Indirect water bath heater

Indirect water bath heaters are designed to heat process fluids like natural gas or hydrocarbons via the indirect transfer of thermal energy. The heat is generated by a burner, which heats a water bath containing a tube bundle through which the process fluid flows, thus resulting in the indirect heating of the fluid passing through the tube bundle itself.

Indirect water bath heaters are used for various applications in the fields of oil and gas production, processing, and transportation. The most common applications are listed below.

  • The heating of natural gas under high pressure;
  • The heating of the natural gas upstream of the pressure regulating valve;
  • The prevention of hydrate formation;
  • The reduction of a hydrocarbon’s viscosity.

The indirect water bath heaters are equipped with command and control systems designed to regulate the device’s functionality and to implement the necessary protective measures against any possible malfunctions. The control systems can be:

  • Pneumatic: which include Venturi pipe burners and regulation and control devices that do not make use of auxiliary energy sources. They are normally used at remote sites where electricity is not available.
  • Electrical: which include forced-air burners and electrical regulation and control devices. These are normally used whenever low atmospheric emissions and high levels of efficiency are required. The use of forced-air burners allows for the size of the combustion chamber, and consequently the size of the entire unit, to be significantly reduced.

Reference standards: ASME VIII dir. 1-2, EN13445, PED, U-STAMP, API12K, NACE.

Indirect water bath heater in images

Systems able to heat process fluids like natural gas or hydrocarbons

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