The twentieth century saw the beginning of the decline in the wider use of process steam in the United Kingdom; and with that, the decline of knowledge across the pipeline industry. British steam specialists are few and far between in the UK these days and the basic understanding of process steam systems required by the pipeline industry is lacking. Here at Besseges (Valves, Tubes & Fittings) Ltd and valvestubesfittings.com our knowledge of process steam systems is being sort by businesses the length and breadth of the UK. Only in the last few weeks we were contacted by a business in Aberdeen for assistance they could not find amongst their local suppliers. Through our office or online business, we offer assistance to solve issues on process steam systems; for more information on all we can do for your business please contact our sales team or click read more to continue reading this Blog.
British Steam Specialists Selecting the Correct Steam Trap
When selecting steam traps for your system please be sure to look at steam flow based on either the specified equipment; or maximum flow rates available from the inlet pipework. Take into consideration start up loads and never size a steam trap for the exact flow rates, be sure to allow for an extra 20%. Once the flow rate has been taken into consideration size for the correct differential pressure and once this has been ascertained; select the next size up. For example, if the differential pressure is 2 bar, in the case of TLV Free Float Steam Traps select a 5 bar orifice to suit your flow rate. Selecting the 2 bar orifice will lead to excessive orifice wear and increased maintenance costs.
Other circumstances to consider when selecting the correct steam trap are confidence in the manufacturers product and of course their distributor; if your supplier isn’t one of the UK’s leading British steam specialists the person advising you could just be reading a data sheet. Or worse still they will just contact the technical team of another business who isn’t aware of the particulars of your steam system. When dealing with our business our team will always ask questions to fill in the gaps in the information required; and under some circumstances can arrange a site visit to look at the particular issue or requirement. Other aspects of steam trap selection are governed by the type of heat exchanger involved or the best solution to line drain requirements. Whatever your requirement, dealing with TLV’s only authorised distributor in the North of England is always a good starting point, please contact us.
British Steam Specialists and Steam Distribution
Pressure reducing valve selection and placement within a process steam system are often the key to efficient steam flow. Many businesses produce steam at around 7 to 10 bar then immediately install a pressure reducing valve to distribute at lower pressures. Efficient steam distribution on wet steam systems is achieved at the steam boilers design pressure; reducing the pressure prior to distribution increases condense production as heat transfer efficiency increases at lower pressures. The key to distributing efficient steam is to feed the steam main at higher pressures; then reduce at source. The initial costs of this may seem daunting but over extended periods the heat exchanger will receive maximum available steam and use it efficiently. The following figures represent steam flow through a 50mm nominal bore tube schedule 40 at different pressures at a steam velocity of 30m/s
- 10 bar 1319Kg/Hr
- 9 bar 1204Kg/Hr
- 7 bar 974Kg/Hr
- 5 bar 742Kg/Hr
If you have a 1136Kg/Hr (2500lb/Hr) steam boiler as an example with a design pressure of 10 bar, the likelihood is it will have a 40mm or 50mm crown valve. Common sense suggests that a 50mm nominal bore steam line is installed to feed your site; something we see on a regular basis is this scenario, the boiler is either running on reduced pressure or a pressure reducing valve is installed. If you consider the figures shown on steam flow the minimum running pressure should be 9 bar. Running the system at 5 to 7 bar means that the boiler capacity cannot be distributed around your steam main. In addition, the lower pressure steam produces higher values of condense even on an insulated system. For process efficiency, steam pressure should be reduced at source and in 2016 after discussions with a customer in Manchester they increased their distribution main pressure; which resulted in more efficient process outcomes across the site. Equipment that had previously been working on lower capacity than required became more efficient and production outcomes were improved.
Many production site owners believe that running their steam boiler at lower pressures will in fact save them money; but this would only be true if they had excess capacity within their steam systems. Others look at running loads of equipment and do not take into consideration start up loads; often being unaware of the increasing the time it takes for a heat exchanger to reach capacity. Steam is not as complicated as some believe, most of what you need to know and understand is just common sense. Besseges (Valves, Tubes & Fittings) Ltd are one of the North of England’s leading British steam specialists and our philosophy is to share that knowledge with our customers and their Engineers. When we work with manufacturers who use process steam we don’t just present a solution, we share the train of thought that brought us to the conclusion. In doing this we have improved process steam outcomes all over our region and will continue to do this for our existing and future customer base. If you would like us to become your British steam Specialists, please contact us today; we look forward to hearing from you.
British Steam Specialists Conclusion
There are many aspects of process steam we have not covered in this Blog such as condense recovery, line drains, control valves, separators and much more. We have written other Blogs on this site on these aspects of process steam distribution. Please take the time to explore our Blogs on these and other pipeline related subjects. The certainty our business offers to its customer base is the fact we have an efficient and knowledgeable sales team. Their product knowledge has been accumulated over decades of working with a wide array of industries and contractors, always learning and sharing knowledge. Although we are only a supplier of pipeline, valves and fittings, what we already know and understand is widely appreciated by the businesses that work with us; so whether you deal with us directly through our office in Ashton under Lyne or via valvestubesfittings.com in the wider world we always offer excellence as pipeline supplier and one of the leading British steam specialists.