Title:
Joist space heat emitting plats and manifold
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is directed to a method and apparatus that utilizes heated fluid circulated through heat emitting tubing held within heat emitting plates that transfer heat from the tubing to the sub-floor of an occupied space for purposes of heating that space. The configuration and placement of the heat emitting plates is such that heat is transferred by means of conduction, convection and radiation while avoiding potential puncture from nails or other penetrations of the sub-floor from above the sub-floor. A manifold configuration allows for fluid distribution to the heat emitting tubing in joist spaces.



Inventors:
Drake, Lawrence Vernon (Loveland, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/651387
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
01/09/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24D3/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
OREILLY, PATRICK F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lawrence Vernon Drake (Loveland, CO, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A hydronic heating method and apparatus for providing heated or cooled fluid to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to the underside of a subfloor through which a space is heated, comprising of a heat emitting plate design that optimizes the use of convection, conduction and radiation to transfer heat through a joist space to the surface of a subfloor.

2. A hydronic heating method and apparatus of claim 1 for providing heated or cooled fluid to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to the underside of a subfloor through which a space is heated, comprising of a heat emitting plate design that provides easy retention of the heat emitting tube by means of crimping or bending of the plate over the tube at time of installation in the field.

3. A hydronic heating method and apparatus of claim 1 for providing heated or cooled fluid to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to the underside of a subfloor through which a space is heated, comprising of a heat emitting plate design that incorporates a plurality of open air holes in the surface of the plate to promote convective air circulation in the joist bay.

4. A hydronic heating method and apparatus of claim 1 for providing heated or cooled fluid to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to the underside of a subfloor through which a space is heated, comprising of a heat emitting plate design that holds the heat emitting tube an appropriate distance below the subfloor to minimize the possibility of damage to the tube due to construction nails or screws being driven through the subfloor.

5. A hydronic heating method and apparatus of claim 1 for providing heated or cooled fluid to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to a subfloor through which a space is heated, comprising of a modular manifold compatible with normal joist construction practices with a minimum of one supply and one return fitting in communication with a heat emitting tube located at each joist bay so as to distribute heated fluid to heat emitting plates located in that joist bay.

6. A hydronic heating method and apparatus for providing heated or cooled fluid to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to a subfloor, comprising of modular manifolds of claim 3 that are easily assembled on the job site using mechanical fittings with minimum soldering.

7. A hydronic heating method and apparatus for providing heated or cooled fluid to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to a subfloor, comprising of modular manifolds of claim 3 that requires no drilling of holes in floor joists to accommodate either the manifolds or the heating fluid tubes.

8. A hydronic heating method and apparatus of claim 1 for providing heated or cooled fluid through modular manifolds compatible with joist spacing through a heat emitting tube to a plurality of heat emitting plates attached to the underside of a subfloor with the purpose of heating a sealed joist space that transmits heat through the subfloor to heat a living space by conductive, convective and radiant heat transfer from a plurality of heat emitting plates.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The invention relates to an environmental heating system that utilizes a flowing heated fluid to transfer heat from a heat source to a selected environment. The invention is directed to a hydronic radiant panel heating method and apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Interior environmental heating systems utilizing fluid to transport heat from a heat generating device, such as a hot water boiler, to tubing embedded in a floor have been used for many years. Fluid circulators are used to move fluid from the heat-generating device to the heat emitting floor tubing through pipe. When multiple heat emitting tubes are used with a single heat generator it becomes necessary to divide the flow of fluid into several tube circuits with a manifold. Flow in these manifolds is often regulated with valves placed in the manifold circuit to variably restrict flow, control fluid temperature or stop flow altogether if necessary. While the heat emitting floor tubing is often embedded in the actual floor construction, such as concrete slabs, it may also be attached to the underside of a wood subfloor or suspended in the air space between floor joists. At times a metal plate, usually of aluminum material, is formed around the tube and attached to the subfloor to conduct the heat from the tube to the underside of subfloor. When suspended in the joist air space, a plate may also be attached to the tubing to act as a thermal fin to assist in dissipating the heat into the joist space by convection. Often times holes are made through the floor joists to accommodate a length of heat emitting tubing to be laced back and forth through a series of adjacent joist spaces.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is plan view drawing of a hydronic heating system joist space heat emitting plate;

FIG. 2 is a sectional drawing of a floor joist space with heat emitting plates installed;

FIG. 3 is a plan view drawing of a hydronic heating system manifold designed to match the dimensions of a series of floor joist spaces;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagrammatic view of a hydronic heating system equipped with joist space manifolds and heat emitting plates.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a hydronic heating system operable to heat one or more selected living areas to desired temperatures utilizing heat emitting plates installed beneath a wood subfloor within the confines of the air space between the floor joists. The function of the manifold, heat emitting tube, heat emitting plates, joist space and subfloor are contained in a preferred embodiment of this invention. The apparatus specific to this invention are the manifold and the heat emitting plates.

The preferred embodiment of the heat emitting plate of this invention is shown in FIG. 1 being formed of a thin metal sheet 1 such as aluminum or steel with good heat transfer and structural properties. The sheet is formed into a profile 2 so as to allow it to be mechanically fastened to the underside of a subfloor having contact with the subfloor its entire length while providing a trough 3 on either side of the subfloor attachment to suspend heat emitting tubing approximately two inches below the subfloor. Each trough is formed in a radius so as to fully support the tubing the entire length of the plate and to maintain continuous contact between the tubing and the plate. The outer edge of each trough is sufficient in length to be easily crimped or bent 4 over the nesting tubing in numerous locations to securely hold the tubing in place. The metal within the plate provides a continuous path of heat transfer from the heat emitting tubing to the point where the plate contacts the subfloor. The fins 5 of the heat emitting plate are comprised of the area between the point of contact with the subfloor and the tube supporting trough. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the fins are bent to an appropriate angle to maximize the convective and radiant heat transfer into the joist space while maintaining the desired suspension of the tube below the subfloor.

An insulation material 8 shown in FIG. 2, such as spun fiberglass bat, is placed between the floor joists 6 with the top surface approximately three inches below the subfloor 7 and one inch below the emitting plate tube trough forming a sealed air space between two adjacent floor joists, the subfloor and the insulation. In one embodiment of the invention the heat emitting plate is perforated 9 with a series of evenly spaced holes making up less than fifty percent of the total surface to enhance the convective heat transfer due to air circulation through the holes where heat is conducted to the air and distributed to the joist space.

The combination of the convective heat from the heat emitting plates coming in contact with the underside of the subfloor, the conducted heat from the heat emitting tubes through the heat emitting plates through the fins to the subfloor and the radiant heat transfer from the surface of the fin to the underside of the subfloor all contribute to the heating of the subfloor material which transfers through the subfloor via conduction.

The heat transfer can be reversed in this same embodiment of the invention where the fluid in the tube is colder than the joist bay air and subfloor. In such a case the heat flow is from the subfloor to the joist air space and through the plate to the tubing trapped in the plate trough and carried away by the fluid in the tube to be rejected elsewhere in the system.

In addition to the heat emitting plates the preferred embodiment of the invention includes manifolds shown in FIG. 3. which consists of sections of pipe 10 in communication end to end 11 to extend the width of the desired number of joist bay spaces for a particular heated area. The pipe has a plurality of passages 12 in communication with the heat emitting tube spaced appropriately to allow one passage per joist bay area. Two manifold pipes are required, each with one passage per joist bay as shown in FIG. 4. One manifold pipe has one end capped and the other end in communication with the supply side 13 of the heated fluid source and delivers fluid to the heat emitting tube. The other manifold pipe has one end capped and the other end in communication with the return side 14 of the heated fluid source and receives fluid from the heat emitting tube. Heated or cooled fluid is transported from the fluid heating or cooling source 15 through the supply manifold pipe and distributed to each joist bay heat emitting tube supported by heat emitting plates 16 and returned through to the return pipe manifold to the heating or cooling source.

Construction of the Invention

The preferred embodiment of the invention includes a supply manifold pipe 13, a return manifold 14 and heat emitting plates. The manifold pipes are constructed from a straight length of copper pipe with brass or bronze fittings for connection to plastic or copper tubing commonly used in hydronic heating systems. Fittings 12 are spaced to provide for one fitting per joist bay. Manifolds alternatively could be constructed from plastic or other materials compatible with hydronic heating systems.

Heat emitting plates 2 are formed from thin metal sheet such as aluminum or steel with substantial strength to support the tube without deforming. Plates in the preferred embodiment of the invention have a plurality of perforated holes in the fin portion of the plate accounting for no more than 50% of the fin area. The plates dimensions are such that the width of the plate is approximately two thirds of the width of the joist bay area to be served and of such length to make shipping and installation manageable. Plates are bent in such a manner that one plate nests flush on top of another plate resulting in the least amount of space required for shipping.