History of the Oriffice Trap

  • The History of steam trap began with the Watt’s invention of Steam Engine.

  • Orifice steam trap was a most popular style at the early stage of steam trap history. However, the orifice traps at early stage were mostly very leaky one due to lack of knowledge and techniques. Generally, other types of steam traps were developed in order to improve the problems that early orifice traps had.

    All steam traps work according with different density between condensate and steam, but all traps other than orifice trap involves some intermittent action that hold condensate at least for a moment and then discharge. This action causes the traps to wear and this damage will cause efficiency degradation of the trap and mechanical failure at the end. You can extend the life expectancy of mechanical traps by reducing the frequency of this intermittent action, however the trap with lower intermittent action is usually higher at cost. Therefore, replacing with higher reliability but expensive steam trap may not be the best solution because it cost a lot, once it breaks down.

  • Great success in the U.S. Navy.

  • In 1970’s U.S. Navy investigated on improvement of energy efficiency and weight saving in order to extend the cruising distance of the battleship. One of the most important technologies they have investigated was a steam-trapping as it considered as one of the biggest loss of energy within the battleship.

    Orifice trap was the one they have most focused because it is considered as the most beneficial steam trap in terms of improving energy efficiency as well as weight saving within the limited space in the battleship. After 8 years of testing, it was reasoned and determined by the US Navy, the fixed orifice produced the least steam loss over all other conventional steam traps tested, if it designed appropriately.

    This orifice steam trap system is used to over 100 battleships, and as a result of this, 875 thousand barrels of fuel and half million dollars of maintenance fee, in total of 10.8 million dollars were saved.

    U.S. President Carter awarded the engineer Mr. Lawrence L. Guzick for this great achievement in May 1977. He is also awarded from US department of energy, the John C. Valor award in 1976.

  • Development of unique orifice technology in Japan.

  • In 1980, few Japanese companies started importing of orifice traps. Some of Japanese companies investigated on this technology and started manufacturing the advanced version of orifice traps, however the technology was not able to be in widespread use as it was far from common understanding of the people at that time.

    However, after the Kyoto protocol and new energy efficiency law in force, it’s energy efficiency is begun to recognize. NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Department Organization) is the body who assess the every saving investment and distribute the subvention, clearly states that replacing the mechanical traps with orifice trap is an energy saving investment and subsidize 30% of it’s total investment.

  • Orifice trap in future.

  • Energy efficiency and cost down continue to be the important issue for the future in terms of global warming. From this point of view, the most efficient steam trap, orifice trap will be considered to be as the mainstream of the steam trap tomorrow.

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