What kind of investments lead to energy savings in industrial applications? Modern trace heating systems manage large numbers of heating circuits, cutting the power bill and facilitating the condition monitoring of the circuits. This supports predictive maintenance and saves money.
In this article, we will examine the ways in which owners of production facilities can realise these energy savings.
The key to saving energy
When assessing the total investment of an electric heating project, the heating controllers constitute a relatively small portion of the costs - about 15% on average. However, attention should be paid to the controllers as they can lead to significant cost savings through relatively modest investments.
"The trace heating control system is the key to energy savings."
Capillary thermostats are a thing of the past. Electronic thermostats are good but the best benefits can be achieved by means of a multichannel trace heating control system.
"With thousands of heating points, even small reductions in energy consumption result in substantial cost savings."
A trace heating control system enables the management and control of energy consumption. The temperature can be adjusted automatically to provide heat in cold seasons and minimise energy consumption in hot seasons. With thousands of heating points, even small reductions in energy consumption result in substantial cost savings.
Modern methods, such as the SkyTrace Industrial Internet solution, enable even further exploration of energy savings. The cloud-based monitoring software for trace heating collects measurement data from the heating system and saves, analyses and produces a predictive maintenance report of the operation, pinpointing the traces where energy can be saved.
Anticipation brings added savings
Up-to-date information on the condition of heating circuits is valuable. Process owners can use load and current leak measurements, for example, to monitor the condition of heating circuits and anticipate problems. This enables timely repairs and measures before anything critical occurs. In other words, the maintenance is predictive. This saves in costs and helps prevent unexpected downtime.
"The solution enables savings of up to 50% in maintenance costs."
Preventive maintenance can reduce maintenance costs by up to 50% compared to thermostat solutions, which require regular maintenance visits to the process area. In addition to this, good maintenance can prevent production outages, which are always expensive.
Why is steam heating so costly?
Electric heating is currently the most common means for maintaining the desired operating temperature of industrial processes. As production processes are moving into a new age, industrial operators are making a global transition to electric heating. Steam is seen as an obsolete heating method over which electricity holds many operational advantages.
In some cases, steam is available as a by-product of the manufacturing process, which makes it an affordable source of heat. Although steam can be regarded as "free," its use entails challenges that end up increasing the ultimate costs. Steam trace piping is expensive and difficult to install. The modification and maintenance of the piping is challenging, and special tools are required in all phases.
Electric heating is a more affordable investment. Its installation is easy and can be handled with normal electrician's tools. The difficulty gap between running a power cable and installing high-pressure piping is considerable.
"Steam trace pipes are challenging to modify and maintain, and the heating cannot be accurately adjusted."
Electric heating elevates adjustability and ease of maintenance to a level far beyond anything that can be achieved with steam. It enables directing the correct heating power to the right place at the right time. Electricity naturally costs money but, thanks to a modern trace heating system, the energy consumption can be managed accurately.
The temperature can be adjusted automatically according to weather conditions. Where necessary, it is possible to shut off the circuit or lower the temperature if, for example, the automation system detects flow in the pipe, the tank's fluid level drops, the process is stopped for maintenance or materials that require a lower temperature are being processed.
Next step towards savings
Interested? These are just a few valuable advantages related to industrial electric heating. Contact Planray's experts to begin remodelling your heating system today, because there are many more benefits in store. Every production outage and process interruption prevented, every kilowatt hour saved and every hour of maintenance avoided is a step forward - why not take it now?
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