The autonomy of the heater means its independence from other communications, that is, the presence in the unit of everything necessary for operation, including a certain supply of energy. Such devices are indispensable in the field or when heating rooms that are not equipped with electricity and gas supply.
Let’s consider several types of autonomous heat generators in terms of suitability for heating small buildings — a chicken coop, a garage, etc.
Requirements for autonomous heaters for small spaces
A common characteristic of all small rooms is only their small area — even the volume of such rooms can differ significantly due to the difference in ceiling heights. Each building has a number of individual characteristics that are important when choosing a heating method — purpose, glazing area and its orientation to the sides of the horizon, the degree of external insulation, etc.
Thus, an autonomous heater for any small space must be compact and, of course, safe. The remaining characteristics of the unit, including the consumed energy carrier, are selected with reference to the operating conditions.
The main purpose of the garage is to store the car, but this room also performs other functions — a repair shop and a place for storing household utensils. This means that there may be a certain amount of fuel and lubricants and other combustible items in the building, which increases the risk of a fire. At the same time, the enclosing structures of the garage in most cases are made of metal or stone, animals are not kept there, and these factors reduce the fire hazard of the object.
The situation is different in the chicken coop — there is no fuel and lubricants there, but the building envelopes are often wooden or insulated with combustible materials, and in winter, poultry can knock over a portable heater, chicken fluff can get on the emitter of the unit with dust. Accordingly, these circumstances increase the risk of a fire in a room that is not a fire hazard in the warm season.
Consider several types of compact autonomous heat generators suitable for use in a garage and a small chicken coop.
Types of compact autonomous heaters by fuel consumption
Even in the southern regions of Europe, the heating season lasts several months, so it makes no sense to consider exotic devices based on paraffin candles, which are effective only as heaters for a tent, or low-power devices that operate, for example, from a car battery — they are applicable only in extreme situations in the absence of alternatives.
Gas autonomous heaters
Natural gas is an energy carrier that is affordable for a wide range of users. But the equipment of any facility with this type of gas supply requires many official procedures — from project development to commissioning of the facility. Therefore, if during the construction of the garage gas supply was not included in its project, the building can be heated with a heater on bottled propane or butane.
As for heating the chicken coop, here the situation with the use of gas is even more complicated. It is fire hazardous to use portable gas heaters in a poultry house, and installing water heating based on a gas boiler installed in a separate room is advisable only for a poultry farm, since a small chicken coop will not justify such costs, and there is no need to talk about autonomy anymore — there is a dependence on the gas main and electrical networks (automation system).
Infrared gas heater “GIK‑3.2” domestic manufacturer “Hydroagregat” is an autonomous heating device that has proven itself among European garage owners.
The GIK‑3.2 heat generator is compact, lightweight, economical and, most importantly, safe enough to operate in a garage.
Characteristics of the GIK‑3.2 unit:
- heat release power — up to 3.3 kW;
- consumed energy carrier — gas (natural, propane, butane);
- average fuel consumption (liquefied / natural) — 150/420 ml / h;
- emitter surface temperature — 800 aboutFROM;
- ignition method — manually;
- device weight — 0.95 kg;
- maximum dimensions — 22x17x18 cm.
The heater consists of a burner on a tripod, connected to the gas cylinder through a reducer by means of a hose. As a heater for a garage, this infrared device is very convenient — the radiant panel can be installed at any angle, including horizontally (directed upwards), so that a cooking container can be placed on it using a special stand.
Important! The transfer of fuel consumption from natural gas to liquefied gas is carried out after installing a burner with a nozzle of the appropriate diameter, which is included in the delivery set of the unit.
Design advantages — efficiency, no open flame and low emission of gas combustion products into the air.
Autonomous liquid fuel heaters
This group of infrared heaters for heating small chicken coop will also be of little use.
If the model of the unit is not equipped with a fan, then there is a risk of ignition of fluff if it gets on the burner.
And thermal diesel guns make noise during operation, which in a cramped room will frighten the bird. In addition, a directed jet of heated air will constantly raise dust from the chicken coop bedding.
There is still an acceptable way out — to install a diesel gun outside, and direct the heat into the room with the bird through a flexible hose. This method of heating the chicken coop is effective, but not convenient — you need to periodically go outside in the cold to visually control the operation of the heater.
At the same time, heat guns of indirect heating have long and effectively been used for heating large-area poultry houses on poultry farms.
It should be noted that the fan of the heat gun runs on electricity, that is, this unit is not autonomous, and an electric cable must be pulled to its location.
The effectiveness of using a diesel gun to heat a garage will be demonstrated by this video:
When choosing a means for heating a garage, the line of solar heaters of the domestic manufacturer SolaroGas also deserves attention — 6 models that differ in power (1.8–2.5 kW), the material of manufacture of the furnace and the geometry of the reflector.
The devices are designed for the consumption of both kerosene and diesel fuel, moreover, there are no special requirements for the quality of fuel — it can be purchased at ordinary gas stations.
The capacity of the fuel tank, depending on the model, ranges from 2.5 to 4.2 liters, the average fuel consumption of all models is 0.2 l / h.
The weight of the units is in the range of 4.3–6.7 kg, dimensions — within 40x45x35 cm, which makes it easy to move them within the premises or transport them in the trunk of a car.
The manufacturer declares the possibility of using these heaters for heating residential premises. In the presence of an open flame and the use of diesel fuel, the statement is doubtful — the combustion products of diesel fuel will settle on the finish of the structures, which will not increase its aesthetics. But choosing such a burner for heating a garage, a small workshop or use in field conditions will be a well-founded decision — autonomy and ease of use, compactness and cost-effectiveness of the devices are obvious.
To get a better idea of the heaters of the SolaroGas company, watching this video will help:
Autonomous solid fuel heating devices
A wood-burning chicken coop heater is an ordinary potbelly stove, one of the rational solutions to the issue of heating this building in terms of fuel costs. But this method of heating also has problems that must be considered:
- the body of the stove and the chimney must have lattice or mesh fences made of non-combustible materials that will not allow the bird to sit on a hot surface, but will not interfere with the maintenance of the heater;
- the design of the furnace should exclude the possibility of sparks flying out of the furnace, but the site in front of the unit must still be equipped accordingly — concreted and fenced with a non-combustible border from the compost layer;
- heat the chicken coop only during the daytime and under human control.
As for the use of autonomous bourgeois stoves in small garages, this heating option is the most ancient, but no less popular among motorists than other heating methods.
Considering the mode of human presence in the garage, the cost of firewood is usually small, and periodic heating of the building will relieve dampness and contribute to a better preservation of the car.
Important! The use of a wood-burning stove only in the presence of the owner of the garage and compliance with fire safety rules are necessary conditions for preventing a fire.
Alternative heating autonomy
Taking into account the specifics of the operation of premises for keeping poultry, it can be said that, no matter which of the above autonomous heaters is chosen, the factor of the presence of animals complicates the use of the units.
It is advisable to build a solution to the problem in a different way: as the main means of heating, use an electrical device that is suitable in design and affordable, and in case of emergencies, have an autonomous device.
For example, an electric infrared heater for a chicken coop is the best option for the main heater, but lamp emitters with a high surface temperature should not be accessible for direct contact.
IR rays act on obstacles in their path of propagation — they increase the temperature of their surface, after which the heated interior gives off heat to the surrounding air. At the same time, infrared radiation has a thermal effect directly on the bird, but the parameters of the transit medium — air do not change during the passage.
In small chicken coops, lamp IR heaters are placed closer to perches, since increasing the distance to the emitter reduces the intensity of heating.
A variety of infrared heaters — film devices also do a good job of heating chicken coops, both small and large. At the same time, the low temperature of the radiating surface makes them safe for direct contact with a bird or a person.
In winter, the temperature in the chicken coop should not fall below 10 0C, which can be achieved by installing a remote thermostat. Based on the value of the permissible temperature, in central Europe, the room does not require high-intensity heating. Consequently, the monthly electricity costs for the winter period will not be significant.
Passive space heating
In addition to the use of heaters, there is a whole range of measures aimed at improving the efficiency of heating units and, consequently, their efficiency.
But, in addition to universal operations, for example, external insulation of building envelopes, there are technologies that are applicable only to premises for keeping animals or birds.
After the external, and preferably internal, insulation of the walls and ceiling of the chicken coop, the thermal insulation of the floor is performed. With regard to the chicken coop, the technologies for these works do not differ from performing identical operations in other rooms. But in the poultry house, after the floor is insulated, an additional warming procedure is carried out — laying a thick layer of loose bedding, the components of which enter into a chemical reaction with each other and release heat at the same time.
You can prepare such a mixture yourself, or you can purchase one of the ready-made compositions offered by compost manufacturers.
Bulk materials of natural origin with a low coefficient of thermal conductivity are used as bedding material for the winter period when it is independently prepared: chopped straw, wood shavings, moss, sunflower husks or mixtures of these components.
The layer is formed with a thickness of 30–50 cm, and over time, as it is compacted, the same substrate is added to it in the amount necessary to restore the original volume.
Bird droppings, mixed with organic matter, initiate decomposition processes and heat release.
Important! Deep litter must be periodically loosened (1–2 times a week) — to prevent the temperature of the layer from rising to dangerous values, weathering of ammonia from it and drying.
Thus, deep bedding is also a kind of autonomous means of heating the chicken coop in winter, but not the main one in terms of intensity.
The autonomy of the heater cannot be considered as an advantage or a disadvantage, this is one of its characteristics, which, depending on the specific operating conditions, can be both a “plus” and a “minus”:
- the use of electricity or gas for heating makes the consumer dependent on the presence of voltage in the network or pressure in the line, but eliminates the need to have a supply of fuel;
- autonomous heaters have everything for work in their design, but their energy carrier reserves are limited, and the quality of the purchased fuel is a variable value, which also generates dependence.
The main essence of the article
- An autonomous heating unit is a device that does not need energy carriers from main networks (electricity, gas).
- Independent action heaters are convenient, and sometimes simply indispensable, for heating rooms located far from electric and gas networks, for heating in the field and in emergency situations.
- Autonomous heating units are especially effective for heating small and medium-sized premises, since the regular supply of energy carriers of such devices is small.
- Gas heaters are produced as self-contained units, but household propane tanks are heavy and disposable cartridges are quite expensive.
- Liquid-fuel heat generators are designed for continuous operation at one gas station, but when diesel fuel is burned, a significant amount of harmful substances is released into the air, and kerosene is not a cheap energy carrier.
- A wood-burning stove is an environmentally friendly, inexpensive and efficient heater, but the high temperature of the body imposes restrictions on its use.
- After choosing any autonomous heater, one cannot do without additional measures — sealing the joints of enclosing structures and external insulation.