Opportunities in Steam Systems

Many opportunities for energy savings exist in steam system operations, ranging from simple operating procedure modifications to major retrofits requiring significant capital expenditures. Table 6.1 shows a checklist of energy conservation opportunities applicable to most steam systems. It is helpful for energy conservation managers to maintain such a running list applicable to their own situations. Ideas are frequently presented in the technical and trade literature, and plant operators often make valuable contributions, since after all, they are the people closest to the problem.

To "sell" such improvements to plant management and operating personnel, it is necessary to demonstrate the dollars-and-cents value of a project or operating change. The following sections discuss the thermal properties of steam, how to determine the steam requirements of plant equipment and to estimate the amount of steam required to make up for system losses, how to assign a dollar value to this steam, and various approaches to alleviating these losses.

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