A steam condenser is a system that removes vapour from a steam process. It converts condensed vapour from a liquid state into a gaseous state at a much lower temperature. A condenser is an essential part of many industrial processes, primarily utilized to transfer heat from one medium to another.
The steam condenser’s primary applications include refrigeration plants and power plants.
The construction design of a steam condenser ensures that the steam within is held below the atmospheric pressure to boost efficiency. Unlike the shell and tube condenser that condenses refrigerant gas, a steam condenser condenses the steam in a refrigeration plant.
There are two main types of steam condensers. These are:
1. Surface Condensers
2. Jet Condensers
The surface condenser uses a large surface area to collect the vapour, which is then condensed. In this system, there is no mixing of the cooling water and the heat transfer. The vapour is drawn through the surface area via a vacuum created by a pump. When the steam comes into contact with the cold surface of the tube, it condenses due to heat exchange. The large surface area and low vacuum pressure allow for efficient and quick cooling of the vapours. In fabrication engineering, surface condensers are generally made of copper alloys, stainless steel or titanium.
In a jet condenser, there is direct contact between cooling water and steam.
As the name suggests, a jet condenser consists of a jet of liquid directed at an external surface. This jet of liquid then results in the condensation of the vapours on the external surface. The jet condenser works similarly to a spray cooling system but at much lower pressure.
This condenser type is mainly used to cool steam for low-pressure and low-temperature applications, such as manufacturing chemicals and petrochemicals.
Why are Steam Condensers Used?
A steam condenser is used in industrial processes such as power plants, manufacturing, food processing, and chemical engineering, where steam is used as a primary power source.
a. The primary purpose of a steam condenser is to remove the remaining moisture from the steam for reuse.
b. A steam condenser is also used to remove non-condensable gases dissolved from the condensate.
c. While an air ingress can force excess back pressure into the turbine, the condenser provides a leak-tight barrier against the ingress.
d. By condensing steam, a steam condenser helps in creating a vacuum.
Differences between Condensers and Evaporators
While the evaporator converts the liquid into steam, the condenser converts steam back into water.
A condenser is used to recover the low-pressure saturated steam emanating from the process and convert it back into water by cooling it down. On the other hand, an evaporator is used to convert water into steam by heating it.
Steam condensers are must-have equipment in any industrial setting involving steam. From power plants to manufacturing plants, condensers convert waste steam into water for reuse. Whether you’re looking to buy new equipment or repair an old one, use only high-quality parts to ensure your steam condenser operates safely and efficiently.