Traditional radiators work by conducting the heat from hot water running through its internal pipes into the air, an electric radiator conducts the heat through electricity.
Let us get a tad deeper into how they operate for the scientific brains out there!
Electric heaters whether they use radiated heat or convection as a process of warming up a room, all electric heaters operate the same internally to produce heat. Heaters are designed to transfer thermal energy from one place to another for the key purpose of heating a room.
The process starts with the electric heater that converts the electrical current to heat. The heating element inside every electric heater is an electrical resistor and works on the principle of what is called Joule heating. Joule heating is the process where the energy of an electric current is transformed into heat as it moves through resistance. The heat is generated on a microscale as the conduction electrons (that carry a negative charge) then transfer energy to the conductor’s atoms by the way of collisions.
In simplistic terms for those of us without scientific brains!
As the electricity passes very quickly through the element, a friction is created, and this then produces heat. Therefore, an electric heater conducts the heat through electricity much like the elements in a hob or a kettle. The elements are warmed up and then the heat is transferred into your room either by radiated heat or convection.
How did this model start!
Denison Olmsted of New Haven, Connecticut, appears to be the earliest person to use the term ‘radiator’ to mean heating appliance in an 1834 patent for a stove with a heat exchanger which radiated heat.
The actual heating radiator was invented by Franz San Galli in 1855 a Russian businessman living in St Petersburg. However, in the late 1800’s companies promoted a version of a cast iron radiator over previous fabricated steel designs to lower costs and expand the market.
Today an electric heater can range from under £100 to over £1,000.
Consumers do not necessarily see the difference as they buy ultimately on price.
Stop and do your research:
• What metal is being used?
• How is the heater designed?
• How does it distribute heat: radiated heat or convection?
• Is there a storage element?
• What technology is being used?
The heating methods internally will operate the same by converting an electric current into heat. Yet, with today’s heaters there are many other factors for you to consider. A major factor is the design of the modern storage heaters. These heaters include storage stones.
The same process starts with converting electricity into heat; however, the added benefit are the stones that are placed into the heater. Through the process they warm up and retain an immense amount of heat. Once the heater turns off as the room reaches the desired temperature, the storage stones then come into force. They continue to emit heat without using extra electricity to maintain the room temperature. This can be up to an extra 20 minutes (dependent on the quality and composition of the stone).
I suppose it can be likened to having free heat!
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