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It’s that time of year again. The cold air starts blowing and the flurries start flying, all the while making for sometimes miserable conditions out on the job site.
This is where industrial heaters come into play – but how big of a heater do you need and what are the different types? Below illustrates the difference between some of the more popular types of heaters – forced air and glycol – weighing a few of the pros and cons between them.
Forced Air Heaters
Allmand makes some very large and powerful heaters that produce up to 1,010,000 combined BTUs through a twin tube system. This allows for heating multiple areas at once through optional flexible ducting that connects via a standard 16 inch flange. These models are powered by a CAT or Isuzu liquid-cooled 1,800 rpm diesel engine complete with a 9 kW generator to provide plenty of energy to operate the blowers and safety controls. The combustible gas detection system will power down the unit and activate a stroke alarm before the gas level accumulates to any kind of explosive level to ensure safety on the job site at all times – especially in an oil or gas field. With a 250 gallon fuel tank on the Maxi-Heat 1000 MH model, this indirect combustion heater can run for over 30 hours without needing to refuel.
Pro’s – These machines are large and in charge, giving you more power than other heaters. Also with the twin tube system, one unit may be all that is needed for a large job site.
Con’s – Sometimes this is too big for a smaller project forcing a lot of refueling to keep the heat on. They are also less efficient than some of the other heaters out there and require additional ducting to run the heat out to other areas.
Glycol – short for ethylene glycol – is a colorless sweet liquid used chiefly as antifreeze in automobiles. This also makes for a good use in heaters that are in cold weather environments providing both reliability and efficiency in harsh conditions. Wacker Neuson makes a line of glycol heaters that are engineered for trouble-free starts and also run a lot longer than some of the forced air heaters. Their E-3000 model for example has up to 140 hours of run time running at 83% efficiency – one of the highest in the industry. It only provides about 385,000 BTUs, good enough for thawing or curing no more than 6,000 square feet, but these units come with 3,000 feet of hose meaning: less rigging and more doing out on the job site – not to mention less time to stop and fill up the 115 gallon fuel tank. Though one of the drawbacks from the standard 3000 model is it does not come stock with a generator, there is 5 kW accessory unit that can be attached.
Pro’s – Reliable, efficient, and perfect for keeping a smaller area warm or dry without the hassle of hauling in a very large and powerful machine. Having the extra long hose is a huge plus too.
Con’s – Definitely not as powerful as some of the forced air heaters, and even though they are advertised to run at 140 hours, the runtime is more like 80 hours with the heater going at full blast.