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Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.

Module 2.9
Energy Consumption of
Tanks and Vats

The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.9.1


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats


The heating of liquids in tanks is an important requirement in process industries such as the dairy,
metal treatment and textile industries. Water may need to be heated to provide a hot water
utility; alternatively, a liquid may need to be heated as part of the production process itself,
whether or not a chemical reaction is involved. Such processes may include boiler feedtanks,
wash tanks, evaporators, boiling pans, coppers, calandrias and reboilers.
Tanks are often used for heating processes, of which there are two major categories:
o Totally enclosed tanks, such as those used for storing fuel oil, and where heat load calculations
are generally straightforward.
o Open topped tanks, where heat load calculations may be complicated by the introduction of
articles and materials, or by evaporative losses.
Open and closed tanks are used for a large number of process applications:
o Boiler feedtanks - The boiler feedtank is at the heart of any steam generation system. It
provides a reservoir of returned condensate and treated make-up water, for feeding the boiler.
One reason for heating the water is to reduce oxygen entering the boiler, with (theoretically)
0 ppm oxygen at 100°C.
Boiler feedtanks are normally operated at between 80°C and 90°C.
o Hot water tanks - Hot water is required for a number of processes in industry. It is often
heated in simple, open or closed tanks which use steam as the heating medium.
The operating temperature can be anywhere between 40°C and 85°C depending on the
application.
o Degreasing tanks - Degreasing is the process where deposits of grease and cooling oil are
removed from metal surfaces, after machining and prior to the final assembly of the product.
In a degreasing tank, the material is dipped into a solution, which is heated by coils to a
temperature of between 90°C and 95°C.
o Metal treatment tanks - Metal treatment tanks, which are sometimes called vats, are used in
a number of different processes:
- To remove scale or rust.
- To apply a metallic coating to surfaces.
The treatment temperatures typically range from 70°C to 85°C.
o Oil storage tanks - Storage tanks are required to hold oils which cannot be pumped at
ambient temperatures, such as heavy fuel oil for boilers. At ambient temperatures, heavy oil is
very thick and must be heated to 30°C - 40°C in order to reduce its viscosity and allow it to be
pumped. This means that all heavy oil storage tanks need to be provided with heating to
facilitate pumping.
o Heating tanks used in process industries - Heating tanks are used by a number of process
industries, see Table 2.9.1.

2.9.2 The Steam and Condensate Loop


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

Table 2.9.1 Process industries which use heating tanks


Industry Process Typical temperatures
Sugar Raw juice heating 80 to 85°C
Dairy Hot water generation 80°C
Plating Metal deposition 70 to 85°C
Metal / steel Removal of rust / scale 90 to 95°C
Pharmaceutical Wash tanks 70°C
Rubber Heating caustic oil 140°C

In some applications the process fluid may have achieved its working temperature, and the only
heat requirement may be due to losses from the solid surface of the walls and /or the losses from
the liquid surface.
This Module will deal with the calculations which determine the energy requirements of tanks:
the following two Modules (2.10 and 2.11) will deal with how this energy may be provided.
When determining the heat requirement of a tank or vat of process fluid, the total heat
requirement may consist of some or all of a number of key components:
1. The heat required to raise the process fluid temperature from cold to its operating temperature.
2. The heat required to raise the vessel material from cold to its operating temperature.
3. The heat lost from the solid surface of the vessel to the atmosphere.
4. The heat lost from the liquid surface exposed to the atmosphere.
5. The heat absorbed by any cold articles dipped into the process fluid.
However, in many applications only some of the above components will be significant. For
example, in the case of a totally enclosed well-insulated bulk oil storage tank, the total heat
requirement may be made up almost entirely of the heat required to raise the temperature of
the fluid.
Items 1 and 2, the energy required to raise the temperature of the liquid and the vessel material,
and item 5, the heat absorbed by any cold articles dipped into the process fluid, can be found by
using the Equation 2.6.1. Generally, data can be accurately defined, and hence the calculation of
the heat requirement is straightforward and precise.

PFS Δ7
 = Equation 2.6.1
W

Items 3 and 4, the heat losses from the vessel and liquid surfaces can be determined by using
Equation 2.5.3.
However, heat loss calculations are much more complex, and usually empirical data, or tables
based on several assumptions have to be relied upon. It follows that heat loss calculations are
less accurate.

 = 8$Δ7 Equation 2.5.3

The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.9.3


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

Heat loss from the solid surface of the vessel to the atmosphere
Heat will only be transferred provided there is a difference in temperature between the surface
and the ambient air.
Figure 2.9.1 provides some typical overall heat transfer coefficients for heat transfer from bare
steel flat surfaces to ambient air. If the bottom of the tank is not exposed to ambient air, but is
positioned flat on the ground, it is usual to consider this component of the heat loss to be
negligible, and it may safely be ignored.
o For 25 mm of insulation, the U value should be multiplied by a factor of 0.2
o For 50 mm of insulation, the U value should be multiplied by a factor of 0.1
The overall heat transfer coefficients provided in Figure 2.9.1 are for ‘still air’ conditions only.

25.0
Top
20.0
Sides
U (W/m² °C)

15.0
Base
10.0

5.0

0.0
30 50 70 90 110 130 150 170
DT between steel surface and ambient air (°C)
Fig. 2.9.1 Typical overall heat transfer coefficients from flat steel surfaces

Table 2.9.2 shows multiplication factors which need to be applied to these values if an air velocity
is being taken into account. However, if the surface is well insulated, the air velocity is not likely
to increase the heat loss by more than 10% even in exposed conditions.
Table 2.9.2 Effect on heat transfer with air movement
Velocity (m/s) 0 0.5 1.0 2.0 3.0
Multiplying factor 1 1.3 1.7 2.4 3.1

Velocities of less than 1 m /s can be considered as sheltered conditions, whilst 5 m /s may be


thought of as a gentle breeze (about 3 on the Beaufort scale).
For bulk oil storage tanks, the overall heat transfer coefficients quoted in Table 2.9.3 may be used.
Table 2.9.3 Overall heat transfer coefficients for oil tanks
Overall heat transfer coefficient (W/m²°C)
Tank position ΔT between oil and air Unlagged Lagged
Up to 10°C 6.8 1.7
Sheltered Up to 27°C 7.4 1.8
Up to 38°C 8.0 2.0
Up to 10°C 8.0 2.0
Exposed Up to 27°C 8.5 2.1
Up to 38°C 9.1 2.3
Underground Any temperature 6.8 -

Water tanks: heat loss from the water surface to the atmosphere
Figure 2.9.2 relates heat loss from a water surface to air velocity and surface temperature. In this
chart ‘still’ air is considered to have a velocity of 1 m /s, tanks in sheltered positions outdoors
consider velocities at about 4 m /s, whilst tanks in exposed positions outdoors are considered
with velocities at about 8 m /s.
This chart provides the heat loss in W/m² rather than the units of the overall heat transfer
coefficient of W/m² °C. This means that this value must be multiplied by the surface area to
provide a rate of heat transfer, as the water to air temperature difference has already been
taken into account.

2.9.4 The Steam and Condensate Loop


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

Heat losses from the water surface, as shown in Figure 2.9.2 are not significantly affected by the
humidity of the air. The full range of humidities likely to be encountered in practice is covered
by the thickness of the curve. However, the graph considers heat losses with an air temperature
of 15.6°C and 55% air humidity. Different conditions to these can be calculated from the
Engineering Support Centre on the Spirax Sarco website.
To determine the heat loss from the chart, the water surface temperature must be selected from
the top scale. A line should then be projected vertically downwards to the (bold) heat loss curve.
For indoor tanks a line should be projected horizontally from the intersection to the left-hand
scale.
For outdoor tanks a horizontal line should be projected either left or right until it intersects the
required location, either sheltered or exposed. A projection vertically downwards will then
reveal the heat loss on the bottom scale.
In most cases, the heat loss from the liquid surface is likely to be the most significant heat loss
element. Where practical, heat loss can be limited by covering the liquid surface with a layer of
polystyrene spheres which provide an insulating ‘blanket’. Any solution to reduce heat losses
becomes even more important when tanks are located outside in exposed positions as portrayed
by the graph in Figure 2.9.2

Water temperature °C
30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

18 000

16 000
Outdoor -
Sheltered location

14 000
Water heat loss W/m² with still air

12 000

10 000

8 000
Outdoor -
Exposed location

6 000

4 000

2 000

0
0 10 000 20 000 30 000
Water heat loss W/m² with moving air
Fig. 2.9.2 Heat loss from water surfaces

The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.9.5


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

Example 2.9.1
For the tank shown in Figure 2.9.3, determine:
Part 1. The mean heat transfer rate required during start-up.
Part 2. The maximum heat transfer rate required during operation.

/
1 3

/
2 3

2.0 m

3.0 m
3.0 m

Fig. 2.9.3

o The tank is unlagged and open topped and is situated on a concrete floor inside a factory.
It is 3 m long by 3 m wide by 2 m high.
Tank total surface area = 24 m² (excluding base).
Heat transfer coefficient from tank /air, U1 = 11 W /m² °C.
The tank is ²/ 3 full of a weak acid solution (cp = 3.9 kJ /kg °C) which has the same density as
water (1 000 kg /m³)
o The tank is fabricated from 15 mm mild steel plate.
(Density = 7 850 kg /m³, cp = 0.5 kJ /kg °C)
o The tank is used on alternate days, when the solution needs to be raised from the lowest
considered ambient temperature of 8°C to 60°C in 2 hours, and remain at that temperature
during the day.
o When the tank is up to temperature, a 500 kg steel article is to be dipped every 20 minutes
without the tank overflowing. (cp = 0.5 kJ /kg °C)

Part 1 Determine the mean heat transfer rate required during start-up QM (start-up)
This is the sum of:
A1. Heating the liquid QM (liquid)
A2. Heating the tank material QM (tank)
A3. Heat losses from the sides of the tank QM (sides)
A4. Heat losses from the liquid surface QM (surface)

Part 1.1 Heating the liquid QM (liquid)


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2.9.6 The Steam and Condensate Loop


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

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DT M = Tm - Tamb
T m = Mean liquid temperature
Tamb = Design ambient temperature
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The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.9.7


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

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Part 2 Determine the running load, that is the maximum heat transfer rate required
during operation Q(operation)
o In operating conditions, the liquid and tank (A1 and A2, page 2.9.6) are already up to operating
temperature, so the heating components = 0.
o In operating conditions, the heat losses from the liquid and tank (A3 and A4, page 2.9.6) will
be greater. This is because of the greater difference between the liquid and tank temperatures
and the surroundings.
o Immersing the article in the liquid is clearly the objective of the process, so this heat load must
be calculated and added to the running load heat losses.

Part 2.1 Heat losses from tank sides

 8$Δ7 Equation 2.5.3

Where:
DT = Tf - Tamb
Tf = Final liquid temperature
Tamb = Design ambient temperature
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Δ7 7I 7DPE
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2.9.8 The Steam and Condensate Loop


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

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Note that the operational energy requirement (59 kW) is significantly less than the
start-up energy requirement (367 kW). This is typical, and, where possible, the start-up
period may be extended. This will have the effect of reducing the maximum energy
flowrate and has the benefits of levelling demand on the boiler, and making less demand
on the temperature control system.
For tanks that are to operate continuously, it is often only necessary to calculate the
operating requirements i.e. the Part 2 calculations.

The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.9.9


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

Questions

1. An indoors open-topped tank of water, 1.5 m wide x 2.0 m long x 1.5 m high is
maintained at 85°C. The water is 1.4 m deep. The ambient temperature is 20°C and
the tank is lagged with 50 mm thick insulation. There is negligible air movement
over the tank. Approximately how much heat is lost from the sides of the tank?
a| 6 960 W ¨
b| 8 190 W ¨
c| 819 W ¨
d| 2 071 W ¨

2. Referring to Question 1, what will be the approximate heat loss from the liquid
surface if the air velocity across the liquid surface was about 4 m /s to 5 m /s?
a| 82 kW ¨
b| 57 kW ¨
c| 75 kW ¨
d| 18 kW ¨

3. Referring to Question 2, roughly how much steam at 4 bar g is required to offset


the heat lost from the liquid surface?
a| 13 kg /s ¨
b| 28 kg /h ¨
c| 46 kg /h ¨
d| 128 kg /h ¨

4. 200 kg of copper at 25°C is immersed into a tank of water based solution at 70°C. It
is held there for 15 minutes. Approximately how much extra heat load is put onto the
tank (cp copper = 0.4 kJ/kg °C)?
a| 10 kW ¨
b| 15 kW ¨
c| 18 kW ¨
d| 4 kW ¨

5. Water at the rate of 1 l/s is drawn off a coil heated tank operating at 60°C and
replaced with cold water at 10°C. Steam is supplied to the coil at 7 bar g.
How much steam is required to maintain the tank temperature?
a| 316 kg /h ¨
b| 387 kg /h ¨
c| 352 kg /h ¨
d| 368 kg /h ¨

2.9.10 The Steam and Condensate Loop


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

6. For any particular tank temperature how does the heat loss from the lid of a closed
tank compare with that of the bottom?
a| They are approximately the same ¨
b| Losses from the top are approximately double those from the bottom ¨
c| Losses from the bottom are approximately double those from the top ¨
d| Losses from the top are approximately 4 times those from the bottom ¨

Answers
1: c, 2: c, 3: d, 4: d, 5: d, 6: b

The Steam and Condensate Loop 2.9.11


Block 2 Steam Engineering Principles and Heat Transfer Energy Consumption of Tanks and Vats Module 2.9

2.9.12 The Steam and Condensate Loop