Questions from Management

Managers need answers to the following questions:

A manager will consider steam as something that will provide a solution to a management problem, as something that will benefit and add value to the business. The manager’s responsibility is to implement initiatives ordered by senior executives. Managers would ask “How will steam enable successful implementation of this task?”

Managers tend to be practical and focused on completing a task within a budget. They will choose to use steam if they believe it will provide the greatest amount of practicality and expediency, at a reasonable cost.

They are less concerned with the mechanics of the steam system itself. A useful perspective would be that the manager is the person who wants the finished product, without necessarily wanting to know how the machinery that produces it is put together.

Will steam be right for the process?
Steam serves many applications and uses. It has high heat content and gives up its heat at a constant temperature. It does not create a temperature gradient along the heat transfer surface, unlike hot water and thermal oils, which means that it may provide more consistent product quality.

As steam is a pure fluid, it can be injected directly into the product or made to surround the product being heated. The energy given to the process is easy to control using two port valves, due to the direct relationship between temperature and pressure.

If the HRC steam generator system is installed, how can the most use be made of it?
The HRC steam generator with the steam on demand and the on/off capacity has a wide variety of uses. It can be used for many complex manufacturing processes and space heating of large areas.

On an operational level, condensate produced by a manufacturing process can be returned to the steam generator. This can significantly reduce the steam generator fuel and water treatment costs, because the water is already treated and at a high temperature.

Lower pressure steam can also be produced from the condensate in a flash vessel, and used in low pressure applications such as space heating.

What does steam cost to produce?
Water is plentiful and inexpensive, and HRC steam generators are highly efficient because they extract approx 94% of the energy contained within the fuel. As mentioned previously, the HRC steam generators with it on/off capacity and steam on demand only use fuel when steam is required for the process, something which is not possible for conventional boiler systems which use a constant supply of fuel even in period of low steam demand or standby.

Flash steam and condensate can be recovered and returned to the boiler or used on low pressure applications with minimal losses. Steam use is easy to monitor using steam flow meters and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) compatible products.

In terms of capital requirements and operating costs, it was answered above in the concerns of the chief executive that steam plant can represent value for money in both areas.

Is there enough installation space?
The high rates of heat transfer with the HRC steam generator means that the plant is smaller and more compact than conventional boilers, hot water or thermal oil plants. A typical single HRC steam generator module rated to 300 kW occupies less than 0.5 m²