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Heat Loss from Oil filled Tanks and Pipe Lines

Heat loss from insulated and non insulated sheltered and exposed oil tanks and pipes

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Heat loss from oil in storage tanks and pipe lines:

ApplicationTemperature of Oil
(oF)
Heat Transfer Rate - α - (Btu/(hr ft2 oF))
Without InsulationInsulated
Sheltered tanks   - 50 1.2 0.3
50 - 80 1.3 0.33
80 - 100 1.4 0.35
Exposed tanks   - 50 1.4 0.35
50 - 80 1.5 0.38
80 - 100 1.6 0.4
Tank in Pit All Temperatures 1.2 -
Sheltered Pipe Line   - 80 1.5 0.4
80 - 260 2.3 0.58
Exposed Pipe Line   - 80 1.8 0.45
80 - 260 2.75 0.7
  • 1 Btu/(hr ft2 oF) = 5.678 W/(m2 oC) = 4.882 kcal/(h m2 oC)
  • T(oC) = 5/9[T(oF) - 32]

The total heat loss from an application can be expressed as:

Q = α A dt                                             (1)

where

Q = heat loss (W, Btu/hr)

α = heat transfer rate (W/(m2 oC), Btu/hr ft2 oF)

A = area (m2, ft2)

dt = temperature difference (oC, oF)

Example - Heat loss from an insulated exposed tank

For an insulated exposed tank with outside area of 1000 ft2, containing oil at 90oF and a surrounding temperature at 32oF, the Heat Transfer Rate - α - from the table is 0.4 Btu/hr ft2 oF.

The heat loss can be calculated as:

Q = (0.4 Btu/hr ft2 oF) (1000 ft2) ((90 oF) - (32 oF))

    = 23200 Btu/hr

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