It is better to teach a man to fish... than to hit him with a fish... (usually).
Understanding Water Hammer in Steam Systems--This is what steam workers need to know before operating a steam valve in a high-pressure steam system...and what Engineers need to know before they design one! Over 3000 hours have gone into developing the most comprehensive seminar available anywhere on how to operate and maintain high-pressure steam systems so as to avoid life-threatening steam accidents. It's based on research done since 1973 as well as a comprehensive library of scientific papers published since then. The Seminar includes videos of water hammer in the lab, live demonstrations of a rapid steam bubble collapse, and over 200 animated slides that depict step-by-step what's going on inside steam lines. (Link to the Program below). The first 4-1/2 hours gives steam workers a gut understanding of what really causes water hammer in steam pipes.
take the Waterhammer Quiz
Understanding Waterhammer in Steam Systems
Part I- Obtaining a Gut-Understanding of Condensation Induced Waterhammer - 4-1/2 hours)
1Let's Review what you already "know" about waterhammer in steam systems.
2Condensation-Induced Waterhammer-- This is the kind of waterhammer that kills operators!
3.. Return to the Initial Accident. This is what happened when the worker opened the steam valve.
5 Using Infrared Guns Correctly and Alternatives i.e., How to find subcooled condensate in steam systems
6. Recognizing an
7. Now, Do You Know Enough to avoid a steam waterhammer accident? Re-visit the Fatal Accident with which we began and list what should be done before opening any valve in a high pressure steam system.
Part II- Lessons from Real Accidents & Advanced Topics
10. "Start-up " Accidents .
Advanced Topics (Select which are applicable to your system. Three of the topics below can be covered)
12. Looped Steam Systems
13. Flooded Manholes and Submerged Steam Piping--the danger of Nucleate Boiling and how this type of accident can, unlike other accidents, be self-initiating. This section also compares typical trap capacity with condensate formation within steam pipes in various states of insulation and non-insulation.
14. Superheated Steam Systems -- Yes, they can hammer if traps are not provided upstream of isolation valves.
15. Water Slug Accelerated by Sudden Application of Steam Pressure. Advanced optional topic which calculates the reaction forces that can be generated by this type of non-waterhammer event.
17. Column-Closure Waterhammer. This advanced optional topic discusses another type of water hammer which commonly occurs in steam condensate systems. It's signature is a bang when a pump activates or a trap discharges. It's generally not as powerful or dangerous as a Condensation-Induced waterhammer so it's mainly of interest to design engineers and troubleshooters. A demonstration of column separation due to evacuation is included.
18. Steam BLEVE Accidents. A Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion can occur when water is superheated (compared to atmospheric pressure) in a pressurized vessel that ruptures or otherwise undergoes a pressure release (such as due to a safety valve release). The BLEVE can roughly double the internal pressure in the vessel leading to total loss of containment if the vessel is weak. With sudden loss of containment, superheated water flashes to steam which creates a shock wave traveling outward from the vessel. (See Accident Investigations)
1. Waterhammer Quiz is modified with questions relevant to SAGD operation and design
2. Waterhammer in the Steam Distribution Piping to the Wells at the Pad
3. "Rho - V - Squared" Steam Driven Slug Flow
4. Waterhammer in OTSG Common Blowdown Lines--the Fundamentals of why it Occurs in
Optional Wallet Card Handout "What You Need To Know"
Wallet-sized handout card for steam workers that can be ordered for Seminar Attendees.
My Needs for the Seminar
I need a computer projector and speakers that plug into my computer's audio output, a screen, a demonstration table (I boil water to make steam; at no time does steam pressure exceed atmospheric pressure in the can), and a white board or blackboard. Please be sure the projector and speakers are available. Before the first seminar, I will email electronic copies of the Quiz, evaluation form, and steam tables to be reproduced for each attendee and checklist. The room should be set up conference style (U-shape is good, around a conference table is even better) with attendees as close to me as possible seated at tables so they can take notes. The lights must be dimmable so the slides can be seen. Provide (or we'll make them with magic markers at the beginning of the seminar) name tags to sit on the desks (first name only) for attendees so I can call on them by name. Attendees will need pencils or pens. Attendees should be prepared to engage, this seminar is not for spectators. While I like to have fun during the seminar, I'm serious about teaching this material and giving you your money's worth. I will ask distruptive attendees to leave. It's happened twice in 15 years. Provide supervision if you need to, to insure your people are serious too. For the 9-hour seminar, suggest scheduling it for 8 a.m. to 12 noon, 1/2 hour for lunch, then return for 1 hour. The second day will end by noon.
Before the seminar, provide me information about: the steam pressures at which you distribute steam, if steam is superheated, if you return condensate, if you use inverted bucket traps, if you put high pressure condensate from Mains into a pumped condensate return, if your system is "looped", and if steam lines ever become submerged in water. The presentation is available in imperial (english) or metric units.
Feedback from evaluations from steam operators, engineers, and supervisors, or, if you prefer, look at the verbatim comments from all attendees where " **" indicates I've scanned all evals and linked them :
Other Lecture Experience
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