Various types of pipe heating technologies are regularly employed in countless process pipe heating applications throughout industry. However, when processes involving temperature sensitive products require pipe heating, many pipe heating technologies are not up to the challenge. Too often the pipe heating technologies utilized do not provide the needed heating performance to successfully achieve the process requirements.
When pipe heating methods such as trace element pipe heating are applied to temperature sensitive applications many times they do not provide acceptable pipe heating performance. Hot spots and burned or damaged product are frequently experienced. Why? Trace element heating methods rely on heat being transferred from a hot trace element heating cable via conduction to the adjacent pipe. The heating cable is wrapped in intervals around the length of the pipe and subsequently covered with insulation. As the heating cable becomes hot the generated heat migrates from the hot cable into the adjacent pipe. This method of pipe heating results in non-uniform pipe temperatures across the length of the pipe. Due to the trace element cable being hotter than the process temperature and depending on the proximity of the trace element heating cable to a given point on the heated pipe, being near or far from the cable, hot and cold spots are frequently experienced. These localized hot and cold spots along the length of the pipe can cause damage to temperature sensitive products being processed. Burned, over-heated or cold altered product can quickly foul a piping system, causing process failure, reducing process output, increasing process downtime, maintenance and repair requirements. All result in increased costs, lost productivity and lower profitability.
As an alternative to trace pipe heating, consider an electric impedance pipe heating (IPH) solution when dealing with temperature sensitive products and processes. Impedance pipe heating systems have been utilized by industry for many years and have seen decades of reliable and successful service. An impedance pipe heating system provides even heating across the entire length of the piping, overcoming the deficiencies and shortcoming of trace element pipe heating and the high costs associated with double walled jacketed piping heating systems. An IPH system consequently eliminates the concerns of damaged product resulting from the hot or cold spots experienced with trace element heating and avoids the high cost associated with double walled jacketed piping heating solutions.
The simplicity of an impedance pipe heating system provides a reliable and cost effective pipe heating solution. An impedance pipe heating system operates by applying a low voltage AC source to the piping being heated. Application of the low voltage source induces electric current flow through the wall of the pipe. The electrical resistance of the pipe opposes the flow of current and causes heat to be generated in the pipe. In other words, with an impedance pipe heating system the pipe becomes its own heating element. There is no heating cable or trace element installed under the pipe’s insulation making impedance pipe heating extremely reliable.
Utilizing the pipe as its own heating element has several benefits and advantages, particularly when processing temperature sensitive products. Heat is generated evenly along the length and around the circumference of the pipe. This is due to the current flowing uniformly through the pipe’s cross sectional area. The result is that the product being processed is evenly and steadily heated with no hot or cold spots across the length of the piping. This is true no matter the length of pipe being heated. IPH also has the additional advantage of being able to heat the pipe consistently, whether product is flowing or stagnant in the pipe. This characteristic many times eliminates the need and expense for circulated loops or recirculating lines. And with nothing installed under the pipe’s insulation an IPH system’s reliability is greatly enhanced over alternative pipe heating methods.
Temperature sensitive product applications successfully utilizing impedance pipe heating include:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
And many others!
If you are in need of a pipe heating solution for a temperature sensitive product application, consider a Banner-Day TraceFREE® impedance pipe heating system. With limited information, we can evaluate your process application for use of impedance pipe heating and provide estimates for implementation.
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