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Correct application based steam trap selection on process equipment can save 7%-8% of steam consumption.

There is no such thing as a universal trap. Different types of steam traps are suitable for different applications.

Thermodynamic traps are designed for applications where condensate load is less and intermittent and hence are ideally suited for main line drain application. Ball float traps should be selected for applications where the load is heavy and continuous, typically process equipment.

A correctly selected and sized trap reduces process time and saves energy. The observations based on thousands of plant surveys and over 1000 audits indicate that wrong trap selection is prevalent across most plants (see graph).

Application based steam trap selection can reduce steam consumption by 7-8%.

E.g. at a chemical plant in Gujarat, replacing thermodynamic traps with correctly sized ball float traps reduced process time from 7hrs to 5hrs and steam consumption by 8%.

Application
Suitable Trap
Remarks
Steam mains drain

Thermodynamic trap

Ensures effective condensate discharge where condensate load is less and intermittent

Jacketing and Tracing

Balance pressure trap

Sub cools condensate before discharge, giving additional heat to application thus saving energy

Non critical heating applications with existing risk of water hammer

Inverted bucket trap

Effective, but inefficient from energy perspective and has problems of air venting