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Heat Tracing

Heat tracing is an application of electric surface heating. its most common application in industrial settings is heating of pipework and vessels though heat tracing producs in various forms have manifold applications in commercial and industrial settings. Some of the most common applications are listed in the below

Heat Tracing Applications

Freeze Protection
Temperature maintenance
Temperature Raise
Tank Heating
Roof & gutter de-icing
Hot water systems

. Heat tracing cables are generally constructed as cut-to-length parallel circuit tapes or series cables. Different applications require different types of cable but in general cable types can be broken into two types.

Constant Wattage cables provide heating at constant output. Constant wattage cables can be contructed as series cable elements or cut-to-length zoned cable elements

Self Regulating (Self-limiting) cables provide heating output which varies inversely with temperature. Self-regulating elements are parallel circuit cut-to-length zoned elements.

Parallel circuit, cut-to-length are the most commonly used tracing cables. This construction allows either constant wattage or self-regulating tracers to be cut to the desired length on site.

Constant Wattage Heating Cables

Constant power heating cables for freeze protection or process temperature maintenance

Series Resistance Heating Cables

Heating tapes for use with long pipeline applications.
For use up to 230°C (446°F).

A pipework heat tracing system comprises heat tracing cable fitted under thermal insulation. Heat tracing cables are applied normally to the external wall of the pipework. The cables may be run straight along the pipework or spiral wrapped around the circumference of the pipe. The application method depends on the specific design. There is no benefit to spiral wrapping of tracer unless the design calls specifically for this. Heating cables are terminated to power supplies with glanded entries similar to a standard power cable.

A pipework heat tracing system must be designed to meet the specific requirements of the end-user taking into account the site conditions, the type and quantity of thermal lagging used, the exact heating duty required and any control/feedback. Heating cables, whether self-regulating or constant wattage are not desinged in themselves to maintain specific temperatures. Rather the cable is applied based on an appropriately modeled system to provide the exact heating duty required. For this reason it is essential that any heat tracing system be scoped and designed by trained specialists.

Professional heat tracing systems are designed for simple installation.

Control for pipework heat tracing systems is provide by means of thermostatic switching or in some cases may be provided using the self-regulating properties of the tracer thus necessitating no control thermostat. In cases where the temperature will be varied thermostatic control is always required. Control devices fall into the following general categories.

Surface/Pipe sensing thermostats
Ambient sensing thermostats
Electronic control units
Panel mounted controllers
Multi-zone heat tracing control systems

Control systems can be self contained field mounted thermostats providing switching of the tracer load in one self contained unit or more sophistocated control units prividing switching of the load and control and monitoring functionality.

Heat Tracing * System * Cable Manufacturers



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