The Science of Thermal Energy: Heat Transfer

The science of heat transfer and how it can be managed in buildings is often perceived as complex but, it’s not. Harnessing thermal energy brings huge benefits: improving energy efficiency; reducing operating costs; increasing the lifecycle of mechanical systems, enhancing asset value, and even providing trading and revenue generation possibilities. Our blog series, The Science of Thermal Energy outlines answers to the most frequently asked questions from developers, engineers, architects and facility managers.

In this article we focus on the fundamentals of heat transfer, and how managing it improves energy efficiency, operating costs and security of supply. If you would like to know more, feel free to get in touch.

Did you know?

What is heat transfer in buildings?

There are three modes of transfer when it comes to thermal energy in buildings. These are:

Is thermal comfort tied to one, some or all the heat transfer modes? 

The answer is all. Conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer is always taking place. The illustration below demonstrates this: (to the left) conduction takes place through opaque envelope assemblies e.g. walls, floors; (center image) convection results from wind or pressure-driven air movement; and radiant heat transfer (to the right) occurs when the sun’s rays pass through windows and doors. Utility-grade, clean technology Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems provide added efficiencies and enable buildings to harvest, store, re-use and even trade their thermal energy.

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With so many questions surrounding thermal energy – the how, what, why, benefits and payback – why not drop us a line? Contact

Related articles

The Science of Thermal Energy: Measurement and Management


Technical insights and facts courtesy of  CaGBC Canada Green Building Trends: Benefits Driving the New and Retrofit Market, US Energy Information Administration: Use of Energy in the United States Explained, GeoDH: Geothermal District Heating Potential in Europe and AutoDesk (Sustainability Workshop)


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