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Overview of Fired Heaters

Fired Heaters, often referred to as furnaces (direct fired heaters), are pieces of equipment often used in processing facilities to heat gases or liquids up to a desired temperature. Fired heaters in the petrochemical and refining industry are critical pieces of equipment that can have a major impact on process unit safety, reliability, and economics. They are complex pieces of equipment, where tubes and other pressure boundary components might fail due to relatively short periods of upset conditions.

Fired heaters come in two configurations: direct fired heaters and indirect fired heaters. Direct fired heaters utilize a burner to produce hot gasses that transfer their heat energy to a process liquid or gas flowing directly through furnace tubes installed inside the vessel. Indirect fired heaters utilize burners to heat a heat exchanger, over which cool air is circulated and heated. U

The construction and design of fired heaters are governed by the API STD 560 or ISO 13705 standards. Their inspection is covered by API RP 573.


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    • Sponsored Video Published on February 22, 2018

      This webinar discusses the particular aspects involved in obtaining accurate and repeatable infrared temperature measurements of fired heater tubes, as well as a wealth of diagnostic information that may be used to evaluate the performance and reliability of major fired heater parts (e.g. tubes, tube supports, burners, refractory and structural systems).

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            • News
              Reuters, February 20, 2018

              Shell said a “small fire” which occurred during maintenance on a furnace at its 404,000 barrels-per-day Pernis oil refinery in the Netherlands had been extinguished.

            • News
              Reuters, December 28, 2017

              A furnace exploded during a unit restart at Venezuela’s largest refining complex, injuring two workers, a union leader and a family member of one of the victims said on Wednesday. The explosion occurred on Tuesday night at the naphtha reformer of the Cardon refinery on the Paraguana peninsula, the sources said, adding the two victims received medical treatment.

            • News
              Neste Jacobs, April 21, 2017

              Technology, engineering and project management company Neste Jacobs and the leading refinery and petrochemical group Unipetrol, which constitutes an important part of the Czech industry, have signed an agreement for Neste Jacobs to perform a comprehensive energy efficiency study of Unipetrol’s Litvinov oil refinery in Czech Republic.

            • News
              Reuters, August 15, 2016

              A fire that started in a processing unit on Monday at Phillips 66's 260,000 bpd Lake Charles refinery in Louisiana has been put out with no injuries reported, an emergency management official said. The fire started when a heater tube failed as a hydrogen unit was being shut down at the plant...

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