Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week NEWTON Teachers Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Referencing NEWTON Frequently Asked Questions About Ask A Scientist About NEWTON Education At Argonne Superheated Steam

Name: Uzma
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Country: India
Date: Summer 2012


Question:
Why do engineers often use superheated steam to transfer heat?



Replies:
There are several reasons: 1. It has high heat content (and heat content is tunable with pressure) 2. It is made of water, which is cheap and readily available (and other than being hot, is pretty safe stuff) 3. It is easy (and cheap) to pump (gas) compared with other heat transfer fluids 4. It readily transfers heat owing to it being a vapor (conduction and convection)

Hope this helps, Burr Zimmerman


Uzma

Engineers use superheated steam to transfer heat because it is the most efficient means to do so.

Some nuclear reactor designs use liquid sodium to transfer heat, but that is a much more hazardous (corrosive) and expensive process. We can go down the list of other heat transfer mediums, but steam always comes out to be the most efficient.

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart



Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: November 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory