Infrared heating devices have been present on the heating equipment market for a long time and, due to the effectiveness of the principle of operation, occupy a niche of impressive size there. The designs of infrared heaters, their control and safety systems are constantly being improved, primitive units are no longer on sale, therefore infrared heaters with a thermostat are devices of the usual, standard equipment, which is already taken for granted. However, temperature controllers are different — not only regular ones (of varying degrees of functionality), but also additional ones installed in the actual area of \u200b\u200bthe room to increase efficiency and ease of control of the heater.
Consider standard temperature controllers used on infrared heaters, and options for equipping IR heaters with additional temperature control equipment — more advanced devices, the effectiveness of which can hardly be overestimated.
IR heater temperature controller and its purpose
The operation of any heating device is accompanied by heating of the body, air and objects in the room. Lack of control over these processes is unacceptable — overheating of the heater is fraught with a fire, not to mention excessive heating of the air in the room and unjustified waste of energy. Therefore, modern heating devices are necessarily equipped with thermostats, the installation location and design of which are determined by the purpose.
Important! The heater power mode switch is not a device that replaces the temperature controller.
Depending on the installation location — directly on the unit or in the actual area of the room (remote devices), the thermostat reacts to changes in the temperature of the heater case or the air in the room and switches the heater on and off, maintaining the preset mode.
Let us consider in more detail the temperature-regulating devices, standard and remote, installed on infrared heaters.
Types of thermostatic devices
Despite the many types of infrared heaters, the types of thermostats used on them are much smaller. They differ from each other by purpose, which determines the location, the contact environment and the principle of operation (design).
Temperature controllers of the electromechanical type are standard devices, installed on the heater body or inside it, they react to the temperature of the surface of the unit or the liquid poured into the radiator (heat exchanger), and can be adjustable or unregulated.
Adjustable electromechanical thermostats they control the heating of the air in the room by means of cyclic on/off of the heater, performed after the heater enters the operating mode according to the following algorithm: the unit has warmed up — the controller has turned off the heating element — the unit has cooled down — the controller has turned on the heater. That is, the heating of the room is controlled by preliminary selection on the regulator of the required degree of heating of the heater — a conditional numerical value or risks. The first choice of value or risks is made randomly and, after stabilization of the temperature regime in the room, is adjusted upwards or downwards.
Design of controlled temperature controllers can be of two types:
- capillary — a special relay in the form of a narrow cylinder, in which there is a cylindrical capsule with a liquid having a high coefficient of thermal expansion — the capsule closes and opens contacts with changes in temperature using a drive of a special design; used in liquid-filled radiators;
- bimetallic plate — an element combined from two dissimilar metals with a significant difference in the coefficients of thermal expansion — the halves of the plate, when heated, elongate so much that they bend in the landing socket and open the electrical circuit, and after cooling, they again take their dimensions and close the contacts.
Controlled electromechanical thermostats do not take into account the temperature of the air in the room, as well as the weather, season and day, so the accuracy of controlling the temperature in the room cannot be ensured with their help. Nevertheless, these devices are reliable, easy to use and practical, which is the reason for their use to this day.
Non-adjustable thermoregulators of electromechanical type — devices that ensure the safety of the heater operation. The essence of their purpose is to turn off the heating element when the unit reaches a critical temperature value (105 degrees), for example, if a controlled thermostat fails. The basic structural element of such devices is a bimetallic plate.
Important! The need to equip the IR heater with this device, which ensures the safety of use, is undeniable — the timely shutdown of the heater in an emergency will prevent a fire or explosion.
The principle of operation of oil heaters and vapor-drop type heaters, which are also infrared to a certain extent, requires the installation of both types of thermostat — adjustable and uncontrolled.
These temperature control devices are installed on water heating radiators, which also heat the room not only by initializing convective air flows, but also by means of infrared radiation.
Thermostats for water radiators according to the principle of operation are divided into the following types:
- mechanical action;
- mechanical with electronic valve adjustment.
Mechanical thermostat is mounted on the radiator inlet pipe and is a shut-off valve of a special design, having a drive to the bellows — a flexible control cylinder with corrugated walls in the form of an accordion, which is filled with a liquid with a high coefficient of thermal expansion (toluene, wax). With a change in air temperature, the heat transfer intensity of the radiator and the temperature of the coolant in it also change. The cylinder, in accordance with temperature fluctuations, lengthens or shortens, while moving the valve stem, and regulates the volume of coolant supplied to the radiator.
Depending on the model, the design of the thermostat has 2-3 operating modes, set manually by the consumer, which allows you to control, but with low accuracy, the intensity of heating the room by adjusting the amount of coolant supplied to the radiator.
Mechanical thermostat with electronic valve control — a more complex device, also installed on a radiator, but additionally equipped with a built-in or remote temperature sensor located in the actual area of \u200b\u200bthe room. The movement of the rod in such a thermostat is controlled by a microprocessor that runs on batteries and receives signals from temperature sensors.
Thermostats of this design are larger in size, but much more functional, equipped with an electronic liquid crystal display on the body, which allows you to set the temperature with an accuracy of 1 degree. Models are produced that allow you to program the hourly change in the temperature regime of the room during the day.
For fine adjustment of the coolant supply, even more advanced thermostats with a servo drive, but they are not used on radiators, but in the underfloor heating system. In such regulators, the stem in the locking device is driven by an electric motor that receives a signal from an external temperature sensor, which makes it possible to control the temperature regime with great accuracy.
In everyday life, a thermostat is often called a temperature controller on any heater, but for yourself you should know, for example, that “thermostat for an oil heater” is a definition that is essentially incorrect, since this controller is a thermostat according to the principle of operation.
Mechanical temperature controller
The mechanical thermostat is designed to control devices that affect the temperature in the room, and can regulate both heating and cooling. The indoor temperature control range of such devices (domestic use) is typically 5-30 degrees.
Device and principle of operation of the device
The action of a mechanical thermostat is based on the physical properties of the materials included in its design, this device does not contain a filling related to electricity and therefore does not require electricity, but for the operation of the device it is necessary to include it in the electrical circuit of the heater.
Any mechanical temperature controller has a gas-filled membrane that is hollow inside — the main component on which the principle of operation of the entire mechanism is based, therefore mechanical temperature controllers are also called membrane.
Under the influence of temperature, the gas in the membrane changes its volume and acts on its walls — it shifts or pushes apart, thereby closing or opening the contacts of the electrical circuit.
Despite the simplicity of design, a mechanical thermostat has an indisputable advantage over electromechanical ones — it reacts to changes in air temperature, and not to the heater body, which allows you to maintain a given temperature regime with a small error.
Setting the temperature of operation of the thermostat is done by rotating the handwheel until the risks are combined with the desired scale value. The flywheel rod is connected to the membrane, which, depending on the direction of its rotation, approaches or moves away from the contacts that close it. Thus, moving the membrane away from the contacts, we increase the temperature required for the desired expansion of the gas and circuit closure, and vice versa.
On the body, in addition to the adjusting wheel, there is a toggle switch that opens the circuit, turning off the device and the heater.
Installation of the control device
In size, mechanical thermostats are produced a little more than a household switch, with a square or rectangular front panel of various decorative designs.
According to the method of installation, they are divided into devices for indoor and outdoor placement.
To install the indoor device in the wall, strobes are made for electrical wiring and a landing socket (usually of a small depth — 12-20 mm) under the box into which the regulator will then be installed, therefore, after such installation, repair of the decoration of the room will be required.
Outdoor appliances do not require preparation of the base, they are fastened using the snipe-screw method, and the wiring is installed in an open way.
It is necessary to place the control device in the room, taking into account the following rules:
- the height of the device on the wall should be 1.5 m above the floor (+/-5 cm);
- the device must not be mounted to the ceiling, installed in the path of drafts, above heat sources and in places exposed to direct sunlight;
- installation of the mechanism behind curtains, furniture, etc. is not allowed;
- the mounting socket must not be exposed to moisture.
Important! Membrane thermostat can be used and for room heating control infrared heater, but under one condition — infrared radiation should not be directed to the device, therefore, when placing the emitter on the ceiling, the choice of the installation location of the control device should be taken especially carefully.
The ideal location for a mechanical thermostat for management infrared heater — a distant wall of the room, but at the same time, the values of the set temperature must be corrected for the distance from the actual zone.
Connecting a mechanical regulator
Inserting a control device into the electrical circuit of a heater is not much different from installing a powerful outlet, the main requirement is to use a wire with a square section corresponding to the power of the heater.
The regulator can be located in one of two ways:
- between the socket and the heater;
- between the heater and the switchboard — preferred method.
Let’s take a closer look at the tie-in operation, since you can connect the thermostat to an infrared heater in different ways, depending on the number of heaters.
The control device, whose power is usually 3 kW, has 4 terminals — two for connecting to the circuit breaker on the electrical panel, and two for connecting to the heating unit.
According to the standard scheme, two cables are pulled from the circuit breaker on the electrical panel to the input terminals on the controller, and then two more are pulled from the controller output to the heater.
If several heaters are planned to be connected to one controller, then this can be done in two ways:
- from each of the terminals at the output of the control device there should be as many cables as there will be connected heaters — each unit has its own wire (the number of pairs of wires coming from the control device corresponds to the number of connected heaters);
- two cables are removed from the device, with which the heaters are powered in turn.
Both of these connection methods remote thermostat to household infrared heaters are made in parallel.
Alternate connection of two heaters to the controller in parallel.
It is better to connect several heaters to the regulator using a magnetic starter in the circuit — a device that controls equipment that creates significant current loads.
For clarity, the scheme of using a magnetic starter for connections thermostat to infrared heater can be depicted as follows:
Electronic temperature control devices
This group of controllers is the most advanced, complex and, accordingly, expensive technique used to provide a room with a comfortable temperature regime.
Briefly, the principle of operation of the electronic thermostat is as follows. In the actual zone of the room, a remote electronic temperature sensor is mounted, which monitors the air environment, with a microprocessor-regulator, with which the desired value of the air temperature is set. The microprocessor receives information from the sensor connected to it, analyzes it and, if necessary, sends a control signal to the heater to turn it on or off. This signal, received by the electronic control system in the unit, closes or opens the control relay in the electrical circuit.
Important! The main advantages of electronic type control devices are the possibility of high-precision temperature control and programming of tasks for maintaining a certain temperature regime in the room, taking into account existing factors.
The fine-tuning potential of these controllers could make heaters with an electronic thermostat the most economical electrical equipment among infrared units, if not for the high cost of such devices and their repair. In addition, the installation of heaters with an electronic thermostat requires professional knowledge and skills from the performer, therefore, in most cases, it is carried out by specialists and is also not cheap.
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Thus, thermostats for infrared heaters are divided into the following three groups — mandatory devices for installation, facilitating control mechanisms and comfort devices.
Which type of heater to choose depends on the consumer, but priority should be given to equipment with the highest degree of operational safety.
The main essence of the article
- The thermostat in modern heaters is a familiar design element, the presence of which is taken for granted.
- Temperature controllers are divided into those that are mandatory for installation (ensuring safety) and increasing the functionality of heating equipment. Many consumers do not even know about the presence of devices of the first group in heaters.
- In addition to standard regulators, mandatory for installation and optimizing heater control, controllers are produced for additional equipment of heaters in order to increase their efficiency and functionality.
- The possibility of independent installation of temperature-regulating devices depends on their complexity. Manufacturers offer a wide range of controllers that you can mount yourself, inviting an electrician only as a consultant.
- When an electronic controller is chosen to equip the heating unit, it is necessary to objectively weigh the compliance of the heater class with the complexity of the control device — this can save you from unnecessary costs, since the functionality of simpler and cheaper thermostats is often enough.