issue: October 2009 APPLIANCE Magazine
Feature: Ignition Systems & Gas Technology
Responsible Gas Technology
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Tim Somheil, editor
Gas technology continues making efficiency and emissions inroads.
Saint-Gobain’s Mini-Igniter Model 746 reaches 1800°F/980°C in under 5 seconds operating at 240 V. Standard and custom holder designs can be supplied using steatite, cordierite, or alumina.
The environmental train isn’t slowing down no
matter how the economy fares, and there’s little doubt that the coming
years will see more standards affecting gas technology. Emissions will
need to be cut and efficiency will need to increase, and efficiency
standards will likely be put in place for appliances that haven’t had
to deal with them in the past.
appliances are often ignored, or at least moved to the bottom of the
priority list, during the process of developing standards for white
goods. As APPLIANCE magazine reported in the 43rd Annual Report on
Cooking Appliances in our July/August issue, OEMs in the United States
and Europe have been largely left to their own devices as to how to
measure, and promote, the energy efficiency of their products. Further
confusing the issue on the consumer end is the lack of comparability
between electric and gas cooking efficiency—but it is clear that so
far, much of the OEMs’ cooking efficiency promotional efforts, in North
America, Europe, and Japan, are focused on electric products, and, in
particular, on induction cooking.
burner, igniter, control, and other technologies behind cooking,
drying, and heating with gas are more green than they have ever been.
Test data show Sabaf’s Series II AE burners have an efficiency level of 69%, well above the 52% European provision and above the 56% efficiency found on several other burners on the market.
The Social Responsibility of Design
S.p.A. (Brescia, Italy; www.sabaf.it) unveiled new high-efficiency
burners earlier this year at the Milan Furniture Salon. At an event
named +LCD –CO2: The Environmental and Social Responsibility of Design,
staged in cooperation with premium cooking appliance producer Foster
S.p.A. (Brescello, Italy; www.fosterspa.it), Sabaf demonstrated new
Series II AE and Series II AEO burners. The supplier said its
technology places it well ahead of EU targets to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by 20% and achieve energy savings of 20% by 2020.
new burners allow an appliance OEM to reduce gas consumption for energy
savings; reduce emissions to exceed green gas standards; and provide
appliance consumers with the benefits of reduced cooking times and
AE stands for Alta (High)
Efficienza (Efficiency), and laboratory data on the Series II AE
burners show an efficiency of 69%. Switching to the new series is made
easy for OEMs already using the standard Series II burners because the
Series AE has the same fit. Manufacturing dies, for example, will not
need to be changed to make the transition.
Chinese market requires the use of burner cap materials that resist
higher temperatures, such as brass. The O in Series II AEO burners
stands for Ottone (Brass). This series has brass burner caps and is
designed to be totally interchangeable with the Series AE. This series
is also recommended for the semi-professional sector and for Middle
East markets. The covers on both burners are designed so they cannot be
put on incorrectly, so the user gets the correct functionality. Both
types also have standard, incandescent ignition or re-ignition.
The company also launched Dual Double Ring Burners—small, multi-crown
burners designed to be powerful (maximum power of 5.0 kW, with some
versions reaching 6.0 kW), offering a dual control. The component
attains an efficiency of 60% (Sabaf says most multi-crown burners do
not exceed 53–54%). The dual control means the internal crown can be
regulated separately from the external one and allows the burner to be
set down to a power level as low as 0.3 kW for delicate cooking
Remote ignition devices from Channel Products offer different mounting options and a more-compact design, giving appliance OEMs more design flexibility.
size of components is important even in gas technology for appliances.
Smaller parts mean more engineering flexibility, giving OEMs more
options to solve problems and more potential to achieve product
differentiation through design. Channel Products Inc. (Chesterland, OH,
U.S.; www.channelproducts.com) took that approach with new remote
ignition devices. A more-compact design is 40% smaller than previous
offerings, and for even more design flexibility, it can be mounted in
These devices are intended
for use in a variety of applications by their very nature—using remote
ignition devices, with remote power sources, means a spark can be
initiated from a remote location without being attached to the power
grid. Re-ignition systems sense flame and begin sparking to relight the
burner when flame is no longer detected. They also offer a variety of
voltages, “making them a high-quality option for applications such as
ranges, RV applications and BBQ grills,” says Steve Hussell, Channel’s
director of marketing and sales.
Innovating the Future
this summer completed the expansion of its largest international
research center. The $15 million expansion of the R&D facility in
Northboro, MA, U.S. is 60,000 sq ft and the center employs 200
scientists and engineers researching ceramics, plastics, building
materials, and abrasives. Saint-Gobain CEO Pierre-André de Chalendar,
at the opening of the new facility, called innovation “central to our
long-term business strategy.”
The building is
expected to receive a Gold Rating in the U.S. Green Building Council’s
LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program—making it
one of very few North American buildings to qualify for this peak-level
energy-efficiency and sustainability rating. Chalendar said the
building, built with materials from several Saint-Gobain businesses, is
symbolic for the company as it puts increasing focus on meeting
sustainability needs across its product lines.
to the gas appliance industry is Saint-Gobain’s Advanced Ceramics
Igniter Products business, supplying hot surface igniters sold in
voltages from 12 to 208–240 V and used worldwide in heating, cooking
appliances, dryers, pellet stoves, commercial cooking, and other
markets. Its Mini Igniter uses a nonporous, high-strength, proprietary
composite material with high impact strength characteristics that have
made the igniter popular in gas-fired heating applications. The
company’s Crystar igniters are made from recrystallized silicon
carbide, a proprietary advanced ceramic engineered to combine physical
and thermal strength with stable electrical properties.
the suppliers of ignition systems and gas technology are ready to
develop new safe materials and products with higher efficiency and
lower emissions to meet any green standards of tomorrow