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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-figured-i-needed-a-certain-number-of-btus-to-20125561.aspx

Subject:  Re: Radiant Heat System Date:  1/9/2004  4:34 PM
Author:  rsprang Number:  44440 of 128666

I figured I needed a certain number of BTU's to be produced and a certain number of BTU's transferred under the floor. I didn't see how the "fins" would change that equation, except to disseminate the heat more evenly, which I didn't think a problem (and turned out not to be.)

The fins transfer the heat more efficiently. The measure is actually BTU/hour, not just BTU. So, if the fins increase the efficiency by 1.2, and you transfer A BTU/hr without them, you would transfer heat at a rate of 1.2A BTU/hr with the fins.

An analogy: you go outside with wet hands in 0F weather. Your hands get very cold, very quickly. Repeat the experiment, but wear wool mittens. Your hands will likely still get cold eventually, but it will take much longer, because the efficiency of the heat transfer is greatly reduced. The fins are like the example without the gloves.
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