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Steam Dispatching Control System Demonstration at Fort Benjamin Harrison

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Currently most Army Central steam heating systems operate by maintaining a constant steam pressure regardless of actual steam demand. This method offers some operational convenience, but is often the cause of significant energy losses. Researchers at the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories USACERL have investigated the Steam Dispatching Control System SDCS, a control system that lowers supply steam pressure-and therefore steam temperature-to slightly above the amount needed to meet the steam demand. The lower steam temperature and reduction in steam loss from leaks and faulty traps result in lower heat losses and higher energy savings. Limiting steam pressure can diminish the amount of excess heat loss in the distribution system while still meeting the demand. The Armys Facilities Engineering Applications Program FEAP chose Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, as the Army demonstration site for SDCS. Researchers found that use of SDCS is technically and economically viable improvement over current operating procedures. Analysis based on demonstration results show that the simple payback for SDCS is less than 1 year. The results of this demonstration are generally applicable to installations with a large central heating plant and a substantial steam distribution system. Findings, indicate that energy savings form SDCS are significant regardless of what type of fuel powers the boiler. The authors note that, during the initial evaluation of a potential SDCS application, attention must be paid to the condensate return to ensure that it will operate properly. Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN, Steam Dispatching Control SystemSDCS, Central heating plants, energy conservation

Subject Categories:

  • Air Conditioning, Heating, Lighting and Ventilating
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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