How to Buy an Explosion Proof Heater for Industrial Facilities|
Article - December 26, 2017 By LarsonElectronics.com
How to Buy an Explosion Proof Heater for Industrial Facilities
Powerful heaters are essential to maintaining a comfortable and safe work environment in cold-climate regions. Moreover, the units can help reduce human-related errors and accidents, by eliminating distracting elements associated with bone-chilling temperatures. In hazardous locations, explosion proof heaters are needed to mitigate flammable risks in the facility.
With numerous types of heaters available on the market today, choosing one can be a challenging experience. Keep reading to learn how to select an explosion proof heater for your building.
Comparing Fan and Convection Heaters
The top two choices for industrial heaters include fan or convection. Traditionally, forced fan units are the most common types of heaters for industrial facilities. Such machines generate heat by circulating hot air from a high-temperature source or element. As the air is heated up by the source, the fan distributes the warm air to the target location.
Compared to convection units, fan heaters are considered to be more powerful and cost-effective to acquire. A drawback with using this type of fan heater is distracting noise levels. Furthermore, heat distribution can be inconsistent, causing hot spots to develop in the area. Selecting a proper mount for a fixed unit can help address these issues (more on this later).
Convection heaters are compact heating machines that rely on the natural cycle of air for operation. When in use, cold air is gathered from the bottom of the heater, allowing it to pass over a heating element, before exiting from the top of the unit. These space-saving machines are capable of even and very quiet heat distribution (usually no fans, though some models may utilize built-in fans for quick air distribution).
Fixed or Portable?
After committing to a specific type of heater, one must select a proper mounting system to support the unit during operation. For explosion proof heaters, the correct height must be factored in to allow continuous air circulation. Any obstructions or elements that disrupt the natural airflow of the heater can reduce system efficiency or in the worst-case scenario – increase the surface temperature of hot-running machines that directly block the unit.
Industrial heaters are typically offered in fixed or portable variants. Fixed heaters are permanently installed units that are compatible with several mounting options. For large units, the recommended installation height is 8 feet. To achieve this mounting height, businesses may use a pole, wall or pendant mount. Pole mounting is ideal for hazardous locations with limited secure foundations for forced fan heaters. This option requires a sturdy base at the foundation of the pole and a mounting arm (connecting the unit to the pole) for robust support.
Wall mounting involves securing the explosion proof heater directly on heavy-duty structures, such as steel, via wall brackets and a mounting arm. Pendant mounting configurations are recommended for facilities with high-strength ceilings or overhead foundational structures, such as beams or columns. This setup is particularly useful for saving space on the work floor, as the unit is suspended in the air using a rigid pipe and mounting brackets.
In some cases, fixed heaters are not suitable for the hazardous location. This could be due to the complex layout of the facility, the presence of large obstructions (machines, structures, etc.) or the remote nature of the target area.
For such situations, a portable explosion proof heater is highly applicable. These variants work like normal, fixed forced fan heaters. The main difference is that the units are mounted on carts for seamless transportation around the work site. Accommodations for forklift pockets or lifting eyelets are usually provided for transportation using a crane or forklift. For extremely remote areas without access to mainstream power, a portable explosion proof heater can be powered by a generator.
Explosion Proof Protection
The last (and perhaps the most important) factor to consider, when purchasing an explosion proof heater for flammable work sites, is the classification of the unit:
• Class I: Flammable gases, liquids, vapors (Propane, Ethylene Oxide, Hydrogen)
• Class II: Flammable dust, metallic dust (Flour, Coal Dust, Sugars)
• Class III: Flammable fibers, flyings (Cotton, Lint)
These classifications can be broken down into Division 1 and/or Division 2. Division 1 refers to work sites wherein ignitable compounds are always present. Division 2 refers to environments wherein flammable substances are sometimes present, usually during abnormal conditions.
To see all of our explosion proof industrial heaters in action, head over to the Larson Electronics website.