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Effective Steam Distribution System
Thus designing of steam distribution is to be given due importance along with installation and subsequently maintenance during operation. In the above shown Steam distribution network steam carry pipes are the major contributors factors in deciding the cost and the quality of steam reaching the process. The success of any steam distribution system is depend upon meeting the end process steam pressure requirement of the process plant. Thus distribution system is influenced by the factors like:
- Steam Generating working pressure.
- Minimum pressure requirement at process end.
- Pipe network frictional-resistance.
- Condensation in the steam piping due to transfer of steam heat to the outside environment.
- Therefore necessary compensation should be kept for the above pressure loss while deciding the “Maximum working pressure of the boiler”.
Advantage of Steam Generation at High PressureFollowing are the advantages of steam generation at high pressure:
- Steam generation at higher pressure occupies relatively less volume than a lower pressure.
- Steam generated at higher pressure requires smaller size steam distribution lines.
- Higher steam parameters improves the quality of steam
- Smaller diameter steam lines require lower capital investment on pipes, flanges, supports and insulation.
Disadvantages of Steam Generation at High PressureBecause of the high steam pressure following losses are increased:
- Flue gas losses
- Running losses
Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)In the above pressure reducing station separator is installed upstream of the reducing valve to prevent entrained and ensuring high quality steam to pass through. Safety valve on the down stream side protects the system, if PRV doesn’t work.
Sizing of Steam Distribution PipingSteam piping plays a important role in meeting the end requirement of the process. Following are the critical aspects of this: Proper steam pipe sizing to avoid any over or under-sizing of the steam mains. Consequence of Over-Size Steam Pipe
- Results in larger diameter pipes, valves and other fittings and shall be more expensive.
- Requirement of increased pipe support, insulation etc.
- Cost of erection and installation shall be more.
- Cost of 80 mm pipe installation accounts for nearly 45 % higher than the cost of installing 50 mm.
- Bigger size steam pipe generates more condensate and results in requirement of more steam trapping or else wet steam shall be delivered at the point of use .50 mm.
- Similarly heat loss from the insulated pipe (80 mm) pipe work shall be approximately 20 % higher than that of 50 mm pipe.
- When the line size is undersized then we get the lower pressure at the point of use. So it the due this the performance of the process and equipment may suffer.
- Possibility of steam starvation can't be ignored.
- Chances of greater risk of water hammer, erosion and noise due to under size steam pipe size.