South Dakota Patent of the Month – November 2022

Flameless heaters have been saviors for workers in hazardous conditions. A flame-based heat source is simply not an option when working in locations with wellhead gasses and other flammable or combustible materials. A single spark could set off an uncontrolled fire. 

Unfortunately, these heat sources reduce the relative humidity in the environment. Some environments need moisture. For instance using a flameless heater to provide dry ambient air for the kill stage of the decontamination of organic foods might cause the foods to dry out, losing flavor. Anderson Industries, LLC, a South Dakota based product development company, has designed a flameless heater specifically for those times when both high heat and humidity are needed.

A built-in humidity system ensures that any expelled heated air contains moisture, lifting the relative humidity of the output stream and therefore the room or environment. The heater uses traditional technology, like a combustion engine, to generate energy and heat. The energy then powers the humidifying system, typically a built-in boiler, which produces steam.

A control system is coupled to the energy source, heating system, and humidifying system in order to monitor and adjust the output. External sensors track the ambient temperature and humidity in order to inform the control system if changes are needed. For instance, if the air is still too dry, it may increase the rate of steam production. If the air is not hot enough, it may increase the heater. Precision control over moisture and heat output is crucial in a hazardous environment.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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