Heating Large Tent Structures

We had a brilliant question asked earlier this week about heating our SaddleSpans during the winter and so I though I’d write a little case study to explain the options available.


Last February we installed a SaddleSpan 4-Y configuration at the Bluestone Resort in Pembrokeshire.  Being February it was going to be cold and so the client was offered two choices of heating system.

The first option was to use diesel fired heaters that blow warm air under the tent into diffusers that warm up the structure.  This is very good for heating large areas but you cannot control the temperature in different parts of the tent.

The second option, and the one that was taken up, was to use a pressurised hot water system.

We used two large oil fired boilers that arrived in their own 20ft container which pumps hot water into a 2″ pipe that runs around the outside of the tent and at regular intervals pipes into small diffusers located inside that then blows warm dry air into the area.  These small diffusers can be thermostatically controlled and at  Bluestone  24 of the diffusers raised the internal temperature to 26 degrees C when the outside temperature was 2 degrees!   The system was supplied by Watkins Hire who worked closely with us to ensure that everything worked perfectly on the day.

Having warm dry air heating a large structure is essential when it is cold outside.  Using traditional space heaters that generate damp heat creates terrible condensation problems to the point where it can seem like it’s raining inside.  Having water dripping onto a guest speaker at a conference or the bride and groom at their wedding breakfast is really not a good thing.

With the correct heating solution in place we are able to supply our SaddleSpan structures throughout the year and that gives you great flexibility of choice.

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