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Frequently Asked Questions

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We recently had an application where we had initially proposed a fire tube steam boiler. Upon further disclosure of the process specifics, by the customer, the use of a Steam Boiler for process heat had to be revisited.

A customer had an application with a single user, over 90% condensate return and minimal losses. Therefore, the condensate return was expected to be relative hot. More to the point, it was too hot for use with an atmospheric feed water system. We needed some additional condensate loss so that we could utilize more feed water, as this would cool the condensate to the point that an atmospheric feed water tank could be used. Unfortunately, we had no process or application creating this additional condensate loss.

We could have switched to a pressurized deaerator/feed water system but this project was on the border of economic feasibility. The additional cost was detrimental.

The heat source was then revisited. Two options came to mind.

The first option was Pressurized Hot Water. This solution initially was considered ideal based on several points.

A) Water is generally considered the perfect heat transfer medium yielding excellent heat transfer characteristics
B) No feed water requirement, no condensate losses or blow down losses
C) Low Cost

The primary drawback to the use of Pressurized Hot Water was that the system would be installed outdoors, subject to frequent shutdowns (weekends and holidays). Therefore the system would be subject to freezing thus requiring freeze protection.

The second option was Thermal Fluid (Hot Oil). This solution resulted in no drawbacks that were considered detrimental. Although the Thermal Oil Heater initially was perceived to cost more than the Steam Boiler, once you took into consideration the auxiliary components required for both systems, the Thermal Fluid Heater actually reduced the capital expenditure. In addition, maintenance and operating costs were projected lower as well.

 

Performance Heating, LLC designs and supplies process heating systems throughout the USA and Canada. Performance Heating supplies Thermal Fluid Heaters and Steam Boilers manufactured by BONO Energia SpA, an ISO 9001 company, meeting the codes and standards of customers worldwide.

 


No, the term Thermal Fluid does not refer to a specific fluid, there are many. There are many companies that produce a variety of Thermal Fluids.

The most common Thermal Fluids are either Mineral Oil based or Synthetic Oils. The various manufacturers typically produce a series of fluids that each has a specific, recommended operating temperature range. Close consideration should be given to this range of operation in selecting a fluid.

There are other considerations as well, consult with fluid manufacturers to get their fluid recommendation for your application.

An improperly selected fluid could have an extremely short life and could have detrimental effects on the heater.

Performance Heating, LLC designs and supplies process heating systems throughout the USA and Canada. Performance Heating supplies Thermal Fluid Heaters and Steam Boilers manufactured by BONO Energia SpA, an ISO 9001 company, meeting the codes and standards of customers worldwide.

 

Absolutely, Thermal Fluid Heaters are known by quite a few other names. Hot Oil Heater, Thermal Oil Heater, Thermic Oil Heater, and Thermic Fluid Heater are all commonly used names for a Thermal Fluid Heater.

Occasionally some also interchange the term Heater with Boiler, even though no actual phase change (liquid to vapor) is taking place.

One of the first and most widely used fluids was Dowtherm A, produced by Dow Chemical. Apparently, it just made sense for them to occasionally call them Dowtherm Heaters as well.

 

Performance Heating, LLC designs and supplies process heating systems throughout the USA and Canada. Performance Heating supplies Thermal Fluid Heaters and Steam Boilers manufactured by BONO Energia SpA, an ISO 9001 company, meeting the codes and standards of customers worldwide.


 

The Thermal Fluid Heater (or hot oil heater) offers an economical, high temperature solution for process heat without the corrosion or pressure issues of a pressurized hot water or steam boiler system.

High temperature at low pressure translates into a savings in the cost of the materials of construction for many processes. Most Thermal Fluid Systems can utilize Sch. 40 Carbon Steel Pipe (ASTM A-106 Gr. B or equivalent) for process piping application where the pipe requirement in a steam application would be for a much thicker, costlier schedule of pipe.

With Hot Oil, there are no condensate losses, no blow down losses, and no feed water preheat requirement as would be associated with steam.

Thermal fluid can be supplied to individual or multiple concurrent processes. The hot oil can controller very accurately thus yielding high quality production results.

Performance Heating, LLC designs and supplies process heating systems throughout the USA and Canada. Performance Heating supplies Thermal Fluid Heaters and Steam Boilers manufactured by BONO Energia SpA, an ISO 9001 company, meeting the codes and standards of customers worldwide.


A Thermal Fluid Heater is a type of indirect process heater that utilizes a circulated heat transfer media in a closed loop to convey energy to heat consumers or users.

The source of heat for the heater is typically Electric Heating Elements (smaller systems), Gas or Oil Fired Burners (medium systems – largest majority) or Biomass (larger systems).

The heat users can easily be numerous and may be located tens or hundreds of feet away from the heater. This allows the heater to be remote mounted, outside the production area if so desired.


Performance Heating, LLC designs and supplies process heating systems throughout the USA and Canada. Performance Heating supplies Thermal Fluid Heaters and Steam Boilers manufactured by BONO Energia SpA, an ISO 9001 company, meeting the codes and standards of customers worldwide.

 


 

All could theoretically be considered a Thermal Fluid but the heat transfer media selected in a given application is typically based on the operating temperature.

One of the best known Heat Transfer Media is probably water. Water is extremely economical but water has temperature, pressure and corrosion limitations that can have an exponential cost impact when used for process heating.

The next step up in media, based on temperature for heat transfer applications, may be a Water/Glycol solution. A Water/Glycol solution is very compelling but has a fairly limited temperature range for heat transfer applications.

Higher temperatures are the most common range of discussion for a Thermal Fluid (or Hot Oil). In layman’s terms, Thermal Fluid Heaters refers to Hot Oil Heaters.

Otherwise, based on descriptions above, use of the terms Hot Water Heater or Glycol Heater would be more applicable.

 

Performance Heating, LLC designs and supplies process heating systems throughout the USA and Canada. Performance Heating supplies Thermal Fluid Heaters and Steam Boilers manufactured by BONO Energia SpA, an ISO 9001 company, meeting the codes and standards of customers worldwide.


 

Good question! Or maybe you just missed/forgot the few minutes when they breezed over it.

In the USA, the vast majority of process heating applications are via Steam. My guess is that the engineering schools are tailoring the education to the masses.

However, in other areas of the world it’s much more common to see both Steam and Thermal Fluid applications. Perhaps the emphasis on Thermal Fluids in schools in the USA will increase.

 

Performance Heating, LLC designs and supplies process heating systems throughout the USA and Canada. Performance Heating supplies Thermal Fluid Heaters and Steam Boilers manufactured by BONO Energia SpA, an ISO 9001 company, meeting the codes and standards of customers worldwide.


The LMV... Linkageless Burner Management System sets the standard high – from easy installation, programming and commissioning to reliable, proven control. Quite frankly, it is all about the control. With the LMV, Siemens forges new ground delivering a fully integrated system that is not only easy to install and use, but also provides improved burner performance and efficiency, and ensures safe operation.
  • Cure concrete 2.8 times faster than conventional insulated blankets
  • Produce cold weather concreting strength of 3,925 in 72 hours
  • Maintain moisture throughout hydrating process
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Prevent a freeze cycle
  • Thaw ground and frost from job site prior to pour
  • Reduce downtime & increase profitability
  • Maintain ACI compliance for cold weather concreting
  • Increase performance and efficiency of gas cylinders
  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Eliminate unnecessary cylinder refills in cold weather
  • Insulated full wrap design
  • UL/CSA/CE safety certifications
  • High watt density thaws frozen ground
  • Quickly remove frost prior to concrete pour
  • Melt snow and ice from roofs, walkways, and construction areas
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Provides higher heat control when combined with a thermostatic controller
  • Saves time, money and labor
  • Reduce downtime and increase profitability
  • Eliminate need for alternative emergency services or steamers
  • Protect instrumentation from freezing to ensure accurate data retrieval
  • Sustain valve functionality
  • Freeze protection down to -40°F/-40°C
  • Save on labor costs through easy installation and removal
  • Custom designed to fit any application
  • Maintain optimal temperatures for sensitive materials
  • Custom designed to fit most any tank
  • Provide ultimate freeze protection
  • Available in 120V and 240V
  • Peace of mind that your valuable materials are protected
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