What is a pipe system

Heating pipe systems: possibilities & efficiency

When central heating became popular in private homes, pipe systems for heating consisted of a simple structure. A riser pipe transported the heated heating water into the rooms. The radiators acted as heat exchangers and transferred the heat to the air in the room. The heating water cooled down in this way ran back to the heating system in the basement in downpipes so that the boiler heats it up again there.

However, the technical development in construction and material led to more complex pipe systems. The flow and return are divided into several heating circuits. Water-bearing heat sources were created in individual rooms and on floor levels. Here, the hot water does not only move through the pipe systems. Nozzles, valves, tapers and double-walled pipe systems also increasingly support heat distribution and storage in the entire heating system.

How does the water circulate in the heating system?

When planning your pipe systems, height differences and distances must be taken into account. The water must not lose too much heat on its way through the heating pipe. This effect can be regulated by the cross-section of the pipes, the insulation of the heating pipes and the placement and connection of the heat output devices. The flow rate and the water pressure also have an influence.

In a two-pipe heating system that is common today, the heating water is circulated twice. The hot water is pumped through the pipelines above the level of the highest heat output device in each case. It flows into the radiator from above. A drain attached to the bottom of the radiator is connected to the return pipe.
Depending on the type and size of the building, the pipe systems can be divided into several strands in order to reduce the distances.

Plastic pipe systems are extremely flexible. This type is used, for example, in underfloor heating. Here, many circuits laid in parallel enable surfaces to be heated. The pipes function directly as heat exchangers. The distribution point supplies the radiators centrally in a star shape or in a ring.

Radiator connections and hot water supply

Radiators and heat output devices can be connected to the pipes in different ways. Flow and return can be attached on one side at the top and bottom, provide for a "flowing" flow on the opposite side, have alternating connection connections connected in series and have a flow and inlet at the same height on the underside. Valves regulate the flow rate and speed and control the discharge temperature in connection with the time factor.

In the case of central heating systems, additional pipe systems supply the hot water storage tank. The heat can be transported by the heating water circuit. When it comes to service and drinking water, separate drinking water pipe systems take over the supply in the bathroom, in the kitchen and at the other household taps and taps with hot water function.

Individual fireplaces and water-guided systems

Heating technology is increasingly diversifying and offering ever more individual designs. Fireplace stoves as additional sources of heat not only serve as decoration, but can also cover a crucial part of the total heat demand. If the capacity is sufficient, pipes take up heated water and deliver it to the adjacent rooms or to a storage unit. In summer the central heating can be switched off completely.

In the case of individual devices such as instantaneous water heaters, chimney stoves or solar thermal systems, the pipe systems take over the hot water supply. Pipework makes it possible to use different energy suppliers for building and household supply. Intelligent and effective guidance of the pipe and circulation systems increase the utilization and efficiency of the energy yield of all heat generators involved.

Pipe systems and heat pumps

The extraction of environmental heat from air, ground and water is based on pipe systems that extract heat energy from even small temperature differences.

The geothermal probes of a heat pump are pipe systems made of plastic that protrude horizontally or vertically into the ground and / or the groundwater. Special liquids circulate in the pipes and react sensitively to the smallest temperature fluctuations.

In the heat pumps, heat exchangers ensure that heat is fed into the building's pipe system. Just a few tenths of a degree Celsius are enough to effectively exploit the heat inside the pipes.