Volcanic Heater Inc., an industry leader in marine and land-based thermal heating systems, recently delivered and installed the largest unit ever built at its Ohio facility - a customized heavy oil-fired helical coil heating system for a NuStar terminal in St. Eustatius, a small island in the Dutch Caribbean.
The unit has 2,500-sq.ft. of heating surface, weighs 68,000 pounds, and is nearly 50 feet long by nine feet tall.
Volcanic designed the robust heating system to both offset significant heat loss and to add temperature to heavy oil storage in a short period of time. The multi-tank system includes a 30,000 gallon heavy oil storage tank, with finned heating coils under normal operation, electric immersion heaters for cold-startup, and mixers to enhance heat transfer. Volcanic also furnished a ModSync control system from Synex Controls operate the heaters on a lead-lag system for maximum efficiency, and to enable communication and control of the units from the terminal control room located about a half-mile away.
Due to soot produced as a result of burning heavy oil, Volcanic engineered a coil that could slide out of the unit to be cleaned and inspected regularly. Redundant equipment, such as pumps and spare parts, were recommended due to the long lead-time in delivering equipment to the remote island.
NuStar is a growing Master Limited Partnership that has installed several Volcanic heaters.
Volcanic worked very closely with NuStar project engineers to design the St. Eustatius system, offering consultation on pipe sizing, control valves, and operating procedures. The project was a joint effort from conception through start-up -- a Volcanic service technician, project engineer, and a Synex Controls programmer were on-site for a total of four weeks to commission the system and observe the system operation while under load.