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What is a PTC Heater?
A PTC heater, or Positive Temperature Coefficient heater, is a type of electric heater that uses PTC ceramic heating elements to convert electrical energy into thermal energy (heat). The term “Positive Temperature Coefficient” refers to the material’s inherent property, where its electrical resistance increases as the temperature rises, enabling the device to self-regulate its heat output.
Here’s how a PTC heater works: When electricity passes through the PTC heating element, it heats up. As the heater reaches a certain temperature, the PTC material’s resistance increases significantly, which reduces the current flowing through the element, thereby preventing overheating and providing a safer heating solution. This self-regulating feature allows the heater to maintain a consistent temperature without the need for additional thermostats or temperature controls.
PTC heaters are notable for their quick response, energy efficiency, and enhanced safety compared to traditional heating elements that rely on electrical resistance and can overheat or cause fires. They are widely used in various applications, including:
- Automotive: They’re commonly used in electric vehicles (EVs) to provide cabin heating since they consume less power and can provide immediate warmth.
- Consumer Electronics: PTC heaters are found in devices like hair dryers, heated car seats, and space heaters.
- Industrial Applications: They’re used in processes that require consistent and controlled heat, such as fluid heating, laboratory equipment, and environmental control for electronic components.
- Commercial Products: From hand dryers in public restrooms to defoggers in mirrors, PTC heaters are integral in various commercial products.
One of the significant advantages of PTC heaters is their self-regulating capability, providing a built-in safeguard against overheating, which is a common concern with traditional heaters. Their energy efficiency also means they’re a more environmentally friendly option, important in an increasingly energy-conscious market.
- The PTC heating component is installed with safety protection device. When it is used abnormally, current will automatically cut off to maintain safety.
- The heating components are integrated together, consist of average heating effect. When used for heaters, it can independently control single PTC (500W,800W) double PTC (1000W,1500W) or triple PTC(1500W,2000W) heating components, effectively saves electricity cost and increases product life.
- The pole and terminal are connected by point welding, preventing electrode loosen causing resistant and temperature to increase when heated, cold contraction or heat inflation.
- The outer edge of the PTC heating component is designed with single and double insulation. When in contact with metal will not cause electric shock or short circuit.
- The heating component is airtight/ tightly sealed, electrode is unexposed. Most suitable for application in bathroom or high humidity locations.
- It is installed with double insulation heating device, can be used underwater, without causing electricity leakage or short circuit. When heated dry, it will not crack or burn down the container.
- No smell, no radiation and will not oxidize or cause oxygen shortage when used for a long time.
- Fast thermal respond time, low inrush current. Will not cause fire sparks or flame by instant/sudden power supply or when in contact with flammable objects such as matches, cotton, paper.
- Temperature control devices are not required for various temperature selections. Static heating, lowers product cost and saves electricity effectively.
- The heating component not only can be used in heater fans, its individual components can also be used for general house ware electricity appliances
- Either AC/DC can be applied to meet customers’ requirements, special specification can be developed according to customers’ need.
Here’s what the RT curve of a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) explains:
- Initial Resistance and Temperature Rise: At lower temperatures, a PTC material exhibits a relatively low resistance, allowing a higher current to flow, which generates heat. This part of the curve is relatively flat, indicating a stable resistance across a wide range of temperatures. This region is where the material behaves more like a typical resistor.
- Sharp Increase in Resistance: As the temperature reaches a certain point, known as the “Curie temperature” or “switching temperature,” the resistance of the PTC material increases dramatically. This part of the RT curve is very steep, signifying that a small increase in temperature causes a significant increase in resistance. This is the positive temperature coefficient effect, which gives the PTC its name.
- Self-regulation Zone: Beyond the Curie temperature, the resistance levels off again, and there’s a decrease in the rate of resistance change. This is where the self-regulating property of PTC materials is most evident. The high resistance reduces the current flow, thus limiting the heat generation. Consequently, the temperature stabilizes, preventing the material from overheating.
- Cooling Phase: If the PTC material cools down, its resistance decreases, allowing more current to flow and thereby increasing the heat output again. This hysteresis effect helps maintain a relatively constant temperature.
In applications such as PTC heaters, the RT curve is essential for determining the operational temperature range and ensuring safe and efficient performance. It helps engineers and designers to specify the right PTC materials for applications requiring precise thermal control and safety from overheating.
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- DC can be used on automobile or for warm air, dehumidifying, temperature increasing, temperature maintenance etc. where DC power is supplied.
- AC can be used for general house electronic appliances for hand drying, dress drying, coverlet drying, shoes drying, bowl drying, humidifying, dehumidifying, air condition, ironing, electronic spoon etc.
- We have heater housing cover for 1500-2000W hot air machine, fore and hind net parts to provide our customers for use.
- We can provide technical support for developing heater and conductive relating products.