2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Braemar World's First Six Star Ducted Gas Heating Range [DRAFT]


Project Overview

The Braemar six star ducted gas heating range is the first and only in the world to break the six star barrier, making it the most energy efficient heater on the market and representing a 10 to 15 per cent drop in running costs for the consumer, when compared to a 5 star rated ducted gas heating product, and an enormous 30% savings compared to a 3 star rated ducted gas heater.


Seeley International


The project team consisted of a large team of engineers managed by Mark deKoeyer and Paul Allwood and directed by the Executive Chairman and Founder of Seeley International, Frank Seeley AM.

Project Brief

The key motivation for developing the world’s first six star ducted gas heating range was to significantly increase the energy-efficiency of the ducted gas heater, reducing the amount of gas used to heat and therefore reducing the impact on the environment. When less natural gas is used to heat, greenhouse gas emissions are also reduced. Considering that on the star rating chart, every additional star represents a 10 to 15 per cent drop in running costs, the new Braemar six star heating range offers a highly cost effective solution, that is also kind on the environment!

In terms of component design, as far as possible the design incorporated components that are already used in other Braemar gas ducted heaters, ensuring a high manufacturing and stock holding efficiency, and minimum wastage.

Project Need

The key features of the world’s first Braemar six star ducted gas heating THM6 range that distinguish it from all existing Australian ducted gas heating products are an electrically-modulated gas valve that operates at four discrete gas rates, the widest modulation range of any Australian ducted gas heater; a 24Vdc combustion fan motor that operates at four speeds to suit the four gas rates; and a unique modulating control board (MCB) that facilitates the four stage control of the gas valve and combustion fan.

Braemar ducted gas heating also offers two zoning options: standard zoning and Spectrolink Multizone zoning, which allows you to have different temperatures, and different user-programmed automatic operating times, in four independent zones.

All Braemar heaters also feature the InShot Burner™, combustion inducer fan, electronic ignition, Home/Away setting, heat exchanger, multi-level safety controls as standard and flexible installation.

These features mean that overall; the heater can operate much more efficiently over a wider range of heat load conditions and therefore achieve the highest star rating currently on the market for ducted gas heating.

Design Challenge

Seeley International has a strong focus on research and development, investing more than $4 million annually. This ensures it meets its corporate vision – “to lead the world in creating climate control solutions which continue to be highly innovative, of premium quality and inspirational in their delivery of energy-efficiency”. Seeley International’s customer research shows that energy efficiency is one of the key influences in the customer’s decision to purchase a ducted gas heating system, so the company knows the importance of developing more efficient products.

In 2003, Braemar launched a five star energy-efficient heater. In 2008, Braemar saw an opportunity to significantly improve the ease of installation of ducted gas heaters, developing a more compact three and four star range, which consisted of two modular sections rather than a single large heater, allowing installers to split the unit into two parts, making it easier to install.

In 2009, the energy efficiency of Braemar’s ducted gas heating range hit 5.6 stars and in 2012, Braemar launched world’s first six star ducted gas heating range.

The engineering team faced many challenges including the design and optimisation of the control system to achieve the correct balance of gas input, combustion air flow and burner stability to achieve optimum efficiency over a much wider modulating range than other ducted gas heaters on the market. These challenges were overcome through many months of design, testing re-design and re-testing.


Natural gas is a responsible choice for home heating needs. It's kinder to the environment, as it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than most other forms of heating.

In fact, Australian Gas Association research found that gas ducted central heating produced just one third of the emissions of heating produced by black coal-generated electricity. (Source: Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Natural Gas, Australian Gas Association, 2000).

The new six star ducted gas heater is the highest star rating heater on the market. The higher the star rating, the more efficient the heater. Ratings measure what percentage of gas used in the heating process is converted into heat. The higher the rating, the closer to 100% of the gas is being converted into heat.

The minimum thermal efficiency standard specified in AS4556 is 70%. The Braemar THM6 series gas ducted heaters operate at a thermal efficiency of around 93%.

Braemar’s world’s first six star ducted gas heater uses less energy to heat than lower star rating heaters. When you consider that each additional star means 10-15% in energy savings, that's big news for the environment and for Australians.

This award recognises a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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