With energy-consuming equipment, such as water heaters and refrigerators, we have good data on energy consumption and can set clear standards accordingly. In some product categories—clothes washers, for example—Energy Star standards were adopted because those standards provide a high enough threshold to represent just the very top segment of the product market (less than 10%). In other product categories—e.g., refrigerators and dishwashers—we set a higher threshold than ENERGY STAR: for example, exceeding those standards by 10% or 20%. With lighting and lighting control equipment, certain generic products qualify, such as compact fluorescent lamps and occupancy/daylighting controls, while in other categories only a subset of products qualify. In some cases, products that meet the energy efficiency requirements are excluded, because of evidence of poor performance or durability. Microturbines are included here because of the potential for cogeneration (combined heat and power) that they offer.
Runtal panel and baseboard radiators are designed to operate at lower temperatures than conventional hydronic radiators (convectors). Therefore, a high percentage of the heat will be delivered through radiation rather than convection. The room's mean radiant temperature may be higher, and the thermostat set point (air temperature) can be kept somewhat lower with comparable comfort. Thus, some energy savings can be achieved. Runtal also manufactures the Omnipanel® radiator for bathrooms, which provides additional radiator area. The company's electric Omnipanel may be justified if its use allows whole-house thermostats to be kept lower. Runtal is a Swiss company.
Panel radiators can be more efficient that standard baseboard radiators, because baseboard units work primarily through convection, whereas panel radiators also provide radiant heat. These units can provide a similar amount of heat with cooler water temperatures and can be placed on individual thermostats for improved thermal control.
GreenSpec lists high-performance panel radiators.
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