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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Q How do we know that our steam and water sampling and conditioning panel is working properly? The goal of any steam and water sampling and conditioning panel is to provide each analyzer with a constant flow of water cooled to 25ºC. If the flow to your analyzers is variable or if the temperature does not hold steady at 25ºC Solutions, Inc. can use their years of experience to determine what is wrong and the best way to fix it.
  • Q How do we ensure that our analyzers get a proper flow that is constant and not sporadic? Insufficient and sporadic flow to sample analyzers is often caused by a lack of a constant pressure header. A constant pressure header is key to keeping your steam and water samples flowing. There are two main components that every steam or water sample line needs to maintain this constant pressure header.

    1. The first thing that each sample line on your panel needs is a reliable way to regulate the back pressure and provide relief for spikes or drops in the pressure. Your back pressure valve should have a high flow capacity to allow the sample water to flow as intended to the analyzers. If your back pressure valve has small internal orifices this can restrict the flow and is susceptible to pluggage. At Solutions, Inc. we exclusively use the Back Pressure Regulator/Relief Valve (BPRV) by Sentry Equipment. This unique and effective design acts as a shock absorber and safety valve to protect your equipment. It adjusts the flow to the grab sample sink in response to changes in flow upstream. If one analyzer needs a higher flow rate the BPRV will rob flow from the sink rather than the other analyzers on the same sample line.

    2. A reliable flow control valve will also ensure that your analyzers get a proper sample flow by reducing the pressure in the steam or water sample line. For low-pressure water samples a high quality needle valve is used. For high pressure steam samples Solutions inc uses the Variable Pressure Reducing Element (VREL). For more information, see below for, How can we control the flow of our high pressure steam samples?

    Flow can also be hindered by entrained particles in the steam and water samples. This is especially true of the high-pressure steam samples, in particular the boiler drum sample. The flow control valves are primarily the components that will plug. To protect your components on the high pressure steam samples Solutions, Inc. has developed the Sample Debris Strainer with a large strainer surface area and an integral blow off port for an increased service life.
  • Q How can we tell if our constant pressure header is working? There are three key indicators that will show that your constant pressure header is working. You will note the following when your sample lines have a constant pressure header.

    1. The pressure gauges will all read the same constant value (the BPRV setpoint)

    2. The rotameters will stay steady. If you adjust the flow to one analyzer it should not affect the flow to any of the other analyzers.

    3. You will have adequate flow to the grab sample sink.
  • Q How can we prevent our high-pressure steam sample lines from plugging? High-pressure steam sample lines tend to plug the pressure reducing elements. The boiler drum steam sample is one of the worst plugging offenders. This is especially true during start-ups. Solutions, Inc. has a unique design called the SDS-15-SS-B Sample Debris Strainer. The SDS will protect expensive sampling equipment from pluggage due to suspended particles in sample streams, such as boiler drum water, main steam and reheat steam. The strainer maintains the integrity of the sample by only straining those particles that are larger than 80 microns such that smaller particles, which may affect the analysis (colloidal or suspended iron), pass through.

    The SDS is designed to be easily cleaned by rinsing the strainer element or by using the integral blow off port to clear away the debris and quickly return to service.
  • Q How can we prevent unimportant particles from clogging our analyzers and other sampling equipment? Many sequencer solenoid valves, silica, sodium and other analyzers have small passages that can be clogged by iron corrosion products. Oftentimes with these analyzers the iron corrosion products do not affect the analysis of your steam and water samples. To remove the offending particles Solutions, Inc. has designed the MF-2.5-SS Magnetic Filter. The MF is installed inline with the sample components. The iron products are removed by the internal magnetic element. The MF is easily cleaned by removing the magnetic element and rinsing it with water.
  • Q How can we control the flow of our high pressure steam samples? For high-pressure steam samples many panels have used coils of small diameter capillary tubing as a fixed pressure drop device. These coils are prone to plugging and do not allow you to adjust the amount of pressure drop at any time. Solutions, Inc. uses the Variable Pressure Reducing Element (VREL). This valve is specially designed to give you precise control of the pressure reduction and sample flow on your steam sample lines.
  • Q How do we protect a VREL from debris entrained in the steam samples? The rod-in-tube valve design of the VREL breaks down main steam or boiler drum pressure without wire drawing the seat. If particles and debris from the steam samples get lodged in the VREL the rods can bend and destroy the functionality of the VREL. To protect this (and other) pieces of equipment on your water sample panel Solutions, Inc. has developed a unique product called the SDS-15-SS-B Sample Debris Strainer. The SDS will protect expensive sampling equipment from pluggage due to suspended particles in sample streams, such as boiler drum water, main steam and reheat steam. The strainer maintains the integrity of the sample by only straining those particles that are larger than 80 microns such that smaller particles, which may affect the analysis (colloidal or suspended iron), pass through.
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