Temperature Maintenance vs. Temperature Rise
When it comes to impedance systems, not all systems are made equally. Yes, all impedance systems heat by passing current through a pipe. Yes, they all have a set temperature they can maintain. But what about the amount of time it takes the system to heat from startup? What about the ability to increase the heat of a product as it flows through a pipe? What can each system do? Or, as usually asked in the initial design phase, what does this system need to do? That simple question opens the door for many possibilities when it comes to the design of an impedance heating system.
Pipe Heating – Too Often Over Looked
Too often process pipe heating requirements do not receive the attention they deserve until very late in a project’s implementation. As with any project, significant time and effort is invested at the beginning of the project defining and engineering the mechanical requirements for a process piping system. Unfortunately, too many times little consideration is given during design to the understanding and selection of the appropriate pipe heating technology to apply. All too often the result is the application of a low-cost trace element heating solution that doesn’t meet the customer’s expectations, provides poor performance and unreliable service during subsequent years of operation. The impact on an end user is a significant increase in total cost of ownership over the life of the system compared to alternate forms of process pipe heating such as impedance pipe heating (IPH).
What is it? How does it work?
Impedance pipe heating. What is it? How does it heat pipe? These questions are asked far too often for a technology that has been around for over one hundred years. While in essence the simplest and most elegant way to heat a pipeline, impedance heating technology is often viewed incorrectly and misunderstood as a method to heat pipe. Thankfully, once people learn how impedance heating works and the benefits its use brings, they are more than willing to adopt impedance heating technology and leave behind other pipe heating methods.
How Does Impedance Pipe Heating Heat a Pipe?
While in essence the simplest and most elegant way to heat a pipeline, impedance heating technology is often viewed incorrectly and misunderstood as a method to heat pipe. At its core, impedance pipe heating is done by applying a low voltage AC source to a pipe and allowing electric current to pass through the pipe. While technically any voltage can be utilized, without special isolation and containment provisions the National Electric Code (NEC) limits impedance system designs to a maximum secondary voltage of 80V.