Steam Trap Testing

 

Steam traps have a hugely important role to play in maintaining the good health and operating efficiency of a steam system. A malfunctioning steam trap can be extremely costly in terms of product quality, safety and energy loss.

 

According to the US Department of Energy [Energy Tips, Steam Tip Sheet No.1]:

“In steam systems that have not been maintained in 3 to 5 years, between 15% to 30% of the installed steam traps may have failed – thus allowing live steam to escape into the condensate return system.”

 

Effective steam trap management can avoid these issues and reduce fuel consumption and costs. Determining if a steam trap is operating properly is a primary concern in the energy management effort.

 

Capstone Energy Management offer a comprehensive Steam Trap Testing service. Our engineers have been trained in steam trap testing and are qualified steam trap examiners.

 

Using ultrasonic and infrared testing equipment our engineer is able to determine if the steam trap is blocked, leaking, blowing through, short cycling or operating properly. Each faulty steam trap is tagged and a comprehensive report is compiled detailing the tag number, steam trap type and location, type of failure and cost analysis.

 

This information is invaluable to maintenance and facility management,  providing the necessary information to implement an effective steam trap repair program as well as providing a means of documenting energy savings.

 

 

Example: Analyzing the cost of a leaking steam trap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*From the Boiler Efficiency Institute. Steam is discharging to atmospheric pressure through a re-entrant orifice with a coefficient of discharge equal to 0.72.

 

 

In a plant where the steam generation cost is €21.50 per tonne (€21.50/1,000 kg), an inspection program indicates that a trap on a 150-pound-per-square-inch-gauge (psig) steam line is stuck open. The trap orifice is 1/8th inch in diameter. The table shows the estimated steam loss as 34.4 kg per hour (kg/hr). After the failed trap is repaired, annual savings are:

Annual Savings = (34.4 kg/hr x 8,760 hr/yr)/1000 x €21.50/1,000kg

                           = € 6,478

 

 

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Leaking Steam Trap Discharge Rate*

Trap Orifice Diameter, mm (inches)

Steam Loss, kg/hr

Steam Pressure, psig

15

100

150

300

0.8  (1/32)

0.39

1.5

2.18

-

1.6 (1/16)

1.54

5.99

8.57

16.4

3.175 (1/8)

6.21

23.95

34.4

65.8

4.76 (3/16)

13.9

54

77.1

148

6.35 (1/4)

24.8

95.7

137.44

263

9.525 (3/8)

55.8

215.5

309

591