It is a huge misconception that energy losses and significant fuel costs are simply part and parcel of heating industrial premises. Although attaining the perfect economic balance can prove a challenge, solutions are achievable that create comfortable indoor climates and deliver energy efficiency.
The very nature of industrial buildings suggests large open spaces, which are poorly insulated and have high ceilings where the warm air from traditional heaters collects, while the cold air remains at floor level. Typically, there are open doorways and loading bays that are constantly in use for transportation and delivery purposes, allowing warm air to escape and letting cold draughts in.
For the most efficient means of combating heat loss and achieving energy savings, the first step should be to ensure you opt for a manufacturer with good technical competence and plenty of experience. Then you need to ensure that you only heat the spaces that truly need heating. Trying to heat the mass of air in a large space is wasteful and will, of course, result in high energy consumption and astronomical bills.
Heat loss through doorways is arguably one of the biggest culprits in industrial buildings – the larger the door, the greater the loss. In this instance, installing a high performance air curtain would be a good starting point to prevent the cold air entering and to supply heat quickly, significantly improving the working environment close to the doors.
It may also be necessary to create different temperature zones indoors. For instance, it is essential to maintain an adequate temperature at workstations within industrial premises where employees are likely to be spending much of their time. Air curtains will create an important barrier between this area and a cold store, for example.
Frico has been developing air curtains for the demanding Scandinavian climate for more than 30 years now. So it is no surprise that it has the widest range of air curtains for industrial doors on the market, including several powerful units capable of blowing air from above, below or the side.
Prior to installation, consideration must be given to the fan power, and whether this is sufficient for the height of the door, and that the curtain spans the full width of the open space. In fact, correct selection can reduce energy losses by up to 80%.
Frico’s portfolio includes: the slim-line AD series for over-door use and the AG series with powerful double inlet fans for vertical or horizontal use. These units are available in various sizes and are supplied in electrical, water heated and unheated versions.
Frico’s Power Packs – the AC600 and AGI models – are suitable for the largest industrial doors and are particularly effective for exposed environments. AC600 blows from below, providing almost 100% protection against cold draughts but must be ducted into the floor of the building. The AGI can be mounted vertically or horizontally and is available water heated or unheated. Vertical mounting alongside industrial doors is a particularly effective solution to high wind loads, or where positioning restrictions are created by roller shutter doors.
Radiant heating is designed to provide silent and effective heating. It is important to truly understand the benefits of radiant heat and its applications.
Users should certainly be made aware of the energy and long term running cost savings radiant heating can offer. When weighing up various heating systems and their comparative projected lifetime costs, it proves to be a popular and practical option and is one of the most economical heating options on the market.
Radiant heating emulates the natural solar heating process. Just like the sun’s rays, radiant heaters transfer heat to people and solid surfaces in a room, directly warming objects, rather than the air. Minimal losses occur on the way from ceiling to floor and temperature distribution is very even. Radiant heating acts in much the same way as lighting, in terms of dispersion and reflection. The natural feel of radiant heating means that occupants feel comfortable with temperatures a few degrees lower than in a room heated by convection, resulting in energy savings for the building owner.
Ceiling mounted or high-level flat panels allow for increased use of wall and floor space, avoiding the space restrictions of conventional heat emitters. Like lighting systems, electric radiant heating can be adapted to provide a dispersed or narrow beam and intensity can be matched to application and mounting height, offering true versatility.
Other Frico radiant heating solutions include the commercial/industrial EZ range, for ceilings up to six metres, the IR range of high intensity heaters for ceilings up to 15 metres high or greater, depending on application, and also models for exterior and wet area use. Not limited to electric heating, Frico’s range includes the Comfort Panel and Comfort Panel recessed water heated panels, suitable for commercial premises from offices to warehouses and transport depots.
Radiant heating results in even heat and minimal stratification. The difference between floor and ceiling temperature, with radiant ceiling heating, is minimal, perhaps less than one degree. This is particularly significant with regards to energy savings, especially in high-ceiling buildings.
Radiant heaters perform quietly, are maintenance-free and take up little space. Furthermore, radiant heating allows spot heating; for example, in warehouses and factories, where it is simply not viable to heat the whole space.
Similarly, radiant heaters are effective as zone heaters. They create different temperatures in spaces such as small offices, kiosks or individual workstations, resulting in less unnecessary heating of larger spaces. Radiant heaters also provide virtually instantaneous heat, so can be run only when needed.
Electrical radiant heat is the most effective at point of use. It is clean, robust, economical and satisfies health and safety measures.
Frico also manufactures other supplementary products that are suitable for industrial premises and act to reinforce heat where it is needed most.
For more demanding environments that are corrosive, damp and dusty, Frico’s fan heater series – the Elektra – may be a preferred option. It is ideal for use within buildings where there is a risk of fire.
Fan heaters are also a popular choice for industrial buildings. Investment cost for the heaters is low, but the Frico ICF product delivers lots of performance for the money. It is designed to withstand heavy handling in aggressive environments and is primarily used to equalise the temperature in rooms with high ceilings. The ceiling fan pushes down the cushion of hot air from the ceiling. The heat is better utilised in the dwelling zone and heat loss through the ceiling fan and walls is reduced.
Spiralling fuel costs are driving businesses to review the heating solutions they have in place, so there is a real need to find a solution that suits the size and nature of an industrial space that will provide the best means of comfort and energy saving.