Hot oil heating systems outperform steam boilers in a number of ways. From efficiency and maintenance to safety, there are a number of reasons why hot oil heating systems are better than steam when it comes to industrial thermal hot oil heating.
Despite the many benefits of hot oil heating, facilities in a variety of industries that involve process heating still tend to use steam heat more frequently than hot oil heat.
So why haven’t more facilities switched over to hot oil heat? Why do so many facilities still rely on steam heat when hot oil heating systems are clearly the better option?
It turns out many plant and facility managers are not aware of just how many benefits hot oil heating systems offer, especially when compared to steam boiler systems.
Industrial Oil Heating Systems Advantages Over Steam Boilers
Here are few of the reasons many facilities should be taking advantage of the benefits of hot oil heating systems:
Hot Oil Heating Systems Perform Better Than Steam Systems
In a variety of industries and contexts, hot oil heating systems have been shown to provide benefits that steam heat just can’t compete with. However, engineering schools still tend to focus on steam heat and boiler technology with their courses, and neglect the proven thermal fluid heater advantages.
As a result, those who are already in the manufacturing industry and those who are currently entering it tend to gravitate towards steam heat as an energy source. Unfortunately, this means that in many cases employees and plant managers don’t realize the immense benefits they could be achieving through the use of hot oil heat.
Hot Oil Heating Systems Can Increase Efficiency
Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Unfortunately, this is the mentality that many companies that use process heating take when it comes to their heating equipment. Even though hot oil heating systems will provide them with numerous benefits that steam heat cannot, companies tend to stick with what they are familiar with rather than branching out to try a new, innovative solution.
This ‘cookie-cutter’ approach has caused many plants and facilities to miss out on the increased efficiency, safety and profitability they may be able to achieve by implementing a hot oil heating system.
Hot Oil Heating Systems Can Replace Steam Systems
Steam heating systems are already in place in many plants and manufacturing facilities. Rather than replace these systems with hot oil heating systems, plant managers tend to simply update or repair the infrastructure they already have.
These plant managers are missing out on a huge opportunity to increase their efficiency and save on operating costs. Hot oil heating systems are the better choice when it comes to industrial process heating and they can be easily implemented in most factories and facilities. The cost of a hot oil heating system is lower than a boiler system, and the operational costs of a hot oil heating system are significantly lower as well.
Hot Oil Systems are Less Expensive and Cause Fewer Headaches Than Boiler Systems
In general, hot oil is a resource that is often overlooked as a source of energy. Engineers and operators are often under the misconception that water is plentiful and inexpensive, so many plants and facilities tend to gravitate towards that as an energy source.
What they don’t realize is that they will need to continuously treat that water with expensive water treatment chemical and condensate collection systems. They will also need to maintain steam traps (that tend to be high maintenance) and expensive condensation collection systems. In addition, they will have to continuously deal with blow down and make up water requirements.
Don’t forget that water is highly corrosive, so if the water chemistry is slightly off the system can corrode very quickly! Additionally, water can freeze, so boiler systems require heated buildings (adding costs) and if a boiler goes down in the water and ice forms, an entire system can easily be destroyed.
All of these headaches and high maintenance costs are completely eliminated with a hot oil system. There are no steam traps, condensation systems, chemical treatment systems or blow down requirements to deal with. Most importantly, oil is not corrosive like water and it will not freeze in cold temperatures. It is simply the best way to heat equipment.
In addition to the equipment itself and unlike steam boilers, thermal fluid heaters don’t require a full-time boiler operator. This can save upwards of $80,000 a year. Also with a thermal fluid heater, there is no need for a pretreating skid ($40,000), or deaerator ($10,000), or chemical injection system ($15,000).
Take Advantage of the Benefits of Hot Oil Heating Systems
Since they are so focused on utilizing steam, many don’t realize that hot oil heating systems offer a number of advantages that steam heat can’t compete with. Many of the companies that are staying ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition have implemented efficient thermal fluid heating systems and are now using hot oil to fuel their facilities.
Contrary to what some individuals may think, the fact that most facilities still rely on steam boilers does NOT indicate that steam heat is the better choice when it comes to industrial heating. In fact, it’s just the opposite – hot oil heat is the way to go.
Don’t settle for steam heating just because it’s what is already implemented in your facility.
If it’s time to rethink your industrial heating solution, think outside the box and consider taking advantage of the benefits hot oil heating systems have to offer.
At American Heating Company, we have decades of experience working in the industrial heating industry. We understand the ins and outs of steam heating and hot oil heating systems and we would be glad to share our insight to help you find the ideal heating solution for your plant or facility.
Curious about making the switch from steam to thermal fluid heating? Check out the following resources to learn more about what to expect:
Thermal Fluid Heater Guide: Choosing the Right Heater for Your Facility: New to hot oil heating? Read through our guide to understand the different things to consider and take into account as you’re selecting a heater for your plant.
How to Prepare for Thermal Fluid Heating Equipment Installation: Wondering what new equipment installation entails? We provide some tips on how to prepare when it’s time to install your new upgraded equipment.
What to Look For in a Thermal Fluid Heating Equipment Manufacturer: Shopping your options when it comes to new heating equipment? Here are a few important things to consider when it comes to selecting a manufacturer.