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 tank heaterGetting 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.

 

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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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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.

 

2016-01-05 09_16_31-Powerblanket___Propane_Tanks_Guide___v3__1_ (1).pdf - Adobe ReaderCaring 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.

 

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Insulated Band Heaters vs. Traditional Band Heaters

If you’ve dealt with traditional band heaters, then perhaps you have some reservations regarding the usefulness, efficiency, and safety of such a solution. If you’ve never heard of insulated band heaters, then you’re in for a treat. Here we compare the two to see who comes out on top.

 

Insulated band heatersInsulated Band Heaters vs Traditional Band Heaters

In one corner we have the long-standing, often-used traditional band heater, and in the other corner, we have the heavy-hitting, highly efficient insulated band heater. Let’s start with comparing maximum temperatures. Traditional band heaters can heat as high as 400° F, insulated band heaters, well, they can too. Here’s what that looks like:

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Heats as high as 400° F Heats as high as 400° F

 

Traditional Band Heaters: 1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 1 pt.

 

Next, we look at heating efficiency. Traditional band heaters use anywhere from 600-1200 watts of electricity to heat the material inside a barrel or drum. What’s more, a good portion of this is wasted as heat is lost to the air around the heater. Insulated band heaters, on the other hand, don’t lose as much energy to their surroundings. With insulated band heaters, much more heat is channeled into the product, and much less into the thin air.

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Wastes a lot of energy Delivers energy to the load

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 2 pt.

 

And finally, when it comes to that most important topic of safety, insulated band heaters win out here too. Traditional band heaters can be extremely hazardous. Since they’re heating as high as 400° F, this means their non-insulated, external temperature is about the same. Essentially, you have a belted band of silicone wrapped around your drum or barrel that is as hot as 400° on the surface. If something touches this on accident, it could mean fire or third-degree burns. Insulated band heaters are a lot safer. Since they’re insulated, the surface that is exposed to the user  is safe to touch.

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Hazardous (fire hazard and burn hazard) Safe to touch when installed and running

 

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 2 pt.

 

So this puts the final score of the comparison at…

 

Traditional Band Heater Insulated Band Heater
Heats as high as 400° F (1 pt.) Heats as high as 400° F (1 pt.)
Wastes a lot of energy (-1 pt.) Delivers energy to the load (2 pts.)
Hazardous (fire hazard and burn hazard) (-1 pt.) Safe to touch when installed and running. (2 pts.)

 

Traditional Band Heaters: -1 pt.

Insulated Band Heaters: 5 pts.

We’ll let you do the math from here.

 

The New Rules for Crude Oil and the Railroad Industry

Whether you’re in the railroad industry or the oil and gas sector, you’ve likely heard all about the new rules associated with shipping crude oil across railways in the US and Canada. But even if you have, the latest word is worth reviewing here.

 

Oil tanker train cars

A Move for Greater Safety

The occurrences of certain large-scale derailments and even explosions over the last few years have prompted railroads and governments in Canada and the US to revisit what can be done in order to prevent such tragedies in the future. As a result, the respective authorities and legislators in both countries have recently announced the new rules for the railroad industry as it involves the transportation of crude oil over railways.Trains that carry crude oil to, from, and all around the US and Canada are now more regulated than ever before.

A major factor to the new regulations is the inclusion of a new or enhanced kind of braking system. The new stipulation from the feds is to include a new, electronically controlled, pneumatic braking system on all cars carrying crude oil.  These new braking systems are said to be capable of slowing a train quicker and safer than the current systems in place of railcars. These new braking systems will be required for trains carrying 100 or more tankers filled with petroleum product.

 

A Sensible and Warranted Move

As sensible as this all seems, there have been many to voice their concerns against the new rule.  The American Railroad Association has come out to say that this will be far more costly than the feds have considered, and could result in negative operational impacts on a network that fuels so much of the nation’s economy. In addition to the concerns of the American Railroad Association, the American Petroleum Institute feels that the window on implementing the new regulation will make it unrealistically difficult to get rid of the old tankers by 2020, the proposed date to phase out all old braking systems.

On the other hand, a certain un-named advocacy group has been reported to have expressed concerns that while it is a good step to start with the brakes, the new regulation does nothing to help with derailments.  Ultimately, this group feels the powers in charge of the new regulations need to do more to ensure additional safety.

In the end, the new braking system isn’t the only regulation lawmakers have added to the mix. Along with the phase out of old tankers and the addition of new ones, the new rules also impose slower speed restrictions as well. What’s more, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that along with these two new regulations there also needs to be better thermal protection and high-capacity pressure release valves for tank cars with flammable liquid.

 

 

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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Not All In The Railroad Industry Are Happy About The Oil Train Rules

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Remember the article we wrote about the new restrictions on transporting oil on rail lines? Well, if you don’t, go read Crude Oil on the Railroad to get the back story. In the meantime, here’s the latest news on the matter: some in the railroad industry are a bit upset about the new restrictions.

 

Union Pacific train engine on track

Crude Oil and the Railroad

Since recent occurrences (or to be more specific) large scale derailments, prompted certain railroads to enact tighter restrictions on crude-oil shipments across rail lines, the federal government has decided to get involved too. (If that all sounded really vague, well, it was intentional, but you may recall what derailments we’re alluding to.) In the time proceeding two high-profile rail accidents in the U.S. and Canada, one particular railroad decided to commit to even greater safety regulations. (To see which railroad, just click on the link to the previous article mentioned above.) In fact, this particular railroad took some of its regulations beyond the standards imposed by the railroad industry as a whole.

Nonetheless, as of May 1st, those extra-mile regulations may not seem so ambitious. The feds are now involved in enforcing even stricter regulations on shipping crude oil via the railroad. And while the railroad is always concerned with the safety of their operations, some in the industry are pretty upset about these new ideas from the government. For example, now that the U.S. Department of Transportation is requiring new braking systems on trains hauling crude oil, the cost of shipping the product is certain to increase substantially. These new systems, along with additional upgrades, are supposed to be implemented by 2021.

Between now and then, it’s likely we’ll see some deliberations between the industry and the federal government. If leaders can convince the feds that their stipulations are too restrictive on the railroad and too detrimental to the economy, then it’s likely that some of these action items may be lessened. Despite the concerns on both sides, we think that safety and continuity will continue in the railroad one way or another.

 

 

Crude Oil on the Railroad

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Recent occurrences in the railroad industry have caused many to rethink the protocol associated with shipping crude oil across railways in North America. In fact, BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Corporation has taken it upon themselves to impose additional safety measures for crude oil shipments in both the US and Canada.

 

BNSF Train pulling cars

The Oil Industry and The Railroad

It’s clear to most of us how crucial the railroad is to many industries, and the oil and gas sector is no exception. In fact, the railroad works very closely with the nation’s major drillers, refineries, and distributors. The railroad hauled as much as 493,126 cars of crude oil last year alone. Thankfully, with as much oil as the railroad hauls each year, there are hardly ever any accidents. The railroad industry is very cautious about transporting hazardous materials.

However, a handful of recent derailments have caused the industry to rethink the approach they take to shipping crude oil. The railroad has already implemented an increase in track inspections, up more than twice as much as regulations require. BNSF alone has pledged to incorporate safety measures beyond the industry standard and looks to be setting a new precedence for all others. One way BNSF has increased their safety expectations is through the removal of potential problems earlier than stipulations mandate. For example, all railroad companies use a system of railway detectors to pinpoint wheels and axles that may potentially fail soon. While there are certain stipulations regarding how soon worn axles and wheels must be replaced, BNSF has pledged to replace these parts sooner than required for additional safety.

Another regulation that BNSF has imposed upon itself is the slowing of freight cars through populated areas. The railroad in general slows freight cars carrying crude oil to 40 mph through populated regions, but BNSF has decided to slow their cars even more. The new BNSF standard is 35 mph through areas populated by more than 100,000 people. In addition to this, BNSF has also increased railway inspections near water sources. While the railroad as a whole is continually committed to safety, BNSF’s recent moves look to set an example of an even higher level of safety protocols.