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Heat Tracing in Dairy Factories - Caustic Lines and Tanks

Thermon heat tracing in dairy factories can be split into three separate parts:

1. Caustic lines and tanks;

2. Milk fats then;

3. Other applications including frost protection/freezer applications/fly ash hoppers.

Our first blog will cover heat tracing caustic lines and caustic tanks in dairy factories.

We typically design Thermon heat tracing for caustic lines to maintain 25deg.C. We always use a fluoropolymer over jacketed cable. This over jacket protects the cable from an adverse environment such as a caustic leak - without that the cable may be damaged.

Because caustic lines and tanks are so critical to dairy factory productivity, if you have a failure you need to be able to identify the problem quickly. We typically design heat tracing so that:

  • the power end is in a controller or junction box;

  • with splices to be in/out of insulation splices; and

  • the end seal to be in an out of insulation box or beacon.

This enables you to identify any electrical fault and isolate it without needing to take off cladding and insulation, saving time and money.

If the fault is not electrical, you can take readings from the heat trace to understand the problem and solve it.

The use of a controller for heat trace on caustic lines and tanks (although not always necessary) can perform some really useful functions:

1. Heat trace protection from over temp

Self regulating heat tracing has a max temp exposure while energised (65deg.C) and max temp power off (85deg.C). Typically the Thermon heat tracing used for caustic lines is BSX. The Thermon BSX-family of heat trace max temp while energised is 65deg.c and max temp exposure is 85deg.C. When cable is exposed in excess of these respective temperatures, it will be damaged over time.

2. Product protection from over temp

You can get stress corrosion in the stainless steel pipe lines. This should be taken into consideration when using heat tracing with caustic. Remember that a heat tracing application is designed for the worst conditions for that area (e.g. snow, ice, frost, wind). If instead the area has the best conditions (e.g. sun, heat, no wind), you will have the heat trace obtain a temperature higher than required. Where you have a bigger temperature differential from summer to winter, you will have a bigger temperature variance from the heat tracing.

3. Saves power when heat tracing is not required

In New Zealand

we typically don’t need the heat trace for 6 months of the year (depending where you are maybe more). If you leave heat trace running 24hrs a day 7 days a week, you will be using power that you don't need to use.

4. A controller will monitor the line

Giving you a readout - especially if digital t/stat is used. These also have the ability to be taken back to the PLC or depending on the model they may have a spare set of contact for an alarm.

For more information on heat tracing caustic lines and tanks in dairy factories, call Vaughan on 021 401 444.

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