Biofuels Manufacturer Turns to Heat Tracing to Protect its Investment

SRM Cable

The Challenge
A biofuels plant in Pennsylvania originally used steam tracing for freeze protection and temperature maintenance on a significant portion of the plants process lines. This method failed, however, because of steam tracings wide variance in maintenance temperature. Consequently, the company needed to find and implement a new heat trace system to effectively protect its investment in the renewable energy future. 

The Solution
The steam heat tracing was replaced with Chromalox self-regulating heat trace cable, also known as heat tape, which provides the precise temperature control needed to prevent overheating of the product. Chromalox worked with the project engineering firm to design and supply the heat trace system. Process lines, tanks and eye wash stations were all included in the scope of work, which required approximately 20,000 feet of cable and three control panels.

The heat trace system used for the process piping and tanks included both general purpose self-regulating cables (SRME-model cables for process temperature maintenance to 320 degrees F) and hazardous location SRL-model heat trace cable (HSRM-model cables to 302 degrees F). These were installed with Chromalox weatherTRACE™ FPLSM-model monitoring and control panels. The panels feature the WeatherTrace Sentinel, which continually monitors the supply voltage to each individual heat trace circuit without the need for additional staff. Loss of voltage or a ground fault condition triggers an automatic alarm condition, alerting plant personnel of critical process problems and reducing downtime. Low-temperature self-regulating heat trace cable was also used to protect general water lines and eye wash lines from freezing.
 
Benefits
The Chromalox heat trace system was the best, most effective option for replacing the failed steam tracing. Chromalox provided high quality, reliable products and engineering support at a competitive price.