Interpreting Our Thermographic Videos

Tue, 09/04/2012 - 22:36

By now, you may have seen a couple of our thermographic videos comparing Warmboard to a variety of competitors. And while the results are visually impressive, it may still leave some asking, “What exactly am I looking at?”

These video comparisons were performed in a room with an air temperature of 65ºF. And while there may have been some slight temperature changes in the room (slight changes from 63+º to 66º potentially), both panels would have been affected in the same way. Each panel also had an insulating layer with an R-Value of 2.22 and had 120ºF water pumped through each panel at the same rate.

An infrared FLIR camera was positioned 8 feet above the panels to film the comparison. A picture was taken every 30 seconds. These images were then sequenced and turned into a video playing at 25 FPS (frames per second).

infrared temperature sample areaThis image shows where the temperature data was taken from. It was used to determine the average temperature of the entire panel as well as the high and low temperatures which determined the amount of striping. Striping is the difference in temperature across the surface of the floor. The highest temperatures coming from the tubing itself while the lowest temperatures are found in the spaces between the tubing. For Warmboard, the striping averaged around 2ºF. Other radiant systems averaged between 4 and 6ºF. With higher striping you can feel the differences in temperature across the floor depending on where you stand. Additionally, Warmboard is a preferred method over other radiant solutions by a variety of flooring manufacturers.

Temperature bars on the left and right show the average temperature of each panel. We selected 70ºF as a benchmark since this is when you first begin to feel the temperature change in a room. Throughout all of the tests, Warmboard consistently reaches a 70ºF surface temperatures in about 20 minutes. The next best performing system took over an hour. One exception was the gypsum concrete with 12” centers which took 2.5 hours to get up to 70ºF. It’s also important to note that the gypsum concrete panels do not have spacers in them. Spacers, which are necessary for doing a hardwood floor, would further interrupt the flow or heat and slow the transfer down even more.

Knowing the temperatures also allows you to calculate the BTUs produced by each panel. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a standard measurement of energy, specifically energy from heat. As you burn fuel, you create energy. This energy is measured in BTUs. Think of it in terms of “Miles Per Gallon” for your car. Same amount of fuel, but the fuel is being used more efficiently. The more BTUs you get from an area, the more efficiently that energy is being used.

To determine BTU’s, we use a simple equation. You take the room temperature (in this example, 65º) and you subtract that from the temperature of the panel. Take that number, and multiply by 2.

For example when the Warmboard panel is 70º, you do 70-65=5, 5x2=10 BTUs. If the panel is 72º, 72-65=7, 7x2=14 BTUs.

Now, after all this, you may be still be asking yourself, “Ok...so what again am I looking at?”

Well, to summarize: The Warmboard panel heats up faster, provides more even heating and gives better use of energy (which lowers your energy usage) and it does so with 12” tubing spacing, opposed to others using 6, 7 or 8 inch tubing spacing. Other panels with smaller tubing patterns also require more manifolds and tubing, which increases costs too.

Final, Final Summary: Warmboard is just way better.


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