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Friday, May 22, 2009

Science and progress

This picture shows a technology that the university have yet to fully understand.

It is called a radiator. When connected to a boiler, it represents a remarkably cheap and efficient way to heat a large building. To enjoy this benefit, you need about one radiator to each room. A room is an area which is sealed off from the heat of other radiators, with the result that it is cold inside even when there are radiators operating outside the room.

If you own a large open-plan area which was designed to be heated by radiators, and you want to use partitions to create artificial rooms, it's actually quite important that you introduce alternative forms of heat in those rooms. If you seal off an area that contains no radiators, and you don't put some other heat source inside, it will be very cold there, all the time.

Next lesson: how to ensure a healthy air flow to the artificial rooms.


Crampton said...

Heh: if you were at Canterbury, they'd tell you that having more heating in the rooms would just induce people to heat the rooms more and thereby contribute to global warming. It's the latest rage here: a wonderful excuse for everything from not providing sufficient parking (which would only encourage us to drive) to telling the janitors to not empty rubbish bins (which only induce us to produce more waste).

fibby said...

I'm intrigued. Could this argument also be used to explain why there are never enough whiteboard erasers in the seminar rooms?

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