“A heater treater requires a burner management system that is expensive to maintain and now, with new regulations coming into effect, has to be certified annually, at considerable cost,” said Heal. “Most importantly, the system is a realistic alternative to investing in a central battery and pays itself many times over in decreased treating fees and water trucking.” The ThermoVault incorporates large catalytic heaters – instead of fire tubes – that use a chemical reaction to crack the gas and produce heat evenly, allowing the operator to maintain a steady temperature with the least amount of fuel. The system uses a super-sized EnviroVault recessed chamber design: The storage chamber is placed inside an outer shell that provides excellent insulation, protecting the tank from the elements and minimizing heat loss.“Because the heaters sit on the inside of the tank directly adjacent to the emulsion interval you get an incredibly effective transfer of heat to the fluid,” said Heal. “A very efficient use of heat, which saves money.”
Heal also points out that too much heat will burn off the light ends of the crude, reducing the value of the product. “It’s like burning money,” he said. The ThermoVault is most effective for 25° to 45° API oil. The standard ThermoVault uses three six-feet by two-feet Cata-Dyne® heaters with a combined input heat of 180,000 Btus per hour - and provide 36 square feet of surface contact with the wall of the tank. An operator can set the heaters to achieve exactly the temperature and heat distribution he wants. Currently the company is developing new Thermo Vault designs that can double or triple the input heat. “Our customers are asking for larger tanks and more throughput capacity without taking up more space on the lease,” said Heal.
By Markham Hislop PUBLISHER BEACON NEWS AND BEACON ENERGY NEWS
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OilfieldPULSE | MARCH 2015
Published on Mar 5, 2015