What are nano carbon infrared heaters? Are they better?
As the interest in infrared heating grows, so does the competition to distinguish products and claim an edge over the competition. One of the latest phrases is “Nano Carbon Infrared Heaters” which purport to emit high levels of heat for very low wattage.
The word “Nano” in itself refers to a nanometre or 1,000th of a micron and is intended to reflect the short wavelength of far infrared heat (which is more commonly referred to these days in microns, not nanometres). So actually any infrared heater could call itself a nano infrared heater. The word Carbon reflects the emitter material, although this could also be in the form of wiring or conductive paste. The emitter differences per se have little difference on the temperature emitted per watt of input as there are basic laws of physics that have yet to be broken. Herschel itself uses a carbon element in its Ceiling tile heater, and wire in its other panels and the infrared output per watt of input at 100C does not vary between types.
The various claims that nano carbon infrared panels yield very large heated areas for low wattage are not correct. Large heated areas require either high temperature or high levels of energy, both of which which requires high wattage. Similarly the claims of nano infrared panels running at half the wattages of similar-size / similar temperature standard infrared panels is also misleading. These heaters tend to be be at the correct temperature at the centre of the panel (see first image below) but the rest of the panel is relatively cool and the average temperature is actually low. These panels are therefore low wattage, but they are also low average temperature and low effectiveness. The key in this respect is that the surface temperature of 90-100C should be evenly distributed over the entire surface of the heater (see Herschel XLS second image below).