Energy Efciency Factsheet
Principles o Heat Transer
Principles o Heat Transer
Supplement to Heat Transfer Product Reviews
Many products are available that claim to saveenergy by controlling
heat transer,including reective paint additives, radiantbarriers, reective roo coatings and low-emis-sivity (low-e) coatings on windows. In an idealworld, the potential energy savings due tocontrolling radiation losses and gains mightbe large. In reality, there are many actors thatimpact how eective these products are.
Radiation Versus Other HeatTranser Methods
First o all, heat is the energy transerred romone body or system to another as a result o a dierence in temperature. Heat always mi-grates rom the hotter object to the coolerobject, never the other way around. Heat istranserred by three methods: conduction,convection, and radiation.
requires the physical contact o two objects. In the case o a wall, heat is con-ducted through the layers within the wall romthe warmer side to the cooler side.
is heat transer due to uid or airow. A com-mon example is when warm air rises (or coolair alls) on a wall’s inside surace, inducing airmovement.Heat is transerred by
when suracesexchange electromagnetic waves, such as light,inrared radiation, UV radiation or microwaves.Radiation does not require any uid mediumor contact, but does require an air gap or othertransparent medium between the suraces ex-changing radiation. Radiation exchange occursbetween two suraces when one is warmer thanthe other and they are in “view” o each other;i.e., there is nothing between the two suraces.
Low-emissivity =High Refectivity =Reduced Heat Transer
Radiation is a signifcant component o heattranser in buildings – in both heating andcooling even at typical temperatures and evenin the absence o solar radiation – but it is espe-cially important or sun-exposed suraces andwhere there are large temperature dierences(e.g., radiant heating, rerigeration, industrialsettings with warm suraces, ice rinks, etc.)Reective (low-emissivity) products will gener-ally be most eective in these applications. Incertain applications, however, a high-emissiv-ity (non-reective) surace will perorm better.Thereore, in evaluating a reective productwe should have some understanding o theseproperties.Reectivity and emissivity are properties o asurace that aect radiation heat transer andhow a reective product will perorm. Theraction o radiation arriving at a surace that isreected by it is called its
. Anotherproperty o the surace is its
, whichessentially is the surace’s tendency to emitradiation to other bodies. Suraces with highemissivity are also very absorptive, that is, they