Millennials and Tiny House Living: Minimal-lennials

Today’s 20-somethings are doing more than Netflix-and-chilling, they’re moving out of their folks’ places and living in tiny houses. There are several reasons why living in these little dwellings appeal to the Y Generation (and everyone else!). Read on for just a few.

Off the Grid

FBI Agent assigned to computer meme drinking coffee millennialsPost-9/11 Millennials came of age while America was at war, along with the biggest recession since the Great Depression. These factors, in addition to data breaches and revelation about government surveillance of citizens, has severely damaged young people’s trust in the government (although the same has sparked countless memes). With propane tanks and composting toilets, tiny homes make it possible for Millennials to go off grid and spend their time incognito. Rick Yanh, a venture capitalist, told Business Insider, “I think coming out of [the financial crisis], millennials have a massive distrust of existing financial services.” Tiny homes appeal to the concerns they’ve developed from the political and economical climate they grew up in.

From Mobile Phones to Mobile Homes

“Millennials don’t want to be tied down,” said Megan Smyth, CEO of FitReserve, an exercise boutique that doesn’t require a membership to take classes. “It’s a spontaneous demographic.” While they still spend money like older generations, it is more experience driven, going towards food, traveling, etc. Tiny homes are perfect for wanderlusty millennials who want to go wherever the insta-wind takes them. According to Jeff Fromm from Forbes, millennials “might not need the same space, permanence, and practicality” most Americans want from their housing. This is apparent as tiny homes trend with young folks. Most tiny home owners set their homes on a trailer frame to haul.

Flexibility: “Weird Flex But Okay”

With a rise in bean bag chair corporations and coffee shop offices (coffices?), it is clear that millennials are loosening things up in corporate America. People can use tiny homes as home offices, in addition to homes for returning adult children. Though millennials have a reputation for being lazy, Psychologist Brenda Bauer, Psy.D. from Psychology Today says, “they work hard and feel strongly about wanting their work to be meaningful in ways that older generations typically do not insist upon.” With minimal ‘stuff’ to distract, people living in tiny houses can find more time and resources to focus on their work, aspirations, and hobbies.

Tiny House Infographic

Less House, Less Work

Minimalism allows time for what people really care about. At an average of 12 times less space than your typical home, it’s no wonder tiny houses require less maintenance. It probably gets dirtier quicker, but it’s also faster to clean up, and isn’t an issue if you’re fairly tidy. Heating and cooling in tiny houses, water, electrical, and waste are self-sustaining. Propane tanks and composting toilets virtually take care of themselves. With a tiny house gas heater or propane heating blanket in winter conditions, you have extra time, as well as security that everything will work the way it should when it gets cold outside.


Pinching Pennies and Self Sufficiency

Student Loans Debt Leonardo Dicaprio Meme Toasting millennialsMillennials drive the new movement of ethical consumerism. They aim for social and fiscal responsibility, set in motion from growing up in a recession and national debt crisis. College debt is at an all time high at $1.5 trillion dollars, which has seriously damaged confidence in governmental institutions. Luckily however, 68% of tiny home owners have no mortgage, 65% have no credit card debt, and the average cost of a tiny house is much lower than the average home (around $23,000 USD).

Little Foot, Bigfoot, Carbon Footprint  

Reluctance to hinder global climate change by both the government and private sector frustrates many millennials. They see it as an astronomical problem being brushed under the proverbial rug for them to deal with. Many tiny homes use solar panels or propane, which is one of the cleanest burning fuels available. Winter conditions, though problematic to some, are easily solved with propane heating blankets. This ensures an efficient, safe, and warm winter! As previously mentioned, millennials have a deep desire to make a difference in the world. According to the author of “Fast Future,” David Burstein, millennials recognize that the difference they make might need to stem from innovation and creating new institutions within existing structures.

For some, these structures are literal: tiny homes.


-Taylor, Kate. “‘Psychologically Scarred’ Millennials Are Killing Countless Industries from Napkins to Applebee’s – Here Are the Businesses They like the Least.” Business Insider. October 31, 2017. Accessed November 01, 2018.

-“Tiny House Infographic.” The Tiny Life. January 12, 2018. Accessed November 01, 2018.

-“Tiny House Statistics.” Restoring Simple. Accessed November 01, 2018.

-“Why Do Millennials Get a Bad Rap?” Psychology Today. Accessed November 01, 2018.

How Can I Prevent My Propane Tank from Freezing?

Propane tanks will freeze up when the ambient temperature drops below -44°F. This is because propane has a boiling point of -44°F. If the temperature is not greater than -45°F, your propane will not vaporize, and your tank will freeze. However, as the temperatures drop, and the volume of propane in your tank drops, as will your pressure. If you do not have a heating source, it is important to keep your propane tank as full as possible at all times, to avoid freezing.

Pressure RatesPropane tank temperature efficiency

Another situation that can cause a propane tank to freeze up is pressure rate. Drawing more pressure than your tank is designed for, or pulling large amounts of pressure in a short amount of time will result in freezing.

Keep It Full by Keeping It Warm

You can prevent your tank from freezing by keeping it full, which means filling your tank more often. This option may be expensive and annoying.  Or, you can look into heating systems. When researching ways to heat propane, safety is key. Try to find a heating method with safe heat, such as a heating blanket, or an insulated blanket, depending upon the amount of pressure needed. It is important to know how many watts are necessary to obtain the PSI levels desired or required.  If it is not possible to calculate this yourself, you will want to look for a solution that can provide that information for you before you make the investment.  Look for a heating solution that offers consistent heat and complete coverage.

Remember This

  • If possible, protect your tank from the elements
  • When the temperature drops, the pressure drops
  • The molecules in propane move rapidly as temperatures increase and slow down as temperatures decrease
  • Maintain a desirable tank pressure and avoid freezing with a heating source

No Open Flames

It is always important to remember when searching for a solution, to avoid open flames. Do not, under any circumstances, warm your propane tank with an open flame.  Propane is a highly flammable gas and heating it can be extremely dangerous. Also avoid products that are not temperature controlled, overheating a propane tank can cause the pressure valve to blow, which will create a leak in your tank.

Freezing Temperature Solutions

Cold weather often has adverse effects on equipment and materials, especially when the job requires everything to go smoothly. Without an effective solution to these freezing temperature problems, projects stop, time and money are lost, and jobs suffer. Powerblanket is driven to provide the best heating and cooling solutions no matter the industry or project.

Powerblanket drum and barrel heaters keep materials viscous.  Powerblanket concrete curing blankets ensure that the pouring season will go well into winter, preventing improper curing. And Powerblanket heated propane wraps and blankets maximize the efficiency and longevity of your resources. Our goal is to provide total temperature control for every process and every project, enabling you to do what you do best, regardless of the temperature outside.

Need to protect your propane tank from freezing? Give us a call and talk to a Powerblanket heating expert today. 888-316-6324, or visit our Propane Tank Heater page HERE.


Learn more about how to care for your propane tanks with our complete propane guide or get more information on our propane tank heaters:

Get the Propane Guide

Propane Tank Heater Spec Sheet Download Now

Keep Propane Tanks from Freezing with a Propane Tank Heater

If you rely on propane for year-round operations, then you already know what a headache winter weather can be. If you have a cold propane tank as a result of dropping temperatures, you’re going to lose a lot of efficiency. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to keeping your propane tank from freezing, and the solution is something some refer to as a propane tank blanket.


thousand gallon propane tank

Propane Performs Best Under Heat

Did you know that propane can freeze up completely if the ambient temperature drops below -44° F? Granted, -44° F is pretty darn cold, but in terms of gases, it’s a rather high freezing point. As cold as this temperature is in general terms, there are regions North America that experience extremes within this range and even lower, and if you operate a propane tank under these conditions without freeze protection, catastrophe is inevitable.

Worst-case scenario aside, propane tank efficiency will fall substantially as the temperature drops, even if it never plummets as low as -44° F. As the temperature drops, so does the pressure in your propane tank, and the pressure in your propane tank coincides with the volume of propane you have to work with. As pressure drops, not only will the volume of your propane deplete, but your extraction rate (how quickly and smoothly you can extract propane from the tank) will suffer as well. If you don’t have a heating source to assist in the pressure maintenance of your tank, then you’re going to have to keep it as full as possible in order to keep it working, even if temperatures are mildly cold.


Keep Propane Tanks from Freezing with a Propane Tank Heater

More On Propane Extraction or Pressure Rate

Cold weather is the most common dilemma facing propane tank failure, but it isn’t the only one. Another cause of propane tank freezing has to do with the rate of extraction, or the pressure rate. If you’re drawing out a substantial amount of propane from your tank in a short amount of time, then you could cause the tank to freeze and ice up. This is assuming, of course, that you don’t have a heat source to assist with the problem.

Filling your propane tank more often isn’t going to solve a problem like this. And to be quite frank, it’s only a Band-Aid for cold weather dilemmas as well. No, the only real solution to both problems mentioned here is to keep your tank at the ideal temperature, regardless of outside forces. The safest, most efficient way to do this is to employ an external heating system that both insulates your tank and adds regulated and controlled heat to the exterior service.

In the case of heating propane, SAFETY IS MOST IMPORTANT. Propane, as we’re sure you know, is a highly flammable gas, so using any old make-shift solution isn’t safe. On the other hand, using a heating solution design specifically for the process, one that is certified and pronounced safe by reputable, third-party testing laboratories is the only way to go. With that said, let us introduce you to the Powerblanket® Propane Tank Heater.


Propane Tank Heater

Powerblanket® Propane Tank Heater

Powerblanket has the best propane tank heating solution on the market. And we aren’t just saying that because we are Powerblanket. No, we’re saying it because we know of no other company that puts more thought, time, and testing into such a product offering.  Our heating blankets will help maintain pressure and efficiency on just about any size tank.

What’s more, if your tank isn’t the common propane unit, well, that’s no problem. Our custom approach to heating solutions can tailor a blanket to fit your specific dimensions and needs. In addition to this, and most importantly, our product is safe! All Powerblanket heating blankets are certified with ETL certification to the highest standards of safety and efficiency.

Keep Propane Tanks from Freezing

Benefits of Powerblanket Propane Tank Heaters:

  • Increase performance and efficiency of propane tanks
  • Provide even heat distribution
  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Safety certified by UL/CSA/CE
  • Eliminates unnecessary cylinder refills in cold weather



Learn more about how to care for your propane tanks with our complete propane guide:

Propane Tank Guide

Propane Tank Sizes

Our Remodel Story

We purchased a house in 2015 with the intention of doing a full remodel.  We had never done this before, but armed with ideas and a great contractor, we started on January 4, 2016.  That time of year is an awesome time to remodel because subs are looking for work and the project, if planned well, will move quickly.  That time of year is not-so-awesome if you are living in the remodel, which we were.  The contractors demoed the kitchen on January 4 and I did not have a place to cook again until early March.  I didn’t think this would be that big of an obstacle because I am creative, and I had a barbecue–I planned to grill all winter.

Little did I know, propane freezes, and this winter would be one of the coldest on record for Utah.  Needless to say, my winter grilling plan did not work and we ate out a lot.  I wish I had known more about propane and about Powerblanket propane tank heaters.

Propane Tanks Can Freeze

Propane tanks can freeze while in use. The colder it is outside, the lower the pressure will be in your tank; conversely, the higher the temperature, the higher the pressure. The liquid propane volume is directly related to its temperature.  When the ambient temperature is very cold, especially below zero temperatures, there may not be enough pressure in your tank to keep your system/appliance working properly. There is not enough heat to keep the molecules active, and the faster the molecules are moving, the higher the tank pressure.

Propane Tank Sizes

Propane tanks sizes vary by need and application.  Consult the chart below for the propane tank size you need.

Propane Tank Sizes Chart

Powerblanket Propane Tank Warmers

Powerblanket propane tank warmers heat the entire tank by blanketing it in warmth. Our superior heating solution increases propane tank efficiency and reduces costs by optimizing temperatures. Powerblanket has the best propane tank warmers on the market. Increase propane tank pressure with even heat distribution

  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Eliminate unnecessary tank refills because of cold weather
  • Insulated full-wrap design

Learn More Here

Propane Tank Warmers Optimize Performance

Propane Tank WarmersPropane tank warmer

The efficiency of your propane tank is based upon the temperature of the gas within.  Optimize output and performance with propane tank warmers.

Can Propane Freeze?

When the ambient temperature drops below -44° F, propane will freeze.  Below this temperature propane will not vaporize and your tank will freeze.  While there are not a lot of places where temperatures drop this low, any considerable drop in temperature will affect the propane tank pressure.   

When the ambient temperature is lower, an optimal tank pressure may be very difficult to maintain.  Propane tank pressure is based on the speed at which the gas molecules move–the faster the molecules are moving, the higher the pressure within.  Cooler/colder temperatures mean slower moving molecules, which prevent propane from vaporizing.  Bringing the propane tank/system up to a temperature above the cooler existing ambient temperature will result in increased propane tank pressure, flow and efficiency.

Propane Tank Warmers

Powerblanket propane tank warmers provide a uniform barrier of heat across the entire tank. Our superior heating solution reduces costs by optimizing temperatures and increasing propane tank efficiency. Powerblanket has the best propane tank warmers on the market. Overcome the effects of cold weather and cooler temperatures and maintain propane tank pressure and efficiency.

  • Increase propane tank pressure with even heat distribution
  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Eliminate unnecessary tank refills because of cold weather
  • Insulated full-wrap design

Learn More

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

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.


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



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



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



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



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



Custom Heaters and Heat Solutions


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


Custom Tank Heaters: The Perfect Approach to Heating Solutions

custom tank heatersIt would be absolutely ridiculous to assume that all tanks come in the same shapes and sizes, whether they hold water, gas, chemicals, or some other matter. We all know that this simply isn’t the case. While there are certainly standard measurements for specialty gas tanks, water tanks, and others, the range of variance between size, construction, and purpose is vast enough that there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for tank protection. That’s why Powerblanket® Custom Tank Heaters are the perfect approach to the need for a heating solution.


Customized for Your Tanks and Needs

Regardless of the size of your tank, the purpose it serves, or its shape, Powerblanket can help you protect it against cold weather and keep it running at the ideal temperature year round. Our custom approach to providing tailored heating solutions to a myriad of industries and applications has allowed hundreds of customers to protect their precious assets from the ravages of cold weather.

In addition to freeze protection, our custom tank heaters enable increased efficiency in gas and other kinds of tanks. Anywhere flow rates and extraction rates are affected by temperature, Powerblanket custom tank heaters can ensure the flow of liquids and extraction of gas is always at its best. Take, for example, the nature of a gas such as propane.

When gases are stored in tanks, they are stored under considerable pressure. Due to this fact, they reside in the tank in both a liquid and gaseous state. Extracting a gas means you must evaporate some of the liquid and that evaporation process requires an input of heat energy. If the gas extraction rate is fast enough, it could cause the tank to frost up and the extraction to be impeded. However, with a custom Powerblanket propane tank heater you can keep the extraction flowing fast and full, without the side effect of frosting or icing.

What’s more, whether a tank holds gas or liquid, freezing temperatures pose big problems. Using a custom tank heater allows you to fully insulate and heat your tank to whatever temperature is best, regardless of the surrounding climate.


custom Powerblanket tank heater wrapped around a large tankGetting a custom tank heater from Powerblanket is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Contact us with the details of your application.
  2. We’ll design a custom tank heater for your application, based on your information and feedback.
  3. We’ll build your custom solution and ship it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)


In the end, there’s no reason to leave your tank out in the cold. Powerblanket can cover it and keep it safe and functioning well through the most inclement weather.



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.


Propane Tanks and How to Care for Them

Whether you’re a homeowner who relies on propane for heating, or a business leader who uses if for industrial purposes, propane is a versatile and important commodity. However, as helpful as propane is to us, we often overlook the need of caring for our propane tanks year round.


Propane_Tanks_GuideCaring for Your Propane: Tank and All

When it comes to caring for your propane storage, it’s imperative that you have a working knowledge of your tank and all the potential threats that could impede its proper functionality. Understanding the warning signs of a damaged or inefficient tank is important, not only for reasons of economical operation, but for the safety of all involved.

Several factors play into the safe and efficient operation of any size propane tank. These factors include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Shutting off valves when the tank is not in use
  • Keeping reserve tanks at a minimum
  • Not leaving portable propane tanks inside a vehicle
  • Securing portable tanks properly
  • Replacing weathered and/or worn canisters

Knowing how to properly manage all these aspects of propane storage and usage is very important. But there are many other factors to consider, too. Matters such as storage, setup, protection, government regulations, and the warning signs of hazardous circumstances are equally important. For more information on how to care for your propane and the tank in which you keep it. Access our free e-book below.

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.


Brent Reddekopp  receiving UMA Award for PowerblanketUMA 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.


Powerblanket® Specialty Gas Cylinder Heaters and Semiconductor Manufacturing

Powerblanket Specialty Gas Cylinder Heaters for Semiconductor Manufacturing


It’s important for everything to be precise with the semiconductor manufacturing process. Contamination, temperature variance, and other variables can ruin the process. Powerblanket® products can play a vital role in maintaining specialty gas flow rates during semiconductor manufacturing.

Semiconductor Manufacturers Must Keep Gases Flowing Consistently by Maintaining Gas Temperature in Delivery Systems

Each semiconductor manufacturer has its own precise processes and carefully controlled conditions for producing semiconductors.  Many of these processes involve heating specialty gases to a precise temperature and maintaining the gas delivery system temperature throughout the operation. If the temperature of the specialty gas were to drop by as little as two degrees, the entire manufacturing process could be compromised.

While temperature isn’t the only factor, gas flow rates, are heavily dependent on temperature. Maintaining the temperature in the gas delivery system at the precise degree allows for consistent flow rates and uncompromised accuracy and consistency.

How Do Powerblanket Gas Cylinder Heating Products Help to Maintain Specialty Gas Flow Rates?

When it comes to the semiconductor manufacturing industry, Powerblanket products have a lot to offer.  Our specialty gas cylinder heaters and specialty gas tank heaters allow for precise and consistent temperature control. When paired with a temperature controller, Powerblanket specialty gas cylinder heaters can keep any gas, at the proper temperature for as long as needed.

A Short Case Study on Powerblanket and Gas Flow Rate Maintenance during the Semiconductor Manufacturing Process

A large semiconductor manufacturing company was searching for new products to improve their semiconductor manufacturing process. They needed to maintain their gas flow more precisely, and their existing solution (silicone heaters) was not consistent enough.

Powerblanket designed a specialty gas heating product that maintained the precise temperature and flow rate for hydrocarbon gases that the company was looking for.

The Company’s management team later mentioned that they were against the idea of switching to the Powerblanket specialty gas heating solution when it was proposed to them. 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”

Applications for Powerblanket Specialty Gas Heating Products

  • Heating hydrocarbon gas safely
  • Heat argon
  • Heat ammonia
  • Heat carbon dioxide
  • Heat hydrogen chloride
  • Heat chlorine
  • Heat oxygen
  • Heat helium
  • Heat hydrogen
  • Heat hydrogen bromide
  • Heat nitrogen Trifluoride
  • heat propylene
  • and many more specialty gases….

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…

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: Propane Tank Heater

Winter weather amounts to dropping temperatures, and when the temperature drops, it affects more than just our willingness to go outside. It affects the products we use and store outdoors or in cold warehouses. One of the products commonly left to brave the weather on its own is propane. And when propane is left in the cold, it doesn’t work so well.


Propane particle

Cold Weather’s Strain on Propane

Have you ever stopped to think about how cold weather affects your propane tanks? If you store them outside perhaps you’ve been concerned about why they perform less efficiently. Even if you store them inside, if the ambient air around them is too cold, it will still cause a decrease in efficiency and performance.

The reason for this is illustrated in the picture below. It’s a simple matter of science. Think back to the physics classes you had in school. Do you remember what happens to liquids and gas when they get cold? (Water is the only exception we know of.) That’s right; they contract. And when propane contracts in your tank, it’s not a good thing. When the gas in your tank is at a nice toasty-warm level, the molecules that form the gas spread apart, increasing pressure and enabling your tank to push that pressurized gas out with efficient force and frequency. However, when the tank drops in temperature, those same molecules move closer together and drastically decrease tank pressure—in turn decreasing the performance of your tank. So what do you do to solve this problem? Well, you either keep your propane in a room that’s extremely hot year round, or else you go with the far more economical and sensible option.


Propane Tank Heater

Powerblanket® Propane Tank Heaters

The Powerblanket® Propane Tank Heater offer a simple, economical, and highly efficient means for keeping your propane tanks from losing valuable pressure. Powerblanket simply has the best propane-tank-heating solution on the market. Our blankets enable you to maintain pressure and efficiency for almost any size and shape of propane tank. So don’t deal with unnecessary refills on your tanks during the winter. Get Powerblanket® Propane Tank Heaters, and let Mother Nature do her worst.


Powerblanket® Propane Tank Heater FeaturesVarious Sized Propane Tank Heaters

  • Increases performance and efficiency of propane tanks
  • Provides even heat distribution
  • Saves money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Safety certified by UL/CSA/CE
  • Eliminates unnecessary cylinder refills in cold weather



Heating Up the Railroad Industry

Dropping temperatures can slow projects of all kinds. Many industries experience considerable lows during the winter months, but the railroad industry is one that must continue the same productivity year round—regardless of weather, and Powerblanket® helps them to do so.


train yard in the snow

The Impact of the Railroad—The Impact of Powerblanket®

The railroad is an important industry for the American economy (and for many economies worldwide). When you consider how much freight passes through locomotives every year, you can account for a significant amount of the goods and supplies that many companies produce and utilize. With an impact like this in mind, Powerblanket® produces customized solutions designed to assist railroad companies in protecting their resources and ensuring operational continuity, which in turn will help with the economic influence for all involved.

Cold weather can stop many different types of fair-weather operations, but the railroad isn’t one of them; too much is at stake. Yet, despite the continuity demanded of our railways, cold temperatures can drastically affect the materials the railroad relies upon to keep their trains moving. Powerblanket® patented technology assists railroad businesses in protecting their valuable assets by applying an even, consistent, and energy-efficient distribution of heat to whatever resource needs to be protected against the ravages of cold weather.  Here are a number of areas in which we assist:

Cas cylinder warmers

  • Signal & Communication Equipment
  • Propane Tanks
  • Temperature-Sensitive Products, Lubricants, Fluids
  • Maintenance of Way
  • General Construction
  • Wayside Detector Systems
  • Scanners
  • Hot Box (HBD) & Dragging Equipment Detectors (DED)
  • Railcar Heating
  • Snow / Ice Melting ~ Thawing
  • Sustainable Operations, and much more!



A Note on Propane

Rail switches don’t like cold weather, and a railroad is only as good as its weakest switch. If it gets cold enough, and especially if there’s plenty of snow on the tracks, these switch points will freeze and their movement will be impaired. The solution to this comes by heating this switch points with propane. Due to its usefulness in this process, propane becomes a precious commodity during winter weather.

However, with as precious as propane is to the railroad, the tanks are often left out in the cold, stored onsite, next to the switches. If left out to endure the cold long enough, low temperatures can cause the tank to lose pressure, at which point, propane depletion becomes inevitable. But Powerblanket solves this problem with our Propane Tank Heater—a revolutionary product that uses patented technology to deliver a uniform barrier of warmth over the entire service area. With this solution, railroad companies protect their switches and the propane stores that keep them heated when it’s needed.


Protecting Your Propane for Switch Heating


Have you ever noticed large propane tanks next to railroad tracks? If you work in the railroad industry you probably have, and you know that they are used to power track switches and track heaters.

Rail Switches and Winter Weather

When the needle drops during the winter months, it doesn’t have much of an effect on trains. They keep moving along day after day, rain or shine, snow, sleet, or hail—cold or warm weather. In fact, it doesn’t pose much of a problem to the majority of the railroad itself either. However, there is one place where it does have a considerable effect.

Switches don’t like cold weather, and a railroad is only as good as its weakest switch. Switches are those transition points in a track that determine the direction a train will take. If it gets cold enough, and especially if there’s plenty of snow to cover the track, these switch points will freeze and their movement will be impaired.


The Solution is a Hot One

The industry standard for dealing with this problem is to heat the switch points in order to keep them from freezing. There are two ways to do this, either electronically or by using propane. Far more often than not, the railroad uses propane applicators to heat the track.

However, while the track switches are undergoing their propane-induced thawing process, the onsite propane tanks are left out in the cold. When left out to endure the cold long enough, low temperatures will cause the tank to lose pressure and become useless. That’s why Powerblanket created the Propane Tank Heater—a revolutionary product that uses patented technology to deliver uniform barrier of warmth over the entire service area. Now the railroad can protect its switches and the propane stores that keep them heated when it’s needed.

See how well the Propane Tank Heater works for yourself by downloading the white paper!




How To Prevent Propane Pressure Loss Through the Winter Months

When working with propane in the winter months, it’s important to maintain tank pressure.  Cold weather can can be devastating to a depleting propane tank. This is because pressure is maximized by fluid levels and temperature. This means the tank needs to be close to full or the temperature needs to be warm. When one or both decrease, so does the pressure of your propane. There are ways of heating the tank that can prevent the pressure from dropping.

Here are a few traditional ways people maintain propane tank pressure:

  1. Hot water

  2. Submerge the tank in water and put a boiler underneath it

  3. Blow torches

  4. Space Heater

  5. Insulated wrap

  6. Propane Tank Heating blanket


Most of these methods are really dangerous with an extreme risk of fires or explosions. Propane is a flammable gas and should never be heated with open flames or an uncontrollable heating source. Whatever method you choose to heat your propane tank, safety should be a top priority.


Effectiveness should also be a deciding factor.  I recommend using a safe, temperature controlled heating blanket. Powerblanket propane tank heating blankets are the safest and most effective way of maintaining propane pressure during cold winter months.  With an insulated heating blanket you have the ability to control the temperature and pressure of the propane tank safely and easily.  You can plug the blanket in and walk away from it knowing that  your propane tank, your house or your job site are all safe and functioning.


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Powerblanket Addresses Problems With Propane Tanks In Cold Weather

Powerblanket, propane tank heating blankets provide the combined benefits of heat energy generation, heat retention, insulation and even distribution.

Among the innovative products featured by Powerblanket are its propane tank heating systems. When it comes to the use of propane to operate equipment during cold weather one needs to be prepared to address a number of challenges. Some of these challenges are:

  • Low tank pressure
  • Reduced tank vaporization capability
  • Restricted heat transfer
  • Frost build up on tank from moisture/precipitation
  • Freezing equipment

As one would imagine these challenges are compounded by the fact that during extreme cold conditions the demand is typically at its peak. Being aware of the challenges that affect propane tank performance allows you to take the necessary precautions to ensure optimum performance and reduce downtime or project delays. Powerblanket propane tank heating blankets are an ideal solution to problems caused by extreme environmental conditions.

While it may be physically impossible to replace the lost heat energy in the atmosphere itself, it is possible to provide heat to the tank or vessel to minimize the loss of pressure within the tank. This in turn can improve the vaporization rate and thus the efficiency factor. This becomes more important when using tanks of greater size and capacity. It’s been proven that only the portion of the tank that comes in direct contact with the liquid has the capacity to transfer heat. That can be quite costly, as it results in having to keep the propane levels almost full most of all the time. Unless you’re able to control moisture and thus frost build up on the exterior of the tank. Using Powerblanket propane tank heaters results in a cost-savings benefit that minimizes tank fills while improving propane utilization.

Propane tanks can come in various sizes and configurations. For this reason Powerblanket not only offers heating solutions for standard sized propane tanks but also the ability to produce custom heaters for propane tanks of any size. When your cold weather applications require innovate heating solutions for propane tanks, think of Powerblanket.

Oilfield Service: Heating Solutions Enhance Sustainability

Trans-Alaskan PipelineCold 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
  • Electrically Powered Heat Spreading Technology / Blanketed Systems


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.

Frac Water Heaters – Increase Productivity And Revenue During Cold Weather

Frac Water HeatersFrac water heaters are a necessary part of the hydraulic fracturing process. It is imperative to heat frac water before it is pumped into the well for the following three reasons.

  1. Warm water is required for pumping during freezing weather conditions
  2. Linear or crossed-link gel frac fluids require specific temperatures
  3. Tubular contraction issues require heating to minimize the possibilities of casing failures


Like all propane units, when temperatures and fluid levels drop, so does pressure. Because propane is the source running the frac water heater, it is extremely important to maintain pressure. Heating one or multiple frac tanks can be a time consuming job, especially in cold weather. One solution to maintain pressure is to heat the propane tank on the frac water heater. Maintaining a consistent temperature on your propane tank will provide the following four benefits:


  1. Avoid down time
  2. Complete your daily jobs without having to shutdown to fill your tank
  3. Complete a heating job in a timely manner with fewer trucks
  4. Increase your revenue per job


There are only a few ways to heat large propane tanks. Most companies that heat frac water, use similar methods to maintain the pressure in their propane tanks. The current heating methods most frequently used are, blowtorches, vaporizers, and tarps with space heaters. These methods can be permanent, ineffective, dangerous and time consuming. I recommend finding a heating solution that does not require additional man hours, and is safe and efficient.If too much heat is applied, you run the risk of blowing safety valves on your propane tank and creating a hazardous situation.
Below is an example of a safe and efficient heating solution for a propane tank used on a frac water heater.

frac tank heaters

Do Railroad Operations Benefit from Heating Solutions?

Train yard in the snowRailroad operations, like other industries, need to be prepared with heating solutions from the effects of seasonal climate change. The diversified winter patterns that include snow, ice, wind, storms, and temperature fluctuation can all influence effective operations.

For this reason, preparations need to be made that take the following issues into consideration:

  • Snow and Ice Melting or Thawing
  • Signal and Instrument Freeze Protection
  • Sustainable Equipment Operation
  • Propane Tank Maintenance
  • Temperature-Sensitive Product Storage

While other applications need to be addressed, these are a few of the more obvious.

It goes without saying that railway safety and the achievement of economic efficiencies are priorities for the entire industry.  There are several areas of concern but few are more important in realizing these objectives than:

  1. Maintenance of Way
  2. Signals and Communications
  3. Scanners
  4. Hot Box Detectors (HBD)
  5. Dragging Equipment Detectors (DED)
  6. Wayside Detectors Systems

Each of these areas has their own specialized equipment needs, but both take heating solutions into account when addressing the challenges of winter weather.  For example, products such as greases, lubricants, and chemicals used in day-to-day maintenance can pose an application problem. These products are usually stored in drums, pails, totes, or large tank.  The viscosity due to cold climate may restrict their use, thus delaying the maintenance process.  Heating these products prior to application prevents downtime.  Prevention of downtime in turn saves money and keeps operations on schedule.

At first glance some of these matters may seem less than critical in nature.  When you consider the impact of railroad transport on the overall economy, the equation changes.  According to the American Association of Railroads, six commodities account for over 75% of the shipping Tons Originated and 69% of the Gross Revenue for railroad transport. These commodity categories are:

  • Coal
  • Chemicals & Applied Products
  • Farm Products
  • Non-Metallic Minerals
  • Miscellaneous Mixed Shipments
  • Food & Kindred Products

Perhaps you ask what purpose or significance these statistics serve. The costs associated with impeding on-time delivery of goods and services can have an effect both economically and environmentally. What this points out is the significance of advanced planning in anticipation of seasonal and climatic changes. This includes cold-weather heating solutions, which can impact some geographic areas for six months to an entire year. Benefits of an effective heating solution are:

  • Prevent snow and ice buildup from impeding  service levels
  • Provide freeze protection for continuous operation
  • Keep signals, communication equipment and instrumentation operational
  • Ensure accurate transmittal of incident data
  • Reduce transportation slowdowns, delays, and stoppages
  • Maintain schedules and on-time delivery of goods

Do railway operations benefit from effective heating solutions? We at Powerblanket believe our heating products are an integral part of keeping America’s rail network running. Contact us at 888.316.6324 or [email protected] to get in touch with our railroad heating products specialists. 

How Long Will it Take My Powerblanket Product to Heat My Materials?

Ground thawing blanketIt’s a great question and one I get asked over and over. You would think that such a consistently asked question would merit a quick answer for it. Unfortunately, we have to ask our own questions first to give a good answer. I realize how odd this sounds but let me ask you this … do you know how temperamental the heat transfer process can be?

Allow Wikipedia to explain: “Heat transfer is a discipline of thermal engineering that concerns the generation, use, conversion and exchange of thermal energy and heat between Physical systems.” What this means to those of us who suffer with a non-engineer-type brain (yes, I do work with a few engineers and I have every right to pick on them once in a while!) is that there are many variable that contribute to how heat is transferred from one object to another. This alters the time frame of heating something to the right temperature.

Here’s a quick review on why the answer is different for everyone on the question of “How long will it take my Powerblanket product to heat my materials?” You see, heat transfers from one object to the next in one of three ways:

  1. conduction,
  2. convection and/or
  3. radiation.

So, here are the key factors to heat transfer:

  1. When heat transferrers using our products, it is typically happens through conduction. Not always, but most of the time. “Conduction is the transfer of heat between substances that are in direct contact with each other. The better the conductor, the more rapidly heat will transfer.” This means the snugger you apply your Powerblanket wrap –  without adding additional straps –  the better the heat will transfer.
  2. Another variable that will play havoc on heat transfer is wind. Heat hates wind. In almost all cases wind will swoop in and steal heat from just about anything. That is not to say a Powerblanket wrap won’t heat, but only that it could take longer to get it there.
  3. Ambient temperatures also play a determining factor in heat-transfer time. If the desired temperature is 70°F and your ambient is -20°F it will take quite a bit longer to get there than if your ambient was 65°F. Make sense? Of course it does.
  4. And, finally, what are you trying to heat and what is its beginning temperature? Is it thick and viscous or is it thin like water? Does it begin the heat process at frigid temperatures or something reasonable like 50°F? The more viscous the product the harder it is to circulate the heat throughout. (This is called convection.) “Heat energy transferred between a surface and a moving fluid at different temperatures is known as convection. In reality this is a combination of diffusion and bulk motion of molecules. Near the surface the fluid velocity is low, and diffusion dominates. Away from the surface, bulk motion increases the influence and dominates.”

So, now you see that this one simple question, “how long will it take to get hot?” cannot be answered quickly and there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.