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The shape of a heating radiator: which is more, aesthetics or functionality?

When it comes to heating radiators at various forums, it is mainly discussed which type of radiator to choose – aluminum, bimetal, steel panel, but you rarely see a discussion of the shape of radiators. Part of the audience believes that if the radiator is closed by a screen, pushed by a sofa or hidden behind a curtain, there is no problem – and there is no topic for discussion. Another part of the forum users believes that the appearance of the radiator is exclusively a matter of taste. Let’s get it right. Of course, it is very important that the device is liked and fits into the interior of the apartment, but the shape of the radiator is not only a tribute to design and style but also a serious functional task.

As you know, a modern radiator creates two heat fluxes: direct radiation from the surface of the radiator and heat flux from air convection. In the first case, heat transfer depends on the weight and surface area of ​​the radiator – the larger the number of sections, the more heat the radiator gives off. In the second – everything is determined by the design and shape of the radiator. Designing the radiator geometry so that convection is maximized is not an easy engineering task. Why? Firstly, for air to circulate freely through the fins of the radiator, you need to correctly calculate the aerodynamics of the device, secondly, the section must be cast according to these “patterns”, and complex shapes require jewelry accuracy during casting and subsequent processing.

Thus, the design allows, due to the geometry, to enhance convection and thereby improve heat transfer and make heating more energy efficient. This is especially important for large rooms, country houses, where an increase in heating efficiency by 10% can lead to significant monetary savings.

Let’s look at what modern forms of aluminum and bimetallic radiators are currently on the market.

Classic form:

Such radiators are most often in our homes. The forms of different manufacturers may vary, but the principle of operation is approximately the same. About 70% of radiators on the market are just classic. Heat dissipation of the section of “classic” radiators – 140 – 175 watts per section

Reverse convection radiator:

A radiator of this design is in the Royal Thermo line called Indigo. Pay attention to the additional convection window in the upper part of the radiator, due to this form, part of the warm airflow is directed inside the room, and part in the opposite direction, forming a kind of thermal curtain in front of the window. Such a radiator is recommended to be used where there is a risk of serious heat loss: in houses with large windows, if the room is on the windward side, where the wind rose is such that the window is constantly exposed to icy wind. On the upper floors of houses, where it is always windier. In rooms with drafts. In spacious houses or rooms where it is not possible to install additional radiators or a radiator with a large number of sections. In rooms that often have to be aired due to the lack of a central ventilation system.

Alternating section radiator:

There are radiators with non-standard geometry on the market. Such radiators, in addition to the unusual design, perform a specific functional task. A vivid example is a model popular among designers Pianoforte from Royal Thermo. The radiator design of this model is the alternation of sections at different angles of inclination. The radiator sections resemble the keys of a piano – hence the name of the model. A radiator of this form – not only looks like an independent design element but also enhances air convection, which in turn increases its heat transfer to 5%. Heat dissipation per section 185 watts

Radiator with undulating inner fins

The problem of finding the optimal shape of the radiator to achieve maximum convection is to find a middle ground: too wide air channels reduce convection speed and efficiency, and in too narrow air congestion occurs. This form of the radiator was experimentally determined in pilot trials. On the vertical radiator manifold, Royal Thermo Revolution wave-shaped ribs are provided, which work like “breakwaters”, cutting air flows, and prevent the formation of air jams, thereby accelerating convection. The heat dissipation of each section of such a radiator is also quite high – 171 watts.

Thus, when choosing a radiator, be guided not only by the type of radiator but also by the shape. Try to take into account not only the standard parameters of the room – the area, ceiling height, the number of external walls and windows, but also all the factors that were mentioned, and which even experts do not always attach importance to. After all, the main thing is not only to install reliable equipment, but also to save on subsequent operation, not to freeze and not to overheat the room.

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