Suction heaters are a type of industrial heat exchanger used in a variety of industrial contexts to heat viscous fluids, including asphalt and fuel oil, to a temperature at which they can be pumped.

Keeping entire tanks of these types of liquids at pumping temperatures can be prohibitively expensive. Suction heaters heat only the liquid being pumped through them instead of heating an entire storage tank of products. As a result, suction heaters are an economical, cost-effective option for plants and facilities in a variety of industries.

Industrial Suction Heaters Built to ASME Code

At Enerquip, we are proud to offer high-quality, custom-designed suction heaters. Built to ASME code and code stamped, our heaters consist of custom-designed tube bundles mounted inside a shell. The shell is open at one end and closed at the other end. Fluid flows through the open end and is heated by a heat transfer medium—hot oil, steam, or other fluid—then exits the suction heater outside of the tank. A mounting flange designed to bolt onto the manway flange in the tank is supplied on the suction heaters we design.

Enerquip has decades of experience fabricating stainless steel equipment. Along with carbon steel and 304L and 316L stainless steel designs, our suction heaters can also be constructed from a wider range of corrosion-resistant materials upon request. Built with the highest quality materials and fabrication, our suction heaters are built to last for decades with minimal maintenance. Enerquip’s suction heater technology helps facilities pump the most essential viscous materials more smoothly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.

How Suction Heaters Work With Other Industrial Heating Equipment

In processes where the contents of a tank must always remain warm and pliable at all times, plant operations may use a combination of equipment. They may heat the entire contents of the tank with tank heating coils sitting at the bottom of the tank. Others may use a bayonet heater, which is a tube bundle inserted through a manway on the side of the tank. Warmed contents are then warmed again as they’re pulled out of a tank through a suction heater. Many times, in colder climates, this is a necessary process.

Applications of Suction Heaters

Suction heaters are industrial heat exchangers used to heat viscous fluids up to a temperature at which they can be pumped. Examples of viscous fluid products include:

  • Bitumen
  • Asphalt
  • Heavy fuel oil

To heat these products, suction heaters use thermal oil from a thermal fluid heater as the heat transfer fluid. These heaters are designed to heat only the specific amount of material to be pumped from the tank, decreasing its viscosity and making it easier to pump. Suction line heat exchangers can heat products inside the tanks, especially if these materials are semi-solid or solid at low temperatures.

Benefits of Suction Heaters

Tank heating systems are used to improve the consistency of liquids for flow control and protection against damage to pipelines and other equipment due to freezing. Since suction line heat exchangers are designed to only heat materials as they’re withdrawn, they provide substantial benefits:

  • Cost Effectiveness: Suction heaters heat just the pumped fluid instead of the whole tank. Since they only need to heat small amounts of product at a time, suction heaters are an economical option for plant and facility managers in many industries.
  • Energy Efficiency: By heating material only as it’s withdrawn, facilities can substantially reduce their energy consumption, decreasing energy bills and supporting more eco-friendly processes.
  • Near 100% Efficiency: Suction heaters circulate thermal fluid directly through the heater, accelerating heating and eliminating thermal lag to achieve nearly 100% efficiency. Little to no heat loss occurs, resulting in a highly effective process.

Save on Energy Costs With a Suction Heater From Enerquip

If you are looking to save substantially on energy costs when it comes to heating viscous fluids like oil and asphalt, an efficient, custom suction heater from Enerquip could be the solution you are looking for.
Our top-of-the-line suction heaters are constructed with high-quality materials and built to last, requiring minimal maintenance and repair so you can keep your plant running smoothly and efficiently.
Interested in learning more about how a suction heater or other industrial heaters and heating products from Enerquip can benefit your facility? Give us a call at (715) 748-5888, contact us online, or request a quote!

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