Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Knowledge Base for Steam System Components

steam system schematic showing area of steam utilization
Steam utilization schematic showing array of products (blue)
Spirax Sarco
Steam, ubiquitous source of industrial power and commercial heat, ranks as a substantial continuing expense item for any organization where it is utilized or produced. Designing, installing, and managing steam system operation effectively can generate immense cost savings over less rigorous approaches.

An effective method of good decision making involves tapping into the experience and expertise of those that have gone before, accomplished what you plan to attempt. For steam systems, Spirax Sarco is a premiere source of information, knowledge, and expertise. The company has been deeply involved in the production and utilization of steam for many years, designing and manufacturing components utilized throughout the entire process.
steam system schematic showing components utilized in production of steam
Steam production schematic showing array of products (blue)
Spirax Sarco
In the steam generation section of an operation, the company provides a extensive array of interrelated products.
  • Blowdown Heat Recovery Systems
  • Blowdown Vessel
  • Boiler Feedtank Systems
  • Boiler Level Controls and Alarms
  • Bottom Blowdown Valves and Systems
  • Condensate Contamination Detection
  • Electrically Actuated Two Port Control Valves
  • Pipeline Strainers
  • Sample Coolers
  • Safety Valves
  • Spirax Range of Flowmeters
  • Steam Trap Performance Monitoring
  • Tank Level Controls
  • TDS Control
  • Vacuum Breakers
Throughout the balance of the steam system, the list of components available from the company expands even more, illustrating Spirax Sarco's depth of knowledge about steam system components and how they function together to deliver efficient and safe steam system operation.

Reach out to experts with your steam system challenges, combining your facility and process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stainless Steel Globe and Gate Valves For Industrial Process Control

stainless steel gate valve globe valve for industrial process control
Stainless Steel Gate Valve
Gate and globe valves see common usage throughout fluid processing industries. The correct procedure for valve selection includes an evaluation of the process media, environment, and how the valve will need to perform.

Gate valves, unless specially adapted, are intended for applications requiring only fully open or closed service. Their slow operation is advantageous at preventing hammering in the piping system and a fully open gate valve presents little pressure drop.

Globe valves are well suited for shutoff and throttling operation, controlling fluid flow at points between fully open or closed. The "Z" pattern of their fluid path does add some pressure drop.

Selecting the right valve construction material is an important element of a successful installation. Aloyco, a Crane brand, recommends consideration of several factors.
  • Type of media
  • Media temperature range
  • Pressure range, including all possible conditions
  • Environmental conditions which may affect the valve
  • Extraordinary stresses to which the valve may be subjected
  • Compliance with safety standards and/or piping codes
Stainless steel valve construction will provide an additional measure of corrosion resistance and may be a selection that extends the useful life of a valve.

More detail is included in the document included below. Share your fluid control requirements and challenges with a specialist, combining your process experience and knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Regenerative Turbine Pumps

regenerative turbine pump for industrial use
Regenerative Turbine Pump
Roth Pump
Most of us are familiar with centrifugal pumps and their generally understandable operating design. A regenerative turbine pump is significantly different in the way in which liquid moves through the impeller section, enabling this pump type to prove advantageous in a number of industrial applications.

A centrifugal impeller basically traps some liquid at the inlet and rapidly slings through the discharge port. The liquid velocity is increased by the impeller and manifests as outlet pressure. The key distinction here is that the liquid enters and exits the impeller only one time. A regenerative turbine pump has an impeller with a comparatively larger number of vanes, also of a different shape. This shape imparts a circulatory movement of the liquid from the vanes to the casing, and back to the vanes. Each return to the vane section increases fluid velocity, which can be converted to increased pressure. As the impeller rotates, liquid enters, leaves, then re-enters the vane section many times. This process is called regeneration. The impact of this design is a pump that can deliver substantially greater pressure than a centrifugal pump with the same impeller diameter and rotational speed.

A regenerative turbine pump is capable of pumping fluids with up to forty percent entrained gases without damage from cavitation or any performance loss. Fluid conditions with even low levels of entrained gases would likely produce substantial loss of performance in a centrifugal pump, evidenced as fluctuating discharge pressure and excessive wear and vibration. Where cavitation is a concern, the regenerative turbine pump holds the advantage over centrifugal. Applications with low flow and high head requirements will also be better serviced by a regenerative turbine pump.

There is more to be learned. Some additional detail and explanation are provided in the document included below. Effective solutions are developed through a combining of your process knowledge and the application expertise of a product specialist. Reach out and share your fluid transfer challenges for the best solution.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Multivariable Flow Measurement For Liquids, Gases, and Steam

Insertion flow meter for steam, liquids, or gases
RIM 20 Rotor Insertion Flowmeter
Courtesy Spirax Sarco
Combining multiple measurement capabilities into a single instrument is generally advantageous over installing separate devices to cover an array of parameters. A simple reduction in fittings and connection complexity can bring enough benefit to justify a selection of an instrument with expanded functionality.

Spirax Sarco provides a multivariable rotor insertion flowmeter, available in four configurations to match a broad range of flow measurement needs. All are based on a turbine rotor which is inserted in the fluid flow path. The instrument detects passage of the turbine blades by a sensor, using the measured frequency to determine flow velocity. Further processing with other measurements can provide volumetric and mass flow.

One version of the instrument delivers only volumetric flow rate. A second variant adds a temperature sensor and is capable of providing a temperature compensated mass flow reading. This model is often applied for measuring saturated steam.

A fuller featured version incorporates a pressure sensor along with the temperature sensor and can function as a flow computer, providing instantaneous readings of mass flow rate for gases, liquids, or steam. Several output signals can be configured to provide a selection of mass flow rate, volumetric flow rate, pressure, temperature, or density.

There is also a product version specifically intended for energy monitoring in applications involving steam, chilled water, or hot water. This multivariable version provides energy usage readings in selectable units, as well as supply and return temperatures, delta T, mass total and energy total.

The unique insertion design measures liquids, or gases, including steam, and can be installed without line shutdown. The unit is suitable for applications on line sizes from 2" to 80". More detail is found on the data sheet included below. Contact an instrumentation specialist and share your flow measurement requirements and challenges. The combination of your process knowledge and their product application expertise will produce effective solutions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Replacing Heat Exchanger Tube Bundles

heat exchangers outdoors at oil refinery
Heat exchangers of many sizes are used throughout industry
Heat, a well recognized energy component of countless industrial processes. Heat exchangers are employed to move or transfer heat between two media, and are available in a wide variety of designs and configurations. They are manufactured from materials and in forms to accommodate the specific performance requirements of each process, machine, or operation.

The shell and tube heat exchanger is one common type of this heat transfer device that can be found in many commercial buildings and industrial plants. The unit is comprised of a vessel, or shell, with an array of tubes contained within. One fluid will flood the shell, encompassing the tubes through which a second fluid passes. The contact between the fluid within the shell and the outer surface of the tubes facilitates the transfer of heat energy between the two media. Applications for shell and tube units typically involve two liquids or one liquid and steam. They are not suitable for applications involving air streams.

Eventually, all heat exchangers need either major overhaul or replacement. Tubes tend to deteriorate faster than the shell, so replacement of the tube bundle can breathe extra life into a heat exchanger. Original documentation provided with the unit, plus a physical inspection, should provide all the information needed to have a new tube bundle manufactured. Numerous sources are available for replacement tube bundles, with the original manufacturer being only one potential source.
The replacing of a heat exchanger is also a good time to examine the performance delivered by the existing unit. Was it a limiting factor in the operation of the process? If so, perhaps this may be an opportunity to build in some headroom. Whatever the case, recognize that bringing in a product specialist with experience and knowledge will provide the beneficial leverage you need to get the job done right and finished on time.

Monday, September 12, 2016

New Anti-microbial Cooling Tower From Delta Cooling Towers

Delta Cooling Towers, globally recognized leader in the manufacture of corrosion resistant cooling towers, has added a new dimension to their product line. Cooling towers for industrial and commercial applications are now available with construction features and materials that significantly inhibit the growth of microorganisms in the tower fill and shell.

Microbial growth has long been a concern of cooling tower operators. The environment within a tower, continuously wet and warm, provides ample opportunity for microbial propagation. The new anti-microbial cooling towers make use of HDPE resin that is fully compounded (not just on surface) with an anti-microbial agent to provide the corrosion protection for which Delta is known, along with resistance to biofilm growth. The fill in the tower also provides the same level of resistance to microorganism growth. The corrosion resistant materials used in the construction of Delta towers allows the use of more aggressive chemical treatment than would be recommended with metal cooling towers.

The new Delta Cooling Towers have some distinct advantages for health and safety, as well as extended operating lifetime. Reach out to a product application specialist. Get all the details on the new anti-microbial cooling towers and share your HVAC and industrial cooling challenges to get solutions.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Severe Service Valves - Application Targeted

severe service flanged plug valve lined Fluoroseal
Sever Service Plug Valve
Industrial process control applications can be associated with some very stringent and challenging performance requirements for the physical equipment and components that are part of the process chain. In fluid based operations, the control and shutoff valves can be a significant impact point of extreme fluid conditions, requiring careful design and selection consideration to assure proper performance and safety levels are predictably maintained.

Industrial valves that are intended for application at the extremes are generally referred to as severe service valves. While there are plenty of published and accepted standards for industrial valves, one does not exist to precisely define a severe service valve. There is, however, some movement toward the development of severe service standards in some industry segments.

So, how do you know when to focus valve selection activities on severe service valves, as opposed to general purpose valves? There are a number of basic criteria that might point you in that direction:
  • Very extreme media or environmental temperature
  • High pressure drop operation that may cause cavitation
  • Rapid and extreme changes to inlet pressure
  • Certain types or amounts of solids contained in the fluid
  • High number of mechanical operations
  • Thermal cycling
Certainly, any of these criteria might be found in an application serviceable by a general purpose valve, but their presence should be an indicator that a closer assessment of the fluid conditions and commensurate valve requirements is in order. The key element for a process stakeholder is to recognize when conditions are in evidence that might overrun the capabilities of a general purpose valve, leading to premature failure in control performance or catastrophic failure that produces an unsafe condition. Once the possibility of a severe service condition is identified, a careful analysis of the possible operating conditions will reveal the performance requirements for the valve.

There are numerous manufacturers of severe service valves, each seeming to concentrate on a particular niche. Fluoroseal, a globally recognized manufacturer of lined valves for corrosive applications, has their own entry in the severe service arena that is based upon one of their popular general purpose valves. The focus for the FE Series valve design appears to be thermal cycling, excessive number of mechanical operations, and fugitive emissions.

I have included a technical bulletin that describes and nicely illustrates (with a cutaway view) the various features incorporated in the valve design.

You can always get more information, or discuss your special requirements, with a product application specialist. They have access to technical resources that can help with selecting the right valve configuration to meet your severe service applications.