By installing wireless sensors and replacing faulty traps along the 12 miles of steam lines at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, officials expect to save as much as $675,000 per year.
With 1,600 steam traps, which normally open slightly to discharge condensed steam with a negligible loss of live steam, the problem occurs when a trap fails and that failure goes undetected and unrepaired, said Teja Kuruganti, a member of the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division.
Manual inspections of each trap is a daunting and sometimes dangerous task, but by collecting and monitoring data initially from 30 sensors at five steam trap locations, the team of researchers expects to demonstrate significant savings.
Steam is used at ORNL, industrial sites …