Intelligent Autonomous Steam Trap System
Microcontroller and sensor to save steam energy
|Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
Purgadores de Condensado S.L. is an 8-employee Spanish company
involved in the design and manufacturing of mechanical steam traps since
1986, and having a turnaround in 1998 of 640 KEUR. The steam trap manufactured
before this Application Experiment was purely mechanical, so the company
never used electronic technology before this AE. The company belongs to
the industrial sector NACE 2913: Taps and Valves.
Steam traps are automatic valves widely used in systems that use steam
energy. Their function is to eliminate water condensation in steam lines
and equipment without leaking steam and energy. They are sold to many
industries, but mainly to petrochemical plants and oil refineries.
Leaks in steam traps are a significant source of losses in petrochemical
industry. Manual, expensive surveillance has to be used in order to detect
the valves malfunction as early as possible. The problem is aggravated
by the very big number of these devices that can be installed in a typical
plant (thousands), so when the failure is detected the valve may have
been causing losses for a long time and causing a further wearing of the
internal parts of the valve. This is the reason why an electronic early
detection system represents a big step forward in this industry segment.
This Application Experiment has developed an Intelligent Autonomous Steam
Trap (IAST), capable of self-monitoring its own operation, detecting immediately
any type of failure, thus providing a significant advantage to the end
user in terms of savings in energy and maintenance costs. This has been
attained incorporating electronics for the first time to the classical
mechanical design. The technology used has been a microcontroller.
The project took 24 weeks, and its budgeted costs until prototypes were
60 KEUR. Additional prototyping costs i.e. mechanical modifications on
steam traps to implement this new concept have reached 57 KEUR, so the
total costs of the prototypes were 117 KEUR. Industrialisation costs to
bring the product to the market will take 82 additional KEUR. The company
expects the total investment of 199 KEUR to be paid back in a period of
36 months, with an estimated ROI of 150% after 4 years of product life.
The company intends replicating its AE for providing RF transmission capabilities
and computerised control for a next version of new and more powerful IASTS.
PURGADORES DE CONDENSADO S.L.
Condesa de Venadito, 16
2027 - Madrid
|You can also benefit from microelectronics
Microcontroller technology provided PURGADORES DE CONDENSADO S.L. with
the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position.
You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics
technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process.
You can get help from FUSE to realise this.
FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.
FUSE provides you with:
- Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
- Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.
Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.
||Guiding Technology Transfer Node
|For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
C/Marques De Urquijo 26, 1 C, Izq.