NOTE: Restrictions are in place to limit access to one or more of the files associated with this item. Authorized users must log in to gain access. Non-authorized users do not have access to these files.
Visit the Energy Systems Laboratory Homepage.
What To Do With Cold Traps and Why
MetadataShow full item record
Increased emphasis on energy management has helped sites reduce system cost through the diagnosis and repair of “Leaking” or “Blowing” steam traps (“Leakage Failures”). Timely maintenance response is a significant action to lower energy use and GHG emissions generated by steam production. But, what action should be taken with Cold Traps? In every steam trap survey to determine the steam trap population’s current state of health, there are usually a significant amount of steam traps determined to be “Cold” or “Low Temp” (“Drainage Failures” or “Cold Traps”). It seems that site personnel commonly assign a lower response priority to these Drainage Failures traps, and sometimes actually implement a practice to intentionally convert Leaking traps into Cold Traps by closing the inlet stop valve to immediately stop energy leakage. Subsequently, they may label those traps as “Valved- Out” or “Out of Service,” but those trap stations were originally designed as needed to drain retained condensate from the system. So, the correct designation for such a trap station is “Cold,” regardless of the current intention. If the trap station does not drain condensate and is not hot, it is “Cold.” It can be astounding that many sites are not convinced of what actions or priority to take to repair Cold Traps, even while intrinsically understanding that there is something wrong with having Cold Traps that cannot drain condensate from a steam system. It often is simply because sites may not be fully aware of the potential dangers of uncorrected Cold Traps or the significant safety, reliability, and energy benefits of addressing them. Although safety is always the main priority, it cannot be overstated that there are huge reliability and energy benefits to prioritized repair of Cold Traps. Unfortunately, proactive response to repair Cold Traps in a steam system is not always achieved, often because the real benefits of such a response are not understood. Therefore, further review of “WHAT TO DO ABOUT COLD TRAPS…AND WHY?” is warranted for safe, reliable, and energy-efficient management of the condensate discharge locations (CDLs). Several tables are provided to help sites valuate the cost impact of Cold Traps in their steam systems by using readily available historical data.
Risko, J. R.; Walter, J. P. (2012). What To Do With Cold Traps and Why. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from