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A significant number of industrial and commercial piping systems require temperature maintenance. Both freeze protection and process temperature maintenance can indicate the need for heat tracing. Sometimes temperature maintenance can simply be accomplished by installing only thermal insulation. In other cases, however, temperature maintenance must be provided by the addition of heat in the form of electrical heaters, steam tubes, or hydronic fluids. This article will mainly focus on Electrical Heat Tracing, the choice of many of new installations in both industrial and commercial projects. In 1960, about 95% of heat tracing was steam and in 1995, because of improvements in electrical tracing, that number dropped to between 30% and 40% of new installed tracing.
To make use of a visual symbol, electrical heat tracing is like a stool with 3 legs (see Figure 1). One leg is “heating cable quality” (heat trace cable and thermal insulation); the second leg is “engineering quality” (choosing the proper wattage, thermal insulation, ambient temperature, safety factors, etc.); and the final leg is “installation quality,” or the quality of the installation of the piping system and heat tracing system. If any one of the legs is compromised, the system may not provide expected performance. Break any one of the legs and the system will not “stand.”
An electric Self Regulating Heat Cable is a wire cable that produces heat, also referred to as heat trace cable. Heating cable can be used in a wide range of applications for the home, such as floor heating, heat loss replacement, pipe freeze protection, roof and gutter deicing, and snow melting. There are two different kinds of cables, self-regulating and constant wattage, and both can serve the same purpose, although the application will typically determine the best solution for the job.
Are heat tape, heat cable, and heat trace different?
Before we dive deeper into the differences between self-regulating and constant wattage cable, there is an important clarification that should be made in regard to the heating cable - whether it is self-regulating or constant wattage cable. Serial Electric Floor Heating Cable, specifically in the application of pipe freeze protection and roof and gutter deicing, is commonly referred to as heat tape with the assumption that they are two different types of systems. However, “heat tape” is simply a slang term that has gained wide usage in the industry, but is actually just another term for heat cable. Another common term that is used interchangeably in the specific context of pipe freeze protection is “heat trace”.There are several different types of Temperature Control & System. The simplest of these is referred to as an “On or Off” system. In this system, the device’s mechanisms detect the temperature of a facility, turning its heating components on when the temperature is too low, its cooling components on when the temperature is too warm, and switching itself off entirely when the temperature is at its desired point. This yields rather imprecise temperature regulation, and an “On or Off” system cannot be used when dealing with very sensitive materials. When more exact temperature control is required, it is beneficial to employ a system that can regulate the precise amount of heat or cooling properties that is produced by the device.Last week, anyone who pre-ordered Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kits began receiving the iPad accessory. The kit—which features one dock-connector adapter with an SD-card slot and a second one with a USB port—is designed to let you transfer your digital camera’s photos to your iPad. But it turns out this accessory has a few other tricks up its metaphorical sleeve that just may make it more appealing to many iPad owners. None of this functionality is officially supported—at least not yet—so caveat emptor if you’re thinking of buying the Kit just to get one or more of these features.