Thermal mass questions
I am considering a well insulated concrete slab floor as the main thermal mass collector for a future super insulated home in a cold climate (9500 HDD). I also intend to use a very simple single zone radiant heat system for the floor. My research has indicated that a floor thicker than four inches is not only unnecessary but can be counter productive. I have also gathered that unshaded and uncovered mass in direct sunlight is at least twice as effective as surfaces that receive indirect sunshine in the same room and four times as effective as surfaces in remote areas of the home.
My questions are
1) Will adding a PV powered circulating pump, such as the “El Cid”, into the floor heat loop, help to increase the effective area of mass, as it would move heat from directly lit areas to the rest of the floor? Note that by using a PV powered system that pump controls are unnecessary and that pumping energy is free. Not quite passive but close.
2) For this to work well, would it be necessary to use a setback thermostat to lower the floor temp in order to capture more solar heat? I see problems with this approach on days when the sun doesn’t shine…
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