Thermal Energy International Inc.

Diageo installs gem steam traps


Courtesy of Courtesy of Thermal Energy International Inc.

Diageo’s 18-acre Runcorn facility is making savings in energy, replacement costs and maintenance of its steam traps following the installation of Thermal Energy International’s Venturi Orifice GEM traps.  Thermal Energy International (TEI) has installed a total of 71 steam traps through the plant, which has provided Diageo with a payback in less than 12-months.

The Diageo Runcorn packaging plant is home to the only Guinness bottling and canning site in the UK. It packages and distributes some three million hectolitres of beer every year to outlets in the UK and to 180 other markets around the world.   Beer is sent to the Runcorn facility from the main Guinness brewery in St James’s Gate, Dublin and then packed into bottles, cans or kegs for distribution. 

As in most brewery processes, steam plays a key role at every stage of the plant’s operation.   Prior to the installation of the GEM steam traps, each year an inspection and replacement of the plant’s steam traps was undergone to replace those which had failed open thereby wasting expensive steam, or jamming shut risking water hammer and system failure.  Aware that steam trap failure was also costing the plant thousands of pounds in lost energy and increased replacement and maintenance costs Diageo looked for a solution.

The answer was TEI’s award winning GEM steam traps.  A site survey carried out by a TEI engineer showed that a proportion of the steamtraps on the site were failing fully open, some had failed closed and some were partially worn open. Not only was this increasing energy and maintenance costs but also reducing production time and having an environmental impact by creating additional amounts of CO2 emissions each year. 

TEI explained that by replacing the existing traps with the GEM venturi orifice design, steam traps would be prevented from blocking and impacting on production and by efficiently returning condensate back to the boilers energy saving would be made. A total of 71 mechanical traps were replaced with appropriately sized GEM steam traps.

“Mechanical traps fail and this has an effect on production times and costs as well as energy, maintenance and the environment”, says Steve McConnell, Engineering Manager at Runcorn.  “GEM fixed orifice venturi steam traps do not fail open and because of this the plant is benefiting from improved environmental practice”.

Instead of utilising a valve mechanism to close off steam for maximum energy and water conservation, the highly efficient GEM steam traps use the venturi orifice design to effectively drain condensate from the steam system without losing precious steam. As the GEM steam traps have no moving parts to wedge open or fail, it provides the ultimate in reliability necessitating only minimal maintenance and requiring no spares, testing or monitoring equipment.  

Available in a wide range of sizes for a full cross section of applications, the hardwearing GEM steam traps are manufactured from corrosion resistant stainless steel and are guaranteed for 10 years, obviating the need for repair or replacement.  The GEM steam traps can provide a fast payback from reduced energy costs and increased equipment reliability.  In addition it can improve product processing by enhancing the quality of steam and also reducing equipment repairs, downtime and replacement costs.  Ends

About GEM

An innovative technology company, Thermal Energy is providing award winning energy recovery, conservation and bio-energy solutions, which provide significant financial and environmental benefits to customers. Thermal Energy is a Canadian publicly traded company with shares listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX) under the symbol “TMG”. For more information, visit and

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