What methods are used to isolate steam tracers?
- There are primarily two methods of isolated tracing. The first one is a factory-insulated tracer designed to deliver moderate to low heat transfer rates for heating pipelines and equipment. Modern factory fabricated isolated tracers are available for touch safety, energy conservation, and sensitive lines handling caustics, acids, amines and other such materials. In this system, the tracer tube is separated from the process pipe or equipment by a low conductive (heat retarding) material. Heat transfer is primarily by air convection movement of heat in the annular space between the oversized thermal insulation and the process pipe. Steam energy savings in the 20% to 50% range can be realized over conventional Bare Tracing. Reduced steam consumption results in lower hydrocarbon emissions.
- The second method of isolated tracing is an older method that requires the placement of “spacer blocks” under the tracer at certain intervals as it is being secured to the pipeline. The spacer blocks are generally made of wood or a rigid type of thermal insulation. Under “Tips” in this website, look for the title: SafeTrace® Isolated Tracers Versus Tracers On “Spacer Blocks.”