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  • Ambient to 600C in 10 seconds
  • No Combustion Byproducts
  • Existing Heat Exchange Can Stay
  • Industry Leading Technology
  • Completely Custom

Wind Tunnel

Tutco SureHeat designed and built two powerful electric heaters to replace the gas fired heaters currently being used in a wind tunnel application.

The client was looking to replace gas with electric to remove combustion byproducts and remove the need for a heat exchanger. 

Two major heating challenges:

  • Size: At over a megawatt each, these are going to be larger heaters.
  • Ramp Rate: We’re heating from ambient to 600C in 10 seconds. We used to talk about 200F/second as a fast ramp rate. This is going beyond that.
Compact Space Faster Ramp Time No Combustion Byproducts

Why are we replacing gas with electric?

There are two primary reasons.

  1. Gas heaters do not turn on/off and warm up with the same efficiency and rapidness. These extreme high temperature applications are largely for R&D research projects. Electric heaters have many advantages that researchers benefit from including the ability to ramp up the temperature of the air stream very quickly.
  2. Gas heaters put undesirable byproducts into the air stream. Burn a gas and you turn it into carbon dioxide and water vapor. A few other things burn that are not too attractive. If you’re running a sensitive test then you probably don’t want those contaminants in your airstream. You can use a heat exchange but then that represents another barrier to rapid temperature ramp. If your test can’t accept the products of combustion and you need a rapid temperature ramp then gas is not for you.

Wind Tunnel

Gas heaters have pretty much one major advantage over electric, the cost of the fuel. The R&D researcher is less concerned with heater operating cost. They are typically doing something new that requires a future capability. It’s going to be something related to temperature, size and/or pressure. In this particular case, the client needed a very fast ramp rate. It wasn’t possible for them to get rid of the heat exchanging process and that was a barrier to faster ramp rates with gas.

Specialty Heaters Quote Request

Temperature Range

Tutco SureHeat open coil electric air heaters can produce up to 1652°F (900°C) in standard designs and 1922°F (1050°C) in
custom designs.

Pressure Ratings

Typical electric heaters can withstand up to 600psi (40 bar) standard and greater than 1100 psi (75 Bar) in custom designs


Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) certification
Special control requirements
On-site startup assistance or training

Sizing & Selection

A simple formula for sizing the heater power (kilowatts) is given by: kW = SCFM x (Delta T)/3000, where SCFM is the mass flow rate in standard cubic feet per minute, and the Delta T is given in degrees Fahrenheit across the heater.

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