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SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR SEALING STRATEGIES
BIOGAS PRODUCTION & USE
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FLOOR POURED FINISH ON CONCRETE SLABS
FLOOR RADIANT HEAT Mistakes to Avoid
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES
FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB
GREEN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION CODES GUIDES
GREENHOUSE DESIGN for SOLAR HEATING
GREENHOUSE / SUNSPACE GLARE
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HEAT LOSS DETECTION TOOLS
HEAT LOSS INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS PREVENTION PRIORITIES
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEAT LOSS RATE CALCULATIONS
HEATING SMALL LOADS
HOUSEWRAP INSTALLATION DETAILS
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION LOCATION - WHERE TO PUT IT
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LEED Building Designation & IAQ
RADIANT SLAB FLOORING CHOICES
RADIANT SLAB TUBING & FLUID CHOICES
ROOF VENTILATION SPECIFICATIONS
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VAPOR BARRIERS & HOUSEWRAP
VAPOR CONDENSATION & BUILDING SHEATHING
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
In this first of our series on active and passive solar heating designs, this article discusses the design specifications for blockbed floor designs in radiant heated floor active solar applications. We discuss design rules of thumb for blockbed floor airflow, pressure drop, and solar design.
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Blockbed Design for Radiant Heated Solar Floors
In designing a concrete-block radiant heated floor with heat supplied by warm air from a sunspace, how do I determine the correct pressure drop?
Is there an optimum length for an air passage using hollow core concrete blocks? -- Herman Blumen. Eden UT
Solar designer Mike Nicklas of Innovative Design Ind., (Raleigh NC) reported the following rules of thumb that work well for concrete block storage of heat in a solar-heated radiant-heat floor.
These rules of thumb for radiant heat blockbed floor designs seem to hold true regardless of the sunspace size. The optimum run length is 12-14 feet.
For this length of masonry block duct, the pressure drop is 0.1 inches of water, assuming the standard 8" x 8" x 16" concrete blocks, which have a concrete block core diameter of about 5".
Smaller concrete blocks have a greater pressure drop because the smaller core opening size presents greater resistance to airflow.
For an alternative design approach to storing heat in solar heating designs see ROCK-BED SOLAR HEAT STORAGE DESIGN, and for solar designs that combine greenhouse solar heat gain and trombe wall designs see GREENHOUSE DESIGN for SOLAR HEATING.
For more on radiant slab floors see "Radiant Floors", Solar Age 5/82, and the following articles online:
Other articles you'll want to see on passive solar floors, ceilings, and walls, include
The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below is preceded by an expanded/updated online version of this article.
Readers should also see ROCK-BED SOLAR HEAT STORAGE DESIGN for an alternative to block bed solar heat storage, and for supporting heat storage design details see FLOOR, CONCRETE SLAB CHOICES and PASSIVE SOLAR FLOOR TILES, PHASE CHANGE.
Also see SLAB INSULATION, PASSIVE SOLAR and other articles at SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS. Contact us to suggest text changes and additions and, if you wish, to receive online listing and credit for that contribution.
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