There are plenty of constants in life. Some of these constants that we all are familiar with include Taxes, baseball in the summer time, birds flying south for the winter and the inevitable changing of the seasons.
As the seasons change there is always some type of preparation that needs to take place. When the summer time comes around, especially in the Gulf Coast Area, people begin to check the systems in their lives and their facilities that keep them cool. Coolants in the heavy machinery are checked and double checked. Refrigeration systems are scheduled for routine maintenance. HVAC systems which enable us to withstand the hot summers, are painstakingly inspected so as not to have a mishap during the hottest part of the summer.
As it is for summer, the same preparations need to be made for winter time. Although the winters in the Southern United States and the Upper Gulf Coast can be mild, that is no reason why your facility should be un-prepared for a unseasonably cold weather.
While our Northern Neighbors are a little bit more prepared and accustomed to the cold weather, they can also become vulnerable to the cold. One of the main ways that cold affects the Petrochemical Industry is through time loss or shutdowns.
The time loss occurs when the material that is flowing through your facility falls below its maintain temperature and becomes lodged in the pump lines or the vessels themselves. Whether if it is crude oil, liquid paraffin, or biodiesel there is a temperature that needs to be maintained to keep the flow of the material that enables it to move freely through the process lines. One of the best ways to maintain a temperature or to heat up a process line is to use a Heat Tracing System.
What is a Heat Trace system you ask? I left a few hints in the comments above, but the official description is as follows:
A Heat tracing system is used to prevent heat loss from process fluids being transported in process fluid pipes, when there is risk of damage to piping, or interference with operation such as fouling or blockage, caused by the congealing, increase in viscosity, or separation of components, in the fluid below certain temperatures, or when there is risk of formation of corrosive substances or water due to condensation in corrosive services.
This prevention of heat loss is accomplished by employing electrical tracing, or Steam tracing, and insulating both the process fluid pipe and the tracer together, using appropriate insulation materials & metal lagging is vital on any application, in an attempt to reduce heat loss from the pipe and tracer to their surroundings. The demands placed on heat tracing systems vary based on the design parameters specific to each application.
Whatever your industry, it is important so prepare for the seasons. It will save you money in the long run. It is important to make sure that your facility is protected against the cold weather this winter and if you have any further questions or comments do not hesitate to contact Straight Line Industrial Insulation for your Heat Trace System needs.