacement component without any need to retrofit the burner. Many devices store data in two locations (namely, the programming pad and the main module). In this particular situation, there is no need for a computer or any specialized devices, based on the system.

The end-users and service technicians can benefit from the operational collective memory presented and permanently stored on programming pads. Recorded data includes operating hours, the total number of hours, gas starting hours, gas operating hours, oil starting hours, oil operating hours, the total number of starting hours, history of failure, history of lockouts, current pressure, or temperature, and capability. A database can be useful to technicians as a support resource and also as an outlet of practical knowledge for end-users.

The Technology behind Linkageless Burner

A linkageless burner is far more than the lack of mechanical linkages. Linkageless systems are capable of communicating over a bus system. It can provide burners the ability to engage with building automation systems, with one another, or by an internal network or the Internet.

End-users have the ability to handle and control the process of a heating or processing system from a remote location in real-time. This feature offers an opportunity for service enterprises to change face. Service companies are already using this technology to monitor and respond appropriately to heating systems or processing systems 24/7 from their premises if ever there is any major problem. This service approach can be really effective.

Usually, in a commercial heating system wherein boilers are not supervised, an end-user realizes that an issue occurs only because a building is already cold. In a cold climate, this condition can be dangerous and can happen during an empty building or offices such as on Saturdays and Sundays.

Final Verdict

The term “linkageless” indicates that the exclusion of control linkages is the only principle, there’s so much more to these technologies than their names imply. Those fail to fully comprehend the concept or are unaware of the capacities available to recognize linkageless systems as complex and expensive. That’s not the situation and that’s not how it goes. Certain burners installed with linkageless control systems only cost no more than the previous versions. Any burner can benefit from a linkageless system and attain a greater combustion efficiency in comparison to a typical version. Normally, the performance benefits compensate for any extra costs associated with a linkageless system depending on the performance, quality, and design of a burner.

Other than enhancing combustion efficiency, system efficiency gains can be achieved by better handling of the entire heating system or process system. Linkageless burners provide the means to optimize the performance of the system.

Over the last five decades, there have been very few innovations in the field of burner design. In an industry where improvements are typically uncommon and limited, this linkageless system represents a massive leap.

In a modern age wherein the fuel prices are at an unusual high, every burner should really be linkageless.