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Radiant makes perfect sense in a green home!

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This thread has important issues to address, your plug for a particular radiant product does little to address the difficult questions regarding the challenges of designing ecologically/economically intelligent heating systems for low energy homes.

low temperature distribution systems offer opportunities for increased efficiencies: condensing boilers,solar, and geo exchange can all benefit from radiant distribution.

But lets face it most radiant systems are sold to wealthy people who's main concerns are comfort and status.

Many high end systems are multi-temp and utilize mixing or injection.Such systems are really only as efficient as their higher temp zones.

Advances in construction technology make possible residential structures that have heating loads that are lower than dhw requirements. So low that there are not boilers available that are appropriately sized for such structures.

If we really start thinking in deeper shades of green we should probably be questioning the ubiquitousness of detached housing and the redundancy and inherent inefficiency of mechanical systems required for this style of housing.

It is unlikely that those with options will give up on detached housing. It is however possible that the virtue of investing in efficiency will be recognized by many as the environmental and economic indicators clearly piont this way.

I'm discouraged yet respectfully of the conclusions that Mr. Bean and our regular contributer Mike Swamp-whatever have come to regarding design for such structures.

I believe that solar DHW, super insulation,HRV and (micro) condensing boiler technology could be designed to work together in ultra low energy homes,however at this point it does seems that the tools to do this efficiently don't yet exist.

Comments

  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_1
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    Let the contest begin!

    20 green homes are about to debut on The Mall in DC. Radiant will be utilized extensively. Maybe the engineering students, who will be judged stringently on the homes' energy usage, know that radiant heating is more efficient than other heat-sources - even if the heat losses are at a bare minimum?

    http://www.solardecathlon.org/

    But first - I get to be King of The Hill here: http://www.yaac-bsa.org/camping/wizard/wizard.htm

    Finished my 4"x4"x12' solar rack last night. Seting up today with a Viessmann 20 vacuum tube array with a 50-gal tank nestled above to receive the solar harvest.

    Visited last eve & they had me placed in the valley - on the north side of 80' tall trees. Got moved - to the high ground - perched atop a big hill with a commanding view. Nothing to block the sun's rays(G).

    I'll be the only person in camp with hot water! Thousands expected & the solar display is one of 25 required stations the boys must visit.


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  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
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    I like the Comfort part...

    does the engineering section have any special reward for discovery?

    or are discoveries then the intellectual property rights of the first engineer who happens to make that determination of the individuals work within a team?

    meaning, Does the us dept of energy ,then have a Right to designe and discoveries within the "contests"? or do the individual or team maintain autonomous rights to their design...?

    come on be a good scout and let us know.


  • What you mean is, radiant makes perfect sense in a green home where all the materials and labor are donated ;)
  • Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating
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    Radiant makes sense in a green home

    I'm with Dave, isn't radiant the best way to deliver low temperature water for space heating? If you have a heat pump or solar wouldn't the 100 to 120 degree water work great with a radiant heating system? Why not put radiant in the ceiling too and heat the house with 80 to 90 degree water, that makes your solar collectors very efficient if you can harvest and use those low temp BTU'S. The floor won't be as warm as in a non-foam insulated house but there will be less drafts in a foam insulated house, and with radiant you will have a more average temperature throughout the house. It has to be more comfortable than FHA. It will cost more to install, but you will have free heating. And in the summer cool all those radiant panels, for radiant cooling, using geothermal energy, if you want to go dark green. Thanks, Bob Gagnon

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  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,304
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    \"Dark Green\"

    I like that! Steve Baer at www.zomeworks.com has a system he calls the "Double Play" that does just the thing you're talking about. It uses a different method, but has little parasitic loss. Great minds... :~)

    Yours, Larry
  • Now hold on a minute there Rob...

    ;)
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_2
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    tain't necessarily so

    As I found out while working with the UoM Decathletes, not all material and/or labor is donated.

    Take fixtures and appliances as an example. Several manufacturers wanted to dictate what was to be said about their products & you could say that would have involved stretching the truth. The students in charge of obtaining those items stood their ground (after researching) and refused to parrot the hype. As a result, they had to purchase a number of things they thought might be free or discounted.

    More than I'd imagined was not given or donated. Big eye-opener for me.

    But, let's back up the bus a wee bit. Before they could ask for donations, they needed to design the systems and they did due diligence in studying methodologies as each related to energy use. After all, they (all decathlete teams) must calculate how much energy (PV & thermal) they must generate to carry their green home through each night’s power draw-down and compensate for potentially dreary weather as was seen two years ago.

    The emphasis is on energy usage, so each team is striving to minimize wasted energy while maximizing each watt and Btu.

    And, the HVAC systems only play a part. An important and integral part, but there’s lots more they needed to study and then decide strategy.
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_2
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    Shades of \"Green\"

    Absolutely perfect! Low-mass radiant that can respond quickly is a perfect blend with Dark Green.
  • Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating
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    Dark Green

    I wish I made it up but I stole it from Geoff Mcdonell, he does radiant cooling. I tell people that I'm so dark green, that the light skinned greenies don't even want to hang around with me. Niki Tsongas is running for congress up here, and she had a good one. She said when referring to renewable energy tax credits "It will help bring in more Green Collar jobs" I'm going to use that one too. Bob Gagnon

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  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
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    i sorta like this thread too.

    and i do not see it as an anti thesis to the topic.
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