Portable Process Cooling Equipment

North Slope Chillers by Powerblanket

Process Cooling Equipment

Powerblanket® designs and manufactures Powerblanket ICE®, portable cooling equipment that will keep your materials safe from heat including the Icepack Blanket, the Circulation Blanket + Cooler, and the Circulation Blanket + Chiller. This product line features portable, insulated, and efficient process cooling equipment.  Effectively regulate temperature-sensitive material under both regular and hot conditions with Powerblanket ICE process cooling equipment.

Ice pack Blanket

With internal pockets that place the ice directly against the surface of your container, the Powerblanket ICE Ice pack Blanket is an affordable portable process cooling option. This blanket is insulated, ensuring that your ice packs will last longer than ice alone and longer than other non-insulated options on the market.  Freeze your ice packs, wrap your product, and get to work.

The Icepack Blanket is a lower cost option that is easily portable, allows you to adjust temperature based on the number of ice packs used, and offers the convenience of reusable ice packs.

Circulation Blanket

For more advanced process cooling equipment, look to the Circulation Blanket options.  The Powerblanket Ice Circulation Blanket is combined with either a cooler or chiller to achieve optimum results. The Circulation Blanket uses Powerblanket’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse to draw heat to the blanket and cool the contents of the container.

Blanket with Cooler

When using the cooler with the circulation blanket, the ice cold water in the cooler is pumped through the blanket, surrounding your product in constant cool.  The pump runs on 12VDC or 120VAC power.  Maintain a minimum temperature of 32°F/0°C or lower the temperature with salt or other freeze point modifiers.  Forty pounds of ice can maintain the temperature of whatever you are cooling at 55°F/13°C for nine to ten hours in 100°F/38°C ambient temperatures.  Simply fill the cooler with ice and water and know that your materials are cool.

Blanket with Chiller

If your needs call for something even colder or continuous the Circulation Blanket + Chiller will be the best option for you.  When combined with the chiller, you can maintain industrial cooling of 20°F/-7°C.  This portable process cooling equipment option offers precise temperature control.  One chiller can operate with two 55-gallon drum blankets.  The chiller combination is ideal for process cooling and other industrial cooling applications.

 

 

Beer Keg Chiller

Beer Keg ChillerBeer Keg Chiller

Enjoy all of your spring and summer festivities with a Beer Keg Chiller from Powerblanket ICE

Spring Fever

Spring fever is a real thing.  As the sun brings out the green in the grass and the tulips from the ground, it also brings out an anticipation and excitement in us to get outside and enjoy some vitamin D.  Spring Break, Easter break, and the weekend all call for a picnic, a barbecue, or a good old fashioned party in the backyard.  Getting outside with food and drink requires some planning, and when beer is one of the libations–you need to know how to keep a keg cold outside.

Portable Beer Chiller

There are many simple ways to keep a keg cold outside, but we would like to recommend a means for achieving the perfect chill that you can use over and over with no mess or stress.  Even on the hottest summer days, the Powerblanket ICE portable beer keg chiller can keep a keg cold outside (50°F)  for up to twelve hours without ever having to change the ice packs.

True Story

To prove the effectiveness of the Keg Cooler, we ran an experiment.  We started with a 40°F keg of beer, wrapped the Powerblanket ICE beer keg chiller around the keg, placed it inside a 95 °F environmental chamber and recorded the beer’s temperature for 24 hours.  After 6 hours the beer was 43 °F and had only increased 3 degrees, and after 12 hours the temperature had only increased 10 degrees to 50 °F, which is still considered optimal temperature for consuming beer.

Powerblanket ICE Beer Keg Chiller

  • Highly reflective industrial grade white vinyl shell reflects solar radiation to help keep a keg cold.
  • Many insulated keg wraps are made from ¼ inch neoprene.  Powerblanket ICE insulated keg wraps contain a ½ inch thick sheet of closed cell industrial grade foam insulation that will keep your keg cool on even the hottest days.
  • Designed with 12 internal pockets to hold standard, reusable 12 oz 6” x 6” x 1” ice packs.  These ice packs are affordable and easy to find, making replacement a breeze.  Keep an extra set in the freezer for continuous or frequent use.
  • The whole system is easily portable
  • Low cost and reusable beer keg chiller solution

Learn More

Process Heating Engineering: Heat Tape

Process Heating Engineering:  Heat Tape

Powerblanket makes industrial heating blankets; however, for this process heating project, we skipped the outer jacket and went straight for the heat tape on the inside.

Upgrade Your Security Clearance

For the third installment of Powerblanket Engineer Favorites, we delve (really only dip our toes) into the world of defense contracting.  

The Heating Dilemma

This company needed to cure carbon fiber reinforced polymer composites.  They were on a very tight timeline and their current suppliers were unable to react quickly enough to meet their needs. This became a custom project because the composites had a complex geometry that could not be evenly heated/covered with a standard industrial heating blanket.

The Powerblanket Custom Solution

Powerblanket recognized that a standard blanket could not meet the process heating needs of these complicated composites.  So we offered them the electrical heating tape normally used inside PB400 blankets that would adhere directly to the surfaces they wanted to heat.  In addition, we built them a custom power cord and wiring harness to power several pieces of heat tape at once.  

They had their own temperature control system, so our offering was incredibly simple: a plug, a cord, and a wiring harness used to power several pieces of adhesive-backed high-temperature heat tape (300 F°/149°C rated).  We designed the heat tape to be one-time-use disposable and the power cord and wiring harness to be reusable and easily be disconnected.

Powerblanket Custom Team

Powerblanket’s custom engineering team prides itself on creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, quickly dreaming up a solution that met all of the customer’s technical requirements.  Despite this being a new product category for Powerblanket, we provided a quote within 24 hours of the initial conversation, and built and shipped the process heating product within a week of receiving the PO.

When you purchase a Powerblanket custom process heating solution, you will enjoy quick turn-around times and the ability to choose from varying levels of customization. Our products are certified to universal safety standards and are easy to install, use, and store.

So whether you need a heat solution for complicated composite curing, tank heaters for your three phase horizontal separator used during drilling operations, or process heating temperature control on your assembly line, our custom approach can provide you with the perfect custom process heating solution. Powerblanket has you covered.

 

Protecting Critical Materials from Heat with Powerblanket ICE

Protecting Critical Materials from Heat

Under certain conditions and with certain materials, heat is the enemy: ruining epoxies, and interfering with the brewing process.  You can, however, protect critical materials from heat when the effects of heat are understood and proper precautions are in place.

Epoxy

Epoxy are many types of resins with similar properties and chemical structures. Typically used for adhesives, protective coatings and molds, epoxies are hard and notably inert after curing. Before curing epoxy is more fluid. The chemical reaction that results in epoxy is exothermic, meaning the reaction when epoxy is mixed creates heat. Adding more heat to this reaction makes the reaction advance faster. More heat, whether ambient temperatures or heat accelerators, will speed the chemical reaction.

In general, temperatures below 50°F/10°C are too cold for epoxy to cure properly. Temperatures around 70°F/21°C are ideal. If epoxy is kept in a container or spread in a thick layer, the heat from the reaction dissipates slower, and the heat of the chemical reaction can speed its own curing process (Legget).

Heat speeds everything about the curing process of epoxy.  If there is a need to store the epoxy, some plans for cooling must be in place.

Fermentation

North Slope Chiller Ice WrapHeat is an important part of the fermentation process; however, if heat enters the process at the wrong time, or lasts for too long, it can result in undesired flavors and aromas that compromise the quality of the spirit.  Spirits spend years locked inside barrels during the aging process, undergoing a series of seasonal climatic changes that trigger chemical changes. Controlling the temperature of actively fermenting wort (the sweet infusion of ground malt
or other grain before fermentation, used to produce beer and distilled malt liquors)
can have a major impact on the flavor of the finished beer. Fermenting above the normal temperature range may produce excessive fruity-flavored esters or harsh-flavored fusel alcohols (Stika).

Normal ale fermentation temperatures range from 68-72 °F/20-22 °C and lager fermentation temperatures from 45-55 °F/7-13 °C. The heat generated by an active fermentation can warm a typical 5-gallon batch of beer by 10 to 15°F/5.5 to 8.3°C (Stika).

Protecting Critical Materials from Heat with Powerblanket ICE

The key to protecting critical materials from heat is to prevent external heat from reaching your product.  An effective cooling solution should be able to remove as much heat as the environment is sending into the material you are trying to protect against the heat.  

FEATURES:

  • Blankets use Powerblanket’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse to draw heat to the blanket and cool the contents of the container
  • Blanket cover and insulation are the same as the robust system used in the Powerblanket heating products
  • White vinyl reflects heat rather than absorbing the sun’s rays
  • Powerblanket Ice industrial cooling systems are portable (120VAC required)
  • Control the temperature of your equipment or bulk materials
  • Blankets can be left installed and running while bulk material containers are in use
  • Ready-to-ship industrial cooling/process cooling products are available for 15, 30, & 55-gallon drums, and for 5-gallon buckets.
  • Custom systems can be designed for a large variety of industrial cooling applications, and shipped within 2 weeks.

 

Works Cited

Legget, Rochelle. “The Effects of High Temperature on Epoxy”. Sciencing. 13 March 2017.

https://sciencing.com/effects-high-temperature-epoxy-8590977.html

Stika, John. “Controlling Fermentation Temperature:  Techniques”. Brew Your Own, March/April 2009. 14 March 2017.  https://byo.com/bock/item/1869-controlling-fermentation-temperature-techniques

 

How to Keep Perishables Cool

Perishables and Temperature Control

Whether you vote red or blue, there is one thing everyone can agree on: food. Although technology for transporting perishable goods has advanced dramatically, keeping perishables cool can be a problem for people who do not have large scale refrigeration resources. Read on for solutions for keeping produce fresh.

Goodness Gaseous: Understanding Ethylene and Respiration

Ethylene, often referred to as the ‘death’ or ‘ripening hormone’, is an odorless, colorless, gaseous plant hormone that exists in nature. Not easily detectable, the largest producers are plant and plant products (ie. fruits, vegetables and floral products) which have ethylene within their tissues and release it into the surrounding atmosphere.

bowl of tomatosEthylene plays a regulatory role in many processes of plant growth, development, and eventually death.  The common practice of placing a tomato in a paper bag to speed ripening is the classic example of the effect of ethylene on produce. Increased levels of ethylene contained within the bag serve as a stimulant and initiate the production of more ethylene, which is then reabsorbed by the tomato and repeated over and over (Flower).

Flowers, fresh fruits, and vegetables remain alive by respiration, which is their process of converting fuel into energy. High respiration rates rapidly create more ethylene, and deplete stored carbohydrates (fuel) which shortens the life of the produce. Respiration also increases as temperature increases, and therefore temperature control during transport is critical for food and other perishables to be fresh on delivery (Benkeblia).

Woman holding bunch of flowers in a fieldFlower Power: How to Keep Flowers Fresh

Flowers go through respiration just like other produce. The trick to keeping them alive is to store and ship them in cooler temperatures. A flower held at 86°F/30°C will age (respire) up to forty-five times as fast as a flower held at a colder 36°F/2°C.  When cooler temperatures are applied and the cold chain is maintained, the vase life of cut flowers is greatly extended (Reid).

Food Fight: Using Cold to Preserve Perishables

Produce temperature is the most important factor affecting its quality and preventing food wastage. For fruits and vegetables, respiration increases by a factor of two to five for each 18°F/10°C increase in temperature above the recommended holding temperature. For example, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries have a shelf life of seven days at 32°F/0°C, but only one day at 68°F/20°C. Longer-lived produce such as green beans, mushrooms, and green onions last only two to three days at 68°F/20°C. Above 86°F/30°C the produce will die or lose quality rapidly (Benkeblia).

All the way through the cold chain, produce should be held at its lowest recommended storage temperature. Keeping temperature in check is vital.

BananasBananas are a prime example for the need for temperature control of perishables in transport. To obtain maximum shelf life, bananas are harvested when they are mature, but not yet ripe. The fruit requires careful handling, rapid transport to ports, cooling, and refrigerated shipping to prevent the bananas from producing ethylene.  “To bring this tropical fruit to distant markets and have it be edible is kind of amazing,” says Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida. “It’s pretty much a science” (qtd. in Dawson).

Flux Wrap and North Slope ChillersKeep Perishables Cool with North Slope Chillers

So how do you keep perishables cool and safe without investing in a reefer truck?  Your operation needs cooling; however, you do not have the resources to support large-scale refrigeration. North Slope Chillers offers innovative industrial cooling systems that will keep your assets safe. With the new North Slope Chillers industrial cooling product line, you can efficiently regulate temperature-sensitive material under both regular and hot conditions, preventing food wastage. Transporting perishables and other heat sensitive materials is no longer a major challenge.   

  • Ready-to-ship industrial cooling / process cooling products are available for 15, 30, & 55-gallon drums, and for 5-gallon buckets.
  • Custom systems can be designed for a large variety of industrial cooling applications, and shipped within 2 weeks.
  • Blankets use North Slope Chiller’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse to draw heat to the blanket and cool the contents of the container
  • Blanket cover and insulation are the same as the robust system used in Powerblanket heating products
  • North Slope Chillers industrial cooling systems are portable (120VAC required)
  • Control the temperature of your equipment or bulk materials
  • When materials are delivered too hot, waiting for the material to cool can mean lost hours/days
  • Blankets can be left installed and running while bulk material containers are in use

 

Works Cited

Benkeblia, Noureddine.  “Transportation of fresh horticultural produce”. Post harvest Technologies for Horticultural Crops, 2009, Vol. 2. 8 March 2017. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-1291.pdf

“Flower Care”. Grower Direct. 9 March 2017. http://www.growerdirect.com/flower-care-ethylene-gas

Reid, M.S. “Handling of Cut flowers for Export”. 8 March 2017. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-1906.pdf

Process Heating Engineering: Tank Heaters

Powerblanket® Engineer Favorite #2

large storage tank
The second installment of the Powerblanket Engineer Favorites comes to us from Coastal Drilling.  Coastal Drilling is a drilling company serving the South Texas drilling market, providing both daywork and turnkey contracts along with operating inland barge rigs in the shallow waters of the Gulf Coast.

An Oily Problem

In the winter when the three phase horizontal separator used during drilling operations was not being used, or the contents weren’t constantly flowing, the dirty oil water froze, consequently plugging the pipes. This halted operations until they could melt the blockage with torches.

The Need for Custom

Previous to discovering Powerblanket, Coastal Drilling used torches as the best possible solution because nothing pre-made could resolve this frozen dilemma.  A blanket for this kind of tank required multiple cut outs in order to fit properly and to apply heat to as much surface area as possible.  Powerblanket engineers had an immediate hurdle to jump, as there were no technical drawings of the tank to help create the design.  Instead, the team scanned the tank with a 3D scanner, which allowed for the correct location of each cutout.

Powerblanket Solution

storage tank

Powerblanket provided Coastal Drilling with custom made heating blankets that wrapped the tank with the necessary cutouts. The size of the tank required two separate heating blankets. Two heating blankets allowed for an easier installation, and it allowed the designers to put more power into the blanket to ensure enough power to keep up with the cold winter temperatures.  Now, operations did not have to stall for the water to thaw, consequently saving Coastal Drilling time, money and headaches.

Custom Solutions:  Tank Heaters

Powerblanket Tank Heaters maintain temperature, heat, provide freeze protection, and/or optimize flow for viscous and temperature sensitive materials.

Why Choose Powerblanket Tank Heaters?

  • Maintain optimal temperatures for temperature sensitive materials
  • Custom designed to fit any tank and/or process heating engineering projectPowerblanket custom tank heater
  • Provide ultimate freeze protection
  • Available in 120, 208 or 240VAC
  • Enjoy the peace of mind that your valuable materials are protected

Keg Wraps for Any Occasion

Whether a home brewer or purchasing your keg from a commercial brewer, you know that beer temperature is critical to the overall experience.  Consider  keg wraps for keeping a keg cold during transport and when outside in the summer sun.keg wraps

Hypothetical #1

You are hosting a party and picking up a keg for the first time.  The distributor has limited hours and you have to pick the keg up before noon, but the party doesn’t start until later that evening.  How do you keep the keg cold so that it is ready to tap as soon as guests arrive?  Ice it in a garbage can?  Create an ice bath in your tub? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a keg wrap that could maintain a cool temperature?

Hypothetical #2

You are catering a beautiful wedding in July.  All of the festivities are outside.  You have to set up early in the day and somehow guarantee that the beer is ready when the guests are.  You obviously cannot keep the keg out in the open in an unattractive fashion.  How do you achieve cool in temperature and appearance?

Hypothetical #3

Everyone is going to the lake for the weekend.  It’s time to unplug and enjoy the sun and sand.  You volunteered to bring a couple kegs for everyone.  Do you hope that the lake is somehow cold enough to keep the keg cold, but warm enough for your body?  Do you bring an additional giant cooler to ensure the keg stays cold?  What’s the convenient secret to keeping a keg cold?  WIsh you had a keg wrap?

Serving Guidelines

Regardless of where or when your keg is going to make an appearance, here are some general guidelines for serving:

  • All beers should be served between 38-55° F.
  • Lagers are served colder than ales.
  • Stronger beers are served warmer than weaker beers.
  • Darker beers are served warmer than lighter beers.
  • Macro lagers are served as cold as the Rockies.
  • Serve beers a few degrees colder than the target temperature, to accommodate for warming from the glass and the drinker’s hands.

Keg Wrap

There are many simple ways to keep a keg cold, but we would like to recommend a means for achieving the perfect chill that you can use over and over with no mess or stress.  Even on the hottest summer days, the Powerblanket ICE keg wrap can keep a cold keg of beer below 50 °F for up to twelve hours without ever having to change the ice packs.  Whether you are a professional caterer, or are just throwing an outdoor party for your friends, keeping your beer cold is critical to the success of your event.  

Not a Hypothetical Experiment

We even ran a controlled experiment so you can see the data for yourself.  We started with a 40°F keg of beer, wrapped the Powerblanket ICE insulated keg wrap around the keg, placed it inside a 95 °F environmental chamber and recorded the beer’s temperature for 24 hours.  After 6 hours the beer was 43 °F and had only increased 3 degrees, and after 12 hours the temperature had only increased 10 degrees to 50 °F, which is still considered optimal temperature for consuming beer.

Powerblanket ICE Portable Keg Cooler

  • Black materials absorb the sun’s energy and get hot fast.  The Powerblanket ICE insulated keg wraps have a highly reflective industrial grade white vinyl shell that reflects solar radiation to help keep a keg cold.  
  • Many insulated keg wraps are made from ¼ inch neoprene.  Powerblanket ICE insulated keg wraps contain a ½ inch thick sheet of closed cell industrial grade foam insulation that will keep your keg cool on even the hottest days.
  • Designed with 12 internal pockets to hold standard, reusable 12 oz 6” x 6” x 1” ice packs.  These ice packs are affordable and easy to find, making replacement a breeze, keep an extra set in the freezer for continuous or frequent use.
  • Easily swap ice packs out with newly frozen units for longer term use or colder temps.
  • Keg wrapt and ice packs are easily portable, along with your keg
  • Low cost beer keg cooling solution

Source

“Proper Beer Serving Temperatures”. American Homebrewers Association. 3 March 2017. www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/proper-beer-serving-temperatures/

 

Smart Freezer Controller

Imagine the food we could save during the various stages of the supply chain if we used smart freezer controllers to monitor temperatures.

Smart Freezer Controller

smart freezer controllerFood loss and waste is a global issue, with loss/waste occurring at all seven steps in the supply chain from farm to table.  

  1. Farming
  2. Post-harvest and Packing
  3. Process and Distribution
  4. Retail and grocery store
  5. Food service and restaurants
  6. Households
  7. Disposal  

According to a Wall Street Journal article written in 2012, the United States alone tends to waste $165 billion in food each year.  While there are many factors along the way that contribute to this giant loss, temperature control plays an important role.  

 

The Role of Temperature

In many instances, temperature is the culprit in food loss.  When food traveling from the farm to the market is in a truck with unregulated temperatures, food can arrive at the grocery store spoiled and be immediately discarded.  If an industrial freezer/fridge door is left open for too long, the temperature can rise enough to render the food unfit for consumers.  If equipment on a freezer/fridge fails all of the contents can be lost before anyone notices. A smart freezer controllfreezer section at grocery storeer can warn you before spoilage occurs when used in post-harvesting and packing, process and distribution, retail and grocery stores, and foodservice and restaurants–that is four steps in the supply chain.  Even relatively small differences in temperature can mean loss: up to almost 20% globally. “In developed countries, food losses from the absence of refrigeration account for nearly 9% of total food production, and 23% on average in developing countries” (Shaw).

 

The Cold Chain

A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain in the food industry is an uninterrupted series of refrigerated production, storage and distribution activities and associated equipment which maintain a given low-temperature range.  A functioning cold chain is critical to the protection and delivery of fresh and frozen perishable foods. “In parts of the world where the cold chain is established and run effectively, perishable food loss can be maintained as low as 2%. When applied properly and consistently, a fully functioning cold chain can successfully prevent and reduce food loss” (Shaw).

However, breaks in the cold chain occur due to a variety of issues, including: operator error, insufficient precooling, poor loading practices, inadequate insulation, improperly functioning refrigeration equipment, or even something as simple as cargo or walk-in cooler doors being left open too long. Any of these breaks can cause damage to perishable foods with exposure to conditions that are too warm or cold, all leading to food loss/waste.

 

Save Food Save Money

Powerblanket has teamed with Beacon Controls to develop a connected temperature controller. This new, smart controller allows you to monitor and control your device from your smartphone or computer. More importantly it allows you to receive text, email or push notifications when the temperature goes outside limits that you specify.  Imagine the food you could save with a warning when something goes wrong and time to act before food starts to spoil.  Commercial refrigerators and freezers used in grocery stores and restaurants use controllers.  Replace your freezer/fridge controller with Beacon smart freezer controller and receive a notification when the temperature of your equipment falls out of the assigned threshold.  

Benefits of Beacon Smart Freezer Controller:

  • Compatibility with a wide variety of heating or cooling devices
  • Change settings locally or connect remotely so you can keep your operation running smoothly wherever you are.
  • Customizable alerts based on temperature, electrical current,  and voltage give you complete peace of mind.
  • 120/208/240V AC options, directly switch up to 24 amp loads


Sources

Gunders, Dana. “Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Land ll”. NRDC Issue Paper. August 2012. 1 March 2017. www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

Plumer, Brad. “How the U.S. manages to waste $165 billion in food each year”. The Washington Post.  22 August 2012. www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/08/22/how-food-actually-gets-wasted-in-the-united-states/?utm_term=.5476832ffe73

Shaw, John and Mark Beasley. “IMPROVED COLD CHAIN MANAGEMENT IS KEY TO REDUCING FOOD LOSS”. Food Logistics. October 2016. www.sensitech.com/assets/articles/flog10161415coolinsightsrgbz.pdf

 

Powerblanket Engineer Favorite #1

POWERBLANKET® ENGINEER FAVORITE

Over the years, Powerblanket engineers have used their ingenuity and Powerblanket technology to solve the temperature needs of many different companies throughout many different industries.  In the Engineer Favorite Series we will explore a variety of projects with unusual challenges and the Powerblanket solutions that saved time, money, and/or headache for our clients.

#1: No Off-the-Shelf Solution

Often, when your industry is unique, or your product very specialized, there is not an off-the-shelf solution for your specific temperature control needs.  In these cases, Powerblanket engineers take a hands-on approach to creating a custom solution just for you.

THE PROBLEM

Recently, an aerospace company had a carbon fiber mold with very specific heating requirements.  Because of the large mold, they needed to monitor and track the temperature at multiple points across the table to ensure that it did not get too hot.  In addition, this company used a custom-sized table with very specific power requirements.

 

CUSTOM CONTROL AND HEAT

Powerblanket designed and built the heating element and a control system that would monitor and log temperatures at four different spots on the heating element. The controller made it possible for the company to set a desired temperature. A USB memory stick contains the logged temperature data, allowing them to document the process and provide data if required by their customer.

This control system was something they needed, but it was outside of their area of expertise.  On top of that, they needed a large heating element which is difficult to come by. Powerblanket provided the exact and precise control needed, as well as the exact heating element required in the form of a flat blanket.

They can now type in the desired temperature and the blanket will take it up to that temperature. They need no second system for tracking and logging the temperature data. In the end, this Powerblanket custom heating and control solution simplified their process.

CUSTOM HEATING SOLUTIONS

Powerblanket engineers solve every kind of temperature problem from simple to very complex. Our expertise guarantees satisfied customers in a very short turnaround time, often in less than 14 days from design to delivery.  

We have created solutions for:

  • Frac tanks
  • Truck mounted propane tanks
  • 500 gallon gravity flow tanks
  • Pipes and manifolds
  • Valves and instrumentation
  • Hoppers
  • Large tanks
  • Wind blade epoxy curing

. . . and many more
Learn More Here

PORTABLE KEG COOLER

TEMPERATURE AFFECTS THE AGING

As soon as beer is made, the aging process starts. The best way to lengthen its lifespan is to put it in the fridge as soon as you bring it home — even if you don’t plan to drink it until two months later. “Store your precious beer cold (3°C/38°F) until it’s ready to drink,” advises Julia Herz from the Brewers Association. “Beer is  like bread or milk. It will advance, but when stored cold (not room temperature) that advancing of flavors and oxidation is slowed down.”

For pasteurized beer, you’ve got more time than a few months. In a course that Herz and Chef Adam Dulye taught about food and beer, they cited research from MillerCoors that stated that “storing beer in the following conditions will result in equivalent flavor loss:

  • 3 days in the trunk of a hot car (32°C/90°F),
  • 30 days at room temperature (22°C/71°F), and
  • 300 days in the refrigerator (0°C/32°F).”  Which means you have almost an entire year to drink that can of pasteurized beer before it goes bad!

KEEP BEER COLDportable keg cooler

Every beer has a shelf life. Beer will certainly “last” longer if refrigerated. That is, the flavor will evolve more slowly over time at lower temperatures. Storage at higher than room temperature will invite a turning of the beer’s flavor for the worse, often described as “skunky”.

In some cases, an aged beer might be considered to have an appealing taste, but refrigeration will still slow the aging process and keep the beer longer. Additionally, the flavor of highly hopped beers will degrade quickly (within several months) at room temperature, and most people would agree that very hoppy beers in particular should be refrigerated.

HOW TO KEEP BEER COLD

Using Water, Ice and Snow

If you are indoors and without ample space in the fridge, simply dunk your can/bottle/keg in cold water.  Depending on the size of the container, use your sink, a bucket, a cooler, or your tub.  To speed the process, add ice to the cold water and stir.  By stirring, you’re using forced convection to speed the transfer of heat out of your drink and into the ice water solution.  A small handful of salt in the ice bath will help as well. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of the water, so the water can get colder than the normal freezing temperature (0°C/32°F) without turning into ice. When outdoors, put your beverage container into a lake or stream, ensuring that your can/bottle/keg won’t float away.  Or if it is winter, put it out in the snow.

Portable Keg Cooler

If you would like a more reliable means of cooling your beer and it is in a keg, consider using the Powerblanket® ICE portable keg cooler.  Even on the hottest summer days, the Powerblanket ICE insulated portable keg cooler can keep a cold keg of beer below 10°C/50°F for up to twelve hours without ever having to change the ice packs.

Powerblanket ICE Portable Keg Cooler

  • portable keg coolerBlack materials absorb the sun’s energy and get hot fast.  The Powerblanket ICE insulated keg cooling blanket has a highly reflective industrial grade white vinyl shell that reflects solar radiation to help keep your keg cool.  
  • Many insulated keg jackets are made from ¼ inch neoprene.  The Powerblanket ICE insulated keg cooling blanket contains a ½ inch thick sheet of closed cell industrial grade foam insulation that will keep your keg cool on even the hottest days.
  • Designed with 12 internal pockets to hold standard, reusable 12 oz 6” x 6” x 1” ice packs.
  • The ice packs are affordable and easy to find, making replacement a breeze, keep an extra set in the freezer for continuous or frequent use.
  • Easily swap ice packs out with newly frozen units for longer term use or colder temps.
  • Convenient ice pack size means it will be easy to fit these ice packs into your freezer.
  • Cooling blanket and ice packs are easily portable, along with your keg
  • Low cost beer keg cooling solution
  • Keep keg beer cool for extended periods at low cost

Sources

Breslouer, Lee. The 5 Rules for Keeping Your Beer Fresh and Drinkable.”  Thrillist. 20 February 2017. www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/how-to-store-beer-the-5-rules-to-storing-your-beer

 

Increase Gas Flow Rate Solutions for You

“How do I increase my gas flow rate?”  Search this question online, and you may get some of the answers below:

Pressure of the gas in a container is created by the number of collisions the molecules have with each other and with the surface of the container. Increasing the number of collisions will increase gas flow rate.

There are a few ways to increase the number of collisions.

  1. Add more molecules. More molecules in the same size container will increase the number of times molecules collide.
  2. Increase the temperature. Increasing the temperature will increase the speed at which the molecules move and therefore increase the number of collisions that take place in the container.
  3. Decrease the size of the container.  This forces the molecules into a smaller area, increasing the number of collisions that take place.

Assessing the Situation

Let’s assume that you already have the tank you want to use, and you are not interested in making any changes to the container/system.  Option 3 is out because it deals with changing the size of the container.  Let’s also say, to your knowledge, the tank is full and there are no more molecules to add, eliminating option 1 as a viable solution.  That brings us to temperature.

When the temperature is lower, it is very difficult to maintain an optimal gas flow rate.  Lower temperatures=fewer collisions in the tank.  This prevents the gas from vaporizing, rendering it virtually useless.  Propane, butane, nitrogen, oxygen and other compressed gasses need temperature control to ensure optimal gas flow rates.  Bringing the container/system up to a temperature above the cooler existing ambient temperature will result in increased pressure, flow and efficiency.

Heating Blankets to Increase Gas Flow Rate

Heating blankets are an excellent solution to increase temperatures for improved flow rates.  These blankets/jackets wrap around or lay over a variety of products and equipment to provide heat.  If installed properly, these apply Powerblanket gas cylinder warmerheat directly to the medium, eliminating heat loss from exposed surfaces.  Heating blankets are easy to install and remove from the equipment requiring service.  They offer integral temperature control and heat larger areas with a lower temperature gradient.

Powerblanket® offers a variety of gas cylinder heating blankets for controlling temperatures of compressed gasses.  These heating blankets provide uniform heat for controlling temperatures of compressed gasses and a uniform barrier of heat across the entire cylinder.  This superior heating solution reduces cost by optimizing container temperatures and increasing gas flow rates.

Case in Point

A large semiconductor manufacturing company needed a new product to improve their semiconductor manufacturing process. They needed to maintain the flow of their gas delivery system more precisely, and their existing solution did not offer the consistency they desired.

Powerblanket designed a heating product for their gas delivery system that maintained the precise temperature and gas flow rate for hydrocarbon gases.

The company’s management team later admitted that they were initially against the idea of switching to the Powerblanket specialty gas heating solution. They said, “We didn’t think it would work because it was half the power of the status quo product, but after we gave it a try, we were immediately sold.  It’s a fantastic product and the sales and engineering support we received was excellent”

Another Example

Shannon Stillman, a Pyro Engineer at Thor Productions, said, “We use propane in large volumes – over ½ ton each night per event. Each of our cylinders are wrapped with a Powerblanket® Gas Cylinder Heater, extending the allowable duration by at least 60%. This equates to hundreds of usable lbs. of propane per night. In addition, the UL listing and safety ratings of the Powerblanket products resolve the concerns of the site safety managers, AHJ’s (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) and Fire Marshals.”

The Powerblanket Advantage

Powerblanket has the best gas cylinder heaters on the market. Our heating blankets will overcome the effects of cold weather and maintain pressure and efficiency on any gas cylinder.

  • Increase gas flow rate and efficiency of gas cylinders
  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Eliminate unnecessary cylinder refills in cold weather
  • Insulated full-wrap design

gas cylinder warmer gas cylinder warmers Propane tank warmer

Snow Removal Mistakes

After a heavy snow, it is important to remove the snow from walkways, driveways, and stairs as soon as possible in order to avoid ice buildup and reduce slips and falls. Save yourself time, effort, money, and a few fingers by preparing early for winter storms.  Proper planning prevents poor performance.  Read on to avoid common snow removal mistakes.

Mistake #1:  Cluttered Yard

Sometimes snow comes unexpectedly, but most often there is a weather report that will warn of the impending arrival.  Prepare for the snow by preparing your yard before it arrives.  A mistake many make is not securing or stowing away yard accessories that will become camouflaged after the snow.  Hoses, garden shovels/tools, outdoor decor, childrens’ toys will all cause chaos in a snow blower if you forget where they were before the snow.  This mistake will damage the yard object and possibly your snow blower.  

Mistake #2:  Not Respecting the Snow Blower


Man snow blowing sidewalkFor those who experience exceptional snowfall each year, a snow blower is critical for winter snow removal.  Snow blowers save time and prevent many of the injuries associated with snow shoveling; however, a tool with the capacity to shoot snow across your drive can be extremely hazardous if not used properly.  It is obvious that no one should put their hand in an active snow blower and that the whirling blades are very dangerous, but what about when the
snow blower is powered off?

A researcher at the University of Arkansas may have cracked the code. Dr. Bart Hammig’s recent study of more than 30,000 snow blower injuries found a source of hidden power that can lurk, even when an operator presence switch, or “Dead man’s switch,” has been invoked and the power to blades cut off.  The problem often starts the same way: with a clogged machine.  Wet snow can easily clog a snowblower and frustrate the user. Sticks don’t always work to dislodge the snow, and that is when thousands of people every year resort to the worst idea:

“They stick their hand down the chute and try to dislodge the snow. And that is when severe injuries occur,” he explained.

How can that happen, when power to the blades is off? Dr. Hammig’s research shows that inside all that clogged snow, rotational force is built up, enough to do damage even when the engine is cut completely off.

It’s something many users have never heard.

“And we know when that’s dislodged, it can actually rotate a quarter or a half a turn, which would probably be enough to do damage,” said Hammig.

Mistake #3:  Overexertion

While snow shoveling is good exercise, it can also be dangerous for the optimistic shoveler who takes on more than he/she should. Shoveling snow is extremely strenuous, especially for those individuals who do not engage in regular cardiovascular activity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 11,000 people seek shoveling-related hospital treatment each year for injuries (93%) or cardiac issues (7%). Here are some tips from the National Safety Council for safe snow shoveling:

  • Individuals over the age of 40 and/or those who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful.Shoveling snow
  • Avoid shoveling after eating or while smoking.
  • If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel without a doctor’s permission.
  • Shovel only fresh snow. Freshly fallen, powdery snow is easier to shovel than the wet, packed-down old snow.
  • Push the snow as you shovel. It’s easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
  • Don’t pick up too much at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one-half of a large one.
  • Slow Down!  Shoveling (like lifting weights) can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically; so pace yourself. Stretch out and warm up to prepare your body before taking on the task.
  • Use proper technique. Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and “sitting” into the movement, you’ll keep your spine upright and less stressed. The strongest muscles in your body (your shoulders, torso and thighs) can do the work for you.
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion. If you run out of breath, take a break. If you feel tightness in your chest, stop immediately.

 Summerstep Snow Melting Mats

Powerblanket®, the leader in total temperature control solutions, now offers Summerstep™ heated door, stair, and walkway snow melting mats that use radiant heat to clear your path of ice and snow. These mats are heavy-duty snow melting, safety mats designed to melt snow and ice to prevent accumulation on stairs and walkways. They melt snow and ice on contact and create a safe walkway in even the coldest winter conditions.  Summerstep snow melting mats help prevent accidents due to slipping and falling that could cause delays, decreased productivity, or increased costs in areas with heavy foot traffic: universities, hospitals, industrial sites, etc. Designed to be outside throughout the winter, Summerstep mats stop the accumulation of additional snow and ice, reducing time and labor intensive snow removal and eliminating  the use of  any harsh melting agents. Customize your Summerstep snow melting system with connectable mats to cover any space.

  • Keep stairs, doorways, walkways, and ramps free from snow and ice
  • Will melt approximately 2 inches of snow per hour when operating
  • Protect personnel from winter weather conditions
  • Prevent slips and falls that could lead to costly lawsuits
  • More effective for snow and ice melting than harsh chemicals (less damaging to the environment, reusable, won’t damage concrete or other flooring surfaces)
  • More convenient than shoveling snow
  • 33.3 Watts/Sq ft
  • The ONLY snow melting mat product that is made in the USA

 

Sources

“Snow Shoveling—A Real Risk for Heart Attack”. Cleveland Clinic. 6 January 2017. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/02/snow-shoveling-a-real-risk-for-heart-attack/

“Snow Shoveling”. National Safety Council. 6 January 2017. www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Corporate/SafetyObservancesDocuments/Snow-Shoveling.pdf

Thousands Injured by Powered-Down Snow Blowers | NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/business/target-5-snowblower-injury-138621664.html#ixzz4XdprT3GP

Powerblanket Curing Blankets at the Statue of Liberty

Statue of LibertyReilly Construction out of Wrightstown, NJ, won a bid from the U. S. Department of the Interior to replace the roof of The Great Hall Statue of Liberty National Monument. The Great Hall, which now houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, is considered one of the most symbolically important structures in American history. The Great Hall-Ellis Island was proclaimed a part of Statue of Liberty National Monument and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Reilly needed extra heat in the form of curing blankets to make this job happen.

Challenges Faced by Reilly

  • Cold winter weather and high winds at this waterfront facility
  • Working safely around thousands of tourists visiting this historic landmark daily
  • Implementing various overhead protection plans at this historic landmark daily
  • Mobilizing materials and equipment on a small island
  • Limited laydown and staging areas
  • Coordinating construction schedule with NPS & U.S. Park Police for VIP visits
  • Ensuring compliance with the NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
  • Day & night work


Powerblanket to the Rescue

The project involved removal of the existing inverted roof membrane assembly (IRMA) and replacement with a new multi-ply modified bitumen roofing system over a complicated tapered insulation deck assembly, approx. 60,000 Sq. Ft. The project also included the replacement of custom fabricated copper flashings and accessories throughout and the installation of a lighting protection system. Reilly worked with the NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to coordinate all the work.

Dan DeSantis, the Senior Project Manager for Reilly, found Powerblanket products online and left his contact information. Upon follow up, we discovered that Reilly needed a heating solution to cure the masonry block work at the proper temperature (50°F/10°C) during December in New York and with the added chill of the water. Reilly used five Powerblanket MD0520 concrete curing blankets for the application, and appreciated the increased temperature control.

Powerblanket at the Statue of Liberty

A Cure for What Ails You

Powerblanket concrete curing blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete effectively and confidently in the cold weather months. Even in warm weather, Powerblanket curing blankets increase production by rapidly curing with consistent, even heat.

Why Choose Powerblanket Concrete Curing Blankets?

  • Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional, insulated blankets
  • Produce cold weather concreting strength of up to 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  • Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Prevent a freeze cycle
  • Thaw ground and frost from job site prior to pour
  • Reduce downtime & increase profitability
  • Maintain ACI compliance for cold weather concreting

When Is It Too Cold to Roof?

WHEN IS IT TOO COLD TO ROOFThermometer in snow

When is it too cold to roof? It really is too cold to roof when temperatures are below 40° F (4 degrees Celsius. Many roofing products have adhesive properties that require the sun’s heat for activation. You risk a faulty roof install if you do not pay attention to the temperature outside. Continue reading for specific cold weather roofing tips.    

ASPHALT SHINGLES

The ideal temperature range to install asphalt shingles is between 70 and 80° Fahrenheit (21 and 27° Celsius). Below 70° F and the adhesive will not reach the ideal elasticity and will not create a perfect seal. Temperatures warmer than 80° can be problematic in the other direction. Asphalt shingles can become overly pliable and are susceptible to damage during installation. Contractors are more likely to overdrive nails, and foot traffic can erode the protective granular layer quite easily in extremely warm temperatures.

temperature illustration for ideal roof installation temperatureIf winter installation is unavoidable, most asphalt shingle manufacturers require a specialized adhesive manually applied to each shingle for temperatures below 40° F (4° Celsius). If shingles are applied below 40° without the specialized adhesive, you risk a voided warranty.

EPDM

EPDM (rubber) membrane roofing materials are even more temperature sensitive than asphalt (composition) shingles. EPDM is joined together using an extensive amount of adhesive. It requires high temperatures to be pliable enough to install and cure. EPDM adhesive is very thick and hard to work with even at high temperatures. So how cold is too cold to install a new roof? Manufacturers recommend the temperature be above 45° F  (7° Celsius) for installation. This recommended temperature is not very practical unless a warm storage area is available to keep the adhesive warm until the moment it is used.

WHEN IS IT TOO COLD TO ROOF?  POWERBLANKET HAS A SOLUTION

Powerblanket has a solution for your cold weather roofing needs. The Powerblanket® Hot Box will maintain the desired temperature of your shingles and adhesive on site, making a cold climate install much easier. While winter roofing is not ideal, Powerblanket makes it much easier than it has been in the past.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes save you money by keeping your products from freezing, without the risk of overheating. The Hot Box pallet warmer can be easily assembled, taken apart, and reassembled. Hot Boxes are ideal for cold weather storage, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) and optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be precisely controlled.

Powerblanket Pallet Warmers:bulk material warmers

  • Preserve temperature sensitive material.
  • Access doors on two sides.
  • Assemble quickly and easily.
  • Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins and epoxies, etc.
  • Certified to UL and CSA standards.

Learn about Hot Boxes

Sources:

“Cold Weather Roofing”. ProRoofing.com. 14 November, 2016. www.proroofingwisconsin.com/cold-weather-roofing.html.

IBC Heater Solutions for Sensitive Products

IBC Heater blankets are an excellent temperature control solution for your sensitive products.

Simplify with an IBC (intermediate bulk container) Heater Jacket

Most chemicals and industrial supplies have stringent storage and temperature requirements. Cold temperatures can be particularly troublesome. If you store chemicals or other industrial supplies in large totes, it’s difficult to find an effective heating solution. How do you keep an IBC/tote tank, full of chemicals, at optimal temperatures? Do you store chemicals and/or other temperature-sensitive materials?  Are you concerned about freeze prevention or temperature control?   Rather than hope that your stacked IBCs keep each other warm, invest in a solution that will save you time, money, hassle, and preserve your sensitive products.

IBC Heater Solutions

Powerblanket has the solution. Powerblanket IBC heater blankets provide safe, consistent heat, ensuring your totes are stored at optimal temperatures. Our standard IBC heater blankets  fit 250 gallon, 275 gallon, 330 gallon, 350 gallon, 450 gallon and 550 gallon totes.

 

Powerblanket IBC Heater Jacket Cross Section

A Powerblanket IBC heater offers consistent, and regulated heat distribution at a fraction of the cost of other IBC heater alternatives.  The advanced insulation prevents heat loss and will protect down to -40°F/-40°C.  The heating element within the blanket allows for more surface area contact, conserving energy and greatly reducing hot and cold spots.  

Powerblanket technology

All Powerblanket IBC Tote Heater models come with an insulated top which reduces heat loss from your application.

  • Designed to be durable and weather resistant
  • Safely heat and protect a wide variety of chemicals and materials
  • Includes adjustable digital thermostatic controller
  • Provide an insulated full-wrap design
  • Provide easy access with a removable top
  • Deliver uniform heat to temperature sensitive products
  • Preserve expensive materials without scorching or burning
  • Prevent waste by maintaining consistent temperatures
  • Raise material temperatures as high as 145 ºF / 62 ºC (± 5 ºF/3 ºC), depending on ambient conditions
  • ETL certified to UL and CSA safety standards

Learn More Here

Process Cooling Systems from Powerblanket

PROCESS COOLING SYSTEMS

PBICE55_withCoolerProcess cooling systems provide solutions where cooling is required at a specific location in manufacturing or some other process.  Taking a product, system, or liquid from a starting temperature to a lower temperature is the purpose behind process cooling systems.

PROCESS COOLING METHOD

  1. Heat exchangers transfer heat between a solid object and a fluid, or between two or more fluids. The fluids may be separated by a solid wall to prevent mixing or they may be in direct contact. They are widely used in space heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, power stations, chemical plants, petrochemical plants, petroleum refineries, natural-gas processing, and sewage treatment. The classic example of a heat exchanger is found in an internal combustion engine in which a circulating fluid known as engine coolant flows through radiator coils and air flows past the coils, which cools the coolant and heats the incoming air.  The Powerblanket Circulation Blanket is an example of a heat exchanger for drums, barrels, and buckets.
  2. Powerblanket Chillers uses the same principle as a refrigerator, but instead of cooling the air inside of an insulated box, Powerblankets cool the water that flows from the chiller to the object being cooled..  Refrigeration is typically direct expansion, including an evaporator & fan system inside an insulated box, with a remotely located compressor/condenser.  Most fans run continuously to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the controlled space, while the refrigeration process operates intermittently to control the required amount of heat rejection.

 

INDUSTRIES USING PROCESS COOLING SYSTEMS

Indoor AgriculturePBICE_Drum_Chiller

“Today, indoor farming is a $500 million industry, and significant expansion is expected [. . .] The future for indoor agriculture looks a lot like manufacturing of the past — maximizing production and minimizing risks. It will play an important role in food security in the United States and around the world” (Kaler).  Maintaining consistent temperatures while balancing humidity can pose a tricky challenge for the indoor farmer.  The temperature differential can be as much as 1°F per vertical foot.  Many indoor agriculture operations are looking to cooling systems that can be incorporated into the existing ventilation system.  Onsite and digital monitoring controls are also improving the management of the indoor environment.

Breweries and Distilleries

A lot of beverage/food industries will use process cooling to maintain temperature while a product cures/processes.  Spirits spend years locked inside barrels during the aging process. During that time, they undergo a series of seasonal climatic changes that trigger chemical changes. In this delicate process, if a spirit ages too long or too quickly, it can result in undesired flavors and aromas that compromise the quality of the spirit. Yet in a stratified space, barrels at the top of the rackhouse age more rapidly — and can easily age too long.

Injection Molding

Process cooling can be directly associated with the process itself.  One of the essential requirements for plastic injection molding is proper cooling of the mold between cycles.  Chilled water is most often the cooling agent of choice because it is low-cost, has excellent thermal transfer properties, and is readily available.

POWERBLANKET PROCESS COOLING

Optimize performance when the heat is high with Powerblanket Ice process cooling systems.

FEATURES:

  • Ready-to-ship industrial cooling / process cooling products are available for 15, 30, & 55-gallon drums, and for 5-gallon buckets.
  • Custom systems can be designed for a large variety of industrial cooling applications, and shipped within 2 weeks.
  • Blankets use Powerblanket’s patented heat-spreading technology in reverse to draw heat to the blanket and cool the contents of the container
  • Blanket cover and insulation are the same as the robust system used in the Powerblanket heating products
  • Powerblanket Ice industrial cooling systems are portable (120VAC required)
  • Control the temperature of your equipment or bulk materials
  • When materials are delivered too hot, waiting for the material to cool can mean lost hours or even days
  • Blankets can be left installed and running while bulk material containers are in use

Works Cited

Kaler, Mike.  “Don’t Bet the Farm”. Process Cooling. January/February 2017. P 16.
Stoike, Jamison. “5 Ways to Use Fans in Breweries and Distilleries”. Process Cooling, January/February 2017. P 20.

Winter Road Maintenance and Winter Road Construction

Winter Road Maintenance

Winter Road ConstructionWinter Road Maintenance

Typically, it is unwise to do any major structural winter road maintenance in the cold winter months.  Many professional paving companies joke that the best time to do winter repairs is in the summer.  Winter road construction is not so much dictated by the season, but rather by the temperature.  Warmer states have much longer active road construction periods than states with cold winters.  Without special engineering permission, most states prohibit paving in conditions below 45-50°F (for example asphalt conditions must be 50° and rising in Utah).  Never install asphalt or concrete on a frozen subbase; this will only ensure additional work for you when the conditions improve and you have to redo the job.  

 

Emergency Pothole Repair

For temporary repairs such as potholes use cold mix asphalt.  If the temperature is below the recommended level and it is an emergency, cold mix asphalt will work.  During this cold weather repair, remove all ice, moisture, and debris from the affected area using a heat source.  Keep in mind, this repair is meant to be temporary and should be permanently remedied when conditions improve

 

Winter Road Repairs: Crack Sealing

Crack sealing is actually preferred in colder months because pavements expand and contract with seasonal temperature changes. Consequently, cracks and joints are expanding and contracting when the pavements move. Crack sealing is a preventative winter road maintenance practice meant to extend the life of pavement. Since cracks on the pavement surface allow water and incompressible materials such as sand, dirt, and other debris to enter the pavement structure, these cracks can dramatically accelerate deterioration and weakening. Sealing cracks prevents further deterioration of the pavement and, when properly executed, can extend the life of the pavement anywhere from 6 months to 4 years. 

 

 

Crack Sealing Tips

  1. As recommended with the pothole repair, clear the crack of moisture, dirt, debris, vegetation and chemical deicers to make the sealing more effective, use a heat lance and/or compressed air.  If using a heat lance take care not to burn or scorch the pavement and the place the sealant before the pavement in the crack cools to allow for the best adherence of the crack fill materials.
  2. Seal all cracks from 1⁄4 inch to 1 inch in width the entire length of the crack. Cracks smaller than 1⁄4” will not retain sufficient sealer to flex in the cold. Cracks greater than 1” will sag and possibly prematurely fail without the installation of HMA or backer rod.
  3. When repairing cracks, fill the entire crack and level any affected area to ensure a smooth and level pavement surface.
  4. Apply the sealant or repair material only when the sealant or repair material is within the manufacturer’s recommended application temperature. Special care must be taken to assure that the sealant temperature does not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations; otherwise the polymers may be destroyed therefore reducing the sealant performance.
  5. Keep in mind that more sealant is not always better. Over applying sealant material can lead to problems when paving over with HMA or bleeding up through the seal or paving application.
  6. New sealants are not designed to be “road glue”. They are very sticky and have tremendous bonding power; however, they were not made to “hold the road together”. Crack sealing has one objective: to prevent water from further damaging roads. Sealing “buys time” and saves money by delaying the expense of major reconstructive pavement work.

 

Powerblanket can help with Winter Road Maintenance

Whether you need a means for protecting temperature-sensitive materials in storage, or you need a heating solution for onsite temperature maintenance, the Powerblanket Hot Box will do the job.  This versatile heating solution accommodates remote-location use, job site heating, the transporting of temperature sensitive materials.  The revolutionary design of Powerblanket Hot Boxes provides uniform heat to all materials stored inside. This reduces the chance of having any hot and cold spots. If stored properly; chemicals, industrial products, and temperature sensitive materials will last longer and be more effective.

Winter road maintenance

Smart Temperature Controller: Make Your Life Easier

Beacon will make your life easier

Beacon Smart Temperature ControllerWhether it is monitoring alone, control and monitoring, or automation and monitoring, Beacon is here to help you have a constant link between you and your equipment. The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing all around us. Beacon smart temperature controller gives you the power to automate, remotely control, and monitor your assets. Beacon products are smart and give you peace of mind.  If a monitored parameter goes outside of the limits you set, you’ll be alerted immediately.

 

Take Control

Whatever the industry, whatever the application, Beacon can help you monitor and control your operations with ease and precision. If you need to regulate the external and internal variables associated with technological applications, Beacon’s innovative Smart Temperature Controllers can help you easily and remotely manage those variables from the convenience of your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Eliminate the guesswork and risk associated with your technological assets by using a Beacon Smart Temperature Controller to keep systems operating safely and efficiently.

No Comparison

There are other options available; however, those options are limited and have no remote monitoring controls.  Beacon has remote settings that allow for setting adjustments, scheduling, and location mapping.  You can view the state of your equipment in real time and make changes as necessary right where you are.  The data collected by Beacon Smart Temperature Controller is stored in the cloud for your analysis.  Not only is it smart and convenient, but Beacon is safe.  With various security features, you assign who has access to the controls and can identify who has been making setting changes.

smart temperature controller comparison chart

We are surrounded by devices that allow us to see who is at our front door from our desk at work, turn our lights on and off from our smartphones or get an alert when our garage door is left open.  Now similar technology can help you take control of your equipment and its critical temperatures.

Beacon is the Smart Choice

  • Compatible with a wide variety of heating and cooling systems
  • Change settings locally or connect remotely through Wi-Fi or Cellular networks, so you can keep your operation running smoothly wherever you are.
  •  Customizable scheduling and alerts based on temperature, electrical current, voltage, and resistance readings, give you complete peace of mind.
  • Create multiple users with varying levels of access and control for added security.
  • 120/208/240V AC options, switch up to 24 amps

Beacon smart temperature controller logo

Slipping on Ice and Snow Shoveling

SLIPPING ON ICE

Group of people and penguinsOn January 4, 2017, Doctors in Germany prescribed a strategy to avoid slipping on ice:  walk like a penguin. Imagine all your employees waddling back and forth like a rookery of penguins!  This is not exactly what the German trauma surgeons meant.  The technique involves leaning forward so that a person’s center of gravity is on the front leg rather than divided evenly between both legs.  “When humans walk normally, body weight is split almost evenly over both legs, which the surgeons say increases the risk of a person losing their balance and falling on slippery surfaces.”  It’s a comical visual; however, slipping on ice is a serious workplace concern during icy and cold conditions.

SLIP AND FALL STATISTICS

  • Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.
  • Fall fatalities are nearly equally divided between men and women. However, more women will experience a slip-and-fall accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 5% of the job-related fatalities for women compared to 11% for men.
  • Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.
  • Slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work.
  • Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older.

 

SNOW SHOVELING

While snow shoveling can be good exercise, it can also be dangerous for the optimistic shoveler who takes on more than he/she should. Shoveling snow is extremely strenuous, especially for those individuals who do not engage in regular cardiovascular activity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 11,000 people seek shoveling-related hospital treatment each year for injuries (93%) or cardiac issues (7%). Here are some tips from the National Safety Council for safe snow shoveling:

  • Little boy walking on snow melting matsIndividuals over the age of 40 and/or those who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful.
  • If you have a history of heart trouble, do not shovel without a doctor’s permission.
  • Avoid shoveling after eating or while smoking.
  • Take it slow! Shoveling (like lifting weights) can raise your heart rate and blood pressure dramatically; so pace yourself. Stretch out and warm up to prepare your body before taking on the task.
  • Shovel only fresh snow. Freshly fallen, powdery snow is easier to shovel than the wet, packed-down old snow.
  • Push the snow as you shovel. It’s easier on your back than lifting the snow out of the way.
  • Don’t pick up too much at once. Use a small shovel, or fill only one-fourth or one- half of a large one.
  • Use proper technique. Lift with your legs bent, not your back. Keep your back straight. By bending and “sitting” into the movement, you’ll keep your spine upright and less stressed. The strongest muscles in your body (your shoulders, torso and thighs) can do the work for you.
  • Do not work to the point of exhaustion. If you run out of breath, take a break. If you feel tightness in your chest, stop immediately.

 

POWERBLANKET CREATED SUMMERSTEP

Removing ice and snow regularly to prevent slipping on ice can be a full-time job depending on the weather.   To save time, energy, and your employees health, use Summerstep heated safety mats to keep the walkways on your construction site clear and avoid snow shoveling.

 Summerstep Snow Melting Mats

  • Prevent slipping on ice and falls
  • Protect personnel from winter weather conditions and keep stairs, doorways, walkways, and ramps free from snow and ice
  •  More convenient than shoveling snow
  • Avoid health risks associated with snow shoveling
  •  More effective for snow and ice melting than harsh chemicals (less damaging to the environment, reusable, won’t damage concrete or other flooring surfaces)
  •  Will melt approximately 2 inches of snow per hour when operating
  •  40 Watts/Sq ft heated area
  •  The ONLY snow melting mat product made in the USA

 

 

 

 

Sources

“Quick Facts.” National Floor Safety Institute. 6 January 2017.  https://nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/

“Snow Shoveling”. National Safety Council. 6 January 2017. www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments_Corporate/SafetyObservancesDocuments/Snow-Shoveling.pdf

“Snow Shoveling—A Real Risk for Heart Attack”. Cleveland Clinic. 6 January 2017. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/02/snow-shoveling-a-real-risk-for-heart-attack/

“Walk like a penguin to avoid slipping on ice, German doctors advise”. Reuters in Berlin.  6 January 2017. www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/04/penguin-walk-german-doctors-advice-slipping-icy-paths

 

 

Roofing in Cold Weather: Keep Asphalt Shingles Warm

ROOFING IN COLD WEATHER

If you live in the United States, it’s likely your roof has asphalt shingles. American homeowners use asphalt shingles more than any other roofing product. Proper installation of this material will provide many years of protection. Unfortunately, if you are roofing in cold weather, you will need to take some extra precautions.

SHINGLES NEED WARMTHRoofing in Cold Weather Damaged Shingles

As temperatures decline, shingles become more brittle, and are easily cracked and broken. Cracks lead to one thing: water leaks.

Years ago it was common for shingles to crack and blow away in wind storms. Manufacturers solved this problem with a self-sealing compound that cements one shingle to another (a thermoplastic compound). Introduced in the mid-1960s, it is a common ingredient of virtually every asphalt shingle manufactured.
The sealing compound is activated by the heat of the sun. This sealing can happen in colder temperatures, but direct sunlight is required. North sloped roofs may not get the necessary sunlight until spring/summer. When the bonding process is complete, the shingles are less likely to develop wind-related leaks and failures.

Roofing In Cold Weather Ideal TemperatureThe ideal temperature range to install shingles is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 and 27 degrees Celsius). If temperatures are colder than 70 degrees, the adhesive will not reach the ideal elasticity and will not create a perfect seal.

If roofing in cold weather is unavoidable, most asphalt shingle manufacturers require that a specialized adhesive is manually applied to each shingle for temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Failure to apply the special adhesive in adverse temperatures will void the manufacturer warranty.

POWERBLANKET HOT BOXES AND PALLET WARMERS

Powerblanket has a solution for roofing in cold weather. The Powerblanket® Hot Box will maintain the desired temperature of your shingles and adhesive on site. Roofing in cold weather is not ideal; however, Pbulk material warmers for cold weather roofingowerblanket makes it much easier than it has been in the past.

KEEP IT WARM IN COLD WEATHER

Powerblanket Hot Boxes save you money by keeping your products from freezing without the risk of overheating. Hot Box pallet warmers are easily assembled and taken apart. Hot boxes are ideal for cold weather storage, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and roofing in cold weather. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C), and optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be precisely controlled.

  • Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins, epoxies, etc.
  • Preserve temperature sensitive material.
  • Assemble quickly and easily.
  • Access doors on two sides.
  • Certified to UL and CSA standards.

 

Sources

“Cold Weather Roofing”. ProRoofing.com. 14 November, 2016. www.proroofingwisconsin.com/cold-weather-roofing.html.

Carter, Tim.  “Special Care Is Needed When Roofing in Cold Weather.”  Chicago Tribune. 2 January 2017. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2000-12-16/news/0012160249_1_shingles-nails-roofing-materials

Lower Viscosity and Flow Control in Colder Temperatures

LOWER VISCOSITY AND FLOW CONTROLOil Pouring From Barrel

Viscosity is a complicated and sometimes confusing topic and achieving lower viscosity is a challenge during cold winter months.

VISCOSITY REDUCTION BASICS

A fluid that is viscous will be thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency.  Viscosity can be affected by friction and/or temperature.  For example, consider what happens when you need some ketchup on your burger.  If you simply invert the bottle and expect the ketchup to flow freely, you are a rookie in the sport of burger-eating.  A pro knows to shake the bottle and then to proceed with caution, because once you have decreased viscosity, due to the shaking, the ketchup can flow quite rapidly.

Now think about honey, certainly a substance that is thick, sticky and semifluid.  Simply shaking a jar of honey will not guarantee any flow.  Honey cooled in a refrigerator will have little to no flow because it has been cooled, but when warmed appropriately*, there is a viscosity reduction and honey will flow smoothly.

LOWER VISCOSITY AND TEMPERATURE

A fluid’s viscosity strongly depends on its temperature. Along with the shear rate, temperature really is the dominating influence. The higher the temperature is, the lower a substance’s viscosity is. The relationship between temperature and viscosity is inversely proportional for all liquids. A change in temperature always affects the viscosity – it depends on the substance just how much it is influenced by a temperature change. For some fluids a decrease of 1°C (1.8F) already causes a 10 % increase in viscosity.

FLUIDS REQUIRING LOWER VISCOSITY

Acetone

Automatic Transmission Fluid, Antifreeze, and Brake Fluid

Aviation Fuels

Benzene

Bunker Oil-Marine Fuel Oil

Chloroform

Crude Oil

Diesel Fuel

Ethanol

Gear Oil

Heavy Fuel Oil

Honey

Hydrofluoric Acid

Ink

Mercury

Methanol

Mollasses

Citric Acid

Paraffin Wax

Pentane

Sulfuric Acid

Tetrahydrofuran

Toluene

Powerblanket® Viscosity Control Solutions

Powerblanket makes it easy to lower viscosity of fluids. Powerblanket offers various ready-to-ship products, from bucket and drum heaters to ibc tote heaters. We can also produce custom solutions for most applications. If you need help with viscosity reduction, Powerblanket has you covered.

  •   Deliver safe, uniform heat to expensive materials without overheating or burning while lowering viscosity.
  •   Full wrap-around design provides complete insulation and ensures equal heat distribution.
  •   Increase the performance and efficiency of your processes—decrease viscosity.
  •   Safety certified to UL and CSA Standards. Class1 Div2 hazardous location products also available.
  •   Energy-efficient technology lowers energy-related expenses and overall project and equipment costs.
  •   Decrease and prevent product waste among temperature sensitive materials by maintaining consistent storage temperatures without significant fluctuations.

 

Learn More Here

 

*Do not heat honey much above 100 degrees F (38 C) to avoid nutritional loss.

Source

“Viscosity Tables and Viscosity Charts.” Viscopedia. 30 December 2016. http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/

 

Frozen Ground: Understanding How and Why it Freezes

On December 31, 1967, the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys competed for the NFL Championship in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They played in temperatures as low as -25° Celsius (-13º Fahrenheit). The players noticed that the field became so hard their cleats could not dig into the normally soft soil. They slipped and struggled to stay upright. Why? The ground had frozen solid. This historic game is known as the Ice Bowl.  Frozen ground played havoc with the game.

Frozen Ground

Frozen ground occurs when the ground contains water, and the temperature of the ground goes below 0° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit). More than half of all the land in the Northern Hemisphere freezes and thaws every year, and is called seasonally frozen ground. One-fourth of the land in the Northern Hemisphere has an underground layer that stays frozen all year long. If the ground remains frozen for at least two years in a row it is called permafrost.

What makes the ground freeze?

When ground is frozen solid, the water between the rocks, soil, and pebbles, and even inside the rocks, has frozen and becomes pore ice. So officially, the ground freezes when the water in the ground becomes ice.

How does the density of water affect frozen ground?

When water turns into ice, it can expand with great force and cause the ground to swell. In areas with a cold winter season frozen ground can damage roads. For example, water turning to ice under roads sometime creates frost heave. The expanding ice pushes up the road and creates a hump, which later, after a thaw, will create potholes  and sunken sections in a roadway.

The ground below is not all the same temperature

When the temperature of the ground drops below 0° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit), it freezes; however, the ground temperature can be different from the temperature of the air above it. Layers deep within the ground may be colder or warmer than layers near the surface of the ground.

The top layer of ground may respond to conditions on the surface, but the layers below may not change as quickly. On a warm summer day, the surface of the ground absorbs  heat and becomes hotter than the air. But the temperature a few feet underground may be much lower than the air. It is the opposite in the winter; the surface of the ground cools, but the layer deep underground may stay warmer than the surface. The upper layer of ground stops heat from moving between the cold air and the deeper layers of the ground, insulating itself.

The ground is not the only thing that insulates itself from the air. For example, imagine a lake on a hot summer day. The first few feet of the lake will be warm. But closer to the bottom of the lake, the water will be much cooler. The Sun’s heat has less effect on the water deeper below the surface. This layering of temperatures is called a temperature gradient.

The type of soil in an area also affects how the ground will store heat. Loose soils like sand have more space for water and ice forms more easily. Dense soils with small particles do not have as much space for water. Clay, for example, does not freeze as easily as sand.

How deep does the ground freeze?

The depth of frozen ground depends on the length of time the air is cold. The longer the cold period, the deeper the ground will freeze. But the depth of frozen ground is limited, because Earth is warm deep inside.

Most of Earth’s heat comes from the Sun (Figure 1). The ground stores a lot of the Sun’s heat and reflects the rest into the air. Snow and ice are light colored and reflect more heat away. Ocean water and bare ground reflect less heat, instead absorbing it. This transfer of heat between the ground and the air is called the surface energy flux.

energy balance diagram

Figure 1. This diagram shows how the Earth’s atmosphere and the ground reflects and absorbs the Sun’s energy.

Credit: NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center

 

Heat is also coming from the inside of the Earth. The Earth’s core is very hot, and its heat moves towards the surface–geothermal heat flux (Figure 2).

inside earth diagram

Figure 2. Deep inside, the Earth is hot. The mantle and liquid outer core are molten rock. The inner core is solid, but it too is hot. This heat moves through Earth’s layers to the surface.

Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

 

Heat from volcanoes, rivers, lakes, and other sources can also spread through the ground. This heat keeps some areas unfrozen, even though surface temperatures are low.

In general, deeper permafrost is very old. One researcher found that the deepest part of the permafrost underneath Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, is more than 500,000 years old.

How does the local landscape affect frozen ground?

Temperature swings, seasonal changes, and location are not the only things that affect frozen ground. Snow, soil, plants, and other aspects of the local landscape also affect frozen ground.

Snow

A thick layer of snow acts like a blanket so that heat does not leave the ground. Only a thin layer of ground will freeze under a thick layer of snow.

Soil type

Some soils freeze more easily than others. Light-colored soils freeze sooner and stay frozen longer than dark soils. Light-colored soils and rocks reflect sunlight, keeping the ground cooler.

Peat

Peat is soil that forms when dead plants do not decompose all the way. Peat is found in marshy areas that form when the active layer thaws. The ground under peat is usually colder than ground not covered by a peat layer.  In the winter, peat freezes and allows heat to leave the ground. Because the heat escapes, more frozen ground and permafrost form.

Plants

In the summer, plants keep the soil underneath them cooler because they block some sunlight from reaching the ground. Evergreen trees especially keep the ground cooler. Evergreen trees do not lose their leaves in the winter. This means that the trees block sunlight from warming the ground. Plus, their branches block snow from reaching the ground underneath. The bare ground loses heat more easily. Permafrost often forms under evergreen trees.

Slopes

Hillsides and mountain slopes can affect frozen ground and permafrost.

If a slope gets more sunlight because of the way it faces, the ground will be warmer and will be less likely to freeze. In the Northern Hemisphere, slopes that face south, towards the Sun, get more sunlight than shady slopes that face north. The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere.

Steep slopes are likely to contain frozen ground. The steepness of the slope affects how much sunlight it gets. Steep slopes do not get as much direct sunlight, so they are colder. Steep slopes do not hold snow cover very well, so the bare ground loses more heat. Wind direction also affects whether frozen ground forms. If a slope faces into the wind, the ground will lose more heat. Plus, the wind will blow snow away making the ground even colder.

Lakes and rivers

Lakes and rivers are sources of heat in cold places. The water is warmer than the surrounding air and can keep the ground beneath it warmer in the winter. Lakes and rivers might not have frozen ground under them. Or, they might have a thicker active layer compared to nearby land.

The Powerblanket® Solution for Frozen Ground

Frozen ground is a reality many industrial companies must face.  The high watt density in Powerblanket Ground Thawing Blankets helps tackle the difficulty of thawing ground in harsh climates.  Use a Powerblanket ground heater to save time, money, and stress.  

“Your blankets are absolutely excellent. Thanks to the Powerblankets, we were able to quickly thaw the ground and complete our job. In fact, we estimate a savings of 10 hours per site equaling a savings of $5,000 already. Calculating this to our thousands of sites, the savings is huge! We are excited about the time and money Powerblanket has saved us and look forward to future savings.”

—Kim Herman OSP/COEI Operations Manager Precision Utilities Groupfrozen ground being thawed

 

Why Choose Powerblanket Ground Heaters?

  • High power density thaws frozen ground
  • Quickly remove frost prior to concrete pour
  • Melt snow and ice from roofs, walkways, and construction areas
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Provides higher heat control when combined with a thermostatic controller
  • Saves time, money, and labor

learn-more-ground-thawing

 

“All About Frozen Ground.” National Snow and Ice Data Center. Accessed 20 December 2016. https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground.

5 Helpful Tips for Winter Construction Efficiency

5 Tips for Winter Construction

Working outside during the cold winter months presents many obstacles; however, some jobs will not wait for better circumstances. Below are some tips and solutions to improve winter construction.

1) KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES SAFE

Train your employees in proper winter construction precautions.  Encourage everyone to wear layers of loose-fitting clothing, to stay dry, and to protect from the wind and sun with gloves, hats and sunscreen.  If conditions become too cold/dangerous, employees should have access to shelter.

On the work site, remove ice and snow regularly to prevent slips and falls.  This can be a full-time job depending on the weather.  The act of shoveling snow can also be extremely strenuous, especially for those individuals who do not engage in regular cardiovascular activity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, approximately 11,000 people seek shoveling-related hospital treatment each year for injuries (93%) or cardiac issues (7%). To save time, energy, and your employees health, use Summerstep heated safety mats to keep the walkways on your construction site clear.

Summerstep Snow Melting Mats

  • ,  Protect personnel from winter weather conditions and keep stairs, doorways, walkways, and ramps free from snow and ice
  •   Prevent slips and falls
  •   More convenient than shoveling snow
  •   More effective for snow and ice melting than harsh chemicals (less damaging to the environment, reusable, won’t damage concrete or other flooring surfaces)
  •   Will melt approximately 2 inches of snow per hour when operating
  •   40 Watts/Sq ft heated area
  •   The ONLY snow melting mat product made in the USA

 

2) MAINTAIN INTEGRITY OF CONCRETE

Winter construction cold-weather operations aren’t just about safety. While most construction tasks can be carried out in cold weather, some operations, such as concrete work, can take much longer and even fail without proper precautions.

 

If concrete is to reach necessary strength levels, it can’t be allowed to freeze for the first 24 hours after being poured or placed. Sheeting the concrete can ensure the required temperature and moisture necessary for curing, if the weather isn’t too severe.  In severe conditions, supplemental heating systems or enclosures must be brought in to maintain the integrity of the concrete.

 

Powerblanket Concrete Blankets provide a manageable way to cure concrete in the cold weather months, save you time and money, and come in various lengths and sizes. We have you covered.

 

Powerblanket Concrete Curing Blankets

  •   Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional insulated blankets
  •   Produce cold weather concreting strength of 3,925 psi in 72 hours
  •   Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  •   Easily installed and removed
  •   Maintain ACI compliance for cold-weather concreting  Certified to UL and CSA standards

 

3) DON’T LET FROZEN GROUND SLOW YOU DOWN

When it’s cold and the ground freezes, the job suffers.  Often prep for winter construction takes longer than the actual job.  Some industrial companies try heating the ground with massive coils or large heating systems, which become expensive and cumbersome. This approach requires rental fees and transporting equipment.  

Powerblanket has considered the difficulties and delays associated with winter construction and cold/freezing temperatures and has created a solution.  With Powerblanket’s patented heating technology you can prep the ground with little to no effort or supervision on your part.

Powerblanket ground thawing blankets have a higher power density and hotter temperature than our concrete curing blankets. The higher power is iideal for ground thawing applications and curing epoxy or resins.

Why Powerblanket Ground Thawing Blankets?

  •   High power density thaws frozen ground quickly
  •   Remove frost prior to concrete pour
  •   Melt snow and ice from roofs, walkways, and construction areas
  •   Easily placed and removed for repeated use in harsh winter weather
  •   Can be used to cure epoxy and resins
  •   Certified to UL and CSA standards

 

4) KEEP MATERIALS WARM

Masonry, roofing, paint, and plaster/stucco materials are all sensitive to cold weather.  Maintaining the integrity of these materials is critical for their success in winter construction.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes save you money by keeping your products from freezing without the risk of overheating. The Hot Box pallet warmer is easily assembled, taken apart. Hot boxes are ideal for cold wea
ther storage, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) and optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be precisely controlled.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes:

  •   Quick and easy assembly
  •   Preserve temperature sensitive material
  •   Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins epoxies, etc.
  •   Access doors on two sides.
  •   Certified to UL and CSA standards

 

5) USING A PROPANE HEATER

Winter construction professionals often use temporary, propane-powered heating equipment on the jobsite, making it easier to finish projects on time and on budget. In addition to providing more comfortable working conditions, propane-powered heaters can also maintain the ambient temperatures necessary for common tasks like drywall installation or painting. However, like any portable heating device, propane-powered heaters must be used and maintained properly.

When temperatures get too low, the propane will not flow consistently or effectively, and you may lose your heat altogether. Propane-tank efficiency will fall substantially as the temperature drops. As the temperature drops, so does the pressure in your propane tank, and the pressure in your propane tank directly affects the volume of propane you have to work with. Your extraction rate (how quickly and smoothly you can extract propane from the tank) will suffer as well. Without a heating source to assist in the pressure maintenance of your tank, you will have to keep it as full as possible in order to keep it working, even if temperatures are mildly cold.

Powerblanket Propane Tank Heater

Powerblanket has the best propane tank heating solution on the market. These heating blankets will help maintain pressure and efficiency on just about any size tank. All Powerblanket heating blankets are certified to UL and CSA safety standards

Benefits of Powerblanket Propane Tank Heaters:

  •   Increase performance and efficiency of propane tanks
  •   Eliminates unnecessary cylinder refills in cold weather
  •  Even heat distribution in the areas where it is needed most
  •   Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  •    Certified to UL and CSA standards

 

 

Process Cooling: Turning Down the Heat

Powerblanket has a process cooling solution for you unexpected heat issues:  Powerblanket ICE.

PROCESS COOLING SOLUTIONS FROM POWERBLANKET

Unexpected temperature changes were not on your list of things to deal with when you installed your state-of-the-art system a few years/months/weeks ago.  A large portion of money went into that equipment and now you are sitting with a major dilemma on your hands.  Heat is your problem and you need a process cooling solutionPowerblanket Ice Cooler.  The materials are overheating, causing delays in productivity, damage to materials, and/or danger to your equipment.  Options for overcoming this problem are often limited to buying large and expensive refrigerators, or replacing equipment with new equipment designed with cooling capability.  Financially, that isn’t making anyone smile.  Powerblanket specializes in retrofitting tanks, pipes, machinery, motors, and drums that were designed/built with cooling in mind.

COOLING SYSTEMS

Powerblanket offers innovative industrial cooling systems to keep your assets safe for years. With the new Powerblanket ICE industrial cooling/process cooling blankets, you can efficiently regulate temperature-sensitive material under both regular and hot conditions. Powerblanket ICE works especially well for the manufacturing, fermentation, spray foam, motor, welding, and biomedical industries, including tank cooling, drum cooling, and many other applications. We want to help you keep your critical equipment and materials cool under hot temperatures.

UNEXPECTED HEAT

Often customers will design a system not realizing that certain areas will exceed acceptable temperatures.  Enter Powerblanket.  The cooling technology of Powerblanket ICE will save you time, money, and stress caused by uncontrolled temperatures.

WHY POWERBLANKET ICE?

  • Powerblanket Ice can save you money.  
    • Design a system to fit almost any equipment,  saving you the expense of buying cooling capable equipment or buying large refrigerators.
  • Powerblanket Ice grows with you.
    • Systems can be expanded as requirements grow.
  • Conserve precious floor space.
    • A Powerblanket ICE system is mobile and has a relatively small footprint.
  • Save energy.
    • Powerblanket ice only cools what needs to be cooled.
  • Control temperatures precisely, with a properly designed system (controller, solenoid valve, and bypass valve required for tight temperature control, actual temperature range depends on conditions).  
  • Easy installation.
    • No modification to equipment required in most cases.

 

Beacon Smart Temperature Controller

Smart Temperature Controller

In today’s connected world the “Internet of Things” (IoT) allows you to turn your lights on and off from your smartphone, see who is at your front door from your desk at work, or get an alert when your garage door is left open, among many other things.  The beacon smart temperature controller is ready to give you

 

Meet Beacon

The Beacon Smart Temperature Controller brings the IoT (Internet of Things) to industrial temperature control. It has the same features as many single stage, electronic temperature controllers plus many added benefits made possible by internet connectivity. For example: monitor conditions remotely and change settings remotely through a web portal or mobile app, recieve alerts when temperatures reach user defined thresholds, set alerts to be sent when settings are changed.

 

Remote Control and Monitoring

Control and monitor your system remotely. Check on current conditions and adjust setpoints, differentials, and other details related to your control system.  Control and monitor boilers, chillers, refrigerated warehouses, beer and beverage coolers, tank, valve, drum and tote heaters and many more systems.

 

Peace of Mind

Define your own temperature thresholds and leave the system unattended with confidence. The Connected Temperature Controller will alert you of any problems, whether you’re present or not.

 

Maintain Historic Data

Beacon’s Connected Smart Temperature Controller allows you to keep historic temperature data for long-term reference or process analysis. A log of electrical current lets you analyze the duty cycle of your cooling or heating equipment and the operating cost.

 

Additional features

  • Change settings at the physical device or anywhere with an internet connection
  • Customizable alerts based on temperature, electrical current, voltage, resistance, etc.
  • Connect to the internet through Wi- Fi or Cellular (coming soon!) networks
  • Create multiple users with varying access control for added security
  • NEMA 4x enclosure
  • Optional timer mode: easily set up an operating schedule by day and time (coming soon!)
  • Optionally switch load based on ambient temperature in addition to material temperature, for example, freeze protection applications (coming soon!)
  • Heat or cool
  • Backlit LCD display on device
  • Adjustable short cycle delay for refrigeration equipment
  • 120/208/240V, switch up to 24 amp loads
  • Options for secure interface with existing control systems

 

 

 

Custom Heaters and Heat Solutions

CUSTOM HEATERS

Powerblanket® engineers solve every kind of temperature problem from simple to very complex. Need a custom heater or need a system of custom heaters?  Our expertise guarantees satisfied customers in a very short turnaround time, often in less than three weeks from design to delivery.  

We have created custom heaters for:Powerblanket heated wraps on jobsite

  • Frac tanks
  • Truck mounted propane tanks
  • 500 gallon gravity flow tanks
  • Pipes and manifolds
  • Valves and instrumentation
  • Hoppers
  • Large tanks
  • Wind blade epoxy curing
  • and many more

Powerblanket can design and manufacture custom products to meet the requirements of hazardous areas including Class I, Division 2.

Custom Tank Heaters

Powerblanket Tank Heaters can maintain temperature, heat materials, provide freeze protection, or optimize flow for viscous and temperature-sensitive materials.  A powerblanket custom heater will change the way you approach temperature control and freeze protection.

Why Choose Powerblanket Custom Heaters for Tanks?

  • Maintain optimal temperatures for temperature sensitive materialsPowerblanket custom tank heater wrap
  • Custom heaters designed to fit any tank
  • Provide ultimate freeze protection
  • Available in 120, 208 or 240VAC
  • Peace of mind that your valuable materials are protected

White’s Equipment Rental, LLC faced a dilemma when the chilly Marcellus winters started causing problems with the Catch Tanks they use to capture fluids. Buck Binder, VP of Production and R&D lead, realized that the cold temperatures and frigid weather would cost the business thousands of dollars in rental fees, replacement costs, and even fines from the EPA, if the Catch Tanks were to freeze.  He turned to Powerblanket for a custom heater. Powerblanket engineers designed a custom heating blanket fitted precisely to the Catch Tanks. By keeping the tanks warm during the cold weather, White’s eliminated the risk of freezing, and a loss in revenue.

Powerblanket’s custom heating solution provided White’s Equipment with more than freeze protection. It provided both them and their clients with the benefits of sustainability, continuous production, and reduced or eliminated down time, not to mention peace of mind and the earned reputation of being a preferred energy services provider.

Weatherproof your business with Powerblanket pipe, valve, and instrumentation heaters.

These advanced custom heaters offer freeze protection for your entire pipe & manifold system. The simple design eliminates the need for expensive work crews to install or remove heat trace, insulation and cladding. Unlike heat trace, Powerblanket does not have inrush current issues.Powerblanket pipe and valve heaters

Why Choose Powerblanket Custom Heaters for Pipes and Valves?

  • Reduce downtime and increase profitability
  • Eliminate need for alternative emergency services or steamers
  • Protect instrumentation from freezing to ensure accurate data retrieval
  • Sustain valve functionality
  • Save on labor costs through easy installation and removal
  • Custom designed to fit any application

 

Winter Roofing

WINTER ROOFING AND POWERBLANKET HOT BOXES

HERE COMES THE SUNRoof with ice and gutter

Most roofing materials utilize adhesives that require warm weather (or an artificial heat source) to cure and fasten. This means the best time to replace a roof is during the warmer months. Usually, radiation from the sun would soften the adhesive, allowing it to seal the shingles together properly. Colder than 70 degrees and the glue stays too viscous, leading to weathering and erosion. Installing a roof in the winter, without the proper precautions, will lead it to fail quickly, if not immediately. In warm weather, the sun’s heat will properly bond most roofing materials: asphalt shingle (also known as composition shingle), EPDM (rubber) single-ply membrane, roll roofing, peel and stick roofing, and modified bitumen. It becomes more expensive and more difficult to apply these materials in cold weather.

ASPHALT SHINGLES AND ANY WEATHER ROOFINGwinter roofing temperature guide any weather roofing

If winter installation is unavoidable, most asphalt shingle manufacturers require that a specialized adhesive be manually applied to each shingle for temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). If shingles are applied below 40 degrees without the specialized adhesive, the manufacturer will void any warranty. This is because a cold climate not only effects the adhesive, but the actual shingles are less flexible and more likely to break if dropped. To help avoid this, try leaving your product in a warm truck bed as long as possible before bringing it up onto the cold roof.

If you plan to do roof repair in winter, you need an artificial heat source to keep your asphalt shingles warm until installation. The best temperature to install a roof is between 70 and 80° Fahrenheit (21 and 27° Celsius). If it’s warmer than 80 degrees, asphalt shingles have the opposite problem of becoming overly pliable. This leads contractors to overdrive nails, and foot traffic to easily erode the roof. Consider leaving your shingles in shaded areas when the weather is too hot.

EPDM

EPDM (rubber) membrane roofing is even more sensitive to its environment than asphalt shingles. Like a composition roof, EPDM requires high temperatures to soften the adhesive needed for curing. Even at high temperatures EPDM can be difficult to work with because it is so thick. As a result, manufacturers recommend it be higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) to install EPDM. This temperature obviously isn’t very practical unless installers have a warm storage area to keep the adhesive pliable until it is used.

THINK INSIDE THE BOX: POWERBLANKET HOT BOXES

Bulk material warmer from Powerblanket

Powerblanket has a solution for your winter roofing needs. The Powerblanket® Hot Box will maintain the desired temperature of your shingles and/or adhesive on site, making the winter install much easier. While winter roofing isn’t ideal, Powerblanket makes it much easier than it has been in the past.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes save you money by keeping your products from freezing without the risk of overheating. Hot boxes are ideal for cold weather storage, freeze protection, transporting, job site heating, remote location use, and winter roofing. Standard Hot Boxes hold product between 100°F and 120°F (38°C and 49°C) and optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be precisely controlled. The Hot Box pallet warmer can be easily assembled, taken apart, and reassembled. This is useful for contractors that need to easily move the box to different job sites.

Powerblanket Pallet Warmers:

  • Preserve temperature sensitive material.
  • Assemble quickly and easily.
  • Heat materials and palletized products: adhesives, shingles, paint, caulk, resins and epoxies, etc.
  • Access doors on two sides..
  • Certified to UL and CSA standards.

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In depth information about roofing obtained from “Cold Weather Roofing.” ProRoofing.com. 14 November, 2016. www.proroofingwisconsin.com/cold-weather-roofing.html

and “How to Properly Stack Shingles on a Roof.” https://www.iko.com/na/residential/building-professional/how-to-stack-shingles-on-a-roof/

Industrial Winter Safety

Industrial Winter Safety

Hazard sign in winter settingStay safe with these industrial winter safety guidelines.

The leaves are falling and so is the temperature.  Winter will be here shortly.  While it is beautiful and enchanting, winter can pose some major hazards if you haven’t prepared for it.  Failing to recognize and respect the dangers of winter is not recommended.

Whether you are traveling through, working in, or enjoying the weather, the following industrial winter safety tips are helpful to ensure your safety and good health:

Wear Layered Clothing

Multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing allow the worker to adjust their comfort level and protection based on the current temperature.  Tight fitting clothes reduce blood circulation.  Many forget the danger of sunburn when it is cold outside, but it is always important to protect from the sun.  Wear a hat, scarf or face covering and always wear waterproof gloves.  Also, it is wise to keep a change of clothes with you in case your existing clothes get wet.   Being wet can increase the rate of heat loss from the body.

Stay Hydrated

It’s easy to forget the simple importance of hydration when it is cold outside.  It’s not like the steamy summer months when we know we are sweating.  You still sweat—even in cold temperatures. For optimal performance, keep the body hydrated.

Breaks are Good

When the weather is particularly cold and/or windy, regular breaks are important.  If possible, take a break inside or under shelter where you can warm up a bit.  If it gets very cold, get inside and warm up.

Wear Good Shoes

Wear proper footwear when tackling winter weather.  A pair of water resistant and insulated boots with rubber treads is important for industrial winter safety.  Slow your pace and shorten your steps when navigating snowy/icy walkways.

Know the Signs

Frostbite and hypothermia can set in unexpectedly.  Get inside if you begin to experience either.  If a co-worker seems to be manifesting signs, help them get help immediately.  Be aware of those around you and take care of each other.

Proper Heat Ventilation

If using a non-electric heater, ensure that there is proper ventilation to let gasses like carbon monoxide escape.

Prepare for Winter Driving

Top off your fluids, drive slowly and allow yourself additional time to travel.  Pay attention to changing road conditions.

Clear the Pathsnow melting mat

Make sure that walkways, paths, stairs, and entries are free from snow and ice.  Do this as quickly as possible when a winter storm sets in.  Slips, trips, and falls will decrease dramatically when the path is clear.  Powerblanket offers a NEW method for clearing the path that does not use chemicals or salt, or require you to break your back shoveling.  Summerstep™ industrial snow melting mats use radiant heat technology to melt snow and ice on walkways, stairs and doorways, improving industrial winter safety.  Not only does Summerstep melt away the existing ice and snow, but as the storm continues, the path will stay clear as accumulating snow will instantly melt away.  Summerstep heated walkway mats can be linked together to match the length you need to ensure safe travels.  

Always use proper engineering controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) required by your employer in all work conditions.

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Win a New Powerblanket #MYPOWERBLANKET

#MYPOWERBLANKET PHOTO CONTEST

Win a New Powerblanket!*

You’ve owned your Powerblanket for two weeks, two months, or maybe two years, and you love it! Now, share that love to WIN another one. 

 

“We use the Powerblanket 400 here at OMNIA Nightclub San Diego in an indoor application to provide extra power and performance with our Salvin CO2 Cryo System.  The Powerblanket significantly improves the output and quality of our Cryo System by creating and helping to regulate high pressure in our CO2 bulk tank.  The results are stronger and fuller CO2 plumes, which keeps our patrons cool and looks incredible!”

–Andrew Miller, Technical Manager, OMNIA Nightclub, San Diego

 

“We didn’t have the time to wait out the winter for the temperatures to become more moderate. The Powerblanket® heating blankets certainly played an important role in keeping us on schedule and not having to postpone the pour on an important Kansas City bridge.”

—Dale Helming, Project Manager Massman Construction

 

“Upon the implementation of using our new DEF system to stay compliant with EPA regulations, Powerblanket® provided an effective and energy efficient freeze protection system with its DEF Tote Heater System. We installed the unit and forgot about it, knowing our product is being protected, which gives us peace of mind.”

— Jerri Brumfield

 

“Powerblanket® barrel and bucket heaters are a drastic improvement over the original band heaters we used to offer. With Powerblanket® products we no longer have to worry about overheating or unpredictable thermostats. Their GreenHeat Technology provides uniform heat throughout the entire barrel of product which is paramount to what we do. Powerblanket® products are very durable, look great, and are the only heaters we will offer our customers.”

—Mike Roberts, Manager Howard Marten Fluid Technologies

 

As the seasons change and freezing temperatures become more prevalent, we want to reward you for your Powerblanket loyalty.  Share a picture of your Powerblanket in action and tell us how it has made a difference for your business.

To enter:

  • Enter Now-December 1, 2016
  • Go the Powerblanket Facebook page and click on the contest app on the right hand side, or click the link below.
  • Submit a photo of your Powerblanket in action.
  • Explain why you love your Powerblanket.
  • Tag your entry with #mypowerblanket
  • Contest Rules:  Enter as many times as you like with different pictures.  Anyone can enter.
  • Winners will be chosen at random and announced December 5, 2016.

Don’t own a Powerblanket?  Submit a photo of where you would use it and explain your need.  You could win!

 

You could win a New Powerblanket! *

 

Heated Walkway Mat-NEW!

summerstep logo
What is more beautiful than fresh, untouched snow in morning light?  A clear walkway that you didn’t have to shovel or salt!  Snow is beautiful, but that beauty comes with a cost: shoveling, slippery stairs, ice, repeat.  Many home and business owners would love a quick winter fix. Powerblanket is pleased to announce the newest member of the PB family that will make your winter snow maintenance a breeze: the SummerStep™ heated walkway mat

 

CLEAR A PATH WITHOUT THE SIDE EFFECTS OF ROCK SALTheat-step-5-cob

While rock salt may be the most economical solutions for snow and ice accumulation, rock salt can cause problems for pavement, concrete, and vegetation.  Rock salt can seep into the porous surface of your concrete and make a home inside. This makes the concrete more prone to deterioration. Salt crystals inside of concrete also draw water toward them, increasing the saturation potential of concrete by 9%. Depending on the thaw/freeze cycle of your winter, your concrete could experience some significant damage.  Asphalt surfaces, brick and stone used in home walkways, and landscaping also suffer from the salt/water infiltration and freeze/thaw cycles, though not quite as much as does concrete.  Since plants cannot “sweat off” salts like animals, they have to shed leaves/twigs. Salt also reduces soil quality and attracts water to itself, which makes it harder for root systems to pull the water into the plant.

With the SummerStep heated walkway mat, these environmental side effects are completely avoided.  Save your concrete, pavement and vegetation.

SNOW MELTING MATS

heat-step-4-cobSummerStep™ heated snow mats are ideal for both residential and industrial applications.  Using the same technology as the Powerblanket, the SummerStep heated walkway mat uses radiant heat to clear the path of ice and snow.  Snow and ice have the potential to lead to many hazards that delay productivity, increase cost, and cause accidents.   Prevent those hazards and the accumulation of additional ice and snow with SummerStep.  Enjoy the convenience of a portable snow melting mat that is designed to be outside all winter long. SummerStep™ outdoor snow melting mats keep stairs, doorways, ramps, walkways and alleyways safe and secure from slip and fall accidents. Prevent hazards created by icy winter weather when you use these snow traction mats.  

  • Save time and money
  • Keep walkways clear of ice and snow for your safety
  • Environmentally safe, requires no chemicals
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • More convenient than shoveling snow
  • Peace of mind warranty
  • Reliable. Even in the worst conditions, SummerStep keeps the path clear
  • The ONLY snow melting mat made in the USA

Stairs, sidewalks, driveways, ramps, doorways, and narrow walkways remain free from snow when you use SummerStep snow melting mats.

 

Buy Now