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Comment PDF Heat Transfer

Hot-oil heat-tracing systems for heat transfer

By Chemical Engineering |

Hot-oil heat-tracing systems use liquid heat-transfer fluids to reliably deliver heat to process fluids. Heat tracing may be used in place of jacketed equipment, often at lower cost and with lowered risk of cross-contact. The use of liquids reduces many of the costs associated with pressurized steam-handling systems and simplifies operation. Heat tracing is particularly beneficial in systems with highly viscous fluids or fluids at risk of freezing at ambient conditions. Properly designed heat-tracing systems can supplement overall heating systems to provide effective temperature control for applications that require a narrow temperature operating range. Proper selection and installation of heat tracing elements can ensure that process on-stream time remains optimal, and undue associated maintenance costs are avoided. Tubing options The most basic hot-oil heat-tracing systems utilize metal tubing along the length of the pipe (Figure 1A). This tubing, called the tracer, is attached to the pipe by bands (preferred) or wires. A heated fluid flows through the tracer and transfers heat to the pipe and its contents. In this scenario, heat is poorly transferred through air convection. The narrow region of contact between the cylindrical piping…
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