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Floor heating tests

13-02-2009 | Efficiency tests | news

“Climate control systems using floor heating are the result of many years of research on how to update the systems that have been in use from time immemorial. Some see in the “hipocasus” (method usually used by the Romans to heat their homes), the origin of such systems. In fact, the physical principle upon which the “hipocasus” were founded – they involved heating the floor and the resulting radiation would adjust the temperature in the houses -, is the same as the one on which the current floor heating systems are based. To achieve it, the Romans placed channels under the paving through which hot air circulated, thus warming up the house. In the Middle Ages similar systems were also used, but at that time, in Spain, they were called “La Gloria” because people looked upon them as glorious.

Nowadays, this climate control system has evolved, mainly using floor heating by means of hot water pipes.

Quality of life and energy efficiency

Today floor heating is considered one of the most efficient and economical heating systems. Many believe that, in addition to its technical and economical characteristics, it provides features that contribute to enhancing our quality of life such as: comfort, low noise levels, cleanliness and, above all, that it produces natural and uniform warmth providing the areas where such system is installed with healthy heat.

From the energy efficiency perspective, the high values reached owe to the low temperatures to which the water circulates through the pipes. Just by heating the water in circulation to reach a temperature of 35°C to 45°C, the room temperature will be of 20°C. It should be borne in mind that to achieve this same room temperature using conventional radiators, the heating plate has to reach temperatures ranging from 70°C to 90°C. In general terms, it is estimated that 5% of energy is saved per degree of difference.

ceis wishes to support all the companies and organisations who play an active role in floor heating, whether they are manufacturers, installers or users, making it easier for them to receive high added value services with which to contribute to their improvement and use

Tests conducted at ceis

Tests are conducted in conformity with the requirements established in standard UNE EN 1264-2:2009. Through these tests, ceis can determine from an experimental point of view the characteristic curves of the floor heating systems, i.e., the curves relating the power provided to the difference in temperature between the outside environment and the flow temperature of the circuit.

The aim is to determine the flow temperature at which the system must be programmed so that the floor surface will reach a temperature of 29°C, when the temperature in the room is of 20°C. By measuring the temperature in the control surface under two different thermal resistance conditions, it is possible to determine the curves of thermal emission of said systems.

In general terms, it is estimated that 5% of energy is saved per degree of difference

There is no doubt that the results obtained are greatly influenced by the characteristics of the floor on which the heating system is to be installed. During the procedure, special attention is paid to the fact that the test samples are prepared in the most in-keeping way possible with the actual conditions where the system will subsequently operate. More specifically, during the sample preparation process, aspects such as the transmission from one pipe to another, the mortar layer thickness or the list of mortar or additives to be used are controlled. In addition, the installation instructions provided by the supplier of the system to be tested are taken into consideration.

The data obtained are finally processed and compared to those provided by the theoretical characteristic curves. The information that can be later used to adapt the system to each type of floor can be obtained from this analysis.

In addition to its technical and economical characteristics,
it provides features that enhance our quality of life such as:
comfort, low noise levels, cleanliness and, above all,
natural and uniform warmth

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