Tank heating is as important as it is varied. It plays a role in all industries, comes in all sizes, and heats all sorts of fluids. Tank heaters provide freeze protection for low viscosity fluids like water, temperature maintenance in medium viscosity fluids like oils and resin, and provide rapid heating for high viscosity fluids.
No matter the type of fluid in a tank heating application, there is an appropriate electric immersion heater. For small tanks, the best heater material depends on the fluid – the best heater type, however, is consistently screw plug immersion heaters.
Although direct heating is not the only tank heating solution, it is the most effective. Electric immersion heaters outperform heat trace cables across the board, particularly for industrial applications. In this section, we explore a few key advantages of immersion heaters for tank heating.
Immersion heaters offer direct heating. The heater elements are submerged directly in the target fluid. This means that heating is faster and more accurate. It’s quicker to react to drops in temperature for applications like freeze prevention and offers rapid heat-up times for pre-heating fuels.
Even heat distribution is important in tanks. It ensures the accuracy of temperature readings while avoiding overheating or under-heating specific sections of the tank.
While indirect heat, like tracer cables, spread heat from sections of the tank or vessel wall, immersion heaters radiate the heat from their position at the bottom of the tank. This allows the heat to rise up throughout the tank evenly. This benefit is amplified by custom heater element configurations, which are adjustable to vessels of any size and shape.
Although heat trace cables are protected from the chemicals inside the tank, they are vulnerable to external damage, especially in outdoor environments. The cables are easily damaged and require frequent repairs or replacements.
Electric immersion heaters, on the other hand, are much hardier. Even though they may be submerged in corrosive or damaging fluids, they are built to withstand them. They offer a variety of materials which are custom-selected to meet the needs of the immersion fluid. Processes, like passivation, can further protect the heater elements.
Although their size often limits them to use in smaller tanks, screw plug heaters are the most efficient option where they are appropriate. In medium and large vessels, flange heaters can provide better heat distribution, but screw plug heaters are top-notch for small tank heating.
Electric screw plug heaters need minimal space for operation. This means they fit easily into smaller tanks. As well, they leave room for other operations inside the tank – in smaller tanks, the extra space is a rare luxury. This may prevent the need for additional tanks and equipment.
Storage tank heating applications often involve temperature maintenance and/or freeze prevention. To save on operating costs, the heater usually isn’t running at all times. Instead, it pairs with temperature sensors that detect when the fluid falls below the optimal range, then the heating system kicks in. A screw plug heater with a thermostat is a powerful combination.
Electric screw plug heaters are especially beneficial for this. For one, the electric power allows for near immediate reaction in the heater, so it can react right away when the temperature drops. Since the screw plug heater is immersed in the fluid it can also provide and distribute the heat quickly. This ensures a rapid response and accurate temperature sensing, including shutting off if the temperature gets too high.
For storing mediums that are potentially explosive or combustive, screw plug heaters offer a further benefit. They are designed to screw directly into a fitting at the side of the tank, making them an ideal option for closed tanks. They are even suitable for use in explosion-proof vessels.
Screw plug heaters aren’t just for temperature maintenance. In a small vessel, they are the fastest way to provide accurate, consistent heating. For preheating, they can deliver precise temperatures quickly and at a low operational cost.
Capable of being threaded into almost any tank or vessel, screw plug heaters are always a perfect fit. Add in the customizability of design and materials, and they can offer maximum efficiency for any providing heat or temperature maintenance to any medium.
Wattco custom-manufactures electric immersion heaters for any industrial application. Our team of experts will help you select the best heater type and configuration for your heating application. Contact us today for screw plug heater quotes and information.