Heating Hydraulic Oil with Tempco (CHX) Cast-In Circulation Heaters
February 3, 2022
A customer who does research and development and equipment testing approached Tempco in need of a circulation heater to heat hydraulic oil for a test setup. The oil needed to be heated from the ambient temperature up to 250°F. As a safety precaution, the customer wanted no part of the heater to exceed 270°F because the oil can explosively decompose at temperatures above that. With the known parameters of fluid flow rate, specific heat, and the change in temperature, Tempco was able to precisely calculate the needed wattage for this application.
Tempco utilized SolidWorks® Flow Simulation Software to calculate accurate heat transfer. The software processes simultaneous calculations of conduction, convection, radiation and particle movement heating analysis while observing a three-dimensional (3D) model. The first simulation was performed with a single heater functioning at a maximum internal temp of 250°F. Unfortunately, the simulation showed that the outlet temperature would only increase by half of the required amount. After multiple iterations of simulations, it was determined that 3 heaters needed to be arranged in a series with reduced power outputs to achieve the desired outlet temperature.
For this application, a cast aluminum circulation heater was utilized to heat the hydraulic oil. Tempco’s CHX Series heaters have relatively high heating capabilities of up to 574˚F. However, the customer was able to control the power output to avoid any overheating. Ultimately, this three-heater solution yielded an output temperature high enough to satisfy the customer requirements without exceeding the internal temperature limit. Using the software as an aide, Tempco engineers ensured that the calculations were accurate and precise, leading to a safer heating solution for the customer’s application.
Engineering Manager, Cast-In Heaters
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