Process Heating Co. (PHCo), Seattle, was recently contacted by a power-generating facility that was facing a fuel-heating challenge for its combustion turbine. With cold weather approaching, the facility required quick turnaround on a custom solution.

The power facility uses heated naphtha, a volatile petroleum distillate similar to gasoline, to run its combustion turbine. Before fall of 2014, the facility had received its heated naphtha from a refinery that was located next door, but the refinery was scheduled to close. The power facility located another fuel source, but because of the cold climate and the fact that the naphtha is now being trucked in from another location and stored in a non-heated tank, the facility needed a system that could heat the fuel prior to use.

A standard, just-off-the-shelf unit would not work for this application. The required heating unit had to be much larger than most electric fuel preheating units to accommodate for the high flow rate and large temperature rise.

In just 18 weeks from the initial contact, PHCo was able to design and build a custom electric fuel preheating unit that would heat the fuel as it flowed from the storage tank into the turbine.

The system utilizes PHCo.’s ETL-Listed low-watt density drywell-style heating elements, mounted in an ASME-coded, stainless steel (for low temperature) inline vessel. It has a complete NEMA 7, U.L.-listed temperature control system. All of the components are skid-mounted and prewired for a complete standalone package.