Developments in trace heating

Paul Boughton

BARTEC's new electro-mechanical controller and limiter have been developed for electric trace heating systems in hazardous areas. With its direct connection of self-limiting heating cables and the high current carrying capacity ranges, costs are saved and the operational safety is increased.

The Ex standard (EN/IEC 60079-30-1) of the electric trace heating stipulates that all components which are installed in the heating cable have to be evaluated mechanically as well as temperature technically before they are taken into operation.

When the heating cable was directly connected in the past, the operator was responsible for this critical task of taking over the responsibility for the individual applications in the system acceptance test on site.

With BSTW II, BARTEC relieves the user of this work as well as responsibility, and has set itself the target of testing and approving the entire system from controller to limiter with heating bands in all combinations. Thus, self-limiting heating cables, such as PSBL, PSB, MSB and HSB, can be connected directly to the controller housing and can be operated in hazardous areas.

During the installation, an additional connection housing and thus clamping point or individual approval on site can be dispensed with. This reduction of fault influences increases the safety and reliability.

At the same time, this approach considerably saves costs in laying, material, installation and operation: up to Euro 150 to Euro 200 for every controlled heating circuit.

The family is available as one-channel controllers and limiters, as a combination unit with a controller and limiter for constant resistance heating cables, but also as multiple units. Up to three heating circuits can be connected to the housing.

BARTEC GmbH is based in Mergentheim, Germany.