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Thermal oil heater

Thermal oil heater for process heat supply

Whether in the wood, metal, chemical, food or textile industries – many industrial manufacturing processes rely on process heat to convert and process materials or components. With the help of thermal oil heaters, this process heat can be provided in a temperature range of up to 350 °C at no and up to 430°c with reletaively little pressure: This advantage ensures that thermal oil systems have become firmly established as an attractive alternative to conventional steam generators.

In our article, we will not only explain how thermal oil heaters work, but also go into the advantages and areas of application. In addition, we show you how to optimize the process heat supply in your company by switching to a thermal oil heater.


How do thermal oil heaters work?

The basic technical principle of thermal oil heaters is based on heating a mineral, synthetic or silicone-based thermal oil. The thermal properties of thermal oils  are very advantageous for heat transfer: Thus, heat transfer takes place in a wide temperature range almost without pressure.

In addition to electrically heated thermal oil heaters, fired thermal oil heaters are also used. Both fossil and organic fuels can be utilized. These include, for example, natural gas, biogas, liquid gas, biodiesel, heavy oil, medium oil and light oil. The fuels is burned in the burner of the thermal oil heater, and the resulting heat is transferred to the heat transfer oil via a coil. Complex control and regulation technology ensures that the thermal oil heater provides the desired amount of heat transfer oil at the required temperature level at any given time. In addition to electrically heated and fired thermal oil heaters, steam-heated thermal oil heaters are also used in industry.
After production, the heated oil is transported to the consumer via a pipeline, where it heats up the process and returns to the heater.


What are the advantages of thermal oil heaters?

Compared to conventional steam generators, thermal oil heaters have several advantages. These have led to thermal oil becoming established as a medium for heat transfer in many industrial processes at low or medium temperature levels. The advantages at a glance:

  • Nearly pressureless supply of process heat for industrial processes
  • No corrosion in the system
  • Very low maintenance requirements and correspondingly low operating costs
  • Thermal control tasks can be performed with high precision
  • Robust construction and long service life
  • High safety standards due to flow protection and temperature limiter
  • Suitable for various liquid and gaseous fuels as well as electrical operation
  • Enables process heat supply to multiple heat consumers


Where are thermal oil heaters used?

Thermal oil heaters are used wherever reliable, cost-effective and precise provision of process heat is required. Since thermal oil can be heated up to 430 °C depending on its composition and pressure level, it is a sought-after alternative to steam, especially for processes at low or medium temperature levels.

Heat transfer equipment using thermal oil is used in the following industries, for example:

  • Oil and Gasindustry
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical engineering
  • Wood industry
  • Textile industry
  • Laundries
  • Soap and detergent industry
  • Surface processing
  • Food industry
  • Building materials industry
  • Production of nonwovens
  • Power Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

The specific applications for thermal oil systems in industry are very diverse. Applications include the heating of industrial baking ovens, extruders or presses, fryers in the food industry, the treatment of crude oil or the upgrading of biogas.


How do companies benefit from the introduction of thermal oil heaters?

The introduction of heat transfer systems or thermal oil heaters pays off for industrial and commercial companies in many ways. Compared to classic steam generators, thermal oil heaters operate almost without pressure, making the entire system technology simpler and requiring less maintenance. The use of thermal oil also means that corrosion does not occur, making the individual components very durable.

Another plus point is the high precision: Thanks to the sophisticated control technology, a thermal oil heater succeeds in providing process heat very reliably at the desired temperature level. From an economic point of view, it is also advantageous that thermal oil heaters are comparatively inexpensive both to purchase and to operate.

If you are thinking about introducing thermal oil heaters in your company, please feel free to contact us. As an experienced specialist for heat transfer systems, AURA is at your side from planning and design to implementation and operation.

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