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# heat loss through insulated pipe line

## heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear all
We encountering a problem of increase of 10-12 tonnes of steam load during heavy rains. I want to know how can we calculate heat loss of long pipeline. We are supplying 12kg/cm2 steam at 280 degree celcius. Pipeline size is 6" and of carbon steel and insulation we use is Light resin bonded matress of 65mm thickness and 140 kg/cm3 density and aluminium cladding. Pipeline is about 1.8 km long. Please guide me
Regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

Probably the problem is due that in the heavy rains, the pipe is wet and with much water in the external surface. In this case the heat loss transmission from the pipe to the water is higher than in the case of the transmission to the air when the pipe is dry. The thermal conductivity of the water is higher than the air.
In any case, you must take into account that the cooling of the steam along the pipe is due to the transmission loss and also to the expansion from the initial pressure to the pressure at the end of the pipe that may be considered as an intermediate expansion between the isenthalpic and the isentropic.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

The heat loss is 10-12 tonnes of steam. What's important is how much extra fuel had to be burned - ask the plant manager for that information.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

Hi ,
Share with us some more information , what is the normal steam flowrate and what is the over consumption ,both in tons/hour ?
Regarding pressure , is it gauge or absolute pressure ? Confirm that your steam is overheated (+90 to 100 C) !
How the steampipe is routed cross country , any pipe rack to support ? Will it be covered with water during rainy season (flood)?
You may want to share a picture with us.

Pierre

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

Water has both good thermal conductivity and specific heat, so wetting the insulation is easily 10x more efficient at removing heat than natural convection.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

Ask a piping insulation inspector to survey this line for water ingress - some sections may need to be reinsulated.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear Pierre
Normal flow rate is 40 tones/hr now during rains it flow rate increased to 55 tones per hour. It is absolute pressure. Yes sir steam is superheated to 280 degree Celsius. Insulation and cladding is ok. We renew insulations based on thermography report. Steam line layed about 10 meters above ground supported on pipe rack. Sir how we can measure heat loss from pipeline of such great length of 1.8 km. Is there any formula for calculation.
Regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

What is "light resin bonded mattress?? That is meaningless I'm afraid and could mean anything
We need some technical details (material, thermal conductivity etc), photos etc

Ten metres above ground?? Really??
How do you go about inspecting that?

What is the skin temperature of the cladding?

Are there any exposed sections in the plant? Or how do you know it is the pipeline which is responsible and not some other part of the steam process?

Can something else cause the increase in steam when it rains?

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

Calculation is not an issue I can provide an excel sheet , I have difficulty to understand that rain can be responsible for steam overconsumption (+30%). Definitely you need some one to inspect your insulation and cladding , all the pipe must be checked (1.8 km) for defect and may be leaks.
By the way you did not mention steam traps, did you check them ? Please consider to read the link underneath about the consequences of cold weather .
https://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2007/0...
As suggested , let you measure the skin temperature of the cladding , Infra red thermometer should be good enough to confirm the condition of the insulation material and its efficiency.
Good luck
Pierre

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

You don't need better insulation - you need a rain cover.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

How do you know steam flow has increased to 55t/hr - is the FT located at some point where there is 2phase flow, like a piping low point ?
Presume your insulation contractor has given you assurance this insulation is water proof all through 1.8km length.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

You can review the fundamentals of the calculation from any of many web sites or any heat transfer text.

For example a lecture on the fundamentals: https://youtu.be/Vy9OW-14iw8

But equations are not going to solve your problem. Finding the cause of your problem is the first step of solving your problem.

Does the steam flow increase instantaneously when it starts to rain, or does it take some time?

Does the steam flow return to normal instantaneously when the rain stops, or does it take some time?

LittleInch already hinted at this, are any of the steam consumers sensitive to rain?

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

Some steam traps work by sensing saturated condensate temp on a cooling leg upstream of the trap. So if the cooling leg is exposed to rain and cools the condensate more than it should, the trap will continue to blow and not close when it should. Hence check the steam trap arrangements also on this line - cooling legs may be left uninsulated, but they should be shielded from rain.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

For the first few meters install an anti-rain roof, choose the cheapest roof that you can install. Moreover, you may install temperature sensors in that area so that you may obtain the temperature differential obtained without and with a roof, with this information you may calculate the economic benefits of this initiative

(OP)
Dear All
Regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

You said your insulation last for 20 years ! Probably a very good time to replace it .. Regarding overconsumption of steam during rainy season , is it a recent problem or has it been always the case ?
To me this is typically a lack of maintenance of your insulation system ,probably soaked with rain with issue with steam traps , lack of management.
Prior to rainy season , you should perform an inspection of the insulation and regularly check for malfunction of steam traps.
Good luck
Pierre

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear Pierre sir and all other respected sirs,
Thanks for your valuable and precious suggestions. These suggestions enhanced our knowledge and will help us maintaining steam line in best possible ways. I am grateful to all of you.
Regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

We want to compare steam load before and during rainy season.

But you have already done this. "Normal flow rate is 40 tones/hr now during rains it flow rate increased to 55 tones per hour."

Steam load gradually increases during rains and reduces to normal when rain stops.

This strongly supports everyone's guess that your insulation gets wet when it rains.

We want to put proposal to management about savings in replacing it with new insulation.

(15 tones per hour x cost of fuel/tone of steam x number of hours that it rains) + something for new insulation being better year round than whatever old insulation you have = annual savings.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

At the delivery end of the 1.8 km long of the 6" pipe do you know the pressure and temperature of the steam and of the mass rate of steam being supplied?

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

Just to be sure, you may check these FTs' also. What type are they? If they are dp cells with flow orifice, check that impulse lines are not collecting condensate in the rain - are they installed correctly?

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

]Like a few others have been saying, you don't need calculations - you already have the answer in the form of energy lost between dry and rainy periods.

That insulation is basically rockwool but supplied in pre formed sheets enclosed by thin wire mesh. It is clear in your 1.8km the external cover is not able to to fully water proof your line and hence over time water gets in and increases significantly the thermal conductivity. Given that the rain will probably take this extra heat away, you will need to wait for the dry periods in the rainy season to measure surface temperature to find the worst locations. I've seen Indian monsoons and any external cover will be very lucky to prevent a slow ingress of water over the many weeks of the heaviest rain.

Or you need to replace with some sort of closed cell insulation, either Foam Glas or PUF, though the temperature might be a bit high for the PUF. Then you don't need to worry anymore - that should last for decades if you install it right.

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear georgeverghese
FTs are DP type with flow orifice and we checked they are working fine. I did not understand the point (cooling of steam due to expansion from the initial pressure to the pressure at the end of the pipe that may be considered as an intermediate expansion between the isenthalpic and the isentropic) as explained by casflo. Please explain it. Littleinch sir and all other respected sirs thanks for your guidance
Regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

FTs' will work fine even when impulse lines are badly installed. In addition, in this case, impulse lines may be getting wet in the rain. Are the impulse lines sloping continuously down to the source pipe so that any condensate in the impulse line will drain back to the source pipe? If not sloping correctly, condensate will accumulate at low points in the impulse tubing and readings will be in error.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

I only want to say that the steam and whichever other compressible fluid, has a pressure drop (expansion) flowing along the pipe, that cools it. This expansion along the pipe is close to an intermediate value between the isentropic and the isenthalpic expansions.
If the expansion were through a nozzle, it is close to isentropic. If the expansion were through a valve, it is close to isenthalpic.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear Georgeverghese
Impulse lines are sloped downwards from source to transmitter as per required guidelines. I think FT problem is not there.
Thanks and regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

If they slope down to the TX then you need to regularly drain it. Does this happen or do you mean it slopes back down to the pipe?

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

The FT should be above the pipe.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

If you can answer my first inquiry, you can then APPLY THE FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS as long as you know the initial(from steam generator) and final(receiving end of pipeline) states of steam. For initial and final states either use a steam table or a Mollier diagram to determine the enthalpy, internal energy and specific volume for the two states. There is one catch and that is you have to know the quality of steam at the initial and final states which normally require sampling. If sampling is not possible then an educated guess will be needed for steam quality at the initial and final conditions. Steam quality values are needed because you may have to interpolate for more accurate values of enthalpy, internal energy and specific volume (interpolation may not be needed if the initial and final states are in the superheated region which I doubt).

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear Chicopee
Steam at receiving end is at 11.5 kg/cm2 and temperature at receiving end is 210 degree celcius and flow is about 40 tonnes per hour. Again I thank each and everyone for sharing valuable information. I will be grateful for that.
Regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

There are two ways to solve your problem but I have to know if you had classes in thermodynamics and heat transfer. If you did not then my presentations will be too overwhelming.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear Cicopee sir
Please provide presentations. I studied Thermodynamics and Heat transfer. I will be grateful for this.
Regards]

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

One other item to check is the aluminum covers over the insulation. Where are the joints in the wrap? If the overlaps are in the wrong direction, then water instead of being shed off the cover will run inside wetting the insulation, giving you all of the problems previously described.
B.E.

You are judged not by what you know, but by what you can do.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

My first attachment is the application of the first law of thermodynamics. I noted from your OP that you are dealing with metric units however my presentation is in English units so it is up to you to figure out the equivalency. English units are a bit messy when compared to metric units so I have included a little bit more information for your edification. The unit for heat lost Q is BTU/hr. Note mass in metric is kg or grams but in the english unit it is pound mass (Lbm). Force in metric is Newton but in the english unit it is pound force (Lbf). You'll note mass rate dm/dt or m dot is in (Lbm/hr). Note the other units used for pressure, specific volume, enthlapy and steam quality being in %. To know the steam quality if you deal with saturated steam field testing with a calorimeter is needed.
In due time, my second presentation on your OP will be a little more difficult when using the heat transfer approach.

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

(OP)
Dear Chicopee sir
Regards

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

There is a free and good web calculator here:

https://checalc.com/calc/inshoriz.html

but its does not consider wet insulation. I would agree with others and say that you need to improve your insulation shell.

Best regards, Morten

--- Best regards, Morten Andersen

### RE: heat loss through insulated pipe line

I am afraid that determining a more economical insulation material and thickness is quite elaborate.
If I understood your point well, the problem is with heavy (tropical) rains. During such rains the heat transfer on the sheeting outside will be high due to the refreshing water layer, which will be higher than with wind.
You could make spreadsheet dividing the pipeline in segments of some meters length. Per segment a heat balance and heat transfer should be determined. The heat transfer coefficient inside in the pipe and outside on sheeting should be estimated. The condition inside pipe should be determined using the vapor-condensation curve. Also the pipe resistance should be taken into account. A lot of work. Your above mentioned insulation thickness seems somewhat small, but increase of the insulation thickness will bring also additional cost, which could outweight the extra steam cost during heavy rains,

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