Top Ten Most Popular Process Heating Articles of 2018
As boilers age, they become less efficient, thereby increasing operational costs. Replacing the boiler is the obvious choice; however, it may not be necessary. If the boiler pressure vessel is in good shape, upgrading the burner and controls while adding heat recovery can not only restore a boiler to its original efficiency but probably improve it.
2. Sight Glass vs. Magnetic Level Indicator
Local level indication is an important measurement for many process control applications. It provides a reliable way to confirm the level height. It allows a way to check and calibrate level transmitters. It can be used to temporarily and manually control the liquid level when the normal control systems are down. And it offers a redundant technology to measure level.
3. Craft Brewery Drives Success with Process Automation Swap
Not many Americans like warm beer — except, of course, process cooling engineers who work for breweries. They know that maintaining elevated temperatures within a metal tank in the brewhouse is critical throughout much of the fermentation process. Only at the proper time is coolant — often a mix of glycol and water — circulated by a programmable controller that opens and closes valves, directing flow through a tank jacket. The resulting temperature drop stops fermentation and readies the brew for the next step.
4. Drying Non-Uniform and Heat-Sensitive Products
Lightweight, nonwoven fabrics vary in thickness and basis weight after being formed. Uniformly drying a saturated finish without overheating the lightweight areas of the fabric is difficult. Drying lumber takes forever and a day. Actually, it requires many days, and aggressive attempts to reduce the drying time can result in boards splitting or cracking. Effectively drying pressure-sensitive adhesives presents a host of issues for web converters like label manufacturers.
5. 5 Advantages of a Thermal Fluid Heater
With the rise in demand for heating and temperature control in industrial processing, many facilities are looking to thermal fluid for its ability to meet the needs of process heating. While traditional boilers offer a solution familiar to most manufacturers, those same manufacturers may not be familiar with what thermal fluid systems have to offer. Why would one benefit from looking into this alternative for process heating applications? Here are the top five advantages of choosing a thermal fluid heating system.
6. Direct-Contact Water Heaters for Concrete Plants
Direct-contact water heaters work differently from direct-fired water tanks with firetubes, and from boilers. Typically, they are vertical cylinders with a section of diffusion material inside the top; a burner in the middle; and a collection area at the bottom. Water is sprayed into the top of the heater, and it migrates downward through a section of diffusion material called packing. Packing typically is made from stainless steel formed into rings of various shapes and sizes. These rings provide the surface area where heat is transferred to the water from burner gases.
7. Insights into Advanced Steam Turbine Centrifugal Chiller Technology
A conventional utility power plant has an average electrical efficiency of 35 percent. This means that 65 percent of the input primary fuel energy is wasted. In a combined heat and power system utilizing a combustion gas turbine (with typical electrical loads greater than 1 MW), the exhaust gas heat is recovered to produce steam at medium-to-high pressures — useful for heating and cooling. In so doing, the overall system efficiency increases to almost 90 percent, which is maintained year-round. Only 10 percent of the input primary fuel energy is wasted.
8. Optimizing Your Thermal Oxidizer
Thermal oxidizers require significant amounts of energy to achieve their intended benefit. One of the reasons for this is that treatment of the process exhaust air requires heating it to the highest autoignition temperature of compounds to be oxidized. The combustion chamber temperature can range from 1400 to 1700°F (760 to 927°C) — or higher as needed. Though various configurations exist to improve on energy efficiencies, thermal oxidizers remain a substantial user of natural gas and electricity.
9. Solenoid Valves Help Improve Oil-and-Gas Process Heating
Over the last few years, North American oil-and-gas output has been climbing substantially. U.S. natural gas and crude oil production were up 10 percent and 13 percent, respectively, from 2017 to 2018.1 Drilled and completed wells rose about 50 percent during the same period.2 And, this activity has been driven by crude-oil prices that climbed from about $30 per barrel in 2015 to $60 per barrel in 2018.3 This surge has oil-and-gas producers replacing outdated process heating systems in their upstream production facilities.
10. Heat Recovery for Process Efficiency
With an ever-increasing focus on energy efficiency and improving system performance, industrial processors are looking for ways to achieve these goals while reducing costs and material usage wherever possible. One proven way to increase energy efficiency and reduce fuel usage is to recover heat from industrial processes. Waste heat is unused heat given off by a process or equipment in the form of thermal energy — that is, heat not being captured to heat some other product or process. Waste heat can be thought of as free energy. Though, of course, there is a cost to create it, waste heat is thermal energy you would otherwise let escape up the stack rather than using in your process. Implementing ways to capture waste heat energy can improve efficiency while helping processors save money.