Title:
RADIANT HEATING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF CONTROL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A radiant heating system including at least two heating legs, each leg including at least one burner firing into a radiant tube and at least one damper for controlling the thermal output of the heating leg; each radiant tube communicating hot exhaust gases along its length and interconnected with connector tubes. The radiant tubes in communication with at least one exhaust blower for urging exhaust gases along the length of each radiant tube and communicating exhaust gases to the atmosphere. There is at least one controller in communication with at least one temperature measuring device and in communication with the at Least one damper for controlling the position of the damper thereby controlling the firing rate of the burner.



Inventors:
Willms, Eric (Stoney Creek, CA)
Application Number:
11/781462
Publication Date:
02/14/2008
Filing Date:
07/23/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24D12/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Foreign References:
GB2236406A1991-04-03
GB2102555A1983-02-02
GB2263542A1993-07-28
GB2303697A1997-02-26
Primary Examiner:
DECKER, PHILLIP
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ridout & Maybee LLP (Burlington, ON, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A radiant heating system comprising: a) at least one heating leg including at least one burner firing into a radiant tube; b) the radiant tube communicating hot exhaust gases along its length and in fluid communication with at least one damper for controlling the flow of exhaust gases along the radiant tube; c) the radiant tube in communication with at least one blower for urging exhaust gases along the length of the radiant tube and eventually communicating exhaust gases to the atmosphere, and d) a controller in communication with a temperature measuring device and the dampers for controlling the position of the damper and thereby controlling the thermal output of the burner.

2. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 1 further including at least two burners.

3. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 2 further including at least one damper for each burner.

4. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 2 further including at least one blower for each burner.

5. A radiant heating system comprising: a) at least two heating legs, each leg including at least one burner firing into a radiant tube; b) each radiant tube communicating hot exhaust gases along its length and interconnected with connector tubes and in fluid communication with at least one damper for controlling the flow of exhaust gases; c) the radiant tubes in communication with at least one blower for urging exhaust gases along the length of each radiant tube and communicating exhaust gases to the atmosphere, and d) at least one controller in communication with at least one temperature measuring device and in communication with the at least one damper for controlling the position of the damper thereby controlling the firing rate of the burner.

6. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 5 wherein the at least one blower including a single exhaust blower imparting a negative pressure along the length of the radiant tubes.

7. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 5 wherein each heating leg including at least one damper for controlling the flow of exhaust gases along that heating leg.

8. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 2 further including at least one temperature measuring device for each heating leg.

9. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 7 further including at least one temperature measuring device for each damper such that the controller capable of controlling the thermal output of each leg separately.

10. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 5 wherein the controller including temperature logic means for controlling dampers for optimizing burner firing rate depending upon rate of change of temperature measured by the temperature measuring device.

11. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 5 wherein the controller including adaptive historical logic means for controlling dampers for optimizing burner firing rate depending upon historical thermal responsiveness of the environment being heated.

12. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 11 wherein the adaptive historical logic means including mathematical algorithms generated from historical thermal data.

13. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 10 wherein the temperature logic means including mathematical algorithms generated from temperature measurements.

14. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 9 wherein each temperature measuring device mounted proximate a corresponding heating leg such that the temperature measuring device being effected by the corresponding heating leg.

15. A radiant heating system comprising: a) at least two heating legs, each leg including at least one burner firing into a radiant tube and at least one damper for controlling the thermal output of the heating leg; b) each radiant tube communicating hot exhaust gases along its length and interconnected with connector tubes; c) the radiant tubes in communication with at least one exhaust blower for urging exhaust gases along the length of each radiant tube and communicating exhaust gases to the atmosphere, and d) at least one controller in communication with at least one temperature measuring device and in communication with the at least one damper for controlling the position of the damper thereby controlling the firing rate of the burner.

16. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 15 wherein the heating system including at least one temperature measuring device for each damper thereby the controller being able to control independently the thermal output of each heating leg.

17. The radiant heating system claimed in claim 15 wherein the temperature measuring devices being thermostats.

Description:

The application claims priority from previously filed U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/822,101, titled “RADIANT HEATING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF CONTROL” on Aug. 11, 2006 by Eric Willms.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to radiant heating systems and in particular relates to multi-burner radiant heating systems and their method of control.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

U.S. Pat. No. 3,115,302 by Ronald G. Corey titled Heating Method Means and Control issued on Dec. 24, 1963 describes a burner control system which potentially is relevant for multi-burner radiant heating systems and their control.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,211,331 titled Control in Combination with Thermostatically Responsive Assembly by Timothy P. Seel, Patented on May 18, 1993 describes a multi-burner radiant heating system and method of control.

None of the abovementioned patents and/or currently commercially available technologies addresses the technological issues raised and solved by the currently described apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The radiant heating system and method of control will now be described by way of example only with reference to the following drawings in which

FIG. 1 is a schematic drawing of a radiant heating system and method of control deployed inside a building.

FIG. 2 is a partial cut away schematic of the radiant heating system and method of control shown deployed in a building.

FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective top view of some of the heating system shown components shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is atop perspective schematic view of a damper control shown in the open position.

FIG. 5 is a top schematic perspective schematic view of a damper control shown in the closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A radiant heating system and method of control is shown generally as 100 in FIGS. 1 and 2 and includes the following major components. Burners 102 in communication with radiant tubes 104, which are connected together with connector tubes 106 and which communicate with an exhaust blower 108 having a blower regulator 110 and an exhaust pipe 112.

Radiant heating system and method of control 100 further includes a controller 114 in communication with temperature measuring devices normally thermostats 116 located on the inner building walls 118. Controller 114 is also in communication with leg dampers 120 as well as the main damper 122.

The system schematically depicted in FIG. 1 includes a number of heating legs namely; first leg 130, a second leg 132 and a third leg 134 in which a series of burners 102 are connected along a radiant tube 104 which are then interconnected with connector tubes 106. In its simplest form heating system 100 includes one heating leg such as first leg 130 having at least one burner 102, and one damper 122 in communication with one exhaust blower 108 and controlled by one thermostat 116 in communication with a controller 114. One heating leg may have multiple burners and multiple dampers situated between each burner such that the firing rate of each individual burner on a heating leg may be controlled with a damper. The blower may be an exhaust blower which imparts a vacuum ie. negative pressure to the system as shown in the Figures or may impart a positive pressure to the system ie. pushing the exhaust gases through the radiant tubes. There may in fact be multiple blowers. The blowers may be integrally part of each burner as known in the art.

It would be apparent to a person skilled in the art that the presently described radiant heating system and method of control 100 can have any number of legs, and any number of dampers, however for explanation purposes and by way of example only, we depict schematically a system having three legs having a number of burners 102 connected in series along a radiant tube 104. Note that one damper may be used to control 2 or more legs.

FIGS. 1 and 2 also depict radiant heating system and method of control 100 having four thermostats, located on the inner side of each building wall 118. A person skilled in the art will be aware that this radiant heating system and method of control 100 could work with a single thermostat or any number of thermostats as required by the size and shape of the building or other design factors. FIGS. 1 and 2 also show the radiant heating system and method of control having 3 leg dampers and one main damper. A person skilled in the art will note that it is possible to operate the system with only one damper, however for greater control and flexibility, multiple dampers as depicted in the example may be installed.

The schematic representations in FIGS. 1 and 2 do not show the connections of air and/or gas to the burners 102. A person skilled in the art will note that burners 102 must have access to combustion air as well as a fuel such as natural gas and/or propane which is not shown and/or depicted in the drawings. Furthermore, the schematic drawings FIG. 1 and 2 do not show regulators and/or combustion chambers, but rather depicts schematically the radiant heating system and method of control 100 and the components necessary in order to describe the control of a multi-burner radiant heater system as depicted in the schematic drawings.

FIG. 3 is a top perspective schematic view of a portion of the radiant heating system, namely including burners 102, radiant tubes 104, connector tubes 106. Each radiant tube 104, has a radiant deflector 140. There is depicted a first leg 130, a second leg 132 and third leg 134 each having connected in series a number of burners 102 in communication with radiant tube 104 and leg dampers 120 and main damper 122. All of the radiant tubes 104 are interconnected with connector tubes 106 which are in communication with exhaust blower 108 having a blower regulator 110 and an exhaust pipe 112.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective schematic view of a typical damper 121 having a damper control 170, a damper vane 172, which is housed within the radiant tube 104 and is shown in FIG. 4 in the open position 176. Damper 121 may in fact be a leg damper 120 or a main damper 122. The design of damper 121 is such that it can be used as a leg damper 120 or a main damper 122.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of a typical damper 121, however in FIG. 5 the damper is shown in the closed position 178.

In operation, burners 102 are lit and are fired so as to produce hot gas emissions into radiant tube 104 which travel along each of the radiant tubes 104 and through connector tubes 106 which are communicated to exhaust blower 108, where they are exhausted via exhaust pipe 112 into the atmosphere. Exhaust blower 108 creates a vacuum within radiant tubes 104, thereby drawing combustion air and combustion fuel into burners 102, ensuring continuous firing of burners 102 along each radiant tube 104 and the communication of the exhaust gases to the atmosphere. Radiant heating system and method of control 100 has a computerized main controller or control panel which is denoted as controller 114 which is in communication with the thermostats 116 and the dampers 120 and 122. In the depicted example there are four thermostats and four dampers. Information received from thermostats 116 together with predetermined computer algorithms will control the position of leg dampers 120 and main damper 122. In this manner, the first leg 130, the second leg 132 and the third leg 134 as well as the thermal output of the entire system can be controlled by positioning of dampers 120 and/or main damper 122. One is able for example to increase or decrease the thermal output of any individual leg by repositioning of dampers 120 thereby selectively increasing or decreasing the heating system output in the building adjacent or nearby that independent leg.

Information received from thermostat 116 educates the system in regard to the thermal inertia or responsiveness of building 119. Building 119 is depicted schematically having building walls 118 but will also include other common features to buildings such as floors, ceilings, and its contents. Adaptive learning occurs by collecting and analyzing historical data in regards to information received from thermostats 116. Controller 114 is able to selectively increase and decrease the entire thermal output of radiant heating system 100 by opening and closing main damper 22 and/or selectively increasing and/or decreasing individual legs of radiant heating system 100 depending upon historical thermal characteristics and responsiveness of the building. The radiant heating system includes historical logic capability including mathematical algorithms generated from historical thermal data. The radiant heating system includes temperature logic capability including mathematical algorithms generated from temperature measurements.

In other words, controller 114 has all adaptive learning capability in which historical thermal information received from thermostats 116 can be used to predict tile thermal responsiveness of building 119 and therefore, adjust the thermal output of the entire radiant heating system 100 or individual legs 130, 132 or 134 as required to ensure the desired temperature is achieved in every part of the building. For example a certain rate of temperature drop of one of the thermostats 116 on one of the walls may result in an increase in firing rate of the individual leg closest to that wall according to a mathematical model used to predict temperature inertia and fluctuations within the building. The system may for example be able to compensate for a prevailing cold wind impinging on one or more sides of the building. In this manner a high degree of temperature uniformity is achieved due to the ability to control individual heating legs within the building rather than increasing or decreasing the entire heating system. In addition the use of multiple thermostats provides thermal data which can be used to predict local and overall temperature fluctuations within the building and thereby control the heating system locally (ie an individual leg) or globally to minimize these fluctuations.

Exhaust blower 108 has a blower regulator 110 which is used to initially optimize the speed of exhaust blower 108 to an optimum value. In practice an optimum value often is the lowest speed possible for the exhaust blower to produce the heat output required by the entire installation. It is often preferable to have exhaust blower run at the slowest possible speed in order to reduce noise and vibration of the entire system. The higher the speed of exhaust blower, the greater the noise and vibration generated by the radiant heating system 100 and therefore blower regulator 110 is used in order to fix an optimum blower speed which is maintained at a constant value.

Once the optimum exhaust blower speed 108 is determined, control of the heating within building 119 is carried out by main controller 114 communicating with thermostats 116 and in turn using the thermal information from the thermostats to vary dampers 120 and 122.

A person skilled in the art will note that this system may eliminate the need for a separate indoor and outdoor temperature sensing means, but rather through use of a single or multiple internal thermostats and adaptive learning techniques known in the art one is able to determine the thermal responsiveness of the building and future thermal requirements of the building on an ongoing basis. The radiant heating system controller includes temperature logic for controlling the dampers for optimizing burner firing rate depending upon rate of change of temperature measured by the temperature measuring device ie the thermostats. The radiant heating system controller also includes historical logic capability for controlling the dampers for optimizing burner firing rate depending upon historical thermal responsiveness of the environment namely the building being heated.

A person skilled in the art will also note that modulation of each leg of the system by the individual dampers 120 and 122 can be accomplished with strategically placed thermostats thereby independently varying the thermal output of each leg of the system. For example a thermostat mounted near a heating leg is best used to control that heating leg. The heating leg may take on any shape (as viewed from above as in FIG. 1) including linear as depicted or square or circular depending upon the area one wishes to control. In operation individually controlled burner legs will result in improved comfort control, especially in a building with a wide variety of uses throughout the overall space. It will also result in improved heating and operating efficiencies. This will become particularly advantageous in a building which for example has a portion designated to storage and warehouse space and a portion designated to human work space. In the area where persons are normally located, the temperature profile may be substantially different than in an area where there is mainly goods warehousing and storage.

A person skilled in the art will note that there are many advantages to the present system including operating and thermal efficiencies, improved reliability and predictability, and as well decreased fuel and energy consumption.