Preheat Fuel Oil using Flanged Heaters

Calentadores De AguaThe Situation
A major oil refinery in Calgary, Alberta traditionally used gas heating for their crude oil reservoirs. Maintenance was getting expensive and an alternative process heating solution was needed. Electric heating was easily available for this application with relatively low installation and maintenance costs. Failure in heating natural gas was also frequent so a backup system was needed in case of a failure during the transport of natural gas. The oil storage tanks could not use steam heating since the facility was in a remote location and if there was a leak in the lines, there was a high risk of oil contamination.

The Solution
The use of a flanged heater with a NEMA 7 explosion proof terminal box solved this problem. This was installed into their tank using a 12 inch slip on flange that was ready to accept the heater. Seventy two hairpin tubular elements were used to reduce the watt density to an acceptable level to help ensure a long life of the heater. Wattco used stainless steel 316 seamless tubing with an .035 wall thickness and a 350KW capacity on 480 V 3PH. The temperature was easily controllable with 2 thermocouples (type J) and a high limit controller for safety purposes. This was easily controllable by the control room of the remote station.


  • The standby failure of the gas heating can be easily addressed by engaging these electrical heaters which is immediately available for use
  • Fuel oil is controlled by a digital temperature controller with an accuracy of up to one degree (F)
  • Electric heating is more efficient than gas heating, uses no fossil fuels and is easily maintained with no maintenance costs.
  • Electric heating provides safety and security and ensures no possibility of contamination from steam heating into your oil reservoir
  • Electric heating is available in more areas than gas heating, and can adapt to a variety of hazardous and non-hazardous environments.

Get a quote
on a flanged heater today. WATTCO also manufactures other industrial heating solutions such as immersion heaters, circulation heaters and control panels. Browse all of our process heaters on the Our Products page.

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