Thermal Energy International Inc.

GEM provides fast payback for Italcables

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Thermal Energy International Inc.

Metered tests carried out on Thermal Energy International’s GEM steam traps by Italcables, Italy’s largest producer of wire strands for pre-stressed concrete and post-tensioned structures, have shown steam savings of up to 30% compared to mechanical traps.  Now, Italcables has fitted GEM traps to its steam baths and kettle boiler used for ‘pickling’ and treating iron wire strands within production process.

Steam is a primary energy source at the company’s facility in Cepagatti, Eastern Italy and a major cost in the production process. As the site’s mechanical steam traps regularly failed, resulting in lost steam, reduced performance and additional expenditure, Energy Manager, Mr. Rizzinelli, was interested in conducting a metered trial to validate the energy savings made with GEM.

The mechanical traps fitted to the steam baths and kettle boiler were replaced by the GEM venturi design and steam meters utilised to test their performance.  The results showed that the GEM traps were reducing steam consumption by between 20 and 30 percent. 

“I decided to carry out monitored tests to quantify the amount of steam that could be saved with the GEM traps and whether there would be a reduction in condensate”, said Mr. Rizzinelli.  “The test results together with the steam meter readings have proved that the GEM traps save energy and operate well over a wide range of condensate loads”.

“The fact that such a small device can obtain such important savings and provide a fast payback is really good news”, concluded Mr. Rizzinelli.  “Thermal Energy International supported us throughout the project and we hope to continue this collaboration at other sites and with other projects”.

Part of the international Portuguese company, Companhia Previdente, Italcables manufactures 3 and 7-wire strands for pre-stressed concrete and post-tensioned structures such as viaducts, bridges, dams, tunnel and foundations.  From its two-production facilities, the company supplies customers throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Instead of utilising a valve mechanism to close off steam for maximum energy and water conservation, the highly efficient GEM steam traps use the patented venturi orifice design to effectively drain condensate from the steam system. 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, eliminating 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 they can improve product processing by enhancing process control of the cleaning system, and also reducing equipment repairs, downtime and replacement costs. 

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