Dump Condenser Tube: Definition and Applications

December 7, 2016

Little is wasted within a balanced heat exchange system. A dump process condenser adheres to the thermal mechanics of this maxim by recovering excess steam-generated heat. Fabricated as a pressure reduction stage that recovers (condenses) steam, this vessel is built to handle surplus steam loads and rescue energy from those load before they're ejected uselessly into the atmosphere.

Fabricating Surplus Solutions

When does a processing facility produce an off-balance thermal load? That's not a riddle, just a fact of heat exchange mechanics. Heat loads do produce surplus energy. A steam load fluctuates, or a turbine creates a transient pressure spike during its start cycle, or maybe the exhaust from a large boiler requires pressure reduction. Whatever the application, the vessel must be manufactured to withstand the ejected pressure and the corrosive steam. Then, as the load is ejected, the superhot airborne fluid cools and condenses, before funneling its way back into the processing stream.

How Does a Dump Condenser Tube Operate?

A shell/tube heat exchanging stack is exactingly manufactured and installed inside the tube housing. The pressurized steam is channeled into this network of tubes and cooled until the gaseous medium expands. It's this expansion effect that requires proper design scrutiny, for the expanded shape of the dump vessel is key here. Its open shaping intelligently reduces the pressure of the inlet steam channel while acting as a cooling mechanism. Of course, the aid of an expansion stage only takes thermal dynamics so far, which is why another cooling medium flows inside the tube. Separated but still able to influence the hot steam, the cold seawater or chilled air provides an active cooling mechanism, one that drastically reduces the impetus contained within the superheated steam.

Engineering the Dump Construct

Strong carbon steel plating and other corrosion-resistant steel alloys are painstakingly assembled until the vessel can be certified as steam and pressure capable. The optimized metal construct withstands intense internal pressures, obviously, but it also works unceasingly during extreme pressure spikes and very heat-corrosive instances.

As the descriptive label infers, a dump condenser is built to handle challenging upset conditions, instances when sudden steam dumps are channeled away from a smoothly operating heat exchanging process. The "dump" condition could occur in the powerplant of a marine freighter, an oil refinery heat exchanger, or even the working side of a mighty steam turbine, but the transient incident will not cause a nasty atmospheric loss, not when the condenser vessel is in place to convert the energetic exhaust back into a usable process stream.

Contact Details

Fusion - Weld Engineering Pty Ltd
ABN 98 068 987619

1865 Frankston Flinders Road,
Hastings, VIC 3915

Ph: (03) 5909 8218

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