Save by Returning Condensate

How much can you save by returning condensate?

To determine annual savings in condensate return, you must first determine if you have an "Open" or vented return system or a "Closed" return system.

An Open or vented return system is the most common type, where steam traps discharge to a receiver tank that is vented to atmosphere. The drop in pressure from the steam trap to the atmospheric tank creates flash steam that is vented to the atmosphere and lost. The condensate is pumped to remove the liquid from the receiver.

A Closed system is where the steam traps are tied into a closed pressurized return where flash steam is maintained or utilitzed in the system. These are special systems that must be engineered to work properly. Because flash steam contains the same valuable heat BTU content as live steam, tremendous energy savings can be seen when flash steam is utilized.

The following will calculate the percentage of flash steam formed when condensate is discharged from a high pressure to a lower pressure.

These calculations are valid over the range of -10 psig to +600 psig.

High Pressure
Low Pressure

You can see the flash steam percentage formed in the first row. Type in your actual condensate load. You may change the other information to suit your particular application. If some information is not known, use the defaults for close approximation.

Percentage of Flash Steam Loss %
Condensate Load lb/hr
Annual Hours of Operation hours per year
Water and Sewage Cost per gallon
Water Treatment Cost per gallon
Condensate Return Temperature degrees F
Cold Make-up Water Temperature degrees F
Steam Cost per gallon