Formation of two phase flow on discharge side of steam traps creates pockets of flash steam that can collapse to cause damaging vibration and steam hammer in the return header. The problem is most severe when mixing condensate streams with wide variance in pressure and temperature. An example of this is discharge of high temperature condensate into a header containing sub-cooled condensate at lower pressure – a common situation at refineries and related industries.
A Pick heater provides an effective method of condensate mixing. Sub-cooled condensate flows unobstructed through the main housing. Discharge from the high pressure trap is dispersed into the sub-cooled condensate through the multiple orifice injection tube. This breaks the two phase flow into fine streams to promote immediate condensation of flash steam, thus eliminating vibration and steam hammer. Pressure and temperature balance are such that flash steam is fully condensed, resulting in discharge of 100% liquid at outlet of the mixer.