Complete condensate drainage is the key to efficient steam system operation. Steam is an extremely convenient way of transmitting energy and is used for many industrial processes. When it has given up its heat to the process, the hot condensate should be returned to the boiler feedtank in order to:
- Save energy by using the remaining sensible heat content of the condensate.
- Save on water usage costs.
- Save on water treatment chemicals since the condensate should be virtually pure water.
- Avoids boiler damage and product contamination.
- Minimizes energy wastage.
- Conserves expensive treated water.
The dangers of Contamination
While it is desirable to return the maximum amount of condensate to the boiler it is essential to ensure that it is clean. Even low levels of contamination can cause foaming, scaling and/or corrosion. If there is any carry-over of boiler water with the steam then the product may become contaminated, resulting in expensive lost production.