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How to benefits of a steam system-Steam Control Valves?

Oct 28, 2015

A heat exchanger manufacturer will design equipment to give a certain heat output. To achieve this heat output, a certain saturated steam temperature will be required at the heat transfer surface (such as the inside of a heating coil in a shell and tube heat exchanger). With saturated steam, temperature and pressure are strictly related; therefore controlling the steam pressure easily regulates the temperature.

Consider an application where steam at 10 bar g is supplied to a control valve, and a given mass flow of steam passes through the valve to a heat exchanger. The valve is held fully open (see Figure 6.4.1).

  • If a DN50 valve is fitted and the valve is fully open, the pressure drop is relatively small across the valve, and the steam supplied to the heat exchanger is at a fairly high pressure (and temperature). Because of this, the heating coil required to achieve the design load is relatively small.
  • Consider now, a fully open DN40 valve in the steam supply line passing the same flowrate as the DN50 valve. As the valve orifice is smaller the pressure drop across the valve must be greater, leading to a lower pressure (and temperature) in the heat exchanger. Because of this, the heat transfer area required to achieve the same heat load must be increased. In other words, a larger heating coil or heat exchanger will be required.
  • Further reduction of the valve size will require more pressure drop across the control valve for the same mass flow, and the need for an increased heat transfer surface area to maintain the same heat output.

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