Although Heatec makes, sells, and services a range of heaters, liquid storage tanks, and related products, their goods are part of a total heating system solution. Heatec offers complete design services for heaters that are used at facilities such as oil and gas producers, chemical producers, food producers, food and pharmaceutical packaging, paper and film converting, roofing manufacturers, power plants, hotmix asphalt (HMA) plants, asphalt terminals, emulsion terminals, and concrete producers.

With such a wide range of industries to serve, the company offers a host of heaters to get the job done most efficiently, safely, and productively. In this overview of select products, the company offers a little background for several different heater types. Heatec will help you design and build an entire system around your needs, ensuring you have the most productive, efficient, and safe process heating system.

THERMAL FLUID HEATERS

An advantage of vertical heaters is their small footprint, so they can fit into small ground areas.

Heatec specializes in thermal fluid heaters—especially those with helical coils heated by fired burners. These versatile heaters are used in many industries. Also known as hot oil heaters, oil and gas producers know them as heat medium oil (HMO) heaters.

No matter what they are referred to, they work as follows: the flame heats the thermal fluid that circulates through the heater coil and through heating coils in user equipment.  A single heater can heat multiple pieces of equipment connected in one or more thermal fluid circuits. Additionally, the heating of each piece of equipment can be controlled independently by valves that modulate the flow of the hot oil through the equipment.

vertical heaters

An advantage of vertical heaters is their small footprint, so they can fit into small ground areas.

Heaters with two-pass helical coils are the most popular. They burn a variety of fuels and
have high thermal efficiencies that conserve fuel. Heaters also are available with three-pass helical coils and with serpentine coils. Outputs of the ones we can build range up to about 80 million BTU/hr.

Heatec makes its own thermal fluid coils. They can configure the coils for your heater to provide a flow rate that closely matches your required flow rate without compromise.

The heaters can be oriented either vertically or horizontally. An advantage of vertical heaters is their small footprint, so they can fit into small ground areas.

Heatec Aquatec™ water bath heater is in operation at a natural gas compressor/booster station in South Dakota.

PROCESS HEATERS

Heatec’s process heaters are designed to directly heat a fluid product as it flows through the heater—the product may be liquid or gas. Process heaters heat products directly, whereas thermal fluid heaters heat media (thermal fluid) that in turn heats products or other equipment indirectly.

Heatec offers a host of process heaters used by many types of producers and manufacturers. Some process heaters are better known by other names: booster heaters, gas regen heaters, reboilers, and water bath heaters.

Some have helical coils; some have serpentine. Some have fire tubes. Some are vertical. Some are horizontal. The coils of some process heaters must be cleared completely after use. These heaters usually have helical heating coils and are in a vertical configuration to facilitate thoroughly draining the coils by gravity.

Water bath heaters, direct-contact heaters, convection heaters, electric heaters and direct-fired heaters and are all process heaters. An overview of each follows.

WATER BATH HEATERS

The Aquatec™ heater is used to heat fuel gas at power generation plants, compressor stations, and wellheads. The gas is heated before its pressure is reduced. Heating fuel gas while it is still at a high pressure keeps ice crystals and hydrates from forming in the lines when its pressure is reduced for combustion.

Ice and hydrates can cause major damage to gas-fired turbines and other equipment. The heater is used to heat crude oil at oil production and handling facilities. The oil is heated to reduce its viscosity, so it can be easily pumped. Aquatec heaters are normally gas-fired. Outputs of Heatec’s standard models range from 0.65 million to 15 million BTU/hr and can be  customized to suit your needs as well as  configured for use in hazardous areas (Class 1, Div.1 or 2) where safety is a concern. They also can be designed to operate in isolated areas where electrical power is not available.

water bath heater

Heatec Aquatec™ water bath heater is in operation at a natural gas compressor/booster station in South Dakota.

How They Work. Gas or liquid products are heated to 130–150 degrees F as they flow through tube bundles in the heater. The tube bundles are heated indirectly by a water bath that surrounds the tube bundles and the furnace tube. To avoid creating unwanted condensates, high-temperature burner gases do not heat the tube bundles directly.

water bath heater

If the high-temperature gases were allowed to come into direct contact with the tube bundles (which are at a relatively low temperature), moisture in the gas would condense on the tube bundles and create a corrosive liquid. The expansion chamber stores water overflow created by expansion. It also serves as a water saver by reducing evaporation.

DIRECT-CONTACT WATER HEATERS

Firestorm®, Heatec’s most popular direct-contact water heater, heats water on demand and provides a continuous supply of instant hot water at a constant temperature. It has an extremely high thermal efficiency.

Special versions of the Firestorm heater are available with NSF certification for food processors. Heatec also offers a helical coil heater for heating water. It is virtually the same as a thermal fluid heater, except it heats water as it is pumped through its helical coil to an external storage tank or reservoir. The water does not normally recirculate through the heater.

direct-contact water heater

Firestorm® direct-contact water heater heats water on demand and provides a continuous supply of instant hot water at a constant temperature. It offers an extremely high thermal efficiency.

Heatec manufactures three basic types of water heaters for a host of industrial uses. They offer burners that are gas fired as well as special versions with burners that operate on diesel fuel. You can learn all about the full Firestorm line of heaters in a future Heatec white paper.

CONVECTION HEATERS

Heatec’s Convectec™ all-convection heaters are designed to heat materials that are sensitive to overheating due to high film temperatures. The heater avoids these high film temperatures by exposing its heating coils only to heat energy borne in convection gases. Thus, the coils are not exposed to radiant energy produced by its burner flame. Accordingly, the film temperature of the materials flowing through its coils will not exceed its bulk temperature more than 5°F.

convection heaters

A series of Heatec Convectec™ convection heaters for heating crude oil at a production facility in Angola are pictured here

These heaters are used extensively by oil and gas producers and are also suitable for use by producers of petrochemicals, chemicals, food, and in other industries. Outputs range from 2 to 100 million BTU/hr.

ELECTRIC PROCESS HEATERS

The electric process heater is popular due to its small footprint, high thermal efficiency and low maintenance.

Heatec EHI heaters, commonly known as electric circulation heaters, are used mainly by companies engaged in manufacturing and processing. This type of heater is popular due to its small footprint, high thermal efficiency, and low maintenance. The heaters can be used to heat thermal fluid that heats other plant equipment, as well as to directly heat a liquid or gas product that flows through the heater, including chemicals, oil, water, air, nitrogen, and steam. Each unit is custom-made to meet your needs.

electric process heater

The electric process heater is popular due to its small footprint, high thermal efficiency and low maintenance.

Skid-mounted packages are available with a range of options, including SCR control panel, expansion tank, main pump, backup pump, strainer, side stream filter, valves, and cooler.

A series of Heatec Convectec™ convection heaters for heating crude oil at a production facility in Angola are pictured here.

Applications for these types of heaters include: gas processing, offshore platforms, chemical, petrochemical, power generation, asphalt, roofing, pharmaceutical, food, wood, glass and rubber, insulation, textile, and tank farms.

With such a broad product offering, how will you know which heater to specify for your application? Look for How to Spec the Right Heater for Your Application in our next white paper.

THE HEATEC MISSION

“To grow and prosper by designing, manufacturing and selling the most innovative, productive and reliable equipment for the industries we serve, coupled with unparalleled customer service.”

423-449-9523 ǀ www.heatec.com

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