Thermal Oil Heating System Design

Heat input is required for numerous different functions, especially in modern-day industries. Sometimes, heat can’t be transferred to the necessary process directly, and for that, we can use a thermal oil heating system. This system uses thermal fluid oil to transfer heat from one place to another. Although other heating systems, such as steam boilers, can also be used, thermal oil heaters have their advantages. They are easy to maintain, have high overall efficiency, and can provide high temperatures even at low pressures. Now, let us tell you what things to keep in mind during the design of a thermal oil heating system:

Design of a thermal oil heating system: A thermal oil heating system has various major components that need to have the right specifications for the proper functioning of the system:

Major Components:

  • Burner

The burner needs to be able to provide sufficient heat to the thermal oils to raise their temperature to the required limit. We also need to take into account the size of the chamber where the burning of fuel will take place. Therefore, a burner needs to be able to provide the required heat and be able to work in the available space.

  • Pump

Pumps need to circulate the fluids with enough velocity so that they can easily pass through all the required areas. Choose a pump that can suffice for the losses in pressure along the way. Furthermore, if there are some vertical and inclined zones, moving the fluid opposite to the gravitational force will require more pumping power and hence, a better pump. So, decide one that can sufficiently push them and make it flow through the system.

  • Valves

Whether it be a globe valve or a butterfly one, valves need to stop the flow completely when closed. The closing end of the valve needs to push against the other end tightly so that no fluid can seep through. Any leakage even after the valve is completely closed can cause loss of fluid, and it can be dangerous for the users as well if some of the flue gases are hazardous.

  • Axis Orientation:
  1. Vertical: If the major axis of the thermal oil heating system is vertical, it will take up less space to put the system but being vertical will make it harder to access the top areas of the cylinder, thus making repair and maintenance a bit harder.
  2. Horizontal: A horizontal orientation makes the whole thermal oil heating system easily accessible, but you will need a larger space to accommodate it.
  • Coil Arrangement

Mainly, a helical coil arrangement is used with multiple turns through which the thermal oil runs. Calculate your required heat transfer and make the number of coils accordingly as increasing the number of coils will increase the total coil surface area and so the total heat transfer rate. But the more the number of coils used, the more expensive the whole system will get. Therefore, choose the number of turns that will give you your required heat transfer rate. Furthermore, a three-pass design is also better than a two-pass one as the flue gases from the combustion of fuels will get to cross the thermal oil more times, the overall heat transfer and hence, thermal oil’s temperature will increase more. This way, you can achieve your desired temperature without any extra fuel costs.

Safety Considerations:

  • Maximum Temperature

The maximum limiting temperature for thermal oil is 398 degrees Celsius for synthetic oil only. Therefore, the heat transfer rate and temperatures of the hot gases should be kept in a way that they stay below this limit. Otherwise, it will cause degradation of the thermal oil, and it will need to be replaced more frequently, thus adding to the overall cost.

  • Flow rate

Although (automatic) valves are also present, the flow rate of the fluids needs to be in control of the user. In case of different events, such as excess exhaust gases leading to an immense pressure build-up inside the chamber, their flow rate can be decreased, making everything safe.

  • Safety valves

Valves, such as shut-off valves, are used for safety reasons, such as releasing excess pressure or keeping in a harmful gaseous build-up, and if they don’t close completely, they can cause leakage, leading to severe issues.

There are a lot of things that need to be considered during your thermal oil heating system design. This ensures that the whole system will work properly, cost-efficiently, and without causing any harmful effects on the people operating it. Therefore, you should seek professional and technical help for your thermal oil heater/heating system.

And speaking of professionals, we, Getabec, are the leading boilers and pressure vessels manufacturers in Asia! With our internationally accredited workshops and outclass technical team, we can take care of your thermal oil heating system’s manufacturing. Our thermal oil heaters are the most effective and most efficient heat transfer equipment! Contact us here today!



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