How a Pneumatic Temperature Controller Works

There are three things that affect separation of production fluid:

  1. Time
  2. Pressure
  3. Heat

When you use heat in your oil and gas production vessel, a Pneumatic Temperature Controller allows you to set the temperature you want your production fluid to achieve and maintain.  

Pneumatic Temperature Controllers have a stainless steel tube that responds to changing temperatures. This tube is connected to a diaphragm, or a bellows assembly. 

There are two things that affect the position of the pilot plug. 

  1. Differential pressure across the diaphragm assembly (or the bellows assembly in the high temperature option)
  2. Expansion or contraction of the tube and rod controlling the pilot plug assembly

The pilot plug consists of two stainless balls fused together. One of these balls is the supply pressure inlet, and the other ball is the pressure vent. 

Indirect and Direct Output

Pneumatic Temperature Controllers can be configured for either indirect or direct output pressure during operation. 

If your temperature controller is assembled for indirect action, here’s how it will work:  

  1. The temperature in the system exceeds your set point.
  2. Then the tube and rod move the thermostat diaphragm assembly.
  3. This decreases the output pressure, and the pilot or control valve respond accordingly.

Temperature Controller - Indirect Action

If your temperature controller is assembled for direct action, here’s how it will work:  

  1. The temperature in the system exceeds your set point.
  2. Then the tube and rod will move the thermostat diaphragm assembly.
  3. This will increase the output pressure, and the pilot or control valve will respond accordingly.

Temperature Controller - Direct Action

If you have further questions about this or any other product, contact your local Kimray store or authorized distributor.  


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Greg Chambers serves as an Applications Technician at Kimray. He provides Kimray product training and works with international producers and distributors to identify project solutions.

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