Since the problem of heating housing in EU has existed for many hundreds of years, the European market for heating equipment is regularly replenished with new types of heaters, and existing heating devices are constantly being improved. When purchasing another heating device without knowing the characteristics of the equipment offered by manufacturers, there is a high probability of purchasing a device that is not functional or does not meet the existing conditions.
For those who, when buying household appliances, give priority to new generation units, let’s consider what a micathermic heater is — a modern compact device for home heating, available to a wide range of consumers.
Introduction to the mikathermic home heating device
Micathermic infrared heater is one of the types of heating devices produced on the basis of recent technical developments, but its production has already been mastered by many foreign and domestic enterprises focused on advanced technologies.
Consumer Demand for Micathermal Heaters quite high, so let’s take a closer look, what it is.
At the heart of the essence of mikathermic units for heating housing lies micanite electric heater — an infrared emitter made using Micathermic technology.
Micanite is mica paper, the smallest flakes of natural mica — a material that, being a dielectric, has good heat resistance and sufficient thermal conductivity. By mixing micanite with a heat-resistant binder, and subjecting the resulting mass to pressing in molds, heat-resistant sheet products of various profiles with dielectric properties are obtained.
Micanite emitter for micathermal infrared The heater is made as follows:
- by pressing a mixture of mica paper with a heat-resistant binder in the form of a given size, an insulator is obtained — the base of the heater;
- coils of nichrome wire or flat resistive heaters, for example, Rescal or Kantal, are applied to the insulator, with ends connected to the network;
- on top of the heating elements on both sides, thin layers of a mixture of micanite with a binder are applied;
- on one of the sides of the manufactured electric heater, two additional layers of special materials are applied — a reflector and a radiation concentrator;
- both sides of the heating element are covered with mica or a heat-resistant mixture of micanite with a binder;
- For rigidity, a thin aluminum protective plate is attached to the working side of the micanite heater over mica (for efficient heat transfer, it must fit snugly against the plane of the mica emitter).
Important! Self-made additional holes in mica heaters, for example, when trying to transfer the element to another device, will result in failure of the micathermal heater, since they are made only in the process of manufacturing (pressing) the emitter.
The structure of the mica heater ensures a uniform temperature over its entire surface.
The micanite heater is installed in a metal case equipped with mesh walls that do not interfere with the passage of infrared radiation. The body is equipped with support legs or, for ease of movement, a compact platform on wheels.
When connected to the network, the mica emitter enters the operating mode in half a minute and, depending on the model and the set power mode, heats up to a temperature of 200 — 400 degrees. The distance between the working side of the heater and the outer protective grid is several centimeters, and the heater body is covered from the inside with a basalt-based heat-insulating composition, so its surface temperature does not rise above 60 degrees — a value that is not tolerable for hands, but safe with short-term contact with this plane.
In addition to radiative energy transfer, the operation of micathermal heaters is accompanied by the generation of convective flows. The share of heat transferred by infrared radiation accounts for about 80% of the electricity consumed, convection — about 20%.
Micathermal heaters are equipped with an automatic shutdown device when the unit overheats — a thermostat based on a bimetallic plate.
As additional options, there may be equipment with an electronic display, backlit control buttons.
According to the direction of infrared radiation, micathermal heaters are produced in three varieties:
- circular heating.
Double acting heaters
The most common version of a mikathermic heater is floor standing. In a micanite heater, only one radiates — the working side of the plate, therefore, heaters of the upper segment in the power range are produced with two flat mica radiators located parallel to each other — non-working surfaces inward. Such devices are flat in shape, with a mesh protective grille on both sides.
Important! The intensity of infrared radiation decreases with increasing distance from the emitter, therefore, the optimal efficiency of using micathermal heaters is achieved when they are 2–3 m away from the heating object.
One-sided heating units
Such heaters have one flat mica heater in their design, opposite the radiating side of which a perforated protective wall is installed in the housing, and on the back side of the mikathermic heater the outer wall is almost continuous — there are only ventilation slots in the lower part.
Single-acting heaters are produced for floor and wall placement, since the blank rear wall of the housing of such devices is not subjected to significant heat, which allows it to be placed close to interior items or mounted on a building envelope.
Important! The power of single-sided mikathermic heaters is lower than that of double-sided heating devices, but the effect of two wall-mounted heaters, rationally installed in the room, is not lower than that of one unit of the same power, but wall placement gives a gain in space utilization.
Cylindrical and oval heaters
The manufacturing technology of micanite heaters (pressing) makes it possible to manufacture emitters of various profiles. With the development of technologies for the manufacture of mica emitters, ring (tubular) and semi-ring (two half-rings) heaters began to be produced.
Thus, on the basis of a one-sided mica heater of an annular or semi-annular design with an outwardly directed radiating surface, it is possible to produce micathermal heaters with a cylindrical or oval body.
The vertical layout of floor-standing heaters allows you to save on the area of the device in rooms with modest dimensions, in which this form of units, in addition, visually increases the height of the ceilings.
The principle of operation of a mikathermal heater
The use of this type of domestic heater, like other infrared heaters, is based on the properties of infrared radiation. The micanite heater, upon reaching the operating temperature, begins to emit infrared waves, which on the propagation path, resting against obstacles, increase the intensity of the Brownian motion of molecules on their surface. The transit medium (air) does not heat up, and its movement (drafts) does not prevent the propagation of infrared waves.
Accordingly, the temperature of the surface layers of obstacles rises to a certain depth, depending on the wavelength of infrared radiation and its intensity, determined by the temperature of the emitter. Radiation-heated objects themselves become sources of heat, which they give off to the environment.
Considering that convection accounts for up to 20% of the total amount of heat generated by the heater, ceiling mounted mikathermic heaters are not produced.
For placement on the ceiling, units are more suitable for which the share of heat given off by convection is minimal — infrared heaters with lamp-type emitters (quartz, halogen).
Determination of the required power of Micathermic heating devices
When choosing a mikathermic heater, the basic principle of approximate calculation of the required power of the unit is used — for heating 10 sq. m. area it is necessary to spend 1 kW of heat. Then, the result of the calculation must be amended in the form of coefficients that take into account the region and a number of characteristics of the heated room.
This difficult method of determination is preferred to use special tables or an online calculator to calculate the power of an infrared heater. Having received the exact value, round it up to the nearest value of the selected type of unit available for sale.
Advantages and disadvantages of mikathermic heating devices
After getting acquainted with the features and characteristics of this unit, the question naturally arises, which is better — a heater for a micathermal type or convector. Let us briefly list the advantages and disadvantages of a heater with a micanite heater.
- energy consumption for heating a unit area is lower than that of other types of IR heaters — the difference can be up to 30%;
- compactness and low weight;
- short time to enter the operating mode — an average of 1 minute;
- relatively low surface temperature of the unit, which excludes burns;
- noiselessness of work;
- lack of oxygen combustion factor in the room air;
- affordability — from 2.50 $.
- low heating intensity of interior items when they are more than 3 m away from the emitter;
- the ability to heat only in the room where the unit is located;
- the difficulty of keeping it clean — through the perforated walls of the heater, dust enters the heater, the combustion of which is accompanied by an unpleasant odor;
- high price of top models.
The question “micathermal heater or convector” does not have a categorical answer, since there are several types of heaters that initiate convective flows. Their characteristics are such that some parameter, which is a disadvantage in specific conditions, may turn out to be a virtue in another situation. Often only the features of heaters are called shortcomings, the difference from other devices that are not taken into account when buying and do not meet the requirements for operation in specific conditions.
An objective answer to this question can only be given in relation to a particular apartment, for which you need to purchase several heating devices to be compared.
Rules for the operation of Micathermic heaters
Since the safety of their operation is in the first place when evaluating household electrical appliances, we list the rules for handling micathermal heaters:
- the use of the unit must be carried out in accordance with the attached operating instructions;
- do not plug heaters with visible damage to the housing or power cable into the network;
- exclude the possibility of contact of the device with open moisture;
- the heater power cable must be visually accessible;
- it is strictly forbidden to place flammable substances in the zone of dangerous proximity to the unit (less than 1 m);
- it is not allowed to place objects for drying on the device;
- do not direct the heater to interior elements that are subject to deformation under the influence of elevated temperature;
- prevent loose materials from entering the device through the perforated walls, which can cause a fire or a short circuit in the internal electrical wiring;
- to prevent significant internal pollution, the heater must be periodically wiped of dust, or better, cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, after disconnecting the unit from the mains and waiting for it to cool;
- the use of abrasive products when cleaning the housing will damage the protective paintwork and corrosion of steel parts.
Micathermal heaters are electrical appliances convenient for domestic use. But as the main means for heating housing in the winter, they are suitable only in small apartments. But at the beginning of the heating season and in the spring, when cold snaps are periodic, these heating units will surely pay back the costs of their purchase, providing the ability to turn off the main autonomous heating system based on the boiler.
The main essence of the article
- Micathermal heaters are convenient household appliances of a line of devices using the latest technical developments.
- The micanite heater is the main structural element of the mikathermal heater, which determines its name. The main characteristics of the heating device are due to the characteristics of the mica emitter.
- The internal structure and, accordingly, the power of the micathermal heater depend on the standard direction of IR radiation and the location of the unit: floor-mounted heaters have two or one mica heater, wall-mounted heaters have one heating plate.
- Micathermal heaters are devices that consume electricity, and for safety reasons, their operation must be carried out in accordance with the attached instructions and the rules for handling household electrical appliances.