WHAT IS INFRARED?
Infrared is a type of energy. How does infrared heat work? It heats people, floors, walls and other surfaces directly, without heating the air around them first. The result? Infrared heating provides an instant warming, similar to when the sun emerges from clouds on a chilly day.
Another important factor to consider in evaluating infrared applications is that the amount of energy that is absorbed, reflected or transmitted varies with the wavelength of the infrared energy and with different materials and surfaces. These and other important variables have a significant impact on heat energy requirements and performance. Infrared Emitters & Source Temperatures — The amount of radiant energy emitted from a heat source is proportional to the surface temperature and the emissivity of the material. This is described by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law which states that radiant output of an ideal black body is proportional to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. The higher the temperature, the greater the output and more efficient the source.
Heat the floor, not the ceiling…
With most conventional heating methods (radiation, re-radiation, conduction and convection), air must first be heated and then circulated to warm people and objects. That’s why conventional heating is controlled by thermostats that sense air temperature. As a result, it takes longer to heat people and objects because they’re warmed secondarily to the air around them.
Innovative infrared heating warms people, floors and other objects first, making it the most efficient, effective method of heating. It really shines when heating under diverse conditions, such as warehouses, storerooms and even the most immense structures imaginable. Warm people and objects, not the air that then rises to the ceiling.
Evaluating Infrared Sources Commonly available infrared sources include heat lamps, quartz lamps, quartz tubes, metal sheath elements, ceramic elements and ceramic, glass or metal panels. Each of these sources has unique physical characteristics, operating temperature ranges and peak energy wavelengths. Source Temperature & Wave Length Distribution — All heat sources radiate infrared energy over a wide spectrum of wavelengths. As the temperature increases for any given source:
1. The total infrared energy output increases with more energy being radiated at all wavelengths.
2. A higher percentage of the infrared energy is concentrated in the peak wavelengths.
3. The energy output peak shifts toward the shorter (near infrared) wavelengths
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How Does Infrared Radiant Heating Work?
Radiant heaters heat an area in the same way that the sun warms the Earth. Infrared energy (heat) from the sun impacts the Earth and raises the temperature of the Earth’s surface. As the surface warms, it releases that heat into the surrounding area by the process of convection. Radiant tube heaters operate in the very same way – heat is transmitted directly to people, objects, and surfaces which then release the heat via convection to the surrounding air.
Other methods of heating rely on raising the temperature of large volumes of air in order to raise the ambient temperature of the room. As the air becomes hotter, it rises to the ceiling, heating hundreds of cubic feet of unused space before heating the floor, surfaces, and people within the space. Radiant tube heating allows you to directly heat your target areas. You are able achieve your required temperatures with fewer BTU’s, while using less fuel, and while ensuring that your fuel dollars are spent where they are needed most – heating the people, air, and objects within the room.
Do radiant heaters heat the objects in a space, or the air?
The answer is that radiant heaters do both! It is a common misconception that radiant heaters do not heat the air in a building. While it is true that air is not used as the medium to transmit the heat, the air is indeed heated when radiant heaters are used. When the mass in a building (floors, walls, objects) are warmed after absorbing the infrared energy directly, a portion of that heat energy is transmitted into the air via the process of convection.
Remember – radiant heaters are most commonly controlled by thermostats, and thermostats measure air temperature, not the temperature of the objects in a room!
What types of Radiant heaters are there, and what are the differences?
Radiant heaters are divided into two categories based on how hot the radiant emitter (heat exchanger) gets. Low intensity radiant heaters, such as a tube heater, run emitter temperatures of between 600-1100F (315-590C), and emit no visible light when running. High intensity radiant heaters run much hotter, between 1500-1800F (815-1000C), and are easily distinguished by the fact that the emitter glows bright red when running.
Both high and low intensity radiant heaters have their advantages and each offers superior performance in different sets of circumstances.
What Are The Benefits of Using Radiant Heating?
Radiant heating provides many benefits over other heating methods. They are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, quiet running, easy to install, have very little maintenance requirements, are simple to service, and best of all they have very low operating costs.
Why is Radiant Heating More Efficient Than Other Heating Methods?
The primary reason is that heat is directed at the objects and people where it is required, and does not rise into the ceiling as with other methods. Warm floors means worker comfort at lower thermostat settings. Hardly any energy is lost between the radiating surface and the target area because air is a poor absorber of infrared energy.
Additionally, Radiant Heating provides fast heat recovery from doors opening and closing. As building surfaces (ie. floors) are warm, temperatures are recovered faster after overhead doors have been opened. Because heat is created at the floor, ceiling temperatures are lower, reducing heat loss through the roof. The benefits of radiant heating abound and vary according to application.
What Kind of Cost Savings can be Expected?
When conventional forced warm air heaters are replaced with infrared heaters it is commonplace to achieve fuel savings of 30% – 50%. The New York State Inter Departmental Fuel and Energy Committee have claimed fuel savings as high as 50% since switching to Radiant Tube Heating. Fuel savings of greater than 50% are not uncommon.
But don’t take our word for it! Many energy providers and local utilities have recognized the fuel savings benefits of using radiant heaters to heat commercial, industrial, and agricultural spaces. Utilities such as Enbridge, Union Gas, and Gaz Metro all offer continuing energy efficiency rebates when replacing less efficient methods of heat with radiant heating equipment.
Where can Radiant Tube Heaters be Used?
Radiant Tube Heaters can be used practically anywhere, indoors or out! Our satisfied customers come from all different types of industries and professions. They are used in aircraft hangers, factories, warehouses, foundries and gymnasiums. They are also well suited to areas such as loading docks, race track stands, arena bleachers, outdoor restaurants and around swimming pools.
Outdoors, Radiant Tube heaters can be used for snow melting and de-icing; as well as car washes and other hostile environments. They can be used commercially in restaurant patios, and entry ways. Residentially they are the perfect heating system for garages and workshops.
For more information on INFRARED RADIANT HEATERS please call 416-668-4607 or email email@example.com