Trace Heating The Basics

What is trace heating?

Electric trace heating is the application of a compensating heat source used to temperature maintain or heat raise pipes, surfaces and vessels. Trace heating cables are electrically charged elements that are run in physical contact with the desired surface.

How does trace heating work?

Electric trace heating replaces the losses of heat from a surface, to allow temperature maintenance of the product, which thermal insulation alone can not maintain.

Trace heated pipes must be thermal insulated, otherwise the heat loss would be too rapid for the tracing to prove effective.

When is trace heating required?

Trace heating can be used to protect pipes from freezing (frost protection trace heating), maintain the temperature of a hot water system (hot water temperature maintenance trace heating), or maintain process temperatures (process temperature maintenance trace heating) for smooth and efficient running of process plant equipment.

Types of trace heating cable

The two main types of electric trace heating cable are constant wattage and self regulating.

Engineers and installers using trace heating will always have their own preferences as to the type of trace heating cable to use. Take a look at the pros and cons for both cables – Constant wattage or Self regulating?


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