Solar-heating system studied for heavy-oil pipelines

Here is how the Helitherm system would look on a pipeline. A photograph of a 7-ft segment of 8-in. line equipped with the system (left foreground) has been electronically enhanced to simulate how a longer segment would appear (Fig. 1). Modeling of a solar-powered, heat-tracing system for pipelines suggests it can be successful as a nonintrusive pour point depressant or drag-reducer, according to Solar Systems Pty. Ltd., Hawthorn, Vict., Australia. The company developed the Helitherm system, which is patented in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. In simulation models, the company used data provided by two operators, Petroleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) and the Fauj...

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