There are several types of radiant heating systems available, including hydronic, electric, and infrared. While each type of system operates very differently from the others, their common function is to quietly warm surfaces and/or people, without blowing hot air around a space. The products described here illustrate all these types of radiant heating, including the components and accessories that are commonly associated with these systems.

The TMW Water-to-Water Series offers high efficiency with advanced features, extremely quiet operation, and application flexibility. As ClimateMaster’s most adaptable EarthPure® R-410A refrigerant units, the TMW Series can be used for radiant floor heating, snow/ice melt, chilled water for fan coils, potable hot-water generation, hot/chilled water for make-up air, and many other types of HVAC applications. Available in sizes 036 (8.7 kW), 060 (13.5 kW), and 120 (26.9 kW), the TMW Series offers a wide range of units for most any installation, including ground loop (geothermal) and water loop (boiler-tower) applications, the company said.

Covertech’s rFOIL Ultra CBF is a reflective insulation and puncture-resistant vapor barrier composed of a single layer of pure aluminum, laminated between two layers of ultra strong polyethylene bubble (up to 140 psi). Ultra CBF is ideal for underslab insulation, noted the company, as it provides exceptional thermal value and a strong, permanent vapor and radon barrier. Ultra CBF typically costs less than 2-inch rigid PE board insulation and the company states it is easier to handle, cut, and install than rigid foam insulation, yet has nearly six times the compression strength. Ultra CBF also reduces radiant heat loss through floors, improves efficiency of in-floor radiant heating systems, and will not deteriorate over time.

Detroit Radiant
Gas-fired infrared heaters from Detroit Radiant offer a solution to the global effort for businesses to design, build, and operate facilities that are ecologically friendly, noted the company. Infrared heaters allow for a lower temperature setting, resulting in lower fuel costs and, on average, the company stated, that its infrared heaters can save the customer 23 to 50 percent. Two-stage technology can reduce energy costs by another 12 percent and benefit customers with faster heat loss recovery, improved comfort, and a significant reduction in equipment cycles. Gas-fired infrared heaters often qualify for rebates from local gas companies and result in improved air quality because airborne particles are not circulated.  

The REHAU Smart Controls system, designed for residential and mid-range commercial buildings, enables intelligent integration and optimization of a building’s HVAC system components. From geothermal and solar energy sources to forced-air and radiant distribution systems, the Smart Controls system addresses the increasingly complex options concerning indoor comfort and efficiency. The Smart Controls system streamlines the typical mechanical room with a control panel that integrates all the HVAC hardware paired with a dedicated on-site computer. The mechanical contractor configures the system to the owner’s unique lifestyle, comfort, and energy-efficiency requirements, and continues to support the owner in analyzing and fine-tuning system performance through an ongoing service relationship.

Schwank’s infrared radiant heating systems are an energy-efficient option for industrial space heating and commercial applications. The company claims that the advantages of its gas-fired infrared radiant heaters, which include supraSchwank luminous heating system and ultraSchwank new generation tube heating system, include fuel savings and CO2 emissions reduction up to 65 percent when compared to standard forced-air systems. In addition, the systems are easy to install with a one- or two-person crew and require a low capital investment. These systems also offer design flexibility, as they can be used in new or retrofit projects; spot or area heating; and multitemperature zones. Systems may also be installed in various industrial building configurations, including facilities with low or high ceilings and tight spaces.

Solaronics’ two-stage infrared heaters — True Dual low intensity and SunTwin high intensity — shrink operating costs by 40 to 75 percent while improving comfort and air quality in commercial, industrial, and agricultural buildings, noted the company. Fueled by natural gas or propane and requiring no periodic maintenance, the energy-efficient heaters radiate infrared energy to warm people, floors, and work surfaces, providing high comfort levels with safe, quiet, and reliable operation in new construction as well as retrofit applications. The True Dual two-stage low-intensity tubular heaters are available with input ratings from 85,000/65,000 (high-heat/low-heat) to 200,000/145,000 Btuh for both natural gas and propane. SunTwin two-stage high-intensity heaters are available with input ratings from 100,000/50,000 to 200,000/100,000 Btuh for natural gas and 90,000/45,000 to 160,000/80,000 Btuh for propane.

Space-Ray has added four new higher capacity units to its line of LTS Series infrared gas tube heaters, which allow industrial and commercial users to custom design a radiant heating system to meet their needs. Available in both natural and propane gas, the LTS Series infrared straight tube heaters now come in 19 different models and more than 100 different configurations, with capacities ranging from 40,000 to 250,000 Btuh. Heaters can be used in a straight, L-shape, U-shape, or Z-shape configuration. For added flexibility, 90-degree elbows and corner reflectors allow mounting near walls, doors, or corners. Heaters can be mounted at heights of 12 feet and higher, based on burner capacity. Tube length varies from 15 to 80 feet, depending on the model.

Superior Radiant
Series TA/TX/TXR two-stage gas-fired infrared tube heaters are designed for heavy-duty commercial and industrial use and are available in rates from 40,000 to 220,000 Btuh, lengths from 10 to 70 feet, and natural gas or LPG. The jet stream burner design maximizes radiant output and is combined with 100 percent efficient parabolic aluminum reflectors to provide optimal energy efficiency and comfort. Series LT/LTX/LTXR two-stage infrared heaters are designed for low-clearance applications, and their principal advantage is the softening of the radiant output over a much longer length of tube with an end-to-end variance of less than 15 percent and bottom clearance of 36 inches. They are available in rates from 40,000 to 100,000 Btuh, lengths from 30 to 50 feet, and natural gas or LPG.

Taco’s microprocessor-based iSeries mixing valves, which are designed to regulate and easily vary hydronic system water temperatures, are now available in a three-way union configuration. The iSeries-R, linked to an outdoor reset sensor, fine-tunes indoor comfort by varying water temperature to specific interior spaces. If an installation includes spaces with high solar gain, or areas that lose heat quickly, the valves automatically provide warmer or cooler supply temperatures. The iSeries-S offers a more precise alternative to the use of a thermostatic mixing valve for temperature control to a heating system. A direct drive microprocessor-based actuator allows the user to dial in a specific temperature — from 80 to 180°F — then modulates a two-way, three-way, or four-way valve to inject different rates of hot water to achieve a specific temperature at the supply water sensor.

Tekmar Controls
tekmarNet®2 house controls and thermostats are ideal for use in hydronic and radiant heating systems and utilize two-way communication to provide benefits that surpass basic thermostats and outdoor reset controls, noted the company. Communication benefits include zoning with indoor feedback, heating and cooling interlocking, shared schedules, and outdoor temperature display on any thermostat. tekmarNet 2 thermostats only require two wires for communication and power, making them ideal for retrofit installations where new wiring is not feasible. This product line also offers home automation and/or web access capabilities.

Uponor’s Radiant Ready 30E is a complete radiant mechanical room designed in a compact, preassembled, easy-to-install panel. Ideal for remodels, retrofits, and new construction, the installer simply hangs the panel on a wall and connects the tubing, thermostat, and electrical power, said the manufacturer. The Radiant Ready 30E includes a 30,000-Btuh electric boiler, an engineered plastic (EP) heating manifold, pump, expansion tank, pressure-relief valve, isolation valves, thermostat and air vent — all preassembled and prewired into the unit. The Radiant Ready 30E is designed to cover up to 2,000 square feet of radiant floor heating (based on 15 Btuh/square feet) and 4,000 square feet of radiant floor warming (based on 7.5 Btuh/ square feet). It comes standard with a five-loop manifold, which can be customized to add additional loops if necessary.

Warmboard® is a 13/16-inch-thick structural panel that provides the same radiant heat performance of 1 1/8-inch-thick Warmboard radiant subfloor panel. This slimmer profile combined with an easier to handle panel size is ideal for remodels and renovations where the full structural strength of 1 1/8-inch Warmboard is not required, the company said. When there are specific project limitations, such as floor height, the smaller panel dimensions and reduced thickness of Warmboard® allow the homeowner who is remodeling to enjoy all the benefits of Warmboard. And it’s an ideal ceiling panel for use in climates that make radiant cooling an option or where ceiling heating is desirable in order to preserve existing floor coverings, said the company.

WaterFurnace Hydronic Services is a complete geothermal hydronic system solution that brings together the benefits of geothermal heating and cooling and radiant floor heating in a single package. The system provides dealers with a professional package that includes initial quotes, system design, system components, documentation, technical support, and training during and after the sale. As a result, dealers spend less time designing the system and ordering components from multiple suppliers and more time engaged in value-added sales and marketing activities that impact their bottom line. A variety of hydronic system options are available for customized solutions, including radiant system packages for slab, overfloor, and underfloor applications that can integrate with hydronic fan coil units, heat recovery ventilators, HEPA filtration, and solar thermal systems.

HeatWeave ProMelt offers electric snowmelting in both mats and cables — both of which have a single-point connection. The mats are available in both 2- and 3-foot widths, and there are many control options available. The ProMelt electric snowmelting systems make life easier by not having to worry about individuals slipping and falling on private property, said the manufacturer. They also help reduce wear and tear on driveways, sidewalks, landscaping, and vehicle paint from salt or from snow removal equipment. According to the company, there is no mechanical room to a ProMelt system, as it is simple to install, and there is no annual maintenance as there would be in a hydronic system. There are many control options that have automatic operation.

Publication date: 10/24/2011