Hopper Heaters: Modern panel-design vs. MI cables on wire mesh

Hopper Heaters: MI cable on mesh or heating panels

A typical application for surface heating is on Hoppers. 

Reliable and effective hopper heating systems play an important role in the removal of flyash from precipitators and baghouse hoppers

Many designs and operating procedures have been used to minimise or eliminate hopper pluggage caused by compaction, agglomeration and solidification. Earlier designs were based on solving the compaction problem only by means of poke tubes and mechanical vibrators. Fluidizing systems on the other hand tend to require significant maintenance.

Hopper heating was recognised as the most practical method to prevent agglomeration and solidification.

Thermon offers various hopper heating solutions

Thermon MIQ Mineral Insulated Heating Cable
Hopper Heating Module
MI cables on wire mesh

A method perhaps most traditionally used consists of mineral insulated heating cables (MI) fastened to a wire mesh. Because MI cables are silver soldered and waterproof they are a great choice in “gut” tracing applications. This method of heating a hopper has the advantage that higher temperatures can be reached. The disadvantage is that there is a possibility that if not installed properly, air gaps can form, resulting in poor transfer of heat.

There is also the possibility for the central copper heating wire to shift under vibrations. The central heating wire once touching the outer protective sheath could cause localised heating and eventually failure of the element.

Benefits MIQ heating cable on wire mesh

A constant Watt heat tracing cable up to 500°C, designed for high exposure temperatures and/or high watt density applications. Can be installed on a wire mesh to function as a hopper heater.

Typical applications are found in the chemical- and petrochemical industries in applications where steam purging occurs.

Mineral Insulated Heating Cable: Hopper installation on wire mesh
Hopper Heating System: MI heating cable
Hopper Heating Cable
  • Alloy 825 for exceptional resistance to stress corrosion in chloride, acid, salt and alkaline environments.
  • High heating power, suitable up to 500°C (Power on)
  • Can be installed at temperatures to -60°C

Hopper Heating Panels

An alternative method consists of rugged modular heaters. Instead of resistance wire these contain a heating element stamped from a high temperature alloy, Inconel 600, providing multiple paths, eliminating series wire burnout which is so typical for conventional systems.

Our Hopper Heater Panels have been designed to withstand harsh environments over 20 plus years of operating life of the system.

Heating Panels: Hopper Heating
Thermon HT Hopper Heating Panel Installation
Hopper Heating Panel Installation: Preventing pluggage issues
Summary of benefits of panel-designed hopper heaters
Direct attachment to HopperEfficient heat transfer
Low Watts Density (2300-4650 W/m2)Prevents high temp cycling failures
High Temp ratingExtended service life
Robust Aluminium CasingWithstands harsh working environment
Flexible front cushion heaterAccommodates irregular surfaces
Designed to withstand vibration and impactLong life: 20-30 years in industrial environment
Multiple parallel path circuitry designReliability and flexibility
Low maintenance costSaving on operating expenditure

No one method is "better" than the other. The preferred solution is dependant on the client's application and requirements.

More info on tank & hopper heating Contact us to discuss your requirements



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