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Design considerations for industrial steam systems

The design details of the use of industrial steam are embodied in the generation of steam in the boiler, the transmission of steam in the pipeline, the heat exchange and control of steam, the discharge of condensed water and the recovery of waste heat and other aspects of the requirements.

Industrial steam design details require steam system design, construction, maintenance, maintenance, optimization and other processes are reasonable and legal. Watt Energy’s experience over the past 40 years shows that most customers have great growth potential and opportunities. A good steam system can help steam users reduce energy waste by 5-50%, which has good economic and social significance.

The steam shall have sufficient steam flow before reaching the steam heat exchange equipment to meet the steam pressure and temperature required for heat exchange; The steam should be as pure as possible and should not contain air and non-condensable gases, welding slag, pipe impurities; The appropriate heat transfer steam should be dry saturated steam, wet steam containing condensed water is often not high quality steam.  The condensate carried by steam will reduce the heat content (enthalpy of evaporation) of the steam, and the water droplets in the condensate will increase the thickness of the water film on the surface of the heat exchanger, resulting in a large thermal resistance, thus reducing the output of the heat exchanger. Efficient soda separator can effectively increase the steam dryness to 99%.

In order to reduce the effect of condensed water on the steam, the steam pipe should use eccentric diameter to keep the bottom edge straight and avoid water accumulation. And the steam filter should be installed on the side, so that the filter screen level, to avoid filter water. The steam branch pipe shall draw steam from above the main pipe to obtain the driest steam and to prevent condensation from the steam main pipe and pipe impurities from entering the branch pipe. Descending pipe should be set drain, otherwise condensate will accumulate in front of the closed valve, when the valve is opened again, the steam will bring water and even produce water hammer. When it is necessary to set up bypass, bypass should be above the main pipe to avoid bypass water. The steam pipe insulation, special attention to avoid the insulation layer is immersed in water, steam pipe heat dissipation to wet insulation material heat loss will be 50 times heat dissipation to the air. Check the steam system for blind pipes to reduce steam heat loss.

Vent valve, drain and drain shall be provided at the end of steam main pipe. Gas accumulation can prolong start-time and reduce equipment efficiency and process performance.

The condensate pipe from the heat exchanger to the steam drain pipe should be as short as possible, and the pipe in front of the trap should be avoided steering and lifting as far as possible. When the drain line is longer, it fills with steam to prevent condensate water from reaching the trap. When the condensate water is lifted, the condensate drain pipe after the drainage is wide should be connected to the upper part of the recovery main pipe rather than the bottom, so as to avoid the phenomenon of water hammer caused by the lifting pipe being filled with condensate water. In addition to safety valves, steam system valves shall be insulated to reduce heat loss. Drainage holes should be set at the low point of the safety valve outlet to avoid water corrosion of the safety valve leading to steam leakage.

Steam system design needs to achieve six goals: safety, quality, efficiency, life extension, energy saving, emission reduction.

A well-designed steam system can prolong the life of the equipment. Steam system problems also affect the reliability and life of the steam equipment. A large number of radiators in a coal mine for several consecutive heating seasons were frozen and cracked, the built-in copper pipe of a large imported drying and testing equipment of a famous food enterprise frequently broke, the heat exchanger of a large domestic edible oil processing enterprise leaked oil for a long time, and so on.  After field investigation, it was found that all the problems were caused by the steam system. Extending equipment life is considered the fourth goal of Watt Energy’s steam system optimization for customers.

A well-designed steam system can save energy. An important goal of steam system design is to improve the efficiency of steam system, reduce steam consumption and reduce the steam cost per unit product. The steam energy saving potential of China’s industrial enterprises is huge. Some data show that the average steam energy saving space in China is as high as 45% of the total energy of the steam system.

Well-designed steam systems can reduce steam waste and consumption, can reduce the need for one-time petrochemical energy, Hangzhou Watt Energy Saving Engineering Co., Ltd. ‘s calculation shows that each ton of reduced steam consumption, can reduce about 3 tons of carbon oxide emissions. The optimization of steam system can not only save energy and reduce consumption, but also reduce C02 emissions and NOx and SOx pollution to the air, so as to achieve the effect of environmental protection. Reducing emissions is the sixth goal of steam system optimization.

A well-designed steam system needs to consider the steam system knowledge, system transformation ideas, methods and experience, comprehensive and mature technology, but also need high-quality equipment, more clear and specific goals and the best efforts to achieve the goals. Steam system design and improvement is a continuous process, a good steam system can not be separated from the daily maintenance management, continuous maintenance service can turn the customer’s steam system management goals into real economic results.

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