How to Select Oil Heaters and Kerosene Heaters
Oil heaters and kerosene heaters burn liquid petroleum products to generate heat. They consist of metal columns with cavities and a heating element. Inside these cavities, oil or kerosene flows freely around a heating element. This element, which is located at the base of the heater, transfer heat through the fluid in a process called convection. The oil or kerosene acts as a heat reservoir or buffer and provides both a relatively high specific-heat capacity and a high boiling point. Because of its high specific-heat capacity, the oil or kerosene stores a large amount of thermal energy in a small volume. The high boiling point enables the fuel source to remain in the liquid phase, and means that oil heaters and kerosene heaters do not have to be high-pressure vessels.
There are many different types of oil heaters and kerosene heaters. Choices include air, band, coil, and cable heaters; cartridge, cast-in, ceramic fiber, and circulation heaters; drum, duct, and enclosure heaters; and flexible, forced-air, immersion, and induction heaters. Heat torches are forced-process air heaters that may burn oil or kerosene. Oil heaters and kerosene heaters also include infrared (IR), over-the-side, radiant flat panel, and radiant reflective process heaters. Radiant heater elements are used with both radiant flat panel and radiant reflective heaters. Other types of oil heaters and kerosene heaters include room or space heaters, steam injection heaters, and strip, tubular, and water heaters.
Oil heaters and kerosene heaters transfer heat to a room slowly, and over a long period of time. Using the liquid petroleum as a heat reservoir, they transfer heat via conduction and radiation. Typically, the columns of oil heaters and kerosene heaters are made of metal and constructed as thin fins. In this way, the surface area is large relative to the volume of the heat reservoir.
Specifications for the heating element include length or height, width or diameter, and depth or thickness. Some oil heaters and kerosene heaters use single-phase or three-phase power. Others require AC voltage. Typically, industrial heaters use AC voltage instead of DC voltage.
There are many different applications for oil heaters and kerosene heaters. Examples include annealing or heat treating, curing or tempering, drying, melting, operations with gases and vapors, and clean water heating. Oil heaters and kerosene heaters are also used to heat process and high-purity waters, lightweight oils and degreasing solutions, heavy and medium weight oils, mild and severe corrosive solutions, caustic solutions, and liquid paraffin. Depending on the application, insulation options are also important to consider when selecting oil heaters and kerosene heaters.