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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/frankly-i-dont-know-why-heating-a-quotthermal-20111836.aspx

Subject:  Re: Radiant Heat System Date:  1/7/2004  3:58 PM
Author:  rsprang Number:  44361 of 128183

Frankly, I don't know why heating a "thermal mass" is going to be a lot more efficient than heating a sealed air space, but perhaps it is.
...
Why does the ultra-fin system want water at 160-180 through a thousand dollar boiler, but 140 water with a $130 heater works for me? I would be curious to know how this is worse.


Tubing embedded in concrete transfers heat more efficiently because concrete is a better thermal conductor than air. Heating the thermal mass should help "even out" the temperature, but it's the thermal conductivity rather than the thermal mass that makes it more efficient.

My guess is that the water temperature has little to do with the fins - they probably just designed their system using the higher temperature for unrelated reasons. The only real benefit I can see to the higher temperature is better heat transfer( because rate of transfer is related to the temperature differential).



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