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Consider Steam Turbine Drives for Rotating Equipment: Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) Steam Tip Fact Sheet No.21

Description: Steam turbines are well suited as prime movers for driving boiler feedwater pumps, forced or induced-draft fans, blowers, air compressors, and other rotating equipment. This service generally calls for a backpressure non-condensing steam turbine. The low-pressure steam turbine exhaust is available for feedwater heating, preheating of deaerator makeup water, and/or process requirements.
Date: January 1, 2002

Replace Pressure-Reducing Valves with Backpressure Turbogenerators: Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) Steam Tip Fact Sheet No. 20

Description: Many industrial facilities produce steam at a higher pressure than is demanded by process requirements. Steam passes through pressure-reducing valves (PRVs, also known as letdown valves) at various locations in the steam distribution system to let down or reduce its pressure. A non-condensing or backpressure steam turbine can perform the same pressure-reducing function as a PRV, while converting steam energy into electrical energy.
Date: January 1, 2002

Improve Your Boiler's Combustion Efficiency: Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) Steam Energy Tips No.4

Description: Operating your boiler with an optimum amount of excess air will minimize heat loss up the stack and improve combustion efficiency. Combustion efficiency is a measure of how effectively the heat content of a fuel is transferred into usable heat. The stack temperature and flue gas oxygen (or carbon dioxide) concentrations are primary indicators of combustion efficiency. Given complete mixing, a precise or stoichiometric amount of air is required to completely react with a given quantity of fuel. In practice, combustion conditions are never ideal, and additional or ''excess'' air must be supplied to completely burn the fuel. The correct amount of excess air is determined from analyzing flue gas oxygen or carbon dioxide concentrations. Inadequate excess air results in unburned combustibles (fuel, soot, smoke, and carbon monoxide) while too much results in heat lost due to the increased flue gas flow--thus lowering the overall boiler fuel-to-steam efficiency. The table relates stack readings to boiler performance. On well-designed natural gas-fired systems, an excess air level of 10% is attainable. An often stated rule of thumb is that boiler efficiency can be increased by 1% for each 15% reduction in excess air or 40 F reduction in stack gas temperature.
Date: March 1, 2002

Insulate Steam Distribution and Condensate Return Lines: Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) Steam Energy Tips No.2

Description: Uninsulated steam distribution and condensate return lines are a constant source of wasted energy. The table shows typical heat loss from uninsulated steam distribution lines. Insulation can typically reduce energy losses by 90% and help ensure proper steam pressure at plant equipment. Any surface over 120 F should be insulated, including boiler surfaces, steam and condensate return piping, and fittings. Insulation frequently becomes damaged or is removed and never replaced during steam system repair. Damaged or wet insulation should be repaired or immediately replaced to avoid compromising the insulating value. Eliminate sources of moisture prior to insulation replacement. Causes of wet insulation include leaking valves, external pipe leaks, tube leaks, or leaks from adjacent equipment. After steam lines are insulated, changes in heat flows can influence other parts of the steam system.
Date: March 1, 2002

Use Feedwater Economizers for Waste Heat Recovery: Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) Steam Energy Tips No.3

Description: A feedwater economizer reduces steam boiler fuel requirements by transferring heat from the flue gas to incoming feedwater. Boiler flue gases are often rejected to the stack at temperatures more than 100 F to 150 F higher than the temperature of the generated steam. Generally, boiler efficiency can be increased by 1% for every 40 F reduction in flue gas temperature. By recovering waste heat, an economizer can often reduce fuel requirements by 5% to 10% and pay for itself in less than 2 years. The table provides examples of the potential for heat recovery.
Date: March 1, 2002