Space Heating with Infrared
Solaronics gas infra-red heaters, high intensity and low intensity, convert a high rate of their input to infra-red output. Input energy not converted into infra-red is released as convected heat and water vapor.
Unvented units, high or low intensity, return a total of 92% of input to the space they occupy. Vented units, only low intensity may be vented, return up to 90% of input to the space they occupy. The longer the unit, the higher the percentage.
The most frequent use of Solaronics infra-red heaters is for comfortable heating in buildings. This may entail heating of the entire space or just spot or area heating. Although it may be tempting to use rule-of-thumb methods to determine requirements, it is strongly recommended that standard ASHRAE heat loss calculation methods be used.
For heating entire spaces a Solaronics infra-red system really provides several systems in one. One of these is very similar to a floor radiant system. The infra-red emitted by the system is absorbed by the floor, material and equipment. These objects become warmer than the surrounding air and act as low level heat exchangers heating the air. They also re-radiate their energy and provide a higher Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT).
The products of combustion released, by indirectly vented units, rise and help offset the upper wall and roof heat losses and also help to temper infiltrated air. In this respect the system acts as a warm air system.
While the heaters operate they deliver infra-red energy directly to people’s body surfaces. This substantially increases the mean radiant temperature and provides comfort, yet air temperature can be lower than that needed with conventional heating.
A well-designed infra-red heating system will cycle on and off most of the time as will any other system. When the temperature outside falls to design levels all heaters will operate and, at this time, the system will act as a large area heating system.