For anyone with experience in gas pipelines, hydrate formation is no new phenomenon. But even if you work or have worked in the natural gas industry, it’s worth revisiting the cause behind hydrate formation and how it can be altogether prevented.
Hydrates Are Bad
Hydrates, the term may sound relatively harmless, but when it comes to gas pipelines, harmless certainly isn’t the case. Hydrates are solid, crystalline compounds that form when water molecules chemically bond to another compound under high pressure and low temperatures—in this case, natural gases of any form. Hydrates are certainly the enemy for any pipeline transporting gas under high pressure, and this problem becomes compounded as temperatures drop close to and below freezing.
With that said, the formation of hydrates can and will occur in temperatures above freezing too. So regardless of where the pipeline runs, hydrate maintenance is something to keep high on the priority list. Ultimately, hydrates can drastically impeded and even stop the flow of gas through a pipeline, especially around transition points such as valves, manifolds, and instrumentation. These transition points are where the problem is often encountered. While heat trace applications can be used to keep temperatures high enough to prevent the formation of hydrates in long sections of pipe, the same technology doesn’t work as well around the aforementioned transition areas, at least not without considerable attention and cost devoted applying the solution.
Preventing the accumulation of hydrates in valves and instrumentation doesn’t necessitate traditional heat-trace methods. No, there’s a much simpler solution to the problem. A pipeline needs something that can be easily installed and removed, something that provides heat and insulation in one simple, easy-to-use system. Thankfully, the ideal solution is right here at Powerblanket®.
Powerblanket and the Pipeline
In the world of gas pipelines, equipment is expensive, product is valuable, and time is money. A company’s assets can range from a heavy-duty pipeline down to the products and equipment it uses to service it. Whatever the case may be and whatever the need may pose, Powerblanket can help you protect your assets against the threat of failure or malfunction.
In the case of preventing hydrate formation in valves, manifolds, and instrumentation, Powerblanket has products designed with this specific task in mind. Our valve, manifold, and instrumentation heaters provide durable insulation and a consistent, regulated, and even distribution of heat that will keep your instruments operating in ideal temperatures ranges, warding off the formation of hydrates completely. What’s more, Powerblanket heaters are easy to install and remove when circumstance doesn’t necessitate their use. This means that you don’t have any need to expend large amounts of time and money to incase your instruments in a box or to attempt heat trace around gadgetry. With Powerblanket, you have the complete solution in one system.
Stand Out Features of Valve and Manifold Heaters
- Custom designed to fit your pipes and valves perfectly
- Provides freeze protection down to -40º F / -40º C
- Prepares pipes for coatings and welding
- Meets important UL/CSA safety standards
- Can be custom made to operate in Class I Div. 2 hazardous locations
Stand Out Features of Instrumentation Heaters
- Innovative design allows easy access PTs, gauges, and instruments
- Highly efficient and evenly distributed heat • UL/CSA and CE certification
- Ability to meet CID2 hazardous location requirements
- Wind and water resistant
- Ensures smooth operation