Heat tracing—sometimes also called trace heating—is a system in which a heating element is run along the length of a pipe in order to prevent its contents from freezing. The heating element and pipe are often wrapped in thermal insulation to prevent heat loss and allow the heat tracing to operate more efficiently.
Even in locations where there is no risk of pipes freezing, some applications require that liquid in pipes be heated to a certain temperature. Heat tracing can be used to keep temperatures steady all along a system of pipes.
Importance in Oil/Gas Applications
Heat tracing is a valuable tool in the petroleum industry. The equipment used to produce, process, and store oil needs to be kept at certain temperatures for peak performance, and so requires a heating solution to maintain optimal thermal levels. Additionally, when oil and natural gas are first being extracted from the ground, high temperatures are used to bring them to the surface.
Oil and gas refineries exist in nearly all localities and climates, so the equipment used for refining and distributing oil and gas products needs to be winterized at many facilities. There are other uses of heat tracing in the oil and gas industry as well, such as during exploration and throughout many stages of production.
Heat tracing is used heavily during the processing of gas, heavy oils, synfuels, and petrochemicals. This method keeps the refinement process running smoothly, and it is often used in storage terminals to control the temperature of the product.
Importance of Insulation on a Heat Trace
Insulation is also a key component of temperature control in oil and gas applications. In addition to maintaining equipment temperatures, insulation helps to:
- Reduce thermal loss
- Increase efficiency
- Improve process by temperature regulation
Key Examples of Product Applications from Firwin
Firwin provides a range of products that assist in temperature regulation of oil and gas pipelines. This includes:
- Valve Covers
Upstream equipment is often exposed to harsh conditions, especially extreme heat, cold, and chemicals. Our valve covers will keep your equipment sealed and secure.
To keep equipment at the right temperature and reduce heating and/or cooling costs, our ThermoWrap removable insulation blankets are custom designed to cover flanges of all shapes and sizes. All of our blankets come with highly secure fastening systems and are made of durable materials that can be used for years.
Safety is a key concern in any operation. Hot piping causes severe burns when exposed to skin, so it is vital that the outer cover temperatures be kept under control. Our vessel and manway covers help protect your employees.
- Instrumental Panels
Our instrumental panel covers provide excellent heat retention. Our removable blankets reduce waste and save money when compared to hard insulation removal and reapplication.
The products that we provide are designed to wrap and protect even the most complicated upstream equipment. Our experienced staff is highly in tune with the needs of the oil and gas industry and we’ve designed our products with those needs in mind.
Temperature control is a vital for oil and gas applications and Firwin is here to provide the products you need. View our line of insulation products for the oil and gas industry here.