Gas-fired infrared radiant heating systems have a proven record in energy efficiency and have demonstrated that they are able to provide consistent and comfortable temperatures in both working environments and leisure facilities.
Their benefits are normally associated with the wellbeing of people, but gas-fired systems can also play a key role in product protection.
The ability to accurately configure separate heating zones is an obvious benefit of these systems. For example, large buildings such as distribution centres may require lower temperatures in product storage areas than the heating levels necessary for the working environment of employees.
This means that while products are maintained in optimum condition, workforce comfort is also assured. The zone heating capability also allows for substantial energy-efficiency savings to be generated through accurate management of energy use.
The product protection benefits of gas-fired infrared heating systems are particularly impressive when safeguarding metals against corrosion.
The difficulties that can be encountered storing the massive steel coils within steel works are a good example of this.
Condensation resulting from normal humidity can occur that results in the degradation of these coils. A solution to the problem came with the installation of high-efficiency luminous (plaque) gas-fired heaters into a section of the coil storage area.
Gas-fired infrared radiant heating has now solved the problem completely, and the costs and operational issues incurred by corrosion damage are a thing of the past.
Incorporating leading-edge temperature control and humidity sensor technology, these systems will monitor and manage conditions within large buildings accurately and rapidly. Condensation inevitably occurs when an object is much colder than the air around it, but this problem can be avoided by using gas-fired infrared heaters.
This is because their radiation does not heat the air, but is directly absorbed by objects such as floors and walls, which in turn convert the energy into heat.
So if a material with a temperature of 5°C is introduced into a building where the air temperature is 16°C, condensation will be avoided by heating the material until it reaches temperature equalisation with the air.
Generally, for the storage of steel coils, the objective is to maintain a relative humidity level well below 60%.
A temperature increase from 14°C to 20°C can decrease relative humidity from 60% to 40%, achievable with maximum speed and efficiency using infrared radiant heating.
These major benefits in metal corrosion control can be achieved via low-maintenance systems that are easy to install and that promise cost and energy reductions. This significantly compensates for the initial outlay.
Here, as in other varied applications, these systems have proved their flexibility and problem solving capabilities.
Steve Sherman is managing director at Schwank UK