A heating technology that utilizes higher voltages to reduce installation and operating costs has been patented by Pittsburgh-based Chromalox. Medium-voltage DirectConnect heating products are capable of handling voltages up to 7,200 V. Typical products include immersion and circulation heaters, heat transfer systems, steam boilers, and vaporizers. Operators in such markets as power generation, petrochemical, and oil-and-gas are likely users due to the large inherent heating demands at their facilities.
Conventional electric resistance, metal-sheathed heating has been limited to operating at 1,000 V, the company notes. A combination of material science, design engineering, and proprietary manufacturing techniques were used to develop the DirectConnect heating system. The system reportedly provides installation savings and lowers the cost of ownership for multi-megawatt electric process heating systems.
“With our DirectConnect medium voltage system, the step-down transformer cost can be reduced or even eliminated," said Mark Wheeler, Chromalox’s global director of systems and service when announcing the product in 2014. "The decreased amperage requires fewer circuits, smaller wire sizes and significantly less labor.”