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Don't let Steam Hammer Shut Your Facility Down

 

Is your tank and heating equipment violently shaking? You may be experiencing steam hammer.

 

What is steam hammer?

When heating a cold tank of water, the rate at which the steam condenses into the water is relatively rapid. However, as the water is heated, the tendency or rate at which the steam condenses into the water decreases. As this rate decreases, there is a tendency for the individual small steam bubbles to be introduced to recombine into larger steam bubbles. Many of these will float to the top of the tank to be lost to the atmosphere.

However, some of these large bubbles do condense into the water. The condensing of the large steam bubbles can cause many maintenance and performance problems. As these large bubbles reduce, a relatively sizeable volumetric change occurs. The volumetric change translates into a rapid uncontrolled movement of the liquid in the tank. This movement, commonly referred to as hammering, can be very violent and damage the tank and sparging components inside the tank.

 

Steam hammering not only raises safety concerns if the tank fails but also increases the likelihood of increased maintenance costs. In addition to maintenance and safety issues, the sparging process variability causes problems related to temperature control.  The uncontrolled nature of the condensing inside of the tank results in temperature variation, typically causing overheating. This variation can harm processes involving temperature-sensitive materials or methods that require temperature control.hammer1

Why is steam hammer happening?

There are multiple reasons why steam hammering issues could be occurring in your facility. For more information, go to our steam hammer webpage by clicking here.

 

Addressing the Problems and Optimizing the Process.

Steam hammering can be caused by externally modulated heating technologies such as heat exchangers or unsophisticated forms of direct steam injection, such as spargers. Spargers are a standard heating system in tank heating that relies on the facility's steam supply or boiler. A standard sparging nozzle consists of several holes that allow steam to enter the process fluid and heat it to the desired temperature. As the steam from the sparger mixes with the process fluid in the piping or tank, this action may lead to steam hammer or unit vibration. Over time, if steam hammering is unchecked, it is not only dangerous, but it also can be an expensive maintenance problem. But there is a better way of heating.  

Eliminating the problems associated with sparging will directly reduce the cost of heating and maintaining temperature in the tank. The Hydro-Thermal Hydroheater uses all available energy in the steam and transfers this energy rapidly and stably.  This efficiency reduces the energy and time required to heat the tank and eliminates hammering problems. 

Unlike sparging, Hydro-Thermal's Hydroheaters or Jetcookers utilize a single nozzle which focuses the incoming steam and accelerates it to a very high velocity (usually sonic velocity) before it comes into contact with the process fluid. This high velocity helps atomize the steam bubbles and shear the incoming process fluid, which allows for a more complete, efficient heat transfer—almost eliminating steam hammering in the unit.

 

Advantages of Heating with a Hydroheater

Installing a Hydro-Thermal Hydroheater on a recirculated loop around the tank can resolve all of the sparging issues and add the below advantages.

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Conclusion

Hydro-Thermal's patented direct steam injection heaters and skid systems are designed to eliminate steam hammer and vibration, among other benefits. Hydro-Thermal's internally modulated Jetcooker™ utilizes a single nozzle that focuses the incoming steam and accelerates it to a very high velocity (usually sonic velocity) before coming into contact with the process fluid. This high velocity helps to atomize the steam bubbles and shear the incoming process fluid, which allows for a more complete, efficient heat transfer. The result is no steam hammer, precise/uniform heating, and reduced maintenance.

Contact us at 800-952-0121 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today to get a free evaluation from our application experts. We can provide tips on how to optimize heating systems to eliminate steam hammer. 

 

 

 

 

 

Related items

  • Regular Maintenance Will Extend The Life Of Direct Steam Injection (DSI) Systems

    By incorporating a recommended maintenance schedule of the Hydroheater, processing and performance issues can be a thing of the past, helping ensure peak output results.

    Hydroheater/Jetcookers need little maintenance as compared to other industrial heating systems. However, proper maintenance and adjustment of parts will extend the life of the heater, improve process efficiency, and ensure the Hydroheater performs precise heating needs. Hydro-Thermal’s specialized field technicians, machinists, engineers, and training personnel can help operate and maintain a direct steam injection heating system. To prevent unintended shutdowns or the potential for extended outages, Hydro-Thermal recommends using a schedule for preventive maintenance.

    Weekly:

    • Examine Hydroheater for any leaks of steam or water.

    Monthly:

    • Ensure all external nuts and bolts are tight. Refer to the appropriate Hydroheater IOM manual. (for a digital copy: email info@hydro-thermal.com to be upgraded to customer access in our Knowledge Center)
    • Verify the temperature control loop is working correctly and maintaining a temperature within specified requirements.
    • Look for indirect signs of wear, i.e., failure to shut off or effectively control the temperature.

    Yearly:

    Make sure to order repair and seal kits several weeks in advance of your annual maintenance shutdown to assure on-time delivery of all items.

    • Disassemble heater and check parts for wear
    • Examine discharge piping of heater for unusual scale buildup.
    • Replace all seals
    • Replace stem packing
    • Replace worn components as needed

     

    These suggestions will help owners of our highly engineered DSI systems to keep them performing at ‘like new’ levels and provide a predictable maintenance schedule and budget.  

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    In a world where throw-away culture has become the norm, it is rare to say of a piece of equipment lasts longer than a decade.

    Keaton Leach, a Process and Project Engineer at an Ethanol production facility, can say this about two Hydro-Thermal K514 Hydroheaters at his facility. According to Leach, these units were installed to- “help sterilize and saccharify corn starch before the liquefaction process.”

    The Hydroheater is a robust piece of equipment that is designed to work for decades, but to ensure it is working at optimal performance it is essential to have annual maintenance. On the topic of regular maintenance, Leach explains, “The maintenance of our equipment has been pretty straight forward. Yearly re-gasketing and inspections have been handled by the Hydro-Thermal technicians, and our maintenance technicians can handle any repairs that are required between services.” 

    Keaton’s company recently had a visit from Hydro-Thermal’s service technicians. “Our most recent visit for the yearly repair kits and inspections went very smooth,” Leach said. “Both technicians were very knowledgeable about the equipment, and neither of them was the ‘pushy salesman’ that wants everything with a little wear immediately changed. We appreciated the honest opinions of what was worn and how much longer it may last before causing larger issues.”

    Need more information about Hydro-Thermal’s service offerings? Go to www.hydro-thermal.com or contact us at info@hydro-thermal.com

     

     

  • Minimize Total Cost of Ownership with Hydro-Thermal Direct Steam Injection Heaters.

     

    The savings start immediately with the purchase of a Hydro-Thermal Direct Steam InjectiK610 close 0001 Largeon (DSI) heater. Hydro-Thermal DSI heaters deliver precision heating on demand, optimized production, and lower operation costs, while requiring minimal maintenance with less downtime.

    Lower Operation Cost

    Hydro-Thermal Direct Steam Injection (DSI) heaters are virtually 100% efficient, delivering up to 25% energy savings, achieving rapid return on investment (ROI). Our heaters are easy to install, simple to operate, and will ultimately save you time, money, and frustration. Our system responds immediately to changes in set point, flow rate, pressure variation, and process interruptions, to ensure your production continues as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Heater performance can be optimized under varying conditions, production can be maximized, and disruptions are virtually eliminated. Our heaters’ small footprint saves space, freeing up production floor space and eliminating the need for condensate return systems.

    Optimized Production

    Hydro-Thermal DSI heaters optimize production through precise temperature control. Internally modulated steam means responsive and precision control (within ±1°F), instantaneous temperature attainment, and rapid heat transfer. This saves energy by heating fluids to exact temperature, allowing set points to be reduced, while decreasing energy demand and improving product quality.

    Minimal Maintenance and Less Downtime 

    Hydro-Thermal DSI heaters are robust designs with minimal moving parts requiring minimal time on maintenance. Hydro-Thermal DSI heaters are designed to achieve choked flow at sonic velocity, which creates a self-cleaning action that eliminates process interruptions and downtime. Plugging and fouling will be things of the past, and maintenance requirements will be minimized. Our internally modulated heaters operate so smoothly, they eliminate hammer and vibration.

    Hydro-Thermal DSI heaters have developed a strong reputation for best-in-class reliability and minimal unplanned maintenance. They typically only require preventive maintenance of their wearable components to maximize the life of the heater, reducing the total cost of the unit during the length of its operation.

    What is the price of having peace of mind? Hydro-Thermal DSI heaters are not a ‘one size fits all’ solution, since each heater is created in response to the process inputs you provide. Hydro-Thermal listens to your needs and custom designs a heating solution to meet the specific requirements of your industry, your company, and your application. When choosing to work with Hydro-Thermal, you can be confident you are working with an established company with a history of making robust products designed to last, supported by an established Engineering, Production, and Service team, and backed with a 100% performance guarantee.  

     

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Hydro-Thermal is the global leader in the development and manufacturing of Hydroheaters. Through our vast global channel partners, we support hydro heating in six continents and all industrialized areas. We create heating systems for a variety of industries including: pulp, paper, chemical, ethanol, food & beverage, metal, & more!

Hydro-Thermal Waukesha

400 Pilot Court
Waukesha, WI 53188 USA
Phone: (262) 548-8900
Fax: (262) 548- 8908