Boots finds the remedy for failing steam traps

Retrofitting GEM steam traps in the energy centre of Boots at Beeston near Nottingham has reduced maintenance costs and is also saving energy.
The Boots Group is systematically replacing steam traps in its energy centre at Beeston near Nottingham with Gardner Energy Managements’ GEM traps. This programme of work follows the successful installation of these traps on hot-water calorifiers. Since then, some 30 GEM traps have been installed on boilers, super-heaters and in the steam-distribution system. The 15 MW energy centre services the company’s head office, production and distribution facilities. Before the installation of the GEM traps, Paul Egner, manager of the energy centre, found that the mechanical traps regularly failed, requiring overhauling or replacement. Having been approached by GEM to install the venturi orifice GEM trap, he was initially sceptical but agree to trial the trap. He says, ‘We first installed a GEM trap onto one of our pressurised hot-water calorifiers, which was sized to allow the calorifiers to operate from cold start-up all through its range. The trap worked well, and we soon installed GEM on all four calorifiers.’ As well as reducing maintenance costs, Paul Egner believes there is overwhelming evidence that GEM traps save energy compared with thermodynamic and float-type traps. ‘Since we have been retrofitting GEM, not a single trap has required maintenance, except filter cleaning. We have now standardised GEM on all our applications within the energy centre and on the steam-distribution systems across the site.’
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