Introduction to steam generators
Steam finds immense application in most of the engineering processes.
Definition of steam generators:
- Steam is used as a working fluid in thermal (steam) power plants. Also steam produced from water in nuclear power plant is the working fluid in nuclear power plants.
- In addition, steam is used for process heating in industries like pharmaceuticals, leather, textile, paper, tyre, distilleries, etc.
- The advantage of using steam in power plants and in process industries is that isothermal heat transfer (both heating and cooling) can be achieved by phase change and it is a reversible process.
- In addition, the exhaust steam can be condensed and recycled and hence the working fluid replenishment needs are the minimum.
- As steam is produced from water, it is relatively cheep and purity of water can be improved by employing simple water treatment processes which are cost effective.
- Due to the above reasons steam is extensively used in most of the process industries and in power plants.
- In western countries district heating is accomplished by extracting steam from power plants.
- Also in summer this steam heat is utilised to provide cooling by employing absorption refrigeration systems.