Thermo-Electra is a manufacturer and supplier of temperature sensors and accessories (resistance temperature detectors, thermocouples and thermowells). The family-owned business was founded in 1962 in The Hague, The Netherlands and has grown to more than 50 employees in 2023. 

Through partners and representatives (approx.  25 sales channels worldwide), Thermo-Electra products reach customers throughout the world. A very reliable partner in production, with technical support and service.

Interview with René van Poelje, International Sales Manager at Thermo-Electra BV

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

René van Poelje: Specialized in designing and manufacturing customer specific thermocouples, resistance temperature sensors and thermowells for all industries. This includes food & beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, glass, oil & gas, power plant, boiler, renewable energy, steel, marine, R&D and paper milling.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

R.v.P: Helical thermowells, as the demand for optimalization of processes gets higher every year, the demand for faster and better control of these processes follows this trend at a short pace. One of the measures to keep the process and process controls safe, is to use the ASME PTC 19.3, the most recent version being the 2016 edition. This standard is a way to safely calculate thermowells with all process variables taken into account. One of the aspects that needs to be calculated is the resistance to Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV).

A solution to the vortex induced vibration is the addition of helical strakes to the process exposed part of the thermowell. Helical strakes are aerodynamic stabilizers that reduce forces and deflections experienced on the thermowell due to vortex shedding. Helical Strakes consist of 3 square vanes which are wrapped in a helical pattern to the surface of the thermowell. The vortices generated by the wake of the helical strake are much smaller and non-uniform as compared to the normal thermowell, and are also considered negligible when evaluating vortex-induced vibrations. With the addition of the helical strakes to the thermowell, the VIV can be reduced by 90%.

We as Thermo-Electra have conducted our own research in collaboration with representatives from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, to validate the existing studies and come up with a specific calculation method for the helical solution.

In this calculation the stress accompanying VIV is reduced by 80%, where others in the industry calculate with a 90% reduction. It is the understanding of Thermo-Electra that there will always be process variables that can differ from theoretic parameters in these calculations. With this extra 10% conservative calculation we want to build in a safety for our customers.

When calculating according to ASME PTC 19.3 2016 with a reduced VIV it is far more likely that the thermowell dimensions can come closer to the original dimensions and measurement instead of needing to shorten or thicken the thermowell.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

R.v.P: As we specialize in “customer specific” solutions and think along while maintaining close contact with the customer throughout the entire process, discussing and developing ideas among ourselves, our range of designs (and thus products) is basically unlimited. 

All of this, of course, starts at the design table and continues through to the installation of our sensors.

We can and will also professionally install, commission, calibrate and maintain the products, whether they were originally manufactured by us or already installed in the users factory. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

R.v.P: Climate change and the “going Green” have led companies to review their business strategies. Together with the recent Corona pandemic that reinforced the need for distance, the market has become even more open and understanding for the use of smart technologies such as LoraWAN and IoT solutions.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

R.v.P: The multitude of available technologies, such as IoT and LoraWAN, make it possible to come up with the most daring and wild ideas. Based on new requirements from the field, we are currently seeing increased interest in complete solutions. From temperature sensor to temperature read out

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

R.v.P: Helical thermowells and Sapphire tubes for use in our high temperature thermocouples.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

R.v.P: We forecast a growth of 5 to 10%. Mainly caused by review of our customers business strategies.