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Corus’s Trostre Steel Works in Llanelli, South Wales, has installed Thermal Energy’s Gem Venturi orifice steam traps as part of the plant’s energy conservation and CO2 reduction initiatives.

As a supplier of light-gauge steels, the Llanelli site produces more than 400,000 tonnes a year of packaging steels for the UK market.

As part of the steel-making process, Trostre Works operates a continuous annealing (CAPL) process line to give the steel its required hardness.

The CAPL process line uses around 600 tonnes a week of saturated steam supplied at 8 barG.

The operation’s continuous process is achieved through the use of two entry and exit reels.

At any one time there will be more than 1,000m of strip running through the line.

The furnace section of the line heats the strip to a selected temperature within a 650C to 690C range.

This temperature is maintained through the mid section and the strip is gradually cooled in the final furnace.

By passing the strip through cooling chambers and a quench tank further cooling is achieved.

Finally, the strip is recoiled for further downstream processing.

The site had previously installed a Gem Venturi steam trap following a bucket test on a line drainage trap, which had provided 60 per cent savings.

Following the appointment of Dr Darryl Lewis as energy operations manager, Thermal Energy (TEI) was asked to survey the CAPL process line and V Stand Mill.

This found that of the 12 steam traps surveyed, 25 per cent had failed closed and 17 per cent had failed open.

This was increasing energy use and having an environmental impact by creating additional amounts of CO2 emissions.

Now, a total of 18 Gem Venturi orifice steam traps have replaced the existing mechanical steam traps on the CAPL process line.

Based on nominal consumption rates of 600 tonnes of steam a week, the Gem traps are providing around five per cent energy savings.

Instead of utilising a valve mechanism to close off steam for maximum energy and water conservation, the Gem steam traps use the venturi orifice design to effectively drain condensate from the steam system without losing steam.

As the Gem steam traps have no moving parts to wedge open or fail, they provide reliability and require minimal maintenance, no spares, or testing and monitoring equipment.

Available in a wide range of sizes for a full cross section of applications, the hard-wearing Gem steam traps are manufactured from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and are guaranteed for 10 years.

Thermal Energy International Inc is an innovative technology company providing custom energy and emission reduction solutions. Our award-winning energy recovery, conservation and bioenergy solutions provide significant financial and environmental benefits to our customers. Our experience and talent in waste energy recovery recycling and bio-energy conversion solutions are unrivalled. These solutions provide our clients with typical energy cost savings of 10 per cent to 35 per cent or more with commensurate reductions in greenhouse gases and other emissions.

We go beyond the realm of single application or product competitors and instead provide our clients with maximum opportunities to reduce energy and emissions. Through a unique mix of process, energy, environmental, financial and other expertise combined with the best technology solutions and financial offerings, our clients can expect compelling returns exceeding 30 per cent and solutions with an excellent track record of longevity, proven reliability and performance.

Thermal Energy's core business provides three primary client benefits:

  • Energy consumption and cost reduction
  • Commensurate greenhouse gas and emission reductions
  • Excellent financial returns

With energy cost trends projecting steady increases over the next several years, our solutions provide increasingly more attractive returns and a means for our clients to shield themselves against ever-increasing energy costs.

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