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# Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.

11

Module 2.11
Heating Vats and Tanks
by Steam Injection

## The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.11.1

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

## Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection

Direct steam injection involves the discharge of a series of steam bubbles into a liquid at a lower
temperature. The steam bubbles condense and give up their heat to the surrounding liquid.
Heat is transferred by direct contact between the steam and the liquid, consequently this method
is only used when dilution and an increase in liquid mass is acceptable. Therefore, the liquid
being heated is usually water. Direct steam injection is seldom used to heat solutions in which a
chemical reaction takes place, as the dilution of the solution would reduce the reaction rate and
lower the productivity.
Direct steam injection is the most widely used method for boiler feedtank heating throughout
industry. This method is often chosen because of its simplicity. No heat transfer surface or steam
trap set is required, and there is no need to consider the condensate return system.
Steam consumption calculations
During direct steam injection, heat is transferred in a different manner to indirect heat exchange.
As the heat is not transferred across a surface, and the steam mixes freely with the process fluid
being heated, the amount of usable heat in the steam must be calculated in a different way. This
can be found using Equation 2.11.1:

  Equation 2.11.1
V
K  7F
J S

Where:
ms = Mean steam flowrate (kg /s)
Q = Mean heat transfer rate kW (kJ /s)
hg = Specific enthalpy of steam (taken at the pressure supplying the control valve) (kJ /kg)
T = Final temperature of the water (°C)
cp = Specific heat capacity of water (kJ / kg °C)
Equation 2.11.1 shows that steam injection utilises all of the enthalpy of evaporation (or latent
heat) and a proportion of the liquid enthalpy contained in the steam. The actual proportion of
the liquid enthalpy used will depend on the temperature of the water at the end of the injection
process.
One major difference between indirect heating and direct steam injection, is that the volume
(and mass) of the process fluid is increased as steam is added, by the amount of steam injected.
Another difference is that, when calculating the steam flowrate to a steam coil, the pressure in the
coil is considered, but for steam injection, the pressure before the control valve is considered.
In some cases (where the liquid surface is not at the overflow pipe level), this will increase the
head of liquid over the injector as time progresses. However, this increase is likely to be small and
is rarely taken into account in calculations.
Factors influencing the heat transfer rate
In Equation 2.11.1, the steam consumption rate is directly related to the heat requirement. Unless
the steam injection system is designed so that all conditions are conducive to maximum heat
transfer, the steam bubbles may simply break the surface of the liquid and escape to the
atmosphere; some of the heat contained in the steam will be lost to atmosphere and the actual
heat transfer rate to the water will be less than anticipated.
In the case of a submerged coil, the maximum heat transfer rate at the start of the warm-up
period will depend on the maximum steam flowrate allowed through the control valve and its
associated pipework, and the maximum heat output allowed by the coil surface area.
During direct steam injection, it might be expected that the maximum heat transfer rate at the
very start of the warm-up period is dependent on the maximum flowrate through the control
valve, and the pipe or injector itself. However, as implied above, it will also depend on other
factors such as:

## 2.11.2 The Steam and Condensate Loop

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

o Size of the steam bubble - Condensation of a steam bubble will depend on the heat transfer
across the surface of the bubble. To ensure that the steam bubble is completely condensed, the
surface area /volume ratio must be as large as possible. Smaller bubbles have a greater surface
area per unit volume than larger bubbles, so it is desirable to produce very small bubbles.
The differential pressure (between the steam pipe and the point where the steam is discharged
into the water) as the bubble emerges will also affect the size of the steam bubble. The specific
volume of steam will increase as the pressure is reduced, so that a drop in pressure will
increase the size of the steam bubble as it escapes into the liquid. Even if the steam bubble is
emitted from a very small hole, the bubble may increase significantly in size if the steam
pressure is high. Consequently, a lower pressure in the sparge pipe is better.
o Head of liquid over the injection point - The head of liquid over the injection point will
create a backpressure so that the differential pressure will be less than the steam pressure. If
the head of liquid is large and the steam pressure in the sparge pipe is low, there may only
be a very small change in pressure so that the size of the bubbles formed is kept to a minimum.
A greater head of liquid over the point of injection will give the steam bubbles maximum
opportunity to condense before they reach the surface.
o Velocity of the bubble - The velocity of the bubble at the point of injection will also depend
on the difference between the steam pressure and the liquid head. It is desirable to keep this
differential pressure as low as possible, so that bubble velocities are also as low as possible and
the bubbles are given the maximum time to condense before they reach the surface.
o Temperature of the liquid - The rate at which the steam will condense is directly proportional
to the temperature difference between the steam and the liquid being heated. As with all
heat transfer processes, the rate of heat exchange is directly proportional to the temperature
differential.
It is always advisable to ensure that the temperature of the liquid is correctly controlled and is
kept to the minimum required for the application, so that the maximum heat transfer rate is
maintained and there is no wastage of energy.

Sparge pipes
This is simply a pipe mounted inside the tank, with the holes drilled at regular positions (typically
4 oclock and 8 oclock) when viewed from the end, equally spaced along the length of the pipe,
and with the end blanked off. The steam exits the pipe through the holes as small bubbles, which
will either condense as intended or reach the surface of the liquid (see Figure 2.11.1).
Sparge pipes are inexpensive to make and easy to install, but are prone to cause high levels of
vibration and noise. A much more effective method is to use a properly designed steam injector.

Sparge pipes
Not recommended
Bubbles

Recommended orientation

## The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.11.3

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

Example 2.11.1 - Determine the steam load to heat a tank of water by steam injection

/
1 3

/
2 3

2.0 m

3.0 m
3.0 m

## Fig. 2.11.2 The tank used in Example 2.9.1

These calculations (steps 1 to 5) are based on Examples 2.9.1 and 2.10.1 as far as heat losses
are concerned, but with the tank containing water (cp = 4.19 kJ/kg °C), instead of weak acid
solution and the water being heated by steam injection rather than a steam coil.
Step 1 - find the energy required to heat up 12 000 kg of water from 8°C to 60°C in 2 hours by
using Equation 2.6.1:

##  = PFWS Δ7 Equation 2.6.1

Where:
Q = Mean heat transfer rate to heat the water (kW)
m = 12 000 kg
cp = 4.19 kJ /kg °C
ΔT = 60 - 8 = 52°C
t = 2 hours x 3 600 = 7 200 seconds
NJ[ N- NJ &[&
 ZDWHU
VHFRQGV
 ZDWHU N:

Steam is supplied to the control valve at 2.6 bar g. In order to calculate the mean steam flowrate, it
is necessary to determine the total enthalpy in the steam (hg) at this pressure. It can be seen from
Table 2.11.1 (an extract from steam tables) that the total enthalpy of steam (hg) at 2.6 bar g is
2 733.89 kJ /kg.
Table 2.11.1 Extract from steam tables
Saturation Specific enthalpy (energy) in kJ /kg Specific volume
Pressure temperature Water Evaporation Steam of dry saturated
bar g °C hf hfg hg steam m³/kg
2.4 138.011 580.741 2 150.53 2 731.27 0.536 766
2.5 139.023 585.085 2 147.51 2 732.60 0.522 409
2.6 140.013 589.333 2 144.55 2 733.89 0.508 820
2.7 140.980 593.490 2 141.65 2 735.14 0.495 939

## 2.11.4 The Steam and Condensate Loop

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

Step 2 - find the mean steam flowrate to heat the water by using Equation 2.11.1:

 V =
 Equation 2.11.1
KJ  7FS

Where:
ms = Mean steam flowrate to heat the water in the tank (kg /s)
Q = Q(water) = Mean heat transfer rate to heat the water = 363 kW
hg = Total enthalpy in the steam supplying the control valve = 2 733.89 kJ /kg
T = Final water temperature = 60°C
cp = Specific heat of water = 4.19 kJ /kg °C
Therefore, from Equation 2.11.1;

0HDQVWHDPIORZUDWHWRKHDWWKHZDWHU V  NJ V
  &[
0HDQVWHDPIORZUDWHWRKHDWWKHZDWHU V NJ V 

0HDQVWHDPIORZUDWHWRKHDWWKHZDWHU V 
NJ K  \$

Step 3 - find the mean steam flowrate to heat the tank material (steel). From Example 2.9.1, the
mean heat transfer rate for the tank material = Q(tank) = 14 kW
The mean steam flowrate to heat the tank material is calculated by again using Equation 2.11.1:

 V =
 Equation 2.11.1
KJ  7FS

Where:
ms = Mean steam flowrate to heat the tank material (kg /s)
Q = Q(tank) = Mean heat transfer rate to heat the tank material = 14 kW
hg = Total enthalpy in the steam supplying the control valve = 2 733.89 kJ /kg
T = Final tank temperature = 60°C
cp = Specific heat of the tank material (steel) = 0.5 kJ /kg °C
Therefore, from Equation 2.11.1

0HDQVWHDPIORZUDWHWRKHDWWKHWDQNPDWHULDO V  NJ V
  &[
0HDQVWHDPIORZUDWHWRKHDWWKHWDQNPDWHULDO V  NJ V

0HDQVWHDPIORZUDWHWRKHDWWKHWDQNPDWHULDO V NJ K (% )
Step 4 - find the mean steam flowrate to make up for the heat losses from the tank during
warm-up. From Example 2.9.1:
The mean heat losses from the tank and water surface = Q(sides) + Q(surface)
The heat losses from the tank and water surface = 7 kW + 8 kW
The heat losses from the tank and water surface = 15 kW
Whilst it is reasonable to accept that the steams liquid enthalpy will contribute to the rise in
temperature of the water and the tank material, it is more difficult to accept how the steams
liquid enthalpy would add to the heat lost from the tank due to radiation. Therefore, the equation
to calculate the steam used for heat losses (Equation 2.11.2) considers only the enthalpy of
evaporation in the steam at atmospheric pressure.

  Equation 2.11.2
V
 
Where:
ms = Mean steam flowrate to provide the heat losses from the tank (kg / s)
Q = Q(sides) + Q(surface) (kW)
2 256.7 = Enthalpy of evaporation at atmospheric pressure (kJ / kg)

## The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.11.5

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

## Therefore, from Equation 2.11.2;


6WHDPORDGGXHWRKHDWORVVHVIURPWKHWDQN (V ) NJ V
 
6WHDPORDGGXHWRKHDWORVVHVIURPWKHWDQN( ) V  NJ V
6WHDPORDGGXHWRKHDWORVVHVIURPWKHWDQN( ) V NJ K (& )
Step 5 - Determine the steam load to heat a tank of water by steam injection. The total mean
steam flowrate can be calculated as follows:

## 7KHWRWDOPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH ( \$ )  (% )  (& ) 

7KHWRWDOPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH  NJ K
7KHWRWDOPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH NJ K  ()RUH[DPSOH)
It is important to remember with steam injection systems that the final mass of liquid is equal to
the mass of cold liquid, plus the mass of steam added.
In this example, the process started with 12 000 kg of water. During the required heat-up period
of 2 hours steam has been injected at the rate of 569 kg /h. The mass of liquid has therefore,
increased by 2 h x 569 kg /h = 1 138 kg.
The final mass of the liquid is:
12 000 kg + 1 138 kg = 13 138 kg
The additional 1 138 kg of condensate has a volume of about 1 138 litres (1.138 m³) and will also
have increased the water level by:
Pó
 P PP
P[P
Clearly, the process tank needs to have sufficient space above the starting water level to allow for
this increase. For safety, an overflow should always be included in the tank construction where
steam injection is involved.
Alternatively, if the process requirement had been to finish with a mass of 12 000 kg, the mass of
water at the beginning of the process would be:
,QLWLDOPDVV
5HYLVHGPDVVWRILQLVKZLWKNJ [,QLWLDOPDVV
)LQDOPDVV


5HYLVHGPDVVWRILQLVKZLWKNJ [


5HYLVHGPDVVWRILQLVKZLWKNJ NJLQLWLDOPDVVRIZDWHU

## 2.11.6 The Steam and Condensate Loop

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

Steam injectors
A more effective alternative to the sparge pipe is the steam injector as shown in Figure 2.11.3.
The injector draws in cold liquid and mixes it with steam inside the injector, distributing heated
liquid to the tank.

Cold water ä

Hot water

Hot water
Steam
Hot water

Cold water ä

## Fig. 2.11.3 A steam injector

The engineered design of the injector body is more sophisticated than the simple sparge pipe,
and allows steam at higher pressures to be used. A turbulent zone is created within the body
of the injector, which ensures that thorough mixing of the steam and liquid occurs, even at
relatively high pressures. This has the effect of agitating and circulating the liquid so that a
constant temperature is maintained throughout the tank, without temperature stratification or
cold spots.
These injectors are more compact than sparge pipes, consequently any interference with objects
that may be dipped in the tank can be avoided. They are more robust and generally quieter than
sparge pipes, although noise problems may still be encountered if not installed correctly.

Vacuum breaker
Control valve
Steam
Y-type
strainer

Dial
thermometer

Temperature
control and
sensor

Injector

## The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.11.7

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

## Noises pertaining to steam injectors

When using high pressure steam injectors three distinct noise levels are produced under the
following conditions:
o Normal running - Where steam pressures at the injector inlet are above 2 bar g, the noise
produced during normal running conditions can be described as a soft roar.
Noise is caused by the condensation of steam inside the discharge tube, as it mixes with
recirculating water drawn through the holes into the casting body. Under normal conditions
the discharge from the injector tube is approximately 10°C hotter than the incoming water.
This type of noise increases with steam pressure, water temperature and the number of injectors,
but it is rarely objectionable at steam pressures below 8 bar g. Although strong circulation of
the tank contents occurs at pressures above 8 bar g, little vibration should be experienced.
o Incomplete condensation - This is characterised by a soft bumping noise and is sometimes
accompanied by heavy vibration. It occurs when the liquid temperature is too high (usually
Injector
above 90°C). When the liquid is too hot the injector becomes less efficient and a proportion of
the steam escapes from the discharge tube.
At higher steam pressures, condensation of the steam may cause vibration, which is not
recommended for atmospheric tanks. However, in cylindrical pressure vessels of a robust design,
this may not cause any problems.
o Low flowrates - When the steam pressure at the inlet to the injector falls below 1.5 bar g, a
distinctive crackling can be heard. Under these conditions steam is unable to give up its enthalpy
of evaporation before it leaves the injector tube.
At low flowrates the steam is travelling at a lower velocity than in the other modes of operation,
and collapsing steam bubbles are found on the body casting and in the connecting pipework,
inducing cavitation. This noise is often considered objectionable, and may be found if the
steam injector system has been oversized.
Noise may also be caused by poor installation of the injector. The sides of a rectangular tank
may be made from fairly flexible panels. Connecting an injector to the middle of a flexible
panel may induce vibration and noise. It may often be better to mount the injector nearer
the corner of the tank where the structure is stiffer.

## 2.11.8 The Steam and Condensate Loop

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

Example 2.11.2
Based on data from Example 2.11.1, propose a steam injection system.
Required steam injection rate = 569 kg /h
The steam injection pressure = 1.0 bar

/
13

/
2 3

2.0 m

3.0 m
3.0 m

Fig. 2.11.5

## Table 2.11.2 Typical steam injector capacity chart

Injector type IN15 IN25M IN40M

## Steam pressure at inlet

Saturated steam capacity kg /h
of injector (bar g)
1 20 135 400
2 48 175 580
3 66 280 805
4 84 350 970
5 102 410 1 125
6 120 500 1 295
7 138 580 1 445
8 156 640 1 620
9 174 700 1 820
10 192 765 1 950
11 210 830 2 250
12 228 900 2 370
13 246 975 2 595
14 264 1 045 2 710
15 282 1 095 2 815
16 300 1 170 3 065
17 318 1 225 3 200

The largest injector (IN40M) has a capacity of 400 kg /h at 1.0 bar, so this application will require:

 NJ K
   VWHDPLQMHFWRUV
 NJ K
Ideally, because of the low pressures involved, the injectors would be installed at opposite ends
of the tank to give good mixing.
An alternative would be to use higher pressure steam. This would allow the use of just one,
smaller injector, reducing costs and still providing good mixing.

## The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.11.9

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

## Alternative method of calculating injected steam load

The previous method used in this Module to calculate the mean steam flowrate requires the
mean heat load to be calculated first. This is depicted by Equation 2.11.1:

  Equation 2.11.1
V
KJ  7FS
Where:
Q = Mean heat transfer rate (kW)
If the mean heat transfer rate is not known, another method can be used to determine the mean
steam flowrate. This requires the use of a heat balance as described below.
It should be noted that both methods return exactly the same result, so whichever is used depends
upon the users choice.
Calculating the mean steam flowrate by means of a heat balance
A heat balance is considered where the initial heat content in the water plus the heat added by
the steam equals the final heat content. The heat balance equation for the water in the tank is
shown in Equation 2.11.3:

## PKPV KJ (PPV ) K Equation 2.11.3

Where:
m = Initial mass of water in the tank (kg)
h1 = The heat in the water at the initial temperature (kJ /kg)
ms = The mass of steam to be injected to raise the water temperature (kg)
hg = The total enthalpy of the steam onto the control valve (kJ /kg)
h2 = The heat in the water at the final temperature (kJ /kg)
Mass of steam to be injected
The mass of steam to be injected can be determined more directly from Equation 2.11.4, which
is developed from Equation 2.11.3.

PV   P K K
KJ K  Equation 2.11.4

Where:
ms = The mass of steam to be injected (kg)
m = Initial mass of water in the tank (kg)
h2 = The heat in the water at the final temperature (kJ /kg)
h1 = The heat in the water at the initial temperature (kJ /kg)
hg = The total enthalpy of the steam upstream of the control valve (kJ /kg)

## 2.11.10 The Steam and Condensate Loop

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

Example 2.11.3
Consider the same conditions as that in Example 2.11.1.
Initial mass of water (m) = 12 000 kg
Initial temperature = 8°C
h1 = 8°C x 4.19 kJ /kg °C
h1 = 33.5 kJ /kg
Final temperature = 60°C
h2 = 60°C x 4.19 kJ /kg °C
h2 = 251.4 kJ /kg
Pressure of steam = 2.6 bar g
ms = Mass of steam to be injected from 2.6 bar g
hg = Total enthalpy of steam at 2.6 bar g = 2 733.9 kJ /kg

Conducting a heat balance on the water in the tank by using Equation 2.11.4:

PV   P K K
KJ K  Equation 2.11.4

Where:
ms = The mass of steam to be injected to raise the water temperature (kg)
m = 12 000 kg
h2 = 251.4 kJ /kg
h1 = 33.5 kJ /kg
hg = 2 733.9 kJ /kg

 
 PV
 

PV

P NJ
V

\$VWKHWDQNLVWREHKHDWHGXSLQKRXUV
7RWDOPDVVRIVWHDPXVHG
7KHPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH
7LPHWRKHDWWDQN
 
7KHPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH  NJ K

7KHPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH NJ KWRKHDWWKHZDWHU

## The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.11.11

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

## Conducting a heat balance on the tank material

m = Mass of tank = 3 886 kg
ms = Mass of steam to be injected to raise the tank temperature
Initial temperature = 8°C
h1 = 8°C x 0.5 kJ /kg °C
h1 = 4 kJ /kg
Final temperature = 60°C
h2 = 60°C x 0.5 kJ /kg °C
h2 = 30 kJ /kg
Pressure of steam to be injected = 2.6 bar g (2 733.9 kJ /kg)
hg = 2 733.9 kJ /kg
Using the heat balance Equation 2.11.4 with regard to the steel tank.

PV   P K K
KJ K  Equation 2.11.4

Where:
ms = Mass of steam to be injected to raise the tank temperature
m = 3 886 kg
h2 = 30 kJ /kg
h1 = 4 kJ /kg
hg = 2 733.9 kJ /kg
 
PV
 

PV =
 
PV = NJ

2YHUKRXUVKHDWLQJWLPHPV = NJ K

P NJ K
V

The heat losses from the sides of the tank and the water surface are the same as previously
calculated, that is 24 kg /h.
7RWDOPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH 6WHDPWRKHDWZDWHUVWHDPWRKHDWWDQNKHDWORVVHV
7RWDOPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH NJ K  NJ K  NJ K
7RWDOPHDQVWHDPIORZUDWH NJ K
This is the same result as that obtained previously in this Module from Equations 2.11.1 and
2.11.2, and proves that either method can be used to calculate the mean steam flowrate to heat
the tank and its contents.

## 2.11.12 The Steam and Condensate Loop

Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Heating Vats and Tanks by Steam Injection Module 2.11

Questions

1. A tank is to be heated by direct steam injection. How will the quantity of heat required
compare with steam coil heating?
a| It depends on the temperature of the water being heated ¨
b| More heat will be required ¨
c| The same amount of heat will be required ¨
d| Less heat will be required ¨

2. An open topped tank of water measuring 1.5 x 2 x 1.5 m deep is to be heated from
15°C to 75°C in 2 hours using a steam injector supplied with steam at 3 bar g onto the
control valve. The tank is well lagged so losses from the sides and base can be ignored.
Still air conditions exist above the liquid surface. What is the approximate mean steam
flowrate during start-up? (The water depth is 1.3 m).
a| 183 kg /h ¨
b| 156 kg /h ¨
c| 12 kg /h ¨
d| 200 kg /h ¨

3. Referring to Question 2 approximately how much steam would be required if coil heating
were used?
a| 230 kg /h ¨
b| 293 kg /h ¨
c| 281 kg /h ¨
d| 248 kg /h ¨

## 4. Which of the following is an advantage of a steam injector over a sparge pipe?

a| Circulates liquid but is noisier ¨
b| Less robust but quieter ¨
c| Handles higher pressures and is more efficient at mixing the steam and liquid ¨
d| Suitable for lower pressures ¨