The “Green Team,” the Radiant Panel Association’s collection of alternative energy super heroes, helped start the radiant trade group’s Annual Conference and Radiant Expo, Aug. 13-15, in suburban Chicago.

Many of the more than 1,000 attendees packed standing-room-only classrooms during concurrent morning and afternoon sessions on opening day on such green topics as solar and geothermal. After the day’s last session, 73 manufacturers exhibited their products and services.

Everywhere you walked, there was talk of green - even the carpet in the exhibit hall was green! SpeakerDave Yatespointed out that we’re in a “perfect storm” of opportunity, and that high-efficiency equipment and low-temp systems are the wave of the future for hydronics.

“We’re going from code red to codegreen,” Yates told attendees. “Don’t look for legislators to help us; it’s going to have to be up to us to educate our customers. It’s time for us to step up.”

John Siegenthaleragreed. In his luncheon keynote address, he said our design choices will impact the market and our customers’ ways of thinking.

“Radiant is already efficient,” he said. “But we can become a deeper shade of green.”

Hall Of Fame

In other convention news, the RPA inducted its first set of members into its Radiant Hall of Fame. (You can read more about each honoree by logging on to
  • Robert Bean,, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • Mike Chiles, president, Watts Radiant, Springfield, Mo.
  • Clayton Cole, owner, Solartechnic Contractors Inc., Corinth, Maine.
  • Lawrence Drake, RPA executive director, Loveland, Colo.
  • Ted Lowe, U.S. hydronics manager, IPEX USA, West Tisbury, Mass.
  • Robert “Hot Rod” Rohr, former contractor and current training and education manager for Caleffi North America, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • John Siegenthaler, P.E., Appropriate Designs, Holland Patent, N.Y.
  • David Springer, president and owner, Davis Energy Group, Davis, Calif.
The RPA will not hold the same type of event next year, but Drake says the 2009 RPA National Meeting will include tabletop exhibits, as well as the usual seminars and membership meeting. The date and exact location haven’t been set yet, but the association plans to hold the meeting in late May in Utica, N.Y.