The global impact of COVID-19 on people and the economy is significant, and Watlow has taken a comprehensive approach to deal with the current crisis. Although the conditions are changing rapidly, we would like to share how the current situation is affecting Watlow, how we are protecting our team members, customers and partners, our business continuity plans and how we are maintaining the continuity of supply. 

We want to emphasize that Watlow remains open for business and committed to designing and manufacturing thermal solutions during this challenging time. Continue reading.

Freeze Protection For Biomass Delivery To Generator Station


A customer was using tubular radiant heaters during the winter to thaw open-top rail cars delivering a coal/biomass mixture. Premature failure of three heaters per day was a constant problem because the thermal system was originally designed to switch all heaters ON/OFF using electromechanical relays. Switching the 1.2 megawatt load, coupled with high line voltages led to this failure rate.


Since electrical noise was not a problem, Watlow recommended replacing the relays with QPAC SCRs using phase-angle firing. This approach allowed the customer to stage the heater switching, apply a "soft start" and limit high voltage to 80 percent of line voltage. Heater failure is now down to only three per year.