Importance of Steam Line Design

Proper steam line design & maintenance is an important consideration for a well functioning steam injection heating system. The quality of steam entering the heater can have a direct impact on the heater’s performance and frequency of maintenance intervals.
  • Smooth & stable steam injection heater operation
  • Reduced wear life of steam injector components
  • Improved steam quality being delivered to the heater.
  • Fewer process upsets.

Typical Steam Piping Design Lay-out & Recommended Components

Important Steam Line Design Components

  • Steam Isolation Valve – The steam isolation valve can be tied into alarm conditions such as loss of flow, Hi-temp alarm, and for when the steam injection heater is not in use or maintenance is being performed.
  • Steam Trap & Drip Down Leg – Removal of condensate prior to the heater can help to eliminate rough operation and noise. Excessive condensate can lead to pre-mature wear of steam injector components.
  • Steam Strainer – Foreign particulate, rust, and tram material can
  • Check Valve - .This helps to prevents fluid from flooding the heater & steam line when not in operation. Excessive fluid backing up into the steam line needs to be evacuated upon start-up and can lead to rough operation & wear of steam injector components.
Recommended Steam Strainer Sizing
Heater Steam Inlet Max. Opening (in.) Heater Steam Inlet Max. Opening (in.)
1.0” 0.020 4.0” 0.030
1.5” 0.020 6.0” 0.050
2.0” 0.020 8.0” 0.063
3.0” 0.030 10.0” 0.125

Common Steam Injection Heating Questions

What Steam Pressure Should I Use? - ProSonix does not recommend a specific steam pressure. Make sure you identify your design steam pressure at the point of heating and we engineer the appropriate Jet Diffuser to assure sonic velocity operation. Standard designs for up to 150 psig steam and optional designs for 300 psig and higher.

How do I determine my design steam pressure? – All boilers & steam headers will have a steam pressure rating; however, you want to identify your steam pressure at your heating location. This means that from your steam header, you should calculate your line losses, to establish what your design steam pressure is at the heater location.

Do I Need a Steam Control Valve? – No steam control valve is required. The PSX Heaters internally modulated design incorporates an integral actuator which modulates the steam flow through an engineered variable area nozzle. This eliminates the need for a steam pressure control or globe valve on the incoming steam line.

Superheated Steam? - The PSX Heater can handle up to 75 °F super heated steam without modification. For applications that are > 75 °F, please contact ProSonix to review your application.

How do I avoid Steam Cavitation? - Steam condensation rates are tied to steam flow velocity. High steam flow velocity (sonic flow >1000 fps) assures rapid rates of condensation in your process fluid. Maintaining proper steam & liquid pressure differential is critical to assure stable operation. Steam cavitation can occur when sub-sonic (<1000 fps) conditions occur. The most common cause for sub-sonic conditions results when a steam pressure control valve reduces steam pressure to control steam flow. Please see TB-4 Steam & Liquid Pressure for more information.
Contact ProSonix today to discuss your specific application in more detail or to request a copy of our TB-31 Steam Line Requirements – Best Practices.
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