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Impedance Heating Offers a Low Cost and Low Risk Approach to Heating Crude Oils

For decades, plumbers have thawed frozen water pipes by connecting portable welder electrodes to both ends of the frozen section and running a low-voltage current through the pipe. Effectively, the pipe becomes a heating element, melting the ice inside. That, in its simplest form, is impedance heating.

Impedance heating offers low cost solution for the oil refinery
Impedance heating offers low cost solution for the oil refinery

How Impedance Heating Works

In industrial applications, a multi tap a.c. transformer supplies low-voltage current to a pipe transporting a gas or liquid. Cables and a control panel are connected and the heated pipe is electrically isolated. Terminals are attached to each end of the pipe, and a low voltage current is passed through it, allowing the pipe to act as its own heating element.

When to Use Impedance Heating

Impedance systems heat a wide variety of gases, liquids and viscous materials which are stored, pumped and processed in many different industries and applications. Impedance heating can be used in three basic ways:

Benefits of Impedance Heating

Advantages of Impedance Heating Over Conventional Methods

Indeeco specializes in impedance heating solutions across a broad range of industries, including the oil and gas sector. A few years ago, a refinery client tasked Indeeco with replacing two lines of existing impedance heated piping.  The existing system transferred crude tar and other products. This system had been in place for 30 years and the client had been meaning to update it for some time but kept putting it off. Needless to say, the project Indeeco was tasked with had a certain sense of urgency to it.

Indeeco deigned an impedance system for the client’s new pipe lengths, which had been shortened by 30% from its original system. Each line consists of two center tap impedance systems using 500 MCM cables evenly divided.  Each of the four heating systems used 25 KVA transformers, 480V primary with six tap secondary 22 to 32 V.

Indeeco was able to meet the time constraint, supplying the equipment in record time and installing the new parts while maintaining the exact same temperatures for the system. This allowed the client to maintain production and saved them thousand of dollars they would have lost in down time.

Indeeco will be exhibiting at RefComm® Galveston, so be sure to stop by Booth 64 to learn more about the benefits of impedance heating. To register for RefComm Galveston, visit: Early bird pricing ends March 18!

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Posted by: lindsay

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