- The end-use equipment, such as heat exchangers, unit
heaters and other process-specific steam-use equipment.
- Steam trap systems to drain condensate from the end-use equipment.
- Piping, which transmits steam through the end-use equipment and condensate out of the end-use equipment.
On its web site, the DOE notes that it is important to understand how much steam is used per unit of product produced. System operators can compare this information with other data, either within their own company or with that used by the competition, to determine where the steam operation might be improved.
The DOE's web site urges users to select, size and maintain steam traps for specific end-use applications. Blowdown of noncondensables from condensing equipment is critical. If they are not removed, the condensing equipment will quickly cease to function. The rule of thumb is that for every 1 percent of noncondensables in steam, the heat transfer coefficient decreases by 10 percent.
For more information, visit www.eere.energy.gov and type "Technical References and Standards, Technical Tools" in the search box.