/17/project case

Infrared Ground Heater

Engineering that opens new ground
SME (Industrial)
Calgary, Canada
  • Industrial

Thawing the Ground to Ease Excavation

Tangent was contracted to design and engineer an infrared ground heater to thaw frozen ground to ease excavation activities during winter months.

The mechanical scope included mechanical design of the frame, reflector, and burner components. The electrical scope included the integration of a burner control system along with auxiliary instrumentation.

When the client approached Tangent, they had already created and tested their proof-of-concept prototype. Although the prototype confirmed the design idea was sound, it was not designed for ground thawing causing it to melt electronics components during prolonged use. Tangent designed a thermally isolated and modular burner and electronics package that did not suffer from any melting issues and was easily swapped out for maintenance. The cost and weight of the frame design was minimized using Tangent’s FEA software, which also made the product easier to position and transport. Field testing and emissions monitoring were completed to ensure high performance and reliability.

Once the core product launched and obtained market traction, Tangent switched into more of a sustainable engineering role, providing support to the client as required. When the client's end customers requested a custom system with 5 heaters and a propane and accessory storage cabinet, the client was able to mobilize Tangent resources to fulfill the order quickly and efficiently. The product has been successfully deployed and is in-use in colder climate regions of Canada and the USA.