Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ELECTRIC SKIRTING BOARD RADIATOR AND METHOD OF INSTALLATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/178799
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An electric skirting board radiator comprising: a panel for mounting on a wall; a retention member; and an electric heating cable received between the panel and the retention member; wherein the retention member is configurable between a first state in which the heating cable is movable in between the panel and the retention member and a second state in which movement of the heating cable in between the panel and the retention member is restricted.

More Like This:
JPH0261435FLOOR HEATING PANEL
JP2005024170ELECTRIC WARMER
Inventors:
WADSWORTH, Martin (Bollin Lodge, The Village, Prestbury Cheshire SK10 4DG, SK10 4DG, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/050976
Publication Date:
October 19, 2017
Filing Date:
April 06, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
THE DISCRETEHEAT COMPANY LIMITED (Bollin Lodge, The Village, Prestbury SK10 4DG, SK10 4DG, GB)
International Classes:
F24D13/02; E04F19/04; F24D19/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011033138A12011-03-24
Foreign References:
CN104949187A2015-09-30
EP0176478A11986-04-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARKS & CLERK LLP (1 New York Street, Manchester Greater Manchester M1 4HD, M1 4HD, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. An electric skirting board radiator comprising:

a panel for mounting on a wall;

a retention member; and

an electric heating element received between the panel and the retention member;

wherein the retention member is configurable between a first state in which the electric heating element is movable in between the panel and the retention member and a second state in which movement of the electric heating element in between the panel and the retention member is restricted.

2. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 1 , wherein the panel comprises at least one formation configured to engage the retention member so as to retain the electric heating element between the retention member and the panel.

3. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim, wherein the panel comprises a first side for facing a wall and a second side for facing away from said wall.

4. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 2, wherein the panel comprises a first side for facing a wall and a second side for facing away from said wall and wherein the first side of the panel defines the at least one formation. 5. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 2 to 4, wherein the at least one formation comprises pair of rails defining a channel.

6. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 5, wherein the electric heating element is received between the panel and the retention member by the channel.

7. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 2 to 6, wherein the retention member and the at least one formation co-operate to define a retaining mechanism configured to maintain engagement between the retention member and the at least one formation such that the retention member is held in either the first state or the second state.

8. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 7, wherein the retaining mechanism secures the retention member to the panel in a form-locking manner.

9. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 7 or 8, wherein the retaining mechanism comprises a first retaining portion defined by the at least one formation, and a second retaining portion defined by the retention member so as to hold the retention member in the first state.

10. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 9, wherein the first retaining portion comprises a lug defined by the at least one formation. 1 1. An electric skirting board radiator according to claims 9 or 10, wherein the second retaining portion is defined by a pair of arms of the retention member.

12. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 1 1 , wherein the second retaining portion comprises a lug defined by at least one of the arms of the retention member.

13. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 9 to 12, wherein the retaining mechanism comprises a third retaining portion. 14. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 13, wherein the third retaining portion is defined by the retention member and is configured to engage the first retaining portion so as to hold the retention member in the second state.

15. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 1 1 , wherein the retaining mechanism comprises a third retaining portion defined by the retention member configured to engage the first retaining portion so as to hold the retention member in the second state, and wherein the third retaining portion comprises a lug defined by at least one of the arms of the retention member.

16. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 15, wherein the second retaining portion comprises a lug defined by at least one of the arms of the retention member. 17. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 16, wherein the lug of the third retaining portion is laterally spaced from the lug of the second retaining portion.

18. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 13, wherein the third retaining portion is defined by the at least one formation and is configured to engage the second retaining portion so as to hold the retention member in the second state.

19. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 18, wherein the third retaining portion comprises a lug defined by the at least one formation, and wherein the lug of the third retaining portion is laterally spaced from the lug of the first retaining portion.

20. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 7 to 19, wherein the retaining mechanism is arranged along an outer surface of the at least one formation.

21. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim, wherein the panel comprises a mounting portion configured to receive a corresponding mounting bracket configured for fixing to a wall, and wherein during use the mounting bracket is received by the mounting portion of the panel so as to secure the panel against the wall.

22. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 21 wherein the mounting portion is configured to receive the mounting bracket via a snap-fit engagement. 23. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 7 to 19, wherein the retaining mechanism is arranged along an inner surface of the at least one formation.

24. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 23, wherein the retaining mechanism is located at a distal end of the at least one formation such that during use the retention member is received by the panel in between the panel and the distal end of the at least one formation.

25. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 23 or 24, wherein the retention member comprises elongate panel, a surface of the panel being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

26. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 23 to 25, wherein the retention member comprises an elongate bar, a surface of the bar being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

27. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 23 to 25, wherein the retention member is substantially elongate and comprises a box-shaped cross section, a surface of the retention member being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member. 28. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 23 to 25, wherein the retention member comprises a mounting portion configured to receive a corresponding mounting bracket configured for fixing to a wall, and wherein during use the mounting bracket is received by the mounting portion of the retention member so as to secure the retention member against the wall.

29. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 23 to 27, wherein the retention member is fixed to a wall.

30. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim, wherein the panel is substantially elongate.

31 . An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim, wherein the retention member is substantially elongate.

32. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim, wherein the retention member comprises an inner face and wherein during use the inner face is configured to compressively engage the electric heating element against the panel when the retention member is in the second state.

33. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 32 wherein the retention member comprises a bridge defining the inner face and wherein the bridge comprises two separate portions defining a gap therebetween. 34. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim, wherein the retention member comprises a rear portion configured to bear against a wall, and wherein during use urging of the rear portion against the wall results in movement of the retention member from the first state to the second state. 35. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 34, wherein the rear portion and the inner face co-operate to define a central portion configured to impede heat transfer through the retention member.

36. An electric skirting board radiator according to claim 34 or 35, wherein the rear portion comprises a generally arcuate surface configured to bear against the wall.

37. An electric skirting board radiator according to any of claims 34 to 36, wherein the rear portion comprises two separate sections defining a gap therebetween.

38. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim wherein the retention member is composed of a thermally insulating material.

39. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim wherein the electric heating element is flexible. 40. An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim wherein the panel is composed of a thermally conductive material.

41 . An electric skirting board radiator according to any preceding claim, wherein the panel further comprises a second retention member and a second electric heating element received between the panel and the second retention member, wherein the second retention member is configurable between a first state in which the second electric heating element is movable in between the panel and the retention member and a second state in which movement of the second electric heating element in between the panel and the retention member is restricted.

42. A method of installing an electric skirting board radiator, the electric skirting board radiator comprising:

a panel for mounting on a wall;

a retention member; and

an electric heating element received between the panel and the retention member;

and wherein the method comprises:

placing the electric heating element between the panel and the retention member; and

changing the configuration of the retention member from a first state in which the electric heating element is movable in between the panel and the retention member to a second state in which movement of the electric heating element in between the panel and the retention member is restricted. 43. The method of claim 42, further comprising the step of adjusting the position of the electric heating element relative to the panel.

44. The method of claim 42 or 43, further comprising the step of urging the retention member against a wall so as to change the configuration of the retention member from the first state to the second state.

45. The method of any of claims 42 to 44, wherein the radiator further comprises: a second panel for mounting on a wall; and

a second retention member;

and wherein the method further comprises the steps of:

placing a portion of the electric heating element between the second panel and the second retention member; and

changing the configuration of the second retention member from a first state in which the portion of the electric heating element received between the second panel and the second retention member is movable, to a second state in which movement of the portion of the electric heating element received between the second panel and the second retention member is restricted.

46. The method of claim 44 or 45, further comprising the step of cutting the electric heating element.

47. An electric skirting board radiator retention member, the retention member having a generally elongate body comprising:

a connection portion configured to engage, in use, at least one formation on an electric skirting board radiator panel;

wherein, in use the retention member is configurable between (i) a first state in which an electric heating element is movable within a space defined between the retention member and the electric skirting board radiator panel and (ii) a second state in which movement of the electric heating element within the space is restricted.

48. A retention member according to claim 47, wherein the connection portion at least partially defines a retaining mechanism configured to engage the at least one formation so as to hold the retention member in either the first state or the second state.

49. A retention member according to claim 48, wherein the retaining mechanism secures the retention member to the at least one formation in a form-locking manner.

50. A retention member according to claim 48 or 49, wherein the connection portion comprises a pair of arms at least partially defining the retaining mechanism.

51 . A retention member according to claim 50, wherein the retaining mechanism comprises a first retaining portion defined by the arms and configured to engage a corresponding retaining portion of the at least one formation so as to hold the retention member in the first state.

52. A retention member according to claim 51 , wherein the first retaining portion is defined by a first longitudinally extending lug connected to the arms. 53. A retention member according to claim 51 or 52, wherein the retaining mechanism comprises a second retaining portion configured to engage the corresponding retaining portion of the at least one formation so as to hold the retention member in the second state.

54. A retention member according to claim 53, wherein the second retaining portion is defined by a second longitudinally extending lug connected to the arms.

55. A retention member according to claim 53 or 54, wherein the second retaining portion is laterally spaced from the first retaining portion. 56. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 55, wherein the retention member further comprises an inner face and wherein during use the inner face is configured to compressively engage the electric heating element against the panel when the retention member is in the second state. 57. A retention member according to claim 56 wherein the retention member comprises a bridge defining the inner face and wherein the bridge comprises two separate portions defining a gap therebetween.

58. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 56, wherein the retention member further comprises a rear portion configured to bear against a wall and wherein during use urging of the rear portion against the wall results in movement of the retention member from the first state to the second state.

59. A retention member according to claim 58 when dependent upon claim 48, wherein the rear portion and the inner face co-operate to define a central portion configured to impede heat transfer through the retention member.

60. A retention member according to claim 58 or 59, wherein the rear portion comprises a generally arcuate surface configured to bear against the wall.

61 . A retention member according to any of claims 58 to 60, wherein the rear portion comprises two separate sections defining a gap therebetween.

62. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 61 , wherein the retention member is composed of a thermally insulating material.

63. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 62, wherein the retention member comprises an elongate panel, a surface of the panel being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

64. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 63, wherein the retention member comprises an elongate bar, a surface of the bar being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

65. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 64, wherein the retention member is substantially elongate and comprises a box-shaped cross section, a surface of the retention member being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

66. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 65, wherein the retention member comprises a mounting portion configured to receive a corresponding mounting bracket configured for fixing to a wall, and wherein during use the mounting bracket is received by the mounting portion of the retention member so as to secure the retention member against the wall.

67. A retention member according to any of claims 47 to 65, wherein the retention member is fixed to a wall.

Description:
Electric Skirting Board Radiator and Method of Installation

The present invention relates to an electric skirting board radiator, a retention member for an electric skirting board radiator and a method of installing an electric skirting board radiator.

Buildings are often provided with central heating systems configured to provide heat to the building. Such heating systems typically fall into two categories: (i) wet heating systems; and (ii) electrical heating systems. Wet heating systems typically comprise a boiler configured to provide heat to a working fluid which is distributed around the building via a network of pipes. Heat is dissipated into the rooms of the building via radiators which typically comprise multiple conduits configured to carry the working fluid. However, the network of pipes and radiators required for a wet central heating system is often complex and difficult to install in buildings which are not already fitted with such a wet heating system. Installation of a wet heating system in such a building may therefore be prohibitively expensive since such buildings lack the required network of pipes to channel heated water throughout the building. Electrical heating systems, by contrast, typically comprise a collection of radiators each having an electrical heating element configured to dissipate heat into the rooms of the building. One such example of an electrical heating system radiator is an electrical storage heater, which uses electricity produced during times of the day when the price of electricity is less expensive to generate and store heat within a thermal storage means. The stored heat is then released into the room during times of the day when electricity is more expensive.

A recent development to conventional wet heating systems provides skirting board radiators that are fitted just above the floor and adjacent to the walls of a room. Skirting radiators generally comprise one or more copper pipes that extend generally horizontally around the periphery of the room just above floor level and carry heated water. The pipes may be fitted with heat-dissipating fins at intervals around the room and are enclosed behind a cover panel that is designed to have an appearance similar to a conventional skirting board. Such radiators do not occupy as much wall space as a conventional wall radiator and therefore provide more flexibility in relation to the positioning of furniture and fittings in the room. However, installation of such radiators within a room can be difficult as the joins between adjacent sections of the radiator must be water-tight, and therefore may require a relatively high setting force to achieve adequate sealing. It will be appreciated that this is especially problematic for a join between two adjacent sections formed at an angle to one another, such as in a corner of the room. Corner joints between angled sections of radiator require an angled connector to channel heating fluid around the corner.

It is an object of the present invention to obviate or mitigate one or more problems with existing heating systems. According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided an electric skirting board radiator comprising: a panel for mounting on a wall; a retention member; and an electric heating element received between the panel and the retention member; wherein the retention member is configurable between a first state in which the electric heating element is movable in between the panel and the retention member and a second state in which movement of the electric heating element in between the panel and the retention member is restricted.

It will be appreciated that because the heating element is relatively loosely retained between the panel and the retention member and is therefore moveable when the retention member is in the first state, the position of the heating element between the panel and the retention member may be easily adjusted. Furthermore, when the retention member is in the first state, the retention member helps to retain the heating element between the panel and the retention member and thus prevent the heating element from falling out of the space defined between the panel and the retention member. This is advantageous when the panel is lifted (e.g. when the panel is oriented vertically) and presented to a wall ready for mounting to the wall. It will be appreciated that this allows the position of the heating element to be adjusted when the panel is upright. For example, when the panel is presented to the wall ready for mounting, there may be excess heating element protruding from one end of the panel. The user may therefore pull on the other end of the heating element (which may protrude from an opposite side of the panel) to adjust the position of the heating element relative to the panel so as to get rid of the excess heating element. Alternatively, the user may feed the heating element into the space defined between the panel and the retention member from the end of the panel adjacent the excess heating element so as to get rid of the excess heating element. This is particularly advantageous where the heating element is a flexible heating element, such as, for example, an electrical heating cable.

It will further be appreciated that during assembly, when the panel is secured against the wall (for example, via a mounting feature) the action of securing the panel against the wall may urge the retention member from the first state to the second state. When the retention member is in the second state the heating element is now more tightly retained between the panel and the retention member such that movement of the heating element is restricted. That is to say, the retention member may substantially prevent or hinder relative movement between the heating element and the panel, and/or the heating element and the retention member. As such, once the panel is secured against the wall, the position of the heating element relative to the retention member and the panel is secured. This is advantageous as it allows the position of the heating element to be adjusted up until the point at which the panel is finally secured to the wall. It will be appreciated that reconfiguration of the retention member from the first state to the second state may result from the application of a mounting force which is used to secure the panel to the wall. For example, the user may push the panel against the wall and the wall may bear against the retention member so as to urge the retention member into the second state. It will be appreciated that this is considered to be a relatively easy method of assembly. It will be appreciated that by "configurable" it is meant that at least a portion of the retention member is able to change shape and/or position to either permit or restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member. The panel may comprise at least one formation configured to engage the retention member so as to retain the heating element between the retention member and the panel. It will be understood that the at least one formation of the panel may be any suitable feature or collection of features of the panel configured to engage the retention member. For example, the at least one formation may be a rail, a stud, a clip, a button, a hook, or any other suitable means of engaging the retention member.

The panel may comprise a pair of rails defining a channel. For example, the rails may be longitudinally extending rails and may extend along an entire length of the panel or a part thereof. Alternatively, the rails may take any suitable path that traverses the panel. The rails may be integrally formed with the panel, or may be formed separately to the panel and connected to the panel via any appropriate means.

The electric heating element may be received between the panel and the retention member within the channel. For example, in the first state the retention member may permit the heating element to be movable longitudinally of the channel and in the second state the retention member may substantially restrict or prevent longitudinal movement of the electric heating element along the channel. The retention member and the at least one formation may co-operate to define a retaining mechanism configured to maintain engagement between the retention member and the at least one formation such that the retention member is held in either the first state or the second state. Once the retention member has been engaged with the panel, the retention member may be held in the first state and the retaining mechanism may hinder movement of the retention member to the second state. For example, movement of the retention member from the first state to the second state may require the application of a mounting force sufficient to overcome the hindrance provided by the retaining mechanism. This is advantageous as it prevents accidental movement the retention member from the first state to the second state, such as for example due to the weight of the retention member or due to the accidental application of an external force, for example an object falling on the retention member.

The retaining mechanism may secure the retention member to the panel in a form- locking manner. By "form-locking manner" it is meant a retaining mechanism which prevents separation of the retention member and the panel. For example, the retaining mechanism may secure the retention member to the panel via a snap-fitting engagement. As such, it will be understood that when the retention member is in either the first state or the second state, the retention member may be prevented from being disengaged from the panel by the form-locking retaining mechanism. This is advantageous when the retention member is in the first state as it prevents the retention member and the panel from becoming disengaged when the panel is presented to the wall for mounting. This is also advantageous when the retention member is in the second state as it prevents the retention member from loosening over time, and therefore ensures that the heating element is always pressed against the channel. The retaining mechanism may comprise a first retaining portion defined by the at least one formation, and a second retaining portion defined by the retention member so as to hold the retention member in the first state. It will be appreciated that the first retaining portion may be defined by one or both of the rails. That is to say, the first retaining portion may be a single feature defined by one of the rails, or may be partially defined by a first one of the rails and partially defined by a second one of the rails. For example, the first retaining portion may be a longitudinally extending lug or a protrusion formed by one of the rails, or may be a pair of longitudinally extending lugs or protrusions a first of which is formed by a first one of the rails and a second of which is formed by a second one of the rails.

It will be appreciated that engagement between the first retaining portion and the second retaining portion may act to maintain the retention member in the first state. That is to say, engagement between the first retaining portion and the second retaining portion may prevent disengagement of the retention member and the panel.

The first retaining portion may comprise a lug defined by the at least one formation. For example, where the at least one formation is a pair of rails, the lug may be a longitudinally extending lug defined by at least one of the rails. That is to say, the lug may extend along the panel in a longitudinal direction. It will be appreciated that the lug of the first retaining portion may be configured to engage with the second retaining portion in a form-locking manner. The lug may define a cross-sectional profile which may be constant along the entire length of the panel or a part thereof. Alternatively, the cross-sectional profile of the lug may vary along the length of the panel.

The second retaining portion may be defined by a pair of arms of the retention member. For example, the arms of the retention member may be configured to engage the at least one formation connected to the panel. It will be appreciated that the second retaining portion may be defined by one or both of the arms of the retention member. That is to say, the second retaining portion may be a single feature defined by one of the arms, or may be partially defined by a first one of the arms and partially defined by a second one of the arms. For example, the second retaining portion may be a longitudinally extending lug or a protrusion formed by one of the arms, or may be a pair of longitudinally extending lugs or protrusions a first of which is formed by a first one of the arms and a second of which is formed by a second one of the arms.

The second retaining portion may comprise a lug defined by at least one of the arms of the retention member. The lug may be a longitudinally extending lug defined by at least one of the arms. The retaining mechanism may comprise a third retaining portion. The third retaining portion may be defined by the retention member and is configured to engage the first retaining portion so as to hold the retention member in the second state. That is to say, engagement between the third retaining portion (defined by the retention member) and the first retaining portion (defined by the at least one formation) may prevent movement of the retention member from the second state to the first state, and/or may further prevent disengagement of the retention member and the panel.

The third retaining portion may comprise a lug defined by at least one of the arms of the retention member. For example, the lug may be a longitudinally extending lug defined by at least one of the arms. It will be appreciated that the third retaining portion may be defined by one or both of the arms of the retention member. For example, the third retaining portion may be a lug formed by one of the arms, or may be a pair of lugs a first of which is formed by a first one of the arms and a second of which is formed by a second one of the arms.

The lug of the third retaining portion may be laterally spaced from the lug of the second retaining portion. It will be appreciated that the second and third retaining portions may be defined by the same arm of the retention member. For example, a first arm of the retention member may comprise a pair of longitudinally extending lugs defining the second and third retaining portions. Alternatively, the second and third retaining portions may be partially defined by both arms of the retention member. For example, both arms of the retention member may comprise a pair of longitudinally extending lugs defining the second and third retaining portions. Alternatively, the second and third retaining portions may be defined by different arms of the retention member. For example, the second retaining portion may be defined by a first arm of the retention member, and the third retaining portion may be defined by a second arm of the retention member. It will be understood that during use the arms of the retention member may engage with the at least one formation in a lateral direction that is normal to the major plane defined by panel and which is substantially perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the radiator. In particular, the lateral direction may be substantially parallel to the direction of a mounting force applied to the panel by the user so as to mount the panel to a wall. As such, it will be understood that the term "laterally spaced" is intended to define a spacing between the lugs in the lateral direction.

It will be appreciated that the effect of this lateral spacing is to differentiate between the first and second positions of the retention member. That is to say, when the retention member is in the first state the retention member must be moved in the lateral direction towards the second state by a distance amount equal to or greater than the spacing in order to reach the second state. This permits the heating element to be moveable in between the retention member and the panel, e.g. within the channel, when the retention member is in the first state and to prevent movement of the heating element, within the channel, when the retention member is in the second state.

The third retaining portion may be defined by the at least one formation and may be configured to engage the second retaining portion so as to hold the retention member in the second state. That is to say, engagement between the third retaining portion (defined by the at least one formation) and the second retaining portion (defined by the retention member) may prevent movement of the retention member from the second state to the first state, and/or may further prevent disengagement of the retention member and the panel.

The third retaining portion may comprise a lug defined by at the at least one formation, and the lug of the third retaining portion may be laterally spaced from the lug of the first retaining portion. For example where the at least one formation is a pair of rails, the lug may be a longitudinally extending lug defined by at least one of the rails. It will be appreciated that the first and third retaining portions may be defined by the same rail. For example, the rail may comprise a pair of longitudinally extending lugs defining the first and third retaining portions. Alternatively, the first and third retaining portions may be partially defined by both of the rails. For example, both rails may comprise a pair of longitudinally extending lugs defining the first and third retaining portions. Alternatively, the first and third retaining portions may be defined by different rails. For example, the first retaining portion may be defined by a longitudinally extending lug of a first one of the rails, and the second retaining portion may be defined by a second longitudinally extending lug of a second one of the rails. The retaining mechanism may be arranged along an outer surface of the at least one formation. It will be understood that by the term "outer surface" it is meant a surface of the at least one formation which faces away from the electric heating cable when the electric heating cable is received between the panel and the cable cover. For example, where the at least one formation is a pair of rails defining a groove, each rail may define an inner surface facing the groove and an outer surface, substantially opposite the inner surface, facing away from the groove. The retaining mechanism may be arranged along an outer surface of one or both of the rails. It will be appreciated that this may prevent the retaining mechanism from occupying space within the groove which may otherwise interfere with the insertion of the heating cable within the groove.

The panel may comprise a mounting portion configured to receive a corresponding mounting bracket configured for fixing to a wall, and during installation the mounting bracket may be received by the mounting portion of the panel so as to secure the panel against the wall. For example, the mounting portion may comprise a first pair of longitudinally extending mounting rails and the mounting bracket may comprise a complementary second pair of longitudinally extending mounting rails configured to engage the first pair of mounting rails. The mounting bracket may be connected to the wall via a fixing such as screwing or nailing. Additionally or alternatively, the mounting bracket may be attached to the wall via adhesive.

The mounting portion may be configured to receive the mounting bracket via a snap-fit engagement. For example, the first pair of mounting rails may define a plurality of teeth and the second pair of mounting rails may define a plurality of complementary teeth configured to engage the teeth of the first pair of mounting rails.

The retaining mechanism may be arranged along an inner surface of the at least one formation. It will be understood that by the term "inner surface" it is meant a surface of the at least one formation which faces towards the electric heating element when the electric heating element is received between the panel and the retention member. For example, where the at least one formation is a pair of rails defining a channel, each rail may define an inner surface facing towards the channel. The retaining mechanism may be arranged along an inner surface of one or both of the rails.

The retaining mechanism may be located at a distal end of the at least one formation such that during use the retention member may be received by the panel in between the panel and the distal end of the at least one formation. It will be understood that the term "distal end of the at least one formation" refers to an end of the at least one formation which is furthest away from a surface of the panel contact the heating element. It will be appreciated that this permits the majority of the retention member to be housed within the channel between the distal ends of the rails and the surface of the panel which contacts the heating element. As such the distance between the rails can be made wider so as to accommodate a larger heating element. This is particularly advantageous where the heating element is a film-type, or sheet-like, electrical heating element.

The retention member may comprise an elongate panel, a surface of the panel being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member. The retention member may comprise an elongate bar, a surface of the bar being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

The retention member may be substantially elongate and may comprise a box-shaped cross section, a surface of the retention member being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

The retention member may comprise a mounting portion configured to receive a corresponding mounting bracket configured for fixing to a wall, and during use the mounting bracket may be received by the mounting portion of the retention member so as to secure the retention member against the wall.

The retention member may be fixed to a wall. For example, the retention member may be fixed to the wall via screws, nails and/or adhesive. The panel may be substantially elongate. For example, when mounted against a wall, the panel may define a height in a vertical direction away from a floor towards a ceiling which is smaller than a length of the panel extending horizontally substantially parallel to the floor.

The retention member may be substantially elongate. For example, when mounted against a wall, the retention member may define a height in a vertical direction away from a floor towards a ceiling which is smaller than a length of the retention member extending horizontally substantially parallel to the floor.

The retention member may comprise an inner face and during use the inner face of the retention member may be configured to compressively engage the electric heating element against an inner face of the panel when the retention member is in the second state. It will be appreciated that by compressively engaging the electric heating element against the inner face of the panel (for example, within the channel), the area of direct physical contact between the heating element and the panel is increased. As such, heat transfer from the electric heating element to the panel via conduction is increased, and therefore heat dissipation from the panel into the surrounding environment is also increased. Furthermore, compressive engagement between the retention member and the electric heating element minimises the size of the element-receiving space in between the panel and the retention member e.g. the dimensions of the channel, and thus reduces the amount of heat lost through convection within the space. It will be appreciated that such convection may result in a "chimney effect" in which heated gasses flow along the panel and escape from an end of the panel. By compressively engaging the heating element against the panel, convection issues such as the chimney effect are minimised whilst heat transfer into the panel via conduction is maximised. The retention member may comprise a rear portion configured to bear against a wall, and during installation, urging of the rear portion against the wall may result in movement of the retention member from the first state to the second state. For example, the user may apply a mounting force to the panel in a direction generally normal to the wall. The wall may contact the rear portion of the retention member so as to prevent movement of the retention member relative to the wall. When the mounting force applied by the user is large enough, the panel will move relative to the retention member and the wall so as to move the retention member into the second state.

The rear portion of the retention member and the inner face of the retention member that contacts the element when in the second state may co-operate to define a central portion configured to impede heat transfer through the retention member. The central portion may, for example be a space intended to trap a pocket of air. It will be appreciated that because air is a poor conductor of heat, the trapped air acts to impede heat transfer through the retention member. Alternatively the central portion may be filled with a thermally insulating material such as for example a thermally insulating foam. It will be appreciated that be reducing heat transfer through the retention member, more heat is transferred from the electric cable into the panel of the radiator and in turn more heat is dissipated into the room. The rear portion of the retention member may comprise a generally arcuate surface configured to bear against the wall. In this embodiment, since the surface configured to bear against the wall is generally arcuate, movement of the retention member from the first state to the second state may be achieved even where the mounting force applied to the panel by the user during installation is not normal to the wall, or, for example, when the wall is uneven. The arcuate surface may be semi-circular.

The retention member may be composed of a thermally insulating material. It will be appreciated that a "thermally insulating material" is a material which impedes heat transfer. For example, the retention member may be composed of plastic such as unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyester, polypropylene or polystyrene. It will be appreciated that when the retention member is composed of a thermally insulating material, the retention member does not conduct heat away from the heating element or the panel. As such, the majority of the heat generated by the heating element is conducted away from the heating element by the panel and dissipated into the environment facing away from the wall. Although the retention member may be composed of a thermally insulating material such as a plastic, in alternative embodiments of the invention it will be appreciated that the retention member may be composed of metal. The electric heating element may be flexible. For example, the electrical heating element may comprise a flexible cable heating element. Alternatively or additionally, the electrical heating element may comprise a flexible film heating element. The panel may be composed of a thermally conductive material. A "thermally conductive material" is a material which conducts heat and which preferably has a relatively high thermal conductivity. For example, the panel may be composed of aluminium, copper, steel or graphene. It will be appreciated that because the panel may be composed of a thermally conductive material, the panel is better able to absorb heat from the heating element and then dissipate it into the surrounding environment.

The panel may comprise a first "inner" side for facing a wall and a second "outer" side for facing away from the wall. It will be appreciated that because the second side of the panel faces away from the wall, heat transfer through the second side of the panel transfers heat into the environment facing away from the wall.

The first side of the panel may define the at least one formation. It will be appreciated that because the first side of the panel may define the rails, the heating element and retention member may be hidden from view. This is advantageous as it prevents a user interfering with the heating element and/or the retention member once the skirting board radiator has been installed. Furthermore, the second side of the panel may be absent of any features that may impede the transfer of heat into the environment facing away from the wall, and may also be visually appealing to the user.

The panel may further comprise a second retention member and a second electric heating element received between the panel and the second retention member, wherein the second retention member is configurable between a first state in which the second electric heating element is movable in between the panel and the retention member and a second state in which movement of the second electric heating element in between the retention member and the panel is restricted. It will be appreciated that the radiator may comprise any number of additional electric heating elements, each of which is received between the panel and a retention member moveable from a first state to a second state. It will be appreciated that by comprising more than a single electric heating element, the radiator may be able to dissipate more heat into the surrounding environment. According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided method of installing an electric skirting board radiator, the electric skirting board radiator comprising: a panel for mounting on a wall; a retention member; and an electric heating element to be received between the panel and the retention member; the method comprising: placing the electric heating element between the panel and the retention member; and changing the configuration of the retention member from a first state in which the electric heating element is movable in between the panel and the retention member to a second state in which movement of the electric heating element in between the panel and the retention member is restricted.

It will be appreciated that the electric heating element may be inserted between the panel and the retention member before the panel is presented to the wall for mounting. For example, a user may lay the panel on a floor in a horizontal orientation whilst they place the electric heating element between the panel and the retention member. The user may then lift the panel off the floor so that it is upright. The user may present the panel against a wall where it is desired to be mounted. The position of the electric heating element between the panel and the retention member may be adjusted, such as by sliding of the electric heating element within the space defined between the panel and the retention member. Once the correct position of the electric heating element between the panel and the retention member has been achieved, a mounting force may be applied to the panel which may result in the configuration of the retention member changing from the first state to the second state.

The method may comprise the step of adjusting the position of the electric heating element relative to the panel. It will be appreciated that by adjusting the position of the electric heating element relative to the panel, excess electric heating element may be positioned so that it protrudes predominantly from one side of the panel. For example, one end of the electric heating element may comprise an electrical connection portion configured to connect to an electrical power source via a length of insulated electrical cabling. It is desirable to place the electrical connection portion as close to one end of the panel as possible, so as to minimise the amount of electric heating element positioned between the panel and the connection portion which is not in contact with the panel. By adjusting the position of the electric heating element when the retention member is in the first state, the electrical connection portion may be positioned as close to the panel as possible. The method may comprise the step of urging the retention member against a wall so as to change the configuration of the retention member from the first state to the second state. For example, the user may apply a mounting force to the panel in order to mount the panel to the wall via a mounting bracket and a mounting portion. As a result, the presence of the wall may prevent further movement of the retention member relative to the wall such that the panel is moved relative to the retention member to engage the retention member in the second state. It will be appreciated that step of adjusting the position of the electric heating element relative to the panel may take place before the step of urging the retention member against the wall.

The electric skirting board radiator may comprise: a second panel for mounting on a wall; and a second retention member. The method according to the second aspect of the present invention may further comprise: placing a portion of the electric heating element between the second panel and the second retention member; and changing the configuration of the second retention member from a first state in which the portion of the electric heating cable received between the second panel and the second retention member is movable, to a second state in which movement of the portion of the electric heating element received between the second panel and the second retention member is restricted.

The first and second panels may be laid on a floor by a user and a portion of the electric heating element placed between the first panel and the first retention member, and a further portion of the electric heating element placed between the second panel and the second retention member. The first retention member may then be engaged with the first panel in the first state, and the second retention member may then be engaged with the second panel also in the first state. The first panel may then be presented to the wall, and the position of the electric heating element relative to the first panel adjusted. The first panel may then be mounted to the wall via a mounting portion and a mounting bracket, and the first retention member of the first panel urged into the second state. The second panel may then be presented to the wall, and the position of the electric heating element relative to the second panel adjusted. The second panel may then be mounted to the wall via the same or a different mounting portion and mounting bracket, with the second retention member being urged into the second state by the application of a mounting force. It will be appreciated that the second panel may be mounted to the same wall as the first panel, or may be mounted to a different wall. For example, the second panel may be mounted to an adjacent wall which forms an angle with the first wall. The method according to the second aspect of the present invention may comprise the step of cutting the electric heating element. It will be appreciated that the electric heating element may be a parallel resistance type electric heating element. Such an electric heating element may be cut to any desired length. As such, the position of the electric heating element within the channel may be adjusted to ensure that excess (i.e. unrequired) electric heating element is positioned so that it protrudes predominantly from one side of the second panel. This excess electric heating element may then be cut away. It will be appreciated that the step of cutting the electric heating element may take place after a second or subsequent panel is mounted to a wall. According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided an electric skirting board radiator retention member, the retention member having a generally elongate body comprising: a connection portion configured to engage, in use, at least one formation on an electric skirting board radiator panel; wherein, in use, the retention member is configurable between (i) a first state in which an electric heating element is movable within a space defined between the retention member and the electric skirting board radiator panel and (ii) a second state in which movement of the electric heating element within the space is restricted.

It will be appreciated that the formation on the electric skirting board radiator panel may be a portion of the panel that is suitable for engagement with the retention member. For example, the formation may be a rail or pair of rails defined by the panel.

The connection portion of the retention member body may at least partially define a retaining mechanism configured to engage the at least one formation on the electric skirting board radiator panel so as to retain the retention member in the first state or the second state. The retaining mechanism may secure the retention member to the at least one formation in a form-locking manner. The connection portion may be formed of a pair of arms at least partially defining the retaining mechanism. The retaining mechanism may comprise a first retaining portion defined by the arms and configured to engage a corresponding retaining portion of the at least one formation so as to hold the retention member in the first state. The first retaining portion may be defined by a first longitudinally extending lug of the arms. It will be appreciated that the at least one formation may comprise a pair of longitudinally extending rails, and the corresponding retaining portion may be a longitudinally extending lug defined by at least one of the rails configured to engage the first longitudinally extending lug of the arms. The retaining mechanism may comprise a second retaining portion configured to engage the corresponding retaining portion of the at least one formation so as to hold the retention member in the second state. The second retaining portion may be defined by a second longitudinally extending lug of the arms. It will be appreciated that the at least one formation may comprise a pair of longitudinally extending rails, and the corresponding retaining portion may be a longitudinally extending lug defined by at least one of the rails configured to engage the second longitudinally extending lug of the arms. The second retaining portion may be laterally spaced from the first retaining portion. The retention member may further comprise an inner face and during use the inner face may be configured to compressively engage the electric heating element against the panel when the retention member is in the second state.

The retention member may comprise a bridge defining the inner face. The bridge may comprise two separate portions defining a gap therebetween. For example, the bridge may extend between two arms of the retention member and may be formed with a break such that the bridge is not continuous. This provides the advantage that the arms of the retention member are easier to flex during engagement with the panel. The retention member may further comprise a rear portion configured to bear against a wall and wherein, during use, urging the rear portion of the retention member against a wall results in movement of the retention member from the first state to the second state. The rear portion of the retention member and the inner face of the retention member may co-operate to define a central portion configured to impede heat transfer through the retention member. The rear portion may comprise a generally arcuate surface configured to bear against the wall.

The rear portion may comprise two separate sections defining a gap therebetween. That is to say, the rear portion may comprise a break such that the rear portion is not continuous. This provides the advantage that the arms of the retention member are easier to flex during engagement with the panel.

The retention member may be composed of a thermally insulating material.

The retention member may comprise an elongate panel, a surface of the panel being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

The retention member may comprise an elongate bar, a surface of the bar being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

The retention member may be substantially elongate and may comprise a box-shaped cross section, a surface of the retention member being configured to engage the heating element so as to substantially restrict relative movement of the heating element between the panel and the retention member.

The retention member may comprise a mounting portion configured to receive a corresponding mounting bracket configured for fixing to a wall, and during use the mounting bracket may be received by the mounting portion of the retention member so as to secure the retention member against the wall. The retention member may be fixed to a wall.

It will be appreciated that any of the optional features of any of the aspects of the invention may be combined with any other of the optional features of that or other aspects of the invention. For example, any of the features of the retention member defined above in respect of the first or second aspects of the invention may be applied to the retention member of the third aspect of the present invention.

A brief description of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a schematic cross-section view of an electric skirting board radiator according to a first embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention in which a retention member is in a first state;

Figure 2 is a schematic cross-section view of the electric skirting board radiator of the first embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention in which the retention member is in a second state; Figure 3 is an enlarged schematic cross-section view of a portion of the electric skirting board radiator shown in Figure 1 ;

Figure 4 is an enlarged schematic cross-section view of a portion of the electric skirting board radiator shown in Figure 2;

Figure 5 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a first alternative embodiment of a retention member for use with the electric skirting board radiator according to the first embodiment of the first aspect of the invention; Figure 6 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a second alternative embodiment of a retention member for use with the electric skirting board radiator according to the first embodiment of the first aspect of the invention;

Figure 7 is a schematic cross-sectional view of a third alternative embodiment of a retention member for use with the electric skirting board radiator according to the first embodiment of the first aspect of the invention;

Figure 8 is a schematic cross-section view of a portion of an electric skirting board radiator according to a second embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention in which a retention member is in a first state; Figure 9 is a schematic cross-section view of a portion of the electric skirting board radiator of the second embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention in which the retention member is in a second state.

Figure 10 is a schematic cross-section view of an electric skirting board radiator according to a third embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention;

Figure 1 1 is a schematic perspective view of the electric skirting board radiator of the third embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention;

Figure 12 is a schematic perspective view of an electric skirting board radiator according to a fourth embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention; Figure 13 is a schematic cross-section view of an electric skirting board radiator according to a fifth embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention; and

Figure 14 is a schematic perspective view of the electric skirting board radiator of the fifth embodiment of the first aspect of the present invention.

Figures 1 and 2 show a cross-section of a first embodiment of a skirting board radiator 100a comprising a panel 200, a pair of retention members 300, a mounting bracket 400, and a pair of heating elements 600. The heating elements 600 are flexible electric heating cables of the parallel resistance type. The skirting board radiator 100a is positioned against a wall 500 at a bottom of the wall 500 close to a floor 501 . The panel 200, retention members 300 and mounting bracket 400 are generally elongate and define constant cross-sections along their respective lengths. Furthermore, the panel 200, retention members 300 and mounting bracket 400 are sized such that they are generally the same length, however it will be appreciated that in some embodiments of the present invention the panel 200, retention members 300 and mounting bracket 400 may be of different lengths. It will be appreciated that the panel 200, mounting bracket 400 and retention members 300 may be manufactured using any suitable manufacturing process, such as for example by machining, casting or extruding. The panel 200 defines a pair of longitudinally extending mounting rails 216 each defining a first set of teeth 217. It will be appreciated that the mounting rails 216 and first set of teeth 217 may be considered as a mounting portion of the panel 200. The mounting bracket 400 comprises a pair of longitudinally extending rails 401 each defining a second set of teeth 402. The mounting bracket 400 which is secured to the wall 500 close to the floor 501 and may be secured to the wall 500 by any suitable means, such as for example by screwing, nailing and/or gluing. When the panel 200 is presented to the mounting bracket 400 for mounting against the wall 500, the first and second sets of teeth 217, 402 cause the mounting rails 216 of the panel 200 and the rails 401 of the mounting bracket 400 to deflect relative to one another so as to permit the first set of teeth 217 of the panel 200 to slide over the second set of teeth 402 of the mounting bracket 400. In doing so, the first set of teeth 216 engage the second set of teeth 402 in a snap-fitting (i.e. form-locking) manner to secure the panel 200 to the mounting bracket 400 and therefore secure the panel 200 against the wall 500.

In order to provide relative deflection between the mounting rails 216 of the panel 200 and the rails 401 of the mounting bracket 400, the mounting bracket 400 is typically composed of a resiliently deformable material which is able to deflect in response to the movement of the panel 200. For example, the mounting bracket 400 may be composed of a metal or a polymer having resilient properties. The rails 401 of the mounting bracket 400 are further provided with longitudinally extending flanges 403 disposed at an angle relative to the rails 401 and inclined in a direction away from the second set of teeth 402. The flanges 403 are configured to guide the mounting rails 216 of the panel 200 into position when the panel 200 is presented against the mounting bracket 400 for mounting to the wall 500.

The panel 200 comprises a top skirting fascia 201 configured to substantially extend along the entire length of the panel 200 along a top edge 202 of the panel 200. The top skirting fascia 201 is connected to the panel 200 via a top connection portion 203 which runs along the top edge 202. The panel 200 further comprises a bottom skirting fascia 204 configured to substantially extend along the entire length of the panel 200 along a bottom edge 205 of the panel 200. The bottom skirting fascia 204 is connected to the panel 200 via a bottom connection portion 206 which runs along the bottom edge 205. The top and bottom skirting fascias 201 , 204 are configured to insulate the panel 200 against the wall 500 and the floor 501 respectively, so as to protect the mounting bracket 400, retention members 300, and heating elements 600 from tampering. It will be appreciated that because the heating elements 600 are electrically powered, and because the heating elements 600 generate a relatively large amount of heat, it is desirable to prevent access to the electrical heating element 600 from outside of the skirting board radiator 100a. As such, the top and bottom skirting fascias 201 , 204 comprise a distal edge opposite their respective connection portions 203, 206 which is configured to bear against the wall 500 and the floor 501 respectively so as to prevent access to the mounting bracket 400, retention members 300 and heating cables 600 from outside the skirting board radiator 100a. The top and bottom fascias 201 , 204 are preferably formed of flexible material, such as rubber, in order to account for any unevenness in the surface finish of either the wall 500 or floor 501 .

The panel 200 further defines a first "inner" side 214 for facing towards the wall 500 and a second "outer" side 207 for facing away from the wall 500 when the panel 200 is engaged with the mounting bracket 400. Preferably, the top skirting fascia 201 , second side 207, and bottom skirting fascia 204 present a surface which appears continuous and which is styled to resemble a traditional skirting board. It will be appreciated that the height above the ground 501 at which the mounting bracket 400 is mounted depends upon the vertical height of the panel 200 and vertical height of the bottom skirting fascia 204 when the panel 200 is engaged with the mounting bracket 400. Preferably, the mounting bracket 400 is positioned such that the bottom skirting fascia 204 contacts the floor 501 such that there is no gap between the bottom skirting fascia 204 and the floor 501 . Figures 3 and 4 show an enlarged cross-sectional view of the retention member 300 in engagement with the panel 200. The panel 200 comprises a pair of longitudinally extending rails 208 which define a longitudinally extending channel 209. The rails 208 are defined by the first side 214 of the panel 200 and extend from the panel 200 in a direction generally normal to the wall 500. A heating element 600 is received within the channel 209. The rails 208 define an inner face 210 facing towards the channel 209 and an outer face 21 1 facing away from the channel 209. The inner faces 210 of the rails 208 are configured to retain the heating element 600 within the channel 209. To achieve this, the inner faces of the channel 209 are of a generally concave shape. The inner faces of the rails 208 define an opening 212 between them which is defined as the narrowest point between the inner faces 210. The opening 212 is narrower in a vertical direction than the heating element 600 when the heating element 600 is received within the channel 209. As such, the heating element 600 is retained within the channel 209. However, it will be appreciated that in some embodiments of the invention the inner faces 210 of the channel 209 are not configured to retain the heating element 600 within the channel 209 and therefore the inner faces 210 of the channel 209 may be generally flat in shape (i.e. the inner faces 210 are not concave).

The rails 208 of the panel 200 define a first retaining portion 213 comprising a pair of longitudinally extending lugs defined by the outer faces 21 1 of the rails 208. The retention member 300 defines a second retaining portion 301 in the form of a first pair of longitudinally extending lugs defined by a pair of arms 302 of the retention member

300. The second retaining portion 301 is located at an extremity of the arms 302. The retention member 300 further defines a third retaining portion 303 in the form of a second pair of longitudinally extending lugs defined by the arms 302 which are laterally spaced from the first retaining portion 301 . That is to say, the second and third retaining portions 301 , 303 are spaced apart from one another in a lateral direction, which is a direction substantially normal to the wall 500 when the panel 200 and retention member 300 are presented against the wall 500 for mounting. The second and third retaining portions 301 , 303 are defined by the inside of each of the arms 302 such that each of the pairs of lugs which define the second and third retaining portions

301 , 303 faces towards the other of the lugs.

It will be appreciated that the first retaining portion 213, second retaining portion 301 , and/or third retaining portion 303 may be considered to define a retaining mechanism of the electric skirting board radiator 100a configured to engage the retention member

300 and the panel 200. It will further be appreciated that the second retaining portion

301 and/or the third retaining portion 303 may be considered to define a connection portion of the retention member 300. It will be appreciated that the connection portion of the retention member 300 may comprise any suitable means configured to engage the retention member 300 with the panel 200.

Figures 1 shows the panel 200 and the retention member(s) 300 engaged in a first state in which the heating elements 600 are movable relative to the panel 200. A detailed description of the engagement between the panel 200 and the retention members 300 of the first embodiment is given below with reference to Figure 3, which shows an enlarged portion of the panel 200 and one of the retention members 300 engaged in the first state.

With reference to Figure 3, in the first state the retention member 300 does not contact the heating element 600, and therefore the heating element 600 is free to move within the channel 209. In order to engage the retention member 300 against the panel 200 in the first state, the second retaining portion 301 (defined by the arms 302 of the retention member 300) are pushed over the first retaining portion 213 (defined by outer surfaces 21 1 of the rails 208). In doing so, the arms 302 of the retention member 300 deflect relative to the rails 208 of the panel 200 so as to permit the first retaining portion 213 to slide over the second retaining portion 301 . Contact between the first retaining portion 213 and the second retaining portion 301 prevents separation of the retention member 300 from the panel 200. Furthermore, contact between the first retaining portion 213 and the third retaining portion 303 prevents further movement of the retention member 300 beyond the third retaining portion 303 until a mounting force of sufficient magnitude is applied to the retention member 300. As such, contact between the first retaining portion 213 and the third retaining portion 303 prevents accidental or unintended movement of the retention member 300 beyond the first state. In the first state, the retention member 300 does not bear against the heating element 600, and therefore the heating element 600 may be moved within the channel 209 relative to the panel 200 so as to adjust the position of the heating element 600. However, because the retention member 300 is prevented from separating from the panel 200 by contact between the first retaining portion 213 and the second retaining portion 301 , the heating element 600 is prevented from falling out of the channel 209. This is particularly advantageous when the panel 200 is oriented vertically ready for mounting to the wall 500, and is further advantageous in embodiments of the invention in which the rails 208 do not comprise concave inner surfaces 210. Figures 2 shows the panel 200 and the retention member(s) 300 engaged in a second state in which movement of the heating elements 600 relative to the panel 200 is restricted. A detailed description of the engagement between the panel 200 and the retention members 300 of the first embodiment is given below with reference to Figure 4, which shows an enlarged portion of the panel 200 and one of the retention members 300 engaged in the second state. With reference to Figure 4, in the second state the retention member 300 bears against the heating element 600 and therefore movement of the heating element 600 within the channel 209 is restricted. To move the retention member 300 from the first state to the second state, the user applies a mounting force to the panel 200 in the lateral direction (i.e. in the direction normal to the wall 500). The mounting force presses the panel 200 against the wall 500 and causes a rear portion 304 of the retention member 300 to contact the wall 500, thus preventing further movement of the retention member 300 relative to the wall 500. As such, further movement of the panel 200 in the lateral direction causes the arms 302 of the retention member 300 to deflect outwardly, and causes the third retaining portion 303 to slide over the first retaining portion 213 so as to configure the retention member 300 in the second state. Contact between the first retaining portion 213 and the third retaining portion 303 prevents separation of the retention members 300 and the panel 200. It will be appreciated that the mounting force is a force of sufficient magnitude so as to cause the second retaining portion 301 to slide over the first retaining portion 213.

The rear portion 304 of the retention member 300 defines a generally arcuate shape extending between the arms 302. The arcuate shape of the rear portion 304 will direct a reaction force applied by the wall 500 upon the rear portion 304 through the arms 302 of the retention member 300 to cause the retention member 300 to move from the first state to the second state. This is particularly advantageous in situations where the wall 500 defines an uneven surface, or the user applies the mounting force at an angle that is non-perpendicular (i.e. non-normal) to the wall 500.

With reference to Figures 3 and 4, the retention member 300 comprises an inner face

305 which is connected to the arms 302 via a set of supports 306. The supports 306 extend inwardly from each of the arms 302 towards the other of the arms 302 and comprise right angled portions which extend towards the channel 209 and the heating element 600 in a direction generally parallel to the arms 302. An innermost portion of the retention member 300 in the form of a bridge 307 extends between the supports

306 and defines the inner face 305, which is a surface of the bridge 307 which faces towards the channel 209 of the panel 200 when the retention member 300 is in either the first or the second state. With reference to Figure 4, when the retention member 300 is in the second state, the inner face 305 of the retention member 300 bears against the heating element 600 so as to urge the heating element 600 against the panel 200 within the channel 209. It will be appreciated that the right angled portions of the supports 306 permit the bridge 307 to be positioned within the opening 212 between the rails 208 so that the inner face 305 makes contact with the heating element 600 when the retention member 300 is in the second state. In doing so, frictional contact between the heating element 600 and the panel 200, and frictional contact between the heating element 600 and the inner face 305 prevents or substantially restricts movement of the heating element 600 within the channel 209.

Due to the compression applied by the inner face 305 of the retention member 300 upon the heating element 600, the contact area between the heating element 600 and the panel 200 is increased in comparison to the first state. The increased contact area between the heating element 600 and the panel 200 also increases the amount of heat transferred from the heating element 600 to the panel 200 via conduction. It will further be appreciated that the compressive engagement between the inner face 305 of the retention member 300 and the heating element 600 reduces the amount of space within the channel 209 available for convective air flow. Such air flow may be caused by air trapped between the retention member 300 and the panel 200 that is heated by the heating element 600. Such heating may result in convection currents forming within the trapped air which may cause the trapped air to flow along the channel 209 and out of an end of the panel 200. This movement is often referred to as a "chimney effect" and results in a reduction of the amount of heat transferred into the panel 200 by the heating element 600, and in turn a reduction in the amount of heat dissipated into the environment via the second "outer" side 207 of the panel 200 (i.e. into the room to be heated). However, because the inner face 305 of the retention member 300 bears against the heating element 600, the space available for air flow between the panel 200 and the retention member 300 is reduced. As such, the prevalence of the chimney effect is also reduced.

The retention member 300 is composed of a thermally insulating material which acts to impede heat transfer away from the heating element 600. As such, the amount of heat conducted away from the heating element 600 via the inner face 305 of the retention member 300 is minimised. It will be appreciated that a thermally insulating material is a material having a relatively low thermal conductivity, for example unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) or alternatively acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyester, polypropylene or polystyrene. Although the retention member may be composed of a thermally insulating material such as plastic, in alternative embodiments of the invention it will be appreciated that the retention member may be composed of metal.

The supports 306, the bridge 307 and the rear 304 portion of the retention member 300 together define a central portion 308 of the retention member 300 that comprises a generally mushroom-shaped cross-section. In the present embodiment, the central portion 308 is a region of empty space and as such the central portion 308 does not conduct heat away from the heating element 600. In alternative embodiments of the invention, the central portion 308 may by filled with a thermally insulating material, such as for example a thermally insulating foam or any other suitable thermal insulator.

In contrast to the retention member 300, the panel 200 is composed of a thermally conductive material. As such, the thermally conductive material of the panel 200 encourages more heat to be conducted away from the heating element 600 through the panel 200 and into the environment facing away from the wall 500 (i.e. the environment that is desired to be heated by the skirting board radiator 100a). It will be appreciated that a thermally conductive material is a material having a relatively high thermal conductivity, such as for example aluminium or alternatively copper, steel or graphene. It will be appreciated that because the second side 207 of the panel 200 faces away from the wall 500, the majority of heat which is dissipated from the panel 200 into the room to be heated is dissipated via the second "outer" side 207 of the panel.

It will be appreciated that because the heating element 600 is a flexible heating element of the parallel resistance type, the heating element 600 may be cut to any appropriate length. That is to say, the heating element 600 may be positioned within the channel 209 of the panel 200 such that a portion of the heating element 600 protrudes from an end of the panel 200. The protruding portion of the heating element 600 may then be cut, and an end cap (not shown) fitted to the end of the panel 200. Alternatively, the protruding portion of the heating element 600 may be inserted between a second panel 200 and second retention member 300 of the skirting board radiator 100a. The end cap acts to protect the heating elements 600 from tampering, and also helps to prevent heated air flowing out of the panel 200 due to the chimney effect. The end cap is preferably manufactured from a thermally insulating material, and therefore acts to insulate the end of the panel 200 thus promoting heat dissipation via the panel 200 rather than from the ends of the panel 200.

It will be appreciated that, in contrast to a conventional wet heating system that uses water to distribute heat, the end cap does not need to comprise a water carrying conduit. For example, a panel for a wet heating system will typically comprise a first water carrying conduit to carry heated water away from a boiler and a second conduit to carry the heated water back to the boiler. As such, an end cap for a wet heating system requires a water carrying conduit configured to route heated water from the first conduit of the adjacent panel to the second conduit of the panel. Such an end cap will therefore require water tight seals between the conduit of the end cap and the first and second conduits of the panel. Such a water tight seal may require a high setting force to connect the end cap to the panel. In contrast, the present invention does not require such a water carrying conduit, and therefore the end cap is simple and easy to install.

It is common for electrical heating cables such as the heating element 600 to comprise a braided shield to protect the electrically conductive parts of the heating cable. However, such braided shields may impede heat transfer away from the element 600. Therefore, in preference to a braided shield, the heating element 600 of the present invention comprises a shield formed of silicone rubber which promotes improved heat transfer between the heating element 600 and the panel 200. The heating element 600 is connected to an electrical power supply, and may be powered via mains electricity. It will be appreciated that although the silicone shield may be thermally conductive, the silicone shield is electrically insulating. As such, electrical current carried by the heating element 600 is substantially prevented from being conducted into the panel 200.

Figure 5 shows a first alternative embodiment of a retention member 300a configured to engage the panel 200 of the skirting board radiator 100a. The retention member 300a of Figure 5 differs from the retention member 300 depicted in Figures 1 to 4 in that the bridge 307a is split into two sections which define a gap 320a therebetween. The separating force required to cause the arms 302a to move apart is therefore reduced, since the arms 302a are connected only via the rear portion 304a and not by the bridge 307a. Put another way, the bending moment exerted by the separating force is increased in comparison to the retention member 300 of Figures 1 to 4. It follows that the arms 302a exhibit increased flexibility compared to the retention member 300 of Figures 1 to 4 and therefore the retention member 300a is easier to fit onto the panel 200. It will be appreciated that in all other respects the bridge 307a functions in an identical manner as described above with respect to Figures 1 to 4. That is to say, the two portions of the bridge 307a are configured to bear against the heating element 600 via a pair of inner faces 305a when the retention member 300a is in the second state so as to increase the contact area available for heat transfer between the heating element 600 and the panel 200.

The retention member of Figure 5 further comprises a pair of outer lugs 322a formed at the ends of the arms 302a. The outer lugs 322a extend along substantially the entire length of the retention member 300a for the purpose of providing increased stiffness in a longitudinal direction. It will be appreciated that in all other ways, the construction of the retention member 300a of Figure 5 is substantially identical to that of retention member 300 shown in Figures 1 to 4.

Figure 6 shows a second alternative embodiment of a retention member 300b configured to engage the panel 200 of the skirting board radiator 100a. The retention member 300b of Figure 6 differs from the retention member 300a of Figure 5 in that the bridge 307b comprises two fingers which are disposed at an angle A relative to the arms 302b. During use, when the retention member 300b is urged into the second state, the two sections of the bridge 307b bear against the heating element 600 via their ends, each of which defines a respective inner face 305b. As such, the contact area available for heat transfer between the heating element 600 and the panel 200 is increased. The ends of two sections of the bridge 307b may become bent towards one another by a small amount due to the presence of the heating element 600. It will be appreciated that due to the presence of the gap 320b, the retention member 300b of Figure 6 provides substantially the same advantages as described above with respect to the retention member 300a of Figure 5.

It will be appreciated that substantially any suitable angle A may be used such that the fingers of the bridge 307b are able to bear against the heating element 600 during use. For example, the fingers of the bridge 307b may be parallel or perpendicular to the arms 302b. However, preferably the angle A is between about 20° and 70°, and in the embodiment shown in Figure 6 the angle A is approximately 30 °. The retention member 300b of Figure 6 may additionally comprise the outer lugs 322a described above in relation to Figure 5. Figure 7 shows a third alternative embodiment of a retention member 300c configured to engage the panel 200 of the skirting board radiator 100a. The retention member 300c of Figure 7 differs from the retention member 300 of Figures 1 to 4 in that the rear portion 304c is split into two sections which define a gap 324c therebetween. The separating force required to force the arms 302c apart is reduced because the gap 324c permits the two sections of the rear portion 304c to bend towards one another as the retention member 300c is engaged with the panel 200. Put another way, because the arms 302c and the bridge 307c are able to flex about the centre of the bridge 307c, the bending moment exerted upon the arms 302c by the separating force is increased. It follows that the arms 302c exhibit increased flexibility compared to the retention member 300 of Figures 1 to 4 and therefore the retention member 300c is easier to fit onto the panel 200.

The retention member 300c of Figure 7 also differs from the retention member 300 of Figures 1 to 4 in that the bridge 307c comprises a longitudinally extending ridge 326c centrally located between the arms 302c. The end of the ridge 326c defines the inner face 305c. During use, when the retention member 300c is urged to the second state, the ridge 326c bears against the heating element 600 so as to provide increased contact area for heat transfer between the heating element 600 and the panel 200. However, it will be appreciated that in alternative embodiments the bridge 307c may have substantially the same structure as that shown in Figures 1 to 4 (i.e. such that the bridge 307c is generally u-shaped). The retention member 300c of Figure 7 may additionally comprise the outer lugs 322a described above in relation to Figure 5.

It will be appreciated that the above described embodiments of the retention member 300, 300a, 300b, 300c are examples only, and that more generally the retention member 300, 300a, 300b, 300c of the present invention may define substantially any structure which is able to engage the panel 200 so as to secure a heating element 600 therebetween.

Figures 8 and 9 show an enlarged cross-sectional view of a portion of a second embodiment of a skirting board radiator 100d. It will be appreciated that like reference numerals denote equivalent features of the second embodiment of the present invention which are common with the first embodiment of the present invention, but that the suffix 'd' has been added to said reference numerals to denote components of the second embodiment.

In the second embodiment of the present invention, the first retaining portion 213d is defined by the rails 208d of the panel 200d as a pair of longitudinally extending lugs of the outer faces 21 1 d the rails 208d, and the second retaining portion 301 d is defined by a pair of longitudinally extending lugs positioned at the extremities of the arms 302d of the retention member 300d. A third retaining portion 215d is defined by the outer faces 21 1 d of the rails 208d and comprises a pair of longitudinally extending lugs which are laterally spaced from the first retaining portion 213d. That is to say, the third retaining portion 215d is spaced from the first retaining portion 213d in a direction normal to the wall 500 when the skirting board radiator is presented to the wall 500 for mounting. In contrast to the first embodiment of the present invention, it will be appreciated that in the second embodiment of the present invention the retention member 300d does not comprise the third retaining portion 215d, as in the first embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 4, because the third retaining portion 215d is defined by the rails 208d. Figure 8 shows a first state of the retention member 300d in which the heating element 600 is free to move within the channel 209d. In common with the first embodiment, in order to engage the retention members 300d against the panels in the first state, the second retaining portion 301 d is pushed over the first retain portion 213d by the user. Engagement between the first and second retaining portions 213d, 301 d prevents the retention member 300d from separating from the panel 200d.

Figure 9 shows a second state of the retention member 300d in which the heating element 600 is compressively engaged against the panel 200d by the inner face 305d of the retention member 300d. As such, the heating element 600 is substantially prevented from moving within the channel 209d of the panel 200d by frictional contact between the inner face 305d of the retention member 300d and the heating element 600, and frictional contact between the heating element 600 and the channel 209d of the panel 200d. In order to move the retention member 300d from the first state to the second state, a mounting force is applied to the panel 200d in a direction generally normal to the wall 500. The mounting force causes the rear portion 304d of the retention member 300d to contact the wall 500 preventing further movement of the retention member 300d. In response to the movement of the panel 200d, the arms 302d of the retention member 300 deflect outwardly and the lugs of the second retaining portion 301 d pass over the lugs of the third retaining portion 215d. Engagement between the second retaining portion 301 d and the third retaining portion 215d prevents separation of the retention member 300d and the panel 200d.

It will be appreciated that the retention member 300d of the second embodiment of the electric skirting board radiator 100d may comprise a bridge 307d split into two sections which define a gap in substantially the same manner as described above in relation to the alternative embodiments of the retention members 300a and 300b shown in Figures 5 and 6. Likewise, the retention member 300d of the second embodiment of the electric skirting board radiator 100d may comprise a rear portion 304d which is split into two sections which define a gap in substantially the same manner as the alternative embodiment of the retention member 300c described above in relation to Figure 7. Additionally or alternatively, the retention member 300d of the second embodiment of the skirting board radiator 100d may comprise longitudinally extending lugs positioned at the ends of the arms 302d, in substantially the same manner as the alternative embodiment of the retention member 300a described above in relation to Figure 5.

A method of installation of the above described embodiments of the electric skirting board radiator 100a, 100d will now be described. During installation of the electric skirting board radiator 100a, 100d, a first mounting bracket 400 is attached to the wall 500. Where the skirting board radiator 100a, 100d is desired to extend around a corner of a room, a second mounting bracket 400 is attached to an adjacent wall 500. First and second panels 200, 200d are laid upon the ground with their channels 209, 209d facing upwards and first and second heating elements 600 are inserted into the channels 209, 209d. That is to say, a first portion of a first one of the heating elements 600 is received by a first channel 209, 209d of the first panel 200, 200d and a second portion of the first heating element 600 is received by a first channel 209, 209d of the second panel 200, 200d. Likewise, a first portion of a second one of the heating elements 600 is received by a second channel 209, 209d of the first panel 200, 200d and a second portion of the second heating element 600 is received by a second channel 209, 209d of the second panel 200, 200d. Retention members 300 are then placed upon each of the channels 209, 209d of the first and second panels 200, 200d and a force applied to the retention members 300, 300a, 300b, 300c, 300d to engage the retention members 300, 300a, 300b, 300c, 300d with the panels 200, 200d in the first state. The first and second heating elements 600 are then slid along the first and second channels 209, 209d of the first panel 200, 200d to an appropriate position. For example, the heating elements 600 may define a connection portion located at an end of the heating element 600 which is configured to connect to an electrical power supply. The heating elements 600 may therefore be positioned within the first and second channels 209, 209d such that the connection portions are adjacent an end of the first panel 200, 200d. Once the first and second heating elements 600 are moved to the desired position, the first panel 200, 200d is raised so as to be upright and presented against the first mounting bracket 400. A mounting force is applied to the first panel 200, 200d in a generally lateral direction (i.e. generally normal to the wall 500) to secure the first panel 200, 200d against the wall 500 and to cause the retention members 300, 300a, 300b, 300c, 300d to move to the second state, thus securing the first portions of the first and second heating elements 600 within the first and second channels 209, 209d of the first panel 200, 200d. A corner piece (not shown) may be attached to connect an end of the first panel 200, 200d to an end of the second panel 200, 200d. The corner piece may be attached to the first panel 200, 200d either before or after the first panel is mounted to the wall 500. The corner piece is typically styled to resemble the panels 200, 200d and the top and bottom skirting fascias 206, 207. The corner piece may be secured by press-fitting onto an end of the first and/or second panels 200, 200d. However, it will be appreciated that because heat is provided to the panels 200, 200d by the flexible heating elements 600, a tight fitting seal (i.e. water-tight) between the corner piece and the ends of the first and second panels 200, 200d is not required. By contrast, a wet heating system that distributes heat using heated water will require a tight seal between the panels and a corner piece, as the corner piece will comprise water carrying conduits configured to carry heated water from the first panel to the second panel. It will be appreciated that such a wet heating system may require the application of a high setting force between the corner piece and the first and second panels 200, 200d in order to provide a watertight seal. As such, this may increase the difficulty of installing the radiator 100a, 100d. The present invention avoids the need for such a high setting force, and therefore is more simple and easy to install.

The second panel 200, 200d is then presented to the second mounting bracket 400 on the adjacent wall 500. However, before a mounting force is applied to the second panel 200, 200d, the position of the first and second heating elements 600 within the channel 209, 209d of the second panel 200, 200d is adjusted so as to minimise the amount of heating element 600 extending between the first and second panels 200, 200d (i.e. between an end of the first panel 200, 200d which is opposite to the connection portions of the first and second heating elements 600, and an adjacent end of the second panel 200, 200d). That is to say, the slack in the first and second heating elements 600 extending between the first and second panels 200, 200d is taken up by re-positioning the second portions of the first and second heating elements 600 within the first and second channels 209, 209d of the second panel 200, 200d. Once the position of the second portions of the heating elements 600 has been adjusted, a mounting force is applied to the second panel 200, 200d in a generally lateral direction so as to secure the second panel to the wall 500 and to force the retention members 300, 300a, 300b, 300c, 300d of the second panel 200, 200d to move from the first state to the second state. As such, the second portions of the heating elements 600 are secured within the first and second channels 209, 209d of the second panel 200, 200d.

Because the position of the heating elements 600 within the channels 209, 209d is fixed only when the user applies a mounting force to the panels 200, 200d, it will be appreciated that the position of the heating elements 600 within the channels 209, 209d may be adjusted up until the moment before the mounting force is applied. This is advantageous as it allows minor adjustments to be made when the panels 200, 200d are in situ (i.e. when the panels 200, 200d are placed in position prior to mounting). It will be appreciated that this is considered to be a relatively simple and versatile method of installation.

Once the second panel 200, 200d has been mounted to the wall 500, any excess heating element which protrudes from the second panel 200, 200d opposite the first panel 200, 200d may be simply cut off. The ends of the first and second panels 200, 200d may then be fitted with an end cap to thermally insulate the ends of the panels, and to protect the heating elements 600 and mounting bracket 400 from tampering. Figures 10 and 1 1 show schematic cross-sectional and perspective views respectively of a third embodiment of a skirting board radiator 100e according to the present invention. It will be appreciated that like reference numerals denote equivalent features of the third embodiment of the present invention which are common with the earlier embodiments of the present invention but that the suffix 'e' has been added to said reference numerals to denote components of the third embodiment.

The skirting board radiator 100e of the third embodiment of the present invention comprises a panel 200e, a retention member 300e, a bracket 400e and a heating element 600e. The panel 200e is substantially elongate and is configured for mounting against a wall 500 via the bracket 400e and the retention member 300e. The panel 200e comprises an upper rail 218e and a lower rail 219e which extend substantially along the entire length of the panel 200e. The heating element 600e is received within a channel 209e defined between the upper rail 218e and lower rail 219e of the panel 200e. The heating element 600e is held against the panel 200e by an inner surface 305e of the retention member 300e.

In contrast to the first and second embodiments of the present invention, the third embodiment of the present invention comprises a heating element 600e which is a film- type electrical heating element. Such film-type heating elements have a sheet-like or planar structure and are typically comprised of a resistance wire laminated between two or more layers of polymer. Film-type heating elements are often flexible due to their shape and material properties.

The panel 200e comprises a ledge 220e which extends perpendicular to the upper rail 218e towards the lower rail 219e. The panel 200e further comprises a lug 221 e located at an end of the lower rail 219e that extends vertically upwards towards the upper rail 218e. The retention member 300e comprises an upper arm 309e and a lower arm 31 Oe which are configured to engage with the ledge 220e and lug 221 e of the panel 200e respectively.

During use, the heating element 600e is received within the channel 209e and the upper arm 309e of the retention member 300e is received between the ledge 220e of the panel 200e and an inside surface 223e of the channel 209e. The lower arm 31 Oe of the retention member 300e is then pushed against the panel 200e causing the lower arm 31 Oe to deform as it passes over the lug 221 e. Once the retention member 300e has been fully received by the channel 209e, the lower arm 31 Oe of the retention member 300e urges downwardly against the lower rail 219e of the panel 200e to ensure that the upper and lower arms 309e, 31 Oe of the retention member 300e engage the ledge 220e and the lug 221 e of the panel 200e respectively. As such, separation of the retention member 300e from the panel 200e is substantially prevented. The panel 200e further comprises a top skirting fascia 201 e and a bottom skirting fascia 204e which are configured to insulate the panel 200e against the wall 500 and a floor 501 respectively, so as to protect the bracket 400e, retention member 300e, and heating element 600e from tampering when the retention member 300e is fully received by the groove 209e.

It will be appreciated that in order to permit the lower arm 31 Oe of the retention member 300e to deform the retention member 300e may be composed of a resiliently deformable material. For example, the retention member 300e may be composed of a metal such as aluminium or steel. Additionally or alternatively, the retention member 300e may be composed of a thermally insulating material. For example, the retention member may be composed of a polymer having thermally insulating and mechanically resilient properties, such as for example ABS, polyester, polypropylene or poly carbonate.

The upper and lower arms 309e, 31 Oe of the retention member 300e are sized such that when the retention member 300e is received within the channel 209e, the inner surface 305e of the retention member 300e contacts the heating element 600e to urge the heating element 600e against the inside surface 223e of the channel 209e. As such, it will be appreciated that when the retention member 300e is fully received within the channel 209e movement of the heating element 600e relative to the retention member 300e is substantially restricted and/or prevented due to friction between the heating element 600e and the panel 200e and friction between the heating element 600e and the retention member 300e.

As is best shown in Figure 1 1 , the retention member 300e is substantially elongate and extends longitudinally along the channel 209e. It will be appreciated that the retention member 300e may extend along substantially the whole length of the panel 200e. Furthermore, because the inside surface 305e of the retention member 300e extends vertically from the lower arm 31 Oe to the upper arm 309e, substantially the whole of the heating element 600e is pressed against the inside surface 223e of the channel 209e. As such, contact between the heating element 600e and the panel 200e for thermal transfer is maximised, and therefore more heat is transferred from the heating element 600e into the panel 200e. The heat transferred into the panel 200e is then dissipated by the panel 200e into the surrounding environment.

It will further be appreciated that the upper arm 309e and lower arm 31 Oe of the retention member 300e are sized such that the heating element 600e is compressed between the panel 200e and the retention member 300e, whilst still leaving a sufficient distance between the inner surface 305e of the retention member 300e and the inside surface 223e of the panel 200e to accommodate the thickness of the heating element 600e.

The retention member 300e further comprises a mounting portion 31 1 e configured to mount the retention member 300e and the panel 200e to the wall 500 via the mounting bracket 400e. During use, the retention member 300e may be mounted to the mounting bracket 400e after the retention member has been received within the channel 209e of the panel 200e. Alternatively, the retention member 300e may first be mounted to the mounting bracket 400e before being received within the channel 209e of the panel 200e. That is to say, the retention member 300e may first be mounted to the mounting bracket 400e after which the heating element 600e and panel 200e are presented to the retention member 300e.

It will be appreciated that Figures 10 and 1 1 are schematic representations of the third embodiment of the present invention, and are intended to show the general arrangement of the panel 200e, retention member 300e, and film-type heating element 600e. As such, it will be appreciated that the arrangements of the first, second and third retaining portions of the earlier embodiments of the present invention may be used with the third embodiment of the invention to define the first and second states of the skirting board radiator 100e.

For example, it will be appreciated that the lug 221 e of the panel 200e may be considered to define a first retention portion and the lower arm 310 of the retention member 300e may further comprise a second retention portion (not shown). The second retention portion may be a longitudinally extending lug (not shown) defined by a lower face of the lower arm 31 Oe of the retention member 300e. As such, when the retention member 300e is urged into the channel 209e of the panel 200e by the user, the lower arm 31 Oe of the retention member 300e may deform to permit the lug of the second retaining portion to pass over and engage the first retention portion (i.e. the lug 221 e of the panel 200e). Engagement between the first retention portion and the second retention portion may be considered to define a first state of the skirting board radiator 100e in which movement of the heating element 600e between the panel 200e and the retention member 300e is permitted. Furthermore, an end of the arm 31 Oe may be considered to define a third retention portion. As such, when the retention member 300e is fully received within the channel 209e of the panel 200e, the third retention portion may engage the first retention portion (i.e. the lug 221 e of the panel 200e) so as to compress the heating element 600e between the panel 200e and the retention member 300e. Engagement between the first retention portion and the third retention portion may be considered to define a second state of the skirting board radiator 100e in which the movement of the heating element 600e between the panel 200e and the retention member 300e is substantially restricted and/or prevented. Figure 12 shows a schematic perspective view of a skirting board radiator 10Of according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention. It will be appreciated that like reference numerals denote equivalent features of the fourth embodiment of the present invention which are common with the earlier embodiments of the present invention but that the suffix T has been added to said reference numerals to denote components of the fourth embodiment. It will be appreciated that Figure 12 is a schematic representation, and is intended to show the general arrangement of the panel 200f , retention member 300f, and film-type heating element 600f .

The fourth embodiment of the skirting board radiator 1 1 Of comprises a film-type electrical heating element 600f. In contrast to the third embodiment of the invention however, the fourth embodiment of the present invention comprises a retention member 300f which is comprised of an elongate bar. As such the retention member 300f is relatively narrow. That is to say, the retention member 300f of the fourth embodiment of the present invention defines a width in a direction parallel to a longitudinal axis of the panel 200f that is less than a length of the retention member 300f defined between the upper and lower arms 309f, 31 Of of the retention member 300f. As such, a plurality of retention members 300f may be spaced along the panel 200f within the channel 209f in order to provide sufficient contact between the heating element 600f and the panel 200f for thermal transfer. It will be appreciated that the arrangements of the first, second and third retaining portions of the earlier embodiments of the present invention may be used with the third embodiment of the invention to define the first and second states of the skirting board radiator 10Of .

Figures 13 and 14 show schematic cross-sectional and perspective views respectively of a skirting board radiator 100g according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention. It will be appreciated that like reference numerals denote equivalent features of the fifth embodiment of the present invention which are common with the earlier embodiments of the present invention but that the suffix 'g' has been added to said reference numerals to denote components of the fifth embodiment.

The skirting board radiator 100g of the fifth embodiment of the present invention comprises a panel 200g, heating element 600g, and a retention member 300g. The panel 200g is substantially elongate and is configured for mounting against a wall 500 via the retention member 300g. The panel 200g comprises an upper rail 218g and a lower rail 219g which extend substantially along the entire length of the panel 200g. The heating element 600g is received within a channel 209g defined between the upper rail 218g and lower rail 219g of the panel 200g. During use, the heating element 600g is held within the channel 209g by the retention member 300g. In common with the third embodiment of the present invention, the heating element 600g is a film-type electrical heating element.

As is best shown in Figure 14, the retention member 300g is substantially elongate and extends within the channel 209g along substantially the entire length of the panel 200g. The retention member 300g comprises a generally box-shaped cross-section having internal ribs 312g which extend between a first side 313g of the retention member 300g and a second side 314g of the retention member 300g. The first side 313g of the retention member 300g is configured to contact the wall 500 and the second side 314g of the retention member 300g is configured to contact the heating element 600g via an inner face 305g. The panel 200g comprises a ledge 220g which extends perpendicular to the upper rail 218g towards the lower rail 219g, and further comprises a lug 221 g located at an end of the lower rail 219g that extends vertically upwards towards the upper rail 218g. The retention member 300g comprises a rail portion 315g which extends longitudinally along an upper edge of the retention member 300g. The rail portion 315g is configured to be received between the ledge 220g of the panel 200g and an inside surface 223g of the channel 209g which faces the wall 500. The retention member 300g further comprises a latch portion 316g which extends longitudinally along a lower edge of the retention member 300g. The latch portion 316g is configured to engage the lug 221 g of the lower rail 219g of the panel 200g when the rail portion 315g is received between the ledge 220g and the inside face 223g of the panel 200g so as to hold the panel 200g to the retention member 300g.

The retention member 300g is mounted directly to the wall 500, and as such the fifth embodiment of the invention does not comprise a mounting portion or mounting bracket. During use, the retention member is first attached to the wall 500. The heating element 600g is received within the channel 209g, and then the rail portion 315g of the retention member 300g is received between the ledge 220g of the panel 200g and the inside surface 223g of the channel 209g. In this position, the heating element is free to move within a space defined between the panel 200g and the retention member 300g. Because the retention member is already attached to the wall 500, the panel 200g is then simply pushed against the retention member 300g and the wall 500. This causes the latch portion 316g of the retention member and the lower rail 219g of the panel to deform as the latch portion 316g is passed over the lug 221 g. Once the retention member 300g is fully received within the channel 209g, engagement between the rail portion 315g and the ledge 220g, and engagement between the latch portion 316g and the lug 221 g holds the panel 200g to the retention member 300g, preventing separation of the panel 200g and the retention member 300g. The panel 200g further comprises a top skirting fascia 201 g and a bottom skirting fascia 204g which are configured to insulate the panel 200g against the wall 500 and a floor 501 respectively, so as to protect the retention member 300g, and heating element 600 from tampering when the retention member 300g is fully received by the groove 209g.

It will be appreciated that the rail portion 315g and the latch portion 316 of the retention member 300g are sized such that when the retention member 300g is received within the channel 209g, the inner surface 305g of the retention member 300g contacts the heating element 600g to urge the heating element 600g against the inside surface 223g of the channel 209g. As such, it will be appreciated that when the retention member 300g is fully received within the channel 209g movement of the heating element 600g relative to the retention member 300g is substantially restricted and/or prevented. Furthermore, because the inside surface 305g of the retention member 300g extends vertically from the latch 316g to the rail portion 315g, substantially the whole of the heating element 600g is pressed against the inside surface 223g of the channel 209g. As such, and contact between the heating element 600g and the panel 200g for thermal transfer is maximised. It will further be appreciated that the rail portion 315g and the latch 316g of the retention member 300g are sized such that the heating element 600g is compressed between the panel 200g and the retention member 300g, whilst still leaving a sufficient distance between the inner surface 305g of the retention member 300g and the inside surface 223g of the panel 200g to accommodate the thickness of the heating element 600g.

It will be appreciated that the retention member 300g may be mounted to the wall 500 by any suitable means, such as for example via screws, nails, and/or adhesive. The retention member 300g may be composed of a resiliently deformable material, such as for example aluminium or steel. Additionally or alternatively the retention member may be composed of a thermally insulating and resiliently deformable material, such as for example ABS, polyester, polypropylene or polycarbonate.

It will be appreciated that Figures 13 and 14 are schematic representations of the fifth embodiment of the present invention, and are intended to show the general arrangement of the panel 200g, retention member 300g, and film-type heating element 600g. As such, it will be appreciated that the arrangements of the first, second and third retaining portions of the earlier embodiments of the present invention may be used with the third embodiment of the invention to define the first and second states of the skirting board radiator 100g.

For example, it will be appreciated that the lug 221 g of the panel 200g may be considered to define a first retention portion and the latch portion 316g of the retention member 300g may further comprise a second retention portion (not shown). The second retention portion may be a longitudinally extending lug (not shown) defined by a lower face of the retention member 300g between the latch portion 316g and the second side 314g of the retention member 300g. As such, when the retention member 300g is urged into the channel 209g of the panel 200g by the user, the retention member 300g and/or the lower rail 219g of the panel 200g may deform to permit the lug of the second retaining portion to pass over and engage the first retention portion (i.e. the lug 221 g of the panel 200g). Engagement between the first retention portion and the second retention portion may be considered to define a first state of the skirting board radiator 100g in which movement of the heating element 600g between the panel 200g and the retention member 300g is permitted. Furthermore, the latch portion 316g may be considered to define a third retention portion. As such, when the retention member 300g is fully received within the channel 209g of the panel 200g, the third retention portion may engage the first retention portion (i.e. the lug 221 g of the panel 200g) so as to compress the heating element 600g between the panel 200g and the retention member 300g. Engagement between the first retention portion and the third retention portion may be considered to define a second state of the skirting board radiator 100g in which the movement of the heating element 600g between the panel 200g and the retention member 300g is substantially restricted and/or prevented.

It will be appreciated that numerous modifications to the above-described exemplary embodiment(s) may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims. For instance the electric skirting board radiators 100a, 100b, 100c, 100d, 100e, 10Of, 100g of the present invention may comprise substantially any number of panels 200, 200d, 200e, 200f, 200g, retention members 300, 300a, 300b, 300c, 300d, 300e, 300f, 300g and/or heating elements 600, 600e, 600f , 600g. It will further be appreciated that a skirting board radiator 100a, 100b, 100c, 100d, 100e, 10Of , 100g according to the present invention may comprise a retention member which is integrally formed with the panel 200, 200d, 200e, 200f, 200g.

The above-described exemplary embodiment(s) is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only (a) preferred embodiment(s) has (have) been shown and described, and that all changes and modifications that come within the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims are desired to be protected. In relation to the claims, it is intended that when words such as "a," "an," "at least one," or "at least one portion" are used to preface a feature there is no intention to limit the claim to only one such feature unless specifically stated to the contrary in the claim. When the language "at least a portion" and/or "a portion" or the like is used, the item can include a portion, of the like, and/or the entire item unless specifically stated to the contrary. Optional and/or preferred features as set out herein may be used either individually or in combination with each other where appropriate and particularly in the combinations as set out in the appended claims. The optional and/or preferred features for each aspect of the present invention set out herein are also applicable to any other aspects of the present invention, where appropriate.




 
Previous Patent: CAMLOCK

Next Patent: NET ASSEMBLY