Traditionally, the focus of most grassroots environmental impact campaigns has focused on consumers. Yet the bulk of carbon dioxide emissions are a result of industrial applications and processes. Because of this, it has become crucial that major industries tackle decarbonization by phasing out fossil fuels with electric power from renewables and low-carbon resources.
The evolution of electric industrial heaters, which have surpassed the capabilities of fossil fuel heaters, is helping to power decarbonization efforts. Their compatibility with batteries and renewable power sources is changing them from the best option for efficiency to a must-have for emerging emission standards.
Electric heaters play important roles in every major industry. Everything from crude oil refining, to keeping the food industry safe during the pandemic, and even supplying potable water to communities relies on heaters. Not only do electric industrial heaters provide the low-emissions these industries need, but they have also advanced to outperform the accuracy and efficiency of traditional heating sources.
Here we examine a few of the key benefits electric heating systems offer in terms of decarbonization.
The core goal of decarbonization is to help the environment stabilize and recover before it’s too late. To this end, the environmental benefits of electric heaters are among their most important.
Firstly, relying on electric power means that no, or very low, emissions are produced. This allows electric immersion and circulation heaters to directly support decarbonization. While creating a lower carbon footprint, electric heating is capable of the same or greater output. That means it not only uses cleaner energy to achieve the same results, but can use less energy.
Furthermore, there is less fouling in electric systems. That means any emissions or byproducts produced are cleaner and breakdowns are less likely.
Additionally, electric heaters are compatible with batteries. This translates well to use with renewable energy sources, which tend to rely on, or make use of, battery power. It also makes these heaters future-ready, as battery power is stepping up in a big way. For instance, the Tesla battery is set to power HVAC systems.
Another factor that makes electric heater systems a practical solution for decarbonization is their quality. With these systems, there is no need to sacrifice efficiency and reliability for eco-friendliness. In fact, electric heaters are capable of greater efficiency and performance than their fossil fuel counterparts.
Across the board, industrial heaters have higher heat transfer rates and higher watt densities when they use electric power. As well, thermal fluid heaters offer better fluid dynamics, further optimizing projects.
Another important advantage of electricity is its low cost. Even if you have to buy a whole new system to replace an old fossil fuel unit, your new heater will end up lower cost over time. The lower your operational costs, the higher your profitability.
One of the key factors in the cost advantages of electricity is its efficiency. Electric heater systems are highly efficient, allowing them to reach target temperatures faster and using less energy. This speeds up processes while limiting the amount of energy used. At the same time, electricity itself is more efficient than fossil fuel, with little or no energy lost during use or transit.
These factors are further amplified by the actual cost of electricity. It can, admittedly, take more infrastructure to get electricity set up. However, once this is in place the actual cost of electricity is cheaper (see Fig 1). As well, the infrastructure demands are lessening as we experience a surge in the capabilities of batteries.
A further cost-benefit of electric heaters is their resilient design. Because they have a simple design and require no combustion, they require less frequent and less expensive maintenance. As well, maintenance performance that is done is often as simple and quick as power washing. As a result, long-term costs to keep the heater operating at peak efficiency are low. Plus, the heater itself has a longer lifespan so it does not have to be replaced as quickly.
If you are considering making the switch to electric heaters, contact Wattco today. Wattco custom-manufactures electric immersion and circulation heaters for all industries. Our team of engineers works with you to select the heater type, design, materials, and output that matches your specific criteria.