The electrically heated option is available on the Universal Seal cast iron gear pumps with flow rates up to 155 m3/hr. It is suitable for applications where steam or hot oil is not available or where it is impractical to install long pipe runs. According to Michael Smith Engineers, which is offering pumps with the new option, electric heating can result in lower installation costs because the need for long piping runs is eliminated. Also, inherent risks to the environment of potential leakages from pipe connections in hot oil systems, together with the associated clean-up costs, are removed. The electric heating option consists of a number of heat cartridges installed in the pump head, the bracket and the casing to get the pump up to temperature together with a temperature monitor and controller to maintain the temperature within a set band. With Viking’s patent pending design, multiple heat cartridges are installed in the head and extend into the pump crescent. As the pump crescent is located in the centre of the pump casing, more of the heat is transferred directly into the liquid. A thermocouple, located by the stuffing box, signals when the set-point has been reached and the pumped fluid (such as asphalt or bitumen) is in a liquid state and therefore ready for pumping. The electric heat option ensures more precise temperature control than steam or hot oil systems which need higher temperatures to compensate for any heat losses in the heat piping system resulting in higher energy operating costs.