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Heating a tank using electric resistance heaters may be required to maintain pumping viscosity of heavy oil or resins, to prevent crystalline precipitation (sodium hydroxide), to facilitate production processes, for freeze protection, and hundreds of other applications. Liberty Electric Products can design and provide products for heating tanks of all sizes using various heating approaches.
Tank heaters can be used to maintain temperatures of gases and fluids in tanks from -300°F to 1000°F as they are designed with low watt density, open coil heating elements for uniform heating of the materials inside of a tank.
There are two main methods to tank heating; direct and indirect tank heating.
Direct tank heating consists of placing the heater in direct contact with the heated medium by placing the heater directly in the tank or circulating the fluid directly through the heater. The advantage of heating directly is that the heaters are nearly 100% efficient with this method. This is because all heat that is generated is absorbed directly by the process. This helps to speed heat-up and eliminate thermal lag. There is no intermediate heat transfer medium that could result in heat losses.
Indirect tank heating uses a heat transfer medium to apply the heat to the tank. Indirect methods can vary from external heating of the tank using the tank wall as the heating medium to utilizing a heat transfer medium to carry the heat to the tank. The biggest advantage to indirect heating is that the heater can typically be serviced without draining the tank. Second, indirect heating often allows watt density exposed to the process fluid to be lowered by spreading the heat over a larger surface.
Electric Tank Heater installed with controls
Immersion Heater from the inside
Immersion heaters are designed for direct contact (this is a must) heating of water, oils, viscous materials, solvents, process solutions and gases for many industrial heat applications. Various temperature control options permit very tight process temperature control. Basic mounting options of threaded screw plug connections, flanges, or simple over-the-side designs are available from stock for immediate delivery.
Flange Immersion Heater
The Chromalox Electric Tank Immersion Heater, Model LTFX, is designed to give years of virtually maintenance-free service and it is shipped ready for installation into a storage tank. LTFX provides low watt-density heating over a large heating surface with precise temperature control for such materials as asphalt, fuel oil, pitch and tar, liquid sugar, lube oils, linseed oil, biodiesel, glycerin, ethanol and many other heat sensitive compounds. The open coil heating elements (OCE) are housed in either 2” or 3” Schedule 40 carbon or stainless-steel pipes, which are welded into the 150# ANSI flange. Once the unitary immersion heater is mated to your tank, the heating elements may be removed and replaced without draining the tank.
Immersion Heater Diagram
Tank Heater with Removable Element
Storage Tank Heaters
Circulation heaters are utilized in direct heating applications. The process fluid is circulated directly through the heater. The reason you would choose a circulation heater over an immersion heater directly installed in the tank is either due to space limitations or watt density limitations requiring high fluid velocity over the elements to increase heat transfer. Furthermore, if the circulation heater is piped and valved properly, the heater may be serviced without draining the tank. The circulation of the process fluid is provided by a pump or natural convection.
Direct Contact Circulation Heater
For any application, it is essential that complete data be obtained and understood before an evaluation and selection of a suitable heating system can be made. Specifically, you will need: