Showing posts with label condensate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label condensate. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

What are In-line Drain Separators?

In-line (drain) separators
In-line (drain) separator.
(Armstrong)
Condensate in steam and air piping reduces thermal efficiency, causes water hammer, corrodes equipment such as valves and pipes, and causes other problems.

In-line (drain) separators separate condensate efficiently by using the centrifugal force of steam or air created by introducing it into a specifically shaped path. Because of the simple structure of the drain separators, pressure loss is minimized, enabling clean, dry steam or air to be fed to equipment.

When steam or air flow enters the drain separator, centrifugal force is generated in the fluid because of the device’s internal structural design. The fluid drains along the wall because of the difference in specific gravity with steam or air, eventually striking the baffle. The baffle guides the fluid to the drain outlet and to the trap, which drains it. As a result, small dirt particles and condensate are separated and removed from the system through the bottom drain.

Features:
  • Cyclone structure maximizes liquid separation efficiency
  • Pressure loss is extremely low
  • No moving parts means no breakdowns

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Better Alternative to Magmeter for Unpolished Condensate Flow Measurement

Veris Accelabar
Veris Accelabar 
A large University was using magnetic flowmeters (Magmeters) to measure the flow of boiler feed water downstream of a condensate polisher. There were occasional system upsets that required the condensate polisher to be bypassed. When this happened, large amounts of debris would be released downstream and pass directly through the Magmeter, causing a build-up of foreign material on the internal sensing surfaces.

A magnetic flowmeter uses an electric current applied to a coil which produces a magnetic field. When conductive liquid flows through the magnetic field, a small voltage, proportional to the liquid velocity, is induced. As long as the interior surfaces of the Magmeter are clean and unobstructed, the meter accurately measures flow. If they get dirty or coated, all bets are off.

It was in the above mentioned upset situations where the University maintenance people were having problems. When upsets occurred, and the condensate polisher had to be by-passed, it meant the Magmeter would also have to be serviced because accuracy could no longer be guaranteed. Servicing the Magmeter was slow and costly. It meant shutting down the line, draining the pipe, removing the flowmeter, cleaning, and then putting it all back together.

Armstrong International’s Veris Group was called in for a consult. After review,  the Veris Group recommended installing an Accelabar® flow meter to offer an alternative solution that could provide reliable flow measurement regardless of an upset condition like unpolished condensate. The Accelabar provided a flow range of 22.5:1 turndown in flow, in a limited straight run scenario. In the past, two transmitters were required to provide the best accuracy across the entire range of the Accelabar. Veris was able to use the Foxboro IDP 10S with its FoxCal™ technology in order to have a combined percent of rate accuracy solution.

The new transmitter installation has 11 separate calibrations loaded into the device. As the differential pressure from the primary element is measured, the transmitter chooses the correct calibration curve. Veris’ solution delivered performance that was previously unattainable with a single differential pressure transmitter.

The Accelabar and Foxboro combined to be best solution, and the Accelabar flow meter is now the University's standard for the boiler feed water measurements.

For more information, contact:

Mead O'Brien, Inc.
10800 Midwest Industrial Blvd
St Louis,  MO 63132
314-423-5161
314-423-5707
www.meadobrien.com

Friday, January 8, 2016

Steam System Condensate - Save Big by Managing its Proper Return

Recover condensate
Recover/return steam condensate
An often overlooked place to find savings in the operation of a manufacturing plant is the steam condensate return system. Returning condensate to the boiler feedwater system saves energy by returning pre-heated water, thus requiring less energy to maintain the feed water temperature. Furthermore, condensate is pre-treated, eliminating the need for additional expensive treatment.

Steam use in modern plants is everywhere. The condensate derived from its use is an asset that needs to be recycled. Older steam systems may have poor condensate return piping, or none at all. For these situations, creating or extending return lines should be considered. Steam traps in older systems are also suspect. Older traps are not as efficient or reliable as newer designs.

According to Armstrong International’s Senior Utility Systems Engineer Novena Iordanova, steam traps are very important in the condensate return/feedwater cycle. She believes the first purpose of a steam system is to deliver steam to a users defined area of need, and second, to return the resulting condensate back to the boiler. Unfortunately, in many cases the second goal is overlooked.

In older plants, a complete steam system evaluation, and many times an overhaul, is required. Professionals should be called in as plant maintenance staff typically doesn’t have the expertise required. The reasons for steam system degradation are common in the life cycle of plant operation. Over time, plant upgrades, new lines, expansion, and new equipment can have a significant detrimental effect on condensate return systems. The focus usually goes to the main headers and distribution, but condensate return doesn’t receive the same attention. The result can be a steam system that is no longer efficient - meaning high back pressures, water hammer, broken or freezing pipes, and leaks. At that point, the plant needs professional help for a complete system review.

steam trap
Steam trap
(courtesy of Armstrong)
The most important player in condensate recovery is the steam trap. Steam traps play the critical role of separating steam and condensate at the moment its formed. Traps discharge the condensate downstream to the boiler for reuse. Proper sizing, installation, and maintenance from the start will save huge amounts of money in terms of energy savings and maintenance time.

Frequent and regular inspections of steam traps are essential, but in reality they are many times postponed or rescheduled. Steam trap inspection is tough work. Traps are usually located in hard to see, hot, and tight areas. Over time, the difficulty (combined with the perceived low priority) degenerates to spotty inspection routines, higher trap fail rates and higher steam costs.

The good news is that steam trap monitoring systems now exist that can monitor the performance of steam traps and alert maintenance when things start to deteriorate. Steam trap monitoring systems report conditions that point to filature, and also alarm when things break down. Accordingly, maintenance is in a position to take preventive action, or make swift repairs. Any plant with a considerable number of stream traps should strongly consider deploying a steam trap monitoring system.

Steam trap monitoring systems monitor the thermal and acoustic characteristic of the trap and report any significant changes. Today many monitoring systems are wireless, and many operate on common plant communication systems such as WirelessHART, a communication protocol gaining worldwide acceptance.

Its important to mention here though, the on the most common mistake plant personnel make when it comes to their system is also one of  the most obvious - insulation. The use of high quality, well maintained insulation, installed to allow access to steam components is critical. The energy savings alone from well insulated pipes and traps is argument enough for making the initial time and dollar investment for proper insulating.

If you’re a plant manager and are looking for significant measurable and meaningful ways to lower energy costs, you must consider a well planned and well executed steam trap management program.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Suggestions for An Efficient Industrial Steam System


(image courtesy of OSHA.gov)
Here is a video, courtesy of Armstrong International, which provides a broad overview, and suggestions for proper use, of the key components of a well designed steam system.  Covered in this video are:
  • 4 basic components of a steam system
  • Water-side care
  • Steam mains
  • Drip legs and drip traps
  • Branch piping, or runouts
  • Non-condensible gases
  • Proper selection of trap type and size
  • Thermostatic and thermodynamic traps
  • Thermostatic air vents
  • Vacuum breakers
  • Condensate management
  • Heat exchangers
  • Return lines

For more information on any steam or hot water system, contact:

Mead O'Brien
(800) 892-2769
www.meadobrien.com