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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    2
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    Dirty Fin Tube Radiant Heat

    Hi All,

    New the the site, what a great resource to help and get help.

    I am working at a hospital as an Energy Manager. I have discoverd fin tube radiant heat that is packed with dust and dirt. I am trying to determine how this affects the efficiency of the heat transfer. I can't find any published data. I suspect the impact is not significant because surface temperature of the pipe and fins are not decreased all that much. And the air movement through the dusty fin tubes is slow allowing for decent heat transfer.

    But I don't know for sure, just a gut feel. It needs to be cleaned anyway, but it would be nice to take credit for some savings.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    806
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    It actually is significant. If I can find some data, I'll post it.
    The slow moving air isn't picking up the btu's because the fins are basically insulated. Check the temperature of the water going in, and coming out. If it's not that different, then the hot water is just passing through, not giving off it's heat.
    Better yet, check before the fins and after, note the temperature drop. Then clean the fins, take the measurements again. It helps if you can take both the temperatures (before fins, after fins) at the same time for each test. Show that to the people who don't think it's worth cleaning them.
    Actually I'd be interested in the data if you could post it.
    Easy analogy, if the heat transfer was the same, why would they put fins on the tubing, they wouldn't need them, right?
    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug! --Anonymous

    "Sometimes what's right is what's left after you do everything wrong"--Robin Williams

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    6,901
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    We all know the effect of a dirty condenser. Similar results.
    I should have played the g'tar on the MTV. MK

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    SMW Lu49

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    2
    Post Likes
    Thanks all, yep nothing like actually measuring for the best results. I will share what I find if I can persuade the powers that to clean a few sections for a test (and we are starting to run out of cold weather). So it may be next heating season.

    I am still surprised that published data is so difficult to find. Data on effects on condenser coils and chilled and hot water coils is out there but nothing I can locate for base board fin tube.

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