Why Radiant Heat Rocks: Part IV of V

Posted on 2013-11-13 15:15:13 PST

This is the fourth installment of the mini-series Why Radiant Heat Rocks!. In this series I’m highlighting some of the more unusual applications for which radiant heat excels over the more traditional hot-air approach to heating. You can find the first entryWhy Radiant Heat Rocks! (Part I) or the previous entry Why Radiant Heat Rocks! (Part 3) by clicking on those links.

Radiant Heating System Heats 800 Year Old Church

800 Year Old Cathedral

A few years back we were contacted to discuss a rather interesting project – how to heat an 800 year old cathedral. As an historic building there were some serious restraints on what could be done. Obviously they didn’t want to change the architectural qualities of the structure and didn’t want to compromise the character of the space either. They also had a significant constraint with regards to how much power was available to the site. And of course cost was an issue, too.

Earth Thermal Storage to the Rescue

The renovation plans called for covering the original flooring – having been worn down to unserviceable levels after 8 centuries. It was a simple matter of laying SmartRooms’ ETS panels on the old flooring, covering them with compacted sand, then installing the finished marble flooring. A simple installation but very effective.

With the additional mass provided by the ground, sand and flooring material, the church was able to take advantage of being able to store the heat when power was available (they were subject to rotating power outages as well as limits on the total power they could use at any given time).

They also zoned the heating system so that they could rotate the limited power available to them – switching from one zone to the other in response to the heating demand and availability and capacity of power.
Radiant heat would be released naturally whenever the church dropped below the desired temperature.

Comfort for the First Time in (Almost) a Millennium

A building of this type – stone and timber – are often cold and damp places not unlike castles. Built to last but not for comfort. SmartRoom’s ETS System changed all that.