Steam Condenser

A device where steam condenses and latent heat of evaporation released by the steam is absorbed by cooling water.


  1. it maintains a very low back pressure on the exhaust side of the turbine. As a result, the steam expands to a greater extent and consequently results in an increase in available heat energy.
  2. the exhaust steam condensate is free from impurities
  3. thermal efficiency of a condensing unit is higher than that of a non-condensing unit for the same available steam properties


A typical condenser consists of tubes through which cold water is passed and steam is condensed on the outside. In this way some of the heat from the exhaust steam is recovered.

The rate at which steam can be condensed depends upon:

The power required to deliver the coolant flow rate will increase with coolant flow rate and at some point this power may offset some of the steam heat recovery.

Condensate Depression

The difference between the saturation temperature for the existing condenser vacuum and the temperature of the condensate.


T. E. Stanton, "The Efficiency and Design of Surface Condensers", Royal Society, Minutes of the Proceedings, Volume 136, Issue 1899, 01 January 1899 , pages 321-337

R K Kapooria, S Kumar, K S Kasana, "Technological investigations and efficiency analysis of a steam heat exchange condenser: conceptual design of a hybrid steam condenser", Journal of Energy in Southern Africa Vol 19 No 3 August 2008

See also: Steam, Steam Engine, Steam Point, Steam Turbine.

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Subjects: Engines Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning