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Heating with Coils and Jackets

Indirect heating of fluids is covered in this tutorial including layouts, control and drainage of coils and jackets, and heat transfer calculations.
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Vessels can be heated in a number of different ways. This tutorial will deal with indirect heating. In these systems, the heat is transferred across a heat transfer surface. Options include:
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Submerged steam coils - A widely used form of heat transfer involves the installation inside a tank of a steam coil immersed in a process fluid. Steam jackets - Steam circulates in the annular space between a jacket and the vessel walls, and heat is transferred through the wall of the vessel.

Submerged steam coils
The use of tank coils is particularly common in marine applications where cargoes of crude oil, edible oils, tallow and molasses are heated in deep tanks. Many of these liquids are difficult to handle at ambient temperatures due to their viscosity. Steam heated coils are used to raise the temperature of these liquids, lowering their viscosity so that they become easier to pump. Tank coils are also extensively used in electroplating and metal treatment. Electroplating involves passing articles through several process tanks so that metallic coatings can be deposited on to their surfaces. One of the first stages in this process is known as pickling, where materials such as steel and copper are treated by dipping them in tanks of acid or caustic solution to remove any scale or oxide (e.g. rust) which may have formed. Steam coil sizing Having determined the energy required (in Tutorial 2.9), and with knowledge of the steam pressure/temperature in the coil, the heat transfer surface may be determined using Equation 2.5.3: Equation 2.5.3 The heat transfer area calculated is equivalent to the surface area of the coil, and will enable an appropriate size and layout to be specified. Determining the 'U' value

The range of figures shown in Table 2. further along the length of the coil the steam velocity may be lower. The lower end is more applicable to poor quality steam.10. Assisted circulation (such as stirring) that will induce forced convection. a significant pressure drop occurs along the length of the coil. Another variable is the coil material itself. must be chosen.10. In extreme cases the average pressure used may be as low as 40% of the inlet pressure. such as those sometimes found in seagoing tankers or in large bulk storage tanks. However. If this temperature difference is relatively large. an average steam pressure of approximately 75% of the inlet pressure may be used. will also result in higher coefficients.1 provides typical overall heat transfer coefficients for various conditions of submerged steam coil application. As convection is partially dependent on the bulk motion of the fluid. To acheive the mean coil temperature. then the natural convective currents will be significant and the heat transfer coefficient will be high. a value for the overall heat transfer coefficient. small coils and good condensate drainage. This will vary considerably with the thermal and transport properties of both fluids and a range of other conditions. However.To calculate the heat transfer area.1 demonstrates the difficulty in providing definitive 'U' values. . the viscosity (which varies with temperature) also has an important bearing on the thermal boundary layer. The thermal conductivity of the coil material may vary considerably. and the coil may be running partially full of water. Table 2. long coils and poor condensate drainage. On the product side of the coil a thermal boundary layer will exist in which there is a temperature gradient between the surface and the bulk fluid. overall heat transfer is governed to a large extent by the heat resistant films. and the thermal conductivity of the coil material is not as significant as their combined effect. In very long coils. 'U' values for steam pressures between 2 bar g and 6 bar g should be found by interpolation of the data in the table. Additional variations can also occur on the steam side of the coil. especially with long lengths of pipe. The coil inlet may have a high steam velocity and may be relatively free from water. Customary figures at the higher end of the scale will apply to installations that are supplied with clean dry steam. U.

However.6 bar g (3.2 will serve as a guide for some commonly encountered substances. Part 4. including coil diameter and layout. A recommendation for installation. The heat transfer area required. the values shown in Table 2. and will generally ensure that a generous safety margin applies to the coil sizing.10.1 Continuing from Example 2.10. while Table 2. In the case of fluids other than water. Example 2. A recommended coil surface area. The following additional information has been provided:  Steam pressure onto the control valve = 2. The average steam mass flowrate during start-up. the heat transfer coefficient will vary even more widely due to the way in which viscosity varies with temperature.1 determine: Part 1. .9.10. Part 3.3 gives typical surface areas of pipes per metre length. The maximum steam mass flowrate with the recommended heat transfer area.6 bar a).The recommended overall heat transfer coefficients will apply to typical conditions and installations. These recommended rates are empirically derived. (Mean heat load = 367 kW) Part 2. Part 5.

Heat transfer coefficient from steam/coil/liquid. U = 650 W/m²°C Part 1 Calculate the average steam mass flowrate during start-up Steam pressure onto the control valve = 2.6 bar g (3. .  A stainless steel steam coil provides heat. therefore the minimum steam pressure in the heating coil should be taken as 58% of upstream absolute pressure. Part 2 Calculate the heat transfer area required. An explanation of this is given in Block 5.6 bar a) Critical pressure drop (CPD) will occur across the control valve during start-up.

Part 3 A recommendation for coil surface area Because of the difficulties in providing accurate 'U' values. and to allow for future fouling of the heat exchange surface. including coil diameter and layout (a) Determine coil diameter and length . and should take into consideration the extra pipe area allowed for fouling.5.3: = UAΔT (coil) (b) Steam flowrate to deliver 519 kW Part 5 A recommendation for installation. Part 4 The maximum steam mass flowrate with the recommended heat transfer area Maximum heat transfer (and hence steam demand) will occur when the temperature difference between the steam and the process fluid is at its maximum. it is usual to add 10% to the calculated heat transfer area. (a) Consider the maximum heating capacity of the coil Using Equation 2.

10. set at different heights to encourage condensate to run to the lower (condensate) manifold. One solution would be to run a bank of parallel pipes between steam and condensate manifolds. This application will require: It may be difficult to accommodate this length of large bore heating pipe to install in a 3 m × 3 m tank. See Figure 2.1 for a suggested layout.10.3.358 m²/m run. a 100 mm pipe has a surface area of 0. The drain line must fall from the bottom of the condensate manifold down to the steam trap (or pump-trap).From Table 2. .

1 m² = 6 m² of heat transfer area is still required.Fig.358 m²/m = 1. and must be provided by the connecting pipes. This will provide a heating area of: 2.8 m long.10. the steam and condensate headers would each be 2.1 Possible layout of coils in a rectangular tank Note the steam supply is situated at one end of its manifold.5 m.0 m² Consequently 7 m² . whilst the trap set is at the other end. This will help steam to flow and push condensate through the coils. The steam manifold should be 100 mm diameter as determined by the previous velocity calculation. In the application. . 2. Arbitrarily selecting 32 mm pipe as a good compromise between robustness and workability: The lengths of the connecting pipes are 2. As the condensate manifold is holding condensate. the heat from it will be small compared to the steam manifold and this can be ignored in the calculation.8 m x 0.

Where a lift is unavoidable. noise and leaking pipework. The presence of any lift will result in waterlogging of a proportion of the coil length.CHECK It is necessary to confirm the steam velocity through the connecting tubes: On the basis of proportionality of heat transfer area. as it is not normally advisable to drill through the corrosion resistant linings of the tank side.2. Other steam coil layouts The design and layout of the steam coil will depend on the process fluid being heated. This will ensure that there are no weak points in the tank lining. where there is no danger of corrosion. where there is a risk of leakage of corrosive liquids. . it is normally recommended that the coil inlet and outlet connections are taken over the lip of the tank. as shown in Figure 2.10. or alloys such as titanium. the steam header will condense: This leaves 86% of the 850 kg/h = 731 kg/h of steam which must pass through the 18 connecting pipes and also into the lower (condensate) manifold. In these cases the coil itself may also be made of corrosion resistant material such as lead covered steel or copper. lifts over the tank structure should be avoided. it should be designed to include a seal arrangement at the bottom of the lift and a small bore dip pipe. and possibly waterhammer. and the steam inlet and outlet connections may be taken through the tank side. Steam heating coils should generally have a gradual fall from the inlet to the outlet to ensure that condensate runs toward the outlet and does not collect in the bottom of the coil. When the process fluid to be heated is a corrosive solution. However.

it will immediately re-form. Also. while the broken column of water falls back to lie at the bottom of the heating coil.3. steam can pass over any condensate collecting in the bottom of the pipe. For these reasons side hung coils are often used in the electroplating industry. heavy deposits will settle at the bottom of the tank and can quickly cover the heating surface. but as the water seal arrangement requires a smaller volume of condensate to form a water seal. The small bore dip pipe will only allow a very small volume of steam to become locked in the riser.10. The steam trap remains closed until the locked steam condenses. and close the steam trap at the top of the riser. 2. Without this seal. inhibiting heat transfer. a slug of water is discharged up the riser. The condensate level would then rise and form a temporary water seal. steam will enter the rising pipe and close the trap.Fig. during certain processes.it may be damaged by the objects being immersed in the solution. a smaller volume of water will return to the heating coil than with an unrestricted large bore riser.10. When the seal is ultimately broken.2 Tank with a rising discharge pipe The seal arrangement allows a small amount of condensate to collect to act as a water seal. As soon as the water seal is broken. during which time the coil continues to waterlog. and prevents the occurrence of steam locking. locking the steam between the bottom of the riser and the steam trap. When the locked steam condenses and the steam trap opens. It enables the water column to be easily maintained without steam bubbling through it. . If the process involves articles being dipped into the liquid. ensuring there is a steady and continuous condensate flow to the outlet. as shown in Figure 2. In such cases serpentine or plate-type coils are arranged down the side of a tank. it may not be convenient to install the coil at the bottom of the tank .

A second valve (starting valve) to pass the difference between the capacity of the first valve. . it is essential that they are arranged with adequate coverage so that the heat is distributed evenly throughout the bulk of the liquid. 'Sizing the control valve' and 'The condensate removal device' are included in this Tutorial. The diameter of the coil should provide sufficient length of coil for good distribution. Whether bottom or side coils are used. large enough to cope with the maximum flowrate encountered at start-up.3 Side hung coils If articles are to be dipped into the tank. This arrangement has the advantage that it is often easier to install.These coils should also have a fall to the bottom with a water seal and a small bore dip-pipe. This could cause erratic temperature control. and also easier to remove for periodic cleaning if required. Control valve arrangement The control valve set may be either one or two valves in parallel. Fig. before attempting sizing and selection of equipment. Whilst the next two headings. it may not be possible to use any sort of agitator to induce forced convection and prevent temperature gradients occurring throughout the tank. However a very long continuous length of coil may experience a temperature gradient due to the pressure drop from end to end. may be unable to control flow accurately at the minimum expected flowrate. resulting in uneven heating of the liquid. A single control valve. An alternative is to fit two temperature control valves in parallel:   One valve (running valve) sized to control at the lower flowrate. and the maximum flowrate. A short length of coil with a large diameter may not provide adequate temperature distribution.10. 2. the new reader should refer to later Tutorials for full and comprehensive information.

for reasons previously explained.1 bar g. A DN40 control valve with a larger Kvs of 25 would therefore need to be selected for the application. If the control valve were sized on mean values. the larger valve would be set to shut down.6 bar g at the inlet of the control valve. this will help to maintain a degree of steam pressure throughout the length of the coil when the steam is turned on. Using one valve Continuing with Example 2. leaving the running valve to control at low loads.6) operating together will cater for the start-up load.10. However. two valves may be better. while maintaining the required steam pressure in the coil to assist the drainage of condensate from it at start-up. and Critical Pressure Drop (CPD) across the valve. A steam valve sizing chart would show that a Kv of about 20 is required to pass 850 kg/h of steam with a pressure of 2. The condensate removal device . helping to push condensate through the coil to the steam trapping device.1 the maximum steam load is 850 kg/h and the coil is designed to deliver this at a pressure of 1. If one valve is to be used. this valve must ensure the maximum heat load is catered for. allowing the smaller valve to give good control.The starting valve would have a set-point slightly lower than the running valve. it may be better to size the control valve to supply the maximum (start-up) load. the running steam load: The steam valve sizing chart shows a Kv of 2 is required to pass 85 kg/h with 3. When approaching the control temperature. The coil has been sized on mean heat transfer values. A DN15 KE type valve (Kvs = 4) and a DN25 piston actuated valve (Kvs = 18. so it would close first. operating at critical pressure drop. With large coils in tanks.1 bar g. steam pressure in the coil at start-up will tend to be lower and the coil may flood. Sizing the control valve The control valve set (either one valve or two valves in parallel).6 bar upstream.4 will show how the valve size can be determined by calculation). (Tutorial 6. However. The running load is 52 kW and with the coil running at 1.

However. For the purpose of this example.e. with heat exchangers not designed to cope with the effects of waterlogging. For heat exchangers. the tank. Cold air at 4°C flowing at 3 m/s can soon freeze condensate locked in the coils. Here. the energy dissipated by the waterhammer causes vibration. Consider a waterlogging air heater frost coil. be costly. If heat exchangers are oversized. Tank coils in large circular tanks tend to be of robust construction. and the steam trap. as well as creating unpleasant noise. which can be detrimental to the life of the coil. Any reduction in heat transfer at this part of the heating process may therefore have little immediate effect on the tank contents. the full-load condition. any unwanted reduction in the heating surface area. This can cause the control system to become erratic and unstable. and are often able to withstand such stresses. along with its associated symptoms and mechanical stresses. this can lead to corrosion of the heating surface. the stall load condition. and reduction of thermal performance may not always occur. If the steam trap is only sized on the first condition. Steam traps are devices which modulate to allow varying amounts of condensate to drain from . resulting in premature and unwarranted failure. in some applications. and have a huge reservoir of heat.The selection and sizing of the condensate removal device will be very much influenced by the condensate backpressure. Proper drainage of condensate is essential to maintain the service life of any heat exchanger and air heater. Problems can however occur in rectangular tanks (which tend to be smaller). it is assumed the backpressure is atmospheric pressure. However.e. The stall load may be considerable. This is mainly due to the small volume in the heat exchanger. i. and processes requiring stable or accurate control can suffer with poor performance. can affect the flow of heat through the heating surface. With respect to flow-type applications such as plate heat exchangers. it is possible that it may not pass the stall load (the condition where the product approaches its required temperature and the control valve modulates to reduce steam pressure). Waterlogging can. Pass the condensate load when steam pressure in the coil equals the condensate backpressure. With respect to nonflow type applications such as tanks. where vibration in the coil will have more of an effect on the tank structure. condensate will back up into the coil and waterhammer will occur. inevitably reducing the service life of the exchanger. such as that caused by condensate backing up into the steam space. The device should be sized so it is able to satisfy both of the following conditions:   Pass 850 kg/h of condensate with 1. i. this may not be too serious from a thermal viewpoint because the contents of the tank will almost be at the required temperature. sufficient heating surface may remain when condensate backs up into the steam space.1 bar g in the coil. a failure to consider the stall condition will usually have serious implications.

and maximum return on plant investment. an automatic pump-trap or pump and trap in combination will ensure correct condensate drainage at all times. they do allow space for the vessels to be agitated so that heat transfer is promoted.10. The U values listed in Table 2.10. as shown in Figure 2.10. Float traps are steam traps designed to modulate and release condensate close to steam temperature. Commonly the vessel walls are made from stainless steel or glass lined carbon steel. The glass lining will offer an additional corrosion resistant layer. Steam jackets The most commonly used type of steam jacket consists simply of an outer cylinder surrounding the vessel. and condenses on the wall of the vessel.4 A conventional jacketed vessel The heat transfer area (the vessel wall surface area).4. thus maximising the thermal capability and lifetime costs of the plant. When stall conditions occur. maximum plant life. Although steam jackets may generally be less thermally efficient than submerged coils.applications under varying conditions. The size of the steam jacket space will depend on the size of the vessel. and a steam trap cannot be used. can be calculated in the same manner as with a steam coil. 2.3 and the overall heat transfer coefficients provided in Table 2. but typically the width may be between 50 mm and 300 mm.10. are for moderate non-proximity agitation.4. and that the heat is transferred inwards to the vessel.4. This is to ensure that as little steam as possible condenses on the outer jacket wall. offering maximum plant performance. .5. using Equation 2. Jacketed vessels may also be lagged. or may contain an internal air space surrounding the jacket. due to radiation losses to the surroundings. Fig. Steam circulates in the outer jacket.