Steam Leaks

Introduction

Steam is a high-value commodity; the higher the pressure, the higher value. Make every effort to repair steam leaks as soon as they occur.

Steam_Leak_Graphic

In addition to costing energy, steam leaks waste boiler water and chemicals, and it can be dangerous to people and equipment.

Operation

Steam_Leak_Cost_Table

Source: Armstrong International

NOTE: One pound of 100 psi steam contains about 1,200 BTUs. If the steam is produced at 85% efficiency, the input energy is 1,200 / 85% = 1,411 BTUs per pound. Therefore, 1,000 pounds of steam requires at least 1.4 million BTUs to produce it. (1,411 BTUs per pound x 1,000)

1 MCF of Natural Gas contains 1 million BTUs

Cost to produce 1,000 lbs of steam from natural gas = 1.4 x $ per MCF of Natural Gas

When natural gas costs $7.00 per MCF, 1,000 lbs of steam costs (1.4 x $7) = $9.80

Source: Text and calculations by Bob Fegan 3/2005; Steam Leak Graphic ORNL/TM-2001-263 p.6-2 as contained in DOE ITP Steam tip sheet DOE/GO-102002-1583 December 2002; Table CG-3 Steam Leak Costs – Armstrong International, “Steam – Basic Concepts” publication undated.