What Are the Different Types of Process Heaters?

What Are the Different Types of Process Heaters?
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    Process heaters are important source of energy used by the industries and the commercial sector.

    The process manufacturing sector depends on different kinds of heaters which can be used for different purposes.


Even though each of them varies in their principles and components, one thing that is common in all of them is the heat energy which is transferred onto the material that will be heated. There are basically two types of method of transferring heat,

  • The direct method which generates heat within the material
  • The indirect method which transfers the heat from one source to the required material with the help of convention, conduction, radiation, or by a combination of all of them.

Process heating systems have a wide range of utilities. Here are some of the process heating systems which are used for industrial and commercial purpose.

Heat Recovery and Exchange Unit

If the manufacturing facilities need an end then you can use specific heating applications. Thereafter, the heat is transferred from one process to another with the help of the heat exchanger. There is another system which is of an exothermic chemical reaction which produces energy that is used for heating another process.

Combustion and Fuel Based Heaters

In these kinds of heaters, the heat is generated by burning,

  • Liquid
  • Solid
  • Gases

This heat is transferred to the material either directly or indirectly. The most used elements as fuel are,

  • Coal
  • Oil
  • Wood chips
  • Ethanol
  • Charcoal
  • Natural gas

Combustion is improved with the addition of air or oxygen to the material which can be heated directly or indirectly. In the direct method, you will see a contact in between the material and the combustion gas and the material is stored in the confined vessels for separating it from the combustion gases.

Boiler and Steam Generator

The maximum amount of energy used for the manufacturing process is generated with the help of boilers. This has the complicated heating system. As a matter of fact, loads of factors are responsible for decreasing the performance. Hence, you need to take some measure to prevent it.

Electric Process Heaters

In case of an Electric Process Heater, the material is heated with the help of an electronic magnetic field or electric current. The electric current heats the material by transmitting a current which induces a current in the material and excites the electron present inside it. The indirect method makes use of the same techniques but rather than conducting it on the material, it conducts on a different heating element. Thereafter, the produced energy is transferred onto the material.

However, the process heaters have to be maintained for the optimum performance. Follow the tips given below to maintain the process heating system.

  • Before the beginning of heating period, clean the system and get it checked by a professional to see if all the parts are working properly.
  • Improve the efficiency of the boiler. You should upgrade the boiler with energy efficient burners.
  • Install removable insulation on fittings and valves for improving the process of insulation. Also, insulate the condensate return lines and steam distribution.
  • Opt for a steam trap maintenance program to inspect and repair the traps.
  • Modify the feed water heat recovery exchanger by using a boiler down.
  • Make sure that you properly maintain and insulate the parts and the furnace structure.
  • Perform a steam heat maintenance program.

A process heating system that is cleaned and maintained on a regular basis lasts for a long-time. Keep these tips in mind before getting it installed as a smaller issue can jumpstart to more concerning problems which can harm the builder, the workers, and also the surrounding area.



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