Lauda Heating and Cooling Systems has designed and manufactured a heat transfer system for a long-standing customer, one of the biggest German chemical companies.
The customer ordered a system which must reach a working temperature of 400°C. The heater is used in the field of materials research, in so-called scale-up tests and for the preparation of reactions which make such a high temperature essential. "Heat transfer systems with a working temperature range up to 350 °C are part of the day-to-day business of Lauda" said project manager Ralph Herbert. "The range up to 400°C is in the premier class."
This technology is increasingly in demand, according to Herbert, because it allows more effective heat transfer, thereby enabling a higher throughput and optimisation of temperature-relevant production processes. Depending on the requisite outflow temperature and application area, these heat transfer systems use various types of thermal oils (silicone oil or eutectic mixtures). Generally speaking, they are electrically heated and generate a temperature-controlled liquid flow which heats the application in turn. A cooling option via heat exchanger can be integrated depending on requirement.
The particular feature of the jump from 350 to 400°C is that the engineers have to deal with significantly higher working pressures. The stainless steel reactors used on the application side also have to withstand a higher load. "The maximum pressure in the heat transfer fluid circuit in normal heat transfer systems with thermal oils is 6 bar, but it increases up to 21 bar in the 400°C systems, depending on the thermal oil used" explained Herbert. This requires expertise in pipeline construction as well as the individual equipment components.
The team of engineers at Lauda is currently planning thermal oil systems with a maximum working temperature of up to 430°C.