Understanding heat transfer and its application in Bromic's Smart-Heat™ range

The evolving and competitive nature of the hospitality industry has created a need for businesses to continually provide their customers with environments that combine comfort with aesthetic appeal.

Tungsten Portable Wins Design Award!

Tungsten Portable Wins Design Award!

Courtesy: Dr. Sarma Pisupati,© 2014 The Pennsylvania State University

Diagram 1: Courtesy Dr. Sarma Pisupati,© 2014 The Pennsylvania State University

With the introduction of ever-tightening smoking bans, it has become increasingly important for restaurants, cafes and social gathering hot-spots to maximize the use of outdoor areas by finding unique ways to create comfort for customers.

An essential part of this is outdoor heating, with Bromic Heating's industry leading gas, electric and portable solutions achieving the exceptional efficiency in stylish packages.

Bromic’s heaters are based on the simple concepts of heat and heat transfer. In order to get a better understanding of the principles behind Bromic’s Smart-Heat™ range, it is important to understand what exactly the word ‘heat’ means and how heat is transferred.

Diagram 2 - conduction Courtesy: Clive M. Countryman (Heat Conduction) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Diagram 2 – conduction
Courtesy: Clive M. Countryman (Heat Conduction) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In simple terms, heat is the transfer of energy from one body to another. The energy that is being transferred in this instance is called thermal energy, which means it is energy coming from heat.

This heat and energy transaction can occur in four different ways: conduction or diffusionconvectionadvection and radiant heat. Bromic’s heaters make use of radiant heat.

Diagram 1 gives an overview of the concept. To understand this better, below are the definitions for each. 

Conduction or diffusion

Diagram 3: By Genieclimatique (Own work)

Diagram 3: By Genieclimatique (Own work)

The concept of conduction is based on Fourier’s Law for heat conduction. It means that the transfer of energy that occurs when there are two bodies in physical contact,  is called conduction.

For instance, if a steel spoon is dipped in a heating or heated cup of fluid, then conduction is the heat transfer that is felt as warmth on the handle of the spoon (diagram 2).


Convection occurs when an object and the environment that object is placed in interact and heat transfer occurs (diagram 3). In simpler terms, if you come across a fluid layer that is heated below but is relatively cooler on top (due to gravitational forces), then one can say convection took place. Essentially, warmer fluid moves towards cooler areas. Hence, convection is the transfer of heat when mass movement of a fluid occurs in either up or down direction.

Diagram 4: Courtesy http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aalopez/aos101/wk5/advection.jpg

Diagram 4: www.aos.wisc.edu/~aalopez/aos101/


Advection occurs when heat is transferred by the horizontal movement of air mass. In other words, if there is motion of a fluid substance from one place to another, the heat that is transferred is called advection.

Since advection is transfer of heat in the horizontal direction, a suitable way of understanding it would be imagining that if wind was to blow hot air, it will move towards cooler areas to warm that space (diagram 4).

Diagram 5: Courtesy http://en.howtopedia.org/wiki/How_to_Use_Photovoltaic_Energy

Diagram 5: Courtesy http://en.howtopedia.org/wiki/How_to_Use_Photovoltaic_Energy

Radiant heat

The use of radiant heat comes into effect when there is a need for heat to be supplied directly to a desired area. This means that radiant heat is the delivery of heat directly from the hot surface to intended target via infrared radiant heat. In technical terms, when energy is transferred as a result of movement of charged particles within atoms, radiant heat comes into play. A very basic and effective source of radiant heat is the sun and, therefore, we can confidently say that radiant heat is emitted from hot surfaces and it directly warms people or objects.

The heat emitted or radiated away from the sun to the people or objects on the surface of earth is called radiant heat (diagram 5).

Bromic’s Smart-Heat™ range is based on this principle of radiant heat. Bromic’s products provide solutions to the hospitality industry’s heating needs.




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