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Test Your Knowledge: Steam System Efficiency


Test Your Knowledge: Steam System Efficiency

In every steam system, energy loss occurs throughout the production, distribution, and final use. Although there is 100% energy going in the system in the form of fuel, the average energy in the form of actual energy used is 60% on average - 80% at best.


During the process there are potential boiler system energy loss points. Of the nine primary ones listed below, which has the highest potential loss?

  1. Air/Fuel Ratio Losses
  2. Scale Losses
  3. Boiler Stack Losses
  4. Boiler Radiant Losses
  5. Boiler Blowdown Losses
  6. Heat Exchange Losses
  7. Steam Leaks
  8. Lost Condensate
  9. Trap Losses

The answer...

  1. Boiler Stack Losses (15%) - Some steam system losses are controllable and therefore may be reduced or eliminated, while others are inherent and can never be prevented. Boiler Stack Losses are a great example. Even the best tuned boiler with an economizer will have 85% or so efficiency or lower.

Here are the percentages of other loss points within the system that can be reduced or eliminated with the right equipment and system design:

  • Air/Fuel Ratio Losses - 4%
  • Scale Losses – 10%
  • Boiler Radiant Losses – 1%
  • Boiler Blowdown Losses – 2.5%
  • Heat Exchange Losses – 5%
  • Steam Leaks – 3%
  • Lost Condensate – 5%
  • Trap Losses – 10%

Contact Campbell-Sevey to see how you can reduce your loss points and maximize steam system efficiency.

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