Temperature Measurement

How wet steam undermines boiler efficiency

February 2024 Temperature Measurement

Endress+Hauser understands the daily challenges and demands placed on energy and utility managers across the spectrum of steam generation, distribution and consumption activities. Its global team is committed to working with its partners to overcome these complexities, and particularly those that aim for a safe, economic and sustainable sitsce of steam energy production and delivery. In meeting these challenges, Endress+Hauser’s core business is its superior expertise in steam system solutions. Endress+Hauser recognises the intrinsic value of steam and the growing interest in it as a sustainable, efficient and ecological utility across industry.

Steam is an important cost driver

Steam is one of the primary cost drivers in industry. The actual cost of steam is dependent on the path it follows from the boiler to the point of consumption. Optimised steam production is of utmost importance due to changing process and consumption needs. Taking a systems approach to steam management typically begins with assessing the entire boiler unit, including factors such as the impact of blowdown, parasitic steam consumption and deaeration.

It all begins with reliable, repeatable measurement

By investing in accurate and reliable measurement and monitoring equipment, valuable data can be obtained that has the potential to contribute to cost savings throughout the steam process, resulting in lower capital and operating expenses.

Endress+Hauser offers a comprehensive range of products and services for metering, monitoring and steam management. Its expertise enables it to optimise steam applications and provide integrated solutions for efficient boiler management.

Several factors contribute to the efficient operation of a plant. Among them is the availability of an adequate supply of steam at the appropriate temperature. Inefficient steam supply can lead to increased costs and a poor competitive position. Moreover, failure to ensure safe steam production can pose a risk to the health and safety of individuals, the operational processes and the entire facility. If national and international regulations are not adhered to, there is a risk of authorities shutting down the boiler house, ultimately causing a disruption in production, and resulting in losses. In order to ensure a continuous and uninterrupted supply of steam, it is necessary to have appropriate boiler controls in place.

Repeatedly, insufficient insulation, defective condensate drains and pressure and temperature fluctuations lead to condensation of steam, and the subsequent formation of dangerous wet steam. In addition, disruptions in boiler control can cause water to overflow and enter the steam line. The consequences can often be severe:

• Low efficiency in energy transfer because wet steam contains less energy than saturated steam.

• Occurrence of dangerous, undesired water hammer.

• Severe corrosion due to entrained boiler water and the dissolved salts it contains.

Due to their exceptional robustness and reliability, Vortex flow meters have emerged as the preferred choice for steam measurement. As mentioned above, wet steam is not only a safety issue, but it also decreases the efficiency of its system dramatically. If steam has a dryness fraction of 90%, the energy available is reduced to 90%, which has an impact on profitability. Despite the importance of measuring the dryness fraction, this is often neglected and not commonly measured.

Endress+Hauser’s new Prowirl F200 is able to generate an alarm when the dryness fraction falls below 80%. It is now also possible to continuously record the impact of the dryness fraction on the signal behaviour of the Prowirl F200, especially the formation of condensate. This feature allows for the determination of steam quality, which can be presented as a measured variable. Consequently, adjustments to the mass and energy of the steam can be made whenever necessary, ensuring precise measurement.

The company has developed the world’s first vortex meter with integrated wet steam alarming functionality. By adding a qualitative parameter to a quantitated measurement, the Prowirl F200 is a revolution in vortex technology.

Unparalleled steam quality measurement

As a multivariable vortex meter, the Proline Prowirl F200 offers everything you need in a single product. It allows simultaneous measurement of mass flow, corrected volume flow, energy flow, temperature, and integrated process pressure. No matter how its process variables fluctuate, the Prowirl enables highly accurate measurements and comprehensive energy management.


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