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Thermal challenges for power plants and nuclear industries

Power plants and nuclear industries are highly challenging and often deal with extreme environments. As such, (the monitoring of) industrial processes and the achievement of temperature control through process heating can be negatively affected if not all components are able to function correctly and consistently in spite of temperature fluctuations and corrosion. Mineral insulated (MI) heating technologies are a perfect match for power plants and nuclear industries as they are able to withstand temperature extremes as well as vacuums and oxidizing or reducing atmospheres. The use of mineral insulated heaters, like microheaters or tracing elements, can contribute to overall cost saving, safety and performance. The design of these industries is such that accessibility for repairs or replacement of parts is extremely difficult. This is another reason that mineral insulated heating solutions are so appealing for this industry, they are extremely durable and relatively maintenance free.

Advantages and applications of MI heating in power plants and nuclear industries

Considering the very varied environments and temperature regulation challenges in power plants and the nuclear industry, the best results are generally achieved through the development of bespoke thermal solutions. Kamet has a long history of product development for the high temperature world and high tech industries. We seek to develop reliable, power-saving and economical solutions to thermal challenges in this sector. Here are a few examples of the kind of applications that are possible with mineral insulated heating as well as the specific advantages offered.

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Nuclear Industries

Nuclear industries and power plants always require some form of process heating. Examples include stopping caustic solutions and borated water from dropping below their crystallization temperatures or service water from freezing in winter. Pipes can also be preheated prior to heat transfer. Mineral insulated heating systems can meet all these thermal challenges, furthermore serving an important safety role for critical circuits.

Through the use of mineral insulated heating, temperature control can be customized to each particular process using a combination of heaters and sensors all of which can be linked up for remote operation and monitoring. The protective sheath material can be customized to suit the specific environment (e.g. reducing, vacuum or oxidizing) and the range of operating temperature. Mineral insulated heaters are naturally radiation proof and due to their long life able to function for the entire lifetime of the reactor’s cooling system. Last but not least, mineral insulated heaters are easy to mold to fit in tight or bend spaces and can reach up to high temperatures such as 1000°C.

Kamet’s mineral insulated heating solutions are also being used in ground-breaking development processes in nuclear fusion research that will one day lead to the fusion power plants of the future.

Concentrated Solar Power Plants

Our type of mineral insulated heating systems have an important role in helping to reduce unwanted stoppages due to solidification of fluids in the system (heat transfer oils)  or freezing of service waters. Mineral insulated heating systems actually  save costs in a number of ways:

  • increase production rates by helping prevent stoppages
  • reduce repair costs that could arise from such stoppages
  • reduce power consumption
  • boost system performance

Coal Fired Power Plants

Mineral insulated trace heating has an important role in preventing solidification of condensation in the winter months that would otherwise cause blockages during injection of pulverized coal into the furnace. Another application is in maintaining optimal temperature range for the steam lines.

Waste-to-energy plants (WTE plants)

Similarly to the other power plants, mineral insulated thermal solutions are essential for temperature regulation. However, the heating systems need to be particularly resistant to the chemical nature of the waste matter which forms a hazardous environment. The mineral insulated heaters Kamet stocks can be tailored to suit even this challenging situation.

Heating solutions for power plants and nuclear industries

On our product pages about heat tracing and microheaters,  you will find further specifications and information on these mineral insulated heating systems which are particularly well suited to power plants and nuclear industries. A combination of both types of heaters is often used and there is a lot of overlap in properties. The distinguishing characteristics are included below. For all your questions and for expert advice on your particular situation please contact our inhouse specialists.

Contact our inhouse specialists

Tracing Elements

Can be very long and supplied in almost any length,

More about tracing elements

Microheaters

Extremely thin (as small as 1mm) makes them Ideal for small spaces where every nanometer counts

Microheaters

Kamet partners with top manufacturers

Kamet has partnered with two leading manufacturers of thermal solutions. Okazaki manufacturing company and ARi industries. Okazaki manufacturing company is the world’s largest heating cable manufacturer with a huge production capacity. Additionally, we also offer mineral insulated heating cables produced by ARi Industries. ARi Industries is a leading supplier of customized mineral insulated cables and heating solutions, located in the USA. Both companies produce certified and fully traceable products designed to withstand extreme and harsh environments.

Kamet enhances these high quality products by applying our years of experience and up to date know-how to designing your customized thermal solution. We look forward to collaborating with you and are ready to respond to any queries you may have.

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