In addition to halogen and quartz heaters, there is another, the youngest type of infrared heating devices — a carbon heater. The freshness of the development implies the use of modern technologies in the device, which really takes place in this unit, so we will consider the carbon heater in more detail in order to better navigate the wide range of household appliances that are identical in purpose when buying.
Carbon heater device
The design of this type of heating device differs little from the execution of most types of infrared heating devices. In a metal or ceramic case with a reflector (reflector), the main element of the electric heater is placed inside — a carbon lamp, which can be located in the case both horizontally and vertically.
The reflector provides directionality to the concentrated beam of radiation, which can also be adjusted with a mechanical rotary device available on most models.
Carbon lamp device
This lamp-emitter is a tube of quartz glass sealed at the ends, in which an incandescent filament of a special carbon fiber — carbon fiber is placed under vacuum conditions.
Carbon fiber was chosen as a filament for a reason — an infrared emitter of this design operates in the long-wave range, excluding the factor of undesirable long-term exposure to short-wave radiation. In addition, the resource of carbon lamps is on average 1000$ hours, which, in terms of the months of the heating season, is approximately 10 calendar years.
A large resource is due to the fact that the coefficient of linear thermal expansion of carbon fiber, unlike tungsten or nichrome, is close to zero, and the metal fatigue factor from temperature deformations when the device is turned on and off is absent from carbon fiber by definition.
The principle of operation of the device
After installing or mounting the device, the reflector is manually directed in the desired direction and fixed. The device is connected to a 220/230 V household network and almost instantly reaches the maximum heat radiation power. The efficiency of carbon fiber in heat transfer is higher than that of metals, since it requires almost no energy to heat the filament to the radiation temperature, while the quartz glass of the tubes transmits radiant heat without loss. This is due to the cost-effectiveness of carbon heaters compared to other tube infrared heaters.
Heating of the room is provided by heating the objects to which the heater is directed, with their subsequent release of heat into the air of the room. There is no radiation energy consumption for increasing the air temperature during the passage of waves through it, since the energy of long-wave infrared radiation of carbon is absorbed only by dense media. In this case, not only the surfaces of the room furnishings are heated, but also their internal heating to a depth of up to 2 cm, which helps to extend the heat transfer time after the heater is turned off. Many models of carbon units are equipped with a thermostat that allows you to maintain a certain temperature in the room.
Like all modern electric heating devices, the carbon heater has an automatic shutdown device in the design in case of a fall, overturning or a dangerous angle of inclination.
Important! Long-term presence of a person in the path of long-wave radiation of a carbon lamp, if a safe distance is observed to prevent thermal burns, is absolutely harmless.
Types of carbon appliances for heating
Carbon heaters are made portable (floor, tripod) or intended for installation on a wall or ceiling. These types of construction differ from each other only in the way they are located and attached to the base.
There is also a classification according to the orientation of the heating elements in the housing:
Of these two versions, the one that corresponds to the most rational placement of the device at the place of operation is selected.
Models of carbon heaters also differ in the number of heating elements. Naturally, the more of them, the more efficient the device will be, but the more significant is the power consumption.
In terms of power, carbon-fiber heating devices are divided into household ones — from a few tens of watts to 2–3 kilowatts, and industrial, multi-kilowatt ones, used to heat industrial premises or provide temperature control in drying chambers.
Advantages and disadvantages
The carbon heater, as the youngest, is the most advanced unit among lamp heaters, which also determines its higher technical characteristics. We list the pros and cons of these devices, both inherent in all infrared heaters, and characteristic only of carbon units.
- High efficiency — close to 95%.
- low level of energy consumption — due to the high thermal conductivity of carbon fiber, which allows for the generation of a unit of heat to consume electricity almost half as much as most traditional types of electric heaters;
- a large resource of the unit is also provided with the unique properties of the carbon fiber.
- Absence of short-wave radiation — long-wave radiation of carbon does not have a harmful effect on humans and does not change the characteristics of the air in the room (humidity, oxygen content).
- High degree of safety of use.
- Wide choice of options of constructive execution and design.
- Compactness and small weight (2–4 kg).
- Optimal level of heater operation automation (thermostat, tipping sensor, remote control).
- Easy to operate and daily care.
- Quiet operation.
- Affordable cost.
The list of advantages of a carbon heater is impressive, but there are also disadvantages:
- low efficiency of directional heating in fresh air — due to the characteristics of long-wave radiation;
- high probability of destruction of quartz tubes of carbon lamps if the device is accidentally dropped;
- the inability of long-wave radiation to go around obstacles — an object that is in the path of the rays will be heated.
The listed shortcomings are not critical, and rather perform an informative function than determine the choice of device when buying.
How to choose a carbon heater
When buying, first of all, you need to decide on the installation location of the unit. If there is no permanent location, that is, it is supposed to move the device as needed, then you should choose a portable device — floor or tripod.
Versions with a vertical arrangement of heating elements are more compact and preferable for small spaces. At the same time, the power of portable carbon heating devices usually does not exceed 2 kW, which makes it possible to provide the desired temperature in a room up to 20 square meters.
To protect children and pets from contact with appliances, it is better to give preference to a wall or ceiling modification, choosing a carbon heater with the ability to rotate the reflector to the maximum angle for even greater ease of use. At the same time, the strength of the brackets and the reliability of the design for attaching the unit to the base should be mandatory conditions for choosing wall-mounted carbon heating devices.
Important! The power supply cable of the device must have a grounding conductor connected to the body of the device, and carbon lamps must have a protective metal grill.
The material of the reflector must be made of dense foil that resists being pressed by a finger, and the heater body must be protected from corrosion by a high-quality paint and varnish coating without chips and scratches.
The performance of the carbon heating device and its automatic systems upon purchase is checked on site, the manufacturer’s operating instructions must be attached to the device.
To prevent accidents associated with electrical injury and burns, as well as to ensure the heater’s life declared by the manufacturer, the following safety precautions must be observed:
- It is forbidden to place heaters in close proximity to flammable objects (curtains, tablecloths, lampshades of floor lamps and table lamps, etc.).
- Drying items on electric heaters is not allowed.
- It is forbidden to place electrical cables under carpets, movable door leaves, in an area of high humidity or water in an open form.
- It is also forbidden to leave heaters on unattended.
- Repairs to carbon heaters should only be carried out by qualified personnel.
Following these rules will protect users not only from accidents, but also from disappointment in these modern functional home heaters.