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Need of space and water heating

Systems of space heating
Plant and equipment
Selection criteria
Space and water heating installation:
Low, medium ad high pressure, hot water systems, steam, warm air, radiant tube
systems, gas and electric local appliances.
Implication and impacts selecting different fuels and energy sources on buildings
and environment.
Integration of heating in terms of noise, loading and heat gains

Space heating is the heating of a space, usually enclosed, such as a house or room.

A space heater keeps the air and surroundings at a comfortable temperature for
people or animals, or even plants in a greenhouse.

Space heating generally warms a small space, and is usually held in contrast with
central heating , which warms many connected spaces at once.

Space heating does not include water heating , unless it is used for hydronic

equipment installations

good design criteria

easy installation by M&E specialist

Separation of services space

The following is a list of some of the factors that influence the

type of heating system that may chosen:
Fuel or Heat Source
Type of Building
Power Supply
Security of Supply of Heat Source
Let Buildings
Environmental Issues
District Heating
Outside Conditions
Fluctuating Heat Demand
Industrial Waste Heat




Installation cost Pipes are cheaper than ducts.
Running cost
Oil, Coal or Gas or Economy 7 electricity or wood products.
Life Cycle costs Reliable system, long working life e.g. Cast Iron boiler.
Maintenance costs Coal as a fuel may be expensive to maintain. Other systems
have less maintenance requirement.
Gas burns cleaner than oil and there is less soot to clean out of a gas boiler and
Fuel or Heat Source
There is a choice in most countries between;
Oil, Coal, LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas), natural gas, Economy 7 electrical heating,
Ordinary Rate electrical heating, Wood products.
In some countries peat, lignite or soft brown coal is available.
The economics of burning this on a large scale would have to be considered.
There are various grades of oil, some of the more viscous (heavier) oils are cheaper
but require specially heated burners and heated pipes.
Calculate the less expensive option.
Calculate the less expensive option.
Some open gas and coal fires and paraffin heaters have a poor safety record.
Ensure all apparatus is approved and meets standards and regulations.
Systems that use steam should be inspected annually to ensure that pressure vessels
are safe and safety valves function.

4. Type of Building

There are many types of building encountered in building services, the following are a few

Large areas benefit from the quick warm-up of air heating.

Ventilation systems with ductwork require ceiling void space.

For Warehouse radiant heating may be a suitable option since the air temperature need not be

Hospitals require clean environment; thus filtered air heating may be necessary, usually in a full air
conditioning system.

Museums and Archive Stores require constant control of room temperature and humidity - airconditioning may be necessary.

In some buildings it is difficult to run services through e.g. stone walls, solid concrete slabs,
therefore electrical heating may be used.

In buildings with large occupancy a ventilation system may be necessary to provide adequate fresh
air for occupants e.g. concert hall, auditoria.

In buildings with high heat gains air-conditioning may be necessary to maintain comfort levels.

Schools have limited wall space so underfloor heating or low temperature ceiling heating is
sometimes used.

In some buildings like nursery schools and nursing homes, if radiators are utilised, it is advisable
that low surface temperature radiators are used.

In wet areas like shower rooms and bathrooms underfloor heating has an advantage in that it keeps
the floor dry.

Some buildings like churches may be intermittently used so electrical heating may not completely
ruled out.

High temperature roof mounted quartz electric heaters have been used in this type of building.

Prestigious areas may have full comfort air conditioning to reflect the importance of the room e.g.
board room.

5. Comfort

To maintain adequate comfort conditions a controllable heating system will be

necessary e.g. automatic controls on oil or gas-fired system or electrical
heating system.
A solid fuel system cannot be easily controlled.
Wood pellet boilers are automatically controlled in the same way as other
A comfortable heating system may incorporate some radiant heating as well as
Radiant heating is not always achievable but radiators produce about 70%
convective and 30% radiant heating.
It may be difficult to obtain comfort levels in an office if a purely radiant
system is used such as radiant panels so a mixture of convective and
radiantheating is desirable.
If noise levels in a room such as a Library are to be at a minimum then fan
convectors are not a good option and some other quieter form of heating is
better such as radiators, underfloor heating, natural convectors or a radiant

6. Power Supply

When using electrical heating there must be an adequate electrical

power supply.
For a large building or group of buildings this may mean a new or
upgraded electrical sub-station has to be provided.

7. Space
Plant requirements; room for plant and equipment, storage space for
Some construction methods do not provide adequate space for large
plant e.g. a trussed roof space is awkward to use for services plant.
A basement plant room can be compromised if the area is prone to
An apartment or flat may not have sufficient room for water tanks or
An inner city building may have no space for fuel storage therefore
electrical heating could be the option if natural gas in unavailable.

8. Vandalism

Some systems do not stand up to abuse.

Keep walls clear of pipes in some buildings e.g. prisons, detention centres.
Use steel instead of copper pipework in exposed areas.
Some emitters are not robust e.g. economy 7 electrical heaters.
Heavy-duty radiators can be used e.g. cast iron.
Some types of steel panel radiators are suitable for flush fitting in a wall if a recess is provided.
Prison cells can be heated with surface mounted low-level pipes.
Temperature sensors should be protected.

9. Security of Supply of Heat Source

Some fuels at certain times may be liable to unsecured supply e.g. oil prices can fluctuate during a
Middle East crisis.
It may be advisable to have a dual fuel system so that burners can easily be changed over to burn
the cheaper or more readily available fuel.
Alternative sources of energy are not always secure e.g. the wind doesn't always blow on a wind
The sun doesnt always shine if the system relies on solar panels.
A hybrid system is more secure or back-up boilers can be used.

10. Let Buildings

Most landlords prefer the tenant to look after payment of their own heating bills.
Individual meters for gas or electricity in a block of flats means that the tenants are responsible
for the payment of bills.
In a large office building with several tenants, economy 7 electrical or natural gas heating may be
used otherwise it is difficult to divide up a wet heating system serving a whole building so that
suitable payments can be made for heating.
Some heat meters are expensive and not always reliable.
Some billing arrangement needs to be in place to charge tenants for heating.

11. Environmental Issues

The products of combustion of oil, coal and gas pollute the atmosphere.

Coal is probably the worst offender since carbon dioxide contributes to the greenhouse effect and
sulphur dioxide causes acid rain.

Smoke causes urban smog and soot and ash add to the problem.

Oil produces contaminants to a lesser extent and gas is probably the best of the three.

Using electricity is of little benefit because power stations burn fuel to produce electricity or use
nuclear fusion or fission as a source of heat which has its own impact on the planet.

A totally 'green' source of heat may be wind power or wave power or solar energy if you live in an
area with plenty of sunshine.

Wood products such as pellets have zero Carbon emission since trees can be replanted to replace
this fuel source.

Wood pellets boilers use pellets from an on site storage facility.

12. District Heating

If un-used hot water from a power station or other industrial plant is
utilised for domestic and commercial heating then the system could be
designed to utilise this cheap source of energy.
13. Outside Conditions

In some countries the outside temperature in winter is very low i.e.

minus 10 decC to minus 30 degC.
Because of high emitter output requirements it may be better to heat
with warm air as opposed to hot water.
In some temperate climates it is not worth the expense of having a wet
heating system and electrical heaters are suitable for occasional use.
If a building has high internal heat gains, even in winter, then an
electrical heater battery can be used in the air conditioning system
instead of a wet system if occasional use is envisaged.
In rooms or buildings, which have an intermittent net heat gain and heat
loss, then a heat pump may be used.
A typical use of heat pump is in a heavily glazed building where in a
sunny period the heat pump is in cooling mode and if the outside
temperature drops the heat pump switches to heating mode.

14. Fluctuating Heat Demand

In some buildings the demand for heat fluctuates widely throughout the
To meet this demand economically, a modular boiler system is a good
This means that the required number of boilers is automatically switched
on to meet the demand.
In some circumstances it is recommended that condensing boilers can be
used to meet the base heating load and non-condensing boilers can be
utilised to meet the peak loads.
Condensing boilers squeeze more energy out of the fuel by taking extra
heat out of the flue gases with a heat exchanger, Efficiency can be 98%

15. Appearances

In some rooms or buildings the designer may require the heating system
to be totally hidden e.g. underfloor heating, heated ceiling or air
In some buildings the designer may wish to make a feature of the heating
system or heat emitters e.g. warm air ductwork system painted a bright
colour in a swimming pool hall or sports hall, Victorian cast iron radiators
in a period building.

Most heating systems for buildings use hot water which is pumped through pipework from a
boiler (or boilers) to heat emitters in the rooms.
This has proved to be cheaper than warm air heating because installing pipework is less
expensive than ductwork and more equipment is necessary in warm air heating which
increases installation costs.
It is possible to heat large spaces with warm air using fan convectors fed with hot water but
these have several disadvantages, one of which is they tend to be noisy when running at high
Radiators have proved to be the most common type of heat emitter for small to medium
sized spaces, although under floor heating systems are becoming more popular.
Most radiators act more like natural convectors because of the extended finned surface
which is readily obtainable.

i) Water heating
Common components of a central heating system using water-circulation include:
Gas supply lines (sometimes including a propane tank), oil tank and supply lines or
district heating supply lines
Boiler (or a heat exchanger for district heating) heats water in a closed-water system
Pump circulates the water in the closed system
Radiators wall-mounted panels through which the heated water passes in order to
release heat into rooms
Engineers in the United Kingdom and in other parts of Europe commonly combine the
needs of room heating with hot-water heating and storage. These systems occur less
commonly in the USA. In this case, the heated water in a sealed system flows through
a heat exchanger in a hot-water tank or hot-water cylinder where it heats water from the
normal water supply before that water gets fed to hot-water outlets in the house. These
outlets may service hot-water taps or appliances such as washing machines or
Sealed water-circulating system
A sealed system provides a form of central heating in which the water used for
heating usually circulates independently of the building's normal water supply.
An expansion tank contains compressed gas, separated from the sealed-system
water by a diaphragm. This allows for normal variations of pressure in the system. A
safety valve allows water to escape from the system when pressure becomes too
high, and a valve can open to replenish water from the normal water supply if the
pressure drops too low.
Sealed systems offer an alternative to open-vent systems, in which steam can
escape from the system, and gets replaced from the building's water supply via a
feed and central storage system.

Fig: Expansion tank


A boiler is the heating plant used to create hot water

or steam for hydronic baseboard, radiant heat or
steam radiator heating systems. Boilers can use a
variety of fuels including natural gas, propane, oil or

Steam boilers are more complex than hot water

boilers and have special gauge glass, pressure
gauges, blow off valves and automatic feeds.

Hot water boilers can be small, compact, energy

efficient and low maintenance.

Hot-water systems can be classified by operating temperature

into three groups
i. low temperature - LTW
ii. medium temperature - MTW
iii. high temperature - HTW
Low Temperature Hot-Water Heating System - LTW
operates within a temperature of 250oF (121oC). The
maximum allowable working pressure for a LTW system is
usual 30 psi (2 bar).
LTW systems are in general used for space heating in homes,
residential buildings, offices, local distribution of district
heating systems and similar.
Medium Temperature Hot-Water Heating System - MTW
MTW systems operates at a temperature of 350oF (177oC) or
less. The maximum allowable working pressure for a MTW
system is usual 150 psi (10.5 bar)
MTW systems are often used in large hot-water distribution
systems like district heating, and in systems where process
applications requires higher temperatures than achievable by
LTW systems
High Temperature Hot-Water Heating System - HTW
HTW systems operates at temperatures exceeding 350oF
(177oC) or less. The maximum operating pressure for a HTW
system is usual less than 300 psi (20.7 bar).
HTW systems are used like MTW systems in large distribution
and process application systems.

ii) Electric and gas-fired heaters

Electric heating or resistance heating converts electricity directly to heat. Electric heat is
often more expensive than heat produced by combustion appliances like natural gas,
propane, and oil. Electric resistance heat can be provided by baseboard heaters, space
heaters, radiant heaters, furnaces, wall heaters, or thermal storage systems.
Electric heaters are usually part of a fan coil which is part of a central air conditioner. They
circulate heat by blowing air across the heating element which is supplied to the furnace
through return air ducts. Blowers in electric furnaces move air over one to five resistance
coils or elements which are usually rated at five kilowatts. The heating elements activate
one at a time to avoid overloading the electrical system. Overheating is prevented by a
safety switch called a limit controller or limit switch. This limit controller may shut the
furnace off if the blower fails or if something is blocking the air flow. The heated air is then
sent back through the home through supply ducts.
In larger commercial applications, central heating is provided through an air handler which
incorporates similar components as a furnace but on a larger scale.

iii) Hydronic and steam systems

Hydronic heating systems are systems that circulate a medium for heating. Hydronic
radiant floor heating systems use a boiler or district heating to heat water and a pump to
circulate the hot water in plastic pipes installed in a concrete slab. The pipes, embedded
in the floor, carry heated water that conducts warmth to the surface of the floor where it
broadcasts heat energy to the room above.
Hydronic systems circulate hot water for heating. Steam heating systems are similar to
heating water systems, except steam is used as the heating medium instead of water.
Hydronic heating systems generally consist of a boiler or district heating heat exchanger,
hot water circulating pumps, distribution piping, and a fan coil unit or a radiator located in
the room or space. Steam heating systems are similar except no circulating pumps are
Hydronic systems are closed loop: the same fluid is heated and then reheated.
Hydronic heating systems are also used with antifreeze solutions in ice and snow melt
systems for walkways, parking lots and streets. They are more commonly used in
commercial and whole house radiant floor heat projects, while electric radiant heat
systems are more commonly used in smaller "spot warming" applications.

iv) Heat pumps

In mild climates a heat pump can be used to air condition the building during hot weather,
and to warm the building using heat extracted from outdoor air in cold weather. Air-source
heat pumps are generally uneconomic for outdoor temperatures much below freezing.

In colder climates, geothermal heat pumps can be used to extract heat from the ground.
For economy, these systems are designed for average low winter temperatures and use
supplemental heating for extreme low temperature conditions.

The advantage of the heat pump is that it reduces the purchased energy required for
building heating; often geothermal source systems also supply domestic hot water. Even in
places where fossil fuels provide most electricity, a geothermal system may offset
greenhouse gas production since most of the energy furnished for heating is supplied from
the environment, with only 1530% purchased.


Heating System

Emitter Types
Steel Panel
Cast Iron
Natural Convectors
Fan Convectors
Industrial Warm Air Heaters
Unit Heaters
Skirting Heaters
Trench Heating
Metal Radiant Panels
Metal Radiant Strips
Metal Radiant Ceilings
Gas Radiant Heaters




Warm Air Heaters


Radiant Heaters


Underfloor Heaters

Piped Underfloor Heating

Electrical Underfloor Heating.

Electrical Heaters

Electrical Tubular Heating

Storage Heaters
High Temperature Heaters




Radiators do not strictly speaking 'radiate' all their heat into the space but up
to 80% may be convected, typically for a double panel radiator about 30% of
total heat output is radiated and 70% is emitted by convection.
Radiators are used in a wide variety of buildings to provide central heating in
These emitters are usually positioned at low level, typically under windows,
although other positions can be used.
Heat outputs vary up to around 3 kW.
A typical radiator height for a house is 600mm, but other sizes are used
depending on location.
Radiators can be described by various means but the type of material used in
the manufacture is the main method of distinction.
Six radiator types as listed below show various methods of manufacture and
style to suit different conditions.
Steel Panel - Simple convoluted panel which may be single, double or more.
Cast Iron - Column type.
Aluminium - Extruded sections.
Tubular - Using vertical and horizontal steel tubes.
Bathroom Radiator - Various shapes and materials some for drying towels.
Low Surface Temperature - Usually steel.

Steel Panel

Cast Iron

Cast Iron
Cast iron sections are bolted together.
Robust, heavy radiator.
Good heat transfer but expensive.

Aluminium Sectional
A selection of aluminium radiators are shown below.
Aluminium radiators are more expensive than steel panel but are light with
high heat output for size.
The material used and production techniques ensure a clean smooth finish
but one of the problems with using aluminium is corrosion of the metal in
contact with hot water which may have a small quantity of air absorbed in it.
An inhibitor can be provided as a capsule inserted in the radiator during
installation or special additives can be added to the water during
commissioning of the system to overcome this problem.

In some types steel tubes are welded to top and bottom headers.
Shown in photograph above.
Decorative appearance, useful where tall, narrow radiators are required.
Easier to clean than steel panel.
The photo below shows a radiator with horizontal flat tubes.

Bathroom Radiator
Bathroom radiators are made in various materials and shapes, some are

also used to dry towels.

Low Surface Temperature (LST)

Some manufacturers make low surface temperature (LST) radiators for use
in hospitals, old peoples homes, nursery schools, andkindergartens.
These prevent injury if hot radiators are used in these areas.
One method of limiting the surface temperature of a radiator to about 45oC is
to cover the hot metal parts with an outer casing as shown below.


1. Natural Convectors
Convectors are used to heat up spaces more quickly than radiators.
Typical locations may be entrance hall, foyer, kitchen, bathroom, small hall or
auditoria, small workshop.
A natural convector has no fan but has more output than most radiators.

2. Fan Convectors
A fan-assisted convector has even more output and is more common but in
some areas fan noise can be a nuisance.
Convectors can be recessed into walls so that they appear to be part of the
fabric of a building and may have a decorative panel on the front to add to
their appearance.
Convectors operate by heating air, which passes over the finned pipe through
which warm/hot water passes.
The fins are mechanically fixed to the tube(s) and extend the heating surface
so that all the heat output is purely convective. The heating tubes are
enclosed in a cabinet with louvres at the bottom to allow cooler air to enter
and louvres at the top to emit heated air into the space.
The convector may also have some form of control such as a damper to alter
the flow of air as shown in the diagram below.

Natural convectors rely on air movement over the heating element by natural
convection and forced convectors use a fan or fans to assist the movement of
Small convectors called kickspace heaters are sometimes used in domestic
kitchens or hallways.

3. Industrial Warm Air Heaters

The type of unit illustrated below is used for space heating and has the
advantage of being simple in both construction and operation.Hot gases from
an oil (or gas) fired burner are directed over a heat exchanger and then
exhausted through a flue to outside.
Air is passed over the heat exchanger by a fan or fans and is subsequently
heated to about 30oC to 40oC. The warm air is supplied into a space through
outlet diffusers, which can direct the air where it is required and throw heated
air up to about 10 metres from the point of discharge.
These units are suitable for large areas, which require heating since large
amounts of heated air can be supplied. Warehouses,factories,
workshops and supermarkets use this type of heating and outputs range
from 30kW to 400kW.

These units are suitable for large areas, which require heating since large
amounts of heated air can be supplied. Warehouses,factories,
workshops and supermarkets use this type of heating and outputs range
from 30kW to 400kW.

It may be advisable to provide a protective area around floor standing units

so that it is not tampered with or machines such as forklift trucks dont cause
In some areas it is best to position industrial warm air heaters at high level or
at roof level to avoid possible damage and to give uninterrupted floor space.
The unit may be supported from or suspended from the roof structure with the
nozzles arranged to blow warm air into the space below.
One disadvantage of these units is that they can be noisy since a fuel burner
and fan are incorporated in the casing.

4. Unit Heaters
Unit heaters are very like fan convectors in operation in that they blow out
warm air from a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger uses steam or hot water
to heat air, which is forced over the tubes and fins by a powerful fan.
Since the steam or water temperature may be high e.g. over 100oC and the
fan may develop a high volume of air, the output is 10kW to 300kW.
Unit heaters may be used in factories, workshops and warehouses.
One advantage of this convective form of heating is that a relatively small unit
can produce a high heat output, but fan noise has to be considered

The photograph below shows an all-electric unit heater, which obviates the
need for pipework but is more expensive to run than wet oil and gas fired

5. Skirting Heating
This form of low level convective heating can be used in areas where
unobtrusive emitters are required.
Since the heat output per metre linear run is low then a substantial skirting
length is required in each room to offset heat losses.
The heat output is about 450 Watts per metre.
The units consist of one or two finned tubes inside a casing, which emits slow
moving warm air through a linear outlet at the top.
One disadvantage is that efficiency is reduced by dust collecting in the fins.
Skirting heating can be used as perimeter heating below glazing or for
background heat in some areas.

6. Trench Heating
This type of heating is useful for some areas where perimeter heating at floor
level is required.
Trench heaters consist of finned tube elements which are fully or partially
recessed into a steel casing within a concrete floor.

A trench is required around the perimeter of the room into which the tubular
heater is installed.
This has been used successfully in airports where large areas of perimeter glass
require an up-current of warm air to cancel out heat losses.
Trench heaters do not take up wall space and require a floor grille to withstand
foot traffic.
Some aluminium floor grilles can be rolled up for cleaning.

1. Metal Radiant Panels
Radiant panels are a good way to heat up large spaces such as factory,
workshop and warehouses because the air is not heated directly but the
surfaces below the panels are heated.
This is a less expensive way to heat large volumes.
High temperature water or steam is passed through a series of pipes that are
connected to steel panels. The panels heat up to about100oC to 150oC and
radiate heat downwards into the occupied space.
Panel sizes are usually several metres long by about 1 metre wide.
They can be suspended from the roof or from a wall at high level, either
vertically or at an angle to direct radiant energy into the space below.

2. Metal Radiant Strips

For workshops, strip heaters can be used when supplied with high or medium
temperature hot water or steam.
The radiant strip shown below uses a single pipe, other systems use 2, 3 or 4
pipes to increase the radiant heat output.
Strips may be up to 1 metre wide but usually are continuous throughout the
length of a factory or workshop.
They are also suitable for mounting between stacking rows in a warehouse.
To enhance the effectiveness of the system a fin is added to increase the hot
surface area, in the diagram below the fin is a profiled aluminium plate that is
clipped to the pipe.
Some high outputs can be achieved with radiant strips e.g. 3kW per metre at

The photo below shows two radiant strip heaters at high level in a factory.

3. Metal Radiant Ceilings

This type of radiant heating system incorporates the whole ceiling.
One type uses a ceiling made from metal plates above which are clipped
pipes containing hot water.
The pipes heat the metal ceiling below which in turn heats the rooms by
Typical heat output is about 160 Watts per square metre of floor area.
To make the system work effectively, some insulation is added on top of the
pipes, as shown below.

Radiant ceilings can be used in a wide variety of buildings such as: schools
and offices.
The system is silent but requires careful temperature control to ensure a
comfortable environment.
Some radiant ceilings are invisible from beneath as the photograph below
shows. This type uses ceiling tiles with pipes above.

Underfloor Heaters
Underfloor heating is suitable in areas where wall space is not available for
other emitters and where a warm floor is not a disadvantage.
In some cases underfloor heating cannot be used due to the nature of the
floor and the type of materials proposed.
One of the disadvantages is that it may take some time before the benefit is
felt in a room particularly if a concrete slab or other materials have a high
thermal capacitance.
This time lapse is called thermal lag.
One area where underfloor heating is useful is in shower or changing areas,
where the floor feels comfortable to stand on and is kept dry.
Two types of underfloor heating system are detailed below, they are:

Piped Underfloor Heating (Wet System)


Electrical Underfloor Heating

1. Piped Underfloor Heating

This consists of 15-20mm bore plastic pipes, laid without joints at 150-450mm
The pipes can be laid above a solid concrete slab and within a graded floor
screed not less than about 75mm thick, or under a suspended timber floor.

Copper tube is sometimes used (soft copper pipe to BS 2871 Table Y) but
more often Polyethylene tube having outside diameters of 17mm and 20mm,
with 2mm thick walls, in coil lengths of up to 120 metres is the preferred
When fixing polyethylene tube metal strips holding plastic clips are laid on the
base slab, at right angles to the coil line, to form a locating grid. An
emulsifying agent is added to the screed mix to improve contact with the coils.
A typical tube layout is shown below.

A typical tube layout is shown below.

A section through a solid floor is shown below with pipe clips fixed to a grid
and sand / cement screed covering.

It is generally accepted that a floor surface temperature of 24oC should not be

exceeded where occupants are static, 27oC where they are able to move
about and about 30oC in corridors and halls.
A variety of finishes may be used over heated floors and almost all types of
hard material, marble, slate, stone, terrazzo and brick are suitable provided
that provision is made for expansion and that no cavities are left in the finish
to impede heat transmission.
In the case of softer materials, wood blocks may be used if properly
seasoned, cork tiles are satisfactory and carpets can be used if not foam

2. Electrical Underfloor Heating

Most electrical forms of Underfloor heating use off-peak electricity and are
therefore storage-heating systems.
An alternative direct system can be used were heating elements are laid on a
solid floor with an output of around 150 W/m2, laid close to the finished floor
surface with about 50mm of insulating material under the coil elements.
Such an arrangement is suitable for a building used intermittently and for short
periods such as churches, etc.
Floor warming can be successfully carried out by using Economy 7 off-peak
electricity to heat elements in the floor.
There are three system designs as shown below:

1. Electrical Tubular Heaters
These are steel or aluminium tubes usually round or oval in section as shown
They consist of an electrical heating element, which extends from end to end
and is surrounded by air.
The surface temperature is about 80oC. A single tube at 50mm diameter has
an out put of about 180 Watts per metre length and tubes may be mounted in
banks, one above the other, for higher outputs.
An electrical skirting heater with an output of 400 Watts per metre run is
typical of some installations requiring background or low level heating.
Tubular heaters are used in churches, under pews, in greenhouses,
conservatories and foyers. They can be placed at the bottom of high windows
to prevent downdraughts of cold air or be set to prevent frost
in greenhouses or conservatories.

2. Storage Heaters
Electrical storage heaters store heat overnight in thermal material and release
the heat the next day to heat a building.
One of the advantages of electrical storage heaters is that cheaper electricity
can be used at night to heat up thermal storage material from which heat is
emitted later the next day.
In the U.K. this cheaper tariff is called Economy 7 because it is available for
seven hours during the night-time.
There are several methods of storage and several types of room electrical
storage heater, such as; storage radiators, storage fan heaters and warmed
floors or walls.
Heat energy can also be stored centrally in several devices such as warm air
units, dry-core boilers, wet-core boilers and thermal storage cylinders.
One of the advantages of using a central system of storage is it is possible to
obtain better control of the heating system in a large building if for example a
wet-core boiler is used and conventional hot water controls are utilised.

NOTE: A wet core boiler uses electricity to heat water in a steel or cast iron boiler.
An electric current is passed between electrodes through the water, which due to its
resistance, becomes heated.
An electrode boiler is about 98% efficient.

Domestic Storage Heaters

Storage heaters or storage radiators comprise a number of sheathed
elements enclosed within blocks of refectory material or Feolite to form the
heated core, which is surrounded by insulation.
The surface temperature of the casing reaches a maximum of about 80oC at
the end of the charging period and this reduces to about40oC during the
following day. Output is both radiant and convective in almost equal
Heater ratings vary with different makes but are usually 1.7, 2.55 and 3.4kW,
the seemingly odd figures being related to rounded 7 hour charge
acceptances of 12,18 and 24kWh.

Storage heaters are used in houses, flats, apartments and office buildings.
They have the disadvantage that the heat output during the day is not easily
controlled and may not match the heat loss in a building for any given period.
Also the lower electricity tariff (Economy 7) may not work out to be cheaper
than oil or gas. See fuels section of the notes.

3. High Temperature Heaters

There are several types of Electrical High Temperature Heater:

Infra red heater


Quartz lamp heater


High temperature panel

3.1 Infra Red Heater

The electrical elements used are similar to those fitted to luminous fires but,
for a given rating, are commonly longer as shown below, and arranged to
operate at about 900oC.

Wall or ceiling models of these are suitable for kitchens and bathrooms,
ratings are up to 3 kW.

3.2 Quartz Lamp Heater

The elements of this type of heater operate at about 2000oC and consist of a
tungsten wire coil sealed within a quartz tube containing gas and a suitable
- rating of elements about 1.5kW.
Some quartz lamp heaters are shown below.

These are used in large spaces either where the requirement is intermittent or
where only local areas require spot heating.

3.3 High Temperature Panels

These consist of either a vitreous enamelled metal plate or a ceramic
tile behind which a resistance element is mounted within a casing.
Panels of this type operate at a temperature of about 250oC and have ratings
in the range 750 W to 2 kW; they are normally used inwashrooms in industrial