Steam heaters protect field instrumentation

Paul Boughton
Intertec has unveiled a new range of steam heaters for field instrumentation protection applications. Offering a choice of vertical, horizontal or panel-mounting styles, with four power outputs ranging from around 65-490W, users can select the appropriate heater for all common enclosure-scale freeze/condensation protection or temperature maintenance applications.
The new steam range has been developed from the most popular sizes of finned convection heater profiles in Intertec's electrical heater range. These Intertec-designed anodised aluminium profiles have all been field-proven in enclosure heating applications over many years, and in many tens of thousands of applications.
Steam heating is still employed in many refineries and other plants because steam energy is produced as a by-product of the core process, plus it is a simple alternative to electric heating.
Two of the options in Intertec's new steam heater range are designed to mount vertically to provide convection heating. They are compact and suitable for smaller-scale heating requirements: in freeze protection applications the outputs are typically 65 and 130W, respectively, when used on lines offering steam at a pressure of 3bar and a temperature of 130 degrees C. A third convection option is designed to mount horizontally and provides a typical output of 490W. The fourth element has both flat and finned sides to enable it to be mounted against a panel or on the side of equipment; it delivers around 200W of combined convection and conduction heating output, providing a useful alternative for some process applications. The sizes of the four heaters are 5 x 5 x 15.5cm, 8 x 8 x 22.5cm, 22.5 x 21.3 x 10cm, and 5 x 21.3 x 22.5cm.
The steam heating elements are identical in size to those used in Intertec's long-established electrical heating range, but they come with a press-fitted 12mm stainless steel tube for connection to the steam/hot water service line. This compatibility simplifies the configuration of an environmentally-protected enclosure, enabling users to work through the specification process in exactly the same manner regardless of whether steam or electrical heat sources will be employed: choosing the style and size of enclosure, calculating the power requirements, and selecting the right shape and size of heating element. The new products complement an existing selection of finned tubes that Intertec offers for small-scale freeze protection applications.
In addition, the heating elements may also be used with hot water lines and for temperature maintenance up to typically 40 degrees C when used with a thermally-actuated control valve. This stainless steel accessory is tamperproof, and can maintain a desired set-point temperature to within typically +/- 1 degree.
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