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Square heating pipes in Germany

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 650
edited January 2020 in THE MAIN WALL

Not all pipes are round. Some are square! Take a look at this interesting system we found in Germany.

Read the full story here


  • kdean1
    kdean1 Member Posts: 1
    Loved it! I don't work outside the U.S. so I haven't had as many opportunities to be humble. Still, I occasionally have moments close to home.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
    Great story Dan ,I had also seen those types of systems when in Germany bout 25 years ago . I didn’t see the 4 way valve trick but was amazed by the quality of the work and really it had a effect on what n how I did it . I became obsessed with doing better with what I was doing weather heating ,ac or plumbing even if it was to never be seen behind some Sheetrock .i think we will be behind Europe on the panel rad trv layout for yet another 25 years or so before it’s as everyday as it is in Europe sort of like baseboard here . The final push for these types of systems will be cost of energy . And not to be one who just talks I converted my home from baseboard to panel rads bout 13 or 14 years ago great decision wasn’t cheap by any means but coupled to a mod con and sized for low temp couldn’t be happier . I will say its a hard sale on new work but for retro fit in older homes it’s a no brainer again thanks for the story peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    Brad White
  • ColdTurkey
    ColdTurkey Member Posts: 13
    Fascinating stuff.

    Construction in Germany and Scandinavia in general is pretty advanced, I'm overly jealous. All my friends who served keep talking about how the barracks in Germany were top notch construction compared to even the States.

    For starters, I think the new construction floors, even on upper levels, tend to be a type of poured lightweight concrete that pretty much deadens sound compared to the wooden framing we have, but of course they use steel beams a lot.

    If anyone's in school, I would try to speak the language and see about getting an apprenticeship over there. Probably would be a business opportunity to bring some of those techniques here.
  • frimi
    frimi Member Posts: 21
    the most amazing story,I've read about heating. Why wouldn't we implement it all over US ?
  • icy78
    icy78 Member Posts: 404
    I have three of your books Dan, and I have to say that each time I reread that particular story, I'm still like....wow! that's a great story! (And well-told I might add)
  • Fontana
    Fontana Member Posts: 25
    Did you throw your "friend" out the window? Should have, JMO.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,741
    "It's an ingenious solution to a problem that should never have existed in the first place."
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 355
    Got a chuckle out of it. I lived 20 minutes from the arctic circle in Sweden and the house never dropped below 75* even with weeks of sub zero fahrenheit temps (all electric - mix of oil filled 80's radiators and 70's panel resistance radiators). That was thanks to about a foot of rockwool/fiberglass in the walls of the early 70's construction - triple glazed obviously, but only one sealed thermpane unit. But most bathrooms have exposed pipes there, always chrome or white coated. In bigger towns (covering about 75% of the population) everything is district heating with boiler rooms - often oil or electric - becoming extra storage. New houses (almost always factory built, even custom houses) get 2/3 or more of their heat from body heat, appliances and solar gain (non-solar houses) and radiant heat has become more and more common due to the high efficiency envelopes - often completely heated via exhaust air heat exchangers to the hydronic loops. I visited some houses with the strangest radiators from the early 60's - perforated, corrugated metal panels with water loops behind them (oil boilers - there's very little gas service outside of the far south).

    I'm surprised Dan didn't get caught messing with the heat. Some large apartment complexes have sensor that alert the engineers when windows are opened or thermostats turned up. But generally Swedes keep temps in the low 70's inside - I have an English friend who kvetched about always being too warm when he lived in Sweden and not being able to turn down the heat.

    Well, that was a mouthful, sorry for being long-winded....

    *except when the dog opened the front door - they normally open out - and chilled the house out one night.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    This brings me back years...
    There was a question on the PE exam (enough of which are hypothetical but it is an open-book exam) . The question was to the effect that a pipe with dimensions of.... A x B (obscure rectangle....) which had both closed and open channel flow. rising so many feet had a head loss of x feet of head...

    This at first threw me for a loop, but in the end was a wetted surface and pipe equivalency question. In the end, it was a familiar pipe size and a fairly simple table look-up.

    I am there smirking at the exam author, thinking he or she was chortling at me -at that very moment- from some stuffy office at Purdue, for taking a familiar nominal pipe and re-factoring it to a rectangle. Hypothetical.

    Until today. So there actually is square pipe.
    My life is now complete.
    But still a Grasshoppa.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,335
    Hi @Brad White , I think that if we’re lucky. we are always grasshoppas. I remember getting to really enjoy learning once I got out of school. :p
    Yours, Larry