Electrical Heat Tracing for freeze protection and temperature maintenance

What is electrical Heat Tracing (eHT)?

Wherever freeze protection or temperature maintenance is needed, electrical heat tracing can be used. It is operated with electricity and the heat is generated by the conversion. There is a wide range of applications of trace heating, most common in industrial and public areas.

Electrical heat tracing on:

  • Pipelines
  • Tanks and vessels
  • Silos
  • Tank containers
  • Pumps
  • Valves
  • Open areas

Such heating ensures process-safe transport, appropriate storage or processing of e.g. various foodstuffs, greases, oils, adhesives, but also paints, lubricants or quite simply water. There is a wide range of specific applications.

How an electric heat tracing system works

Different applications also have different requirements. There are various types of heating cables for Ex and non-Ex areas. Self-regulating heating cables (also called self-limiting heating cables) offer the advantage to be operated with or without additional regulation. The temperature regulates itself by molecular expansion. Two parallel bus wires are embedded in a heating matrix doped with carbon particles. The resistance increases and output drops. MI cables (mineral insulated), parallel or series resistance heating cables are always operated with the appropriate measurement and control technology.

Design of eHT

The requirements differ depending on the application and are always based on customized specifications. Thus, the focus is not on the individual product, but much more on the individual design of an entire system. That means: each electric heat tracing system is a tailor-made solution according to your application. The overview drawing illustrates which components can be used, for pipe heating (e.g. with ELSR).

a) Trace Heater

b) Power Connection Kit

c) End Termination Kit

d) Junction Box

e) Pipe Mounting Bracket

f) Fasteners and Self-adhesive Tapes, Foils

g) Insulation Bushing

h) Warning Sign

i) Temperature Controller

j) Temperature Sensor

Planning and design

Preparation is everything. There are different ways to design an electrical trace heating system. In order to develop the right solution for your application, it requires some key data, such as the maintain temperature, minimum and maximum ambient temperature or supply voltage. These key data can be used to plan a design with self-regulating heating cables or constant heating power. For this purpose, you will find individual questionnaires that make it easier for you to submit an inquiry. For your own planning, you can also easily download our design software.

Installation on a pipe

  • It should only be installed after every other task has been completed.
  • The connection should be carried out by appropriately trained personnel in order to ensure a professional installation
  • Only exact and correct installation can guarantee optimum heat distribution.

What about applications in potentially explosive atmospheres?

Many applications are located in hazardous areas, where a mixture of dusts, gases or vapors is formed. These can  ignite under certain circumstances. Therefore: safety is a key requirement.

We offer ATEX and IECEx certified and approved products to ensure this safety. In addition to national requirements, we meet other international standards including those for the USA, Canada, Russia, China and South Africa. We are also members of relevant committees for international electrical trace heating standardization such as IEC 60079-30-1 and -2, IEC 62395-1 and IEEE 515 (US).

We are here for you

Contact Person

Thomas Stuff

eltherm GmbH (Headquarters)
Ernst-Heinkel-Straße 6-10
57299 Burbach

Phone: +49 2736 4413 8155

Cristina Talia

eltherm GmbH (Headquarters)
Ernst-Heinkel-Straße 6-10
57299 Burbach

Phone: +49 2736 4413-8284
Fax: +49 2736 4413-50

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Phone: +49 (0) 27 36 / 44 13-0

Fax: +49 (0) 27 36 / 44 13-50


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