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Old 03-24-2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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Wanna help design a hydronic radiant heating system?


First of all, I just have to offer a "YEE-HAW" to Nathan for starting this board !!

Now, on to the business at hand. I own an almost 100 year old family home on the plains of SW Kansas, in a small town (4 blocks wide, 3 blocks long, about 120 residents). The "city" provides water service and sewer service, a "for profit" (that's an understatement!) natural gas company provides gas service, and a well-run electrical cooperative provides electrical service.

For economic reasons I prefer to work with the electrical cooperative at this time. The home has had it's service upgraded to 200 amp underground service and a new 200 amp/40 circuit Home Depot service panel installed. At this time there is a rather large, power hungry HWOD unit that provides hot water for the whole house (peak amp draw at turn-on is at or slightly over 100 amps).

The current furnace is a large centrally located gas-fired floor unit and since I will not connect to natural gas, I'm hoping to design an electrically heated hydronic radiant heating system and I think that I'll need to have two zones.

The floor space of the main home (not counting enclosed front and back porches that were added after the main portion) is about 900 square feet. The house was "remodeled" in the mid-1960's and that included the addition of some sort of flooring over the existing floor, probably particle board but perhaps plywood, I don't know. Half of the 900 square foot floor space, the living room and bedroom, have heavy padding/plush carpet on the floor, the remaining half (kitchen, dining room, bathroom and short hallway) at this time has linoleum/vinyl (I'll probably update that to 70% wood laminate/30% ceramic tile).

So, my plans were to get two electric HWOD units and operate two separate closed-loop zones. This seemed the simplest way (I really think there is a need for 2 zones, the kitchen floor is always cold in winter and the carpeted floor is always comfortable to walk on, even with nothing more to heat each room than small 1500 watt electric heaters), but the electrical demand of that one whole-house HWOD unit, coupled with the electrical demand of the two smaller HWOD units for the heating zones, would alone exceed the electrical supply to the house. Not good.........so

I'm soliciting advice on a totally different way of providing heated water to the two separate zones. There is a full basement under the main part of the house and I have excellent access to the "ground" floor's flooring from the basement. What I don't have is a lot of space for a large water storage tank.....but that's what I'm afraid it is going to take .

Here's my most recent "bad idea"--could I use a single electric HWOD unit to heat, probably using some sort of immersed coil or "radiator" system, a large enough supply of water/glycol mixture in one or two tanks and then just use pumps to move the glycol though the two zones? That would reduce the potential electrical peak load demand on the house by 80 amps at least, perhaps more if I can use a single smaller HWOD unit.

Or, could we disign a system that would use hot water from the current whole-house HWOD unit to heat the glycol mixture and thereby eliminate the need for even that second HWOD unit? That would be ideal!

So, guys, let's see what we can do....criticize, make suggestions, shoot holes in the idea, whatever, just please let's try to keep this to electrical only. I might well want to try to heat the large tank of water by solar at some point, just not now while I'm there so little of the time.

Thanks in advance for whatever help you can provide!!

Dugly


Last edited by YerDugliness; 03-24-2009 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:23 PM   #2
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Wanna help design a hydronic radiant heating system?


Here's a great example, this tip came in a different thread I had posted on the electrical board:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Have you considered a hot water boiler to feed your multizone hydronic heat? Each zone has their own T-stat and can call for heat when needed.
I'll be checking it out, but it's just a start---let me hear from y'all, OK?

Dugly


Last edited by YerDugliness; 03-24-2009 at 02:25 PM. Reason: copied & pasted to add "Quote" from electrical board.
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:33 AM   #3
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Wanna help design a hydronic radiant heating system?


I would stick with natural gas, controlled with electricity. There are some fine high efficiecny, wall hung boilers out there that can handle all your heating and potable hot water needs. They also have the basic controls for the heat and water heater already built into them.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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Wanna help design a hydronic radiant heating system?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grampa Bud View Post
I would stick with natural gas, controlled with electricity. There are some fine high efficiecny, wall hung boilers out there that can handle all your heating and potable hot water needs. They also have the basic controls for the heat and water heater already built into them.
I'm unable to access natural gas for this application and would prefer NOT to use propane. I've found electric floor model boilers but no electric wall hung boilers.....do you have any sources you could share?

Thanks!

Dugly
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:10 AM   #5
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Wanna help design a hydronic radiant heating system?


Look up or talk to the people at Burnham Boilers, Prestige Boilers, Weil Mclain Boilers, Peerless Boilers, Rinnai Boilers, Tagaki Boilers. I can't think of who else I've delt with over the years, but there have been a few others. Ask them about electric versus propane/electric or natural gas/electric. I mention natural gas even though you can't get it just because they will bring it up as well. Tell them your situation and what you would like to do. If you are looking at radiant floors and/or walls take measurements BEFORE you talk to them. Measure all the areas (inside wall to inside wall) and if you come up with some feet and a few inches, round up to the next foot. Figure out the square footage of each area to be heated. This number will also be roughly the number of feet of tubing you will need for that area. Count up all the windows, doors to the outdoors and skylights in each area. What kind of door insulation, what kind of glass (single pane, double pane, triple pane, wood, vinyl, steel, aluminum frames. What R value of insulation do you have in your walls, floors, and ceilings? How many rooms or how many feet of radiant baseboard do you expect to put in. Cast iron baseboard need only go in under every window, 30" window casing-36"C.I. baseboard. Copper 1/2 or 3/4 single or dual fin&tube baseboard should run the entire length of the outside wall except for an outside door. Gotta get out somehow!!! Then they will want to know your locale, temp norms, Highs, Lows, is the house shaded, have strong winds blowing regularly, How many zones (T-STATS) you want etc. This is all needed to figure the best and alternate boilers for your particular situation.
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