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Kannan Palanisamy

02 Oct 12

Decription of Asset
 Our company has around 1000 steam traps.
 Steam traps exist to discharge air and steam-condensate

while not permitting the escape of live steam


 Their goal is to purify the steam of excess air and water
(condensate) to :
 Improve efficiency (Excess water or air in the system prevents it
from reaching operating temperature quickly during start-up)
 Protect system (Inadequate steam trapping can lead to
waterhammer, corrosion, leakage, and high maintenance costs)
 Provide maximum heat transfer (dry steam has best heat
transfer properties in equipment like a heat exchanger

Different types of Steam trap in


the industry
Steam Trap Types

Thermodynamic

Mechanical

Thermostatic

Steam (flash) flow


operates valve to get
rid of steam
condensate

Use difference in
density between
steam and
condensate to
operate float to get
rid of steam
condensate

Sense temperature
change of condensate
to get rid of steam
condensate

Types of steam traps used in my


company
 Our company has thermodynamic steam traps and

mechanical steam traps.


Linkage

Ball

Seat

Thermodynamic steam
trap

Mechanical float type


steam trap

Recent issues faced due to


steam traps
 Recently we had several steam jacketed lines failed due

to corrosion issues as the jacket did not sufficiently


heat the sulphur di-oxide rich gas on the inside pipe
causing acid condensation on the inside pipe and the
several jacketed spools buckled due to corrosion.
 The root cause of the spool failures were attributed to
steam traps that did not discharge the steam
condensate properly leading to corrosion and failure of
the inner pipe due to acid condensation at low
temperature.

Photographs of the corroded


jacketed spools

Failure modes of steam traps


 Blocked Traps - Upstream is completely build-up with

steam condensate.
 Low Temperature Traps Unable to discharge the
steam condensate. Trap likely to get blocked in the
future.
 Leaking Traps These traps cause monetary loss by
leaking steam.
 Blowing Traps Blowing Traps are completely
damaged and is letting steam blow out.
Blocked and Low Temperature traps cause process
issues due to insufficient heating whereas the
leaking and blowing traps are monetary loss to the
company

Condition monitoring of steam


traps
 Conventional methods
 Operator observations
 Condition monitoring techniques
 Temperature monitoring
 Ultrasonic monitoring
 Continuous monitoring systems (conductivity etc)

Operator observations
A LEAK!!!
Identifies leaking
traps and blowing
traps in open system.
Subjective

Temperature measurement (Infra


red monitoring)
Only indicates a blockage

Indicates blowing
traps and low
temperature traps
But cannot
quantify

Temperature based on
return line steam pressure

RETURN SYSTEM

Ultrasonic monitoring
ADJUST

Grades leaking
traps

RETURN SYSTEM

Typical average condition of traps


without monitoring program
 Typical failure mode distribution of steam traps
INCORRECT
OPERATION
13.1%

LEAKING
18.7%

WORKING
CORRECTLY
62.6%

BLOCKED
5.6%

Case for monitoring of steam


traps
 Cost of Monitoring 1000 traps Annually by operator

observations, temperature and ultrasonic monitoring


 Operator cost 1000 x 5 minutes x $200/60 = $16666
 Temperature & Ultrasonic monitoring 1000 x 10

minutes x $200/60 = $33333


 Our company already has the IR temperature
instrument and the ultrasonic instrument So the cost
of the instrument is not considered.
 Total cost - $50000

Benefit/Cost
 This steam trap monitoring program is expected to
save at least one incident like the sulphur jacketed
line failure per year and also prevent the monetary
loss of leaking/blowing steam traps.
 Cost of one incident like the sulphur jacketed line
failure - $ 100000
 Cost of leaking/blowing on about 20% steam traps
(200 leaking traps per annum ) - $ 50000 for a steam
price of $ 8 per tonne.
 Benefit cost ratio = ($150000/$50000) = 3