Our continuous radiant heating expert Nick Winton helps understand the theory of radiant heat and explains the true benefits and value of having a continuous radiant heating system installed into a typical building:
The first step is to understand what radiant heat is. Radiant heat is continually present during the day-light hours of our daily life – the earth receives electromagnetic radiation from the sun, or in lay-mans terms radiant heat. The sun emits the radiant heat, but the medium between the sun and earth, space, does not get warmed by the radiation, it is only when the rays hit the earth or any other object that the heat is appreciated. This phenomenon can clearly be demonstrated – when an airplane is at 35,000 feet the outside air temperature is approximately -50°c whereas on a hot summer’s day a race track surface can reach an absorb temperature of +50°c. This shows the benefit of radiant heating, the emitter only heats the cooler objects in its path and not the space in between and it is directional.
Thus, the economies of radiant heat can be appreciated by the fact that the whole volume of a building does not have to be heated to achieve the required comfort level. Even though there is considerable data on the heating of large spaces/voluminous facilities there remains the conundrum of the thermal comfort requirements of the people working in industrial and commercial buildings and the best means of achieving these conditions without excessive use of fuel. The environmental conditions within a facility are primarily determined by the level of thermal comfort accepted by those working in it and by the type of work being undertaken.
All this is the background to understanding why any facility needs a level of environmental comfort at all. These needs have driven inventive design engineers over time to develop continuous radiant heating products capable of heating large spaces.
Radiant heating products can be applicable for either ‘spot’ heating a specific area/work station within the overall facility or to achieve uniform environmental comfort for the whole facility, this is when continuous radiant products excel.
To achieve full comfort conditions for the whole facility, blanket heat coverage is a requirement and the ultimate heating system should be capable of being appropriately zoned to heat specific areas as needed but also to be able to be modulated to the ever-changing thermal challenges, thus achieving the best economic solution for the operator. Zoning is a unique feature for radiant heating systems, as by the laws of physics zoning within a large area is unattainable by convective heating products.
Continuous radiant heating systems can be applicable in many different types of facilities ranging from; sport environments, factories, warehouses, aircraft hangars, garage workshops to retail outlets. Each of these very unique types of facilities has their individual needs with regard to the level of comfort required and consequently the intensity of the radiant heating system. An aircraft hangar with the continuous radiant system at say 20m above ground level will require a considerably greater radiant intensity compared to a sports hall with only the need to achieve low-level comfort for sports activity.
The common denominator is that continuous radiant tube space heating solution is the way forward for each of these types of facilities. The intensity level of the radiant heat can be varied by design to achieve the required comfort levels for the very different applications/activities. Finally, it must be realised that the correct selection of a heating system can significantly influence energy performance, operator satisfaction, capital cost, plus operating and maintenance charges, all resulting in the reduction of energy usage and emissions of greenhouse gases.
Powrmatic offer a comprehensive design services to meet the specific needs of your project. Every project is unique with its own set of challenges. We have a dedicated specification team on hand to work with you on pre-sale consultancy, heating system design support and technical consultancy.