What are steam traps?
How do steam traps work, steam traps are effective and robust methods. To understand what steam traps are, we first need to understand a few complications and terms that come along with a steam trap. Let’s get into the golden question, why steam? Why was there a need to use steam? The main reason is that steam can store a lot of energy. Unlike a liquid, it can make its way through pipes or narrow gaps on its own without any push or downforce. So how do you make steam? Steam can be made in many ways but the purest and the most genuine way is to heat water and bring to its boiling point, where the water would turn or transform into steam. Once the water has been converted to steam, it can be channeled where ever needed. Now, where do you find such examples of this mechanism in your daily life? From your car’s radiator to the kettle you use to make your tea in, all go through this mechanism.
Another term to know before getting into what a steam trap is, condensate. When steam is made it also condenses over time. Now, what does condensation mean? To make it as simple as possible, when the energy from steam is released, it transforms back into the water. You can take this process or term as a reverse cycle. From steam to water back again.
Is steam a good option?
Steam is the best option in forms of energy and how do steam traps work so well. It is simple, it is pure and it is super efficient. It has a lot of energy stored in it, travels through small gaps, and places on its own and it can transfer heat uniformly. These properties can’t be found in water. With steam comes water, the reverse cycle that we discussed above. Where there is steam, there will be water. The only downside of steam systems or steam traps is that water needs to be taken out of the system now and then. The reason why we need to take out water from the system is that water has damaging properties that can be harmful to a steam system.
What is a Steam Trap? and how do steam traps work?
A steam trap is machine, system or you can say a device that removes the condensate from your steam system or mechanism. Now a proper steam system has many steam traps and is placed at many levels of the pipe where steam is flowed from. Where ever there is a change in pressure in the system, the steam will convert into the water and that is where the steam trap is occasionally placed.
Why has a steam trap installed?
One of the many things that steam traps tend to do is that they keep the steam up and running at all times while at the same time taking the condensate out of the whole system. Now, this isn’t that the condensate is going to waste, the condensate is stored in a tank and that is again fed to the boiler. It is obvious that these systems would have a boiler because, in order to turn water into steam, you need to heat it first. Once the condensate that is in the form of water is fed into the boiler, it will again be used to generate steam and this is how the whole cycle works. If the water isn’t suitable or has contaminants in it than it will be disposed of and considered as waste. All with this, the steam trap ensures that there is no leak within the system. It is obvious that in a gas operated system, there will be a leak if any type of liquid settles in the reservoirs. What most people don’t know is that these steam traps can help discharge other non-condensable gases from the system as well. The best and common example of this can be air which can often be found in steam operated systems, This is how steam traps work.
I general steam traps are responsible for
- Discharging the condensate
- Prevent leaks from happening
- Discharge air and other non-condensable gases
Who operates these steam traps?
Some proper qualified operators help in operating a steam trap. They need to be aware of the steam traps that they are working or not, they also need to decide on the amount of load that is currently in the system and what type of settings should be applied according to the load. They need to focus on load levels (min, max, and consistency), cycling requirements, process requirements, longevity, and a combination of other factors.
Why use these automatic mechanisms and not a manual one?
It is considered that instead of just installing a steam trap, a manual valve can adjusted just right to match the amount of condensate generated. In theory this is possible but it has many complications. It requires a lot of attention and there are too many conditions to meet the right criteria. So this isn’t considered to be practical and efficient especially with how steam traps work.
If everything was done efficiently manually than there would be no need of making things automatic. The beauty in making things automatic is that it takes off the pressure from us human beings. Automatic systems are so precise and on point that they dramatically decrease the probability of an error ever happening and they can operate on the tiniest of details. That is the beauty of these systems. They are efficient and reliable. The same can be expected from humans but not every time, automatic systems have efficiency.
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