Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biosystems Engineering

Major Professor

M. A. Sharp

Committee Members

William C. Wheeler


Heating systems can be classified Into four main groups, namely} (1) Warm-air furnace, (2) Steam, (3) Hotwater, and (4) Radiant. The first three named depend on convection and conduction for the heat transfer. Therefore, in most cases, it takes large expensive equipment to supply the heat to the individual parts of the building. The efficiency is low, the space required is high, the initial cost is high, and they need constant care and maintenance.

Radiant heating systems have many advantages over other types of heating systems, namely; (1) Space requirement small, (2) No labor, (3) Clean, (4) Convenient, (5) No maintenance, (6) Safe, and (7) Automatic.

Electric radiant heating can be broken down still further into wall heaters and panels. The panel type of radiant heating is more efficient, has better heat distribution, and less space is required.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has encouraged the use of electricity to heat homes by the use of the step rate system. Because of the low rates charged by the Tennessee Valley Authority, interest in electric radiant heating has Increased to many times the original demand. Electricity for heating the home now compares favorably in price with other types of heating systems.

Studies at the University of Tennessee brings out the need for additional work on radiant electric heating panels. One objective of such studies has dealt with designing a heating panel that could be used for dry wall construction. Most of the work that has been done on panel heating is on wet wall construction. This study brought out the need for additional information relative to the efficiency and practicability of panel heating.

The panels can be constructed in four ways:

(1) By putting the grid on a board.

(2) By having the grid between two boards.

(3) By painting, brushing or spraying the grid on the ceiling in place or before it is put in place.

(4) By having the grid placed on the ceiling,and plastering or painting over it.

Therefore, further study is needed to determine which method of heating is more efficient in terms of cost, energy,uniformity and time of heating.

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