Application of Circulation Heaters in Power Generation Facilities

Electric circulation heaters are versatile, dependable hardware. In the power generation industry, they play an important role in a number of essential processes. Circulation heaters can be found in all types of power generation including:

  • Coal
  • Natural Gas
  • Renewable Energy


Uses of Circulation Heaters in Power Generation


In power generation facilities, circulation heaters are used to preheat fuel oils and lubricants. Preheating fuel oils to the correct temperature results in more efficient combustion. This improves heat release, makes fuel last longer and more fluid for easier atomization. As a result, processes are more efficient and economical.

Superheating Steam

In power generation turbines, one of the key functions of circulation heaters is superheating steam. Electric circulation heater can quickly reach the high temperatures that are needed to superhet steam efficiently. This high heat prevents the steam from condensing in the piping or turbine nozzles, meaning no water droplets can form on the turbine blading.

As well, the extra energy from superheating allows it to operate without drawing on latent energy. Operations are more efficient and the pressure is easier to control.

Heating Natural Gas Above the Dew Point

Another use of circulation heaters in turbines is heating natural gas above the dew point. Natural gas often contains moisture and contaminants. Piping this unprepared gas into the turbine can result in damage. By heating the fuel above the dew point, these power generation heaters remove condensates and moisture, protecting the equipment.

As an additional benefit, this process also raises the gas temperature to a more efficient heat before entering the turbine.

Inline Heater Power Generation

Types of Circulation Heaters

Circulation heaters, or in-line heaters, are a type of immersion heater. They are capable of providing direct or indirect heating. They can be found in a closed loop system or an open heating configuration. 

Closed Loop Circulation Heater

A closed loop system can maintain high temperatures with excellent heat transfer and minimal maintenance. The heater is inside of a closed system that circulates the target medium within it.



Open Heating Configuration

This system only circulates the medium once before entering the industrial process. It’s a more common circulation heater configuration for power generation as it allows for quick heating before entering the system.

Benefits Of Electric Heaters For Power Generation Facilities


Electric circulation heaters offer more efficient operation. Electricity is nearly 100% efficient, with little or no lost energy. Electric can achieve target temperatures quickly, with consistent and even heat transfer.


Power generation facilities have specific temperature requirements. Not only do circulation heaters need to be capable of achieving high temperatures for superheating steam and dew point heating, but they also need to provide accuracy.

Electric heaters offer reliable, predictable heating. In combination with thermocouples and digital control panels, they are capable of more precise measurements and calculations. As a result, they can offer more accurate readings and deliver precision heating.


Electricity has lower operational costs than natural gas alternatives. With a lower cost and little or no wasted energy, electric circulation heaters offer extremely cost-efficient operation.

Purchasing Power Generation Heaters

For the most efficient and cost-effective power generation heaters, you need to match the build to the specific function and operating conditions. Wattco circulation heaters are custom-manufactured to maximize results, efficiency, and lifespan. Our team works with you to determine the right materials, wattages, and configurations. Contact us for an electric circulation heater quote.

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