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October 7, 2019

Pressurized Condensate System for Industrial Plants – Part 3

Part 3 — Pressurized Condensate Systems for industrial steam and condensate systems that have a tremendous benefit to increase the plant’s steam system thermal cycle efficiency.  The videos are in three parts; and this is part three.  Also, technical papers and articles are on our web site to help plant engineers understand all the benefits to the pressurized condensate system.

Pressurized condensate systems can provide plants with a minimum of between 15% and 35% savings in fuel costs when compared to a conventional atmospherically vented condensate system. That is a tremendous opportunity for facilities, since fuel prices have gone up and are expected to increase even further. The pressurized condensate system is not a luxury; rather, it is a necessary component to maximize and increase the steam system’s efficiency. Unfortunately, not all steam plants or steam applications can implement a high-pressure condensate return system. Therefore, proper preliminary engineering assessment, design review, and knowledge of the application are necessary to ensure a successful condensate system.

My name is Kelly Paffel. I’m Technical Manager Inveno Engineering LLC located in Tampa, Florida. And this is part three of the pressurized condensate recovery system. A solution to increase in the steam system’s thermal cycle efficiency. We talked about standard systems, condensate system, in previous presentation and the cost benefit of implementing a pressurized system and just want to go over a couple more things. So pressurized condensate system benefit increases the steam system, thermal cycle efficiency by achieving reductions in energy emission, chemical costs, makeup costs, which our calculations from the part two of the presentation, goes through all the calculations, the thing in pressurized condensate systems have been utilized for over 40 years in certain industries out there. A lot of people haven’t heard about other industries, well we’ve been using it for 40 years. The biggest thing that increases a company’s profitability, and that’s a big benefit.

The implementation of a pressurized condensate system, not all steam plants or steam application can implement a pressure return system. And the first step of implementation is always having a complete steam balance system, and what we mean by a steam balance system is one or two prints showing the total steam system. A proper preliminary assessment, design review and knowledge of the application are necessary to ensure a successful pressurized system. Unfortunately, there’s a number of pressurized systems out there that are not successful. So, this happened to be an example of a food processing company, and we had gone in and we found that certain applications, could utilize a pressurized system. Therefore, we implemented a pressurized return system back to the [inaudible 00:02:17] operation and reduced 6,200 pounds per hour off the boiler load. Which if you do the math, at the average cost of $7.50 per thousand pounds, it was a substantial energy reduction for the plant.

The implementation of the pressurized system, an efficient system will be a condensate return system that is controlled to pressure as close to the boiler operating pressure. In a perfect system or steam system, for example, operating 150 PSI it can have the return system operating 149 PSI because during phase change a latent energy, you’ve given up the process, there’s no pressure drive. Unfortunately, one PSI differential across the drain devices would make the drain devices very large and that’s not economically feasible. So we have to have a differential pressure and that we look at the dynamics of the process to come up with. The system elements such as line size, distance, steam trap, differential elevations, all must be taken in consideration and calculate out. Variables in the system, a typical target for pressurized differential between the steam supply pressures and the condensate return line pressures, is typically about 30-45%. So, if you were a hundred PSI system, we’d be running 30 PSI to 45 PSI in the condensate return line. That would probably be our target.

What process can implement a pressurized condensate? Just a few, paper machines, corrugators, press operation for all types of industries, tire, particle board, veneers, and the list goes on plastic. And then rotating dryers for all types of industries for grain drying, for meal type drying systems and plastic drying systems. High temperature processes were operating up temperatures above 290 degrees Fahrenheit, can implement a pressurized return system such as others or steam tracing, reboilers. I can go on with more applications, but this is give you an idea, the processes that can implement a pressurized system.

The pressurized condensate system point make a very simple point in talking to plants about pressurized systems. Is that a P4, the inlet to the drain device and again, control valve or a steam trap, always has to be higher than P5. And it’s a simple statement, but I explained to people, as long as P4 is greater than P5 that’s great. The problem we run into is when P5 is greater than P4, and then the system is not going work. The process is going to suffer, and you can get water hammer a number, other issues.

The simplest systems, we go back to, we’ve seen all the benefits of, cost benefits to, implement the pressurized resist system, and now it’s going to cost me to implement it. Now we have to understand what components are needed for implementation. The simplest systems require no additional equipment, just piping changes. I mean the, we did a project in Indonesia, very large facility, extremely large facility. We just made piping changes, there was no components added and the first year savings was in excess of $2 million a year, which was a very large system. The system requires a receiving tank, flash tank, pressurized condensate tank, or a deaerator to receive the condensate back to under pressure. The condensate coming back to pressure. Most deaerators are rated or 50 PSI and the deaerator doesn’t have to operate 8 PSI it can operate at 30 or 40 PSI. We have deaerators operating at 150 PSI.

What I’m saying is, a lot of times the components have received a pressurized condensate is already existing. So it’s a matter of just piping changes, which really lowers our implementation costs. Then there’s more complex systems, and the more complex systems we put in a flash tank system, which is located here, and the pumping system, to pump the condensate back to the boiler operation under pressure and keeping the sensible energy high. And then when you put in a thermocompressor here, which we’ve basically a thermocompressor steam back up and right back into the steam supply coming back into the process. So, this is more complex because I need a thermocompressor and piping and control system and a flash tank, but even with the more complex systems, we’re targeting at two and a half to two year payback for it.

So, I mean still has a great payback to it. Even in a more complex system. The last thing, how do I get started? I want to reduce the energy, increase a company’s profitability. How do I get started? Understand the current system, a roadmap for the changes, implement the changes, and last document the success of the program. And that’s a critical thing always is document the success of the program. So we have documentation, we know how much we save, and we can take that to management and say this is our savings and that becomes a very successful program.

Last is our contact information here. And you know we have short term impacts of steam system assessment, steam system engineering, steam balancing diagrams, performance bonds, steam system performance analysis, training, which is critical on anything is proper training. Longterm impacts, upgrades, process changes, improve reliability and safety. So we have a lot to offer our clients domestically, internationally and the two top senior engineers, myself, [inaudible 00:09:11] are more than happy to help you out and become part of your team. You have any questions, please contact us. Please visit our website. We have all generic information at our website and a lot of great information on steaming condensate. Thank you.