Steam is used by commerce and industry for a wide range of processes and is a crucial component in factories and commercial buildings. As a heating source it is used within a spectrum of processes including fluid heat exchangers, reboilers, reactors and heat transfer equipment.
Why are Steam Traps installed?
A steam trap is a self actuating valve that is used to discharge condensate while retaining live steam in a system.Its purpose is to pass condensate, air and non-condensable gases from the steam system into the condensate system whilst preventing live steam from leaking.
Problems facing Steam Trap users
Steam users are faced with a number of problems:
• Increasing production targets
• Increasing fuel costs
• More stringent emission targets
• Increasing maintenance costs
• Steam trap reliability leading to plant shutdown
The solution to these problems is a new type of Venturi orifice steam
trap from EBE Engineering called EcoFlow. Unlike mechanical, thermodynamic and thermostatic steam traps, the ECOFLOW Venturi orifice trap has no moving parts to fail open or shut. Resulting in minimum downtime and no more failed traps. This enhances the efficiency and reliability of the heat transfer system and provides between a 10% and 30% reduction in steam costs. Both the EFK-F and EFG-F versions of the ECOFLOW market-leading steam trap incorporate the flange into the main housing of the trap, which is cast entirely from high grade Stainless Steel.
EBE Engineering strives to deliver real customer value by providing technical solutions to steam system problems. Based on developing partnerships with our customers, we evaluate, analyse and implement process saving solutions to improve efficiency for the whole of your steam system.
Our ECOFLOW Venturi orifice steam trap range is designed to meet
the rigorous requirements demanded by today’s industrial plant users. Developed on a modular concept, the trap encompasses a wide range of capacities. These include minimal condensate flow requirements on line drainage and trace heating systems, through to the high flow volumes and variable loads of process heating applications. The trap’s unique innovative design allows for both these conditions to be serviced within the same flanged body.
It is important to note that a Venturi orifice steam trap is NOT an orifice plate steam trap. Both have an orifice and drain condensate away from steam operating equipment but the orifice plate trap has a point of operation however the Venturi orifice has a range. This range enables the Venturi orifice steam trap to operate from 25% – 100% of the maximum orifice capacity with no steam loss.
In the first phase or start-up, air and non-condensable gases are vented through the Venturi orifice trap nozzle. When hot steam enters pipework
or heat exchanging equipment the difference in temperature between the hot steam and the cold walls of the pipework or heat exchanger cause the steam to lose heat energy. This reduces the energy content of the steam (its enthalpy) and it starts to become more saturated (wet).
As the steam approaches the nozzle it becomes more and more saturated and on all exposed cooler surfaces condensate forms. Normally a steam trap is situated at the lowest point in the steam system. This allows the condensate to drain
towards this point. Once the condensate reaches the nozzle it begins to be ejected through the orifice by the steam. This is the point where the energy system (the steam) meets the waste system (the condensate). The enormous difference
in condensate density (1000 times denser than steam) means
the steam phase is effectively ‘blocked’ from entering the orifice.
Unlike conventional mechanical steamtraps, Venturi
orifice steam traps have a constant condensate discharge. In continuous operation the trap switches between streaming condensate drainage (similar to water from a tap) to ‘flash steam’. Flash steam reduces
the velocity of the discharging condensate and effectively ‘blocks’ the condensate from discharging. This process is auto regulating and modulates based upon the main steam pressure.