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Dead Men Tales: How They Rated Radiators

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HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 650
edited April 2022 in THE MAIN WALL


How They Rated Radiators

From the paint-the-floor method to the American Radiator Company's Institute of Thermal Research, Dan Holohan explores how the Dead Men developed radiator ratings.

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Comments

  • Adk1guy
    Adk1guy Member Posts: 66
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    weighing the water that had condensed seems very accurate, but how did they determine the sf of the radiators better than the paint method? Which has never been exactly explained but the square footage of radiation would be the actual surface area of the radiator? Hard to measure with a ruler.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,551
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    The surface area of the radiator is just a part of it. Most depends on the difference in temperature between the air outside the radiator and the temperature of whatever is inside the radiator (hot water or steam). American Radiator took what was a useful rule of thumb and turning it into pure accuracy.
    Retired and loving it.
  • scott w.
    scott w. Member Posts: 209
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    I am sure with todays technology some where there is a machine that could scan a radiator and give the exact square footage of a radiator.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,551
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    The square footage is just a piece of the puzzle. It's what you bring to it that matters. Note how they moved the radiators around the room, looking for differences, and how they strictly followed ordinary methods of construction for the times. They wanted to be as accurate as possible and that's what made them revered in the trade.
    Retired and loving it.
    PC7060
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,828
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    The shape and area of the inside surface and the material between the inside and outside surfaces are also important.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,551
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    Yes
    Retired and loving it.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,352
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    Hmmm, This makes me wonder why radiators were never made of brass, with its thermal conductivity roughly three times that of cast iron. Also, it might be interesting to test carbon fiber as a radiator material. @DanHolohan , you stir up fun thoughts!

    Yours, Larry
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,551
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    Thanks, Larry. I suspect the price and availability of different metals played a role. I stumbled onto something that's in an upcoming article for one of the magazines: Germany was the first country to make plastic pipe (PVC). This happened in the late-'30s, when they were developing plans for other uses for the their iron and steel. So world politics also comes into play.

    I mentioned in a previous article how Trane invented the copper convector (they didn't use that name). A shortage of pig iron at the time played a part in that move.
    Retired and loving it.
  • umichaelx
    umichaelx Member Posts: 11
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    I have a few questions. I would greatly appreciate any feedback: I have several Investment properties in Queens, New York.

    (1). Natural Gas Steam Boiler - Can someone please recommend the BEST BRAND of natural gas steam boiler? I am currently using a BURNHAM which is almost at the end of its life cycle. This equipment is 40+ years old, absolutely no issues until recently. I was advised that steam is now slowly leaking out of the boiler.

    (2). What is the requirement for a CONTRACTOR to have his/her business listed, here on the heatinghelp.com, website under the "Find A Contractor"?

    Hiring THE BEST CONTRACTOR is 98 percent of this equation, even if hypothetically speaking, I spend one million dollars on a new equipment.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,551
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    Find a Contractor is paid advertising. All are welcome to advertise and share their story. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
    edited April 2022
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    What color was the paint in that vat? Ideal had a Redtop boiler series... I remember vacuum cleaning many of those oId gals in my youth... Is that where they got the saying "Paint the town Red"?

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,551
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    Ouch.
    Retired and loving it.
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 289
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    scott w. said:

    I am sure with todays technology some where there is a machine that could scan a radiator and give the exact square footage of a radiator.

    Actually that wouldn't be so easy. Laser scanning would give the highest precision but that requires at least two lines of sight to each surface. It would have to be a very high resolution scan because a radiator surface is not smooth but highly textured and that texture greatly increases the surface area.
  • fentonc
    fentonc Member Posts: 240
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    I bet you could do it with modern photogrammetry software, and once you have a model calculating the surface area is pretty trivial (just add up all the triangles!).
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 887
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    Amazing at how simple it was for the dead men to rate the EDR of a radiator by using simple math. BUT the whole thing depended on the fact that some guy had to figure out the test procedure to allow some one to do the simple math.

    I always wondered how the few dead men were able to sleep at night when their dreams were full of the stuff like wow much fuel is needed to make steam to produce an EDR

    Here I go ramble on.

    I can tell you all that in my 60 years in the business I know all the answers, but I do not know the questions.

    Jake
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,828
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    Modern engineers take a lot of shortcuts to reduce complex things to simple math as well...
    CLamb