Ecowarm is a form of radiant panel heating where plastic tubing containing hot water is run in the grooves of Ecowarm. Heat is transferred laterally and upward assisted by the metal top layer of aluminum on Ecowarm. The wood itself is conductive but the metal is over 1500 times more conductive than the wood, making Ecowarm a highly effective radiant panel. To understand how Ecowarm works, let us first understand how radiant heating works:
1. Radiation is a specific form of heat transfer in which a warm object emits invisible energy rays that are absorbed by cooler objects in its view. The amount of energy transferred depends upon the relative difference in temperature between the objects as well as the distance between them. If the difference in temperature is great, the absorption will be higher and if the distance is close, the concentration of energy will be greater and the absorption will increase. Radiant space heating systems are those which, to a great extent, utilize the property of radiation to provide heat to an area. One form of a radiant heating system is referred to as a radiant panel heating system which utilizes the surface within a building to distribute radiant heat.
2. In a closed space radiant panels provide heat to the objects in a room as well as to the air molecules that come in contact with them. When air molecules are heated they change in density and tend to rise fluidly to displace other cooler and more dense molecules which then in turn descend. This movement of air produces an additional form of heat transfer known as natural convection. Natural convection increases with the the difference between the radiant panel and the air. A large difference in temperature will induce a greater amount of convective heat transfer. In radiant floor heating approximately 58% of the energy out put is radiant and 42% convective.