With sixteen years of development and OEM deployment, it is safe to say that Prestyl’s thin-film technology with a life expectancy of possibly 50 years or more is among the world’s most dependable products available.
The core of our heating technology is a unique proprietary alloy that features heating characteristics not found in any competitor’s product. This alloy is deposited on a base layer of Mylar and is “printed” on a custom printing press at a rate of 2 miles (3.2 km) per hour. The printed film is etched in a process similar to that used in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards and after the etching, washing and drying process the film is laminated with a second layer of Mylar and sealed. Depending on the use an adhesive layer and/or buffer layer is added and the sections are cut and contacts are added. The film is now ready to be placed in the Aluminum housings.
The housings are constructed from pure, 100% recyclable, high-quality Aluminum rolls. The unique (proprietary) design prevents warping and allows the far-infrared heating panels fronts to be “floating” while providing the best far-infrared transfer possible. The panels contain no heating coils or moving parts; the only mechanical device is a code-required thermal cutout. Since it is unlikely it will ever be activated, the usable life of this device is expected to be in the dozens of years.
Unlike traditional heating products which can be accessed and serviced easily, ILO/Prestyl’s products are designed to be installed in tight, often inaccessible places. One such application is the heating of passenger rail cars. The heating film can be applied between the floor’s layers or incorporated in the walls or ceiling/roof. In Europe, a rail car may see a 4-8 year life cycle, but after this, it many get sold to third-world countries where these have an expected service life of 30-50 years. Other applications are behind the plasterboard in ceilings of homes, schools and offices. Although the product is guaranteed for a few years, the life expectancy is many decades. Nearly all products ever produced are still in service.
What is Far-Infrared
With conduction, “matter” or material is used as the transport medium. For instance the cooking pan: The bottom of the pan is heated by a gas flame, or electric element, and the heat is then conducted to the inside of the pan.
The heat will always travel from the hottest area (the bottom of the pan) to the coldest area (in this case the food in the pan) until both are equal in temperature
With convection the air is used as the medium for heat transport. This particular way of heating is widely used in residential and commercial applications worldwide. This can be a hot air/forced air system, such as used throughout North America, or a water/steam-based system whereby a radiator heats the air - - warm air that rises to the ceiling and cold air pulled through the return ducting or radiator’s base, where it is heated again and creates an airflow which heats the entire space.
Although convection has been used for generations, it is a poor and inefficient way of heating a space; the hot air rises and especially in tall buildings as much as 50-70% of the can be wasted (the heat rises to the open space above while the lower regions can be cold).
Hot air systems and “radiators” heat the air. Hot air rises and cooler air returns to the floor to be heated again, this process is called “convection”. For humans, the upper body warms up, but with many systems the feet stay cold. Circulating air moves dust, fungi and pollen; the hot air escapes when doors or windows are opened.
How does Prestyl’s Infrared work?
As depicted in the illustration, Prestyl’s infrared energy is best compared to the warmth of the sun. The vast amount of energy emitted by the sun is transported to the surface via electromagnetic beams that are divided into different wavelengths. The unit for this subdivision is nanometer. (1 nm= 1 millionth of a millimeter or 0.001 micrometer)
Each wavelength transports a certain amount of energy. The higher the frequency of these waves, the shorter the wavelength and the shorter the wavelength the more energy it can carry, in other words: the higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength, and the higher the energy level.
The sun’s rays are partly absorbed by the atmosphere only a small portion reaches earth.
Rays that do reach the earth’s surface contain a number of wavelengths representing both visible and invisible light; ranging from Ultraviolet light (UV) then traveling through the visible light to the Infrared IR) portion of the spectrum.
Ultraviolet light has a high frequency and thus a short wavelength that possesses a large amount of energy. This energy can cause our skin to burn or even develop cancer after prolonged exposure.
Visible light has a lower frequency containing less energy.
Infrared light has the lowest frequency of all and therefore also the lowest energy level. Infrared is absorbed, stored and “re-transmitted”.
Every object emits Infrared energy; when an object has a higher temperature than its surroundings, the Infrared light it emits will warm-up nearby objects. This is also called “indirect” heating.
Far-infrared is the most efficient and healthiest way to heat people and objects. Like with the sun, Prestyl’s thin-film technology heats surfaces which in turn heat floors, walls and the objects contained within a space. It uses only safe and known healthy ”invisible light” at wavelengths in the 7,500 to 10,000 nm (7.5 to 10 micrometer); this region in the spectrum is also called “Far-or Therapeutic infrared”.
In contrast, other infrared appliances, such as infrared heat lamps can reach temperatures up to 4,000 ºF (2,200 °C); these operate in the visible part of the infrared spectrum and will actually cause eye and skin damage during prolonged exposure. Remember, Prestyl operates only in the very safe and therapeutic “Far-infrared”. Prestyl’s proprietary thin-film technology produces ultra-low temperatures in the 200 ºF (95 °C) range; about the temperature of a cup filled with coffee.
Besides the immediate effect of warming the people in the space, Prestyl’s far-infrared operates at a part of the spectrum that allows it to travel through the air virtually unimpeded and heat the floor and other surfaces. One of the primary advantages are that when doors or windows are opened the warmth does not escape, but stays in the floor and objects and within seconds to minutes of closing the door or window the space is warm again. Unlike with traditional heating, there are no transportation or “duct losses”; no conversion losses and no air-flow losses; all stored energy can be used.
Since Prestyl is able to store up heat energy at night (and other times when the rates are lower) and release this energy during the day, this can be used to save even more on energy bills.
Most power grids are pushed to the limit when the workday starts, but have excess energy during the night so switching to Prestyl’s far-infrared heating allows the consumer or commercial client to use electricity during the inexpensive “night tariff” and not use any heating energy for heating until later in the day. Hence, switching to Prestyl’s far-infrared heating will help balance energy provider’s electrical load which has an immediate positive environmental impact (fewer harmful emissions by through the reduction of peak demand).
BTU to KW
The PrestylUSA panels are a completely different type of heating and thus there is not direct answer to your question but I will attempt to describe our differences.
1 KW of electrical energy produces 3412 BTUs. Prestyl, like any electric heater converts 100% of the energy into heat. Then we look at the losses associated with the heating method. A baseboard heater, for instance, converts a 100% of the energy into heat, but yet it is only 30-40% efficient (60-70% convection losses), and the coils or elements burn out every 3-5 years of heavy use.
Our gain is that with far IR radiation from the ceiling we have a dynamic efficiency of 80% efficient, i.e. 80% of the energy supplied is converted into usable heat. For the walls it is 60% and if we could place the panels in the floor this would be 50%. A for forced air system the staring efficiency is 60-95% depending on the type of heater (straight transfer of hot gasses or secondary heat exchanger). Even a 95% heater (after duct losses and ventilation requirements) is typically 35% efficient just because it heats the air. One additional point, unless the floor is warm, people are still cold when the room is 75 or 80 degrees.
A good “hydronic” (in-floor) geothermal system can approach our efficiency, but it is very expensive and won’t work at all temperatures; in many cases it needs our panels as a supplement.
Like with all other types of heating or heating products, energy may still be lost as a result of “heat-losses through door, poor windows, connecting slabs, etc. (however, we still produce the heat, are still efficient, but the energy we produced is sucked away).