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Steam System Basics

COURSE NO: D04-004
COURSE PROVIDER: Gilbert Gedeon, P.E.
Steam System Basics
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH describes steam systems using four basic parts: generation, distribution, end use, and recovery.


There are three principal forms of energy used in industrial processes: electricity, direct-fired heat, and steam. Electricity is used in many different ways, including mechanical drive, heating, and electrochemical reactions. Direct-fired energy directly transfers the heat of fuel combustion to a process. Steam provides process heating, pressure control, mechanical drive, and component separation, and is a source of water for many process reactions.


Steam has many performance advantages that make it an indispensable means of delivering energy. These advantages include low toxicity, ease of transportability, high efficiency, high heat capacity, and low cost with respect  to the other alternatives. Steam holds a significant amount of energy on a unit mass basis (between 1,000 and 1,250 British thermal units per pound [Btu/lb]) that can be extracted as mechanical work through a turbine or as heat for process use. Since most of the heat content of steam is stored as latent heat, large quantities of heat can be transferred efficiently at a constant temperature, which is a useful attribute in many process heating applications.


This 4 PDH online course is applicable to mechanical engineers, design professionals, construction managers and technical managers who are involved with steam system design, installation and operation.
Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Steam system operation
  • Generation
  • Distribution
  • End use
  • Recovery
Course Document
In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Section 1, "Steam System Basics" of the Department of Energy Publication DOE/GO-102012-3423, "Improving Steam System Performance.
To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of twenty (20) questions to earn 4 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on this DOE publication.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: