Efficient Plant March 2020 - 21

steam-trap maintenance

Is Your Steam
Leaking?
STEAM LEAKS ARE among the most wasteful and expensive issues found
in a plant. Leaking steam traps can increase operating expenses by as much as
33%. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington (openei.org), even the smallest steamtrap leak can cost as much as $8,000/yr. A dry-steam leak costs $15/1,000 lb.

+	

BY IMPLEMENTING AN INSPECTION PROGRAM
SIMILAR TO THAT OF COMPRESSED AIR,
YOUR PLANT CAN REALIZE A NUMBER OF
EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS:

	 reducing the number of traps blowing steam to 3%, compared with
50% without any program
	 improving system and plant performance
	 limiting carbon emissions and energy waste.

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THESE ARE THE PRIMARY WARNING SIGNS
OF A FAULTY STEAM SYSTEM:

	 abnormally warm boiler room
	 condensate receiver venting excessive steam
	 condensate water pump failing prematurely
	 water hammer
	 boiler operating pressure is difficult to maintain.

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THE THREE PRIMARY CAUSES
OF STEAM LEAKS, ACCORDING TO KELLY
PAFFEL OF SWAGELOK CO., SOLON, OH
(SWAGELOK.COM):

	 Threaded-pipe connections: Pipe threads can fail as they expand
and contract with steam and condensation. To prevent this, use
welded or tube-type connections.
	 Packing on standard-type valves: Standard packing on steamisolation valves is prone to failure without a thorough proactive
maintenance program. Ball and butterfly valves can better address
these sealing issues.
	 Carbonic acid: Carbonic acid can break down some of the most
vulnerable parts of a steam system. By using welded or tube
connection methods, systems can better resist corrosion. Stainless
steel will improve resistance of the condensate system.

Steam leaks are expensive. Follow these tips to understand and eliminate them and
use ultrasound technology as your condition-monitoring tool.

For more information about using ultrasound technology as a condition-monitoring
tool, contact UE Systems Inc., Elmsford, NY (uesystems.com). Use this URL
to download the company's eBook: Using Ultrasound to Enhance Energy
Efficiency: https://www.uesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/UE-SystemsEnergy-eBook-EN-US.pdf

MARCH 2020	

EP2003rmcuesystems.indd 21

+	

ULTRASOUND TECHNOLOGY WORKS BEST
WHEN IT'S APPLIED TO ON-LINE STEAM
SYSTEMS, AS IT CAN DETECT ISSUES AS THEY
OCCUR IN REAL TIME. THESE ARE CLEAR SIGNS
THAT A STEAM SYSTEM HAS BEEN NEGLECTED:

	 oversized and misapplied steam traps
	 wiredrawn control valves
	 low steam temperatures
	 low percentage of condensate return. EP

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

21

2/17/20 11:52 AM


http://www.openei.org http://www.SWAGELOK.COM http://www.uesystems.com https://www.uesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/UE-Systems-Energy-eBook-EN-US.pdf http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant March 2020

Efficient Plant March 2020 - 1
Efficient Plant March 2020 - Cover1
Efficient Plant March 2020 - Cover2
Efficient Plant March 2020 - 1
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