Thermal Energy International Inc.

GEM condensate return system projects


Courtesy of Thermal Energy International Inc.

Most of the Coca-Cola consumed in Northern Ireland comes from the company’s Lambeg bottling plant.

An assessment was conducted on the steam trap needs for the water heater of the company’s large bottle washer and bucket tests showed variable flow up to a quarter of a tonne of steam per hour. The two inverted bucket steam traps in the system were proving unreliable, so they were replaced with two GEM venturi traps. Another GEM trap went onto the CIP coil in plant number three. Here the load is highly variable and quite a challenge.

“We’re having no trouble at all,” comments maintenance manager John Hamilton. “And we were surprised but pleased to find that, since fitting these few GEM traps, our gas bill has been well below budget.”

An analysis with an infra-red (IR) imaging gun on one of Coca-Cola’s radiant heat panels found that the panel was 5°C hotter when a GEM trap replaced a mechanical trap in the system and condensate downstream was 10°C cooler.

Now Coca-Cola has fitted GEM venturi steam traps on Myson space heaters over the bottling lines and on boiler house drip legs. “They’re working well,” says Hamilton. The production staff have noticed much warmer air from the space heaters with the GEM traps.

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