19 April 2011 12:23 by Stelrad Ltd
Stelrad launches compact ‘K3’ radiator in the UK
-Energy efficient radiator – ideal heat emitter for renewable heating systems
Radiators aren’t just radiators – in some cases they’re very special radiators. Stelrad Radiators - Europe’s favourite radiator manufacturer – has launched its K3 energy efficient radiator here in the UK having shown the new design at EcoBuild in London in early March.
K3 radiators – radiators with three panels and three convector fins – provide increased heat emitting surfaces – and they’re ideal for use with renewable heating systems. The most common renewable heating methods are air source or ground source heat pump installations and solar thermal systems – all of which can produce effective and energy efficient room heating.
Heating systems driven by renewable energy will typically operate at DT (Delta T) 30⁰C due to the lower temperature generated by the renewable heat source compared to conventional methods – boiler driven systems – that operate at around DT 50⁰C. DT is a measurement of the mean flow and return temperature subtracted from a nominated room temperature of 20⁰C. The difference is called DT.
The principal factor determining the level of heat output is the difference between the ambient and system temperature. A system generating lower system temperatures requires larger surface areas from the heat emitter to provide the level of heat required to provide a comfortable room temperature. This doesn’t necessarily mean a requirement for huge expanses of radiator in a room. With modern technology, there are other ways of providing the surface areas required.
Single (K1) and double panel (K2) radiators are common within the UK, but triple panel radiators – offering three panels and three convector fins – are a new introduction in the marketplace although quite common in mainland Europe due to the lower system temperatures often employed in homes on the continent.
Commonsense tells us that it’s the heat output requirement that determines the size of a radiator. By doubling up or tripling up on the number of panels, it’s possible to achieve higher heat levels from smaller length radiators. For example, a shorter length Stelrad K3 would benefit from a space point of view when compared to a longer K2. Installing a triple panel radiator reduces the length of radiator required, offering an adequate steel surface area but taking up significantly less wall space.
The benefits of radiators being installed on renewable systems are many. Firstly, once installed, assuming the heating system has been properly installed – including being flushed and inhibited as required by Part L of Building Regulations - no maintenance is required. And secondly of course being on the wall, the heat they emit is not affected by coverings of any type, compared to underfloor heating where the heat emitted can vary widely depending on the floorcoverings utilised. In addition, many installers feel very uncomfortable with using underfloor heating on upper floors.
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