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Steam, Its Generation and Use

The density of saturated steam


may be added to steam not in contact with water, such an addition of heat resulting in an increase of temperature and pressure if the volume be kept constant, or an increase in temperature and volume if the pressure remain constant. Steam whose temperature thus exceeds that of saturated steam at a corresponding pressure is said to be superheated and its properties approximate those of a perfect gas.

As pointed out in the chapter on heat, the heat necessary to raise one pound of water from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to the point of ebullition is called the _heat of the liquid_. The heat absorbed during ebullition consists of that necessary to dissociate the molecules, or the _inner latent heat_, and that necessary to overcome the resistance to the increase in volume, or the _outer latent heat_. These two make up the _latent heat of evaporation_ and the sum of this latent heat of evaporation and the heat of the liquid make the _total heat_ of the steam. These values for various pressures are given in the steam tables, pages 122 to 127.

The specific volume of saturated steam at any pressure is the volume in cubic feet of one pound of steam at that pressure.

The density of saturated steam, that is, its weight per cubic foot, is obviously the reciprocal of the specific volume. This density varies as the 16/17 power over the ordinary range of pressures used in steam boiler work and may

be found by the formula, D = .003027p^{.941}, which is correct within 0.15 per cent up to 250 pounds pressure.

The relative volume of steam is the ratio of the volume of a given weight to the volume of the same weight of water at 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit and is equal to the specific volume times 62.427.

As vapors are liquids in their gaseous form and the boiling point is the point of change in this condition, it is clear that this point is dependent upon the pressure under which the liquid exists. This fact is of great practical importance in steam condenser work and in many operations involving boiling in an open vessel, since in the latter case its altitude will have considerable influence. The relation between altitude and boiling point of water is shown in Table 12.

The conditions of feed temperature and steam pressure in boiler tests, fuel performances and the like, will be found to vary widely in different trials. In order to secure a means for comparison of different trials, it is necessary to reduce all results to some common basis. The method which has been adopted for the reduction to a comparable basis is to transform the evaporation under actual conditions of steam pressure and feed temperature which exist in the trial to an equivalent evaporation under a set of standard conditions. These standard conditions presuppose a feed water temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit and a steam pressure equal to the normal atmospheric pressure at sea level, 14.7 pounds absolute. Under such conditions steam would be generated _at_ a temperature of 212 degrees, the temperature corresponding to atmospheric pressure at sea level, _from_ water at 212 degrees. The weight of water which _would_ be evaporated under the assumed standard conditions by exactly the amount of heat absorbed by the boiler under actual conditions existing in the trial, is, therefore, called the equivalent evaporation "from and at 212 degrees."

The factor for reducing the weight of water actually converted into steam from the temperature of the feed, at the steam pressure existing in the trial, to the equivalent evaporation under standard conditions is called the _factor of evaporation._ This factor is the ratio of the total heat added to one pound of steam under the standard conditions to the heat added to each pound of steam in heating the water from the temperature of the feed in the trial to the temperature corresponding to the pressure existing in the trial. This heat added is obviously the difference between the total heat of evaporation of the steam at the pressure existing in the trial and the heat of the liquid in the water at the temperature at which it was fed in the trial. To illustrate by an example:

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