TRUE 16KW PATIO HEATERS
USA Patio Heaters
Before the turn of the century the patio heater industry ramped up power output on burners to get maximum gas flow and burn rates. These 16kw patio heaters came into the market to offer higher heat output than the standard models. Or did they?
The answer to this question lies in the way a gas patio heater delivers heat. The top is called a reflector, it does exactly that - reflects heat downwards to heat up the patio, hence patio heater. All very straightforward until you start tinkering with the outputs. A standard burner is between 42,000 BTU's to 50,000 BTU's (central heating boiler size), this is the size of burner needed to deliver maximum heat reflection for the size of frame and reflector to give ample heat with ample coverage. Ramping burner to over 55,000 BTU's (16kw patio heater) without increasing the height and most importantly the reflector, results in very high gas consumption for no extra heat. Heat will dissipate sideways, the reflector can only handle heat to it's maximum diameter, once the heat extends the reflective diameter, heat will go straight to the sky.
The picture on the left is a true 16kw patio heaters only found in USA/Canada, these are structurally ramped up to take the extra output and harness the heat so it does actually end up heating the patio and not the sky. The reflector has 3 tiers to capture all the extra heat output that would otherwise be lost to the side. They are much larger and have wider diameter than UK patio heaters, unlike the UK 16KW models that bolt on a high output burner to the chassis of a standard patio heater. It doesn't make any sense unless you are a gas supply company aiming to increase gas consumption.