Steam Engineering Tutorials


These tutorials explain the principles of steam engineering and heat transfer. They also provide a comprehensive engineering best practice guide covering all aspects of steam and condensate systems; from the boiler house and steam distribution system up to the point of use; through the condensate recovery system and returning to the boiler. Virtually all major applications and products are discussed.


1. Introduction

The introduction of steam as a useful and powerful purveyor of energy. It discusses the versatile uses and benefits of this ubiquitous vapour; and the ways in which it is produced and distributed to achieve maximum performance and economy for the end user.
  1. Steam - The Energy Fluid
  2. Steam and the Organisation
  3. The Steam and Condensate Loop


2. Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer

Properties of various types of steam are considered, along with basic heat transfer principles and how to calculate consumption rates for process applications. Entropy is tackled in simple terms, removing unnecessary fears often associated with the subject.

  1. Engineering Units
  2. What is Steam?
  3. Superheated Steam
  4. Steam Quality
  5. Heat Transfer
  6. Methods of Estimating Steam Consumption
  7. Measurement of Steam Consumption
  8. Thermal Rating
  9. Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats
  10. Heating with Coils and Jackets
  11. Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection
  12. Steam Consumption of Pipes and Air Heaters
  13. Steam Consumption of Heat Exchangers
  14. Steam Consumption of Plant Items
  15. Entropy - A Basic Understanding
  16. Entropy - Its Practical Use


3. The Boiler House

Various types of boilers and fuels are discussed, alongside the best ways in which to get the best out of this important part of the steam plant. All necessary associated boiler equipment is considered, including basic deaerator and accumulator theory.

  1. Introduction
  2. Shell Boilers
  3. Water-tube Boilers
  4. Miscellaneous Boiler Types, Economisers and Superheaters
  5. Boiler Ratings
  6. Boiler Efficiency and Combustion
  7. Boiler Fittings and Mountings
  8. Steam Headers and Off-takes
  9. Water Treatment, Storage and Blowdown for Steam Boilers
  10. Water for the Boiler
  11. The Feedtank and Feedwater Conditioning
  12. Controlling TDS in the Boiler Water
  13. Heat Recovery from Boiler Blowdown (TDS control only)
  14. Bottom Blowdown
  15. Water Levels in Steam Boilers
  16. Methods of Detecting Water Level in Steam Boilers
  17. Automatic Level Control Systems
  18. Water Level Alarms
  19. Installation of Level Controls
  20. Testing Requirements in the Boiler House
  21. Pressurised Deaerators
  22. Steam Accumulators


4. Flowmetering

Fluid characteristics and flow theory (including Bernoulli's theorem and Reynolds' numbers) are introduced and developed to provide basic metering theory and techniques. Different meter types, instrumentation and installation practice are also discussed.

  1. Fluids and Flow
  2. Principles of Flowmetering
  3. Types of Steam Flowmeter
  4. Instrumentation
  5. Installation


5. Basic Control Theory

Control theory is discussed from fundamental proportional action to PID control. The dynamic of the simple control loop is discussed, alongside practical issues of choosing the best system for the application, and installation and commissioning issues.

  1. An Introduction to Controls
  2. Basic Control Theory
  3. Control Loops and Dynamics
  4. Choice and Selection of Controls
  5. Installation and Commissioning of Controls
  6. Computers in Control


6. Control Hardware: Electric/Pneumatic Actuation

Control valve capacities and characteristics are investigated, along with theory and practical advice on how to size them for water and steam systems. Actuators, positioners, and controllers are introduced plus their overall effect on the control loop.

  1. Control Valves
  2. Control Valve Capacity
  3. Control Valve Sizing for Water Systems
  4. Control Valve Sizing for Steam Systems
  5. Control Valve Characteristics
  6. Control Valve Actuators and Positioners
  7. Controllers and Sensors


7. Control Hardware: Self-acting Actuation

Basic self-acting control theory is discussed, alongside the different types of direct-acting and pilot-operated valves, controllers, and applications for the proper selection of temperature and pressure control of steam and water systems.

  1. Self-acting Temperature Controls
  2. Typical Self-acting Temperature Control Valves and Systems
  3. Self-acting Pressure Controls and Applications


8. Control Applications

A brief summary of, and advice on, temperature, pressure, flow and level control methods to suit various types of steam applications, with consideration to surplussing control, differential pressure control, and cascade control and installation thereof.

  1. Pressure Control Applications
  2. Temperature Control for Steam Applications
  3. Level and Flow Control Applications
  4. Control Installations


9. Safety Valves

Arguably, the most important subject in the generation, distribution and use of steam. Why are safety valves required? What different types are available and how are they selected, sized and installed? Other protection devices are also shown in some detail.

  1. Introduction to Safety Valves
  2. Types of Safety Valve
  3. Safety Valve Selection
  4. Safety Valve Sizing
  5. Safety Valve Installation
  6. Alternative Plant Protection Devices and Terminology


10. Steam Distribution

Efficient distribution gets clean dry steam to apparatus at the right pressure. Pipe sizing, essential drainage techniques, pipe support and expansion, air venting, and heat transfer calculations are included to help the system designer and practitioner.

  1. Introduction to Steam Distribution
  2. Pipes and Pipe Sizing
  3. Steam Mains and Drainage
  4. Pipe Expansion and Support
  5. Air Venting, Heat Losses and a Summary of Various Pipe Related Standards


11. Steam Traps and Steam Trapping

How steam traps work and why steam traps are necessary. All is explained in this block, along with the different types, where they are used, and how they are selected. Air venting theory and applications are touched upon, along with steam trap maintenance.

  1. Introduction - Why Steam Traps?
  2. Thermostatic Steam Traps
  3. Mechanical Steam Traps
  4. Thermodynamic Steam Traps
  5. Considerations for Selecting Steam Traps
  6. Selecting Steam Traps - Canteen Equipment; Oil Transfer/Storage; Hospital Equipment
  7. Selecting Steam Traps - Industrial Dryers
  8. Selecting Steam Traps - Laundries, Presses
  9. Selecting Steam Traps - Process Equipment
  10. Selecting Steam Traps - Space Heating Equipment
  11. Selecting Steam Traps - Steam Mains; Tanks and Vats; Pressure Reducing Valves
  12. Air Venting Theory
  13. Air Venting Applications
  14. Testing and Maintenance of Steam Traps
  15. Energy Losses in Steam Traps


12. Pipeline Ancillaries

These are often neglected to save costs; but strainers, stop valves, check valves, separators, gauge glasses and vacuum breakers all have their part to play in an efficient steam system. This block explains why, and explores the different types available.

  1. Isolation Valves - Linear Movement
  2. Isolation Valves - Rotary Movement
  3. Check Valves
  4. Strainers
  5. Separators
  6. Gauges, Sight Glasses, Vacuum Breakers


13. Condensate Removal

Proper condensate removal is essential to heat exchanger efficiency and long service life. An explanation of how heat exchangers operate. It introduces the subject of stall, and why and how the best trapping device is selected to maximise system efficiency.

  1. Heat Exchangers and Stall
  2. The Heat Load, Heat Exchanger and Steam Load Relationship
  3. Oversized Heat Exchangers
  4. Example: Selecting the Trap
  5. The Stall Chart - Constant Flow Secondary - Varying Inlet Temperature - Constant Outlet Temperature
  6. The Stall Chart - Varying Flow Secondary - Constant Inlet Temperature - Constant Outlet Temperature
  7. The Stall Chart - Constant Flow Secondary - Constant Inlet Temperature - Varying Outlet Temperature
  8. Practical Methods of Preventing Stall


14. Condensate Recovery

Relaying condensate back to the boiler house reduces costs. Pipe sizing and layout is discussed for drain lines, discharge lines, and pumped lines. The effects of lift and backpressure are explained; and how to reduce overall costs by utilising flash steam.

  1. Introduction to Condensate Recovery
  2. Layout of Condensate Return Lines
  3. Sizing Condensate Return Lines
  4. Pumping Condensate from Vented Receivers
  5. Lifting Condensate and Contaminated Condensate
  6. Flash Steam


15. Desuperheating

Why is it necessary to desuperheat steam? What types of desuperheater exist, where are they used, and how are they installed? Basic types and more sophisticated types of desuperheater and their applications are discussed in some detail.

  1. Basic Desuperheating Theory
  2. Basic Desuperheater Types
  3. Other Types of Desuperheater
  4. Typical Installations