Process heaters that run on electricity are primarily used in many industrial applications that require gases and liquids to be heated. Some of these electric process heaters are typically of the capacity of 2 to 60 watts per square inch. The reason why these process heaters are well-known in the market is that they are designed to be versatile and are equally capable to meet most of the requirements of the application and the site. Many industrial electric process heaters are manufactured keeping high quality standards in mind. Some of the quality standards that are followed include PED, ASME Section VIII Div. I, and CRN. These process heaters are similar to shell and tube type of heat exchangers because they are used in similar types of applications.
The different types of process heaters seen in the market include-
- Circulation Heaters – This type of heater is used as a conduit to regulate the flow of fluid over a number of heating elements.
- Immersion Heaters – Immersion process heaters are inserted into a tank, vessel, or a pipe to heat liquids or gases in the system.
- Thermal Fluid Systems – This is a type of indirect heating system in which the heat is generated and circulated in a closed loop system. The common heat transfer mediums used are glycol, water, or thermal oil.
The types of process heaters discussed above are effective in certain regions but ineffective in certain regions. Hence, it is important for the user to understand the advantages and disadvantages before using them for heat regulation.
Advantages of Electric Process Heaters Over Shell and Tube Types of Heat Exchangers
The primary advantages of the process heaters are that they have a small footprint and considered lightweight. In addition to their ability to control temperature precisely, they have 100% turn down capacity with the help of the thyristor control. Some of the other advantages of this process heaters are-
- Since the process heaters are independently driven with the help of power or electricity, there is no need for a separate hook up process.
- Since every ounce of heat energy is converted to heat, this type of process heater is 100% efficient.
- In order to achieve high temperature rise, the exact same KW electric heater can be used.
- This process heater helps in immediate start during the cold because electricity is soon converted into heat.
- Since these heaters work primarily with the help of electricity, they work noiselessly.
- When compared to process heaters that run on wood, electric process heaters are nontoxic to the environment.
- The entire process of heating carried out by electrical process heaters is affordable, comfortable, and completely safe.
- Using process heater that run on oil and gas is influenced by the fluctuation of prices that are imposed by the market.
Disadvantages of Electric Process heaters
In some parts of the world, electricity is expensive, which makes the entire process of heating using electric process heaters expensive for the user. The other disadvantages include-
- Electric process heaters cannot provide central heating solutions to any kind of user.
- For electrical heat to be generated, a large electrical service is required, which in turn, increases the overall cost.
- One more reason to worry about electricity is that it can cause electrical shock to the user.
- If there is a short circuit in the system, there might be chances of a fire, accident, or other mishap taking place.
- If the electric process heaters are used extensively, then there are chances of the process heaters being worn out.
- Sometimes the heat generated by electricity is not enough when compared to heat from sources like wood and gasoline.