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Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Sample Transcript

Mechanical steam traps rely on the density difference between steam and condensate to operate. One common mechanical trap is called an F&T or float-and-thermostatic trap. In this trap, the inlet is near the top of the body and the outlet is near the bottom. A float on a hinge moves a valve plug which controls the flow of condensate through an orifice in the outlet. The float is positioned such that when the level of the condensate in the body is slightly above the outlet orifice, the valve is closed. As more condensate enters the body, the float rises, pulls the valve plug away, and opens the orifice. Any steam entering the body must force condensate out before it can escape. But as the condensate level falls the orifice closes and the steam is contained.

Condensate Recovery and Steam Traps

Training Time: 39 minutes

Whenever steam condenses in a process, it creates hot liquid condensate. It is the role of steam traps to remove condensate from steam lines and process equipment with a minimum loss of live steam. The condensate has economic value, so it is typically collected and reused. This module discusses the collection and re-use of condensate in a steam generation system. Three major classifications of steam traps are discussed, including their principles of operation, and their strengths and weaknesses.

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Condensate collection is part of a closed loop steam generation system.

Condensate collection is part of a closed loop steam generation system.

Steam traps can be monitored by audio methods or by looking at inlet and outlet temperatures.

Steam traps can be monitored by audio methods or by looking at inlet and outlet temperatures.

Bimetallic elements in a thermostatic trap open to allow air and condensate through, but close as steam starts to pass through.

Bimetallic elements in a thermostatic trap open to allow air and condensate through, but close as steam starts to pass through.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the difference between raw water, steam, and condensate
  • Describe the benefits of recycling condensate
  • Describe the treatment of collected condensate
  • Describe the purpose of a steam trap
  • Identify the benefits of steam traps
  • Identify the three classes of steam traps
  • List some of the considerations in selecting a steam trap
  • Describe the need to monitor steam trap operation
  • Describe safety concerns associated with steam traps
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Condensate Recovery and Steam Traps FAQs

When water is boiled, where does the heat energy go?
Energy which is put into boiling water creates steam, and the steam contains that energy.

Why is condensate collected in steam generation processes?
Steam condensate comes from water that has been treated prior to being sent to the boiler. Condensate is also hot, so reusing condensate as boiler feedwater saves both energy and treatment costs.

What are the three general classifications of steams traps?
Steam traps can be classified by the principle on which they operate. The three general classifications are mechanical, thermostatic and thermodynamic.

Why is it important to monitor steam traps?
A failed steam trap is not immediately obvious, but it will waste steam, and therefore money.

What are some considerations that need to be taken into account when selecting a steam trap?
Some considerations to consider when selecting a trap include, what is the expected condensate flow, what is the expected differential pressure across the trap, how much air venting is required, and how much dirt will the trap be exposed to.

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