Radiant Products Aim for Efficiency, Sustainability
Heating, cooling, and snow melt systems demonstrate radiant’s versatility
ORLANDO, Fla. — Numerous types of radiant products were on display at the AHR Expo, including heating, cooling, and snow melt systems. And, exhibiting manufacturers were all focused on touting the energy efficiency, sustainability, and safety benefits of their products.
FEELING THE CHILL
More and more Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-rated buildings are using air-water technologies for both their superior energy performance, as well as their effects on building sustainability, said Ken Loudermilk, senior chief engineer, Titus HVAC. “In particular, recent changes in health care ventilation requirements favor the use of these systems in patient care areas that comprise most of these facilities.”
Titus introduced VENTUS LUX, an integrated chilled beam system that combines the efficiencies of chilled beams and LED lighting into one unit. The system’s HVAC service relies primarily upon tempered chilled water, with 60-75 percent of the space cooling being accomplished by integral coils within the units. This means more compact ductwork and air-handling units, which reduces ceiling cavity heights and mechanical room footprints.
“The compact system is significantly more energy efficient than conventional overhead variable air volume [VAV] systems,” said Loudermilk. “In addition, buildings that incorporate VENTUS LUX into their designs are also built markedly faster, reducing fixed construction costs and allowing the client quicker access.”
Semco LLC introduced NEUTON™, a smart, plug-and-play-controlled chilled beam pump module (CCBPM) that reduces chilled beam system installation and operational costs. This condensation control device is factory-built and pretested and comes complete with its own powered, integrated, direct-digital controller; chilled and hot water connections; valves; variable-speed electronically commutated motor (ECM) pumps; and smart sensors.
According to Steve Ulm, director of marketing for Semco, NEUTON eliminates the expense of a separate chiller, boiler, and secondary water distribution system associated with conventional chilled beam HVAC designs. Instead of expensive secondary piping loops, each NEUTON blends and recirculates return water within its zone to convert typical 42°F and 140° primary-loop water temperatures to optimal 58° or 100° chilled beam discharge temperatures. This prevents cooling-mode condensation and heating season heat stratification. A NEUTON can control up to 10 chilled beams, depending upon the water flow rate required.
BRING THE HEAT
“We continue to see growing interest in radiant technology from engineers and architects, fostered by the architectural freedom of hiding pipes in the floor, efficiency drivers such as LEED, and the desire to keep abreast of modern technologies,” said Jon Bittenbender, engineering manager, building solutions, Rehau. “In fact, a recent study by the New Buildings Institute found nearly half of the zero-energy buildings in the U.S. incorporate radiant systems to meet their energy goals.”
Rehau demonstrated its new RAUPEX® SPEED radiant heating fastening system for concrete and overpour applications. The RAUPEX SPEED O2 barrier pipe with hook-and-loop wrap is walked on to the RAUPEX SPEED mat without the use of specialized tools, not only saving time but also providing ergonomic advantages. The mat features an adhesive backer that attaches to a range of different thermal insulation, concrete, and plywood materials without penetrating the surface, thus protecting thermal, vapor, and sound insulation properties. Pipe can be easily detached and repositioned, saving time and reducing waste.
Radiant technology is also often used to melt snow, as properly designed snow melting systems are a safe, reliable, and efficient alternative to shoveling, said Judi D’Amico, direct marketing manager for Watts Water Technologies. “A 2009 study published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that an average of 11,500 snow-shoveling-related injuries and medical emergencies were treated in U.S. emergency departments each year from 1990 to 2006. Snow melting systems mitigate the risks snow and ice present in an effort to protect family, friends, customers, and employees in residential and commercial installations.”
The tekmar Snow Melting Control 680, which can easily be integrated into building automation systems, provides automatic control for snow and ice melting systems, operating electric or hydronic heating equipment to melt snow or ice from a road or walkway. A single control supports tandem snow/ice detection and energy monitoring; with two snow/ice sensors, customers can count on maximum reliability with an increased detection area and sensor redundancy. Through the use of an optional flow sensor, the control meters energy usage to optimize efficiency and track changes in consumption. A color touchscreen display simplifies setup and operation of the control.
Zehnder Rittling showcased its Carboline radiant ceiling panels, which are used for heating and cooling an occupied space. The panels are comprised of copper pipe, which is embedded in a graphite layer that is low-density, lightweight, non-combustible, physically inert, and produces a high thermal conductivity. The combination of this technology in the panel cassette produces a high-capacity output for heating and cooling, quick reaction time, and even energy dispersion among the panel surface, said Michael Matzura, national business leader, radiant, Zehnder Rittling.
“As building energy codes become stricter, owners are looking for innovative and cost-effective solutions to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings while maintaining high comfort,” said Matzura. “As a result, the radiant market is growing not only in acceptance among the engineering/architectural community, but also at the owner level. The engineering community is becoming more proficient in the design, which is driving manufacturers to develop better tools for sizing and a more aesthetically pleasing panel that seamlessly fits into the architectural design of the space.”
When it comes to radiant heating equipment, it’s all about efficiency, said Timothy Seel, North America sales and marketing manager, Superior Radiant Products. “SRP heaters provide value while offering significant fuel and electric savings — from 30 to 50 percent — over other heating means.”
SRP introduced Trigomax, an accessory to its line of unitary infrared heating equipment. Trigomax replaces a section of typical venting and extracts additional heat from the exhaust gases of the heater, increasing heat output by up to 12 percent. With Trigomax, venting can be accomplished with low-temperature materials, and, with the aid of an auxiliary exhauster, many heaters can be vented through a common opening in the building envelope. In addition, Trigomax utilizes its onboard blower to create convection within the space, taking advantage of ceiling heat build-ups or roof sun loads not usually recoverable in other heating installations, and delivering additional heat to the space.
The ForceRED Series is Space-Ray’s next-generation infrared tube heater, which is designed to provide the maximum radiant output at a ﬁxed emitter tube length. By delivering more radiant energy to the ﬂoor level, the thermal mass in the ﬂoor is maintained, which offers a quicker recovery when the doors are opened and closed frequently.
The Nexus gas-fired unit heater from Sterling HVAC Products features a proprietary premix burner design and stainless steel heat exchanger that results in 96 percent efficiency. The unique design of Nexus unit heaters provides highly efficient performance without a secondary heat exchanger. The durable 316L stainless steel heat exchanger with 409 stainless steel combustion tubes brings industry-leading efficiencies with single-stage, two-stage, and full modulation firing rates. Nexus UH is available in seven sizes (100 MBtuh to 400 MBtuh) in both natural gas and LP gas for application flexibility.
Publication date: 2/22/2016