Return condensate as soon as it is formed. Collecting condensate in storage tanks leads to radiation losses and thereby decrease in condensate temperature.
A practice is seen across many plants where condensate is recovered but is stored in a condensate tank before being sent to the feedwater tank. Due to this practice a large quantity of condensate is held back until the level required to switch on the pump is attained. This is usually a requirement while operating with electrical pumps.
In such a case the held up condensate loses substantial heat via radiation before it finally reaches the feedwater tank. Thus, the increase in temperature of feedwater tank gets curtailed. This diminishes the returns from the effort put in to return condensate.
The fact that most of these tanks are open to atmosphere and uninsulated, increases the loss. Open tanks vent the useful flash steam to the atmosphere.
Condensate hold up is a requirement for electrical condensate pumps to protect against dry run. However, new age steam operated pumps are not affected by dry run and do not require condensate hold up.
E.g. : Consider 4KL of condensate at 90°C held up in a tank. A drop of even 10°C here means a loss of 32KL of FO or 89 tons of coal annually!