Abstract

Steam generators used in industrial baking ovens operate by pouring or spraying water on a preheated thermal mass. This paper presents a methodology to quantify the amount of steam generated from a thermal mass along with experiments to determine the effect of particle size and porosity on steam generation. Three sizes of steel spheres, 0.6 mm, 8 mm, and 16 mm in diameter, were used to construct porous media beds that were preheated in an oven after which water was sprayed onto them from a full-cone nozzle for a fixed duration. The weight of the heated bed and the impinging water were recorded during spraying. The difference in weight change when spraying on heated and unheated beds gave the rate of evaporation. Thermocouples were used to record the internal temperature of the bed. Steam generation rate increased with particle size while bed porosity had only a minor influence. The counter-current flow of steam within the media bed disrupts the downward flow of water enough to leave pockets of hot material, reducing steam production. To maximize steam generation the media size, material, and spray time should be matched to ensure the surfaces of particles remain above the boiling point of water during spraying.

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