Best Radiant Heater: What Is It?
The Best Radiant Heater (BRH) is a type of heating system which uses radiant energy from the sun or other sources to heat your home. A BRH provides comfort and warmth when used properly. They are typically installed in homes that have no central air conditioning system, such as those built before the 1970’s.
A BRH works by using the heat generated by a small fan to warm up cold rooms inside your house. When the room reaches a certain temperature, it turns off the fan and switches on the heater. There are two types of BRH systems; one uses electric motors to turn a large metal coil, while another uses gas turbines to run an electrical generator. Both use similar principles but operate at different temperatures so they provide slightly different levels of comfort depending on how much heat is being produced.
How Does One Use An Electric Motor To Turn A Coil?
Electric motorized heating systems work by using electricity to move a coil of wire around. These coils are usually made out of copper, steel, aluminum or some other heavy metal. The coil is connected to a radiator which is filled with water. The water evaporates and heats up the metal coil until it reaches a certain temperature and then turns on the heater. At this point, the coil is now warm so it turns off the electric current to stop it from getting too hot.
There are a few different types of these BRH systems. The most common ones are the resistance wire type and the flat ribbon type.
Resistance wire type heaters consist of a long coil of heavy wire that has been coiled around an iron core. This long coil is then suspended in a large container of water to carry away the heat. These are usually found in older homes.
Flat ribbon type heaters consist of a long sheet of thin metal that looks similar to a roll of gift wrapping ribbon. The ribbon is connected to the water filled radiator via a series of small wires. These are typically used in newer homes and can be seen in most department stores as they are the heating elements found in the hand dryer units located in their washrooms.
A BRH works by using a small electric motor to turn the coils through the water-filled radiator. As the coils move through the water, they heat up and transfer their heat into the room. When stationary, the coils have no contact with the water so they do not transfer any heat into it.
While one might assume that the faster you turn the coil or the hotter the electric current is, the quicker your room would heat up, this is not always true.
The slower you turn the coil, the more heat it retains. This way it can dump all of its heat into the room without over heating and burning out. If you turn the coils too fast, then they can’t get a chance to dump all their heat into the room. The coils get hotter than they should and ultimately burn out quicker.
This is why BRH’s have a shut off feature so that they can protect themselves.
In the event that something like this happens, repairmen are able to easily fix these heating units. All they have to do is replace the burnt out coils and re-start the electric current at a slower pace. This way the coils can gradually transfer all of their heat into the water without burning out.
Gas Turbine BRH’s work in a similar manner, but instead of an electric current running through a coil of wire it runs through a small gas jet. The heat that this gas jet produces moves the blades of a turbine which in turn rotates the fan and subsequently heats up the room.
How Efficient Are These Heating Systems?
These heating systems are considered to be highly efficient as far as heating goes, but they still are only about 50% efficient. This means that for every unit of energy they consume they only produce half of that in heat. The other half is turned into wasted energy in the form of sound and vibration.
For example, if you have a 100 Watt heating system it would take about half of a kilowatt of electricity to power it. If your heating system produced 500 Watts of heat, then it would produce 250 Watts of useful heat. The rest would be turned into sound and vibration.
This is a good thing since we wouldn’t want our homes to get too hot. These heating systems are designed to get rooms up to a nice warm temperature, but not too much more. Most of the heat they produce is just enough to warm you up and is not enough to start causing things to catch on fire or damage furniture, appliances or other properties in the home.
Our bodies act as an automatic thermostat for these heating systems. As our bodies heat up the blood starts to circulate faster causing our skin to react by turning red. When this happens we start to feel warm and turn up the room temperature a bit.
BRH’s and BRT’s are typically controlled by a simple thermostat that sits on a wall somewhere in the house. The thermostat has a dial on it that allows you to choose what temperature you want the house to be. The higher you set the thermostat, the more heat your heating system puts out and the warmer your house gets.
The lower you set the thermostat, the less heat your heating system puts out and the cooler your house gets. If you set it low enough, it will shut off completely and no heat will be produced. In this situation you would either have to turn it back on or find another source of heat, such as a fireplace or space heater.
The higher the wattage of your heating system, the hotter your house can get. If you have a high enough wattage, you can raise the heat all the way up to a temperature high enough to damage property or even cause serious burns. This is why these heating systems have safety features built into them.
Sources & references used in this article:
Electrical infrared radiant heater by WH Best – US Patent 4,207,456, 1980 – Google Patents
Infrared heater by M Ishihara – US Patent 4,140,100, 1979 – Google Patents
Radiant wall oven and process of drying coated objects by WH Best – US Patent 4,546,553, 1985 – Google Patents
Radiant burner by WH Best – US Patent 3,561,902, 1971 – Google Patents
Radiant burner with vented burner surface by WH Best – US Patent 3,237,679, 1966 – Google Patents