Radiant tube heating systems are one of the most economical and effective heating solutions in manufacturing environments, providing a powerful heat source for applications from factories to warehouses – in fact, wherever large-scale space heating is required.
Fuelled by natural gas or LPG, radiant heaters maintain constant internal comfort temperatures while saving between 35% and 60% on annual heating energy costs, especially in installations where radiant heating replaces an old high temperature hot water and boiler system. Even in new buildings, high energy efficient radiant heating can offer at least 30% savings over other types of heating system.
The cost of heating is one of the biggest operational overheads for most manufacturing operations. High energy consumption rates are compounded where buildings have poor insulation, or where loading bay or roller shutter doors are constantly opening and closing.
When doors are opened, cold air floods in and warm air escapes, significantly lowering the internal temperature and creating discomfort for personnel. Whereas other types of heating take up to an hour to establish comfort temperatures, radiant heating creates a warm atmosphere almost immediately. In situations where doors are predominantly open and high air change rates are present, radiant heat can significantly improve energy consumption rates.
In the UK, one of the most popular types of industrial heating, commonly found, consists of warm air heating units.
Warm air heating systems can be used for factories, warehouses or other industrial buildings and use either oil or gas for their source of power. They are considered to be an excellent solution when it comes to heating a large open space and are the most cost-effective means of doing so.
As the name implies, free standing heating units, are individual units that generate heat where it is needed, as opposed to a centralised system. Free standing heating units can use different types of fuel, such as gas or oil. One advantage to these types of units is that they can be purchased in different styles that will heat via a free-blowing or ducted application.
The industrial units are exceptionally sturdy and can be obtained in weatherproof models, as well. The temperature is maintained and controlled through the use of a thermostat that can be set at the desired room temperature. The forced heat, that is generated, will travel through ducts that deliver the warm air to individual room vents, installed either on the ceiling or the floor.
Suspended heating units offer convenient installation and placement since they can be positioned inside a building, suspended from a warehouse or factory roof, as an example. In addition, they can be run by either natural gas or oil.
The units can also be installed on an inside roof. Another advantage of suspended heating units is that the use of a horizontal flue will eliminate the need for roof penetration. This also allows for the maximum use of the production floor space. Highly effective units can now be purchased in modern, compact designs than can easily be maintained. All of these benefits amount to efficiency and cost-effectiveness for businesses.
Radiant heat mimics the effect of the sun, producing infra-red rays that warm only what they touch. It does not heat the air between the heat source and the objects and people at ground level, so no energy is wasted in heating the volume of air in the building. Personnel feel pleasantly warm, even though the air around them is not being directly heated.
Heat-up and heat recovery times are extremely quick, saving fuel and making radiant heating ideally suited to modern flexible working arrangements and unexpected cold days.
For additional precision, the heaters can be zoned to cover areas where occupancy rates differ. For example, if one area is used only intermittently, the heater can be switched off during downtime.
Radiant heaters operate at high thermal efficiency ratings which, coupled with the fact that the units operate at the point of use, with close time and temperature control, eliminate system losses associated with other heating systems.
An additional benefit is that radiant heat eliminates condensation build-up. Some of the radiant heat will be absorbed by the floor and other surfaces, warming them to the extent that condensation will not form if they come into contact with cold air. This is especially important as damp floors and wet machinery or product can reduce efficiency and cause delays.
Radiant heaters may be roof or wall-mounted, freeing up valuable floor space. High level mounting means the heaters are well out of the way of any hazards or situations in which they may sustain damage. The heaters are also directional, ensuring that heat is emitted to exactly the points at which they are needed. This means no fuel is wasted heating of areas of the building that do not need heating, and ‘cold spots’ caused by incorrect siting of heaters do not occur.
With a proven track record in energy saving and effectiveness in maintaining comfort temperatures, radiant heating is the ideal solution in manufacturing environments.