Flash tanks are a key component of the steam generation and condensate recovery cycle. A flash tank serves as a collection system for a variety of condensate drain lines. Flash tanks receive high-pressure condensate, which is then exposed to a low-pressure steam source. When this occurs, a certain percentage of condensate will “flash” to steam at the lower pressure. This steam can be “recycled” on other low-pressure steam heat transfer devices. Smaller in size than traditional flash tanks, flash separators utilize cyclonic action to instantly separate steam and condensate.
The flash tank provides a means of accommodating liquid and impurities from the boiler, facilitating energy recovery through the use of flash steam. Up to approximately 50% of the energy can be recovered through the use of flash steam routed to heat exchangers or to the deaerator to support the deaeration process.
Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the power and utilities industries, detailing measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the steam generation and condensate recovery process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.
Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations
Level measurement is necessary to control flash tank level and keep it within acceptable ranges. An easy way to ensure optimal performance is to take advantage of a specific technology’s ability to reliably address the level in the flash tank. This can be accomplished in a plug-and-play type installation and commissioning format (foregoing calibration, external hardware or inputs).
Flash tanks often have elevated temperatures and pressures, which can make it difficult to make reliable level measurements. It is important to select a technology that can withstand these harsh conditions and provide accurate readings unaffected by temperature or pressure.
Level Measurement Solutions
MAGNETROL has produced several level measurement solutions for flash tanks:
- For point level:
Model B40 float-actuated sealed cage switch
- For continuous level:
Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter with a 7YS steam probe
- For visual indication:
Atlas™ or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters
For more information on level solutions for flash tanks and other power generation applications, download the power industry brochure. You can also download the steam generation applications brochure for more information on level solutions for the steam generation and condensate recovery process.