Industrial units have unique demands compared to standard business premises such as offices. Due to their large interiors and generally poor insulation, as well as fewer human bodies per square foot than other types of buildings, it’s easy for warehouses and industrial spaces to lose heat quickly.
However, with certain expectations around worker safety and also to keep stock or machinery at optimal temperatures, your industrial unit must be heated efficiently. As energy prices rise, you need to ensure you have a system in place that heats your unit without eating too heavily into your profits.
Industrial units have the following considerations you need to take into account when designing a heating system:
- Installation requirements: when heating an industrial unit, where you site the heating elements will play a part in their efficiency. Some areas may be better than others for ensuring more of the space is heated. Can the warehouse be shut down while the system is installed or will engineers have to work around your existing operations? How will that impact the timeframe and efficiency of the project? How big is your warehouse and how will its internal square footage affect the chosen system’s utility?
- Heat load: different types of unit will have different applications, which may impact the heating system and energy choices. Some storage facilities, for example, will need a certain ambient temperature to be maintained to keep goods in optimal condition. Other units that focus on manufacturing may contain lots of machinery that emit heat and need to be factored into any heating system’s design.
- Energy efficiency: some heating systems are more energy efficient than others, but does that efficiency also extend to large-scale applications? While a ground source heat pump may be more efficient than a gas boiler in many buildings, will it offer the same heat efficiency in your larger, poorly-insulated space?
With all of these things in mind, our suggestions for heating your industrial unit include the following…
Warm air heating systems
Warm air heating is a significant undertaking because it requires a full system of ducts and vents to be effective. Once fitted, the system draws in air across a heat exchanger to deliver warm airflow out across the entire warehouse, heating the space to a set ambient temperature. Most of the system can be installed away from any usable floor space, so it won’t impact your working area.
Radiant heating is growing in popularity in some warehouses and sectors – especially in production lines where the system can heat a set area to a specific temperature. This makes it perfect for heating up employees who work in a trafficked area, leaving other parts of the warehouse such as storage unheated.
Most industrial units that utilise radiant heating choose gas fired radiant tubes due to the output required. Solar PV installed in an industrial unit could provide a novel solution for offsetting the gas used in the heating system, powering other parts of the building with renewable energy to contribute to a more balanced carbon profile.
Relying on natural gas has fallen out of favour in 2022 during the UK’s energy crisis and it’s not hard to see why. However, gas is still an efficient way to heat most spaces. If your business creates suitable waste, you can invest in a biomass boiler which utilises that waste to create heat. You’ll still need to select a system to deliver the heat to the unit, but switching from standard gas to biomass is a far more efficient choice.
One option is to install a biomass boiler that uses waste wood as its fuel. These units have an integral fan system that distributes warm air around a unit. Not only does this save on waste removal costs, but it also provides an extremely cheap source of heat and could be considered a low carbon alternative to standard gas boilers.
These are only a few options for heating industrial spaces. If you’d like to learn more about our work in the sector, visit our renewable energy page today or get in touch to discuss your own requirements and see how Quora Group can help you.