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Old 02-02-12, 05:18 AM   #1
Piwoslaw
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Default 400W(?) fan in oil radiator

I was staying at a friend's house and noticed that his oil radiator (similar to the one pictured below) has a built-in fan.
The info tag claimed that the radiator's total power is 2400W: heating is 2000W and 400W for the fan. Can that be right? Can a small fan like that really need 400W? The airflow seemed comparable to a 80mm computer fan which uses only a few watts, so why does this need so much?

EDIT: On second thought maybe there is a 400W heating element in the fan? But that wasn't included in the radiator's heating power on the tag

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Old 02-02-12, 09:03 AM   #2
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I highly doubt that little fan, or even a big fan, could use that much energy. We have several industrial-grade constant-duty air circulator fans that push a LOT of air, much more than a box fan, and they are only rated at 1.45 amps. At 120V that's only 174 watts. My 1/2HP furnace blower only pulls 373 watts. Either that sticker is wrong, or that is one big honkin' fan. I don't see why they would also put a heater in the fan if it blows over the radiator, unless it's a hybrid radiator/resistance fan type.

That does give me an idea though. I just bought one of those for my son's room. I wonder if putting a fan behind it would increase its efficiency. They say that those oil-filled radiators are more efficient than the little fan ones, so maybe it is actually more efficient for natural convection to do all the work. On the other hand, it just seems to me like the thing would run much less often if a fan were to remove the heat from it. If it cycled frequently enough, the oil would stay warm inside the heater and the fan would always blow warm air, even when the heating element is off.

I really need a Kill-A-Watt.
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Old 02-02-12, 10:46 AM   #3
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The fan doesn't blow air over the fins, but out of slits on one side of the "control end". I wondered where the heat came from and thought that one of the fins was enclosed inside, but then realised that an extra heating element is simpler.

I'm not sure whether fan heaters are less efficient than oil radiators - both use electric resistive heat, so neither is very efficient. A fan heater's heat is (almost) instant on and off, while an oil radiator takes longer to warm up, but also longer to cool down. The fact that it radiates a larger part of its heat may make it more comfortable than a fan heater, so a slightly lower wattage can be used.

Putting a small fan to blow over the fins of the radiator you have will improve the distribution of the heat, but I doubt it'll improve efficiency.
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Old 03-10-12, 07:02 PM   #4
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hello poland, much love! are you sure that wasn't a 400watt scam?
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Old 03-10-12, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
I was staying at a friend's house and noticed that his oil radiator (similar to the one pictured below) has a built-in fan.
The info tag claimed that the radiator's total power is 2400W: heating is 2000W and 400W for the fan. Can that be right? Can a small fan like that really need 400W? The airflow seemed comparable to a 80mm computer fan which uses only a few watts, so why does this need so much?

EDIT: On second thought maybe there is a 400W heating element in the fan? But that wasn't included in the radiator's heating power on the tag
Poland I don't know if its still cold there but you should try the black stuff in the sun for a heater!
I used to heat my apartment like that.you need alot of sun though.

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