Articles by John Siegenthaler, PE

Hydronic Radiant Ceiling Cooling for Smaller Buildings

Though More Expensive, Radiant Trumps Forced Air in Comfort

The combined cost of hydronic radiant panel heating, along with a separate central cooling system, often strains the construction budget to a point where something has to go, and that something is usually the radiant heating option. It gets trumped by a lower-cost forced-air system that delivers both heating and cooling, albeit often at reduced comfort.


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Expansion Tank Pressurization

Improper Air-side Pressurization ‘Wastes’ some of the Internal Volume

Having the proper air-side pre-pressurization prevents system water from entering the expansion tank, until the water begins expanding due to heating. 


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My First Online Teaching Experience

I Often Find Myself Talking to My Computer

Last fall, I taught my first online course dealing with designing hydronic heating systems. The course was titled “Mastering Hydronic System Design.” It was a collaborative effort between HeatSpring Learning Institute, BNP Media’s CE Campus, and myself.


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Contrasting Rules of Thumb, Calculations

Using Accurate Numbers is the Professional Thing to Do

If you’re using a calculator, spreadsheet, or other computational tool, you should use the most accurate numbers possible. It’s just part of being a professional.


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Heat Transfer: Nature Versus Math

Formulas and Assumptions Don’t Always Predict what Happens

The following formula has been around the North American hydronics industry for a long time: Btuh = 500 x gpm x delta T. It can be used to estimate the rate of heat transfer into or out of a device that has a stream of water flowing through it at a known flow rate, and with a measured temperature change between the inlet and outlet of that water stream.


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Missing: Self Buffering & Low Head Loss

Considering Circulators and Head Loss in Modern Boiler Systems

In newer modulating/condensing boilers, many of their heat exchangers had to sacrifice two very desirable qualities in the interest of being small and light.


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Avoiding Thermal Depression

A New Way to Protect a Heating System

A cool concrete slab is like a black hole for Btus. It gobbles up any heat that dares to get close. The solution is to install a mixing assembly operated by a controller that measures the boiler’s inlet temperature, as well as the water temperature supplied to the distribution system.


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Energy and Power Are not the Same Thing

True Professionals Use Clear Definitions and the Proper Terminology

When it comes to the difference between energy and power, our industry tends to get sloppy with its terminology. 


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Future-Proofing Hydronic Systems

Low Water Temperatures are the Key

A tradeoff has always existed between the water temperature at which hydronic heat emitters are sized and their cost. The higher the supply water temperature assumed by the designer, the smaller the required heat emitters and the lower their installed cost. 


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Geo Semantics: Heat Pumps Are Renewable Energy Sources

While I agree that heat pumps do move heat from one location to another, I strongly disagree with the premise that air-source and geothermal heat pumps are not renewable-energy heat sources. 


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2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Jason Vogelbaugh

Jason Vogelbaugh of Alpha Controls drops in to the NEWSMakers podcast to discuss his role with the company, the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, and current energy-efficiency projects being worked on. Posted on Sept. 26.

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ACHRNEWS

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2014 September 29

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EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

DOE has denied AHRI’s petition for reconsideration of walk-in standards. Is it getting harder to reach consensus on efficiency standards?
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2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

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