Steam System Maintenance in General
Steam is used to heat buildings, heat raw materials and finish products
in manufacturing and to generate electricity. Steam is not free. There
are many opportunities for energy savings. In the US, It costs approximately
$20 billion dollars annually to feed the boilers generating steam alone.
A steam system consists of generation, distribution and recovery. In other
words, the boilers, the distribution system and the condensate return
system. The purpose of an effective steam distribution system is to link
the output of the steam generation system to the steam end-use equipment.
The distribution system should supply high-quality steam to the end-use
equipment at the required rate and pressure, and with the minimum heat
loss. The purpose of an effective condensate recovery system is to make
the most effective use of all remaining steam and condensate energy after
How can Aerial Infrared help?
Checking the boilers and the lines in the steam tunnels are jobs done
on the ground, but the distribution and condensate return lines that are
direct-buried are best surveyed from the air. In fact, even from high
altitudes, steam line inspections are one of the easiest applications
for aerial infrared thermographers. Thermal contrast between active steam
lines and the surrounding ground are usually good. The entire system can
be flown and areas with problems pinpointed and documented
Steam Distribution Asset Management
Steam Leak FindIR is quick and inexpensive. See
an example report here.