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Insulating a radiant slab (C) Daniel FriedmanActive Solar Blockbed Floor Design Details

  • BLOCKBED RADIANT FLOORS - SOLAR DESIGN - CONTENTS: Q&A on use blockbed concrete block radiant heat floor with warm air heat from a sunspace. What is the correct pressure drop for a blockbed active solar floor design? Rules of thumb for block storage in solar design - airflow, heat transfer, pressure drop specifications. Block duct floor designs in solar applications & radiant heat floor designs. Solar Age Magazine Articles on Renewable Energy, Energy Savings, Construction Practices
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about blockbed solar designs
  • REFERENCES
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Blockbed radiant heat floor specifications:

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.

Accompanying text is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss. Our page top photograph shows a ceramic tile floor installed in Buenos Aires.



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Active Solar Heating Systems: Blocked Heat Storage System Design

The question-and-answer article below paraphrases, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.

Blockbed Design for Radiant Heated Solar Floors

Question:

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

Answer:

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.

  1. First, size the airflow to exhaust 2-5 cfm (cubic feet per minute) per square foot of sunspace glazing.
  2. Then size the blockbed to take 25 to 50 cfm of air through each block core.
  3. For the best heat transfer from warm air from the sunspace into the concrete block bed of the radiant-heat floor, a maximum core length of 16 feet has been set.

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.

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Continue reading at ROCK-BED SOLAR HEAT STORAGE DESIGN for an alternative to block bed solar heat storage, and for supporting heat storage design details, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see FLOOR, CONCRETE SLAB CHOICES

Or see PASSIVE SOLAR FLOOR TILES, PHASE CHANGE

Suggested citation for this web page

BLOCKBED RADIANT FLOORS - SOLAR DESIGN at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to SOLAR ENERGY

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