(Reference: Power Engineering Third Class Edition 2.5; Part A2; Chapter 1: Legislation and Codes for Power Engineers)
James R. Stringer
CSA: Canadian Standards Association. A private sector organization that develops standards for public, businesses, and governments.
ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Its main objectives are to develop/disseminate technical information, promote high standards in design and education, encourage development (personal and professional), have high ethical standards, and provide creative solutions to technical problems. ASME DOES NOT certify, rate, or endorse nor does it provide consultation on problems or application of codes.
NBBI: National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. Before the NBBI, there were 1299 deaths caused by 1600 boiler explosions in the United States between the years 1898 to 1903. Many new regulations and codes would be developed but there was no uniformity between States; for instance, a boiler made in one state may be allowed but would be rejected in another State. The NBBI was created to promote uniformity in who was appointed inspectors in different jurisdictions. All Canadian provinces require boilers and pressure vessels to be inspected by a qualified NBBI inspector and that the boilers/vessels are stamped with the appropriate National Board number (in Alberta, this would include the A-Number). After this inspection, the boiler/vessel can be accepted anywhere in North America. For a boiler to be accepted, it must be constructed with an acceptable code, manufacturer has a quality assurance program, and a third party has inspected it.
Canadian Registration Number (CRN): This number tells what number a design has been given, followed by the numbers representing different jurisdictions it has been registered in (BC=1, Nova Scotia=8, Yukon=Y).
For example, from the Certificate of Inspection below, the CRN is M2114.52. This means the design M2114 was first registered in Ontario (5) and later Alberta (2).
ABSA: Alberta Boilers Safety Association. ABSA is one of ten technical councils within the Safety Codes Council in Alberta and administers the legislation for boilers, pressure vessels, and pressure piping systems within the province.
Safety Codes Act: the intent of this act is the “preservation of life and property by ensuring the best in design, construction, installation, inspection, operation, repairs, alteration, and supervision of boilers, pressure vessels, and pressure piping systems”.
Below is a link to ABSA’s Safety Codes Act in a flow chart that provides links to the acts along with notes. For the uninitiated, this may be a helpful place to start if you are curious.
CSA B51: Boiler, Pressure Vessel, and Pressure Piping Code. Developed from a committee of provincial/territorial departments, manufacturers, and insurance companies.
CSA B52: Mechanical Refrigeration Code. Produced by the Technical Committee on Mechanical Refrigeration composed from provincial/territorial departments, professional engineer associations, and HVACR institutes.
Power Engineers Hierarchy: all the following require the holder to have a certificate of competency which is dependent on the kilowatt rating.
Chief Power Engineer: Responsible for supervising all power engineers and ensuring the safe and efficient operations of a plant they are in charge of.
Shift Engineer: In charge of a shift at a power plant, under the supervision of the Chief.
Assistant Shift Engineer: Assists the Shift Engineer in supervising the operation of a power plant.
Assistant Engineer: Able to take charge of a section of a power plant under the supervision of the Shift Engineer.
Note: for Heating Plants, a 5th Class is required for a plant over 750 kW but under 3000 kW. A 4th Class is required for any plant over 3000 kW.
A common question Epic receives when determining if the boiler checks must be completed is “what is the kilowattage of my building/plant?”
Again looking at the Certificate of Inspection below, we want to look at the heating surface, in this case 54.00 metres squared. Multiply this number by 10 and we will get 540 kW. This kW is for just this one boiler; if there are multiple boilers connected through a common header or bypass, the kW of each boiler must be added together. In the case for this property, there are 7 boilers of similar kW so the total rating of this building’s heating system would be well over 3000 kW!