Lower Viscosity and Flow Control in Colder Temperatures

LOWER VISCOSITY AND FLOW CONTROLLower Viscosity

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.

 

LOWER VISCOSITY

 

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

Source

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

 

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:Clean-Fuel Installation 027

  • 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 materialslarge-propance-tank-heater (3)
  • 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.Valve

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

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Heating and Hazardous Locations

Working in hazardous locations means you have to exercise serious caution regarding procedure, protocol, and equipment usage. What’s more, heating in hazardous locations takes all the more care and detail to make certain you aren’t adding fuel to a potential fire. This is why Powerblanket offers products certified to national safety standards.

 

CID2Class I Division 1 and Class I Division 2

We understand that hazardous location heating is nothing to take lightly. And we understand that heating products should be engineered to the highest standards of quality and safety. We’ve based our business on this simple reality and are able to customize our safe and innovative heating solutions to a myriad of industries because of it. In fact, our custom heating solutions can be designed and certified to Class I Division 1 (CID1) or Class I Division 2 (CID2) safety standards. We are certified for all four gas Groups, A, B, C, and D and up to a T4 Temperature Classification.  Many people who work in hazardous locations are familiar with these terms. For everyone else, here’s an explanation.

The classifications referenced as CID1 and CID2 regard the operation of electronic equipment in hazardous locations. CID1 is the identifier used for locations where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, mists or vapors could possibly exist under normal working conditions. This classification also covers locations where the same gases, mists or vapors may exist frequently due to repairs or maintenance in the area. It also includes potential scenarios where gases, mists or vapors could be leaked by faulty or damaged equipment.

CID2, on the other hand, represents all locations where concentrations of flammable gases and/or vapors and/or mists are present in the air under operating conditions outside of the norm. So CID1 covers areas where such hazards are normally present, and CID2 covers areas where such hazards aren’t normally present but certainly could be under abnormal circumstances. Most importantly, if a product is CID1 or CID2 certified, it means that product is safe to use in locations that are CID1 or CID2 rated hazardous locations.

Powerblanket provides products that are certified to either of these hazardous location equipment safety standards. So when it comes to heating in hazardous areas, Powerblanket is both an efficient and safe choice. In addition to these ratings, Powerblanket products are also certified to UL, and CSA standards. Our innovative approach to providing industry-specific heating solutions has helped our customers save a lot of time and resources to safeguard and increase efficiency among the assets that keep their businesses running. So whether it’s freeze protection, viscosity maintenance, curing assistance, or some other heat-related dilemma, Powerblanket can help, even if you operate in a hazardous location.

 

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Powerblanket Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from UMA

If you haven’t seen this headline somewhere else on the web by now, we’re happy to tell you all about it here. Utah Manufacturers Association recently awarded Powerblanket something we’re pretty happy about. Read on to learn more about the UMA Manufacturer of the Year Award.

 

UMA AwardUMA and Manufacturer of the Year

Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA), recently awarded Powerblanket the prestigious award  of Manufacturer of the Year. This award is given annually to the Utah-based manufacturer that proves to be the most innovative contributor to their space. There’s even more to it than this, but we’ll get to that.

UMA has been around since 1905. The organization prides itself on offering the “voice of industry” in the state of Utah, and they’ve been doing so for over 107 years now. UMA has clearly been talking Utah economy for a long time, but talking isn’t all they do. UMA is a trade association, and their goal is to enhance and improve the business climate in the state. UMA doesn’t only offer insight and expertise in the business of manufacturing, but the organization also has considerable experience in the legislative processes of state government. This is how they can do so much to vie for the interests of Utah businesses and the overall economic prosperity of the state.

UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Award embodies the mission of UMA in multiple ways. By awarding the company that not only proves innovative in their respective markets, but also offers leadership in their industry, UMA’s award encourages and rewards the same idealism by which their organization operates. Powerblanket was chosen to receive this award for 2015, based on the embodiment of these characteristics and more. In fact, why don’t we just give it to you in their own words. According to UMA, Powerblanket received the award “for their outstanding performance in operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

Powerblanket is honored to receive such accolades from a high quality establishment like UMA. The credibility of UMA and the Manufacturer of the Year Award lends a great addition to our own image and ethos as a company devoted to “operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

So, from all of us here at Powerblanket, thank you, UMA for this great privilege.

 


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Higher Temperature Powerblanket® Products Now Available

Have you been awaiting increased heating capabilities in the Poweblanket line? Well, if so, your wait is over. The new higher-temperature, Powerblanket 400 line is now available!

 

Powerblanket 400 Band HeaterWhat 400 Offers

So what makes Powerblanket 400 different from the standard line of Powerblanket products? Increased heating capabilities, that’s what. The Powerblanket® 400™ industrial heating blankets offer new high-temperature abilities for industries that need higher heat application.

Powerblanket 400 heating blankets are able to reach higher temperatures than the standard Powerblanket product line. How high, you ask? If you guessed 400° F, you’d be right. The increased heating capabilities of the Powerblanket 400 heating blanket come as a result of increased wattage and high temperature aluminum heat spreading technology. With 300 watts per square foot of surface area, these blankets deliver a lot of heat.  These blankets offer high-powered, high-temperature heating for jobs that need oven-like temperatures.

Like so many other Poweblanket models, the new Powerblanket 400 products come in both 120 volt and 240 volt models. Our Powerblanket 400 band heaters are the safe and efficient alternative to traditional silicone band heaters, and our Powerblanket 400 custom options allow for a tailored approach to your specific project.  Our proprietary blend of technology has long set us apart from our competition and has enabled us to provide the best, most even heat distribution on the market. Now, with the Powerblanket 400 product in the arsenal, we’ve added to our technological heating approach. The Powerblanket 400 series makes use of high-efficiency aluminum heat-spreading technology, creating increased heat density and a completely even distribution of heat.

But it doesn’t stop there either. These new heating blankets also include silicone-coated, 2nd generation fiberglass shells. These fiberglass shells are extremely durable and flame retardant. Where other silicon heat solutions are known to be somewhat unsafe in hazardous conditions, Powerblanket 400 heaters are as safe as all our other products. Since the silicone shells are insulated, there’s no risk of burns or flames if they’re touched by a hand or an unexpected spark. All these features have allowed us to create a solution fit for many heave duty projects, such as resin curing, welding conditioning, manufacturing processes, and much more.

 

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Methane Hydrates: A Dilemma for the Pipeline Industry

Sometimes the word methane carries with it a negative connotation, but if there’s a word or combination of words to trump it, it’s “methane hydrate,” at least if you’re in the piping industry that is. While methane hydrates can be found naturally occurring in the deep abys of the ocean bottom (and could serve as a good energy source) when it comes to gas lines, there’s nothing good to say about them.

 

Methane Hydrates

What are Methane Hydrates?

In terms of simplicity, a methane hydrate is a combination of methane gas and water. When these two combine at freezing temperatures, they form a solid methane hydrate. Interestingly enough, these crystal-like rocks form naturally at the depths of the sea. And in cases of potential energy sources, well, methane hydrates could be a thing of the future. However, when it comes to the piping industry, these rocks just plain get in the way.

 

Methane Solids in Your Pipes

In the case of the piping industry, methane hydrates can put a stop on gas flow like plaque can put a halt on blood flow in our arteries. When natural gas passes through piping equipment at temperatures near or below freezing, the buildup of condensation and the contraction of gas molecules create these gnarly solids we’ve been talking about. When these hydrates buildup in pipelines, especially at transition points like valves, manifolds, and instrumentation, they can pose a substantial risk to continued operation. In fact, they can outright stop it in its tracks.

So what’s the solution? It’s a simple one. It’s heat. Adding heat to a pipeline can keep temperatures at the ideal level and will entirely prevent the formation of methane hydrates. When adding regulated and even heat distribution to your equipment in the form valve heaters, manifold heaters, and instrumentation heaters, hydrate formation is no longer a problem. Thankfully, this is one of the major areas Powerblanket assists the piping industry with. Our valve, manifold, and instrumentation heaters offer the easiest and most efficient solutions to heat maintenance on a natural gas or liquid pipeline. So if hydrate formation is a dilemma that keeps you up at night, reach out to Powerblanket today, so you can start sleeping better.

 

Valve Heaters

Protect Your Agricultural Assets With Custom Heating Solutions

Forbes ran an article yesterday from Thomas Landstreet about the potential collapse in agricultural pricing. These estimations come at the cost of corn, pork, and beef especially. But whichever way the pendulum swings in the near future, one thing’s for certain: those in agriculture will need to safeguard their precious assets, and this could mean applying the proper custom heating solutions to help keep operating costs low.

 

The Agricultural Outlook

Protect Your Agricultural Assets With Custom Heating Solutions

According to Thomas Landstreet’s article on the matter, we should expect to experience a considerable drop in prices for the agricultural sector (that’s bad news) something Mr. Landstreet refers to as a retrenchment. So why the retrenchment, you ask? Well, according to Landstreet, there are two major factors that will contribute to the impending slide of the agricultural industry. One of them is something its faced time and time again, and that’s drought. Apparently the drought we passed through back in 2012 has created what Landstreet calls a bubble, one that he thinks will pop soon.

The second factor that is set to cause problems in the agricultural space is the ethanol mandate that allocated 40% of corn to creating an alternative fuel to petroleum. The effect of less corn going toward food supply has also contributed to the nearly bursting bubble. Whether the bubble bursts anytime soon or not, one thing is pertinent for the industry, and that is asset protection.

 

The Powerblanket® Contribution

If prices are to drop in the agricultural sector, then those involved in the industry are going to need to save on operating expenses where ever they can. Additionally, it’s going to be imperative to safeguard capital and resources. In the spirit of such, Powerblanket offers a myriad of possibilites in custom heating solutions for the agricultural space. So whether you need to keep large water tanks from freezing, propane storage at the ideal temperature, or DEF storage working in cold weather, Powerblanket has you covered.

Powerblanket custom heating solutions offer the most cost-effective and efficient heating solution on the market. With our patented approach to heating, we can ensure even heat distribution over the entire service area of application. What’s more, in case of temperature-sensitive storage maintenance, Powerblanket heating solutions actually add efficiency to the equation, such as in the case of ourpropane tank heaters. Add to this our revolutionary smart controllers and our new 3D scanningcapabilities, and Powerblanket becomes the clear choice.

 

Download Propane Spec Sheet

Powerblanket® Outperforms Heat Trace

When it comes to maintaining and protecting the precious valves and instrumentations on your pipes or pipeline, Powerblanket valve heaters and instrumentation heaters outperform the best heat trace. If that seems like a bold statement, read on to find out how and why.

Powerblanket® Outperforms Heat Trace

Heat Trace vs. Powerblanket

Heat trace, often times referred to synonymously astrace heating, is a common form of providing heat and freeze protection to pipes and pipe valves, manifolds, and instrumentation. Trace heating (TH) has been around for a long time, but the cons associated with the technology are still present today. While TH offers a great solution for long stretches of pipeline sitting above ground, it certainly has its limitations when it comes to protecting valves, actuators, and instrumentation from cold weather.

One potential downside or setback related to TH installation is the requirements that come with its use. If a company is going to install TH on their piping system, they’re going to have to hire a certified electrician to do it. This translates into more time and more money. What’s more, once it’s installed, it’s permanent, whether it gets in the way or not. And while TH works well with metal piping instruments, due to the conductive nature of the material, it doesn’t work with anything else.

Benefits of the Powerblanket Solution

TH amounts to installing heated wires to the external surface or your pipes and instrumentation, but this isn’t the best option when it comes to protecting your assets from the cold. Applied heat, and insulation are what’s needed, and TH only offers conductive heat. Powerblanket valve heaters and instrumentation heaters, on the other hand, offer the best combination of both. With Powerblanket, you can easy install, uninstall, reinstall our rugged vinyl blanket to add an insulated wrap of direct heat to keep your instrumentation at the ideal temperature, regardless of the weather.

In addition to this, Powerblanket instrumentation heaters offer the most consistent and efficient heat distribution on the market. With our patented technology and proprietary blend of materials, Powerblanket heaters provide even and regulated heat distribution throughout the entire surface area of application. What’s more, our custom approach makes our technology available to fit the biggest, smallest, or most uniquely shaped instruments around.

So whether you’re looking to protect small, large, or oddly shaped instrumentation, look no further than Powerblanket.

 

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Heat Tape—And the Better Solution

Heat tape (or heating tape, as it’s sometimes referred to) is a way you can implement low-key freeze protection for your exposed pipes during the winter. In fact, this handy technology can even be used to safeguard instrumentation and other devices that are left out in the cold. However, as savvy as this approach sounds, did you know that there is a much better solution?

 

Heat Tape—And the Better Solution 1

Heating Blankets Bolster Safety and Efficiency

Heat tape has its uses in very small applications, but in most scenarios, it can be like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone. Such a technology offers direct heat only where the tape contacts the pipe or apparatus on which it’s placed. When used on metal pipes, the heat exchange is bound to spread, merely because metal is an obvious conductor of heat. With this in mind, then, we can see another limitation in the freeze protection offered by heating tape; it can only be used on heat conductive surfaces.

Aside from this, another problem with heating tape is the simple fact that it offers only heat. Such an approach provides no insulation against the cold. Insulation on its own isn’t enough; that’s for sure. But neither is heat. Instead, the proper combination for free protection and temperature regulation is the combination of both. And this is where heating blankets come in.

 

Heat Tape—And the Better Solution 2

The Better Heating Solution

Now that we’ve sufficiently covered all the shortcomings of heating tape, we can address the characteristics of a far better solution. That far better solution is heating blankets, or heat blankets. Heat blankets are a combination of heat-distribution capabilities married with durable insulation for a myriad of industrial and commercial applications.

In the case of Poweblanket®, we offer a revolutionary and patented approach to heating blankets. Our durable vinyl shells are capable of insulating assets in temperatures as low as -50° F. What’s more,Powerblanket heating blankets offer the best and most efficient heat distribution on the market. So if you have valuable material or equipment to protect from the effects of cold weather, give us a call today.

 

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Winter Preparation: Now’s the Time

As the temperatures around the nation rise into the hundreds, cold-weather preparation may be the furthest thing from your mind. What’s more, there are plenty of warm-weather applications that Powerblanket technology is used for. But we would be completely remiss if we didn’t say enough of proper winter preparation. After all, when it comes to preparing for winter, you don’t want to be a grasshopper…

 

Winter Preparation- Now’s the Time

Aesop’s Fable: The Ant and the Grasshopper

Perhaps you’re already familiar with the old fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper from Aesop. If you’re not (and even if you are) we’ve recited it here. Below follows the most popular English renditions of the story:

“In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

‘Why not come and chat with me,’ said the Grasshopper, ‘instead of toiling and moiling in that way?’

‘I am helping to lay up food for the winter,’ said the Ant, ‘and recommend you to do the same.’

‘Why bother about winter?’ said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.’ But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came, the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew it is best to prepare for the days of necessity.”

Of course, the implications of this story can go far deeper than the need for good winter preparation. But for the sake of comparison, the story’s plot is rather poignant for the industries we serve. When cold weather does hit, it’s best to already have the systems and products you need in place to brave the effects of winter. So if you have assets to cover come late October, now’s the best time to start getting together the protection you’ll need.

 

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Product Spotlight: Pipe Heater

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Our advice to anyone considering pipe-thawing methods is this: don’t do it. It doesn’t make sense to work at solving a problem when you can prevent it from ever occurring in the first place. So instead of attempting to thaw frozen pipes, keep your pipes from ever freezing in the first place.

 

Product Spotlight- Pipe Heater

The Solution

Powerblanket® knows how inconvenient, expensive, and unsafe frozen pipes can be. That’s why, along with our valve, manifold, and instrumentation heaters, we also provide a product for that important element in between. After all, it’s just as important to keep the pipes themselves from freezing, regardless of what type of fluid you may be pumping through them. With this in mind, we’d like to introduce you to the Powerblanket® Pipe Heater, or Heated Pipe Wrap.

 

Features and Benefits

The Powerblanket® Heated Pipe Wrap harbors the same patented technology used in all Powerblanket® heating products. This technology, along with its seamless implementation into an easy-to-use and durable blanket, saves labor costs and downtime through simple and fast installation, uninstallation, and reinstallation. Protecting fluids from freezing in harsh outdoor environments is what Powerblanket® is all about, and Powerblanket® pipe heaters make this a real possibility for your pipes or pipeline.

 

Our Pipe Heaters offer:

  • Savings in labor costs and downtime through easy installation, uninstallation, and reinstallation
  • Freeze protection down to -40°F / -40°C
  • Ready-to-ship sizes, available in multiple lengths and diameters
  • Preparation of pipes for the proper curing of coatings
  • Certification to UL/CSA/CE standards

 

See all the details of the Powerblanket® pipe heater by downloading the free product spec sheet!

 

Download Spec Sheet

How to Prevent Frozen Pumps and Piping?

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How to Prevent Frozen Pumps and Piping?In the mining industry, it’s critical that slurry and other liquids are moved from point A in the pipeline to point B in the pipeline with no restrictions to flow. If freezing pipes or other restrictions happen, it is very costly and can shut the entire mining process down. Without proper preventative measures put in place, freezing pipes can and will happen.

Powerblanket® pipe heaters and warmers solve the problem of freezing pipes and eliminate costly down time.

The problem with ice building in the volute area of the pump is that it transfers to the piping. This restricts the flow and eventually shuts the line down. This results in dreaded down time, which is very expensive for mining companies.

With Powerblanket custom applications the volute area can be heated to prevent freezing. This keeps the pump and pipeline free of ice and working properly.

Advantages of Powerblanket pipe and pump heaters:

  • Easily installed and removed
  • Customizable for many sizes and shapes
  • No need for costly contractors for installation
  • Eliminates the hassle of putting on and taking off heat trace
  • Energy efficient

 

Powerblanket has effective heating solutions for most pump and pipe heating needs. Stay ahead of the cold weather and eliminate freezing pumps and pipes with an effective and energy efficient heating source.

Oilfield Service: Heating Solutions Enhance Sustainability

Trans-Alaskan Pipeline - Oilfield Service: Heating Solutions Enhance SustainabilityCold weather’s impact on industrial and construction projects has never been more evident as it’s been on oilfield applications.  The economic relevance of sustainable production makes benefits such as freeze protection and frac tank heating, the tip of the oilfield iceberg. The harshest climates and environmental conditions are not acceptable excuses or reasons for shut downs or work stoppages.

There are many responsibilities and services these companies provide.  Such services include rig transport and set-up, water transfer, and providing fluid and chemical treatment for flow enhancement. Each and every facet of the servicing process serves to benefit the production capabilities of the producing companies.

Energy production in the U.S. is at an all-time high.  In fact, the U.S. is quickly catching up to foreign production levels. From the oil sands of Alberta, Bakken, Marcellus, Anadarko, Eagle Ford and Permian;shale oil production is quickly increasing.  The use of effective heating solutions can be an important part of the cold-climate production and business strategy.  Companies tasked with the production and servicing within these plays know and understand the critical nature of maintaining production regardless of the environmental conditions.

There are several means of providing heating solutions for the application needs of these oil and gas project sites.  Some of these are:

  • Hot Oilers
  • Steam
  • Truck-Mounted Fluid Treatment
  • Chemical Additives
  • Electrical Heat Trace
  • External Cladding / Insulation

 

Here are just a few of the applications in need of freeze protection or temperature control:

  • Frac Tanks
  • Frac Pools
  • Manifolds
  • Piping Systems
  • Valves
  • Instrumentation
  • Holding / Storage Tanks
  • Propane Tanks
  • Diesel Storage / Transfer Tanks

 

As efficient as some of these heating methods are, there is always the need for custom solutions. In fact, some of the heating solutions themselves are in need of heat protecting their on-board systems.

The bottom line is there’s an essential need for heating solutions to protect everything from fluids to equipment and instrumentation. These solutions are not an expense; they’re an investment in sustainable production.

Tank Heating: Choosing the Right Solution

The Benefits of Investing in a Custom Tank Heater 2Tank heating and the general protection of tank contents is a serious business. Frac tanks, fluid heating systems, totes, vac trucks, and specialty tanks all have heating and freeze protection issues in cold climate conditions. These applications represent ongoing challenges for those whose livelihoods are dependent on the sustainable utilization of these fluids. Production and servicing operations thrive on economic efficiencies. Having a reliable and sustainable tank heating solution is just common sense. In some instances, you may use multiple heating solutions.

 

The economic impact of production delays and shut downs associated with cold weather can be devastating. This is a concern in a wide range of industries and applications such as:

  • Oil & Gas
  • Oilfield Services
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Water Transfer & Storage
  • Chemical Systems Management
  • Portable Fluids Heating Systems
  • Groundwater Remediation
  • Manifold & Pipe Freeze Protection

 

The prevention of costly delays and preservation of economic efficiencies is critical. Having access to a viable heating solution is often the answer. As mentioned earlier, having alternative heating solutions at one’s disposal is essential. Good planning during the preliminary stages of any project is always a best practice.

 

There are various means of providing heat and freeze protection. Among these are:

  • Electrical Heat Trace
  • Hydronic Systems – Glycol
  • Portable Fluid Heating Systems
  • Immersion Heaters
  • Hot Oilers
  • Steam
  • Electrically-Powered Heated Blankets and Wraps

 

When determining the right heating solution, there are a number of factors to consider.  The following are just a few of the issues that can influence the choice of a tank heating solution.

  • Environmental Conditions
  • Fluid Chemical Characteristics & Specifications
  • Logistics & Site Accessibility
  • Job Site Safety Regulations
  • Hazardous Location Certification Requirements
  • Specific Application Needs
  • Client Expectations
  • Production Schedules
  • Previously Used Methods

 

Heating solutions and technology have come a long way and will continue to make progress. It’s important to look at and evaluate the options available.  Keep in mind that specific applications may require customized solutions. Not all heating solutions have that versatility.  Do the research to determine the method that best meets your needs and expectations.  Don’t judge the solution only based on its features and cost. Consider the value of the benefits the solution provides.

How to Prevent Valves from Freezing?

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Preventing Hydrate Formation in Gas Pipeline Valves 2The best way to avoid valves from freezing is to apply a direct source of consistent heat. When pipes and valves freeze up, it can cause some down time along with additional costs for damaged valves.

Regardless of what is flowing through the pipelines, avoiding damage means to avoid freezes, especially during the times that the pipelines are not flowing. To prevent valves from freezing I recommend heating them. A safe electrical heating source is the best way to go. You need to be able to control the temperature safely and evenly to avoid damaging the pipes or the contents inside. Finding a solution with an even distribution of heat is also important to avoid hot and cold spots.  

It is also easier to find a method of freeze protection vs. finding a solution to thaw a valve that is already frozen. It takes a lot more energy to thaw a solid, than it does to warm it enough to avoid freezing. So I also recommend finding a solution and getting it installed before the cold season begins. So when searching for a solution, look for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained and installed without the costs of additional labor.

How Can I Prevent Pipes from Breaking Between Crude Oil Pumps?

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Trans-Alaskan PipelineApplying heat to your pipes will prevent your pipes from breaking when pumping crude oil. When you complete a pump and can’t clean your pipes, I recommend keeping the pipes warm to avoid build up. As you being a new pump, if there is an oil build up in the pipe, the pressure from the new pump can cause your pipes to explode.

There are four key things to remember when working with crude oil, be sure to know what oil you are working with.

  1. Crude oil can begin to solidify at ambient temperature.
  2. Some crudes can become rock hard at 60°F, while others do not.
  3. Crude oil is considered a hazardous chemical and should be handled with care.
  4. Heat is required to maintain the flow ability of the oil.

Because crude oil is considered a hazardous material and is combustible at temperatures between 230°F and 330°F. I recommend finding a safe and reliable heat source to work with that is certified for Class 1 Division 2 hazardous locations, and cannot heat over 150°F.

How Do I Prevent Frozen Pipes?

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How Do I Prevent Frozen Pipes?The best and most effective method in preventing frozen pipes is to wrap them with heating blankets. There are different methods and measures that companies and homeowners can take to prevent their pipes from freezing, but most of those methods are not cost effective or convenient.

It is critical to keep pipes warm and flowing. I understand that if pipes stop flowing due to freezing, it can be financially devastating. It can cause damage to the pipe itself, as well as the locations upstream and downstream of the frozen clog(s). I also understand the frustration and time associated with locating the frozen sections of pipe.

When companies and homeowners ask about heating methods and the cost associated with preventing pipes from freezing, I remind them of how much more costly it is to let pipes freeze. They must try to make repairs and then replace the loss of production. Consider the following:

  • Frozen pipes and frozen clogs prevent flow of fluid and performance of production
  • If pipes freeze over, it is timely and cumbersome to locate the frozen clogs and even more timely to thaw the frozen section of pipe
  • Frozen pipes can expand the pipe and in some cases break the pipe causing it to need to be replaced

When looking to keep your pipes warm and flowing, I recommend to my customers that they ask themselves the following:

  • Is the installation of the heating source safe?
  • Is the installation of the heating source quick and easy?
  • Can I install it myself or do I have to hire out an electrician for the installation?
  • Will this heating source ensure flow of my pipes and production?
  • What is an energy efficient method to maintain heat?

With electrical heating blankets, installation is easy and safe. Hiring a professional or an electrician is not needed, saving you a great amount of money. It is cost effective, not only to purchase the blanket, but also with regards to the amount of energy consumed to power the blanket.

What Do I Do to Keep My Pipes from Freezing?

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What Do I Do to Keep My Pipes from Freezing?Freezing pipes is not an issue faced every day, but for the people who are suffering from frozen or cracked pipes it becomes the only thing they are able to focus on.

Pipes are made from various materials and most will react differently to environmental conditions.Materials include:

  • Cast Iron
  • ductile iron
  • steel
  • concrete
  • pre-stressed concrete asbestos cement
  • PVC
  • non-rigid plastic
  • copper
  • galvanized steel  

Though a couple of these substances are no longer used to manufacture pipes they can likely still be found in use around the globe and most are susceptible to old man winter and his cold, harsh temperatures.

Extremely cold temperatures cause water in pipes to freeze. This causes pipes to expand and eventually burst. Regardless of the material, many pipes will become stressed in extreme conditions so it’s important to keep them protected in these conditions, especially if they are exposed. You should start to become concerned about your pipes freezing when temperatures drop below 20°F and the pipes are either outside and not insulated or if they are indoors and exposed to cold winds.

It’s not just frozen water that can cause cold temperatures to inhibit the functionality of pipes. Air flow can become a problem if temperatures fall below a certain point preventing critical ventilation for some very important machines. A nuclear power plant in the Midwest was susceptible to such a fate last winter when the possibility of cold temperatures threatened to shut down operations for several days, potentially causing the facility a loss of millions.

Fortunately there are some solutions available that can help prevent broken pipes, protect your investments, and provide peace of mind. Several types of insulating sleeves are available and covering pipes with insulation is always a good idea. There are also some products on the market that offerheated pipe warmers as solutions as well.

Keeping your investments protected is crucial. Knowing the environmental conditions and how to combat them are key to keeping your pipes safe and providing a restful nights sleep.

What Heating Solutions are Available for Hazardous Locations?

CID2Time is money in the oilfield, especially in hazardous locations. Downtime due to frozen pipes, valves, tanks and other equipment negatively affected by cold weather is extremely costly and frustrating. Large oil and gas producers can lose millions of dollars for each hour in down-time. In addition to down-time costs these companies will pay big bucks for parts and labor to get equipment up and running quickly. Fortunately, partnering with the right heat solution company that has the capability and expertise to provide heating solutions can help solve and prevent these problems.

Many areas within the oilfields are classified as a hazardous location so you will need to source heating products rated for those particular areas. The National Electric Code (NEC) defines hazardous locations as “areas where fire or explosion hazards may exist due to flammable gases or vapors, flammable liquids, combustible dust, or ignitable fibers or flyings.”  Because electrical equipment can become a potential source of ignition for these volatile areas, certain precautions must be taken to remove the risk of fire and explosions.

The code writers have broken all hazardous locations into Classes and Divisions to make it easier to understand. The most common areas in the oilfield and gas plants are Class I Division 1 and Class I Division 2.  Class I type hazard is created by the presence of flammable gases or vapors in in the air, such as natural gas or gasoline vapor. When these materials are found in the atmosphere in a sufficient concentration, a potential for explosion exists, which could be ignited if an electrical or other source of ignition is present. In addition to the location, the Code concerns itself with the kind of conditions under which these hazards are present; specifically (I) normal or (II) abnormal. In the normal condition, the hazard would be expected to be present in everyday production operations or during frequent repair and maintenance activity. Abnormal circumstances would be an accidental breakage, leakage or unusual faulty operation where the hazardous material could be exposed.  

Three factors you will want to consider when looking to partner with a heating company for hazardous location applications are:

  1. Partner with an inventive company who has custom design and engineering capability, and that can help design solutions for those unique freezing issues. Not all applications are the same and a company that is agile and flexible can be your new best friend.
  2. Partner with a company that has experience designing heating solutions in the oilfield and completely understands the need.
  3. Lastly, you will need to work with a company that is safety certified, meeting both UL and CSA standards, for hazardous locations. In oilfield hazardous locations, you must find products certified to CID2 and look for those that can handle groups A through D, as well as one with the right temperature classification.

Keeping You in Business

GreenHeat Technology – The Heating Advantage 1Powerblanket® solves your heating problems. Our patented GreenHeat technology eliminates worry and saves time by allowing you to adjust and maintain the ideal temperature for your product.

Our products are excellent for curing concrete, thawing frozen pipes, and keeping what you need at the temperature you need it.  Need custom work? Powerblanket can make a product specifically for your heating needs in as little as 14 business days.

Business owners and homeowners alike have benefitted from using Powerblanket products in a wide variety of conditions for numerous purposes.

Erik Kramer, CEO of Kramer & Son Roofing and Sheet Metal used Powerblanket products to make his business more profitable:

We rely on the Powerblanket products to keep our company and men working…Before using them we had no choice but to shut the jobs down for months. As you can image, this affects all aspects of our business. The Powerblanket flat blankets [insert link to landing page] allow us to keep our operation up and running year round….

Don’t let your productivity or convenience be limited by seasonal weather. Let Powerblanket help you control your surroundings.

 

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4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes

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4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes

Cold bites. And, nothing bites worse than frozen pipes. So, if you’re sick of trying to torch your pipes to get them flowing, I’ve got some ideas for you.

The first time frozen pipes hit me was when I was young and dumb. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to be dumb, but sometimes stupid happens.

My wife and I were in our first home in the Salt Lake area and we left during the Christmas break to visit her family in the Midwest. We were gone for a little over a week. As luck would have it, Salt Lake hit a cold snap while we were gone, and as dumb would have it, I wasn’t prepared.

When we got home, I found the sure sign of disaster…peeling paint and water stained sheetrock. In other words – a burst pipe. After a few choice words about my own mental incapacity, I plowed right in to fixing it. I hated every minute of it.

So, here are my 4 tips to beat frozen pipes:

  1. Regular Use
  2. Let the Water Run
  3. Insulate
  4. Pipe Heater
  5. Regular Use

Running water has a harder time freezing than stationary water. (I know, that’s a real shocker, hugh?) However, flowing water can still freeze if the temperature drops too low—just like with a flowing river. Regular use will also tell you when an ice block is forming, because water flow will be restricted or cut off.

  1. Let the Water Run

If you’re vacationing and are smarter than I am, you should be concerned about pipes at home freezing. You can simply leave one or two faucets on to a slow drip. You’ll pay more for your water bill, but unlike me, you’ll save a lot more on the repair bill. Pipes freeze because the pressure between the freezing water and the faucet grows too great. A slow drip solves the problem by relieving the pressure. Thus, even if a pipe freezes, the ice will have room to expand and won’t break the pipe.

  1. Insulate

Most homes in the colder regions are designed so that water pipes are kept inside the insulation of the home to keep them from freezing. But, if your home has poor insulation like mine, you may add a layer of insulation just for the pipe. Local hardware stores carry this kind of insulation and they are easy to install. These strips typically come in long sections that can be cut to fit the pipes. Older homes that already have insulated pipes can be updated with newer, more effective insulation.

  1. Pipe Heater

Pipe warmers wrap around a pipe and use electricity.. so the water is never cold enough to freeze. Pipe warmers are excellent for keeping exposed pipes from freezing in areas that are very cold for long periods of time. In extreme cold temperatures where other preventative measures fail, a pipe warmer will ensure the water never freezes. Pipe warmers are also ideal for industrial situations where large volumes of mission-critical liquid are at risk of freezing. The initial investment of purchasing a pipe warmer is miniscule compared to the savings and efficiency that comes from keeping an operation running in all weather conditions.

Question: How do you keep your pipes from freezing? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

How Powerblanket Technology Works

How Powerblanket Technology WorksPowerblanket® uses heated blankets to keep keep industrial materials within spec, help concrete cure in less time, thaw frozen ground quickly, and much more. Most heating solutions are riddled with hot and cold spots that waste energy and can put your project at risk. What makes us different is that we use our patented GreenHeat® technology to spread heat evenly throughout the surface of the heating products. This eliminates hot and cold spots, conserving energy and ensuring your temperature specific product is kept to spec. To help show why our heating products work so much better than our competitors, we broke everything down to a simple graphic.

Click to view the full-size image:

 

Thaw Pipes

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Thaw Pipes 1Over half the U.S. population deals with the threat of frozen water pipes each winter season.  The costs associated with frozen and broken water lines is enormous, not to the mention the nightmare caused by water damage.  While an ounce of prevention might be worth a pound of cure, methods for preventing frozen pipes previously have been costly and ineffective at best.  Until recently, best methods to thaw pipes included heat trace, insulation, or expensive high wattage heaters which simply aren’t practical.

 

A new product has been developed that makes good on the “ounce of prevention” mentality that is both cost effective and highly efficient.  Freeze prevention & pipe thawing can now be achieved with the “all-in-one” pipe wrap heating solution from the creators of the Powerblanket® heated pipe wraps.

Powerblanket pipe wraps provide maximum freeze protection for a wide variety of applications. Heating, insulating, and protecting fluids from harsh outdoor environments is their specialty.  Available in multiple lengths and diameters to fit any size section.

 

Thaw Pipes 2

The Powerblanket pipe wrap’s innovative “all-in-one” product design substantially reduces installation time, eliminates the need for multiple product procurement, and significantly reduces labor costs. The end result is an efficient, cost-effective heating solution with unlimited possibilities. Installing pipe wraps on long sections of pipe will maintain flowability and maximize production even in harsh winter conditions.

  • Maximum freeze protection to -40F / -40C
  • Engineered to maintain flow and pumpability
  • Reduce downtime and increase profitability
  • Easy to install, uninstall, and reinstall
  • Rapid thawing for frozen or gelled pipes
  • Certified to UL/CSA safety standards

 

Thaw Pipes 3

 

 

Powerblanket® Introduces Heated Pipe Wraps To Provide Freeze Protection and Rapid Thawing

Powerblanket® Introduces Heated Pipe Wraps To Provide Freeze Protection and Rapid ThawingSALT LAKE CITY — Featuring patented GreenHeat® Technology and able to fit nearly any size pipe,Powerblanket’s® new Pipe Wraps provide an environmentally friendly heating solution for freeze protection and rapid thawing of pipelines in oilfields, water treatment plants, paper mills, mining operations and other industrial applications. These lightweight wraps can be used to heat pipes, manifolds, pumps, hoses and other temperature-sensitive equipment.

Powerblanket’ s® innovative “ all-in-one” product design substantially reduces installation time, eliminates the need for multiple product procurement, and significantly reduces labor costs. The end result is an efficient, cost-effective heating solution with unlimited possibilities. Installing Pipe Wraps on long sections of pipe will maintain flowability and maximize production even in harsh winter conditions.

The new Pipe Wraps can be provided in sizes ranging from 2.5 centimeters to 2 meters (1 to 78 inches) in diameter to accommodate a variety of pipe sizes. The wraps are equipped with adjustable straps that ensure a secure fit to maximize heating performance. Powerblanket® wraps feature GreenHeat® Technology, a revolutionary heat spreading system that uses aerospace heating designs to deliver a highly efficient and uniform distribution of heat while only consuming low levels of energy.

Powerblanket® Pipe Wraps consist of heat trace, heat-spreading carbon fiber material, an insulation barrier and an outer vinyl shell — all in one package — allowing for fast and simple installation. By contrast, traditional heating processes involve labor-intensive installation of similar separately procured components, configurations that force heat into long sections of tents, or glycol — each of which are time-consuming, expensive and have potentially destructive environmental impacts.

Certified to all applicable UL and CSA safety standards, Powerblanket® Pipe Wraps are powered by regular 120V electricity and are safe to use on metal or plastic pipes and hoses. The wraps are also UV stabilized and are wind and water resistant, allowing flow within piping to continue even in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit).

Powerblanket® provides superior heating solutions for a multitude of applications, including ground thawing, concrete curing, industrial and manufacturing temperature control, oil field services and many more. For more information, contact Powerblanket®, 1997 South 5070 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84104, call 877-642-5240 in the U.S. or 403-262-5770 in Canada, fax 801-601-2222, send an e-mail to[email protected], or visit the company’ s website at https://www.powerblanket.com.