What is Infra-red Heat and how does it work?

Infra-red radiant heating heats in the same manner that the sun warms the earth. The sun's infra-red rays travel through space and our atmosphere with little apparent loss and only convert into heat once they strike the earth, objects, and people. However, Infra-red is electromagnetic wave energy so, unlike the sun, infra-red heaters do not produce ultra-violet rays, only comfortable radiant warmth, similiar to standing near a fireplace or stove.

Objects in a building such as floors, tools and machinery absorb the infra-red radiant energy as heat energy and create a "heat sink" where warmth is stored and then re-radiated to warm the surrounding air. This translates to warm, comfortable conditions at the occupant floor level and less wasted convective heat at the ceiling. Even buildings with the highest ceilings that are heated with infra-red, are heated from the floor level up,

Rollover the buttons for a graphic representation of how Infra-red Radiant heating works.

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Heat Comparison Diagram

Low intensity Infra-red tube heaters operate in a temperature range from about 350-1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Corresponding wavelengths are 2 to 10 microns. This is farther away from the visible light spectrum and therefore no light is emitted, i.e. there is no glow even when the heater is fully on.

A Solaronics infra-red heater is remarkably simple in operation, as well as maintenance. A burner about the size of a breadbox fueled by either natural gas or propane gas fires a long flame down the first 10ft long (4inch diameter) combustion heat exchanger tube. The burner has a combustion fan that breathes inside building air or quite commonly, optional outside ducted air for clean operation. This fan pushes the heat down the entire length of the heater. Heater lengths range from 10ft to 70ft. Burner BTU ratings range from 40,000 - 200,000. Two stage burners are also available with a high & low BTU rating.

All the heat exchanger tubes have a 16inch wide aluminum parabolic reflector mounted above to reflect heat downward. The 10ft long reflectors can be rotated separately to direct heat where it is needed.

The initial burner heat exchanger tube is obviously the hottest, with the final end tube being the coolest prior to being ducted to an exhaust termination. Side wall exhaust flueing is possible, as the burner is forced draft. The need to exhaust upward through a roof as in many heaters is not required.

The result of heating this heat exchanger in this manner is infra-red heat that is reflected downwards. Again, this heat is not "released" until it strikes an object. Then in turn, the object re-radiates & heats the surrounding air. Infra-red heaters can be mounted at very high heights, but still resulting in heat re-radiating from the floor level upwards. Typically, a common style thermostat sensing air temperature controls the infra-red heaters.




PO Box 10419
Bedford, NH 03110
Northern Phone: (603) 471-1414
Southern Phone: (860) 990-0061
Fax: (603) 471-9198



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