Understanding Flash Steam

Effective flash steam recovery can be a valuable source of heat.

02/12/2014


Flash steam is low-pressure steam created when hot water is released from a high pressure to a lower pressure within a steam system. For example, it can be released through a steam trap or from boiler blowdown.

Flash steam is sometimes seen as a waste product with little value compared to live steam straight from the boiler. This can be an expensive mistake. Steam, however generated, can be an efficient heat carrier. In addition to being wasteful, the venting of flash steam is unsightly and can be both dangerous to people and damaging to a building’s fabric. Far from being waste, flash steam is a valuable source of heat.

Steam tables show that when steam condenses, around 25% of its heat remains in the condensate. With the right flash steam recovery system, around half of this heat can be recovered as flash steam.

What’s the solution?

A flash steam recovery system releases flash steam into a vessel, rather than to atmosphere. This means it can be reintegrated into the steam system or used to feed low-pressure applications, such as space heating. Condensate, which is already flashing as it leaves steam traps on high-pressure units, enters the flash vessel roughly half way up the steam and condensate separate to the top and bottom of the vessel respectively.

There are three basic requirements for a site to be a viable candidate for effective flash steam recovery:

1. There must be sufficient high pressure condensate to release enough flash steam to make recovery economically effective.

2. There must be a suitable low pressure application for the recovered flash steam. Clearly, demand for flash steam must be in step with its availability.

3. The application for the flash steam should be reasonably close to the high pressure condensate source. Piping for low pressure steam is relatively large and can be costly to install in long runs.

- Content provided by Spirax Sarco, originally published in Steam News Magazine.

- Edited by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Associate Content Manager, CFE Media, Plant Engineering, Control Engineering



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me