THERMAL FLUID SYSTEMS
Thermal fluid systems allow heat input to production processes. The most common thermal fluids are thermal oil, water and glycol. By heating these fluids and their transfer, energy is provided indirectly to those steps in the productive process where a certain operating temperature is necessary.
In addition to installation, commissioning and maintenance of thermal fluid boilers, Pirobloc has the technologies and components needed to design and install a complete thermal fluid system for any industrial application. Our extensive experience in the correct sizing of thermal oil circuits allowing obtaining maximum performance from our equipment, maximum efficiency in the production process and, overall, perfect operation.
The most common applications are:
- Tank heating
- Suction heating
- Reactor vessel heating
- Process reboilers
- Platen or Press heating
- Ovens and fryers
- Natural gas heating
- Jacketed heating vessel
- Indirect steam generators
- In line liquid heating
- In line gas heating
- Heated molds or dies
- Crude oil heating
- Calendar heating roll
- Building heaters
To ensure the proper functioning of thermal fluid systems and the specific expectations and needs of each of our customers are met, Pirobloc carries out the following preliminary studies:
- Suitability studies
- Facility feasibility studies
- Financial studies of facility depreciation
- Rationalization and energy saving studies
- Fuel change studies
- Thermal and hydraulic balances
- Thermal fluid analyses
Suitability studies are carried out in all projects at no cost to our customers, since Pirobloc considers it essential to ensure the smooth operation of the installation from a comprehensive point of view.
They can also be ordered separately our consulting services whenever they want to start a productive activity based on transmission processes by indirect heat thermal fluid.
THERMAL FLUID VS. STEAM
Thermal fluid systems allow fuel consumption to be reduced by 20 to 25% compared with steam heating systems, making thermal fluid an efficient solution, both environmentally and economically.
Many companies and processes are still consuming over 20% more than the strictly necessary fuel. In an indirect heating system using steam overall efficiency of 65 – 70% is obtained, i.e., over 30% of the fuel’s energy is lost, representing an increase in energy costs and lower efficiency of the heating system. A third of these losses escapes up the chimney.
The same process heated with thermal oil has an efficiency of 90%. The remaining 10% still escapes up the chimney.
The main feature of thermal fluid systems is the possibility of working at high temperatures (180-280° C) without high pressures being produced, as happens with steam. This is because there is no phase change from its liquid state and the fact that a closed circuit is used.
OPTIONS FOR THERMAL INSULATION OF A THERMAL FLUID SYSTEM
There are many products on the market for thermal insulation of a thermal fluid system, which include mineral wool (rock wool), plastic foam, cellulose-based products, etc.
The purpose of search insulation is to prevent heat losses from the heat carrying fluid to maintain the system’s good operation and efficiency and prevent costly energy losses and accidents which might produce environmental pollution.
It is important that the working temperature of the plant where the system is installed and diameter of the pipes used be taken into account. For small and medium-diameter pipes, use of insulating tubing is recommended, because of the concentric arrangement of fibres. Insulation should be no less than 60 mm for pipes up to DN-65, a thickness of 80 mm or more for pipes of greater diameter being recommended. For larger diameters and over 200ºC, use of lagging such as rock wool is recommended.
Expansion and collection tanks do not need to be insulated in thermal fluid system.
Remember that insulating wools use non-inflammable materials of minimum calorific power, resistant to fire propagation. If working conditions in an installation include great temperature rises, high density rock wool should be used.
As a general rule, for calculation purposes, it is specified that the wall temperature of a sheet consuming machine and its external components must not be more than 30° C above the ambient temperature.