The Central Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) recently hosted two, one-day intensive hands-on steam systems training classes. The classes were held at PV University, which is a specialty training laboratory built at Pipe Valves Inc., a pipe valve and fitting distributor in Columbus, Ohio.
Mark Arnold, with Pipe Valves, and I organized and presented the classes to provide more in-depth training on steam systems. Though we’ve done smaller half-day seminars before, this was the first time we’ve put on a class of this nature or duration. We had also never opened a seminar up to other organizations, and this proved to be a great idea.
As a senior design and applications engineer for a large mechanical contractor in central Ohio, over the past several years I’ve taken part in several projects involving the use of steam. My involvement has always been to assist in getting the project operational, and I noticed numerous errors in the design — not because of bad design, but rather a lack of knowledge regarding steam systems among the young designers. The rework was costing our company, as well as the various design firms, time, money and reputation. Because of our relationship with Mark Arnold of Pipe Valves, we started talking about what could we do to help educate the young engineers and designers learn about steam. Pipe Valves has a great training center that Bruner (my employer) built, and so we knew that was the place to hold the classes. I worked with Arnold, as well as Rob Oster from Armstrong International, to put the class together, and then our ASPE Chapter organized and handled all the advertising, registration and CEU generation.
We offered the class to members of the ASPE Central Ohio Chapter, as well as to the Columbus Chapter of ASHRAE. Normally, Pipe Valves offers a similar class for $500 per person, however we worked with Arnold and Pipe Valves to offer the class at a reduced fee of $200 for ASPE members and $250 for non-members. We limited each class to 25 students so we could allow for actual hands-on training in the steam lab, and we very quickly filled both days. We were extremely pleased that 50 engineers from all over Ohio participated.
The classes covered steam system piping design to include practical applications in proper steam line sizing, as well as steam trap placement, and proper trap selections for the application. One of the many highlights of the event was taking the students out into the live steam training lab where they could see glass steam traps in operation.
The students were also shown a heat exchanger stall and what happens when a heat exchanger or coil becomes flooded with condensate.
Our plan is to repeat this class in the fall, along with at least two additional classes on steam design, a class dedicated to boiler room design, and another on boiler and combustion control. I am hopeful that after other chapters see how successful this program is, and how much of a need there is for this level of training within the industry, they will follow suit. I would be very happy to talk with other chapters and help them put together a similar program.
For more information please contact Tony Furst CPD, LEED AP at TFurst@Brunercorp.com.