The possibility of heating a person on the street is a completely solvable problem, the simplest example of solving this issue is a fire. But it is far from possible to burn fires everywhere, and this process requires constant human attention. And the need to heat up in the cold season outside of heated buildings often arises: in apartments — on balconies, in private houses and cottages — on open verandas and in gazebos. At the same time, heating with the help of heating units that initiate convective air flows is not suitable under such conditions — the movement of ambient atmospheric air will not allow heat to accumulate in the actual zone.
The solution to the problem is the use of infrared heaters, the operating principle of which is specific, and the energy carriers they consume are well studied.
Let’s take a closer look at what an infrared outdoor heater is, so that if you need to purchase it, it would be easier to make a choice, and avoid problems during operation.
The principle of operation of infrared heaters
Any heated body becomes a source of infrared radiation, the intensity of which is directly proportional to the temperature of the emitter.
By and large, convectors are also sources of infrared radiation, but the proportion of heat transferred during their operation with the help of rays is small compared to heat transfer to air, since the temperature of the heat exchanger does not reach high values. Therefore, they are called convectors — according to the main method of heating.
And IR heaters convert up to 80-90% of the energy of the consumed fuel, by definition, into infrared radiation, which is used for heating. IR rays, reaching objects on the propagation path, increase the intensity of the Brownian motion of molecules on their surface and thereby increase the temperature of obstacle bodies to a certain depth, which themselves become heat exchangers.
The wavelength of infrared radiation, depending on the temperature of the emitter, is in the range from 0.74 to 2000 microns. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the radiation frequency, and the deeper the object warms up.
Important! Radiation transfer of energy does not heat the transit medium — air, therefore, in enclosed spaces, heat loss is minimal — objects heated by IR rays give off heat to the air environment of the room. On the street, heat losses during the operation of infrared heaters are still significant, since heat is transferred from objects to a moving atmospheric medium.
Functions of outdoor heating units
Outdoor infrared heaters are used for the following purposes:
- heating of local areas of open areas and semi-open spaces for a comfortable stay of people (children’s playground, outdoor recreation area, terrace, gazebo, veranda, etc.);
- protection of trees with limited frost resistance during frosts;
- heating of local areas of buildings for livestock purposes (young livestock, etc.)
- de-icing to prevent injuries — heating of external flights of stairs, ramps and porches;
- technological heating of the bases during their finishing in the cold season.
List of outdoor heater applications You can continue, but without this it is clear — an infrared unit is indispensable in some situations.
Types of IR heaters used outdoors
If you do not consider secondary characteristics (installation method, material of manufacture, dimensions, performance class), then the main division of IR heaters for applications on the street — by the type of energy carrier used.
The outdoor heater, depending on the design, consumes electricity or gas as fuel.
Electrical infrared emitters
Electric infrared heaters are modern efficient heating devices that can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Models for outdoor use are usually more powerful and better protected from atmospheric moisture.
The device of the infrared heater on electricity
Electric infrared heaters for outdoor use consist of a metal case, which contains an infrared radiation source, a mirror reflector-reflector and auxiliary devices (protective grille, elements of control and safety systems).
Lamps of various designs (quartz, halogen) or ceramic heating elements serve as an infrared radiation generator.
Depending on the design installation site, various models of electric outdoor IR heaters can be tripod or suspended.
Tripods, in turn, differ in the location of the reflector — vertical or horizontal.
Rules for the installation and operation of electric infrared heating units
When using electric IR heaters outdoors, consider the following:
- the distance from the emitter to the place of a long stay of a person should be not only comfortable, but also safe (0.7 m — with a heater power of up to 0.8 kW, at least 1 m — at 1-1.5 kW, at least 2 m — at 2 kW or more);
- combustible objects are also located at a sufficient distance from combustible objects (at least 1.5 m);
- power supply cables should not be laid on the ground surface without a protection device;
- infrared heaters — ceiling and wall fixed placement should not be located in the open air and be exposed to precipitation (rain, snow) and splashes;
- The infrared heater must be grounded.
Important! When choosing an electric infrared outdoor heater for a specific location, you should know the following calculation principle — for heating 1 sq. m. area requires at least 150 W of unit power.
Gas infrared heaters
The principle of operation of these devices is also based on the transfer of energy using long-wave radiation, but the heat energy obtained by burning gas is used to heat the emitter. Due to the relative cheapness of the fuel used, outdoor gas heaters are more economical devices than electric ones, which leads to their wide application in solving the issue of heating outdoor areas.
The device and application of infrared gas heaters
An outdoor gas infrared heater is a housing of one of several types, in which a gas burner is installed, an IR emitter heated by it (a metal grill or plate), a reflector-reflector of a certain design, an ignition device, as well as control and safety mechanisms.
Such outdoor heaters, depending on the design, are equipped with a standard gas cylinder installed in the housing, or are designed to be connected to a remote gas container via a hose.
All gas heaters for outdoor use, regardless of design and dimensions, have a significant advantage over electric infrared heaters — they are portable units, which eliminates the need to conduct permanent or temporary electrical wiring to the device.
In order to know when buying how to choose an outdoor gas heater, consider the design features of the manufactured models of heating units for the street.
For ease of use, infrared heaters for summer verandas, dachas with a balcony and other semi-open areas should be more compact, and also have a constructive ability to focus IR radiation, which allows you to direct the heating to the actual area. In such conditions, a reasonable solution would be to use floor ceramic units in the form of rectangular pedestals, in the body of which a standard gas cylinder is located, or light ceramic heaters with the ability to connect to the tank with a hose.
Such devices have a burner not with one nozzle, but with several small ones, which evenly heat the ceramic emitter over the entire area to a temperature of 800-900 degrees and create a soft, comfortably felt directed heat. The absence of a fan in the design makes the operation of the unit absolutely silent.
Lightweight heating devices with remote connection are even easier to use — changing the direction of their action is carried out without any significant physical effort.
At the dacha in gazebos with benches located along the inner perimeter in winter, it is very convenient to use medium-height gas heaters with circular heating. As a rule, all such models are medium in size and are designed to be moved by one person.
For heating terraces, outdoor recreation areas and other outdoor areas during the cold season, the most popular gas heater in the form of a retro-style street lamp. The device is a base in the form of a cylindrical cabinet for the location of the cylinder and a vertical rod mounted on it with a burner, an emitter and a conical reflector on top.
The gas from the cylinder enters the burner, where it is ignited with the help of a piezoelectric element and heats the emitter grid. The reflector-reflector limits the propagation of infrared radiation around the rod to a circle with a radius of approximately 6 m, and the weight of the cylinder, whose capacity can be up to 50 liters, ensures sufficient stability of the heater.
Important! Despite the sufficient stability of the unit, the security system of any type of gas heater for outdoor use includes a device for automatically cutting off the gas supply when the device overturns or the burner blows out.
Rules for the use of gas infrared heaters
When operating outdoor heaters on gas, you should always remember that gas equipment is classified as a group of devices with an increased risk of use, and violation of the rules for handling these devices is fraught with unpredictable consequences.
In outdoor gas heaters, propane or butane can be used, since the use of natural gas outdoors is not effective due to its low calorific value. But liquefied gases also have different calorific values, so both types of fuel are suitable for use in the warm season, while propane, whose calorie content is higher, is more efficient in winter.
Important! All gas infrared heaters for outdoor use are direct heating devices, that is, they do not have an exhaust outlet. Therefore, their use in enclosed spaces in the presence of residents is permissible only if there is intensive ventilation with a sufficient supply of fresh air and the removal of gas combustion products.
Comparing two types of outdoor IR heaters — electric and gas, we can say that the use of units on electricity is more rational for short-term use, since the consumption of electricity by powerful units for outdoor use is significant. The operation of gas heaters is much cheaper due to the relative cheapness of gas in the absence of the need to build a chimney on the street.
The main essence of the article
- Infrared outdoor heating devices are efficient and affordable devices.
- The efficiency of using street heaters is due to their principle of operation — the effect of IR radiation is not on the transit environment, but on obstacles along the propagation path.
- Outdoor infrared heaters are produced in two types — electric and gas. When choosing a device for outdoor heating for specific conditions, it is necessary to know the characteristics of both types of units with reference to the nuances of outdoor use.
- Electric outdoor heaters are environmentally friendly equipment, but require protection from atmospheric moisture. In addition, the cost of electricity consumed by powerful outdoor devices even for a short period of time is significant.
- Gas infrared heaters for outdoor use are efficient, economical and easy to operate devices. When choosing a gas unit, it is only necessary to take into account the operating conditions of the device and the requirements for it under these conditions.
- The advantages of gas heating units do not cancel the operating rules that are mandatory for the operation of gas equipment — devices of increased danger of use.