Date ArticleType
9/30/2020 Member News

Efficient and Cost-Effective Natural Gas Heating with Tecvalco's CWT Heaters

Prevent gas lines from icing within and outside the pipe with Cold Weather Technologies Natural Gas Line Heaters by Tecvalco. Their unique heat driven loop technology reduces emissions, noise, and the cost of ownership.

Icing on natural gas pipelines is a fact of life. Line heater technology exists to prevent this issue, and Tecvalco’s Cold Weather Technologies (CWT) heaters offer a number of advantages that standard heaters can’t provide. First, let’s review why pipeline heaters are necessary for the most effective operation of your pipeline systems.

Why are line heaters needed?
As long as natural gas has been transported through pipelines, there have been issues with gas systems icing. Although outdoor ambient temperature can play into pipeline temperature, this freezing is largely due to the nature of natural gas under pressure and how it reacts inside the pipelines.

The safest way to transport natural gas is through an efficient network of pipelines, the primary method used today. For efficient transport, the natural gas is kept under high pressure, usually levels ranging from 200 to 1,500 pounds per square inch (psi). This high pressure reduces the volume of the gas by up to 600 times, and it helps drive the gas forward through the distant reaches of the pipeline network.

These high pressures, however, are far too high to directly provide home and industrial users with the natural gas they need. Once the natural gas has moved to the area where it will be used, the pressures must be dropped dramatically – down to anywhere from 0.25 to 3 psi to run through building piping. With such a dramatic reduction in pressure, the temperature of the natural gas also drops precipitously. This is the Joule-Thompson (JT) effect – gas temperature drops 7 degrees for every 100 psi the pressure drops. For example, if natural gas pressure is dropped from 1,000 psi to 100 psi, the temperature will drop by 63 degrees.

If natural gas is not pre-heated before reducing its pressure, the JT effect causes icing within and outside the pipeline. This effect will negatively impact both operational and material quality of the pipeline system. Here’s where Tecvalco’s CWT natural gas line heaters come to the rescue.

Why choose Tecvalco’s CWT heaters?
Inline heaters counteract the effect of abrupt temperature drops that occur when the natural gas passes through pressure-reducing choke points. Standard indirect heaters are designed as high temperature glycol-bath heaters. Thousands of gallons of glycol mixed with water are used to fill a chamber where a submerged fire-tube heats the bath fluid around the submerged natural gas line.

Tecvalco’s CWT heaters, on the other hand, are indirect line heaters, manufactured with a unique Heat Driven Loop (HDL) technology. In the heating chamber, the water/glycol mixture is boiled and the resultant steam rises to the next chamber. The heat from that steam transfers to the natural gas in the coil. As it does, condensate is formed on the coils and drips back into the water/glycol heating chamber. This process results in a far more effective heat transfer than a standard heater.

In the sealed (under vacuum) CWT heater, the water/glycol doesn’t evaporate and doesn’t need to be continually replaced. It also allows the water/glycol to boil at a much lower temperature, requiring far less fuel gas to use the heater.

CWT natural gas line heaters offer several benefits:

  • Reduced cost of ownership
    • Reduced fuel consumption of 50 – 70%
    • Longer life span due to minimal corrosion (as the heater is fully sealed)
    • Closed heater sold with all the glycol needed for operation
  • Environmentally friendly
    • Noise reduction (runs at 57 decibels, which is quieter than the average conversation)
    • Greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 50%
    • Increased thermal efficiency over conventional technology
  • Easy-to-operate
    • Simple-to-use controls
    • Simplified, operator friendly instrumentation
    • Reduced physical footprint, compared to traditional units
    • No outside utility power required (heater runs on internally generated millivolt power)

Tecvalco and their CWT heater sizes to fit your needs
GROEBNER is proud to work with Tecvalco who is one of the leading providers of inline heaters for natural gas and oil treaters, through their CWT heater product line. Tecvalco Ltd., incorporated in 1980, is a Canadian company who now has a manufacturing facility in Rockledge, Florida. This Tecvalco USA expansion allows them to grow their North American presence, while being able to better serve their existing customers throughout Canada and the United States.

Tecvalco’s CWT heaters come in a variety of sizes, to ensure your system is fitted with the equipment that most precisely meets your needs. After running through a brief sizing conversation with GROEBNER’s sales team – inlet design criteria, target (outlet) design criteria, and addition station design requests – an appropriate heater can be selected to ensure your system functions most effectively. Tecvalco’s CWT heaters range from 70,000 to 4,620,000 BTU/hour and can be customized to achieve the most economical and efficient combination.

There are a wide range of customizable solutions. A few of the most popular models include:

  • Model 70 – 70,000 BTU/hour
  • Model 385 – 385,000 BTU/hour
  • Model 770 – 770,000 BTU/hour
    (heaters range from 70,000 to 4,620,000 BTU/hour)

Services to keep your system performing
While maintenance is minimal on CWT heaters, there are several important steps to take annually to ensure they continue to work at peak performance.

Through GROEBNER, they’ll coordinate certified technicians coming to your work site to perform the needed inspection and maintenance services. All service information is documented and submitted to your appropriate personnel. Standard yearly maintenance includes:

  • Combustion chamber maintenance
  • Control panel maintenance
  • Main heater structure maintenance
  • Re-commissioning and health checks
  • Summary report

When you sign up for a yearly maintenance program, you’ll receive discounted rates for emergency services and unlimited phone support throughout the year. GROEBNER’s team knows these heaters and can make certain yours is in good working order within factory specification.

Offering you the best, so your system can be the best
Tecvalco’s CWT natural gas line heaters are designed to be the best-in-industry, while offering you lower operation and maintenance costs. Learn more about the heaters and how to connect with GROEBNER to determine the right size and configuration at: