Online educational resource on achieving indoor environmental quality with radiant based HVAC systems
Not for profit educational resource on indoor environmental quality.
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Radiant Floor Heating

Love or hate him, Bill Gates still makes the most powerful design tool of all time.

Microsoft's Excel ™ sits on all our machines as does years and tears of effort to build our own integrated tools.

The software tools to the right - assist us in  precision analysis and engineering  or what Bill Wright refers to as "polishing the canon ball". 

The Excel allows us to be sufficiently accurate.

Whether we're teaching or engineering we would not be capable of the volume of work if it wasn't for all these tools.

Radiant Design Software

I've used many different programs over the years including those from Uponor, Rehau, and Watts Radiant.

With these programs you get some very good talent behind the numbers.

I don't recall all the history for all the programs but in Uponor's case you have the likes of Lenman, Olesen and the 'Berg' in it's early DNA. With Rehau you have guys like Hayden and McNevin along with their solid heritage. Watts Radiant has Kilkis. Davis Energy with Drake have their fingers in the early Infloor Programs.

In our courses we teach a simplified ASHRAE method for all but the most challenging projects. This entails the use of a modified nomograph, shown here:

Radiant Design Nomograph




Once the students have a grasp of the numbers they can move into anyone of the programs and have a better understanding of the output.

For further reading on design have a browse at:
Heat Loss to Head Loss







Software Reviews

For those of us who came out of school over 25 years ago, design and drafting was manual labor...every number crunched by hand and every line penciled then inked in pen. Evolving from those days are computer design tools which are incredibly sophisticated, animated and yes efficient in the hands of a skilled operator.  Here are some of our favorites. Some we use daily, others occasionally. All get two thumbs up.  If we have your software and you don't see it - not to worry it'll be up in due course - complete with links.

We can not expect to create acceptable indoor environmental quality unless we first understand the human body. This is the 3D Anatomical Atlas which we use for basic study and some presentations.

3D Anatomical Atlas

The Human 3D has very cool animations which makes the study of the human body fun and easy.

Human Body Interactive is an entire library of illustrations and animations explaining such things as heat loss from the human body, thermal sensors and lots of other fascination areas of study.

Great graphics and easy to read text such as this excerpt, "The hypothalamus works as the biological "thermostat". Most sensors, or sensory receptors, are in the skin, which is a major part of the body's shell. These sensors respond primarily to the body's surface temperature."

Hands Downs Psychrometric software is well the best  - hands down! This latest version we'll be showing students in our 2007 classes. A must have for designing radiant based HVAC systems.  Comes with lots of extra calculators like a comfort tool, dew point, duct designer,  interpolator and many more.

ASHRAE's latest version of its popular comfort calculator includes a Mean Radiant Temperature Calculator (MRT) - one of the critical components of comfort.  Our friends over at MRT also have an online version if you don't want a full blown comfort calculator.

Squ1 Research creates tools for the person looking for visual presentation of such things as plotting comfort or cooling systems on the psychrometric chart.  They also have a host of other easy to use calculators. Squ1 is home of the ECOTECH modeling program and the Comfort Calculator we use here at the site.

The history of B & G's System Syzer is wrapped up in the Carlson Holohan Industry Award of Excellence.  From the original to the plastic slide rule to the software this tool has history like no other. Load to flow, pipe sizing, velocity and head loss...what can we say - there is no tool like it

It was the mid 80's when we first came across brazed plate heat exchangers from SWEP - through Peter Devlin of Kcal-Ex. Peter was ex. Alpha Laval and knew his stuff.   SWEP have gone through an amazing transition over the years and their documents and software always rock solid.

If there is one tool to spend more time with, it would be Heat2 finite element analysis software developed by Dr. Blomberg and Professor Claesson.  I took a course from Dr. de Carli of Italy with our friends from Uponor (Wirsbo).  The slab designs you see at the site, in our presentations and courses comes from this tool.

HVAC Sizing Methodology for Insulated Concrete Homes was prepared for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research. It's an Excel based program with a number of very useful features.

This cooling load calculator from Dean and Wood (UK) is the perfect match to Siegenthaler's Heat Load Pro.  Six simple screens take you through a cooling load estimation.

Hydronics Design Studio Professional Version, is a must have for those who want a stand alone calculator for various aspects of hydronic design including a circuit resistance calculator, circuit simulator and more! Another great product from Mario Restive and John Siegenthaler

You can see our full review of John and Mario's Heat Load Pro in HPAC Canada but let me just say that this tool, like all of Team Siggy's Tools are sharp and ready for use right out of the box.

ASHRAE's Thermal Comfort Calculator with its metabolic function and clothing library make this one of the more comprehensive tools available. Designed by Marc Fountain, Environmental Analytics and Charlie Huizenga, U C Berkley.

In the world of comfort there is a gent by the name of Dan In-Hout.  Dan works for Krueger and is one of the DNA strands in ASHRAE's research and standards in comfort.  This is the tool he created for illustrating the comfort zones on the psychrometric chart.

ASHRAE's Snow Melt Analysis tool came from outstanding research and papers written by Oklahoma State University, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Authors: Dr. J. Spitler, S.J.Rees, X. Xia, M. Chullipurambil


Grundfos WinCaps was the first circulator selection program to sit on our machines. In addition to its great graphics, I love the estimating operating features and CO2 emissions function.

Taco's multi function program includes a tube and shell selection program along with a circulator, and expansion tank calculator. Taco have a host of other design and drawing tools to explore.

B & G's full feature program has the best expansion tank selection program of all. Included with the entire package is a circulator, exchanger and hydronic specialties tools.

One of the more comprehensive online references for air and water based systems is Honeywell's Damper and Valve Sizing and Selection Software.

Armstrong have a comprehensive program and online training called Knowledge Exchange its hard to do justice here in a few words.

Looking for an all purpose unit converter and engineering tool? Uconeer is the one.

PolySun sits on our storage drive just in case we need access to a solar schematic or need to explain some terms to our students.  Good stuff.

Bill Wright & Co. have created one of the more integrated HVAC packages in North America with everything from air to radiant based HVAC systems. Wrightsoft takes some hard work to learn but once you're up and running you'll appreciate the power.

Software Part II

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