Title:
HEAT TUBE ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A heat tube assembly includes a tank mounting flange, a first heat tube and a second heat tube. The U configuration first heat tube has a first end and a second end. The first end and the second end are mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange. A mounting for an open flame burner is provided at the first end of the first heat tube. A first exhaust is provided at the second end of the first heat tube. The U configuration second heat tube has a first end and a second end. The first end and the second end are mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange. A coupling is provided for connecting a conduit from an engine exhaust to the first end of the second heat tube. A second exhaust is provided at the second end of the second heat tube.



Inventors:
Kohlman, Melvin (Edmonton, CA)
Stefiuk, Terry (Two Hills, CA)
Application Number:
12/335192
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
122/5
International Classes:
F22D1/02; F24H9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MCALLISTER, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONALD V. TOMKINS (EDMONTON, AB, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A heat tube assembly, comprising: a tank mounting flange; a U configuration first heat tube having a first end and a second end, the first end and the second end being mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange; means for mounting an open flame burner to the first end of the first heat tube; first exhaust means at the second end of the first heat tube; a U configuration second heat tube having a first end and a second end, the first end and the second end being mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange; means for connecting a conduit from an engine exhaust to the first end of the second heat tube; second exhaust means at the second end of the second heat tube.

2. The heat tube assembly of claim 1, wherein at least one bypass is provided to divert exhaust gases so that they bypass the second heat tube, a valve being provided to selectively open and close the at least one bypass.

3. The heat tube assembly of claim 2, wherein the at least one bypass is positioned at one of the first end of the second tube or the engine exhaust.

4. The heat tube assembly of claim 2, wherein the at least one bypass diverts exhaust gases directly to one of the second exhaust or a third exhaust.

5. The heat tube assembly of claim 1, wherein a plurality of tubular heat exchange passages extend transversely through the second heat tube.

6. The heat tube assembly of claim 2, wherein the valve is automatically controlled based upon temperature of fluids within a production tank.

7. A heat tube assembly, comprising: a tank mounting flange; a U configuration first heat tube having a first end and a second end, the first end and the second end being mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange; a mounting for mounting an open flame burner to the first end of the first heat tube; a first exhaust at the second end of the first heat tube; a U configuration second heat tube having a first end and a second end, the first end and the second end being mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange; a coupling for connecting a conduit from an engine exhaust to the first end of the second heat tube; a second exhaust at the second end of the second heat tube; and a bypass at the first end of the second tube to divert exhaust gases directly to the second exhaust, a valve being provided to selectively open and close the bypass.

8. The heat tube assembly of claim 7, wherein a plurality of tubular heat exchange passages extend transversely through the second heat tube.

Description:

FIELD

The present invention relates to a heat tube assembly, which is mounted to a fluid production vessel and into which is directed hot fluids.

BACKGROUND

Heat is used to facilitate separation of oil and water in fluid production vessels. During winter months, heat is required to prevent freezing. Published U.S. Patent application 20040173164 (St. Denis) discusses the use of open flame burners shooting flames into the heat tubes in the prior art. The St. Denis patent application proposes using hot fluids from an internal combustion engine, combined with radiant heat from the engine, as an alternative to an open flame burner.

SUMMARY

There is provided a heat tube assembly which includes a tank mounting flange, a first heat tube and a second heat tube. The U configuration first heat tube has a first end and a second end. The first end and the second end are mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange. Means are provided for mounting an open flame burner to the first end of the first heat tube. A first exhaust is provided at the second end of the first heat tube. The U configuration second heat tube has a first end and a second end. The first end and the second end are mounted in spaced relation to the mounting flange. Means are provided for connecting a conduit from an engine exhaust to the first end of the second heat tube. A second exhaust is provided at the second end of the second heat tube.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features will become more apparent from the following description in which reference is made to the appended drawings, the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended to be in any way limiting, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view, in section, of a fluid production vessel into which a heat tube assembly has been installed.

FIG. 2 is a section view of a heat tube from the heat tube assembly of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A heat tube assembly generally identified by reference numeral 10, will now be described with reference to FIG. 1 through 2.

Structure and Relationship of Parts:

Referring to FIG. 1, heat tube assembly 10 has a tank mounting flange 12, a U configuration first heat tube 14, a first exhaust 16, a U configuration second heat tube 18, and a second exhaust 20. First heat tube 14 has a first end 22 and a second end 24. First end 22 and second end 24 are mounted in spaced relation to tank mounting flange 12. Heat tube assembly 12 also has a mounting 25 for mounting an open flame burner 26 to first end 22 of first heat tube 14. A flame arrester 27 may be provided at first end 22 of first heat tube 14 in order to prevent any flames produced by flame burner 26 from exiting first end 22. First exhaust 16 is positioned at second end 24 of first heat tube 14. Heat from flame burner 26 circulates through first heat tube 14 in the direction shown and exits through first exhaust 16. Second heat tube 18 has a first end 28 and a second end 30, first end 28 and second end 30 being mounted in spaced relation to mounting flange 12. A coupling 32 is connected to first end 28 of second heat tube 14. Coupling 32 connects a conduit 34 from an engine exhaust 36 to first end 28 of second heat tube 18. Second exhaust 20 is positioned at second end 30 of second heat tube 18. Bypasses 38 and 52 may be positioned at first end 28 and engine exhaust 36, respectively, to divert exhaust gases so that they bypass second heat tube 18. Embodiments are possible with at least one of bypass 38 and bypass 52 present. Bypass 38 diverts exhaust gases directly to second exhaust 20. A valve 40 is provided to selectively open and close bypass 38. Bypass 52 diverts exhaust gases directly to a third exhaust 60. Valve 56 is provided to selectively open and close bypass 52. An additional valve 54 is provided to open and close engine exhaust 36. When valve 54 is closed and valve 56 open, exhaust gases flow through bypass 52. Alternatively, valves 54 and 56 may be replaced by a single valve that may selectively direct exhaust gas to either third exhaust 60 or second heat tube 18. Valves 40, 54, and 56 may be automatically or manually controlled. If manually controlled, either of valves 40, 54, and/or 56 may be provided as a hand operated valve.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a plurality of tubular heat exchange passages 42 extend transversely through second heat tube 18. Referring to FIG. 2, heat exchange passages 42 increase the interior surface area 44 of second heat tube 18. Referring to FIG. 1, this improves heat transfer from exhaust gases to the fluids contained within a tank 46.

Tank 46 is an fluid production vessel containing fluid. In a preferred embodiment, the fluid may be oil. Tank mounting flange 12 allows heat tube assembly 10 to be mounted on tank 46. Additional heat tube assemblies 10 may be used to heat tank 46. Tank 46 may have a heat sensor 48 provided in order to monitor the temperature of the contained fluid. Valves 40, 54 and 56 may be selectively controlled in response to the fluid temperature as detected by heat sensor 48.

Referring to FIG. 1, engine exhaust 36 extends from an engine 50. An optional blower 51 may be connected to engine exhaust 36, in order to pump engine exhaust into, second heat tube 14. Engine 50 may be any type of internal combustion engine, such as a diesel or gasoline engine. Valves 54 and 56 may be selectively opened and/or closed in response to the fluid temperature as detected by heat sensor 48, similar to valve 40. Bypass 52 may allow excess exhaust gas back pressure from second heat tube 18 to be released. A muffler 58 may be provided on bypass 52 to reduce the noise produced by engine 50.

Operation:

Referring to FIG. 1, heated exhaust gases produced by flame burner 26 circulate through first heat tube 14 as shown, and transfer heat to the fluid adjacent to first heat tube 14, thereby heating the contents of tank 46. Exhaust, gases then exit first heat tube 14 through first exhaust 16. Exhaust gases created by engine 50 enter engine exhaust 36. If valve 56, when present, is open, some exhaust gases will be diverted into bypass 52. Under normal heating conditions, valve 54 is open, and allows exhaust gases to travel through conduit 34 to coupling 32. If the temperature of the fluid is below a predetermined temperature, valve 40 is configured to direct exhaust gases from conduit 34 into first end 28 of second heat tube 18. Heated exhaust gases flow through first heat tube 18 and transfer heat to the fluid in contact with first heat tube 18 or positioned within heat exchange passages 42. Exhaust gases are then expelled from second heat tube 18 via second exhaust 20. However, if the fluid temperature rises above a predetermined temperature, valve 40 disconnects coupling 32 from engine exhaust 36, diverting heated exhaust gases into bypass 38 where they exit via second exhaust 20 without passing through second heat tube 18. This allows the heating of fluid within tank 46 to be controlled and safely adjusted.

Alternatively, if bypass 52 is provided instead of bypass 38, valve 54 is configured to direct exhaust gases from conduit 34 into first end 28 of second heat tube 18 when the temperature of the fluid is below a predetermined level. Under the same conditions, valve 56 may be closed. When the temperature rises above the predetermined level, valve 54 may be closed and valve 56 opened, in order to direct exhaust gases to third exhaust 60.

Advantages:

Heat tube assembly 10 provides a number of advantages. In order to save energy and save the environment, in the warmer summer months the production vessel can be heated using only exhaust gases from engines already running on site to keep pumping equipment operation. As the weather gets colder, the production vessel can be heated with heat from the burner supplementing heat from the exhaust gases. When there is a concern that there is too much heat from the combined sources, the exhaust gases can be diverted through the bypass. The use of transverse heat exchanger tubes, helps to make the transfer of heat more efficient and effective.

In this patent document, the word “comprising” is used in its non-limiting sense to mean that items following the word are included, but items not specifically mentioned are not excluded. A reference to an element by the indefinite article “a” does not exclude the possibility that more than one of the element is present, unless the context clearly requires that there be one and only one of the elements.

The following claims are to understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, and what can be obviously substituted. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various adaptations and modifications of the described embodiments can be configured without departing from the scope of the claims. The illustrated embodiments have been set forth only as examples and should not be taken as limiting the invention. It is to be understood that, within the scope of the following claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically illustrated and described.