Steam Condensers

Steam Condenser is device in which steam is condensed to water at less pressure than atmosphere.

Condensation is done by removing heat from exhaust steam using cooling media [Cooling water, Brine, Air etc]. 

Main difference between Condenser and heat exchanger is that, Heat exchanger is exchange heat in way where one stream is heating and another is cooling. These are beneficial to both streams. 

while in condenser or heater only one stream is meaningfully cooled or heated. Exchanging media is economical loss.

Economical loss means Cooling water gets heated and it re cooled by Cooling water fans, Blower, pumps. 

Heating is done through steam or other heating media, this heating media cools while heating another stream, So this heating process needs to be re heated again.

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Function of Steam Condensers

Steam condensers are used to reduce the turbine exhaust pressure which results in increase the specific output.

When specific output increased it increases plant efficiency and decrease the specific steam consumption.

To condensate the exhaust steam from the turbine and reuse it as pure feed water in the boiler. Thus only water make up is required to compensate loss of water.

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Advantages of Steam condensate

  • Condensate is already heated so it reduces energy or fuel consumption for reheating.
  • High ratio of pressure provides larger enthalpy drop
  • Work done by per kg of steam increases and specific steam consumption increases.
  • No feed water treatment is available & reduces cost of the plant.
  • Steam condensate is already have temperature . When steam condensate is used preheating energy will be prevented.
  • Formation of deposit surface can be prevented by reuse of condensate. Outside water contains impurities and it leads to scaling in equipment like boilers, heat exchangers, Jackets of vessels, Lines etc.
Parts of Steam condensing Plant
  • Condenser
  • Condensate pump
  • Cooling water or another cooling media supply.
  • Makeup water supply
  • Boiler feed pump.
  • Instrument cluster for DCS controlling and monitoring.

Schematic Diagram

Steam Condenser
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Classification of Steam Condenser

1. Jet Condenser (Mixing Type)
    A. Parallel Flow
    B. Counter Flow
    C. Ejector Type

2. Surface Condenser
    A. Down flow type
    B. Central flow type
    C. Inverted type
    D. Regenerated type
    E. Evaporation type

Difference between Jet Condensers vs Surface Condenser

Jet vs Surface condenser table

Jet Condensers

  • Jet condensers are used for small capacity and DM water is available in sufficient.
  • Jet Condensers have direct flow sprinkled over steam. This is reason this condensers called Jet Condensers. 
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  1. Equipment is simple and requires less area of inspection.
  2. Low maintenance cost.
  3. It requires less cooling water flow due to effective mixing
  1. Not effective for huge capacity plant.
  2. More Air leakages
  3. Larger air pump requires
  4. Higher vacuum drop
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Surface Condensers

It's design look like heat exchanger. In this design Water and steam does not in direct contact. Surface condenser. It used in large capacity plant.


Higher vacuum can be maintained
Condensate can be reused because steam and condensate are not in contact to each other.
Impure cooling medium can be used as cooling medium
This design could be used in high capacity plant.


Design is costly and heavy. |It requires larger space and sufficient foundation base.
It has larger number of parts so maintenance cost and installation cost is higher.
It requires more cooling medium circulation

Read more about "Industrial Equipments" from Industrial Guide - Click here

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Thanks for reading - Centrifugal Pump
Naitik Patel
Industrial Guide

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