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Old 01-03-2012, 07:00 PM   #71
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I lived on a sailboat for a few years, most of the marine industry stuff works well in trailers.
I've enjoyed reading this thread, keep on experimenting, testing..
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:09 PM   #72
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Thanks for the feedback...

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorgunner View Post
I lived on a sailboat for a few years, most of the marine industry stuff works well in trailers.
I've enjoyed reading this thread, keep on experimenting, testing..
There does indeed seem to be a lot of marine industry stuff that works for our Airstreams. When I go looking for a solution that is very definitely one of the places I look. I do appreciate your letting me know that you are following the thread too. I sometimes wonder just how much of my experimenting to share with the forum since it does not all go as planned. In general though I think that learning from mistakes can be of value so I try not to hold back too much.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:31 PM   #73
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The flow sensors are pretty awesome, thanks for posting the links! I'm already hooked :-)

WRT the heater, I'm leaning towards a residential unit. Probably the Turbonics Toester T6/8 Turbonics Inc., Specialists in Hydronic Heating Solutions.. The one you link to is nice and small, but must be loud given the fan type and the 150CFM. That seems great for a short term boost, which is probably exactly what you're looking for. I need something that can be on permanently and thus must be quieter.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #74
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Turbonics makes some pretty interesting looking products. Thanks for the pointer. I have not heard of them before. It never ceases to amaze me how I can search for things on the Internet and completely miss a major supplier of the type of thing that I am looking for. Do these folks sell through any Internet based supplier?

You are right that I especially want a quick heat up boost for when I first turn on my heating system. I will very likely put in a switch that will let me turn off the fan and let the rest of the system run if I want to reduce noise or to save power.

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:05 PM   #75
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Malcolm,
I'm finding that between eBay and Amazon, I've been able to locate just about anything that I'm unable to purchase locally. As well, I thought I wasn't going to be able to find non-silicone caulking, but an Internet search led me to a local supplier. May have been a $1.00 more than online, but I saved over $9.00 in shipping costs.
Which reminds me, I need to get to Amazon after paycheck hits tomorrow and purchase new charger/converter for my Airstream.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #76
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A great place to shop for chargers...

Hi Derek,

I buy a lot of things from Amazon.com too. A really good place to check for chargers is the following link:

BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics

I believe that the owner is a forum member and I know that they can answer compatibility questions about their products versus your specific needs. I bought my charger with an integrated power panel from them a few years back and I am very happy with it.

Malcolm
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:17 AM   #77
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radiant heat spreader plates

I did not see it mentioned anywhere. For anyone in the future the aluminium plates for the pex radiant install would have helped out a bit in this situation.

It pulls much more heat from the pex. Which would have heated space quicker, and left the water going to how water heater much cooler.

With out the plates the flooring directly over the tube heats up. This then slow the movement of heat for tube to the floor. Air does heat up much slowee and does transfer heat but not nearly as much as heat transfer plates.

It would only been another $140 for the plates for such a small area. Maybe even less.
Try pexuniverse.com. they have 200 linear feet of pex for about ~$130-140.

If anyone else is going to try this highly recommend they do not skip the plates. Also go with a small efficient gas, tank style water heater would allow for a very small pump to be the circulator which would help alot. 15watt pump verse more than 100 watt pump.
Tankless heaters are very trickey and have lots of controls and requirements. Tank heaters for the most part are very simple. KISS

Also if you go the tankless route you will already need a bigger circulator may opt to go for one long pex loop rather than 2 shorter loops. This will also help the water loss more what by time it gets back to the sensitive tankless.

Sorry for any typos, typing on 7 inch screen 4:30 in morning.

One last thought comes to mind. Can you recap on what the floor insulation consists of. Entire floor. Vertically speaking. You maybe lossing a lot of heat downwards.

Matthew Wright
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #78
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Hi Matthew,

It is too bad that you did not see this thread sooner. I would have been able to be more open to suggestions earlier in the process than I can be now.

To answer your question about my floor insulation what I have starting from the bottom and working up is the following - no insulation below the floor line:

3/4" of Polyboard subfloor - a plastic plywood substitute

Layer of reflective aluminum foil insulation

PEX tubing sitting on top of the foil insulation and surrounded by air

The air cavity is 3/4" tall and is divided up with 1x1 wood strips at 6" on center.

The finish floor is 3/8" thick tongue and groove engineered wood flooring.

I suspect that the aluminum foil insulation will in some ways help spread out the heat. It will not be as effective as aluminum plates at spreading it out but it is aluminum and it is in contact with the tubing. I am also hoping that the major heat loss down through the floor would be of type radiant which should be stopped in large part by the reflective foil. I also have places above the holding tanks where I intentionally left out the reflective foil so as to let some heat leak down to to the tanks. I added reflective foil under my new black and grey water holding tanks instead of putting it above the floor. Of course some heat will be consumed in warming up the holding tanks.

Relative to the size of the pump I did make a rather startling discovery recently when I was replacing the water in my system with RV antifreeze. I discovered that there was a screen water filter at the input of the hot water heater that I did not know about. I would guess that about 60 to 80 percent of its surface area was clogged up with debris of one kind or another. This could have been playing a very large part in just how much flow resistance I have been getting in my system. I have been collecting parts to add to the system and I am just about to make some changes and see where I stand now. I expect to see a difference in the rate of flow. How much I don't yet know. The water heater itself is capable of heating water at up to something like 3 plus gallons per minute. If the clean filter now allows for a greater rate of flow then the dynamics of the whole system will be changing. I will be adding the flow meter I purchased - mentioned above - and the fan assisted radiator. I will be very interested to see what happens. I may just add the flow meter first and test the flow rate before I add the fan assisted radiator.

Relative to tank type water heaters it was my thought that typical RV units simply do not have enough BTU capacity to heat water enough. Perhaps I am wrong about that. If I recall most of the units that I looked at were rated somewhere in the range of 30k BTU's which did not seem like enough.

Malcolm
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:04 PM   #79
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I believe that Best Converter give forum members a discount if you tell them.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:33 AM   #80
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[QUOTE/]Relative to tank type water heaters it was my thought that typical RV units simply do not have enough BTU capacity to heat water enough. Perhaps I am wrong about that. If I recall most of the units that I looked at were rated somewhere in the range of 30k BTU's which did not seem like enough.
u
Malcolm[/QUOTE]

You would really have to see what heat losses are to Calulate that. One thing is, these heaters do not do so bad in radiant as water goes around as losses some heat but the heater is reheating water that maybe 100 degrees versus water source that may end up being 50f. The tank can recover much quicker. Not a huge deal in your case but for people doing this in a home install is. It is important to check efficiency for tank heater versus tankless.

I am currently doing an open system radiant install in a house using their existing tankless. It will make the radiant side more interesting as more restrictive in operation, but design should overcome that. I tried to push them to do system of a tank heat. Very simple radiant, just pump off the tank and back to the tank. If for some reason your loops do not loss tons of heat to the floor it is alright as the tank heater will not care. System will work and can be fine tuned. I think just more forgiving than tankless. They already had tankless installed and did not to spend extra for another heaterer, very understandable, just radiant is more sensitive.

Anyway your idea to raise water temps in the loops to 140f seems like a winning idea for your issues. Should definately heat much quicker. If you have an IR GUN to measure temps, or maybe with just temp probes you may want to check the outside temp under the floor. Measure from a cold start a see where it goes to. It does sound like there could be enough heat going through the floors. Probably not to much at 55f but as the floor reaches 70f heat loss will double when the out door temps are 40f.

The strainer maybe an issue. Once removed you may have to much flow. Now the water will pass through floor quicker but each unit/ molecule of water will not loss as much heat and will return hotter to the heater. Overall more pump speed means more heat into the space collectively, but individually will mean higher water temps returning to heater. If you are lucky you maybe able to put your smaller DC pump back in. Anyway i am curious to see how it turns out.

Keep posting. I try to learn everything by reading full installs and expirences. It fine and good to read theories, but to see them put in place and to see if they hold water is much more helpful.
The failires are just as important as sucess as they help you better understand design issues.


Oh your idea of keeping the addiontal heater out of the equation sounds very reasonable. Get the radiant working well and see if it is needed. Or definately have a toggle switch which allows you to turn off. Maybe only needed on very cool night into the 30s but radiant may work from 40f and higher.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:41 PM   #81
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I did actually do some approximate heat loss calculations a long time back to get a feel for what might be needed. One of the concerns that surfaced at that time was that I might not have enough floor area to heat the space in worst case conditions. That is why I have had the back up idea of using a fan assisted heating coil if needed.

Using an IR gun is a good idea. I do have a small one that I used a while back to do some tests on the effectiveness of reflective foil insulation. I didn't think of using it for testing the surface temps or heat loss. I will definitely dig it out and start using it. Also I did buy the dual heat probe assembly recommended earlier in this thread so I will be able to monitor the water temperature in the PEX at two points.

I did not mean to imply that I actually removed the strainer altogether. I just found that it was clogged up with some debris which I removed. That would be interesting if I could fall back to a smaller pump and I will be looking to see what the new flow actually is. I still have the two pressure gauges in place so that I can monitor what the new flow resistance actually ends up being. I can then see if the number is low enough to fall back to a different pump.

I did buy a toggle switch that I intend to use to allow me to turn on/off the fan in the fan assisted heating coil. The water would still flow through the coil but I could at least turn off the fan if I want to for noise reasons or for power consumption issues.

Now I just need to be able to focus enough time to get back out to my Airstream and finish the installation.

More later...

Malcolm
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:14 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatt View Post
I did not see it mentioned anywhere. For anyone in the future the aluminium plates for the pex radiant install would have helped out a bit in this situation.

It pulls much more heat from the pex. Which would have heated space quicker, and left the water going to how water heater much cooler.

With out the plates the flooring directly over the tube heats up. This then slow the movement of heat for tube to the floor. Air does heat up much slowee and does transfer heat but not nearly as much as heat transfer plates.
With 6" spacing the aluminum plates will probably not make a significant difference (maybe 2-3%). The maximum floor temperature is usually the limiting factor in a radiant floor system. An IR thermometer will show if the radiant system is heating the floor to the design point and any unevenness. Most flooring materials are conductive enough that you can't get much of a temperature difference over a 3" span.

There is no magic to radiant heat. You can't "pull more heat out of the PEX" if the floor is already evenly at 80 degrees, unless you want the floor hotter than that.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:40 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malconium View Post
or.

Relative to tank type water heaters it was my thought that typical RV units simply do not have enough BTU capacity to heat water enough. Perhaps I am wrong about that. If I recall most of the units that I looked at were rated somewhere in the range of 30k BTU's which did not seem like enough.

Malcolm
Hydronic system design is all about balance.

Malcolm's system, based on radiant surface area, can't dissipate more than around 8,000 BTU/h. The fan coil should have its own BTU rating though these are usually based on 180 degree water and would have to be derated for the water temperature actually in use. I have a table somewhere but for 130 degrees it's roughly half.

Any of the standard tank-type RV water heaters could deliver 8,000 BTU per hour.
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