Let’s dive into specifics. One type of energy steam contains is latent energy or latent heat. According to mobile-dictionary.reverso.net, latent heat is the heat evolved or absorbed by unit mass or unit amount of substance when it changes phase without change of temperature. In a dry cleaning plant, when steam is supplied to a process, the steam releases latent energy to supply the piece of equipment with the steam it needs to function and then condenses to a liquid condensate. That condensate still has energy, and if pumped back into the boiler, makes the boiler run more efficiently. How? First, less new make-up water is required, which helps keep water costs down. Second, that water is already hot, so less energy is required to heat the water. Third, most of the corrosive dissolved Oxygen has been removed from the water, reducing system corrosion.
Do these three things to make sure your plant is set up properly:
- Always T upwards off of the supply and return header to the equipment connections
- Always put a check valve after every steam trap
- Confirm that all steam traps are in good working condition