As a leading hands-on heating provider in the UK, our work takes us to many different venues great and small. Whether you want to heat a small 6m x 6m dining tent in a pub garden or a 15 person wedding at The Orangery, Holland Park, London during lockdown and socially distance during your wedding, or heat a 80m x 50m marquee for an international passenger and freight airline in the depth of the winter in December, we have a solution. We tell you the ins and outs of heating different structures and which fuel management to consider.
You may have read various web pages that claim to be able to match a heating solution to an event space from a nice warm sales office chair, but the reality is you need to feed off experience and knowledge otherwise mistakes in calculations and or wasted fuel can cost you dearly.
Small Marquee – Our client is a well-known country pub and restaurant within the catchment area of Goodwood Race Course and Motor Racing Circuit. During the Coronavirus pandemic the hospitality sector has been hit hard by closures. Latterly Social Distancing within the restaurant caused our client expand their seating into specially designed and erected marquees in their garden adjacent to the pub. Autumn is upon us and the temperatures are dropping to close to zero at night. There are two very nicely dressed 6m x 6m marquees adjacent to each other creating a cosy space for their customers to enjoy great beer and delicious food.
Our brief is to provide a consistent heating solution for each marquee throughout a range of temperatures as winter approaches, and take into consideration the tranquil position the pub is sited in a small gathering of private dwellings. We went through some options with our client and we both agreed to heat each tent independently with a small indirect 19kw area heater connected to a room thermostat on a 10m cable. It is important to not over engineer the heating solution otherwise heat from the warm-up cycle can be lost by the heater cool-down cycle when the heater stops calling for heat. If you fit a heater that produces too many cubic metres of warm air per hour CM3, the heat inside the tent can be pushed out through inevitable small gaps at the marquee wall and eaves. That phenomenon can affect the space rising in temperature. The pub were able to source some straw bales locally which were positioned to baffle any noise from the external indirect heaters.
Our engineers loaded out at the pub this week, connected the heaters up to specially manufactured low level diffusers, positioned the room thermostats in both tents, fired up the heating and carried out noise checks using our decibel monitoring device. Our small heater solution created a very low noise output of 53dB well below the audiology of normal conversation.
Each heater will run for 20 hours calling for heat, although we expect the run time of a tank of fuel to be extend over a period of days as the heater thermostat cycles the heater on and off. Changes in ambient temperature and opening doors will play a big part in the fuel usage. Perhaps if we get a harsh winter we may have to upgrade the heaters to the next size up in order to provide a consistent warm environment.
Re-Fuelling – There are a few different fuel solutions when considering fuel cost, inconvenience, contamination, health, safety and heater performance. I will go into detail on each fuel option.
Kerosene – v – Red Diesel – Kero or paraffin was known a few years ago as Esso Blue or Pink Paraffin. Kero is a “clean burn” light fuel with very few contaminates after the oil refining process. Aircraft and helicopters run on a hybrid grade of kero so it must be a good heating oil. By contrast Red Diesel has various contaminates, causes the heaters to smoke, has vegetable and chip oil (bio diesel) mixed in with it (green sustainable idea) which causes diesel bug that blocks up the heating mechanisms and creates additional expense and inconvenience for the hirer to deal with when the heaters break down. During 2019 thousands of farmers had their machinery ruined by contaminated red diesel delivered from the refineries and after bio diesel was mixed in with the virgin fuel. Luckily our fleet of event generators were not affected but our road tow bowsers were affected and the fuel supplier was out to us within hours to collect the contaminated fuel, providing a refund at the same speed leaving us with a contamination mess that cost thousands of pounds and many days of inconvenience. Our policy of treating and filtering at 5 micros all delivered kero and diesel fuels has been in place for a number of years. As soon as our filtering systems blocked up we knew there were problems. Our fleet of event generators were unscaved.
Jerry Cans are a source of contamination in the fuel from rust caused by water globules that have formed over a period of storage time. Ground contamination from ‘glug spillages’ requires soil to be dug up and new turf installed to restore grass. Over a long hire period it is inevitable that some spillages will take place.
Fuel Box supply a solution in a box, you can either buy a few 20 litre boxes or you can buy a pallet of 20 litre boxes to get a better per litre price. Storage and movement of a tonne of fuel boxes of kerosene has its difficulties, our delivered cost per litre of fuel in a convenient portable bowser is the same cost per litre as Fuel Box prices.
Portable Fuel Bowser is a more convenient and controllable option which can either be left onsite for the client to refuel or we can attend on a predetermined day cycle to top up the heaters.
Static Bunded Kero Tank – can be a quick and convenient longer term solution for at least Autumn through to Spring. If access is easy for a tank installation and bulk fuel deliveries, we can supply the same heaters with a long term fuel feed solution whereby you only have to monitor the fuel tank level via a Bluetooth fuel tank gauge. You can order 1,000 litre kerosene drops at your leisure. Health and Safety isn’t compromised and the fuel lines are reinforced hydraulic grade heavy duty pipes which can be surface positioned or dug into the ground. The pipes have a life cycle of 10 or more years.
Buy, Hire, or Rent – in these ever changing pandemic times that is a decision you have to make. If you buy the wrong solution you have to maintain it and repair it as you go. The equipment will eventually go rusty if leaf outside all year. The heater will have very little residual value as thousands of pubs and eateries in the UK are seeking the same solutions. Sometimes it's best to stick to what your know best and let others provide the same.
Quotes – we can provide quotes on demand, there is an initial requirement for a site visit before we are able to give advice and quote for the best solution for your circumstances. The cost of a site visit can be found by clicking here We can credit back the cost of a site visit to you should you go ahead with an order.
The purpose of a high air volume, low heat output marquee heater, is to fill the event space with high volumes of warm air, create positive air pressure, and to replace the lost warm air on demand. If you open all the doors and cut the heating budget the marquee will struggle to reach a comfortable temperature, unless you either increase the heating equipment, or go around all night closing the doors. Fortunately our site engineer anticipated extra heat would be needed and swiftly switch on a couple of extra smaller backup heaters to compensate for the loss through open doors.
Fuel Management - As mentioned above you have to weigh up various factors when planning your heating requirement. The most common short term heating situations are don't require much thought, the longer the heating is in place the greater the initial investment, but also the pay-back is much longer term.
Short Term Heater Rental - Our marquee heaters are normally the Italian made Arcotherm brand made by Biemmedue in Italy pronounced Bimi-du-e. We have been using these heaters for 20+ years. They are not the cheapest by any means, but they will last the longest if you look after them and put clean fuel in the tanks. The Biemmedue heater has a high-grade stainless steel combustion chamber which isn't affected by the acidic residue created by burning kerosene or diesel. The fuel pumps are predominantly made by Danfos, a world-wide leading brand. Life expectancy of a Biemmedue heater can give you good service 20 years, but don't expect the heater to carry on it's good work without annual maintenance.
Arcotherm Heater Servicing - The best time to get your heater serviced is at the end of the summer season. We operate a pick-up and collection service in and around the M25 Arcotherm pick-up and deliver back service Click here. Alternatively we can come to your premises in our service van to include the first hour Click here All the service parts are carried by our engineer and he will carry out a 20 point check to ensure your heater is in tip-top condition.