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Electrical Heat Tracing of Cryogenic Storage Tank Bases


The heat tracing engineers at eltherm have many years of experience developing the most efficient heating system designs in hundreds of applications, including gas processing, LNG and other cryogenic tank base heating.
Foundation Heating of Cryogenic Storage Tanks:

The eltherm heating system offers a reliable and effective operation, due to a redundant system. This configuration avoids a complete system failure and minimizes the risk of damage to the tank structure:

Frost heave prevention thanks to reliable foundation heating system

Cryogenic storage/LNG tank foundations (a.k.a. the tank base) require heating systems which effectively allow heat to flow from the foundation upward creating a barrier to protect the base and underlying soil from freezing. The electrical heating elements are usually arranged in an array of parallel conduits in a horizontal plane with careful pitch-to-pitch calculation and simulation with ANSYS Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software.

3-dimensional FEA tank base model showing temperature levels
3-dimensional FEA tank base model showing temperature levels

eltherm specialized in Electrical Heat Tracing of Cryogenic Storage Tanks Foundations

The importance of natural gas has gained an ever increasing role in recent years as a major source of energy supply. The production of liquefied natural gas (LNG), whereby the natural gas (which consists primarily of methane) is cooled to approximately -160 °C and liquefied, has provided tremendous opportunities. The production of LNG is comprised of several highly complex steps, all of which offer very unique challenges to the project engineers who design and construct LNG facilities. The safe and reliable operation of any part of the LNG system is the most important, and requires meticulous planning and execution by everyone involved. One particular safety aspect which must be considered is the design of tanks used in the processing and storage of LNG. Tank design, in particular tank base design, is crucial when dealing with the extremely low temperatures present in LNG applications. Freezing and frost formation at the base of the tank or the soil below may result in the formation of cracks which deform the tank base and can cause severe structural damage to the foundation.

The most effective way to prevent these effects from occurring is by means of electrical heating of the tank base. Experienced design and implementation expertise is essential to prevent any costly mistakes when it’s too late.

Schematic overview of a cryogenic tank base heating system with foundation heating and ring wall heater
Schematic overview of a cryogenic tank base heating system with foundation heating and ring wall heater

eltherm specializes in the design, engineering and supply of reliable, energy saving and complete turn-key base heating system solutions for LNG storage tanks. eltherm’s heating cable product offering includes a complete line of heating cable designs, including resistance, as well as parallel heating cables based on continuous wattage and self-regulating technology. This provides eltherm with the unique capability to offer a custom-fit heating solution for low temperature tank applications. Choosing the design which best fits the particular challenge ensures the plant owner and operator avoids or limits unnecessary operation, energy and maintenance costs.

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eltherm Canada Inc.
1440 Graham’s Lane, Unit 5
Burlington Ontario L7S 1W3
Phone: +1 (289) 812-6631
Fax: +1 (844) 325-6750