In this post I want to share several basic types of fired equipment.
Fire equipment transfers heat produced by fuel combustion to the process stream. Natural gas is often selected as the fuel for gas processing equipment. The process stream includes a wide range of materials, such as heavier hydrocarbon, natural gas, water, amine solutions, glycol, and heat transfer oils.
Fire equipment can be categorized into two general types, direct fired heaters and firetube heaters.
In direct fired heaters, the combustion gases occupy the majority of the heater’s capacity and heat the process stream contained in pipes positioned in front of refractory walls (the radiant section) and in a bundle in the top portion (the convective section).
In firetube heaters, the liquid that fills the heater shell surrounds a firetube that contains the combustion gases. The process stream can be liquid or heat transfer medium.
Table below shows general application and characteristics of direct fired heaters and firetube heaters.
The capacity of direct fired heaters vary from 0.5 MMBtu/hr (146 kW) small package regeneration gas heaters to 1000 MMBtu/hr (293 MW) steam hydrocarbon reformer heaters. In the gas processing industry, the usual range is 1 to 20 MMBtu/hr (293 kW to 5.86 MW).
On the other hand, firetube heaters capacity is ranging from 60 MBtu/hr (17.6 kW) glycol reboilers to 12 MMBtu/hr (3.5 MW) oil or gas pipeline heaters.
I hope you find this simple and fundamental knowledge is useful.
GPSA Engineering Data Books.