WO2010000822A1 - A portable electric fan heater - Google Patents

A portable electric fan heater

Info

Publication number
WO2010000822A1
WO2010000822A1 PCT/EP2009/058359 EP2009058359W WO2010000822A1 WO 2010000822 A1 WO2010000822 A1 WO 2010000822A1 EP 2009058359 W EP2009058359 W EP 2009058359W WO 2010000822 A1 WO2010000822 A1 WO 2010000822A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
heater
electric fan
portable electric
grill
fan heater
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2009/058359
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Martin Betz
Liam Kerrigan
Original Assignee
Basic Holdings
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24HFLUID HEATERS, e.g. WATER OR AIR HEATERS, HAVING HEAT GENERATING MEANS, IN GENERAL
    • F24H3/00Air heaters having heat generating means
    • F24H3/02Air heaters having heat generating means with forced circulation
    • F24H3/04Air heaters having heat generating means with forced circulation the air being in direct contact with the heating medium, e.g. electric heating element
    • F24H3/0405Air heaters having heat generating means with forced circulation the air being in direct contact with the heating medium, e.g. electric heating element using electric energy supply, e.g. the heating medium being a resistive element; Heating by direct contact, i.e. with resistive elements, electrodes and fins being bonded together without additional element in-between
    • F24H3/0411Air heaters having heat generating means with forced circulation the air being in direct contact with the heating medium, e.g. electric heating element using electric energy supply, e.g. the heating medium being a resistive element; Heating by direct contact, i.e. with resistive elements, electrodes and fins being bonded together without additional element in-between for domestic or space-heating systems
    • F24H3/0417Air heaters having heat generating means with forced circulation the air being in direct contact with the heating medium, e.g. electric heating element using electric energy supply, e.g. the heating medium being a resistive element; Heating by direct contact, i.e. with resistive elements, electrodes and fins being bonded together without additional element in-between for domestic or space-heating systems portable or mobile
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24HFLUID HEATERS, e.g. WATER OR AIR HEATERS, HAVING HEAT GENERATING MEANS, IN GENERAL
    • F24H9/00Details
    • F24H9/20Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices or methods
    • F24H9/2064Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices or methods for air heaters
    • F24H9/2071Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices or methods for air heaters for heaters using electrical energy supply

Abstract

A portable standalone electric fan heater which includes a grill occupying a major portion of one of the faces of the heater. A heating unit is provided within a housing. A controller is provided for controlling the heating unit. The controller operably provides a primary indicator of the operational status of the heater. The heater additionally includes a secondary indicator provided on an external face of the housing having an output responsive to the controller for providing a visual perceptible output representative of the operational status of the heater. The secondary indicator defines a border about at least a portion of the perimeter of the grill for facilitating generating an optical-geometrical footprint which is at least as large as the geometrical footprint of the grill.

Description

Title

A portable electric fan heater

Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a portable heater including an independent visual indicating means for providing a visually perceptible indication representative of the operational status of the heater. The invention more particularly relates to portable fan heaters having such visual indicating means.

Background

Portable electric fan heaters are typically used to heat rooms which do not have central heating and provide localised time specific heating. For example, portable heaters are extensively used to heat bathrooms. Sometimes portable heaters are used to heat rooms when the central heating malfunctions or is not activated.

One of the many requirements for a portable heater is that it can be easily stowed away when they are not needed and they can be removed from storage when desired. To this end, such heaters are small and compact and are designed to be light so that a person carrying the heater is not overloaded. If a portable heater weighs too much it could place an undue burden on a person lifting the heater thereby risking back injury to the person carrying the heater. Typically, portable heaters are sufficiently light so they may be carried by a person using a single hand with little or no effort. The dimensions of the housing of the heater are minimised in order to reduce the overall weight and size of the heater. Even though it is desirable to reduce the size of the housing it is desirable that the housing contains a relatively large vent so that a sufficient stream of warm air is generated. A large percentage of the overall housing is dedicated to providing such a vent. Typically, most portable heaters have a vent which includes a grill that occupies a major portion of the front face of the heater. A display which shows the operating state of the heater is usually located on one of the other faces of the heater, for example on a top surface. It is common for the grill to be facing in one direction while the display faces a different direction.

It will be appreciated that such heaters are directional in use, in that the heated air is output to the environment via the grill provided in the front face of the heater. In this way a person to the front of the heater experiences the benefit of the heated air passing from the heater whereas a user to the other side of the heater would not have that benefit. It is therefore common for the heater to be positioned to have the front face and its grill pointed in the direction where a user is located so that this area of the room is heated first. As the display is located on a different face to the grill viewing the display is extremely difficult unless the person is near the heater. It should therefore be appreciated that if a person wants to determine the operating state of portable electric heaters known heretofore the person needs to be very close to the heater. Where there are only an off and on mode on the heater this is not as problematic as the noise of the heater provides the indication of operation. However many heaters have a variable heater output, the on mode may have two or more different selections whereby the user may choose the desired heat output. However, the operational status of heaters of the type having a heating element contained in a housing is difficult to determine.

Common times of use of such heaters are in the evening or night-time, when for example a user is sitting down to relax after work. If the room is in darkness or is in low light levels it is typical for a user who wishes to check the status of the heater to have to go over to the heater and then to turn on the lights in the room to allow them to view the display. This is extremely annoying to an individual who is comfortably resting on a sofa or the like while being soothed by the warm ambient air heated by the heater. There are therefore a number of problems associated with existing portable fan heaters.

Summary

These and other problems are addressed in accordance with the present teaching by a portable standalone electric fan heater which is configured such that its operating status can be determined from a distance. In accordance with an exemplary arrangement such a fan heater comprises a secondary indicator which defines a border about at least a portion of the perimeter of the grill for facilitating generating an optical-geometrical footprint which is at least as large as the geometrical footprint of the grill. By defining the secondary indicator relative to the fan grill it will be appreciated that the footprint of the secondary indicator occupies a major portion of the overall area that is available on the face of the heater within which the grill is located. In this way the secondary indicator is easily visible by persons some distance away from the heater

Accordingly, a first embodiment of the invention provides A portable electric fan heater as detailed in claim 1. Advantageous embodiments are provided in the dependent claims.

These and other features will be better understood with reference to the followings Figures which are provided to assist in an understanding of the teaching of the invention.

Brief Description Of The Drawings

The present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a portable standalone electric heater, Figure 2 is a front elevation view of a detail of the heater of Figure 1 ,

Figure 3 is a block diagram representation of components of the heater of Figure 1.

Detailed Description Of The Drawings

The invention will now be described with reference to an exemplary portable standalone electric fan heater which is provided to assist in an understanding of the teaching of the invention.

Referring to the drawings there is illustrated an example of a portable standalone electric fan heater 1 comprising a housing 6 defining a hollow interior region 8 for accommodating a heating unit therein, in this embodiment, a fan heating unit 10, as illustrated in Figure 3. Fan heating units are well known in the art and typically they comprise an electrical heating element 12 powered from the mains power supply. A fan 13 is provided and configured relative to the heating element 12 such that it operatively blows a stream of air over the electrical heating element 12, which is then heated prior to distribution out of the heater. The housing 6 comprises a front panel 15 and a spaced apart rear panel 17 with spaced apart side walls 18 and spaced apart end walls 20 extending therebetween. The front panel 15 defines the front face of the heater 1 , and the rear panel 17 defines the rear face of the heater 1. Typically a grill is provide in the front face of the heater, and the heated air from the fan heating unit 10 passes through the grill and into the room where the heater is located.

A control means, in this case, provided by a control panel 22 mounted on the front panel 15 of the housing 6 is operably coupled to the fan heating unit 10 for controlling the operation of the heater. In this exemplary arrangement the heater has a variable heat output and the control panel may be used for setting the operating temperature of the electrical heating element 12. The control panel 22 comprises an upper scroll button 23 for increasing the operating temperature of the electrical heating element 12 and a lower scroll button 24 for reducing the operating temperature of the electrical heating element 12. It will be appreciated that the control panel is electrically coupled to the heating element and can be used to vary the output of the heater. Similarly a control for the air flow that passes by the heater may be provided. A liquid crystal display (LCD) 28 on the control panel 22 displays the selected operating temperature of the electrical heating element 12. It will be understood that the LCD display is only an example of the type of primary operational display panel that may be used in the context of heaters, and that equivalently a user may determine the operational mode of the heater by viewing the relative position of the control switches or other control means. The dimensions and footprint of this primary operational display are small relative to the footprint of the grill. The dominant feature on the front face is the grill.

A portable standalone electric fan heater such as that heretofore described is similar in many ways to existing prior art heaters. It will be understood that typically when using such a heater that the user selects the operational mode of the heater and then moves away from the heater. Once they move away from the heater their ability to view the control means which provides the primary operational display is limited; it may for example be quite small or provided on a face of the heater that is not visually perceptible to the user from all directions or viewing points. The present invention addresses this problem by providing a secondary operational display which is configured to provide a visually perceptible representation of the operational status of the heater which can be viewed from a distance. An example of such a secondary operational display which provides an independent visual indicator of the operational status or mode of the heater is shown in Figure 1 as a visual display unit (VDU) 2 comprising a plurality of light emitting diodes (LEDs) 3 for providing visually perceptible indicia representative of an operational status of the heater. In the arrangement of Figure 1 , the VDU is preformed as a separate element to the fan heater and during the manufacture process is assembled with the heater. It will be appreciated that other arrangements may provide for the integral fabrication of the VDU during the manufacture of the housing for the fan heater.

The VDU 2 is located on an exterior face of the housing 6, typically the front panel 15, and is visible by a user located to the front of the heater.. In the arrangement of Figure 1 it is dimensioned so as to be circumferentially arranged about the grill such as to form a border in the form of a ring about the grill. The VDU 2 encompasses the grill so that the dimensions of the footprint of the VDU 2 is substantially similar to the dimensions of the footprint of the grill. Being located about the perimeter of the grill it occupies a surface area on the front face of the heater at least as large as that of the grill. It will be understood that the ring geometries and circumferential relationship are derived from the circular dimensions of the grill element and it is not intended to limit the present invention to such geometries. However, in this exemplary embodiment, the grill is substantially circular in form and individual LEDs that form the VDU are radially arranged within a ring configuration about the grill. The individual LEDs may be individually or collectively controlled. By providing a secondary display in the form of a light source on the front panel of the heater, the output of the display is visible by a user located to the front of the heater at some distance from the heater. The secondary display is located about at least a portion of the perimeter of the grill. In this way when the secondary display is active it produces an optical-geometrical foot print that is easily viewable from afar which is at least as large as the geometrical footprint of the grill. Furthermore as the indication of the output is related to the output of the LEDs it is not necessary for the user to be located directly to the front of the fan heater, the light output of the VDU may cast a glow that is visible by a user to one side of the heater- something that was not possible with only a primary indicator.

In this example of the teaching of the present invention, the secondary display is provided as an independent entity separate from the control panel 22 and the fan heating unit 10. Its output is indicative of the operational status of the fan heating unit which is, it will be appreciated, controlled by the control panel 22. The output of the VDU 2 is therefore responsive to changes in the heating unit which are effected by the control means. Such a response can be directly effected by having the VDU in direct communication with the control means or could result from a secondary effect. An example of this secondary effect is where the control means is used to effect a change in the heat output which is sensed by a sensor, the output of which is used to control the LEDs. Such an arrangement will be discussed in more detail later.

In this exemplary embodiment, the LEDs 3 are colour coded for visually indicating corresponding temperature values or ranges. Individual ones of the plurality of LEDs 3 on one side of the VDU 2 differ from one another in their shade of blue, and the LEDs 3 on the opposite side of the VDU 2 differ from one another in their shade of red. In this way multiple blue and multiple red LEDs are provided, but will be understood that the application of the teaching of the present invention is not to be construed as limited to this specific arrangement. The LED's are desirably arranged beside one another such that adjacent LED's differ or vary slightly from their neighbour in their exact shade. In an exemplary arrangement, the lightest shade of blue indicates the lowest temperature, and the darkest shade of red indicates the highest temperature. The operational status of the heater 1 is represented as a visual indication to a user by the LEDs 3 displaying indicia representative of the real-time temperature generated by the fan heating unit 10. For example, if the real-time temperature indicated by the LEDs 10 is relatively low- i.e. one or more of the blue LEDs are illuminated- it is an indication that the heater 1 is set to operate at a low temperature. However, if the real-time temperature indicated by the LEDs 3 is relatively high - i.e. the red LEDs are selectively activated- it is an indication that the heater 1 is set to operate at a high temperature.

Alternatively the VDU could be provided in a simpler arrangement whereby the entire ring changes colour in response to changes in the operational mode of the heater. In this arrangement a blue ring would indicate a first setting and a red ring a second setting or mode. It will be understood that it is not intended to limit the teaching of the present invention to any specific choice of colour, in that user preference may determine that blue and red are not the desired colour codes used to indicate the changes in the operational mode of the heater.

It will be understood that the grill is provided to cover a circular opening 30 that is provided on the front panel 15 for accommodating the passage of air heated by the fan heating unit 10 in the hollow interior region 8 therethrough. The grill is formed from a plurality of longitudinal spaced apart fins 32 which extend transversely across the opening 30 thereby defining a circular vent, the fins 32 of the grill preventing access to the interior region of the heater. As was mentioned above, fan heaters are typically designed such that the vent through which the heated air passes is located on a front face of the fan heater. Desirably such an opening 30 occupies a major portion of the front panel 15. As the grill is used to prevent user access to the interior portion of the heater through the opening 30 it will also be understood that the grill has a footprint which is such as to occupy a major area of the front panel 15. In the exemplary embodiment, the grill occupies 70% to 90% of the surface area of the front face of the heater, and preferably the gill occupies 75% to 85% of the surface area of the front face. The VDU 2 provides an optical-geometrical footprint which at least corresponds to the surface area of the front face of the heater occupied by the grill. As was also mentioned above, the secondary display is desirably orientated relative to the grill such that it extends at least about a portion of the perimeter of the grill, and desirably defines the perimeter of the grill. In this way the VDU 2 extends around the edge of the grill resulting in a display which has a significant presence on the front face of the heater and is easily identifiable by a user at a distance from the heater. It is also dimensioned significantly or has an overall footprint larger than any traditional control display such as the LCD 28. The VDU 2 is shaped or dimensioned in this arrangement such that is of a similar shape to the grill. By defining the location of the secondary display relative to the grill and providing it at least about a portion of the perimeter or edge of the grill, the resultant footprint of the overall VDU is at least as large as that of the grill. As is evident from an inspection of Figure 1 , the exemplary embodiment of the secondary display provided in accordance with the teaching of the invention is annular defining an inner central portion within which the grill is visible therethrough. In this way the central portion of the secondary display defines a circular passageway 34 with a diameter substantially corresponding to the diameter of the grill and correspondingly of the opening 30 on the front panel 15 which is occluded by the grill. The secondary display is mounted on the front panel 15 so that the passageway 34 is coaxial with the opening 30. In this way air heated in the hollow interior region 8 by the fan heating unit 10 flows through the passageway 34 for heating an environment external to the heater 1. In this way it will be understood that the passageway 34 is in fluid communication with an air vent formed on the heater 1. Such an arrangement whereby an air flow generated within the heater passes through an aperture defined by the secondary display is an important feature of the teaching of the present invention as it illustrates the relative dimensions of the secondary display to the overall front face of the heater. It will be understood that if the grill was not provided in a circular arrangement or where the secondary display did not extend completely about the perimeter of the grill that nevertheless at least a portion of the secondary display would be proximal to the grill and adjacent to the air passageway through which heated air is vented from the heater.

While it is envisaged that the secondary operational display may simply provide a visual indication of the operational mode of the heater, the invention also provides for the light output of the display to vary with the actual temperature output of the heater as opposed to simply the operational status. To achieve this level of sophistication, a sensor 36 may be provided as part of the heater, typically within an internal portion of the housing, and, if provided, is configured to provide a sense signal indicative of the air temperature value being output from the heater and/or the ambient temperature within the room environment. The VDU 2 in such an arrangement may be in communication with the sensor 36 for receiving the sense signal therefrom. In use, a user may select the operating temperature of the electrical heating element 12 of the fan heating unit 10 by depressing either the upper scroll button 23 or the lower scroll button 24. The selected operating temperature is then displayed on the LCD 28 of the primary display. Initially, all the LEDs 3 of the secondary display are switched off. As the air temperature gradually increases due to the fan heating unit 10 the first LED 3 lights in response to the sense signal received from the sensor 36. The first LED 3 which lights is the one which is the lightest shade of blue. As the temperature of the air increases further, the adjacent LED 3 to the first blue LED 3 lights. The second blue LED 3 which lights is the next lightest shade of blue. This process continues until all the blue LEDs 3 are lighting, in other words, one half of the VDU 2 is emitting light. As the air temperature increases further due to the fan heating unit 10 the first red LED 3 lights in response to the sense signal received from the sensor 36. The first red LED 3 which lights is the one which is the lightest shade of red and is adjacent the LED 3 which is the darkest shade of blue. As the temperature of the air increases further a second red LED 3 lights. The second red LED 3 is a darker shade of red that the first red LED 3 which is lighting. This process continues until all the red LEDs 3 are lighting, in other words both halves of the VDU 2 are emitting light. Thus, the LEDs 3 sequentially light from the lightest shade of blue to the darkest shade of red. As the LEDs 3 sequentially light they define a circumferential path which is indicated by the arrow 38 and represents the real-time air temperature. If the temperature is reduced as a result of electrical heating element 12 operating at a lower setting the LEDs 3 will sequentially turn off. If the heater 1 is located in a dark environment the operational status of the heater 1 can be determined by viewing the LEDs 3 on the VDU 2. It will be appreciated that in contrast traditional displays such as the LCD 28 are not viewable.

In the sequential lighting arrangement just described the LEDs are selectively illuminated to provide a representation of the ambient air conditions. In an alternative arrangement the LEDs could also be used to provide an indication of whether the ambient room temperature has reached a pre-selected temperature value. Such indication may be achieved by associating individual ones of the plurality of LEDs with predefined temperature values. It will be appreciated for example that typical operating conditions of such heaters are in the range 5 to 30 degrees Celsius and that by having for example 25 LED's arranged circumferentially about the grill that it is possible to selectively illuminate the LEDs dependent on the actual ambient temperature being read. In this way the illumination of any number of LEDs will be indicative of a sensed temperature. To provide additional user information, a selected desired temperature may be input to the heater and to relay this temperature information to the user a selected appropriate LED may be illuminated either as a constant light output or a flashing sequence indicative that this is a desired temperature. Continued operation of the heater will cause the ambient room temperature to gradually increase to match the desired temperature which will cause corresponding illumination of those LEDs immediately preceding the indication LED. Once the ambient temperature matches the preselected temperature a continuous line of LEDs will be illuminated, and the user will know from afar that the actual temperature within the room meets their preselected temperature.

It will be understood that the sensor could provide an indication of the ambient temperature proximal to the heater body or by use of infra red or similar technology could provide an indication of the temperature at one or more locations about the room thereby providing a more accurate reading of the actual ambient temperature. The sensor, in addition to the prompting of the illumination of the secondary display provided by the LEDs could also be used to control actual operation of the heater.

While the individual light sources that form the secondary display have been described with reference to LED's it will be understood that such technology is provided as an example of the lighting technology that could be used in provision of a secondary display. The person skilled in the art will appreciate that it is not intended to limit the application of the teaching of the invention to LED technology. Furthermore where the LED's have been described with reference to monocolour LEDs it will be appreciated that one of more of the LEDs could be provided as a multicoloured LED whose actual light colour output will vary with the control signal applied thereto.

The method of setting the operating temperature of the electrical heating element 12 has been described using scroll buttons 23, 24. Instead of providing scroll buttons, it will be understood that in a variation to that heretofore described that the VDU 2 may comprises an input means for facilitating setting of the operating temperature of the electrical heating element 12. The VDU 2 may be provided as a touch sensitive screen with an inherent input means. Touching the VDU 2 at the appropriate one of the LEDs 3 generates a control signal which is read by the electrical heating element 12. Alternatively, the input means may be provided as a moveable slider. Moving the slider to be aligned with the appropriate one of the LEDs 3 generates a control signal which is read by the electrical heating element 12. Selecting one of the LEDs 3 using either a tactile VDU 2 or a slider as an input means results in the selected LED 3 lighting indicating the selected temperature. The other LEDs 3 representing temperatures lower than the selected LED 3 sequentially light up as the temperature gradually increases. The LEDs 3 representing temperatures above the selected temperature do not light up as these temperatures will not be reached by the fan heating unit 10. Thus, if the heater 1 is located in a dark environment the selected temperature can be determined by viewing the VDU 2.

It will be understood that what has been described herein are illustrative diagrams of the heater provided in accordance with the teaching of the invention to assist in an understanding of the invention. Such exemplary arrangements are not to be construed as limiting the invention in any way, except as may be deemed necessary in the light of the appended claims. For example, the control means has been described as comprising a control panel with an LCD. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that a bi-state bistable switch could also provide the control means. Such a switch when depressed to a first state turns on the heater, and when the switch is depressed to a second state turns off the heater.

The words comprises/comprising when used in this specification are to specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps or components but does not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers , steps, components or groups thereof.

Claims

Claims 1. A portable electric fan heater comprising:
A housing having a plurality of faces, the housing defining an interior volume of the heater; a grill occupying a major portion of one of the faces of the heater; a heating unit provided within the interior volume of the housing; and a controller for controlling the heating unit; the controller operably providing a primary indicator of the operational status of the heater, the heater additionally comprising a secondary indicator provided on an external face of the housing and having an output responsive to the controller for providing a visual perceptible output representative of the operational status of the heater, and wherein the secondary indicator defines a border about at least a portion of the perimeter of the grill.
2. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the secondary indicator encompasses the grill so that the shape of the footprint of the secondary indicator is substantially similar to the shape of the footprint of the grill.
3. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the secondary indicator defines an opening which is fluid communication with a vent for accommodating a stream of air therethrough.
4. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the grill occupies 70% to 90% of the surface area of the front face of the heater, and the secondary indicator provides an optical-geometrical footprint which at least corresponds to the surface area of the front face of the heater occupied by the grill.
5. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any claims 1 to 3, wherein the grill occupies 75% to 85% of the surface area of the front face of the heater, and the secondary indicator provides an optical-geometrical footprint which at least corresponds to the surface area of the front face of the heater occupied by the grill.
6. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the secondary indicator includes at least one light emitting means.
7. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 6, wherein the secondary indicator comprises a plurality of light emitting means.
8. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 6 or 7, wherein the light emitting means are configured to provide two or more distinct different colour outputs.
9. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 6 to 8, wherein the light emitting means are configured to provide an output representative of corresponding temperature values or ranges of temperature.
10. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 7 to 9, wherein the light emitting means may be activated or deactivated sequentially.
11. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 10 wherein the light emitting means are configured such that the sequential activation or deactivation is provided in response to changes in the operating mode of the heating means.
12. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 10 or 11 , wherein the light emitting means are configured such that the sequential activation or deactivation is provided in response to change in a sensed ambient temperatures.
13. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any one of claim 10 to 12 wherein, the light emitting means are arranged to define a path across the face of the housing, the path being suitably illuminated by selective activation or deactivation of individual ones of the light emitting means.
14. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 6 to13, wherein the visually perceptible output provided by the secondary indicator is indicative of real-time temperature generated by the heating means.
15. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 14, wherein the heater further comprises a heat sensor for providing an output signal representative of a sensed temperature.
16. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 15, wherein the sensor is in communication with the secondary indicator for communicating the output signal representative of the sensed temperature thereto.
17. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 15 or 16, wherein the sensor output signal is indicative of the air temperature value being output from the heater.
18. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any one of claims 15 to 17, wherein the sensor output signal is indicative of the ambient temperature within the room environment.
19. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 6 to 18, wherein the light emitting means are provided as elements of a visual display unit.
20. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 19, wherein the visual display unit is secured to the housing.
21. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 18 to 20, wherein the dimensions of the visual display unit defines a passageway for facilitating the flow of air therethrough.
22. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 19 to 21 , wherein the heating means is located on one side of the grill and the visual display unit is located on the opposite side of the grill.
23. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any of claims 19 to 22, wherein the visual display unit is responsive to a user input of an instruction to the heating means for selecting the operating temperature thereof.
24. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 23, wherein the visual display unit includes a touch sensitive input means for facilitating a user selecting a predetermined temperature by touch.
25. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in claim 24, wherein the input means comprises a moveable slider for facilitating a user selecting a predetermined temperature by moving the slider to an appropriate position.
26. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any one of claims 23 to 25, wherein visual display unit is configured to effect activation of at least one light emitting means of the visual display unit in response to a user selected temperature.
27. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the heating unit comprises a fan heating unit.
28. A portable electric fan heater as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the orientation of the secondary indicator relative to the grill is such as to generate optical-geometrical footprint which is at least as large as the geometrical footprint of the grill.
29. A display being co-operable with a heater as claimed in any of claims 1 to 28 for providing a visually perceptible indicator of the operational status of the heater, the display defining a passageway in fluid communication with a vent on the heater for accommodating air heated by the heater therethrough.
30. A heater substantially as described hereinbefore with reference to the accompanying drawings.
PCT/EP2009/058359 2008-07-02 2009-07-02 A portable electric fan heater WO2010000822A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0812085A GB2461540B (en) 2008-07-02 2008-07-02 A heater including an independent visual indicating means
GB0812085.9 2008-07-02

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WO2010000822A1 true true WO2010000822A1 (en) 2010-01-07

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