Saturated vapour is a powerful means for energy transfer
Steam is an excellent industrial process medium, since it is harmless to the environment and has excellent heat exchange properties. Indeed, steam is used quite often if energy transfer from a power plant to its various consumer units is required, where the energy accumulated in steam is ceded to the process. When there is no more energy contained in steam, it is usually returned via steam traps to the power plant, where the condensate is vaporised again, thereby yielding a continuous process.
When choosing a valve suitable for use with steam, it is important to know the steam pressure and temperature. Steam may be saturated or superheated, in which case its temperature has been elevated. The valve material suitable for the site is always selected as a function of pressure and temperature. Typical materials for steam and condensate applications include cast iron, spheroidal graphite cast iron, steel casting, and various heat-resistant steels. Our product range also covers cold resistant steels, if the equipment is to be operational at very low temperatures as well. Proceeding from Konwell’s extensive in-house sales experience, we are also willing to harness our expertise for the satisfaction of your needs and offer appropriate valve choices.
Steam – and condensate – differ slightly from other process media in that the vapour volume increases at lower pressure. The condensate also re-evaporates strongly, which requires expertise in piping dimensioning and design, among others. In addition to technical consultation, we offer versatile training on the topic.
High temperature sets certain constraints on steam valves
In general, valves without soft seals are best suite for steam applications. In case of low-pressure steam, however, this is not a must, and ball valves, for example, have been installed into steam lines. Nevertheless, our philosophy favours the use of seat valves in steam lines, since in practice, a seat valve cannot be opened quickly. This is an advantage in steam and condensate systems, for quickly openable valves tend to expose the system to water hammer. There are two types of water hammer: thermal shocks, in which case two widely different temperatures meet, and hydraulic shocks, in which case water is displaced quickly in the pipe, causing an impact. In larger size categories, gate valves are an option as well, but their disadvantage is poor adjustability.
Eventually, the steam cools down
Condensate discharge is a special area of activity, in which Konwell as the market leader possesses particularly extensive know-how. Our product range covers a full line of equipment and services for the creation of a well-designed and built condensate system. It begins with a steam trap correctly selected for the site, technical support for dimensioning and construction of condensate piping, consultation on consideration of system environments so that the system can operate without interference, and is supported by quick and flexible delivery, installation assistance where required, follow-up service in the form of steam trap inspection and measurement services, and tailored steam and condensate trainings at different levels. Also, read our latest training feedback.