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Could I used a kettle heat exchanger as steam drum?

Could I used a kettle heat exchanger as steam drum?

Could I used a kettle heat exchanger as steam drum?


I was wondering if a kettle heat exchanger can be used to cool a product before transferring to storage tank. In an similar situation, condensate from the steam system was used to cool the product in a double pipe heat exchanger connected to a steam drum. Condensate water was pumped to the steam drum and would flow into the double pipe heat exchanger. Since the product was 600F, the water would flash into steam and return to the steam drum were it would vent to atmosphere.

I was thinking I could reduce equipment by just using a kettle heat exchanger instead.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

RE: Could I used a kettle heat exchanger as steam drum?

Sure you could but you have to make the determination as to whether the equipment is actually suitable. Can it tolerate the thermal stresses? Unless you are stirring or pumping cooling should be from the top whereas heating should be from the bottom.

RE: Could I used a kettle heat exchanger as steam drum?

your idea need to be first tested against proper heat exchange calculations since the heat transfer characteristics (heat exchanger area, heat transfer coefficients etc.) may be totally different for a kettle exchanger and a double pipe exchanger since you are stating this proposal qualitatively. Proper heat exchange calculations need to be done to prove the Process feasibility of using the kettle reboiler as a steam drum. Also , I am sure you are aware that other checks also need to be done too viz. Mechanical / Structural feasibility before it is finally consigned to a formal conversion.

RE: Could I used a kettle heat exchanger as steam drum?

I think that it is important to recognize that the boiler and pressure vessel codes have completely different requirements for steam generators (ASME SECTION I) and common pressure vessels (ASME SECTION VIII)

It seems to me that you are trying to use a component designed to meet one section of the codes to meet the service requirements of another section. There are problems....

For example:

- How will the shell be protected ? With Safety valves designed in accordance with ASME section I ??

- Importantly what type of water level control will be used ? Perhaps a device qualified for use on Section I boilers ?

- Will your Frankenstein device be able to blowdown solids properly ? Like all safe boilers operating today ?

- How will your state/country register your steam generation device ??? Will there be any certification ?

IMHO, I believe that this question belongs in the "Boiler and Pressure Vessel Forum"

You cannot pick and choose the rules with which you want to comply ....

Sr. Process Engineer

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