Boiler Horsepower

Heat transfer area and boiler horsepower

Boiler horsepower is used to rate boiler capacities to deliver steam to steam engines.

One boiler horsepower is the amount of energy required to produce 34.5 pounds (15.65 kg) of steam per hour at pressure and temperature 0 psig (0 bar) and 212oF (100oC) - with feed water at pressure 0 psig and temperature 212oF.

One boiler horsepower is about 33475 btu per hour (about 9811 watts, 8436 kcal/hr).

Boiler horsepower can be calculated from the boiler heat transfer area

PBoHP = A / 17         (1)


PBoHP = boiler horsepower

A = heat transfer area (ft2)

PBoHP tends to be used only in the USA, Australia, and New Zealand. Be aware that the a boiler horsepower is not the commonly accepted 550 ft lbf/s and the generally accepted conversion factor of 746 Watts = 1 horsepower does not apply.

Boiler Conversion Ratios

from multiply to
sq.ft. EDR steam 240 Btu per hr.
sq. ft. EDR water 160 Btu per hr.
Boiler hp 33.5 MBtu per hr.
Boiler hp 140 sq.ft. EDR steam
Boiler hp  223 sq.ft. EDR steam
Boiler hp. 34.5 lb. per hr. steam
lb. per hr. steam 970 Btu per hr.
to divide by above from

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