PVF – PIPES, VALVES & FITTINGS
When a local flavor and fragrance company contacted A&M they knew their energy costs for steam generation for their facilities were rising, but needed help getting them back under control. As with many manufacturing facilities operating a steam plant they needed some regular maintenance and some troubleshooting to help them determine what needed to be done. A&M activated the A&M Steam Team to do a site audit to identify problem areas and viable solutions. What they uncovered included:
- Leaking Steam Traps – The team was able to identify which traps were leaking and in need of repair or replacement. Steam leaks mean wasted energy.
- Steam Escaping via the Condensate Lines – The condensate is recycled using pumps, but when steam goes thru the condensate lines it damages the condensate pump.
- Condensate Leaving the System with the Steam – When you recycle condensate you save money by heating hot water for steam. When you lose it, you must expend more energy heating cold water for steam.
- Water Hammer – Because of these issues, the steam was traveling quickly in the horizontal pipes with the condensate, causing water hammer (quickly opening and closing valves) which was generating loud noises disrupting those trying to work in the area.
- Hot Water Venting to the Roof – Because the hot water was going where steam should there was hot water exiting to the roof (via a steam vent) ultimately damaging the roof.
The audit by the A&M Steam Team examined 9 steam stations and found 3 stations not operating correctly at all, and five others that had significant issues to be addressed. The detailed report recorded the current state, including photographs, and recommended 18 specific corrective actions to re-mediate the situation. A&M was also able to provide the traps and parts needed to replace the failed equipment.
The report documented over $100,000/year in energy savings and recommended both an annual steam trap audit and a condensate pump audit to insure proper system operation and energy efficiency. These results are fairly typical of steam systems that have not been maintain and covered by annual audits.