Boiler Horsepower

Determine boiler horsepower from heat transfer area

Boiler horsepower is used rating a boiler's capacity to deliver steam to a steam engine.

The amount of energy needed to produce 34.5 pounds (15.65 kg) of steam, per hour, at a pressure and temperature of 0 psig (0 bar) and 212oF (100oC), with feed water at 0 psig and 212oF. One boiler horsepower is about 33,475 btu per hour (about 9,811 watts, 8436 kcal/hr).

Boiler horsepower can be determined from the 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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