Complex Piping Design Guide

This design guide addresses the heat tracing requirements of complex piping. Whether the application is a small project or a complete network of piping and equipment, designing an electric heat tracing system for complex piping is simplified by using Thermon self-regulating cables. The information contained in this design guide will take the reader through a step-by-step procedure to make proper heating cable selections based on:

• Pipe size • Minimum ambient temperature
• Thermal insulation type and thickness • Heating cable start-up temperature
• Desired maintenance temperature • Available power supply
• Maximum exposure temperature • Electrical area classification

After following the prescribed steps in this design guide, the reader will be able to design, select and/or specify or establish a bill of materials for a heat tracing system.

Typically, complex piping is located inside a process unit and consists of relatively short runs of pipe with frequent tees, as well as in-line valves, pumps and related process equipment that also requires heat tracing. Circuit lengths can range from several feet (less than one meter) to several hundred feet (meters) in length; however, the average is usually 100 feet (30 meters) or less.

For applications ranging from freeze protecting water lines to maintaining elevated process temperatures as high as 300°F (149°C), Thermon self-regulating, cut-to-length, parallel resistance heating cables are recommended. Variations in the heat loss of the insulated pipe (due to equipment, supports and/or insulation) are compensated for by the heating cable’s PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) characteristic. Thermon offers heating cables specifically designed, manufactured and approved to cover a wide range of applications.

BSX ™ . . . Designed for freeze protection and temperature maintenance at or below 150°F (65°C), BSX is well-suited for both metallic and nonmetallic piping and equipment.

RSX ™ 15-2 . . . Designed for applications where the watt density requirements preclude the use of the standard range of BSX cables.

HTSX ™ . . . Designed for process temperature maintenance or freeze protection applications up to 250°F (121°C) and withstand intermittent exposure temperatures (power-on) up to 420°F (215°C), intermittent exposure temperatures (power-off) up to 482°F (250°C) and continuous exposure (power-off) to 400°F (204°C). The cable is capable of withstanding the exposure temperatures associated with steam purging.

VSX ™ . . . Designed for process temperature maintenance or freeze protection applications up to 300°F (149°C) and withstand intermittent exposure temperatures (power-on) up to 450°F (232°C), intermittent exposure temperatures (power-off) up to 482°F (250°C) and continuous exposure (power-off) to 400°F (204°C).

 . . . Thermon has developed a sophisticated yet easy-to-use computer program, CompuTrace®, that provides detailed design and performance information. Users of CompuTrace are able to input application-specific information into the program and obtain detailed electrical and thermal performance information. Calculations made within the program are based on the formulas prescribed in IEEE Standard 515-2004.

The information input to and/or generated from Compu- Trace can be printed and summary reports, including “load chart” information, exported for use in other programs. While CompuTrace is a valuable asset to use in designing a heat tracing system, the design steps detailed in this guide will still form the basis for identifying the design process necessary to establish a properly functioning heat tracing system.

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PECON is a growing and promising Singapore company, we started our commenced our journey in 2011 to work with Process and related industries in the undertaking of Electrical and Instrumentation Engineering service and contracts.

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