Self Regulating Heating Cable
- Energy Efficient, Automatically Varies its Power Output in Response to Pipe Temperature Changes;
- We Make PTC Core Materials;
- Lower Installation Cost and Maintenance Expense Compared to Steam Heat Tracing;
- No Overheat or burnout Even when Wrapped Over Itself(Overlapped);
- Jiahong Provides Power Connection, Splice, Tee, End Seal Kits and other Related Accessories;
- Suitable for use in Non-hazardous, Hazardous and Corrosive Environments;
All Jiahong’s Self Regulating Heating Cables
Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cable is an exceptional heating cable. It can regulate its heat output depending on the change in the ambient temperature. When the temperature drops, it automatically heats up to provide heat; when the temperature rises to a critical value, it automatically disconnects the circuit to reduce heat generation.
Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cable comes in different designs and capabilities. They include low-temperature self-regulating heating cables, medium temperature heating cables, and high-temperature heating cables. They are strictly made according to the European and North American safety standards.
Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cables are widely used in most industries such as industrial pipe and tank, residential and commercial roof and gutter, fire pipelines, power plant, flue gas desulfurization project, offshore oil platforms, marine ship, and subway, etc.
Why Future 500 Companies Approved
Jiahong’s Self Regulating Heating Cables
- Top 1 Heating Cable Exporter in Asia-Pacific;
- Over 25 Years of Manufacturing Experience;
- Complete Test Reports For Europe And America;
- Technical Support Team Assist Your Product Design;
- 10 Years Warranty Services;
- The Only Supplier that holds the Core Technologies in China;
Answer: Thermostat is used to regulate the heat output. And self-regulating can control its heat output by itself. So, there is no need of buying thermostat if you are using self-regulating heat trace cable.
Answer: We are among the few manufacturers who can produce the PTC core. Our company has been doing this since 1993. We have different designs for varying temperature’s PTC core.
Answer: In short, the heating part of the self-regulating heating cable is PTC core and for constant wattage heating cable is resistance wire. Only SR heating cable can regulate the output by itself. On the other hand, the self-regulating heating cable can be cut randomly. However, you cannot do this for constant wattage heating cable in most practical applications.
Answer: To be honest, we already have most certificates in this field. For example, our SR heating cable has CE, EAC, ETL, UL, CSA for non-hazardous application, ATEX, IECEX and CSA explosion certificates for the hazardous application.
Answer: 20pcs for regular constant wattage heating cable, and 500m for self-regulating heating cables.
Answer: Generally, The max circuit length is based on start-up temperature and circuit breaker size you use. You may find more details form products’ datasheet.
Answer: For low-temperature heating cable (HTM, HTLE, HTR, SLL), max maintain temperature is 65°C and max exposure temperature is 85°C. For medium temperature heating cable (HTP), max maintain temperature is 110°C, while max exposure temperature is 135°C. For high-temperature heating cable (HTS), max maintain temperature is 120°C, while the max exposure temperature is 200°C. For extra-high temperature heating cable (HTU), max maintain temperature is 190°C, while the max exposure temperature is 232°C.
Answer: 10-year limited warranty for self-regulating heating cables, and a 25-year warranty for floor heating products.
Answer: Normally we will control the starting current within 3-5 times compared to the rated current at 10°C.
Answer: If you want to have your own model name of your products, you must do the multiple listing for North America market. If you want to have your own brand, but with our model name, no need to do the multiple listing for North America market. Of course, if you want to use our model name or brand, there is no need to do the multiple listing for the North America market, neither.
Self Regulating Heating Cables
Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cable, also called self-limiting heating cable, is a kind of special heating cable that can control heat output by itself according to changes in ambient temperature.
It is mainly used to provide freeze protection, flow viscosity, heat tracing, and process maintenance.
As an authoritative manufacturer of heating cables, Jiahong New Materials Co., LTD holds the patented technology for PTC core.
The PTC Core is the most important Element for heat trace cable.
Although there are many self-regulating heat cable manufacturers in the world, only less than ten of them have matrix technology (also called PTC Technology).
Jiahong is among the top ten in China. We are the only manufacturer who can develop and produce matrix or PTC core in our factory.
Our main materials are imported from Korea, the United States, and Japan. Self-regulating is the most characteristic feature of this kind of cable. The heating element is a PTC polymer conductive plastic.
Graphic: Self Regulating Heating Cables
The temperature is low, and its resistance is reduced, and when the temperature is high, then the resistance is increased.
The output power changes with the PTC resistance. For example, as the temperature of the pipe changes, self-regulating heating cable automatically adjusts power output.
Graphic: Output Power and Ambient Temperature Curve
Another characteristic of Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cable is no overheating, irrespective of how you install it.
This characteristic allows for cable cross-installation and can be cut in random lengths without affecting the power output per unit length.
That is why people love self-regulating heating cable – very easy to design and install. It is this characteristic that makes heat trace installation very easy. In residential and commercial fields, there is no need to ask for a special heat trace wiring diagram.
However, you can get a detailed installation specification for industrial applications upon request.
A Typical Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cable consists of 5 different layers. The structure includes
- Inner alloy conductor
- PTC heating element
- Inner insulation or PTC Insulation
- Anti-electromagnetic radiation braid
- Outer water-proof jacket.
Graphic: The Basic Structure of Self-Regulating Heating Cables
Jiahong self-regulating heat trace cable often adopts tinned copper as its inner conductor.
This alloy has characteristic of good electrical conductivity and low thermal conversion rate.
Every Self Regulating Heating Cable has two pieces of parallel tinned copper stranded wires.
And each stranded wire consists of 7 or 19 pieces of tinned copper wires. This structure is stronger than one thick copper wire.
Inner insulation is generally made of Teflon plastic, with high temperature, acid, and alkali resistance.
Meanwhile, it has stable chemical properties and long service life.
Sometimes, Teflon insulation would be replaced with both PE inner insulation and LSZH outer insulation to reduce the cost.
Graphic: Teflon Materials Source From Korea and the United States
The braid layer is made of tinned copper as well. The weaving density depends on the amount of current passing through the loop.
Generally, the greater the current passing through the loop, the higher the density of the woven mesh.
Outer jacket often chooses PVC or fluoropolymer.
Both materials have the characteristics of high temperature, pressure, strong acid, and alkali resistance.
Besides, the fluoropolymer is also resistant to high temperatures, and it can be used in the high-temperature self-regulating heating cable.
The requirements for the heat tracing system vary according to the specific design parameters of each application.
To meet these needs, Jiahong has built the world’s most complete range of electric heating cables and control systems. Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Trace includes three types:
- Low-temperature Self-Regulating Heating Cables
- Medium temperature Self-Regulating Heating Cables
- High-temperature Self-Regulating Heating Cables
Graphic: Various of Self-Regulating Heating Cables Working Effect
Low-Temperature Self Regulating Heating Cable
It has a maximum maintenance temperature of 65 degrees Celsius and a maximum intermittent exposure temperature of 85 degrees Celsius.
This kind of heating cable is widely used in various applications such as residential, commercial, industrial areas, etc.
For example, heat tracing for small diameter metal, PVC pipes, roof, gutter de-icing and small size industrial pipe freezing protection. Our regular models are SLL, HTLe, HTM, and HTR.
Medium Temperature sr heat trace
It has a maximum maintenance temperature of 110 degrees Celsius and a maximum intermittent exposure temperature of 135 degrees Celsius.
This heat trace cables are suitable for large pipes and systems with high heat loss to prevent freezing while maintaining the temperature.
Our regular model is HTP.
Graphic: HTP Heating Cables in Jiahong Warehouse
High-Temperature Self Regulating Heating Cable
It has a maximum maintenance temperature of 120 degrees Celsius and a maximum intermittent exposure temperature of 200 degrees Celsius.
It is a kind of industrial grade self-regulating heat trace cable.
It can be used in environments with a maximum temperature of 150oC. It is waterproof, anti-inorganic, anti-friction and anti-extrusion.
It is used in general and hazardous environments. Our regular model is HTS.
Jiahong self-limiting heat tapes are widely used to fire pipelines, power plant flue gas desulfurization project, offshore oil platforms, marine ship, subway, etc.
On the other hand, some customers call it heating tapes.
It is not the same as heating cable we have talked about.
The basic difference between heating tape and heating cable is the range of maintenance temperature they can provide. Generally speaking, self-regulating heating cable’s heating range is 65oC to 150oC.
However, heating tape’s heating range is 350oC-760oC.
We make Jiahong Heating Cables in our factory. We have the complete production lines including 3 sets of wire-grouping machines, 15 sets of high temperature and low temperature extruding machines, and 21 sets of braiding machines.
With these machines, we can produce 40000 meters of heating cable per day.
Our lead time for Jiahong heat trace cable is only 25 days.
During a busy season, it may be about 35-40days.
Meanwhile, for some regular models, we can pre-produce to support fast delivery.
Every Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cable is strictly controlled during the production.
Jiahong has the only CSA standard testing Lab in China.
The Lab can provide 4 categories, 26 total different tests which include conductor tests, plastic material tests, printing ink tests, and packing materials tests.
Graphic: Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cables Working Plate
All heat trace wires must pass 7 categories and 79 tests for quality control. These tests include stranding, PTC extruding, insulation extruding, outer jacket extruding, irradiation, braiding, lapping, etc.
What’s more, Jiahong electrical heat tracing must go through 2 times, 100% inspections before finishing and final packaging.
There are a total of 15 tests, and key tests are resistance, insulation resistance, and high-voltage insulation tests.
All Jiahong Self Regulating Heating Cables are approved by most international testing institutions.
Graphic: Jiahong Testing Reports for Self Regulating Heating Cables
The heating cables for North America must UL, CULus, CSA, and ETL. For the European Market, self-regulating heating cables must pass the CE, TUV, ATEX, IECEX, and EAC. Moreover, our self-regulating heating cables have a 10-year warranty.
Self Regulating Heating Cable: The Complete Guide for Importers
Chapter 1: Self-Regulating Heating Cables
Heating cables are specially designed for use in both outdoor and indoor locations. Simply put, heating cables ensure your pipes, tanks, etc do not freeze or overheat when temperatures drop or rise.
These cables are ideal for industrial, commercial, and residential freeze protection.
Here is everything you need to know about our high-quality and top-of-the-line self-regulating heating cables.
1.1 What are Self Regulating Heating Cables
A self-regulating or self-limiting heating cable is a special cable that can automatically adjust the heat output it produces based on the surface temperature to help protect pipes, tanks, gutters, and vessels, among others from freezing.
Alternatively, the cables can also be referred to as automatic heat trace cables or heating tapes.
For example; if the ambient temperature starts getting hot, the plastic heating element inside the cable expands and automatically limits the power output. This reduces heat generation and helps compensate for the temperature changes.
The reverse happens when temperatures start to drop; the polymeric core of the cable automatically heats up to increase heat output.
However, if the temperature gets too hot to cause damage, the heating cable automatically disconnects the heat output completely. This allows the heating cable to stop heating up and begin cooling down. We shall get more in-depth about how they work later on.
1.2 The Structure of Self Regulating Heating Cables
As previously mentioned, when the surface temperature rises, the self-limiting heating cable fiber/ core expand to reduce heat output and vice versa.
But what are these fibers/ core we are talking about? Let us peel back the folds and see how these valuable heating cables are constructed.
A typical heating cable such as a Jiahong self-regulating heating cable comprises five different layers namely;
- Inner alloy conductor
- PTC heating element
- Internal insulation
- Anti-electromagnetic radiation braid
- An outer waterproof jacket
In addition, the tube is usually covered with thermal insulation that protects the pipe from freezing and helps the cable not lose heat.
- Inner Alloy Conductor
The primary inner conductor or the bus wires is made out of tinned copper. The material allows for incredible electrical conductivity and low thermal conversion rates.
Self-regulating cables use two parallel tinned copper wires with each wire consisting of 7 or 19 strands of tinned copper wires. The results are solid copper wires.
- PTC Heating Element
Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) or the conductive core heating elements are specialized discs that allow very high heat transfer in a small space.
PTC heating elements enable powerful, safe, and energy efficient heat transfer. Do note that this is the most crucial part of a heating cable as it defines how well the entire length of the cable performs.
- Inner insulation
Most of the inner wraps you find on self-limiting heating cables are made with Teflon plastic which is a synthetic material that is nonreactive. It’s mostly used in pipe-work for reactive and corrosive chemicals.
This highly durable material is suitable for a lot of industrial applications such as aerospace, food and drink sector, telecoms, and even in pharmaceuticals.
The inner insulation of heating cables can withstand high temperatures, acid, and alkali.
NB: Some manufacturers tend to replace Teflon with both PV internal insulation and LSZH outer insulation to reduce costs.
- Anti-Electromagnetic Radiation Braid
Anti-electromagnetic radiation braid is also known as the metallic over-shield. This layer is made with tinned copper as well.
However, the braid or weaving density used on each cable depends on the amount of current passed through the loop.
The braid will be higher in density if the current passed through is substantial and of lower density, if the current expected to pass through it is low.
- Outer Waterproof Jacket
An outer jacket can be made out of either fluoropolymer or PVC. The fluoropolymer material is mostly used on cables that handle solvents and acids.
PVC is mostly used on pipes, electrical cables, flooring, and many other applications where it can replace the rubber, especially in high-temperature self-limiting heating cables.
Both materials can withstand high temperatures, pressure, and strong acids. Better yet, both elements are alkali resistant.
1.3 Advantages of Self Regulating Heating Cables
Heating cables are quite advantageous when used and installed correctly. Since these parallel heating cables comprise of a built-in semi-conductive element that responds to the temperature changes, they are able to automatically change the heat output as needed.
Here are other benefits you can expect from an automatic heating cable:
- Automatic Temperature Regulation
We all rely on heat energy. From commercial sectors, homes, to industries, a self-limiting heating cable can be used to lower or raise the temperature of many appliances.
A significant benefit of installing self-limiting heating cables is that you don’t need any manual configurations when temperatures change. The cables can automatically adjust themselves during warm or cold environments.
For example; when it’s too hot, the cable automatically reduces heat output and uses less energy. The same methodology applies when temperatures start to drop; the heating cables adjust accordingly and increases heat output.
- Inherently Temperature Safe
Since a heating cable is manufactured to regulate varying temperatures, it can resist low and extreme temperatures alike.
For instance, industries that manufacture materials such as cast iron or carbon steel need self-regulating cables that have a high tolerance to cold temperatures because the elements need to be rapidly heated then rapidly cooled simultaneously.
If the cables are not able to withstand very high or very low temperatures, the heat or cold can lead to huge flaws and cable damages. This sensitive metallic piece can expand when heat increases and contract when heat decreases to accommodate any temperature changes.
- Cut to Length
Another great benefit is the ability for a user to be able to cut the heating cable to any desired length without having to worry about changing the wire’s properties.
How? Well, self-regulating heating cables consist of a conductive polymer heating pad located between the two parallel bus conductors that cannot be damaged when the cable is cut.
- Zero EMF (Electromagnetic Radiation/ Fields)
These heating systems reduce the exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Self-regulating heating cables emit or produce zero EMF. This means your family and the environment will be safe throughout.
EMF is known to cause issues such as skin or breast cancer, depression, neurotic disorders, and many more harmful conditions.
Switching to self-limiting heating cable systems will be beneficial to your health and the environment alike.
- Controlled Temperature (No Thermostat Needed)
A self-regulating heating cable doesn’t need any thermostat to track the heat levels because it can automatically control the core’s temperatures. As earlier mentioned, the heating cable can lower or raise the heat output depending on the surrounding environments.
If it detects the temperatures are high/ low on a particular area, the cable can automatically adjust without you having to manually check the thermostat each time.
Chapter 2: Types of Self Regulating Heating Cables
All self-regulating heating cables have a specific maximum temperature exposure. The temperature limit of each cable you buy depends on the type of polymer used to make the core.
What this means is if you use very high temperatures on a cable that was manufactured for low temperature, you might end up damaging your heat tape beyond repair.
So what can you do if you require high heat temperatures? Well, the good news is that heating cable manufacturers construct different types of self-limiting heating cables with different temperature settings.
The four available types include
- Low-temperature self-regulating heating cable (LTC)
- Medium temperature self-limiting heating cable (MTC)
- High-temperature heating cable (HTC)
- Super high-temperature self-regulating heating cable (SHTC)
Even though the cables can automatically adjust the amount of heat they produce on their own, heat tracing controllers are installed to help optimize the system’s performance.
Basically, all the available variations depend on the kind of heating you are looking for and how you plan to use them.
1. Low-Temperature Self Regulating Heating Cable (LTC)
LTC offer process temperature maintenance of up to 150 degrees F (65 degrees Celsius). They are energy efficient and use less energy when less heat is required. They are best suited for residential use such as on home water pipes. In addition, LTC is resistant to water and most chemicals.
2. Medium Temperature Self Regulating Heating Cable (MTC)
MTC can withstand maximum exposure of up to 212 degrees F (100 degrees Celsius). They are ideal for outdoor use in residential and commercial areas such as on driveways and roof gutters. MTC are somewhat stiff but offer excellent flexibility for spiraling around pipes.
3. High-Temperature Self Regulating Heating Cable (HTC)
HTC can maintain temperatures of up to 248 degrees F (120 degrees Celsius). These cables are well suited for freeze protection in larger surfaces such as on commercial buildings or walkways. HTC can be used on tanks, vessels, and for large building complexes. They are also resistant to water and many other chemicals.
4. Super High-Temperature Self Regulating Heating Cable (SHTC)
SHTC can maintain continuous temperature exposure of up to 374 degrees F (190 degrees Celsius) and intermittent exposure capacity of up to 450 degrees F (232 degrees Celsius). They don’t overheat nor do they burn out even when overlapped. These heating cables are best used for commercial and industrial purposes.
Chapter 3: Working Principle of Self Regulating Heating Cable
The conductive core, also known as the PTC heating element is the spine of self-regulating heating cables. Energy current is generated and passed from the conductive core and in between the two bus wires and finally throughout the entire cable length.
NB: For this to be effective, the bus wires are encased in a specially designed mix of polymer and carbon. The bus wires are joined together by the polymer pathways. This helps create an infinite parallel circuit.
How? The heating power derived from the conductive core is applied according to the outside temperature to help maintain a holding temperature above freezing.
It means that as the ambient temperatures change, the heat flow, the differential with the holding temperature and the energy consumption are reduced accordingly.
Simply put: In colder areas, the polymer pathways tend to expand and the number of electrical paths throughout the conductive core increase leading to lowered resistance and increased power output.
On the other hand, the pathways contract when the cable is placed in warmer areas. This contraction increases resistance and decreases power output.
NB: Expanded polymer pathways produces more heat while contracted polymer pathways lead to less heat being generated.
Chapter 4: Regular Applications
A self-limiting heating cable adjusts its power output along its entire length, making it a reliable solution for many applications including industrial, residential, and commercial areas as earlier mentioned. Also, the heating cables are very economical and long-lasting.
For example; you can use self-regulating heating cables in locations where home and commercial water supply and drain pipes can freeze, in industries to prevent certain fluids from freezing, or even for composite curing on large structures such as yachts, airplanes, and so much more!
4.1 Pipes Freeze Protection
No matter how well you insulate them, water tanks and drainage pipes will freeze if the surrounding temperature drops below 0 degrees C. Low temperatures can lead to cracked water tanks and canals which will eventually cost you a lot of money to repair.
So why install self-limiting heating cables? Simple; because these systems provide a reliable and long-term solution to operational disturbances and costly damages.
The only way to prevent frozen appliances when temperatures plummet is to add an energy source in the form of heat. This is where self-limiting heating cables come into play.
Using self-regulating heating cables ensures that your home or commercial building is protected against frozen roof gutters, burst water pipes, fire pipes, hot water pipes, and other residential and commercial pipe freeze.
Furthermore, thanks to their functionality and versatility of freeze protection appliance, you can be able to evade frost damage to service lines and buildings as the heating cables will protect all your pipes.
Figure 8 – Frozen Pipes. Photo Credit: ProTherm Industries
4.2 Outdoor Snow and Ice Melting
There are thousands of people admitted to the hospital each year because of injuries from snow/ ice-related falls. Installing self-regulating heating cables can provide a safe place for you to walk on or park your car during the snow season.
Self-regulating heating cables ensure there’s no ice or snow build-up on your pathways, stairs, and driveway.
Figure 9 – Pathway Heating Cables. Photo Credit: Warmup
Are you a farmer? These cables can also be used to ensure that your animals are well fed all year round. They can be installed on animal feeding tank to melt ice from animal feeding sinks and de-freeze water consumed by domesticated animals.
How? Simple: heating cables automatically activate when they detect any ice formation or snow and automatically deactivate once the snow or ice melts.
4.3 Roof and Gutter Heating
Your roof and gutters can also benefit from heating cables. Self-regulating heating cables for your roof and drains prevent any snow and ice from forming into lumps.
As you know, lumps can be very dangerous if they fall and hit you when you are walking underneath. Also, ice lumps and frost from snow can damage your roofs, gutters, and downpipes.
Therefore, it is necessary to install roof and gutter heat cables
NB: Ensure you connect the cable in areas above the edges of the roof (the eaves) to prevent any melting snow from freezing again when it starts to drain into the gutters.
Figure 10- Roof & Gutter Heating Cables. Photo Credit: Warmup
How does the cable work on your roof and gutter? It automatically releases high heat levels whenever it’s covered by ice or snow and as the snow or ice melts, it decreases its output power.
You can lay the heating cables directly in your roof gutters or leave them hanging inside your downpipe. * More on how to safely install self-regulating heating cables in your home later.
4.4 Flow Viscosity Control (Industrial and Chemical)
We all know that almost all liquids and solids flow freely when heated including syrup, molten glass, food-processing oils, honey, tar, water, sulfuric acid, and even motor oil.
Figure 11 – Self Regulating Heating Cable for Industry
Heating cables can be used for industrial purposed to heat chemicals and keep the liquids flowing constantly. The best part? The cables will not contaminate or burn any of the fluids. Additionally, heating cables are capable of reaching up to 500 degrees F.
4.5 Process Temperature Control and Maintenance
As you already know, some materials will automatically become solid if they don’t have a constant and consistent heat source. With process temperature applications, there is usually a need for flow viscosity control for certain chemicals and fluids such as acids, fuel oils and lubes, certain plastics, thermal power plant desulfurization, CEMs (smoke sampling analysis), resins, and even fertilizers.
Figure 12 – Process Temperature Control for Industry. Photo Credit: Offshore Technology
Self-limiting heating cables are able to avail a stable process temperature control and maintenance when applied.
Most of the mentioned fluids need a constant temperature ranging from 60 up to 120 degrees C and a maximum exposure temperature of 215 degrees C. You can use self-limiting technology to maintain high temperatures that will ensure the fluids and other components don’t cool and freeze or overheat.
NB: The heating cables you use needs to be able to withstand high operating temperatures over a long period.
4.6 Composite Curing
Some structures are so big and heavy that you can’t just put them into an oven for curing. Various self-regulating heating cable manufacturers such as Jiahong China construct cables for composite curing and repairing.
You can use self-limiting heating cables in a variety of industries such as aerospace (airplanes, jets, etc.,), marine (ships, yachts, etc,), wind energy (such as wind power turbines), and many other types of composite fiber structures.
The cables use a hot bonding method that you can use to cure wet layups, infuse resin, prepreg, and bond metal. You will be surprised by the quality cure cycles, how precise and efficient heating cables are when used for composite curing.
Chapter 5: Self Regulating & Constant Wattage Heating Cables on Heat Tracing
Heating cables can be broken down into two categories namely self-regulating and constant wattage.
One thing to keep in mind is that these two products are ideally made for the same purpose, but they have different results when applied in certain conditions.
5.1 Trace Heating: Self Regulating vs. Constant Wattage
A self-regulating heating cable works by automatically detecting where the temperatures are high or low and adjusting accordingly while a constant wattage heating cable delivers the same amount of heat throughout the cord’s length regardless of ambient temperature changes.
For example; if you are connecting your heating cable from a long distance, a self-limiting cable will automatically detect areas that don’t require much heat and reduce the heat emitted to those areas accordingly or emit more heat in places along the cable that register lower ambient temperatures.
However, a constant wattage cable will emit the same amount of heat regardless of whether the ambient temperatures are high or low along different areas of the cord.
5.2 Self Regulating Structure, Pros and Cons
A self-regulating heating cable connect uses a conductive core to work. This conductive base uses different wattages in different lengths along the wire meaning the core becomes more conductive in colder places.
Simply put; it increases or reduces the wattage needed to keep up with the dropping or rising temperatures.
E.g., Picture a cord that can add more wattage in colder places and lower it in warmer areas along the wire.
Self- regulating heating cables is excellent for your home, business, or industrial use especially if you have constant problems with icicles or ice formations.
Figure 13 Self Limiting Trace Heating Cable Photo Credit: Heating and Process
- There is a controlled wattage per meter of cable
- High chemical resistance
- Long life cycle
- UV resistance
- Less power during warmer months
- Wattages can be automatically reduced
- The cables do not turn off completely by themselves
- The wire cannot put out heat past its set temperature levels
5.3 Constant Wattage Structure, Pros and Cons
Constant wattage cables supply the same amount of wattage throughout the entire length meaning there will be a continuous supply of heat emitted throughout the cable’s length.
I.e. The cable sends out the same heat output all through the heating cable’s length without reducing or increasing the heat output in areas that have higher or lower temperatures.
Constant wattage heating cables are ideal for homeowners who are looking to maintain their heating output.
- Single end-power input
- It’s possible to layer without exact measurements as you can cut the cord
- Constant power output
- Suitable for hazardous area pipe heating
- The cable doesn’t auto adjust depending on outside temperatures
- More electric power needed
- You need to use a controller or a thermostat at all times
Chapter 6: Self Regulating Heating Cable Installation
Heat cables, when installed correctly, can minimize the likelihood of water freezing into ice causing a leak.
Whether it’s sealing of water air leaks into your attic space, adding more insulation in commercial buildings, or providing proper ventilation for your unconditioned spaces, some things can be done to your residential, commercial, or industrial environments to help minimize and prevent damage.
6.1 Professional Installation Vs. DIY
The cost of installing heat tapes varies from one project to the next depending on variations such as eave depth and length, roof pitch and height, gutter configuration, and the overall system design.
The products we install at Jiahong are professional grade and will last for many years. For safety purposes, we recommend that you use professional installation only.
We first assess your situation and figure out the proper course of action. A professional installation comprises of thorough inspections of the area to first determine whether a heating cable is a legitimate option or not. This is done before the start of the heating cable installation
- Pre-installation Check
Next, the professional walks the piping system and plans the routing of the heating cable. This is done to help verify completion of all mechanical works and instruments. Its also done to check that all the coatings and surfaces are dry.
- Heater Cable Location
The cable can either be installed spiraled around the pipe or in either straight lines of the pipe. Whenever possible, the cable is applied flat to the heated object.
*Straight tracing – Here, the cable is installed on the lower quadrant of the pipe to help prevent physical damage to the heating cable from being walked on or from any falling objects.
* Spiraling – It’s mostly used when there’s limited availability to the number of cable types. This method increases the length of the heating cable installed per foot of the pipe.
The cables should fit snugly against the pipe and be secured at 12’’ intervals. Additionally, the heating cables can be attached with fiberglass tape. Plastic wire ties can also be used if the plastic has a maximum temperature rating that’s equal to or higher than the system requirements.
- Cutting the Cable
The heating cable is only cut once it’s attached to the pipe. A professional will first confirm the allowance of connections, terminations, and heat sinks (support, valves, etc.) before cutting.
- Additional Details
The heating cable should always be applied in a manner that allows for easy removal of valves without having to cut the heater cable – the best way to achieve this is by looping the cable.
Using a qualified electrician is the safest way to install these cables as they have the knowledge needed to get the job done. Additionally, professional heating cable professionals are aware of the safety measures required before commencing work, during, and after the job’s done.
As tempting as this option might be, we greatly advise against it because any tiny mistake can lead to massive damage costs and safety issues.
Whether you opt for professional or DIY installation, here are a few things you should take into consideration before commencing work:
- Self-limiting heating cables may only be used for installation with pipes of plastic or metal.
- Always verify that the tube to the traced is completely dry.
- It’s best to protect the heating cable against excess tension and strain. This means that your cable should not be pulled too tight as it might cause a lot of damage.
- You should avoid stepping on these cables or crossing the wires with vehicles. This is of great importance as doing so might permanently damage the heating cables. Your cables should be installed underneath, especially if they put in areas where people walk or drive on.
- Never secure yourself limiting heating cable with metal or metal strips. Use aluminum tape to ensure efficient heat transfer.
- Ensure the surface onto which the cables are placed is clean and free of sharp rocks, metals, and other objects.
- When storing the cable, ensure the ends are sealed to keep out moisture that could otherwise damage the cable.
6.2 Accessories (Junction Box)
Junction boxes are used to cover, maintain, and protect pipes & tanks, fire sprinklers, roof & gutters, driveways, and floors.
They can be used for frost and icing protection, tank, pipes, and fire sprinklers freeze protection, roof & gutter de-icing, tanks & pipes process maintenance, hot water maintenance, and floor & driveway warming system maintenance.
Figure 14 – Junction Box. Photo Source: sst iwarm
Simply put, junction boxes are used to make reliable connections between your heating cables, a power cord, and cold lead cables. The junction boxes can either be pipe or wall mounted using various support brackets.
The benefits and primary features of junction boxes are:
- They can be used in hazardous areas
- They are easy to install and maintain – they use spring-type terminals, and they are very spacious inside
- Junction boxes are compatible with power cables of cross sections
- The accessory boxes are highly reliable
The minimum installation accessories include:
*keep in mind these accessories depend on installation type: e.g. gutters, driveways, etc.
- Power connection and end termination kits
- Cable attachment tapes
- Thermostatic control and monitoring
Chapter 7: The Largest Heating Cable Manufacturer in Asia-Pacific
Jiahong China has been a critical player in the heating cable manufacturing industry for more than 25 years. We are a world leading company in the production of self-regulating heating cables and are the only manufacturer that holds PTC technologies in China.
Our cables are backed by more than ten years warranty and benefit from the latest technology such offering high-quality fluoropolymer insulated cables.
Furthermore, all our products have been tested and approved by both the European and American Testing institutes.
Our vast arrays of self-regulating heating cables are suitable for a range of applications and industries including residential, commercial, and industrial purpose.
Our heat tracing cables can be used for a number of applications including self-regulation, mineral-insulated, steam trace, power limiting, parallel constant wattage, and instrument tubing bundles.
Additionally, Jiahong China heating cables can be used in areas that require critical process temperature heating as they are designed to prevent freezing and maintain fluid viscosity and great flow in low ambient temperatures.
Here’s a comprehensive list of our self-limiting heating cable series:
- In-Pipe Heating Cable
- Residential Pipe & Roof Heating Cable
- Commercial & Light Industrial Heating Cable
- Hazardous Industrial Heating Cable 100℃
- Hazardous Industrial Heating Cable 120℃
- Hazardous Industrial Heating Cable 190℃
- SLL self-regulating Heating Cable
Chapter 8: Things to Consider Before Purchasing a self-Regulating Heating Cable
Before choosing a heating cable, you need to ensure that it’s approved for use in ordinary (nonclassified) and hazardous (classified) locations. For specific approval information, always refer to the product’s specification sheet provided.
8.2: Hazardous Areas
Self-regulating heating cables for hazardous areas need to be certified in accordance with the requirements of the applicable standards for their type of protection for potential explosive gas and/or combustible dust atmosphere.
The heating manufacturer you choose to work with needs to be in compliance with safety requirements from:
- The standard for the Testing, Design, Installation, and Maintenance of Electrical Resistance Heat Tracing for Industrial Application
- The standard for the Testing, Design, Installation, and Maintenance of Electrical Resistance Heat Tracing for Commercial Application
- National electrical Code International Electrical Code Series
- And the Electrical Health and Safety Requirements bodies
8.3: Heating Cable Specifications
- Supply Voltage
The nominal output rating depends on the power output and the circuit length. For a simpler explanation, nominal power output for self-regulating heating cables is determined by measuring the electric or heat current (power output) and the length to know the voltage needed in a circuit.
* The higher the pipe temperature, the lower the wattage needed. Remember the pipe temperature varies depending on the surface temperatures.
We’ve designed a table using two different voltages needed for metal pipes to help you better understand;
|208 V||Power Output Range||Circuit Length|
|277 V||Power Output Range||Circuit Length|
Keep in mind that this is an example of nominal power output rating. The circuit length and voltage will vary when the factors mentioned above change.
- Temperature Rating
All heating cables have minimum installation temperate of -40 degrees C (-40 degrees F.) However, the process temperature maintenance (the freeze protection application), the intermittent exposure temperatures, and constant temperatures depend on the type of heating cable you buy (low temperature, medium, high, or super high.)
- Bending Radius
To prevent creasing, the minimum bending radius of all heating cables should be 25 mm (1.0 inch)
- Cable Dimensions
For piping, your cable dimensions should be the total amount of heating cable required for the pipe length. For straight heating cable run, the dimensions are equal to the entire length of the piping. Add at least 1 meter to allow for the entry into the junction box and the end seals. Additionally, add a heating cable length of 5 – 10% for flanges, bends, elbows, etc.
For spiral piping, the installed cable dimensions = spiral factor X pipe length.
- Maximum Circuit Length
The circuit length is based on several conditions that must be taken into account including:
- Operating voltage
- The heating cable selected (watt density and type)
- Length of piping including extra allowance
- Expected start-up temperature
- Maximum allowable circuit length
- Available branch circuit breaker size
Our Jiahong China self-regulating heating cable systems are super safe and cost saving. They are certified for unconditional T-rating in accordance with European and American standards. You can rest assured knowing the surface temperature of the heating cable will never exceed its T-class temperature.
Thanks to its self-regulating principle, Jiahong China’s system saves energy and thus, operational costs. Finally, the system requires minimal maintenance and is entirely resistant to all pipe maintenance procedures. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.