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Reliability Improvement Programs in Steam Distribution and Power Generation Systems
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This paper will present alternatives to costly corrective maintenance repairs of the steam trap and condensate return system, and the paybacks associated with instituting a program of planned and systematic maintenance management of that system. Energy costs can be reduced by 10% and maintenance costs by 20%, while achieving other tangible improvements in the reliability and efficiency of the system. Recent studies have shown that more than 40% of all installed steam traps and 20% of certain types of valves need some form of corrective action. The majority of all high backpressure problems in condensate return systems are due to poor design criteria in expanding or retrofitting existing return systems. By instituting a maintenance management program, a 95% reliability can be gained with two to four annual maintenance cycles. The associated operational problems can be greatly reduced. The maintenance management concept involves: 1) centralized project management; 2) diagnostic and inspection expertise; 3) system troubleshooting; 4) data analysis, reporting and recommendations; 5) maintenance repairs and follow-up; and 6)software and data base management. Several case studies, in which the concept has been successfully applied, will be presented.
Atlas, R. D. (1986). Reliability Improvement Programs in Steam Distribution and Power Generation Systems. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from