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Steam Balancing: The First Step in Steam Optimization

By Kelly Paffel, Inveno Engineering |

The ability to achieve an optimal steam balance can help to improve the overall thermal cycle efficiency of any steam-production system In any chemical process plant that produces steam, carrying out a steam balance is the most efficient way to improve knowledge of all aspects of the overall steam system, including steam generation, distribution, end users and condensate-recovery systems. Carrying out a steam balance is a necessary first step in any effort to optimize and manage overall steam generation. For instance, the valuable knowledge gained from developing or updating a steam balance can help process engineers to develop a road map that will allow the steam system to be used in the most efficient way. Such an effort also provides essential insight that can be used to increase the overall thermal-cycle efficiency of the steam-generation system. Ideally, every plant should strive to achieve the highest possible thermal-cycle efficiency; the steam balance provides the information needed to achieve this objective. An optimal steam balance ensures that the end users — that is, the steam-consuming processes — can consume the correct amount of energy at the correct steam pressure and temperature, with the required steam quality.…
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