As homeowners have become increasingly aware of the importance of energy-efﬁcient building practices and products, especially upon feeling the effects of rising energy costs, more and more energy-efﬁcient products are being integrated into residential new construction and renovation.
The RAUPANEL system is designed to provide rapid response, optimal performance and ease of installation. This patented low profile system is an excellent alternative to joist heating and poured thermal mass applications. The RAUPANEL system consists of 3/8” RAUPEX pipe, extruded aluminum panels for strength, and wood return bends. The aluminum panels offer high conductivity with a low profile and a low mass, and eliminate the need for structural reinforcement. RAUPANEL is a complete engineered system that is easy to install, eliminates the overpour often used in radiant systems, and requires less job site preparation and installation time.
RAUPANEL provides fast response time that limits set point overshoot and provides the highest BTU/h/ft2 output with the lowest water temperature. RAUPANEL can be installed in walls and ceilings, provides the most even surface temperature, and directs more heat to the space, not to the room below.
While traditional forced-air heating systems blow hot, dry air around the home, causing drafts and sharp temperature swings, radiant heat quietly and continually heats a ﬂoor from within, and radiates heat upward to allow warm air to rise gently from the ﬂoor. This method enables a thermostat to be set several degrees lower than it would be with traditional hot air systems, without sacriﬁcing comfort levels.
As a low-temperature system that can use a variety of heat sources, including ground-source heat pumps, solar collection systems and condensing boiler technology, radiant heating can also offer up to a 30 percent operating cost savings when combined with such heat sources. While radiant heating systems have become increasingly popular among those involved in the design, construction and purchase of homes, radiant heating has evolved to include a number of installation options. Traditional options include installing PEX pipe in poured concrete slabs, cement overpours and joist spaces.
More recently, radiant heat installations have included those not only in a home’s ﬂooring, but also in places such as the walls and ceilings. The introduction of “dry” installation systems like REHAU’s RAUPANEL™ have made these diverse applications for radiant heat more easily achievable, while also providing substantial advantages to the contractor, builder and homeowner.
Eliminating the need for a specialized concrete or gypsum cement installer, dry radiant heating systems allow for 100 percent installation by the heating contractor. This reduces a builder’s construction timeline as the concrete/cement drying period associated with wet systems — which typically requires putting all other building projects on hold — is not required. Complete, individual piece dry systems like RAUPANEL offer even greater installation advantages, with a simpliﬁed assembly process that translates into earlier project completion. RAUPANEL is a complete system that requires no adhesives or other specialized tooling.
Beneﬁts of a dry radiant heating system are additionally experienced by the homeowner, as the low thermal mass of a high-performance system like RAUPANEL, which is about one-tenth the weight of a 1.5-inch overpour, facilitates a quicker response time. It additionally makes heating during the spring and fall “shoulder” months of the year much easier.
Results from a recent study by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University speciﬁcally identify REHAU’s RAUPANEL™ system (with 6-inch and 8-inch spacing between pipes) as an industry leader in providing the best overall output and thermal stability (50 to 60 percent more) when tested against competitive dry and wet systems at the same water temperature and ﬂow rate.
The RAUPANEL system offers several key beneﬁts that contribute to its superior performance. At only 1.6 pounds per square foot, the system does not require structural reinforcements. In addition, the low thermal mass and extruded aluminum components of the RAUPANEL system promote high heat conductivity, resulting in a fast response time for maximum comfort. Furthermore, with only a 5/8-inch height, RAUPANEL is a low proﬁle system that offers installation ﬂexibility in transition areas of the home, such as between rooms or with different kinds of ﬂoor coverings. REHAU’s RAUPANEL system, a combination of aluminum panels, wood return bends, plywood spacers and 3/8-inch RAUPEX® cross-linked polyethylene ( PEXa) pipe, offers a lightweight, efﬁcient and easy-to-install radiant heating option for retroﬁt and new construction applications in today’s home. To learn more about the RAUPANEL system and its beneﬁts to homeowners, visit www.na.rehau.com/heating.
REHAU delivers “Unlimited Polymer Solutions,” and is the premium worldwide brand for polymer-based innovations and systems in construction, automotive and industry. The company generates continuous growth through its expertise and innovative capabilities in materials development, systems design and surface technology. More than 14,000 employees at more than 170 locations around the world ensure success of the independent, privately held company.
The slideshow presentation below will take you through the technical details of how RAUPANEL works and how it is installed.