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Heating Systems - Steam and Condensate Loads

Calculating steam and condensate loads in steam heated systems.

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The two basic situations common when calculating steam and condensate loads in steam heated systems are

  • heat transfer through areas
  • heating up materials

Heat Transfer through Areas

Heat transfer through areas can be expressed as:

Q = U A dt                              (1)


Q = quantity of heat transferred trough the area

U = heat transfer coefficient

A = heat transfer area

dt = temperature difference between the steam and the secondary heated fluid

Heating up Materials

The heat needed to heat up materials can be expressed as:

Q = w cp (t2 - t1)                               (2)


w = weight of material

cp = specific heat of the heated material (Check Material Properties to find specific heat for materials)

t1 = initial temperature of the heated material

t2 = final temperature of the heated material

Heat Rate

The heat rate is the heat transferred per unit of time.

Heat Transfer Rate through Areas

The formula for calculating the heat transfer rate for heat transfer through an area can be expressed as:

Q' = Q / (L h) = U A dt /(L h)                                  (3)


L = Latent heat of evaporated (condensation) steam (Check Steam Tables to find latent heat, SI or Imperial Units)

h = available time

Heat Transfer Rate when heating up Materials

The formula for calculating the heat transfer rate for heating up materials can be expressed as:

Q' = Q / (L h) = w cp (t2 - t1) /(L h)                                     (3b)

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2003). Heating Systems - Steam and Condensate Loads. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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