MOISTURE IN STEAM
Too Long; Didn't ReadThe presence of moisture in steam causes a loss, not only in the practical waste of the heat utilized to raise this moisture from the temperature of the feed water to the temperature of the steam, but also through the increased initial condensation in an engine cylinder and through friction and other actions in a steam turbine. The presence of such moisture also interferes with proper cylinder lubrication, causes a knocking in the engine and a water hammer in the steam pipes. In steam turbines it will cause erosion of the blades.
The percentage by weight of steam in a mixture of steam and water is called the quality of the steam.
The apparatus used to determine the moisture content of steam is called a calorimeter though since it may not measure the heat in the steam, the name is not descriptive of the function of the apparatus. The first form used was the “barrel calorimeter”, but the liability of error was so great that its use was abandoned. Modern calorimeters are in general of either the throttling or separator type.
Throttling Calorimeter—Fig. 14 shows a typical form of throttling calorimeter. Steam is drawn from a vertical main through the sampling nipple, passes around the first thermometer cup, then through a one-eighth inch orifice in a disk between two flanges, and lastly around the second thermometer cup and to the atmosphere. Thermometers are inserted in the wells, which should be filled with mercury or heavy cylinder oil.