Electric heat tracing system essentially comprises components such as electric heat tracing cables (parallel constant watt, series constant watt, power-limiting, or self-regulating), cable end termination systems, power connection kit, RTD sensors or control thermostat, in-line kits, thermal insulation, monitoring and control panel, and other accessories. Commercial usage of electric heat tracing systems began in the 1950s when these became an alternative where steam tracing could not be used. Electrical heat tracing systems were used in electric tracing of transfer lines for oil, asphalt, and waxes.
The oil & gas industry is the major application area of electric heat tracing systems. Oil & gas is a highly volatile sector globally. The oil & gas industry has been expanding at a sluggish pace in the last couple of years. The electric heat tracing systems market contracted significantly from 2014 to 2016. However, recent stability is anticipated to offer substantial expansion opportunities to the electric heat tracing systems market in the near future. Many new projects are also estimated to be awarded in the near future. This, in turn, is expected to boost the demand for electric heat tracing systems during the forecast period. Furthermore, rise in oil & gas exploration projects in subsea and the Arctic region is also anticipated to offer substantial opportunities to the electric heat tracing systems market.
The electric heat tracing systems market is primarily driven by the low maintenance cost, increase in adoption of electric heat tracing systems over conventional steam tracing, and rise in investment in development of oil & gas pipeline infrastructure. Since the beginning of the 19thcentury, steam tracing has been the primary means of industrial heat tracing such as tars, petroleum residues, and waxes flowing through pipelines and other equipment in chemical processing and petroleum industries. Currently, steam tracing systems account for 70% of all the industrial heat tracing systems. However, tracing of vessels and pipe work is inefficient and complex to control in steam tracing systems vis-à-vis electric heat tracing systems.