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Maximizing internal heat flow... With Spreadsheets!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by abrucerd, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    215
    Loc:
    Central MA
    With all the factors that affect the temperature inside my house, I've decided I'm going to use the scientific method and collect as much data this season as possible to determine the ideal internal conditions needed to maximize heat flow throughout my house.

    by the way, I know absolutely nothing about thermal dynamics and I'm not even sure "Heat Flow" is the proper term I should be using.

    I have a ceiling fan in just about room in my house, and I put in a setback thermostat last year. I've always questioned the best way to run the fans in each room to help move the air around... so I guess that's the big question I'm hoping to answer (my house has a very open layout).

    So... I've setup a google doc spreadsheet and I'm going to start recording fan settings and resulting temperatures. I figured I'd post what I'm thinking here, so see what others think.

    Data I'm preparing to capture:
    • Date
    • Time
    • Pellet Brand
    • Outside Temperature
    • Living Room Temp (Stove is here)
    • Thermostat "Away" Temperature (daytime)
    • Thermostat "Sleep" Temperature (night)
    • Kitchen Temperature (One room away from stove)
    • Family Room Temperature (Two rooms away from stove)
    • Upstairs Temperature
    • Fan direction (up or down... one entry for each fan)
    • Fan speed (high, med, low... one entry for each fan)
    I'm planning on collecting temperatures with existing fan settings for 1-2 weeks, then adjusting one fan (either speed or direction) and collect temperatures for another 1-2 weeks, then changing another setting, etc.
    The biggest hurdle is all the permutations that are possible with the fans... that it could take more than one season to collect them all. What I'll probably do is make drastic fan setting changes and see how that affects the temperature... then try to hone in on the "optimal" setting from there.
    But, I'm still kind of thinking out loud. Anyone have any thoughts, other data I should collect, or different approaches you think I should take?

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  2. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    666
    Loc:
    Torrington, CT
    Abrucerd-
    I have thought and thought about this long and hard and I cannot think of a single thing that you have inadvertantly left out. As far as suggestions go....If I were to draft up some spread sheets, THIS is EXACTLY how I would do it as well. Looks like your bases are pretty well covered here.
    Looking forward to seeing your compilation of data.
  3. Justin M

    Justin M Feeling the Heat

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    Dec 22, 2008
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    Loc:
    Southbury, CT
  4. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Aug 29, 2007
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    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    Sorry but you need cable in your house.

    Eric
    abrucerd and CT Pellet like this.
  5. mrjohneel

    mrjohneel Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
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    242
    Loc:
    Suburban Boston
    I like it. I only wish you had floor fans moving floor-level cool air around, as opposed to ceiling fans. (That's what I have.) But rock n' roll!
  6. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
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    Loc:
    Torrington, CT
    LMFAO!!!
    Gunna be neat to see the results anyways.
  7. Crazy Dave

    Crazy Dave New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I kind of did the same thing a while back, but included the following: (never did keep up w/ it too much)
    1. Daily temp average
    2. Daily average outside forecast.... eg. was it Sunny, cloudy, windy, etc. that day.

    A sunny day will do wonders for my house / temp compared to a cloudy, windy day.

    Good luck!
  8. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    1,119
    Loc:
    Southbury, CT
    There is a technique called "design of experiments" (Taguchi) that speeds the process by allowing variables to be changed in combination and you sort out the effects afterwards. It significantly shortens the process.
  9. BradH70

    BradH70 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    431
    Loc:
    South West NH
    What about humidity and atmospheric pressure? These effect the draft of your stove resulting in different burn quality and heat output.

    How about lights? CFL or incandescent? These put out different amounts of heat so average ON time may also need to be considered in each room.
  10. zrtmatos

    zrtmatos Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    262
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Well, so what were the results...?

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