UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into low-wattage convection heaters Liu, Haoyi; Lam, Michael; Tsang, Hinson; Yeung, Terranda


During the cold winter time, UBC buildings must provide a warm environment to staff, students, and faculties. However, individual thermal comfort differs in age, metabolic rate, gender, and many other factors. Personal heaters are commonly used in offices and workplaces to address the problem. A typical convection heater needs 1500 W to operate, which is equal to fifteen 100 W light bulbs operating at the same time in a single room. Nevertheless, these heaters can overload the power grid, trip the breaker, and confuse the building HVAC sensors which will trigger cooling system, causing more discomfort among the personnel. A triple bottom line analysis is used to evaluate the environmental impact, social acceptance, and economic profit of an energy efficient convection heater model. The primary investigation includes the market field trip, scholar journal, sustainability survey, and product reviews by UBC members, which were used to determine the heater model. Survey results and user feedback showed that UBC members care about campus sustainability and are willing to try efficient convection heaters. Supplementary investigation such as online research, online product review, and manufacturing background information will help further understand the sustainability of the product. The manufacturer of the suggested heater model was found to be very self-sustainable. Almost no ground or water pollution was produced in the process. This project focuses on the efficient convection heaters available in Vancouver. As the result, a heater model that is energy efficient, safe, quality ensured, user friendly, and economic profitable should be recommended to future workplace use. It was concluded that the suggested convection heater with temperature control would fit the requirement above. A trade-in program could be done in the future to improve the campus sustainability. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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