Immersion Heaters in Refineries

Refineries and the Various Need for Immersion Heaters

There is a growing need for oil pipelines in North America in recent years. The refineries in Edmonton, Alberta, for example, need immersion heaters now more than ever. The Keystone XL project, for example, is a daunting project. It stretches over 2,150 miles of oil pipelines from Canada to United States. The refineries have various needs for immersion heaters, which is best suited for use as an oil heater.

Immersion heaters are best for oil heating for several reasons. The electric immersion heaters are sheathed for indirect heating. Thus, providing a steady constant heat flow that keeps oil viscosity constant.

These industrial heaters are ideal for oil refineries because they require minimal maintenance. Also, the indirect heating methods don’t require emptying of the container in order to replace the heating elements. Over and above, the rising costs of fuel and the ecological concern make the electric powered immersion heaters to be the ideal choice.

The Types of Immersion Heaters

There are several different types of immersion process heaters. The most suitable types of immersion heaters for oil heating are circulation heaters and inline heaters. They are interchangeable in the way they both work in the same manner. The circulation/inline heaters come in a variety of watts densities that directly correlate with the flow rate measured in GPM. WATTCO™ industrial heating products can deliver the temperature as high as 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit in the closed-loop system. They also feature an explosion-proof housing (NEMA 7) because of the risk on low flashpoint of the liquids used to circulate within the closed-loop.

The immersion heaters can often be tailored to meet specific specifications depending on their application. The heater elements are usually installed into an anti-corrosive metallic chamber inside of the vessel or pipeline. The circulation/inline heater is used to change viscosity of oil so that it can flow better through the pipeline as well as to and from the vessel.  

The temperature can be fine-tuned to the requirements of the liquid medium that is being heated—in this case the crude oil that is being delivered through the pipeline.

There are also other types of immersion heaters for oil beside the circulation/inline heater for special or challenging applications whereas the immersion heaters cannot be installed to the side of oil tanks. There are over the side immersion heaters in which the heating elements are placed through the top of the device where the installation should take place. In this case, the heating elements are sitting at the bottom of the tank ensuring the even distribution of the heat. In this application, the oil that enters the inlet is in cold state moving very slowly. As the oil is heated, the movement at the outlet is much smoother.

Need for Transporting Oil

The application of immersion heaters in the refineries is all about moving the oil. Beyond the need to keep oil viscous in the tank is the need to move oil through the pipeline. Just as it can be seen in the Keystone Project case, moving oil through pipeline that runs hundreds of miles, if not thousands, is not an easy task. The immersion heaters are exactly what the refineries need to accomplish that. WATTCO™ immersion heaters provide solution for the oil industry to make it possible and easy to happen.

Get a quote on an immersion heater today. Browse all of our immersion heating products such as over the side heaters, flanged heaters, circulation heaters and more.

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