To develop a steam trap failure detection system which can detect steam trap failures remotely, accurately and in real-time. The solution should be non-intrusive and should make use of wireless mode of communication. (A video of one kind of steam trap operation is shared)
Problem Statement – Design a Float that is very light in weight, for working condition of Pressure 20Bar & Temperature 220°C. The Float should be able to withstand 100 cycles of external high pressure pulse of 100Bar. Additional details – In many process plants steam is used as a source of energy. Efficient distribution of steam is critical for maintaining process parameters and ensuring that energy wastage is minimal. An important equipment, part of the distribution network, is the steam trap. A Steam trap is an automatic drain valve which distinguishes between steam and condensate. A well-functioning steam trap will hold back steam in the distribution line while discharging condensate under varying pressures or loads. When the steam trap fails, it can lead to water logging (condensate) in distribution pipes, thus reducing the efficiency of steam energy, disturb process parameters, or even lead to wastage of steam through discharge in open atmosphere. Steam traps are mechanical equipment which employs different principles such as buoyancy, pressure, temperature etc. for their operation.
A ball float type trap is based on the buoyancy principle where rise in condensate level lifts the ball float, opening the orifice and allowing the condensate to be flushed out of steam carrying pipes. In certain processes, typically on -off heating processes, opening of the valve causes sudden discharge of condensate at very high velocity to the trap. The high velocity water discharge impinges on the float causing it to implode. The ON-OFF cycles expose float to thermal cycle. An efficient and robust design of float is desired to overcome this problem.
Currently, Float of 32 gms ( ±4gms), Diameter 57mm , working Pressure 20Bar and Temperature 220°C is used in typical Float Traps. (A video of one kind of steam trap operation is shared)