Nevena Iordanova, C.E.M.
Track G | High Performance Buildings & Communities
Steam and condensate return systems always present opportunities for improvement. Armstrong has extensive experience in hospital steam system optimization and the following case study is a typical example of the findings.
The subject steam system operates with an annual budget of $900,000. Normal steam demand ranges from 10,000 to 14,000 lbs/hr.
The analysis focused on:
Steam generation (boilers, deaerator, blow-down, and make-up water)
Steam distribution (headers, drip legs, pressure reducing valves, and insulation)
Steam utilization (all users including converters, heat exchangers for domestic hot water, heating coils, unit heaters, sterilizers, washers and laundry equipment)
Condensate collection and return (high pressure and low pressure return headers, receivers, trapping systems, backpressure, water hammer)
Potential heat recovery and flash steam utilization opportunities
The steam system analysis identified 11 energy conservation measures and savings worth $120,000 per year. Solutions for efficient, reliable and safe steam and condensate return system were provided to the hospital. Action items were listed based upon the hospital’s priority; such as safety, reliability, cost savings, and process improvement.
Though the findings were specific to this site, the basics of steam system analysis are applicable to any steam system. A critical review on any steam system always identifies controllable wastes and results in reduced energy consumption, carbon emissions and costs.
Steam system optimization offers a large opportunity for action to comply with the new levels of energy efficiency standards.
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