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Category: Plant Basics
Question: What is a good method of steam tracing large vessels?
Keywords: steam,tracing,large,vessels
Answer: One common approach to heat tracing projects is a "platecoil" concept. If you are unfamiliar with this type of equipment you should visit one of the links below. Depending on your tank(s) or application, the platecoil can easily steam trace (or heat-up) your process. The method of application is simple and routinely done by sub-contractors. New heat-tracing cements have made this method even more efficient and less costly than what we had in the past. The platecoils can be pre-formed to fit your tank's cylindrical shell or elliptical heads. Flat surfaces are very easy. Platecoils are a quick, low-cost and safe installation. Most platecoils are found in stock, off-the-shelf in stainless construction. I've used them to winterize tanks as well as to reduce viscosities in heavy polyols and other high molecular weight compounds while processing or during storage. One of the best features of this type of tracing is that it is not invasive -- depending on the application, you may be able to install the platecoils while the tank is operating. Still another interesting feature is that you can use them as an assembly inside of tanks --- as internal heaters. You can use steam, Dowtherm, hot oil or process streams inside the coils. You can easily insulate over them to conserve heat or to protect personnel. Another resource would be a publication by Spirax Sarco (link below). This book contains a lot of information on steam tracing, best practices, traps, regulating valves, etc.. and is in it's eleventh printing.
Links: Alfa Laval Thermal


Spirax Sarco