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Case studies for large radiant project

for the input. I was concerned about the depth of the pour, due to the obvious loads above. I will try to convince them to dig up the floor and do it right, but this may not be an option. There will be various types of aircraft in this hangar, from Cessnas to Gulfstreams, so it would be very difficult to do overhead without a lot of precautions. I think walls may be the best method if we can't get them to re-do the floor. This will need further discussion before a plan is made. Thanks again, and I will be sure to post some photos of this job, it will be nice!


  • EtienneHancock
    EtienneHancock Member Posts: 18
    Aviation hanger

    I am looking at a job for a 35,000 sqft airplane hanger. This currently has 4 large oilfired furnaces heating it (poorly). We are trying to convince the owners that a radiant floor with new boilers would be the best route to take. This will be an oil fired, overpour job most likely. Are there any case studies of similar applications?? I want some supporting documents to help convince the customers. Thanks for any assistance.
  • Why not radiant walls...

    The planes don't care if the floor is warm...

    You'd be suprised at the overall comfort and cost savings associated with doing the floors. And its the same radiant comfort that is SO addictive...

    Roth Panel comes to mind....

  • EtienneHancock
    EtienneHancock Member Posts: 18

    That sounds like a great option. Do you think that we will be able to have the same btu output from walls as a floor?
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Similar Project

    United Airlines has a service hub in Indianapolis, IN, the hangars heated with radiant floors plus ventilation air. This project was done by Stadler Corporation years before Viega acquired them.

    What the mechanics love about the installation is that when under the wings, there is all the comfort they could want. No shielding issues.

    Overhead radiant and even sidewall radiant (over that distance, it is a fairly deep space you can imagine) would not work nearly as well.

    A brief web search may turn up something, maybe a phone call to Indianapolis? Things have been slow since, oh, Memorial Day... :)

    Edit: I turned this up:

    Hydronics Fly At United

    United Airlines is installing one of the world's largest hydronic systems at a new maintenance complex near the Indianapolis Airport. Thirteen aircraft hangars, an outdoor bridgeway, and two other buildings will be constructed with under-floor radiant heating, allowing crews to fix jets faster. Radiant heating will be used with forced air to keep the indoor temperatures of a hanger at 65deg.F. United needed a hydronic system because too much heat would be lost if only forced air was used to warm the large hangars. With a combination of hydronics and forced air, the outer skin of a freezing cold aircraft can be heated to room temperature within an hour. Some of the tubing will be laid in concrete slabs outside the entrance of each of the 33,000 ft2 hangars to melt the ice and snow off an aircraft before it is towed inside for repairs. Indoors, tubing will be installed in strips one foot apart.

    Radiant heating will also melt snow on an outdoor walkway. The temperature will be controlled by outdoor sensors that detect snowfall as it lands, so the sidewalk will only heat up when necessary. United also plans to use hydronics to heat the ground equipment building.

    After testing various types of tubing, the airline chose electronic-cross linked polyethelene ("pex") tubing provided by Stadler Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts. "Radiant heat was specified because it works," said Jerry Rothfeld, technical director of Efficient Energy, a San Rafael, California-based manufacturing representative for Stadler. Stadler offered United a 30-year warranty on the tubing and provided ten-year product liability insurance if there is a system failure. United broke ground on the project in August 1992 and plans to complete it in 1995.

    --Linda Berlin

    Linda Berlin is a freelance writer based in Stinson Beach, California.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    MORE from walls than floors...

    Humans won't be in contact with the walls, hence possible to have higher surface temps.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Jim Franklin
    Jim Franklin Member Posts: 170
    Overpour floor radiant

    I'd also chime in with walls as an option, because the floor point loads from aircraft tires may crush a thin overpour with tubes (say 3" or less). You'd need a substantial slab with good coverage on top of the tubing to make sure the point loads don't cause problems. That being said, if there aren't any chances of larger aircraft than light twin engine style commuter aircraft being in the hanger, it may not be that big a concern. I would ask what size and types of aircraft will be sitting in the hanger first before assuming that an floor overpour would work. How will you make a thermal break between the un-insulated slab on grade?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,108
    The Delta repair hanger

    in Salt Lake also has a radiant floor. The door opens wide enough to swallow a 747.

    Geoff brings up excellent points, point loads and thermal break.

    all things considered Co ray vacs or overhead infrareds may be a good option. I wonder that a low temperature radiant 35 feet, or whatever, above the floor would do much warming??

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Previous experience with over head radiant in hangars...

    turned into bad news. Seems some plane surfaces plain don't like direct overhead radiant heat. They melt...

    This was on a fairly good sized hangar at Arapahoe County Airport where a steel in floor RFH system had been abandoned due to leaks in the steel pipe.

  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,752
    Wall radiant & large hangar

    I would be concerned about the spread of heat from wall radiant to the center of the hangar where most work will be done. Alternately, if you did an overpour on old surface, you would not be able to get insulation in there unless a very thick slab for structural reasons. Sounds like a tough sell!
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Overhead Co-Ray-Vac

    We did a hanger years ago with Co-Ray-Vac (as a brand but indicative of most low density gas-fired overhead units) at a small municipal airport north of Boston. While it worked great, the mechanics working on over-wing aircraft were "stuck in the cold shadow" which is why a radiant floor (or walls if floor is not an option) makes more sense to me.

    It was a budget job and they were happy with it, but the downside always got a response...
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
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