How does it work?
Although it looks similar to an old style firetube traditionally used in heavy oil, appearance is where the similarity ends. A traditional direct fired firetube uses a flame to heat the steel surface of the tube which directly heats the process fluid. By contrast the EcoTube heats the process fluid indirectly by adding a heat transfer fluid and a second layer of steel.
Refer to pictures below to see a diagram...
How is it different?
A conventional firetube has an extremely large temperature gradient from the burner to the stack. To illustrate this, a 300,000 BTU/hr industrial burner was placed in a standard firetube and ran for 20 minutes in open air to allow the temperatures to reach a steady state.
Refer to pictures below for the results...
Why is it better?
The low skin temperatures and even heat distribution of the EcoTube provides a number of advantages vs. conventional fire tubes.
The EcoTube is a patent pending new indirect heating system which provides a safer, more reliable and efficient option to heat wellhead fluids.
Most leaks through a firetube occur when it fails. Because the EcoTube is so much more reliable, these leaks are virtually eliminated. Also, because it is an indirect system, there are two barriers between the process fluid and the environment providing an additional level of safety. In addition, the heat transfer fluid used in the EcoTube is environmentally friendly and biodegradable.