Monday, 20 February 2012

110v Electric Fan Heaters

There is a common problem with the use of 110v Electric Fan Heaters.

So many manufacturers simply take the 3kW version and make a 110v Electric Fan Heater out of it, however this can cause issues.

The issue is that a 3kW 110v Heater requires a 32A Plug, which can be in short supply.  Theoretically you can run up to about 1.7kW off a 16A plug, but heating elements tend to come in round numbers.

Thankfully, there are 16A 110v Electric Fan Heaters on the market now, they are few and far between but it's worth knowing that they exist because the need to run on 16A is so common.

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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Infra Red Diesel Radiant Heaters

Sometimes forced air heaters are not the perfect space heater for the job.  In a wide open area heating the air and pushing that air around is simply a good way of losing heat and wasting fuel.

Sometimes you need some heat in an area, but because of the process being warmed, you don't want dust being kicked up by the fans of diesel space heaters.

In these situations a good alternative portable space heater is the Infra Red Diesel Radiant Heaters.  These have a burner like the diesel blow heater, but instead of the heat being blown by a fan it is focused on a large steel dish that acts as a hot plate.  It absorbs the heat, glows red - then heats the area that it is pointed at.

Unlike a standard diesel space heater a Infra Red Diesel Radiant Heater can be used in a completely open environment and they will still work effectively.

Of course like any portable heater the Infra Red Diesel Radiant Heater has it's compromises - in this case it is a direct fired heater, so it cannot be used where flammables are stored or in unventilated areas.

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Space Heaters

What is a space heater?  It's a commonly used term, and a surprisingly searched for term.  I suppose the easiest way to define space heaters is a heater which is designed to warm a space up. 

The difficulty is in that by space we tend to mean the air within a given area.  So for example infra-red heaters - which heat what you point them at probably are not considered space heaters.

Good examples of what you might call a space heater are electric fan heaters which warm the air by passing it over some hot, resistive elements.  Then there are the gas space heaters which burn gas in a jet, with a fan behind them - thereby transferring heat into the air as it burns.  Of course the gas space heaters are also prone to giving off moisture and fumes and so aren't always the best choice.

Then we are on to the diesel space heaters, the cheapest and most common is the direct diesel space heater which works more or less like the gas version - exccept instead of burning  gas it burns diesel.  The more sophisticated space heater is what is commonly used as a marquee heater, the indirect diesel space heater .  These are more sophisticated and burn in a steel chamber - keeping the fumes, moisture and burning embers out of the area you are trying to heat.

In conclusion, more or less any heater with a fan can be considered a space heater, what you tend not to think of as space heaters are the various forms or radiant heaters that are available, be they gas, diesel or electric powered.

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The FF42 42kW 63A 3 phase Electric Fan Heater

The FF42 is a monster heater.  It is ductable, powerful, rugged and efficient.

It is a large machine - and requires a forklift truck realistically to lift it.  The power supply is also large - it needs a 63A, 4 pin, 3 phase and earth supply.  The latest version does include a power lead instead of an inlet and the power lead is in braided steel yarn, earthed cable for extra safety.

The 2011 onwards model also has phase protection on the motor now, so if a phase on the supply dies - the motor won't burn out.

All in all the FF42 is powerful piece of kit, which is undergoing constant ongoing development.   If you need to heat a large area and can't burn a fuel then this definately the heater for you.

As an additional extra the FF42 is available with IP44 splash proofing so it can be used outside.

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Bespoke Heaters | Custom Heaters

Sometimes you need a heater for a particular application which is not available off the shelf.  Thankfully there are companies around who can produce bespoke heaters or custom heaters.

Sometimes you need a particular item for load-banking, but resistance heaters or electric fan heaters are actually excellent load-banks.

What do you need to do before approaching these companies?

First, you need a good, solid idea of what it is you want to achieve, and you should have a budget in mind - either of these might or might not be realistic but if you go into the discussions with an idea of what you want and how much you want to pay it's a good starting point.  If it's for loadbanking - then you might need to consider the ameters and voltmetres want on the device - do you want switchable power consumption?  Indicator lights?

Everything will add cost of course - but it will give you a starting point, from which you can lower the spec or increase the budget.  Having one offs made will of course be very expensive - but if it's for a production run of over a hundred there should be many small companies who are willing to take on the project.

A custom electric heater or bespoke load bank is always going to be more expensive than a standard model - but sometimes there simply isn't a standard model which will do the job.

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Marquee Heaters

In the past heating marquees was a fairly straightforward affair.  Most people would simply put a direct fired gas heater into the marquee, or if it was a small one, a couple of electric fan heaters.

The problem is marquees are very poorly insulated and need a lot of heat.  Small electric fan heaters cannot provide enough heat except in the smallest tents when the weather is fairly mild.

The difficulty with the direct fired diesel heaters is that they give off a lot of fumes, a lot of moisture and they present something of a fire risk - often invalidating insurance.

Thankfully there is a suitable solution for heating marquees which is both effective and efficient.  What I'm referring to is the Indirect Fired Diesel Heater, often called a marquee heater.

These burn the fuel in a stainless steel combustion chamber and then blow air around the combustion chamber - meaning you get clean dry air inside the marquee.  The insurers are happy as there is less of a fire risk, the guests will be happy as the humidity won't be through the roof, and they will be able to breath more easily without the massive amounts of carbon dioxide which are pumped into the marquee when direct heaters are working right... Or carbon monoxide if they are working badly.

These heaters are more expensive - but they are more sophisticated machines.  The question isn't can you afford to switch to indirect diesel marquee heaters, but can you afford not to?

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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Electric Infra Red Heater or Rosy Glow.

Sometimes you want to heat a small part of a large open area.  When this is the case it probably isn't the most efficient thing to be doing to be heating the air and throwing that warm air over the thing you want to heat.

If you try to use a 3kW fan heater in the centre of a large open warehouse it simply won't work, You really need to look at a more direct form of heater. 

One option is to look at a diesel fired infra-red heater, but I'll cover those in another article.

The common and sensible solution is to use an Electric Infra Red Heater.  These use halogen quartz bulb elements - which act like a light and heat the object the light shines on, or a ceramic element which do not shine but heat the area they are pointed at directly.

There are other advantages to these heaters - for example they do not stir the air up, there is no air flow out of them, they are fume free and safe. 

One thing you do have to pay attention to is the fact they effectively pour cumalitive heat into an object and shouldn't be left unattended as whatever they are heating will eventually get very hot indeed, and possibly melt or combust.  They are an excellent choice for a portable heater in the right situation, but like all heaters, care has to be taken that they are used in a safe and sensible way.

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