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Steam-heating history

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DanHolohan
DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
My buddy, Rick Taylor, sent me this history lesson. I had no idea.
Retired and loving it.
Grallert

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    Is the steam system in Radio City Music Hall still running?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
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    Yes, it's on ConEd steam.
    Retired and loving it.
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,296
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    Wow that's so fascinating.
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
    Etravismechanical@gmail.com
    201-887-8856
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,885
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    Wonder if they'd do an All-Access Tour, to include the steam system?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
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    They do a tour of the theater, which is well worth the money. The stage does so many things and the Navy used it as a template for aircraft-carrier construction during WW II. In fact, there were soldiers stationed in the bowels of the theater during the war to protect against espionage.

    As for the steam heat, when ConEd is involved, all you see is the line coming in from the steet, followed by a steam meter and two PRVs in series. I can show it to you at The General Society if you get to Manhattan. That building is worth the trip.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 663
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    Any pumping equipment? If yes, do you know any details?
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
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    No pumps. ConEd steam in, and all the cooled condensate goes to the sewer. Some NYC water gets no respect.
    Retired and loving it.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    I've seen numerous industrial facilities forgoing condensate recovery. And I've seen brave attempts to pump back the condensate. As an engineer I championed the latter. But now with hindsight I've changed my mind. Those boiler operators who dumped condensate were experienced.

    Which brings me back to history of steam heating. Companies like DunhamBush have to sell stuff. But the best steam heating didn't use traps,vents,or pumps? Something like the ancient Moline design?
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 663
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    No pumps. ConEd steam in, and all the cooled condensate goes to the sewer. Some NYC water gets no respect.

    Interesting there are no vacuum pumps. These can usually improve the efficiency and economy of "street steam" systems like these.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
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    Many ConEd-supplied steam systems have vacuum pumps. The Empire State Building is a good example. The vacuum pump allows the design engineer to downsize all the pipes, valves, and fittings because of the pressure-to-vacuum differential. The difference between ConEd steam and a boiler-provided steam is that ConEd doesn't want the customer to return the condensate. That would be very difficult since some of the customers would have to pump the condensate several miles under the NYC streets. There's no piping network for this and the transfer pumps would be enormous. I can't even imagine the size of the boiler-feed receiver ConEd would have to have to accommodate all that returned condensate.

    I hope that makes sense.
    Retired and loving it.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    Why do some NYC buildings use steam-to-steam generators instead of less expensive pressure reducing stations?
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
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    Steam-to-steam generators?
    Retired and loving it.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    Steam-to-steam generators?

    Yes. I've seen one in some NYC building. ConEd steam goes into a large tank & condensate drains out. Heating steam comes out from the tank & condensate from building heating system comes back to be reboiled by more ConEd steam. Controller for the ConEd steam looks similar to PRV. So that tank is a heat exchanger but I cannot see what the benefit is? Unless ConEd steam contains CO2 ? I doubt that.

    In factories the advantage is that primary condensate is under higher pressure so easier to feed back into boiler. But when dumping steam????



  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
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    I'm not familiar with that application. Thanks for the heads-up.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Sailah
    Sailah Member Posts: 826
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    Was just doing some monitoring testing with ConEd in May. All their high pressure steam condensate gets dumped to the sewer on the distribution side too.

    Can we do a trivia question because I was way off when I guessed?

    How many steam traps does Con Edison have on their entire NYC distribution system? They are 90% 1" Thermodynamic & thermostatic traps BTW.

    Winner gets something cool TBD

    Peter Owens
    SteamIQ
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    I'm not familiar with that application. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Don't like accusations without evidence. But is it possible some engineer specified steam-to-steam generator to increase project cost because his fee is percentage?

    Tom bates
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,543
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    Sure
    Retired and loving it.
  • Tom bates
    Tom bates Member Posts: 29
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    They might have a need for clean steam, such as a hospital or maybe a brewery.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,282
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    Tom bates said:

    They might have a need for clean steam, such as a hospital or maybe a brewery.

    Yes. But why is primary steam considered dirty? And it certainly is considered dangerous by health authorities.