Steam System Assessment Tool Available Now
December 20, 2002
Do you believe that there are cost-savings opportunities to improve your steam system? Many systems offer energy savings opportunities that can amount to 10 to 20% of their fuel costs. How can you develop quick, reliable estimates for the impacts of these improvements on your plant productivity? The most accurate way to analyze potential steam-system savings is to build a model of your steam system, and use that model to evaluate "what-if?" steam-system improvement scenarios.
The U.S. Department of Energy BestPractices Steam program has developed a free, easy-to-use software model that you can use to analyze your plant's steam system. The DOE Steam System Assessment Tool (SSAT) can be applied to your steam system to demonstrate the energy, cost, and emissions savings of key potential improvement opportunities. The SSAT is a reliable screening tool that contains the key features of typical steam systems, including boilers, steam turbines, condensate systems, and deaerators.
The SSAT uses a graphical model of a generic steam system for up to 3 steam pressure headers (high, medium, and low). You can enter data for your own plant conditions, including fuel type and cost, electricity, water costs, initial boiler efficiency, header pressures, and turbine efficiencies. The tool allows you to evaluate "what if?" scenarios for the following types of key improvement opportunities:
- Boiler efficiency
- Alternative fuels
- Cogeneration opportunities
- Utilizing backpressure turbines to let down steam
- The true cost of steam
- Boiler blowdown
- Condensate recovery
- Steam trap operating efficiencies
- Heat recovery
- Steam quality
- Vent steam
- Steam leaks
- Insulation efficiency
The SSAT uses a simple interface to allow you to easily enter data about your steam system and about steam improvement opportunity areas. It also provides the ability to print out the results of energy, cost, and emissions savings for the opportunities that are evaluated. Finally, a printable Users Guide is available to help maximize the SSAT to fit your needs.
The Steam System Assessment Tool was developed for the U.S. Department of Energy, under contract with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, by Linnhoff March and Spirax Sarco, Inc.
Thanks to the following organizations and people who provided technical review comments during the development of the tool: American Boiler Manufacturers Association; Armstrong Services; David Ashcraft; Department of Energy; Dupont; Enbridge Consumers Gas of Canada; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Ondeo-Nalco; Oregon State University; Riyaz Papar; Plant Support and Evaluations; Sunoco; University of Tennessee/Knoxville; and Washington State University.
Finally, special thanks go to Dr. Greg Harrell from the University of Tennessee / Knoxville. He provided technical support for the development of key models used in the SSAT, and performed extensive testing of the SSAT models during the technical review period.