Categories: Air heaters , Electrification
Published 27 Oct 2020

Compared with conventional air heaters, the Kanthal® Flow Heater range can heat air and process gases to higher temperatures with greater accuracy. In order to deliver these benefits to a wider range of industries and applications, a new 60 kW model has been launched.

With a unique design and robust internal temperature control, the Kanthal® Flow Heaters can deliver gas outlet temperatures of up to 1100°C (compared with 800°C in conventional air heaters) as well as a temperature accuracy within ±1°C. When it comes to drying and preheating processes, flow heaters can deliver the same performance as gas burners but with increased heat efficiency. They can also reduce the CO2 footprint and eliminate combustion-related pollutants such as NOx and SOx from processes or facilities.

CaptionMarkus Mann, Technology & Innovation Manager, Kanthal.“We have the best available technology in the field of electric air heaters, but we can see that there is demand, especially from heavier industries and processes, for a heater with even higher power,” explains Markus Mann, Technology & Innovation Manager, Kanthal. “By adding a new 60 kW heater to our portfolio, we can now provide more power while minimizing the number of devices, which will provide simpler control and lower the overall cost of ownership.”

Faster preheating in aluminum production

The 60 kW flow heater is targeted mainly at the aluminum and glass industries, which typically have high power demands and use open flame torches in their production processes. However, a growing need to reduce carbon emissions is seeing many in the industry look toward switching from gas burners to electric air heaters.

Since using direct air does not release moisture and water in the equipment, air heaters can significantly increase the speed of the preheating process and minimize the risk of explosions. Systems using gas burners, on the other hand, require additional overheating in order to evaporate any moisture.

“You’re essentially getting more heat in the total process and increasing your productivity quite significantly – particularly with the 60 kW model,” says Mann. “We have done tests where we have preheated an aluminum degasser system and decreased the preheating time from 72 hours to under 24 hours while using even less heating power. The latest 60 kW model improves this performance even better. With conventional air heaters, the time taken to reach temperature can vary by up to 10 hours, whereas Kanthal® Flow Heaters can heat to the point, making your process stable and reliable.”

60 kW Kanthal Flow Heater

Multiple benefits for glass and process industry

By replacing gas burners with flow heaters, aluminum manufacturers can eliminate NOx, SOx and CO2 emissions completely, as well as any other pollutants and contaminants that can potentially be released from burners. They can also benefit from reduced energy consumption and having a safer, quieter work environment.

Furthermore, since a direct fluid flow heater does not require a heat exchanger system, the overall installation footprint is much smaller than that required for gas burners.

“Our 60 kW model, while the largest in our range, is still a very small device,” Mann explains. “It is roughly half a meter long but with very high power density. It comes with standard pipe dimensions, so easy integration into processes is guaranteed. And a gas tight (GT) version enables usage with other gases than air.”

The inclusion of a 60 kW model also enables fewer heaters. For example, one 60 kW heater can deliver the same temperature as four 15 kW heaters, but since it is only one device, it is far easier to control and install.

Full range and customizations for other applications

Apart from aluminum and glass production, Kanthal® Flow Heaters are also suitable for other applications that require high-temperature gas flows within their processes. This includes process gas heating, metal treatment, chemical powder production, the food industry and anything related to Power-to-X applications.

The full range is available with 3.5 kW, 11 kW, 20 kW, 30 kW, 40 kW and now 60 kW. In addition, Kanthal continues to offer customized models for individual processes and demands.

Benefits of the 60 kW Kanthal® Flow Heater

  • Provides more power while minimizing the number of devices, which means simpler control and lower overall cost of ownership.
  • Comes with standard pipe dimensions for easy integration into processes.
  • Increases productivity by decreasing preheating time, while using less heating power.
  • Reduces energy consumption.
  • Ensures a safer, quieter work environment compared with gas burners.