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How would you heat an outdoor dining space in Chicago?

Erin Holohan Haskell
Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,555
edited August 2020 in THE MAIN WALL
Chicago has launched a contest for innovative solutions for outdoor dining this winter to help restaurants make it through the pandemic. Three winners will get prizes of $5,000 each.

President
HeatingHelp.com
«1

Comments

  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,624
    edited August 2020
    Infrared heaters: natural gas, propane, or electric. Why try to reinvent the wheel?
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    HVACNUTluketheplumberHenry
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,555
    How about some heated benches/seats like the players use during NFL games? Or at this ski resort? https://dragonseats.com/ski-resorts/
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
    Grallert
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,810
    First I'd insulate the floor, then put up some insulated walls, then add a roof, and a heater
    Oh nevermind, that's indoors...
    In all honesty, why bother trying to make some kind of outdoor seating in that climate.
    steve
    mattmia2JohnNYSolid_Fuel_ManZman
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,328
    I'd go with a combination of @JohnNY 's infrared heaters -- which do work very well, and @Erin Holohan Haskell 's heated seats -- but with one addition: you absolutely have to keep the wind off the diners and the food. That means draught barriers surrounding at least part of the dining area. Now whether your local administration will allow that... I couldn't say.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    Grallert
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,555
    A heated table could keep your soup warm too. Win-win! ;)
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
    JohnNYGrallert
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,422
    Don’t forget to include one of these for each table.—NBC

    Erin Holohan HaskellHVACNUTZmanmotoguy128
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,792
    Would the cost to operate the heating system in the "outdoor arena" be cost-effective?

    Tuna salad sandwich and a hot dog for $475.00 is the new "Surf and Turf"

    Corona beer might be $55.00 add $17.00 for the Lime
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    I agree, low temperature radiant surfaces. A radiant foot warmer, bench and table top. Heat the objects not the space.

    If you are tall those overhead radiant can be very uncomfortable, and your feet under the table freeze, and they must be energy hogs.

    I had a glass top radiant desk at the RPA show in SLC many years ago. ThermoFin U plates routerd into the top, glass above a small electric boiler in the drawer.
    It was set on a piece of Warmboard with tube connected, and had the hydronic concrete dog connected also.

    Need to dig out some pics.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Tim Potter
    Tim Potter Member Posts: 261
    @JohnNY partial load
    @Erin Holohan Haskell heated bench, Thumbs up
    @Jamie Hall Block the wind
    @hot_rod Radiant Dog idea, pick any person/animal you like
    radiant floor & table, thumbs up also

    a little bit of heat from many sources



    Sun Valley Lodge, still has this setup.
    Sliding "windows" to control the wind.
    nice that you can submerge to warm up when its really cold though....
    Winter Park, CO & Lenexa, KS
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 806
    Electric Radiant floor, walls. Turn on when occupied. Infrared is radiant heat as well.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,591
    I built heated dining patio in Canada. Wind screens; radiant trestle; and heated floor. The latter is required because overhead radiant leaves legs and feet under tables chilly. My creation didn't work well at all. Some folks like toasty feet while others get sweaty down there. Guys with thinning hair need heat from up there while baldies feel the burn.

    An extra high glass ceiling/roof simulates outdoor experience.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,082
    How about keeping some of these around? Now we need to invent an automatic napkin! o:)


    mattmia2
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,082
    Maybe this: would be a "Smart" move for modern dining. B)
    Solid_Fuel_ManEdTheHeaterManttekushan_3
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,306
    How would I heat it? By keeping it open only in warm weather!
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,726
    Ironman said:

    How would I heat it? By keeping it open only in warm weather!

    Now that's green! 100% reclaimed heat with 0 capture cost—I think that puts the COP up around, I don't know, ∞?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    Plenty of waste heat from a restaurant kitchen, refrigeration, exhaust hoods, appliances. It would be nice to capture and us that. Just a refrigeration heat reclaim tank would be a first step.

    Wonder what the cost is to run gas fired IR overheads for an evening.

    That being said, I have dined outside in Chicago at various AHR shows over the years, snow on the sidewalks. My Italian guests would shake their head how (or why) we heat the great outdoors in the winter :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,252
    Yes! The cone of silence Chief! 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 977
    ghost pepper in food.
    EdTheHeaterManErin Holohan Haskell
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 433
    I would not think of doing a job like that for any restaurant. The return on the investment is not there.

    Reclaiming heat from the flue gasses will require a system of coils in the breaching, pipe work to the coils in a fan unit and duct work to bring the heat down to floor level. Besides, there just ain't enough BTUH in that recovery system.

    Another source of heat input will be required to heat the out door spaces. After all is said and done the affected outdoor area will need some inexpensive side walls to keep the wind and freezing temperatures from pulling all the heat away from the diners.

    That being said you now have entrapped air for all the diners to breath. To prevent a corona virus spread you will need something like the REME- HALO air purification system to kill the germs, viruses, and bacteria brought in by the diners.

    Also, social distancing will use up twice twice the space needed for setting that a normal indoor setting requires.

    And, if all that is approved by the building department the health authorities will not approve that until a hefty donation is made to some politician.

    Jake

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,628
    hot_rod said:

    Plenty of waste heat from a restaurant kitchen, refrigeration, exhaust hoods, appliances. It would be nice to capture and us that. Just a refrigeration heat reclaim tank would be a first step.

    Wonder what the cost is to run gas fired IR overheads for an evening.

    That being said, I have dined outside in Chicago at various AHR shows over the years, snow on the sidewalks. My Italian guests would shake their head how (or why) we heat the great outdoors in the winter :)

    If it is below about 40 f out, i am always cold in the outdoor spaces with the overhead radiant heaters. The top of my head is warm but the rest of my body is cold.

    Maybe a return to the 100% outdoor air post previous pandemic systems?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,792
    Jenkins in Pleasantville NJ has the plans for the Heated Seats the NFL uses. I think his father invented them when his kids were playing football in high school. Some Legal Mumbo Jumbo said the Phila Eagles had an unfair advantage when they used them, so the entire league was able to use them. Not sure of the details, but I am sure of the Jenkins Seat origin.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    Watts radiant had some radiant feet warmers that you could slide your feet into. I think they were build around their radiant wire products, not sure if they made prime time :)
    I've done a lot of cold weather motorcycle riding with heated grips and heated vests. Give diners a Milwaukee heated jacket or vest while the eat.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,792
    hot_rod said:

    Watts radiant had some radiant feet warmers that you could slide your feet into. I think they were build around their radiant wire products, not sure if they made prime time :)
    I've done a lot of cold weather motorcycle riding with heated grips and heated vests. Give diners a Milwaukee heated jacket or vest while the eat.

    Best idea yet!

    Just try on this vest that we just sanitized because we don't know who used it before you.

    Bob. I think it is a great idea... really... Just need to have that sanitizing spray and hang the unused vests in the UV lit closet for an hour before next use.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552

    hot_rod said:

    Watts radiant had some radiant feet warmers that you could slide your feet into. I think they were build around their radiant wire products, not sure if they made prime time :)
    I've done a lot of cold weather motorcycle riding with heated grips and heated vests. Give diners a Milwaukee heated jacket or vest while the eat.

    Best idea yet!

    Just try on this vest that we just sanitized because we don't know who used it before you.

    Bob. I think it is a great idea... really... Just need to have that sanitizing spray and hang the unused vests in the UV lit closet for an hour before next use.
    Not unlike airline, bus, taxi, Uber, and church seat I suppose :)
    For awhile the grocery store near me was spraying shopping carts each use, that seems to have tapered off.

    How hot would a vest need to be to kill bacteria :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • bill_brooks
    bill_brooks Member Posts: 36
    i used to work with an old mill wright who helped me fabricate prototype components for testing on mining machinery.
    his famous word of caution was "wait awhile". this phrase was
    issued when he saw a flaw in my designs, trying to save us from
    a calamity. i heard him utter that phrase on many ocassions.
    with age, brings wisdom.

    regarding heating of outdoor eating spaces, the cost could be
    very expensive. the return on investment being in the red, perhaps. what if the wuhflu becomes just another seasonal flu,
    and no longer a threat to indoor diners?

    how will the costs of the outdoor venue be reconciled? the rush
    to build may end up being a colossal flop. the best advice.......

    wait awhile!
  • UKN
    UKN Member Posts: 2
    Do remember some very cold and windy late fall and winter days in my fav city of Chicago; especially in Old Town during the late 60's. Since the Chicago steam system is very limited and certainly well out of date and in poor condition it's use and reliance is probably out of the question. Firstly, they need some good wind protections using modular partitions; then modular sub floors including hot water circulating pipes for quick connections for assembly/disassembly together with "plug-in" quick connections/disconnections to heated chair/bench seats and tables as well. The establishments would require a minimum of protective/warm clothing. Most modules can be 3D printed with or without the recirculating pipes and a system of quick connections added. As the weather warms all modules would be disassembled and again reused next season, pandemic or not. The hot water source could be a number of things; if in the hub, there are tunnels underneath the city which perhaps could be utilized and hot water could be centralized in number of areas using electricity or gas fired boilers. If outside the hub the heating source would be with "building blocks" boilers using gas fired or electric powered boilers depending on size and locations. Since this is a City projects perhaps solar source for the electricity would be proper. The electricity produced would be used alternatively assisting heating restaurant premises during cold season and alternatively changed to building/tenant use during warmer seasons. There are large number of roof top footage available versus restaurants within each and every block. It's an opportunity for the city to go solar big time and be the avant garde city of US.
  • stonebutson
    stonebutson Member Posts: 24
    Sad times that we've been through before ( triple oversized boilers and open windows - lost art of steam) - 100% make up air with air to air heat exchange and let's bring this party inside. What's the difference?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,628

    Sad times that we've been through before ( triple oversized boilers and open windows - lost art of steam) - 100% make up air with air to air heat exchange and let's bring this party inside. What's the difference?

    And because this is the US, many of those buildings in Chicago still have those systems.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,082
    Here's a simple idea: Use a lamp sorta like this in the center of the table... but have goosnecks and some sort of sensor that sees when somebody is sitting in front of it. Then install these... instead of lights. Have the patrons sign a waiver about getting burned! o:)

    Yours, Larry

    Zman
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,792
    Had nothing better to do so I made this drawing.

    SOLAR EATING MODULE


    I used the vinyl walls on my front porch at home. There is a company that will make the sides permanent with roll-up vinyl windows.
    Now we need a mechanical and/or electrical engineer to design the battery, solar, and control system.

    Each unit should be self-sustaining by absorbing solar energy in the daytime, then storing it for the evening.

    Electric floor heat already exists, solar panels already exist, and batteries already exist. Now some kid at MIT or Cal Tech needs to make it work.

    The size needs to be standardized to fit in parking spaces at malls and use parking in front of storefronts on city streets.


    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,792
    edited September 2020
    Afterthought. The battery compartment can be a large flat water tank well insulated on the bottom and sides. The solar panel can be Hydronic. This might cost less to build. remove the water to transport. Fill with water to operate.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,423
    I rode on my first heater ski lift chair last winter in Big Sky Montana and I am sold. Heated seats and a bubble dome makes for great comfort.
    For outdoor spaces, I don't think in-floor radiant is very effective. It is just too low temp and is not very noticeable when people are wearing shoes, socks, and long pants.
    My vote would be strategic windbreaks, radiant seating, and infrared heat overhead.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,423

    Here's a simple idea: Use a lamp sorta like this in the center of the table... but have goosnecks and some sort of sensor that sees when somebody is sitting in front of it. Then install these... instead of lights. Have the patrons sign a waiver about getting burned! o:)

    Yours, Larry

    @Larry Weingarten
    Where can I get some of those bulbs?
    I have a great place for them over the hot tub :|
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,082
    Hi @Zman , I found you one on Ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vtg-Antique-Portable-Electric-Heater-1920s-Copper-Radiant-Cast-Iron-Base-WORKS/164198074357?hash=item263af7c7f5:g:YMMAAOSwqvVevHfM It's probably not grounded, so would be a perfectly risky thing to put over the tub! >:)

    Yours, Larry
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,792
    @Zman

    Does your wife know you have been reading murder mystery novels? The electrocution in the hot tub is old school crime-solving 101.

    You need to get more creative! :smiley: LOL
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
    Zman
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 2,628
    edited September 2020
    My grandma had one of those from probably the 50's. It looked fairly modern, the lack of zip code but some area number for detroit made me think it was older.
  • motoguy128
    motoguy128 Member Posts: 335
    Maybe cheaper to just modify the indoor space double the air change rate and 30% outdoor air. Or add a LOT of ceiling fans and again increase outdoor air for ventilation.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    Even if you got a mass below the dinners to say 80°, that would more comfortable than a 20° side walk.
    A common flat plate solar thermal collector on a 20° ambient day, 200 BTU/sq. ft solar radiation ( full sun is considered 317 BTU/ sq. ft) 200 is a reasonable winter radiation number.
    Supplying 95° water the collector would be about 37% efficient. A PV module probably less than 1/2 that, maybe 15%.
    A flat plastic tank of water, 6" edge and bottom insulation, let the solar charge it all day. Dump any reclaim refrigeration into it also.

    189 days of sunshine a year in Chicago, if you can find winter sunshine in downtown Chicago. Maybe a wind spinner is a better option in the windy city.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,555
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