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Bruest Catalytic Heaters, Division of Catalytic Industrial Group, Inc.
713 N. 20th Street, P.O. Box 827
Independence, KS 67301
Ph: 620.331.0750 - Fax: 620.331.3402





Automated vs. Manual HotCat Controls

Here are the key points to consider when choosing controls
for your HotCat project:

Regardless of size, all automated controls work similarly. Each has heat zones, which are added incrementally to satisfy the heating demand of the gas flowing through the system. The smallest heaters typically have two heating zones; the largest units have 16.

The zoning concept allows us to provide a large turndown while only delivering the required amount of heat to efficiently and effectively satisfy demand. The Bruest technology maintains precise temperature control, with minimum fuel consumption to achieve the needed results.

Every automated unit for North America has an integrally-mounted NEMA 4 control panel rated for Class 1, Division 2, Group D area classifications.

A fully automated unit operates without the need for an operator on premises. This unit has a PLC-based control system with operating software that allows the unit to:

  1. Start and stop heating zones, as process needs dictate.
    Automated HotCat units adjust the number of operational heating zones based on real time process measurements, all without operator interaction. This leads to more effective use of fuel gas and minimizes ongoing labor.
  1. Turn down depends on size, but varies from 4:1 to 32:1 in the standard format.
    Larger HotCat units have a higher number of heating zones and a wider turndown ratio.
  1. Monitor the process.

  2. Control the process from the optional downstream input, when installed.

  3. Use redundant electronic safety checking to insure safe operation.

  4. Connect to DCS systems to allow remote monitoring and control.
    Bruest HotCat controls can easily be integrated into a larger DCS controlled network. The PLC comes equipped with an Ethernet interface, which is required for remote access.
  1. Restart automatically upon power restoration following power interruptions.

  2. Remain operational during power interruptions, with customer supplied UPS power.

  3. Provide trending, alarm logs and other software features to assist with operation and maintenance.

  4. Provide alarm indications remotely, when connected to a DCS system.

  5. Provide added security via password protected features and intrusion alarms.

  6. Provide remote start stop or remote run capabilities, when the client provides the required input signal.

  7. Allows for widely changing process conditions, particularly when interfaced to anticipatory controls.

  8. Senses low flow / no flow conditions and responds safely.

  9. Sources, and in most cases meters, fuel gas flow to heater, from the standard configuration.

If your heater requires a significant daily input range or requires the process to automatically stop, automation is essential. Automated units feature a much greater turndown ratio than manual units, so varying process flow applications are ideal for automation.

If skilled manpower is an issue or if the installation is remote from the point of supervision, automation provides important flexibility. If flow rate is reasonably uniform or there are often personnel on site, a manual unit may suffice.

The largest HotCat units are all fully automated, but lower heat requirement processes can utilize automated or manual units depending on the application's circumstances and desires of the end user.

Manual units operate without full-time continuous electrical power, except when coupled with one version of the optional high-limit shutdown switch. However, on site power is convenient for starting heating zones. Manual heaters require more on-site supervision, but are simple, robust heaters. An operator is required to add or remove heater zones.

  1. Temperature controls are manual thermostatic gas valves located in thermowells for precise control.

  2. Turn down is approximately 2:1, on however much heating capacity the operator has chosen to use. The overall turndown of most manual heaters is 8:1.

  3. Each catalytic heater is individually supervised by a Baso or Mertik gas safety valve.

  4. Manual HotCat units are unaffected by power loss, when not using the optional high gas temperature limit requiring a commercial power source.

  5. Continuous process gas flow is required for proper operation.

  6. Sources fuel gas flow to the heater.

  7. Fuel gas metering is optional.