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ControTrace vs. Jacketed Piping From Generic Sulphur JP Case Study_V2

Jacketed Piping

Jacket
Jacket

Process

Pipe

ControTrace

Pipe
Pipe

Process

ControTrace

General applications

Pit Sweep Air & Sour Degassing Air - generally 3.5 to 10 bar g steam used Sulfur Run-down & Pumped Sulfur - generally 3.5 to 5.0 bar g steam used

Purpose

Molten Sulfur lines - to maintain the bulk temperature above the freezing temperature to prevent plugging when molten sulfur flows stop. It is also designed for a melt-out scenario so that the system can quickly recover after a loss of utilities

Sulfur vapor lines - to maintain the pipe wall temperature above the vapor dew-point to prevent condensation.

Operating Principle

Jacketed piping features a core pipe which is completely surrounded by a jacket pipe. Process flows through the core pipe, while a heating medium (or cooling medium) flows in the annular space between the core and jacket pipes. This allows the heating medium to directly contact the entire surface of the process pipe, providing maximum surface area and heat transfer to the process pipe.

ControTrace features a 2" x 1" rectangular heating element which is secured to the pipe or vessel to be heated. A heating medium such as steam or hot oil flows inside the heating element and transfers heat to the pipe/vessel. One of the 2" sides of the element is contoured to closely fit the outside diameter of the pipe/vessel to ensure good contact for heat transfer. A thin layer of heat transfer compound is used between the element and the pipe/vessel to eliminate any air gaps between the jacketing and the pipe/vessel wall.

Heat Transfer

Excellent (The heating medium completely surrounds the process. The heating medium is in direct contact with the process piping.) But it would have sulfur over-heating potential.

Very good (CSI calculates the minimum number of elements that are required to offset the process heat loss.) ControTrace systems are also designed for a melt-out scenario so that the system can quickly recover after a loss of utilities. Unlike other heating system providers, CSI provides a thermal guarantee of system performance. This guarantee is enabled by CSI's proprietary thermal analysis tool which have been repeatedly confirmed with field temperature data. It would have reduced sulfur over-heating potential.

Jacketed Piping

Jacket
Jacket

Process

Pipe

ControTrace

Pipe
Pipe

Process

ControTrace

Energy used

Too much heat unnecessarily raises the process temperature. (wasted)

ControTrace coverage is only slightly greater than what is rquired to offset the process heat loss. Excessive energy is not wasted on heating up the process.

Significantly more steam consumption than is necessary.

Optimized steam consumption

Steam consumption

Degassing Air - 385 kg/h Sweep Air - 511 kg/h Molten Sulfur (Rundown) - 514 kg/h Molten Sulfur (Pumped) - 1,259 kg/h Total - 2,669 kg/h

Degassing Air - 383 kg/h Sweep Air - 274 kg/h Molten Sulfur (Rundown) - 193 kg/h Molten Sulfur (Pumped) - 549 kg/h Total - 1,399 kg/h

Steam Circuitry

Based on typical industry specifications "no more than 15 m of pipe to be supplied with a single steam supply" - Too conservative which requires a higher number of steam circuits.

Each circuit is engineered specifically for the conditions of the individual line/pipe size combination that it serves. ControTrace systems are optimized to minimize the number of steam circuits while guranteeing system performance.

Steam trap failure tolerance (Redundency)

If the steam circuit fails most commonly due to the failure of the associated steam trap, thermal maintenance for that spool is lost entirely.

Typically separate steam circuit on each side of the pipe with each circuit terminating at a single steam trap. If a steam trap fails, steam will be lost to only one side of the pipe. (Redundency)

Cross-contamination & Pipe stress

Prone to cross-contamination resulting from weld failure between the core and the jacket due to the increased internal stresses. Additional stresses due to the temperature difference between the jacket and core, and the normal expansion of the piping system by the increased stiffness of the jacketed pipe. Therefore, it requires special stress analysis, more frequent supports and expansion loops. Note that the molten sulfur pump head pressures generally exceed the steam pressure.

No cross-contamination and much less pipe stress because ControTrace system bolts onto the outside of the process piping. Much less supports and expansion loops are required for process pipe, which saves significant capital expenditure. Because the ControTrace is not welded to the pipe, it is free to expand and contract independently of the piping system, requiring conventional pipe stress analysis methods.

Intermediate flange pairs

Due to a way of fabricating Jacketed pipe, intermediate flange pairs are required with 6 to 12 meters internal.

All intermediate flange pairs can be eliminated. The only flanges that would be present in the lines would be when a pipe spool connects to a valve / instrument / nozzle.

Jacketed Piping

Jacket
Jacket

Process

Pipe

ControTrace

Pipe
Pipe

Process

ControTrace

Capital Expenditure Cost

Degassing Air - 360,000 USD Sweep Air - 866,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Rundown) - 379,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Pumped) - 769,000 USD Total - 2,374,000 USD

Degassing Air - 355,000 USD Sweep Air - 477,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Rundown) - 280,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Pumped) - 520,000 USD Total - 1,630,000 USD

Operating Expenditure Cost

Degassing Air - 464,000 USD Sweep Air - 616,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Rundown) - 619,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Pumped) - 1,518,000 USD Total - 3,217,000 USD

Degassing Air - 331,000 USD Sweep Air - 461,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Rundown) - 233,000 USD Molten Sulfur (Pumped) - 661,000 USD Total - 1,686,000 USD

Ease of Installation

Field fabrication / core & outer hydro-test / field modification are very complex and difficult.

A straightforward process (CSI provides a corresponding installation drawing for every piping isometric drawing.) ControTrace can be modified in the field if required by piping modification.

Ease of Maintenance

Once cross-contamination does occur, finding the location of the weld failure can take days and weeks, and field repair with required testing is very complex and difficult.

Due to no welding between ControTrace and process pipe, maintenance is generally not required. If required, repair works of process pipe and/or ControTrace is very simple just by cutting and welding.

Lines considered in the Case Study

Degassing Air - 3" (146.3 m) Sweep Air - 8" (149.4 m), 10" (11.6 m) Sulfur (Rundown) - 4" (23.8 m), 6" (20.3 m) Sulfur (Pumped) - 3" (146.3 m), 6" (53.7 m)

Note) Capital expenditure cost = Cost of heating element (Jacketed Piping or ControTrace) + Supporting infrastructure (Steam/Condensate manifolds, Steam traps, Pre-insulated Tubing) + Field labor