Theory And Advantages Of Infrared Heating
Theory of Infrared Heating
Infrared heating is long wave electromagnetic energy which is generated in a hot source (flat metal panel, quartz lamp, quartz tube) by vibration and rotation of molecules. The resulting energy is controlled and directed specifically to and on people or objects. This energy is not absorbed by air, and does not create heat until it is absorbed by an opaque object.
The sun is the basic energy source. Energy is projected 93,000,000 miles through space to heat the earth by the infrared process. This infrared energy travels at the speed of light, and converts to heat upon contact with a person, a building, the floor, the ground or any other opaque object. There is, however, no ultraviolet component (sun tanning rays) in Electric infrared.
Electric infrared energy travels in straight lines from the heat source. This energy is directed into specific patterns by optically designed reflectors. Infrared, like light, travels outward from the heat source, and diffuses as a function of the square of the distance. Intensity, therefore, would decrease in a proportional manner. So, at 20’ from the heat source, intensity of the energy concentration is ¼ the intensity developed at 10’ distance.
For comfort heating, there must be reasonably even accumulated values of heat throughout the comfort zone. Proper mounting heights of the individual heaters, fixture spacing, reflector beam patterns, and heat source wattage must be specified to generate the proper heating levels at the task area. The amount of heat delivered is also adjusted by input controllers or by thermostats which respond to surrounding temperature levels and provide ON-OFF or PROPORTIONAL inputs.
Advantages of Infrared Heating
1) HEATS PEOPLE WITHOUT HEATING AIR
Infrared travels through space and is absorbed by people and objects in its path. Infrared is not absorbed by the air. With convection heating the air itself is warmed and circulated … however, warm air always rises to the highest point of a building. With Infrared heating, the warmth is directed and concentrated at the floor and people level where it is really needed.
2) ZONE CONTROL FLEXIBILITY
Infrared heating is not dependent upon air movement like convection heat. Infrared energy is absorbed solely at the area it is directed. Therefore it is possible to divide any area into separate smaller zones and maintain a different comfort level in each zone. For example, Zone A, with a high concentration of people, could be maintained at a 70 degree comfort level while at the same time Zone B. a storage area, could be kept at 55 degrees or even turned off completely.
Another unique control feature of electric infrared that increases comfort conditions and saves energy consumption is staging. Where most systems are either “fully ON” or “fully OFF” the staging feature also allows only a portion of the equipment’s total capacity to be used. For example, a two-stage control would work as follows: During the first stage, one heat source in every fixture would be energized. During the second stage, two heat sources in every fixture would be energized. For further control sophistication, a large area can be both zoned and staged. These systems, then, allow a more consistent and uniform means of maintaining a specific comfort level and avoid the “peak & valley” syndrome.
4) REDUCED OPERATING COSTS
The previous statements are advantages in themselves; but combined they account for an energy/fuel savings of up to 50 percent. Actual savings will vary from building to building depending on factors such as insulation, ceiling height and type of construction.
5) INSTANT HEAT
Electric infrared produces virtually instant heat. There is no need to wait for heat buildup. Turn the heaters on just prior to heating requirements.
6) NEGLIGIBLE MAINTENANCE
Electric infrared is strictly a resistance type heat. There are no moving parts or motors to wear out; no air filters or lubrication required. Periodic cleaning of the reflectors and heat source replacement is all that will be required.
7) CLEAN, GREEN, & ENVIROMENT FRIENDLY
Electric infrared, like other forms of electric heating, is the cleanest method of heating. There are no by-products of combustion as with fossil fuel burning units. Electric infrared adds nothing to the air nor takes anything from it.
• UL listed
• No open flame
• No moving parts to malfunction
• No fuel lines to leak
• No toxic by-products of combustion