Showing posts with label steam management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label steam management. Show all posts

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sterling Condensate Return and Steam Control Equipment

Sterling, under the Sterlco brand, manufactures a range of Steam control products for commercial and industrial use. Steam traps, condensate return pumps, boiler feed pumps, and self regulating temperature control valves are all part of the product offering. The video included with this posting provides a short overview of the product extent of the Sterlco line.

Share your steam system challenges with product application specialists. Combine your own facilities and process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop the  most effective solutions.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Operation of Bimetallic Steam Traps

Bimetallic steam traps contain a valve that is opened and closed by the differential expansion of metallic disks.

Bimetallic steam traps are used in many industrial and commercial applications in the chemical processing, energy production, food processing, HVAC, pulp and paper, mining, petro-chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

Here is a video that illustrates how a bimetallic steam trap works. It shows the thermostatic principal involved and how two bimetallic plates interact and provide physical movement to open and close a valve seat to discharge condensate.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Water Hammer in Steam Systems - Demo

According to Wikipedia, water hammer is defined as "a pressure surge or wave caused when a fluid (usually a liquid but sometimes also a gas) in motion is forced to stop or change direction suddenly (momentum change). A water hammer commonly occurs when a valve closes suddenly at an end of a pipeline system, and a pressure wave propagates in the pipe. It is also called hydraulic shock."

When improperly drained of condensate in a high pressure steam main fills with condensate and completely surrounds the steam, an implosion takes place causing devastating water hammer.

Draining condensate and keeping it away from the steam by using proper steam trapping equipment will prevent this from happening.

The following video, courtesy of Spirax Sarco USA, dramatically demonstrates the principle behind water hammer and its potentially devastating effects.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Importance of Auditing and Maintaining Your Steam System

Steam Trap
A blocked or leaky steam trap increases production times, reduce performance and wastes energy. By quickly identifying bad steam traps, you can save energy, optimize your process and improve safety. A well audited steam system reduces steam production costs, maintenance costs, repair costs, and possible environmental impact costs.

Saving money has always been a good thing and now saving energy is more important than ever. Going "Green" and staying "Green" is the mantra of todays eco-responsible organization. Improving the efficiency of your steam production and management system is an easy place to find big savings. Steam trap monitoring is a basic way to reduce waste, costs and environmental liability. It needs to be done.

Normal wear takes its toll and will cause steam traps to fail in either an open or closed configuration. Failed-closed traps create poor quality steam and effects steam efficiency, productivity, reliability and safety. Failed-open traps release live steam to atmosphere that wastes energy and money. Failed-open traps are very costly.

Statistics show 3 and 10 percent of steam traps fail each year, resulting in a 10 to 33 year life cycle. For a large facility with 10,000 steam traps, 300 to 1,000 traps may fail every year.

Below are tables that point out, in real terms, how much poor performing traps cost an organization.

Click for larger view (table courtesy of Spirax Sarco)
Click for larger view (table courtesy of Spirax Sarco)
As you can see from the data in the tables, it's very important to regularly audit your steam system and replace faulty or leaky steam traps. The short term costs of auditing and repairing will be repaid many times over in lower fuel costs, maintenance outages and environmental liability. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pressure Reducing Valves for Steam Opimization

pressure reducing valve
Pressure Reducing
Valve (PRV)
A well designed steam system should produce clean, dry steam ready for distribution at high pressure through the steam distribution network. This maximizes the potential to generate and supply quality saturated steam at the lowest total cost.

Most applications require a pressure reduction at the point of use.

Significant benefits include:

1) A reduction in the cost of capital equipment; 2) Plant costs decreases by reducing flash steam; 3) Since saturated steam pressure is directly related to temperature, controlling pressure will automatically control temperature thus avoiding the need for supplemental temperature controls; and 4) The ability to supply optimized steam pressure for any individual application.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Explaining Heat Exchanger Stall

Spirax APT
Spirax Sarco APT
The most common process heating, heat exchanger hookup uses a temperature control valve on the steam line to the heat exchanger, and a steam trap on the condensate line from the heat exchanger.

The shell side is this steam space. A control sensor signal at the tube side outlet is used to throttle the steam control valve to maintain set point temperature. Higher pressure in the steam space than in the condensate recovery line produces effective condensate removal and lift to the return system.

Under a steady high load, differential pressure removes the condensate from the heat exchanger. Under reduced heating load, the control valve throttles down, reducing the steam pressure inside the heat exchanger. This also reduces the differential pressure across the steam trap making the trap unable to remove the condensate. This happens in all heat exchangers, whether properly sized or oversized.

This causes condensate to flood the steam space, known as heat exchanger stall. In other words, the pressure in the heat exchanger is equal to, or less than, the total back-pressure imposed on the steam trap, sometimes even attaining vacuum.

Some operators address vacuum in the steam space by installing a vacuum breaker on the shell. This practice introduces atmospheric gases that dissolve readily into the cooler condensate. These dissolved gases form corrosives that attack wetted surfaces, while doing nothing to eliminate the stall condition.

The simplest way to cure stall is to install a steam-powered automatic pump trap, such as a Spirax Sarco APT series. Pump trap operation is based on condensate level alone, with live steam pressure removing condensate under all load conditions, even vacuum.

By not using a vacuum breaker, you can reduce condensate acidity and large temperature swings in the heat exchange equipment. Heat transfer and control improve. Corrosion, water hammer, tube failure, excessive treatment chemical dosing, and high maintenance costs become distant memories.

A survey of your heat exchanger and condensate return system operating and maintenance data can uncover the below-par performance that indicates stall. If present an automatic pump trap is an easy solution that quickly returns dividends in process quality, energy savings, and reduced maintenance costs.

For more information on how to prevent heat exchanger stall, contact Mountain States Engineering and Controls at 303-232-4100 or visit