Where can STEAMGARD® be used?
Virtually anywhere steam is used. STEAMGARD® can be used on a variety of applications in many different types of facilities, including: saturated steam distribution lines; superheated steam distribution lines (up to 3000 psig and 950° F); steam tracing; tank heating; radiators/convectors; plating coils/degreasers/embossed coils; steam heated dry cans/cylinders; humidifiers; flash tanks; sterilization equipment; and cooking kettles.
STEAMGARD® also can be used on applications that utilize a modulating control valve: Air handling coils; shell/tube heat exchangers; domestic water heating tanks; instantaneous water heaters; batch process tanks; steam absorption chillers; and process heating equipment.
STEAMGARD® maintains an extremely wide-range clientele base. From worldwide agreements with Fortune 500 companies to applications within US Navy aircraft carriers, nuclear power plants, hospitals, hotels, colleges & universities, government facilities, and manufacturing plants- our customers continuously rely on STEAMGARD® for significant steam system improvements.
Can STEAMGARDs® work with varying load applications?
Yes. STEAMGARDs® work exceptionally-well on fluctuating load applications. For example: A STEAMGARD® Model 10 can discharge 288 lbs. of condensate/hour at 15 psig. If this same Model 10 sees 144 lbs. condensate/hour (50% of capacity) the steam loss is only 0.2 lb/hr. If this same Model 10 sees only 43 lbs. of condensate/hour (15% of capacity) steam loss is only 1.9 lb/hr. This is less than the approximate 2 lb/hr of live steam an efficient mechanical steam trap will lose. STEAMGARD® works efficiently on many applications that have varying condensate loads without any means of steam control.
Will STEAMGARD® plug up if my system is dirty?
While any type of steam trap or condensate removal device can plug up, extensive studies have shown that “plug up” rates on THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® are a fraction of similar rates with mechanical traps. STEAMGARD® minimizes plugging in two ways: First, the unit is installed in conjunction with a special 40 mesh stainless steel screen within the strainer, designed to trap particles or contaminants before they reach the drain nozzle. We recommend blowing down or cleaning this strainer as often as you would clean the strainers in front of existing steam traps or control valves. Second, the drain nozzle in all STEAMGARD® units is manufactured with a staged discharge. This design, which is totally different from the “simple” orifices found in many mechanical steam traps and orifice plates, facilitates the continual discharge of contaminants usually found in condensate. This continual discharge allows CO2, air and non-condensables to be passed continually, unlike “sub-cooling” or “intermittent discharging” traps.
What’s the difference between a flat plate orifice and THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM®?
Orifice steam traps are subject to several limitations. If incorrectly engineered, they can create excess steam. Sharp edged orifices are subject to “wire draw effect”, particularly at higher pressures; this causes the orifice to distort in the direction of flow and become larger. Orifice traps are subject to plugging due to eddy currents present on the backside of the orifice. The eddy currents allow contaminants in the steam to settle on the back of the orifice and eventually plug the flow. THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM’s® two-phase flow technology enables the denser condensate to throttle the nozzle to keep steam from escaping. Condensate is being created continuously, so THE STEAMGARD SYSTEM® continuously chokes the nozzle to prevent steam loss while continuously removing condensate.
Can STEAMGARD® be used on a distribution line when ambient conditions change?
Yes. For example: A steam distribution line operates at ambient temperatures ranging from 70° F to -20° F. The schedule 80 pipe is 12″ in diameter, 100 feet long, has 2 inches calcite insulation with aluminum cover, carries steam at 100 psig and has a warm-up time of four hours. From heat transfer calculations, we determine the winter load to be 39lb/hr; the summer load to be 32 lb/hr and the warm-up load to be 95lb/hr at the coldest winter temperature. The STEAMGARD® nozzle selected for this application has a restrictive diameter of 0.033″ and a condensate capacity of 121 lb/hr. A typical mechanical, thermodynamic (TD) steam trap sized optimally for this same application will have an orifice diameter of approximately 0.080″ with a condensate load of 325 lb/hr at 100 psig.
The maximum steam loss from the STEAMGARD® nozzle under these operating conditions depends upon the condensate load: it varies from less than 0.7 lb/hr in the summer to 0.5 lb/hr during the winter to less than 0.01 lbs/hr during warm-up periods. A TD steam trap, operating perfectly, would consume 3-5 lbs/hr due to switching and two-phase flow losses. A TD trap’s cycle time is driven by ambient temperature; it will cycle faster when the ambient temperature is low, even in the absence of condensate. Under failed open conditions, the TD trap indicated here would loose approximately 30 lbs/hr.
Here is some additional information: The steam and condensate flowing in a pipe have the same momentum. The primary component of steam momentum is velocity; the primary component of condensate momentum is mass. As steam and condensate approach the STEAMGARD® nozzle, the condensate reaches the nozzle first because it’s denser. Steam, which normally travels at speeds approaching Mach 1, slows down behind the condensate and passes some of its kinetic energy to the condensate. The pressure profile along the axial direction of flow in the nozzle puts the least pressure at the throat of the nozzle.
This leads to an expansion of the steam and flashing off of some condensate. Both of these well-documented factors put a quantifiable limit on the live steam losses from Venturi nozzles. (For details, please see American National Standard ASME ANSI MFC-7M, Measurement of Gas Flows by Means of Critical Flow Venturi Nozzles, 1987; and International Organization for Standardization Standard 9300:1999, 1990. Measurement of Gas Flow by Means of Critical Flow Venturi Nozzles
Can STEAMGARD® be applied in a return system that is experiencing back pressure problems?
Does STEAMGARD® vent air, CO2 and other non-condensables?
Yes. Continuous venting of air, CO2 and other contaminants is an important requirement of any steam trap — and it’s most effective when it’s continuous and results in complete condensate removal. Unlike steam traps that operate “intermittently”, STEAMGARD’s continuous discharge allows continuous air venting, even at low pressure. STEAMGARD’s complete discharge also results in no “sub-cooling”, a characteristic of many steam traps that introduce an upstream water seal. This can result in a dangerous CO2 build-up that can lead to the formation of carbonic acid that causes serious corrosion problems.
Will STEAMGARD® work on a vacuum return system?
Yes. STEAMGARD® is a popular replacement for steam traps on vacuum return systems. STEAMGARD® cannot fail “open” as conventional steam traps usually do. This failure frequently results in the introduction of an excessive amount of live steam into the vacuum return, which can cause vacuum loss and pump failure. By eliminating the excessive live steam losses inherent in conventional steam traps, STEAMGARD® helps to maintain consistent condensate return temperatures and a level vacuum. STEAMGARD®’s continuous and complete condensate discharge dramatically reduces heat up times in systems utilizing a vacuum return system.
Will a trap replacement program require a large number of different STEAMGARD® models?
No. Even though STEAMGARD® is engineered for each specific application, our applications experience has proven that many large facilities require a surprisingly limited number of STEAMGARD® models. A major Midwestern refinery standardized on two different STEAMGARD® models to complete a 300 trap conversion of its existing steam traps.
Will it be difficult to select the correct STEAMGARD® model sizes?
For more information, please contact our World Headquarters for correspondence with the SG Engineering Department.