2011 Emerson Exchange – Instant ROI with Steam Trap Monitoring

by | Oct 25, 2011 | Event, Industrial Energy & Onsite Utilities, Industry

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Emerson’s Melissa Stiegler presented Instant ROI with Steam Trap Monitoring. The session abstract:

It is a large undertaking to manage an entire system of steam traps. This company had many traps that needed to be tested regularly but testing regularly went to the bottom of their to do list with more critical things going on. They knew that managing their traps could save them a lot of money in energy costs. They decided to install 100 Rosemount 708 Wireless Acoustic Transmitters to monitor their steam traps and were able to see which traps were failing. They were then able to repair or replace the failed traps and save steam.

Instant ROI with Steam Trap MonitoringMelissa opened with some industry facts. A Chem Processing article shared that 50% of steam traps are not functioning as designed. Failures can occur from leaks and plugs. Leaks directly impact the energy usage to create the steal. For a typical petrochemical plant, the losses can be $10,000 USD per trap per year and can be in the millions for the total number of problem steam traps.

There is a calculator to help you assess your potential losses at www.Rosemount.com/StopSteamLoss. It explains the basics of acoustic monitoring, the installation process, and the calculator.

Today manual monitoring is done. Melissa shared a case study of one chemical company that tested their traps every other year. It could take up to three years to see a least. An audit estimated they were losing $1.7MM in energy losses from faulty steam traps.

Steam logic software collects the acoustic and temperature inputs to assess the health of the steam trap. It pulls the data directly from the wireless gateway device. The wireless device clamps right on to the pipe. At a one-minute, update rate, the battery in these IEC 62591 WirelessHART devices last 10 years.

Comparing online real-time steam trap wiring versus manual monitoring, the costs to purchase and install the monitoring system are a one-time cost, versus the ongoing costs to manually monitor. Energy losses can be discovered and fixed as soon as the leak or plugged line is found.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.