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Improving the Efficiency and Performance of Existing Contra-flow Ovens



There are many P.E.D. contra-flow ovens in use that are still fitted with the original metal-sheathed long-wave elements.  By performing a simple, low-cost conversion to medium-wave infra-red using a system developed at East Midlands Electricity and PowerGen, oven efficiency can be improved by up to 60%

How it Works

Convective loss is the main source of inefficiency in un-modified contra-flow type ovens. Medium-wave infra-red delivers much more radiant energy to the products being heated than the original metal-sheathed panels, consequently, less convective heat is produced and the overall efficiency is improved.


Oven Conversion

The oven is easily converted by replacing the original metal-sheathed emitters with fast response medium-wave “cassettes”.

The cassette arrays have the same power rating and wiring configuration as the original emitters and the existing wiring and controls can be used without upgrading the electrical supply.  This keeps the conversion costs to an absolute minimum and makes it a very cost effective way of either reducing energy usage or increasing throughput. 

All or a selected few of the oven zones can be converted to optimise process requirements.  Conversion involves minimum disruption and can be carried out in just a few hours of downtime.


The benefits of conversion can be realised as either greater throughput for no increase in energy costs, or reduced energy costs for the same throughput. 

Exact performance gains depend on the product, but based on historical tests, reductions in processing time of at least 30 % can be expected.

The heat-up time (from cold) of the replacement system is around 30 seconds compared to 5 - 10 minutes for the original long-wave emitters. This allows more energy to be saved by switching off during even short production breaks, or by using automatic product detection.

 Efficiency Trials

Following successful feasibility trials at East Midland Electricity's former Demonstration Centre, Heat Infra-red Ltd have converted a number of ovens throughout the UK to fast response medium-wave infra-red. Trials carried out using these ovens on a variety of products have repeatedly demonstrated the improved performance over the original heating panels.  

 Second-hand Ovens

There are a number of second hand ovens on the market in the UK that are ideal for converting to medium wave electric infra-red.  If you have bought a second hand oven and would like advice on how to convert it, please call 0115 937 2727 or email for more details

information reproduced by permission of East Midlands Electricity

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