Steam Valves: Improve Your Winterization Process & Your Savings
Steam tracing emptying your wallet each winter? It may be because you are using a manually controlled steam tracing system.
While manually controlled steam tracing is an effective method to eliminate the chance of freeze damage, these systems can have two common risks:
- Forgetting to turn the system on due to human error – resulting in freeze damage
- Not turning them off during non-freezing periods – wasting steam when unnecessary and ballooning costs
To significantly reduce steam costs over the freeze season, ThermOmegaTech recommends using a thermostatically controlled steam tracing solution. In these systems, steam is controlled by a thermostatic valve that continuously monitors temperatures, turning steam supply on only when the temperature falls towards freezing, and automatically turning it off to conserve supplies on warmer days.
Thermostatic steam valves eliminate the risks associated with human error, while ensuring the heating media is effectively used, resulting in a significant cost savings over a single freeze season.
What Your Facility Could Be Saving
A winterizing steam tracing system in a plant located in Philadelphia, PA consumes about 500 lbs. per hour of steam. This system was manually turned on in the beginning of the freeze season (mid-September) and was not turned off until the dangers of freezing temperatures passed (mid-April). Total operating hours are an estimated 5,088:
Cost of Manual Operation
When using a manually controlled system where steam is constantly on from September to April:
500 lbs. per hour x 5,088 hours x $8.00/thousand lbs. = $20,352.00 per winter season.
Cost of Thermostatic Operation
When using thermostatic control valves that turn off steam when temperature rises above 45°F:
500 lbs. per hour x 2,895 hours x $8.00/thousand lbs. = $11,580.00
per winter season.
*Based on U.S. Weather Bureau data for Philadelphia, steam will be on for only 2,895 hours each winter.