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Articles by John Siegenthaler, P.E.
As an industry, we have to move beyond judging the quality of a hydronic system based solely on the heat source.
Well-designed and properly installed hydronic radiant heating systems have earned a deserved reputation for superior comfort. Even so, many people hesitate on using these systems because they can’t just push a button on their thermostat to change the system from heating to cooling.
All closed-loop hydronic systems require an air space to absorb the increased volume of water as it warms during system operation. In most hydronic systems, this task is handled by an expansion tank. In most modern hydronic systems, it’s handled by a diaphragm-type expansion tank.
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.
In past columns, we’ve discussed geothermal water-to-water heat pumps and air-to-water heat pumps via hydronic heat sources. Both can be a great match to low-temperature hydronic distribution systems.
After completing a hydronic installation, especially one that’s taken you a few days longer than expected, do you ever ponder that there is just too much “stuff” in some of these systems?
The market for wood-gasification boilers is growing in North America. Most are used in rural areas where natural gas in not available, and thus the cost of firewood is often very competitive against the alternatives of No. 2 fuel oil or propane.
Differences exist between rules of thumb and precise calculations.