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J. Imaging 2016, 2(3), 22; doi:10.3390/jimaging2030022

Transient Heat Transfer in Radiant Floors: A Comparative Analysis between the Lumped Capacitance Method and Infrared Thermography Measurements

Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 67, Perugia 06125, Italy
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Academic Editors: Carosena Meola and Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The World in Infrared Imaging)
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Abstract

The paper presents a simplified mathematical model to describe the transient heat transfer of a radiant floor heating system. A purpose-built test room has been realized to investigate the actual thermal response of a concrete radiant floor in unsteady-state conditions. Beyond the temperature sensors needed for the standard thermal analysis of the heat transfer inside the chamber, the floor temperature was retrieved by means of an infrared thermography camera, in order to validate more precisely the proposed analytical model. The infrared thermography analysis gives interesting information on the floor temperature distribution during the transient, highlighting the pipes’ layout and, if present, inhomogeneous floor zones. The thermal images have been elaborated in order to set and tune the colour map. A portion of the image has been defined for measuring the surface floor temperatures with a previous evaluation of the parameters dealing with the thermographic technique, in order to perform the quantitative survey. The comparison results show that the calculated air and floor temperatures substantially agree with the temperatures measured by infrared thermography and thermocouples, provided that the boundary conditions obtained by the field measurements are strictly reproduced in the lumped capacitance mathematical model. The difference between the two approaches results in values lower than 4 °C during the entire monitoring period: a satisfactory outcome, considering the approximations of the analytical method. The proposed model and its infrared thermography measurements validation represent a useful tool to understand at first sight the floor radiant panels behaviour in the start-up and switch off period, at the aim of gather useful information for the difficult task of their regulation. View Full-Text
Keywords: radiant floor; transient heat transfer; lumped capacitance method; mathematical model; infrared thermographic analysis radiant floor; transient heat transfer; lumped capacitance method; mathematical model; infrared thermographic analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baldinelli, G.; Bianchi, F.; Rotili, A.; Presciutti, A. Transient Heat Transfer in Radiant Floors: A Comparative Analysis between the Lumped Capacitance Method and Infrared Thermography Measurements. J. Imaging 2016, 2, 22.

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