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Save Energy & Maintenance with Steam Traps

BASF India has reduced energy and maintenance costs at one of its manufacturing plants by fitting Thermal Energy Intl.’s GEM® quartz Venturi orifice steam traps.

BASF India Ltd, a subsidiary of the world’s leading chemical company, BASF Group, has reduced energy and maintenance costs at its manufacturing plant in New Bombay by fitting Thermal Energy International Inc’s award winning GEM® Quartz Venturi orifice steam traps. Installed by Hyderabad based Zenith Marketing & Consultants, a company specializing in industrial energy saving products, the GEMsteam traps have provided BASF India with energy savings of 7 percent (based on bucket tests carried out on site) and a short-term payback of 8 months.

Prior to the installation of the GEM Venturi orifice steam traps, BASF India had thermodynamic steam traps fitted on its high and low pressure steam pipeline drip legs. The steam traps not only required extensive and regular maintenance, as the traps frequently leaked steam resulting in wasted energy, but also caused noise pollution due to their intermittent operation.

A presentation, given by Zenith Marketing & Consultants, explained that by replacing the existing thermodynamic traps with the GEM Venturi orifice design, blocked steam traps could be prevented from impacting production, and by efficiently returning condensate back to the boilers, energy savings would be realized. A trial was carried out over a three-month period and confirmed the trap’s savings potential. An initial order was then given for 22 GEM steam traps, which were fitted on BASF India’s high pressure (140 psi) steam line drip legs.

Following the successful installation of GEM steam traps on the high-pressure steam line, which showed savings of 7 percent and a payback of eight months, a survey was carried out on the thermodynamic steam traps’ performance on the low pressure steam line drip legs. This also confirmed that the traps were passing live steam and wasting energy.

A total of 30 GEM traps were then installed on BASF India’s medium pressure (60 psi) steam line drip legs during January and February 2010.  Based on the successful energy savings already achieved, these GEM traps are expected to provide BASF India with a one-year payback.

During a routine inspection it was noted that six of the new trap’s strainers were partially clogged thereby showing reduced condensate temperature. Zenith promptly informed BASF India how to clean the strainers and the GEM traps are now working at maximum efficiency.

“The GEM steam traps have passed the test for reliability, energy savings, maintenance cost savings and reduction of noise pollution in the factory,” says R.K. Gulkotwar, Manager-Engineering Services at BASF India. “The revolutionary concept and implementation of the GEM traps at our BASF Thane site was selected as one of the top five innovations across all division and sites of BASF in India.”

The GEM trap is a permanent solution to steam trace-trapping problems. Instead of utilizing a valve mechanism to close off steam for maximum energy and water conservation, the highly efficient GEM trap uses the patented Venturi orifice design to effectively drain condensate from the steam system. GEM steam traps have no moving parts to wedge open or fail. They therefore provide the ultimate in reliability necessitating only minimal maintenance and requiring no spares, testing or monitoring equipment.

“We have no hesitation in recommending the use of GEM steam traps to other users,” concludes Gulkotwar. “We can proclaim that it is a real revolution in the field of steam distribution.”

Available in a wide range of sizes for a full cross section of applications, the hardwearing GEM® steam traps are manufactured from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and are guaranteed for 10 years, eliminating the need for repair or replacement. The GEM steam traps can provide a fast payback from reduced energy costs and increased equipment reliability. In addition they can improve product throughput and quality by enhancing process control, and also reduce equipment repairs, downtime and replacement costs.

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