Electric fuel oil heaters are primarily used for heating the fuel oil to a preferred or prerequisite temperature before combusting it in a boiler. Since these heaters are used for preheating the oil, they are also called preheaters. In order to reduce the amount of pollutants and increase the efficiency, it is of prime importance to ensure complete combustion of the fuel oil. This can be achieved by maintaining the oil temperature to a desired level. Usage of the electric fuel oil heater is of high significance simply because it promises high tool and machine efficiency, less energy consumption, and protection from wear. At low temperatures, the viscosity of oils surges. This can cause considerable loss of high pressure within tubes, filters, and cooling systems. If the cold & viscous oil is used directly as a fuel, it incurs high pressure build up onto the system which causes significantly high losses on the components of the entire system which reduces the efficiency. Thus using a preheater, oil in the tank is heated to a required temperature, which eases the startup of machines.
Electric fuel oil heaters are of two types: flange type and screw plug type. These fuel oil heaters are equipped with thermostat, a component that senses the temperature and maintains it to the desired level. Along with the thermostat, interlocks are employed to avoid pumping of cold, highly viscous oil into the furnace or boiler unless and until the oil is preheated to the required temperature. These preheaters are generally installed horizontally, at the bottom of the tank containing fuel oil. The design of a preheater is based on the watt density. This watt density varies with the oil viscosity.
As the use of fuel oils has started for heating applications, solid fuels such as coal and wood are being replaced greatly. This is simply because the effective heat generated by these fuel oils is high, with a minimum impact on the environment (ash generation). Though the fuel oil generates emissions similar to the solid fuel, it is cleaner and highly effective than the solid fuel. Hence, it is preferred as furnace fuel or boiler fuel. Electric fuel oil heaters can be used in different industries such as pharmaceutical, food, chemical, and forging, wherein the heating process involves usage of boiler or furnace. Moreover, electric fuel oil heaters are required on a domestic level for apartment complexes, hospitals, and manufacturing buildings in colder regions of the world.
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Asia Pacific is the key potential market for electric fuel oil heaters, due to rise in the number of small players in chemical and pharmaceutical industries in the region, which require heating applications. The markets in North America and Europe also witness high growth opportunities, due to well-established industries requiring heating operations in these regions.