Electric Heat is Used in Stand-By Operation to Preheat Fuel Oil

Chromalox catalog tmo 109 3

The Challenge
Oil is used only as an emergency fuel in case of a failure in the supply of natural gas. The high cost of installing and maintaining steam lines to the remote location of the oil storage tanks was prohibitive. Also, there was the danger of steam heating coil leakage, or of water condensations contaminating the oil. To reduce risk, it was important to preheat fuel oil used in the stand-by operation. 

The Solution
Installing a TMO style Chromalox immersion heater, and link it into a vessel constructed by the customer at the tank site. Ninety-six, U-shaped, seamless steel-sheathed heating elements comprise the heater which has a capacity of 266 KW and operates on 440 volts. The operation is easily controlled by a single thermostat through a magnetic contactor which may be operated remotely from the power plant control room.


  • The heater is always available for use and could use the incoming electrical power to start the stand-by operation in case of a gas line failure.
  • Its operation is entirely automatic and gives accurate control of the fuel oil temperature.
  • The electric heater represents a much lower installation cost than steam and requires no maintenance.
  • It is completely safe and eliminates danger of steam leakage into the fuel oil tanks.
  • Electric heat easily maintains the correct temperature necessary to insure efficient ignition and combustion of the fuel oil.