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Electrical heating

 Learning Outcome 1: Heat and temperature, heat capacity

and heat transfer.

 Learning Outcome 2: Methods used to control heating in

various situations

 Learning Outcome 3: The processes and techniques used

for water, space and industrial
process heating.

 Learning Outcome 4: AS3000:2007 Wiring Rules


 Learning Outcome 5: Possible causes of malfunction in

electric heating equipment and the
tests required to diagnose faults

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Heat and temperature
 What is the difference between Heat and Temperature?

 Heat is a measure of the total kinetic energy of the molecules or atoms in a


◦ The quantity of energy stored is measured in Joules

◦ Symbol – J

 Temperature is a measure of the degree of movement of the random

oscillations of the molecules.
 Alternatively, it can be defined as a measure of the hotness of a body.
 No movement = No temperature. (ie. Absolute Zero)
 If a body is not storing heat its temperature is absolute zero.

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Electrical Heating
Transfer of

Heat is transferred from a hotter region to

a colder region
Electrical Heating
Heat is Energy

Energy (W)in Joules (J) Power in Watts (W)

Time in seconds (s)

Electrical Heating
Temperature Scales

The common Some countries use the

temperature FAHRENHEIT scale
scale is CELSIUS
Water boils at 100oC Water boils at 212oF

Ice melts at 0oC Ice melts at 32oF

Electrical Heating
Temperature Scales
The temperature
scale used in science and Water boils at 373K
engineering is the
absolute KELVIN scale
(K) Zero Kelvin (0K) is “Absolute
One Kelvin “degree” Zero”
is equal to and is equivalent to
One Celsius “degree”
Zero Kelvin is “Absolute -273oC
NO heat content; Ice melts at 273K
NO molecular motion.

The “degree” symbol o is NOT used with the Kelvin scale

Electrical Heating
Temperature Scales
To convert Fahrenheit to Celsius:
Electrical Heating
Temperature Scales
To convert Celsius to Fahrenheit:
Electrical Heating
Temperature Scales
To convert Kelvin to Celsius:
Electrical Heating
Temperature Scales
To convert Celsius to Kelvin:
 Kelvin
◦ 0K absolute zero
◦ 273.15K ice point water
◦ 373.15K steam point of water
◦ Note 100 degrees between ice and steam
 Celsius

◦ -273.15OC absolute zero

◦ 0° C ice point water
◦ 100° C steam point of water
◦ Note 100 degrees between ice and steam

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 The ability of a substance to store heat.

 If equal masses absorb equal amounts of thermal

energy (heat), different substances show a
different temperature increase.

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Electrical Heating
Specific Heat Capacity
Specific Heat Capacity is the amount of heat energy
required to change the temperature of one kilogram of
a material through ONE KELVIN (or degree C)

Absolute Heat Energy (J) Specific Heat Capacity(J/kg.K)

Mass (kg)

Temperature change (K or oC)

• Solids ( J/kg°C ) • Liquids ( J/kg°C ) • Gases ( J/kg°C )
• Iron 450 • Water 4180 • Steam 1970
• Copper 390 • Methanol 2550 • Oxygen 910
• Aluminium 900 • Ethanol 2480 • Nitrogen 1040
• Antifreeze 2380 • Dry air ~1000
• Gold 130
• Benzene 1720 • Hydrogen 14300
• Glass 840 • Freon11 870
• Human body 3470
• NaCl 880
• Ice 2090
• Wood 1680
• Sand 820 These are just examples only
• Diamond 500
• Concrete 880

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 Q = m x c x (t 2-t 1)
◦ Where:
◦ Q = Quantity of heat
◦ m = mass in kg
◦ c = specific heat capacity (tables)
◦ t 2 – t 1 change in temperature

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 Heat moves from high to low temperature levels.
The rate of heat transfer is partly dependant on
the difference between the two temperature
 3 types of heat transfer

 Conduction
 Convection
 Radiation

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Electrical Heating
Heat Transfer - CONDUCTION
Electrical Heating
Heat Transfer - CONVECTION
Electrical Heating
Heat Transfer - RADIATION
 Thermal conductivity is the material’s ability to transmit
heat by conduction.
 Depends on four factors:

◦ Type of material

◦ Length of transfer path

◦ Cross-sectional area of path

◦ Temperature difference

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 The frame of a motor is designed to conduct the
heat from the windings (centre of motor) to the
surface and then dissipate the heat to the

 The frame of a Hot Water Service is designed to

ensure the heat is trapped in the centre of the

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 Two basic types:
◦ Open Loop Control
◦ No actual control of the amount of heat

◦ Closed Loop Control

◦ Control over the amount of heat

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 On-Off control of a switch

 Set the car throttle in one position for a trip…
 Simmerstat on stoves to control the hotplates
 O/H fan speed control
 Fixed position of valve regardless of changes to flow
 Garden sprinkler
 Electric toaster
 Microwave oven: Power setting. Time setting
 Electric Blanket

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 Three heat switching

◦ Example:

 Most old Urns

 Electric blankets (almost all)
 Some stoves in caravans

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Electrical Heating
Heat Control – 3-Heat Switch
Electrical Heating
Heat Control – 3-Heat Switch
Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Simmerstat
The SIMMERSTAT is an OPEN CYCLE temperature control
commonly used with stoves.

Active Contacts

Compensating Bimetal

Pivot Operating Bimetal

Internal heater
Neutral element
Heater element + bi-metal strip

Main Contacts

(to give snap
action switch)

Aux. Switch

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 Oven thermostat and element
 Toilet cistern water level control
 Car cruise control
 Almost all industrial processes
 Electric Iron
 Electric frypan

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Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Open/Closed Cycle
Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Open/Closed Cycle
Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Open/Closed Cycle
Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Thermostats

A THERMOSTAT is a Closed-Cycle Control that:

•SENSES the output temperature

•COMPARES it with the pre-set value

•VARIES or SWITCHES the input energy

 Four types are typically found in appliances.
The first three of these are totally mechanically
◦ 1. Bimetal strip. When two metals with different
coefficients of thermal expansion are sandwiched
together, the strip will tend to bend as the temperature
In a thermostat, the bimetal strip operates a set of
contacts which make or break a circuit depending on
temperature. In some cases the strip's shape or an
additional mechanism adds 'hysteresis' to the
thermostat's characteristics

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2. Bimetal disk. This is similar to (1) but the bimetal element is in the
shape of a concave disk (like the “clicker” play toy). These are not
common in adjustable thermostats with brad spans, but are the usual
element in an over-temperature switch.

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Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Thermostats
Bimetal Disc Thermostat

This thermostat has contacts operated by a cupped

bimetal disc.

At a pre-set temperature, the disc snaps the contacts


When the disc cools to a preset value, disc returns and

the contacts snap closed.
Electric Iron Thermostat

Bimetal Strip

MIMS type element

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Thermal Cut-out
(with manual reset)


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Two Hot Water System Thermostats

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3. Fluid operated bellows. These are not that common in small appliances
but often found in refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves, and so forth. An
expanding fluid (alcohol is common) operates a bellows which is coupled
to a set of movable contacts. As with (1) and (2), hysteresis may be
provided by a spring mechanism.

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Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Thermostats
Capillary Tube Thermostat

Bellows or
Capillary Tube

Bellows Rod Bulb with volatile

moves to operate liquid
Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Thermostats
Bi-Metal Thermostat

Support Stem
Invar Rod
Brazed to Stem

Brazed to Rod

Helical Bi-Metal Strip

Mounting Flange & Screw
Bimetal Coil thermostat

Mercury Switch

Bimetal Coil

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Electrical Heating
Heat Control – Thermostats
Expanding Tube Thermostat
Clips Brass Tube Tube
Tube Brazed
Expands/Contracts to Rod

Rod Free End

Tube Brazed Invar Rod
Moves to operate
to Support
Expanding tube thermostat

Operating rod Rod is welded

to the end of
the tube

The operating rod has a different

expansion rate than the tube
enclosing it.

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Bi-metal helix

Expanding rod type

Bulb type

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4. Electronic thermostats. These typically use a temperature controlled
resistance (thermistor) driving some kind of amplifier or logic circuit which
then controls a thyristor or contactor.

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 Note that these terms can only apply to a closed
loop system such as thermostats. If there is no
feedback, the system cannot have:
◦ Hysteresis
◦ Differential
◦ Sensitivity
◦ Accuracy

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 Sensitivity
 Is a measure of the change of output to a
change of input.
 A more sensitive thermostat will have a smaller
 It is a measure of how closely a unit can
maintain a given temperature.
 It is better applied to temperature measuring
devices that give an analogue output. A more
sensitive device gives a greater change of
output to the change of input (temperature).

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 Thermocouples
 Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD’s)
 Diodes and semiconductor IC’s
 Gas expansion system
 Mercury expansion system
 Coiled bimetal strip (see P&N)
 Radiation Pyrometers

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 Instantaneous
 Mains pressure - Storage
 Mains pressure - Heat exchanger
 Low pressure storage
 Solar
 Heat Pump HWS

L/O 3.1

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 Instantaneous or tankless water heaters are small
cabinets that heat water on demand or instantly as it
passes through the heater.

 They contain no significant water storage, possessing

only up to a 6 litre operating holding.

 These water heaters only use energy when the hot water
outlet is turned on and shut down immediately when the
outlet is turned off.
 Mains Pressure HWS: direct heated

◦ Installed at ground level.

◦ Requires a pressure relief system.
◦ Requires an expansion control valve.
◦ New houses require a tempering valve for warm water to
the bathroom.

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Mains Pressure HWS
-Direct heated Insulation

Hot water Out

Note: The tank operates

at mains pressure.

Cold water In Water Heater +


L/O 3.1

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If both have the
same colour tags,
then this wont be
a problem


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Bottom Cold Water
Expansion Valve
must be
200kPa lower than
the top pressure
relief valve.


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• Hot water (73°C max.) to
laundry and kitchen. Pressure
Relief Hot Water
• Warm water (50°C max.) to Valve Outlet
bathroom. (73°C max.)
• If major renovations are
Tempering Warm Water
carried out in the bathroom, Valve Outlet
then a tempering valve must (50°C max.)
be added.
• The house owners can sign a Cold Water
form saying they don’t want it Inlet
(as only adults will be using Cold Water
Cold Water
it), and the plumber will not Valve
be responsible for any

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Heat exchange Storage HWS

Small Storage HWS designed

for under sink operation

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 Must be mounted above taps.

 Low pressure hot water only.

 More to go wrong.
◦ If float valve sticks…

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Low Pressure HWS
Toilet cistern type
water level sensor

and electrical Cold
connection Water

Hot Tank fills from

Water Bottom

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 Faults:
◦ Element goes open circuit.
 Replace element.
◦ Thermostat either stays on, or stays off
 Replace thermostat

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• Solar

– Still requires booster

– 8-10 year pay back
– May require extra roof
– Does the roof face the
required direction?

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 In solar systems cold water travels through the roof-
mounted solar collector where the water absorbs heat
from the sun.
 Water heating using solar energy occurs during the day
and the solar involvement varies significantly throughout
the year depending on the climatic conditions.
 The apparatus of solar heaters includes the solar
collector, insulated storage tank and, if required, pump
and control valves.
 Flat-plate collectors are the most common collector for
domestic water heating.

 A typical flat-plate collector is an insulated rectangular-

type metal box with a transparent cover (similar to a
greenhouse) and a black absorber plate.
 The evacuated-tube collectors consist of rows of parallel
transparent double glass tubes, each containing an
electromagnetic energy absorber and covered with a
solar-sensitive coating.

 Sunlight enters the tube, strikes the absorber and heats

the water flowing through the collector.
 Calorifiers are cylinders with an internal coil which allows
the use of any type of boiler for hot water production.
 The calorifier can be either mains-pressure or low-
pressure hot water storage systems.
 A significant amount of heat energy can be transferred to
the calorifier, allowing a large production of hot water
from a relatively small cylinder.
 Heat pump HWS

◦ More expensive than conventional HWS

◦ Smaller than Solar HWS
◦ Can operate with or without sunshine
◦ Operates as a split system

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 A heat pump water heater absorbs heat from the
surrounding environment and pumps the acquired heat
energy into a hot water storage tank.

 The heat pump serves as a heater by absorbing heat

from the surrounding environment and pumping it into a
closed-system heat-exchanger water storage tank.
The compressor compresses cool refrigeration gas, causing it to become hot, high-
pressure refrigeration gas
This hot gas runs through a set of coils so it can dissipate its heat, and it condenses
into a liquid.
The refrigeration liquid runs through an expansion valve, and in the process it
evaporates to become cold, low- pressure refrigeration gas
This cold gas runs through a set of coils that allow the gas to absorb heat and cool
down the air inside the building
A solar heat pump works on the same principle only in reverse i.e the coils carrying
the hot gas are used to heat the water.
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 If the water heater’s thermostat, which controls the
resistive heating element, malfunctions the pressurised
water in the tank could continue to heat and superheat
(beyond 100 °C).

This will cause two problems:

 First, since water expands when heated, the water
pressure in the tank will increase as the water is
 If the pressure exceeds the vessels maximum pressure
threshold the tank could rupture or even explode.
 Secondly, the release of superheated water (water
heated above 100 °C up to its critical temperature of 374
°C without boiling) causes the water to burst into steam
(1 litre of water can produce about 3 litres of steam),
causing a sudden increase in volume and release of

 Lowering the pressure of water lowers the boiling point.

There is less pressure above the water to overcome.
The superheated vapour plume expands until its
pressure equals that of the surrounding atmosphere.
 Types:

◦ High Temperature radiators

◦ Low temperature panels and convection units
◦ Thermal storage systems
◦ Heat pumps (reverse cycle air conditioners)

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◦ Low temperature panels and convection units
 Under-carpet / under concrete heaters (MIMS in concrete
 Can be operated using cheaper power at night
 Blower heaters
 Oil filled floor heaters

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 Stoves (ranges):

◦ Four types of cooktops:

 Coiled element
 Solid element
 “Ceramic” cooktop
 Induction cooktop

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Coiled Element

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Solid element

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Ceramic cooktop

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• Stoves:
– Wiring: Half the elements
with their controls

Other half of the elements

with their controls

A A N Connection Box

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• Microwave ovens bombard food with
electromagnetic radiation at 2.45GHz
• Water absorbs the energy. The molecules vibrate
and get hot.
• The oven will dissipate the same energy in the
cavity no-matter what. (eg. 800W)
• Small quantities will cook faster. Large quantities
cook slower.
• Metal reflects the microwaves
• If a microwave oven is left empty, the microwaves
will reflect back into the magnetron and heat it up.
This destroys the magnetron.

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 There are four (4) process heating methods
available for converting the electric energy to heat

1. Resistance
2. Infra-red
3. Induction
4. Dielectric

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Resistance process heating
All the heat generated by an element is transferred by either
convection or conduction

The elements used may be either wire, strip or solid rods.

Typical applications include; duct heaters, furnaces, refrigerators,

space heaters, greenhouse heating and trace heating.

In all cases their temperatures are controlled by thermostats

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 Infra Red heating:

◦ Spray painting booths for cars

 Induction Heating:

◦ For directly heating small steel parts.

◦ Similar to locking the rotor of a motor… it gets hot.
◦ Usually the work piece has currents induced in it directly.
◦ Frequencies between 50Hz and 5MHz used.

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 Dielectric Heating:
◦ Used to heat non-conducting material.
◦ If an insulator is placed between two electrode plates,
and AC is applied to the plates, the molecules are
agitated and heat up.
◦ Used in plywood manufacture
◦ Used to dry breakfast cereal and dog biscuits

 Electric Arc
◦ Used in the steel industry up to 150 tonnes
◦ Used in glass furnaces. eg. Bradford pink batts.
◦ Arc welders fall in this category.

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Demonstrate knowledge of the possible causes of
malfunction in electric heating equipment and
skills the testing and fault finding.
 5.1 List the possible causes of faults in a
malfunctioning electric heating device/circuit.
 5.2 Conduct tests and locate a fault in a
malfunctioning electric heating device/circuit.

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Open circuits
 -physical breaks in the element
 -breaks in wiring

Short circuits
 -resistance reduced to 0Ω

Partial open circuits

 -loose connections etc

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Element Testing

To test an element for continuity the appliance should first be

disconnected from power. After the appliance has been made safe to work
on, the element needs to be isolated from the rest of the electrical circuit
by removing at least one of the connecting wires. Once that is done, an
ohm meter or continuity tester's leads can be held against each terminal of
the element.

The exact resistance of an element is often not important as it will not

usually change over its life span except to become totally open (show
infinite resistance) when defective or becomes shorted to ground (see
below). In case you're curious, a large cooktop surface burner is usually in
the area of 27 ohms, a small 45 ohms. A griller element's resistance may
be in the area of 20 to 40 ohms depending on its wattage.

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Short to Earth

An element can also become partially shorted to ground.

While this may not be enough to create a dead short and
cause the element to fail outright, it can create a shock
hazard. To test an element for a short to ground, an
ohmmeter should be set on its highest ohm scale (1K or
10K) and tested from one of the element's terminals to the
element's metal sheath. It may be necessary to rub the
outer element surface with the meter probe to make a
good contact. If anything other than infinite resistance is
shown, replace the element.

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Heat damaged

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