Forensic Engineering Analysis of a Failed Energy Reduction Method for a Central Steam Distribution System

Article Author: Klas C. Haglid, P.E., R.A. (NAFE 599S)

Volume: 29
Volume #: 1
Month: June
Year: 2012

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A forensic engineer was asked to visit the subject University and while walking through the site noticed areas of the underground direct buried steam pipe and the manholes and found many areas of rising steam, especially in the area of the manholes. Several of the manholes were producing visible columns of steam. Ironically, this central steam distribution system was engineered to save money, time, energy, and improve the functionality of the existing system. Documents relevant to this case have been evaluated and National Standards in the form of ASHRAE and ASTM have been referenced and reviewed. Pictures, national reference standards, material data sheets and other peer reviewed studies will be used to explain in detail how a large central steam distribution system started to fail dramatically and catastrophically in a very short period of time during and after installation.


ASHRAE, ASTM, ERM, IRRA, MARR, permeance, pipeline