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Latest Best Practice

Latest Best Practice

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Published by: Sajjad Ahmed on May 01, 2012
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Steam Systems
Best Practices
Swagelok Energy Advisors, Inc.
Document No. 31
COST OF STEAM
Knowing the correct cost o steam oers important insight onimproving a company’s bottom line by: A. Allowing or accurate evaluation o the economics o pro-posed steam system eciency improvement projects. Inac-curate or incomplete steam costs may result in many easibleenergy projects being missed or rejected, while uneasibleprojects may be approved or implementation B. Assisting in optimization o the steam generation system andreducing costs C. Providing a true cost to the production areas or account-ability o energy consumption.Steam cost is the rst benchmark o any steam system man-agement program. Unortunately, a high percentage o industri-al plants do not benchmark their steam costs. A loaded steamcost is the most important variable or any steam system man-agement program because it captures all aspects and costs orproducing steam.
What Affects the Cost of Steam?
Many actors in the steam system aect the cost o steam. They include: 
 A. Fuel cost
Lower-cost uels result in lower steam cost. 
B. Operating steam pressure
Lower operating steam pressure results in lower steamcost. Higher operating steam pressure requires moreenergy to produce the steam. Steam pressure should bereviewed to ensure that it is at the optimum pressure tomeet the plant’s process requirements.
Knowing the Cost of Steam
 
C. Percentage o make-up water or percentage o condensate return
Normal condensate returns have a higher Btu contentthan make-up water. Today’s industrial benchmark orcondensate return is 90% i the plant is not injectingsteam or the process. 
D. Boiler efciency 
Higher boiler eciency lowers steam cost. Boiler e-ciency varies depending on the boiler operation ringrate or load demand. Lower ring rates or steam loaddemand lower boiler eciency. Understanding and doc-umenting the uel-air ratio is extremely important. Boilereciency is calculated by using PTC 4.1.
 A proactive steam management program can improve alarge percentage of the above factors.Unloaded Steam Cost versus Loaded Steam Cost
 There are two methods to calculate steam cost: unloaded andloaded. The simplest steam cost method calculates the unload-ed steam cost, which only reviews the boiler operation; steamBtu, eedwater Btu, boiler eciency, and uel cost. Loadedsteam cost captures all aspects and costs or producing steamwhich provides a truer steam cost.
Unloaded Steam Cost
 The unloaded cost is a basic comparison between the amounto steam produced and the cost o uel required to produceit. The basic equation or calculating unloaded steam cost in-cludes the cost o uel, operating steam pressure, eedwaterBtu, and boiler eciency.
Swagelok Energy Advisors, Inc. |
www.swagelokenergy.com|888-615-3559
| SEAtechnicalservice@swagelok.com
 
 
Here is the equation to calculate unloaded steam cost:Where:
•S
C
= steam cost, unloaded
•a
F
= uel cost in $/MMBtu
•H
g
= enthalpy o steam, in Btu/lb.
•h
 
= enthalpy o boiler eedwater in Btu/lb.
•
η
B
= true boiler eciency (ASME PTC 4.1)
•1,000=steamcostismeasuredinunitsof1,000lbs.perhour
 True boiler eciency (
η
B
) considers all aspects that infuence boiler eciency,including:
•fuelmoisturecontent•combustionairtemperature•radiationlosses•uegaslosses•blowdownlosses
(Reer to ASME PTC 4.1 or additional calculation details.)
S
C
=a
Fx 
(
H
g_
h
)
 
1,000 • η
B
Steam Systems
Best Practices
Swagelok Energy Advisors, Inc.
Document No. 31
Swagelok Energy Advisors, Inc. |
www.swagelokenergy.com|888-615-3559
| SEAtechnicalservice@swagelok.com
 
Example I
 The steam cost example outline below assumes use o one steam generator (boiler),a single uel, and one steam pressure. The unloaded steam cost example calculationactors in deaerator eedwater Btu content, which does not consider make-up wateror condensate return. Also, the calculation uses only one boiler eciency.Steam is being generated at 100 psig and is being returned to a deaerator tankoperating at 10 psig. Fuel cost is $9.50/MMBtu, and boiler eciency is 80%.$11.67 per 1,000 lbs. 
IMPROVING THE CALCULATION OF THE UNLOADED COST OFSTEAM
Condensate Return to the Boiler Operation
 The amount o condensate being returned has a signicant eect on the cost o steamand should be considered when calculating the unloaded steam cost. The limitationto the
unloaded steam cost
calculation is the act the calculation has the deaerator
S
C
=$9.50(1190 - 208)
 
1000(0.80)S
C
=
Steam Systems
Best Practices
Swagelok Energy Advisors, Inc.
Document No. 31
Swagelok Energy Advisors, Inc. |
www.swagelokenergy.com|888-615-3559
| SEAtechnicalservice@swagelok.com

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