The Vortex Pilot Gas Heater (VPGH) protects pilot-operated gas regulators from freeze-off by self-heating pilots at pressure regulation stations. The VPGH is a flameless, coilless, energy-saving and maintenance-free alternative to conventional pilot heaters, such as Catalytic Pilot Gas Heaters and Electrical Pilot Gas Heaters.

Vortex Pilot Gas Heater


Since introduction in 2001 the Vortex Pilot Gas Heater has been applied in all types of natural gas delivery applications: district regulator stations, town border stations, power plant combustion turbine fuel gas and ethanol production plant fuel gas delivery. The Vortex Pilot Gas Heater is Class 1, Division 1 explosion proof device that meets and/or exceeds all federal and state requirements for regulator station design and applications.
The core of the Vortex Pilot Gas Heater is a proprietary Self-Heating Single Path vortex tube, operating under the station's available gas pressure differential converting the internal energy of the decompressing gas flow into highly intensive heat flux. The released thermal energy is then applied to the pilot gas (load gas) as it travels through a heat exchanger set up on the vortex tube's walls. A portion of the generated heat flux is also applied to warm up the vortex tube's pressure reducing inlet nozzles (Non Freeze provision), thus allowing for the VPGH to make a non-freeze pressure cut of non pre-heated gas.
Vortex Pilot Gas Heater Diagram


  • Effective:
    • Adds up to 90°F to the pilot supply gas
  • Efficient:
    • Heats pilot gas as an outcome of routine gas pressure reduction at the PRS
    • No lost gas
  • Durable:
    • Not a single VPGH has required replacement after installation, including the original units installed some 14 years ago
    • Not sensitive to wet feed gas
  • Reliable:
    • No moving parts
    • No chance of overheating
    • Maintenance-free
    • No single VPGH failure has been reported among the 5,000+ units currently installed worldwide
    • Easy to install or retrofit in new or existing facilities


Available in 2 designs:
  • Single Path (VPGH-SP) has a single heating chamber to serve one pilot at a time.
  • Dual Path (VPGH-DP) can simultaneously serve two pilots.

Working pressure is 1500 psig or 100 barg.  Can be built for higher working pressure upon request.

  • Effective in practically any operating environment.
  • A few extreme examples include:
    • Handling a single pressure cut of over 1,000 psi pressure differential of non preheated gas while operating outdoors under ambient temperatures that can reach as low as -44°F.
    • Operating while submerged in water (pit installations).
    • While working with sulfur-containing flow, it maintains the sulfur content as vapor, which prevents the sulfur from depositing in the pilot orifice.


Vortex Pilot Gas Heater Mini Case Study #1

Vortex Pilot Gas Heater Mini Case Study #2

Vortex Pilot Gas Heater Video Example


VPGH - Full Brochure

Details, Performance, Specifications, Schematic: Download

VPGH - Manual

Installation, Startup, Operation Download

VPGH - Dual Path - Brochure

Details, Specifications, Schematic: Download

Pipeline & Gas Journal Article:

VPGH Needs No External Energy Source Download