Laundry saves around £30,000 thanks to Spirax Sarco flash steam recovery
Published: 17 September 2012 - Joe Bush
A FREME (Flash Recovery Energy Management Equipment) system from Spirax Sarco is saving tens of thousands of pounds in energy for a commercial laundry company, Bates of London.
According to its earlier calculations, installing the new system would save over £30,000. This was verified by a consultant from the Carbon Trust, which secured the necessary funding for the project. “Due to other projects that were commissioned around the same time it’s quite hard to put an exact figure on it, but it is noticeably contributing to the overall savings we are achieving as our boilers now run much more efficiently with the Spirax system installed. I am sure the equipment will have paid for itself within two years,” says managing director Matthew Pantlin.
“We’ve invested quite heavily in energy saving equipment for both environmental as well as costs saving reasons,” he adds. “We had already installed some equipment to reduce the amount of flash steam being released, but we still had some losses that generated a flash plume. The Spirax Sarco system was installed as part of a wider energy saving drive and successfully eliminated the remaining plume.”
Returning condensate from the steam distribution system to the boiler house and using it to heat the boiler feedtank is an extremely effective energy saving measure. Every 6°C temperature boost in boiler feed water knocks 1% off a typical boiler energy bill.
However, up to half of the recoverable energy in the condensate can be lost to atmosphere as flash steam, which is generated as condensate leaves the pressurised steam system and returns to ambient pressure. Spirax Sarco FREME systems overcome this problem and, where practical, enable the usable heat in the condensate to be returned to the boiler.
The FREME concept works by capturing the usually lost energy as a result of flash steam and utilises it on the high-pressure side of the boiler feed pumps. In doing this, the system can safely heat the boiler feed water to over 100oC without boiling and causing pump cavitation. The pressurised condensate is sub-cooled to prevent flashing and overheating of the feedtank, and is returned sufficiently warm to begin heating the cold feed water.
“We’re pleased with the technology behind the product,” says Mr Pantlin. “It’s certainly noticeable when it’s not in operation.”
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