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Thermal chip touted as advance over filament heating

Posted by iMark - 2006-02-17

Advanced Thermal Chip Technologies said it has developed a thermal IC that overcomes reliability and performance problems along with cost and safety issues associated with conventional filament technology.

The chip consists of one or more third-party PTC (positive temperate coefficient) thermistors coated with a conductive metal and an adhesive that is thermally and electrically conductive. The element is enclosed by a thermal insulating frame. The chip provides the core capability to adjust the amount of heat emitted as environmental conditions change. The PTC technology combines a heating element, thermostat and control unit in one component, eliminating the complex and expensive architecture associated with conventional filament-based heating elements, the Israeli startup said.

The heating elements' relatively high surface temperature eliminates the need for multiple heat transfers and, consequently, saves energy. In contrast, filament-based heating elements have a small surface area wrapped in multiple ceramic layers. Large amounts of heat must be emitted from the filament to pass through each of the ceramic layers, causing substantial energy loss.

PTC-based heating elements can be set at low temperatures so they can be used in applications where fuel or another combustibles are used. By contrast, filament-based applications are limited by their high temperatures.

The company said it has developed three methods to optimize heat distribution for different applications. A dry heater is targeted to direct contact applications such as steam generators. A fan-assisted heater targets space heaters and air conditioners. A high-efficiency immersed heater is designed for cooking applications.

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