Sustainability Update: Replace Steam Traps

CUMC Replaces Steam Traps to Reduce Consumption

February 6, 2013

In early 2011, CUMC undertook a steam and condensate system analysis to identify, tag and test existing traps across the system for both research and housing buildings. A steam trap is a device along a steam line that releases condensate, or water that forms as the steam begins to cool along its pathway, as well as other air or non-condensable gases that could cause potential issues in the system.

A failed stream trap wastes energy via lost steam from the system line. As failed steam traps accumulate they can be quite a hindrance on the steam system in terms of steam loss and waste, as well as cost since additional make-up steam is required to reach the serviceable area.

Once CUMC had a completed steam and condensate system evaluation, an effort was undertaken by in-house staff engineers to change-out all broken or failed traps before the heating season ramped up the following year. Traps across the entire campus were changed out, resulting in reduced steam consumption and improved efficiency across the campus.

Please direct questions and/or comments to cumc-energy@columbia.edu.

Tags

Energy & Sustainability