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Evaluating Steam Trap Performance
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Laboratory tests were conducted on several types of steam traps at Holston Defense Corporation in Kingsport, Tennessee. Data from these tests, which determined their relative efficiencies, were used in performing economic analyses to determine their equivalent uniform annual cost (EUAC). The comparison was made using a computer program written for the Apple II computer to evaluate overall steam trap economics. This program calculates the EUAC for any steam trap based on 12 input variables including capital, maintenance and steam costs, interest rate and trap life. After determinIng the EUAC, the program will perform sensitivity analyses on any of the twelve variables. (This computer program is available from the author.) This study shows that inverted bucket traps have lower EUAC's under more conditions than other types of traps. Also, this study shows that live steam loss is the heaviest contributor to the annual operating cost of any steam trap and that maintenance frequency and repair cost are also more important than a trap's first cost.
Equivalent Uniform Annual Cost (EUAC)
Inverted Bucket Trap
Live Steam Loss
Maintenance Frequency and Repair Costs
Fuller, N. Y. (1986). Evaluating Steam Trap Performance. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from