Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Thermal resistance, can i do this?

  1. Nov 14, 2003 #1


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I have this problem from my book here
    A house has a wall made of 3 layers: fiberboard, concrete, brick where the fiberboard is on the inside of the house, brick is on the outside and concrete is in between.
    the fiberboard is 0.02m thick, the concrete is 0.15m thick, the brick is 0.07m thick.
    The thermal conductivity for fiberboard is 0.059, the concrete is 1.3, the brick is 0.71
    the inside temperature is 20C, the outside temp is -10C
    I'm supposed to find the amount of energy to conduct through the wall in 1 hour.

    Since I have too many layers, I couldn't do the method of finding out temperature between the layers unless I made a pile of equations then put them in a matrix (which I hate doing).
    I got the idea that I should try to make 1 big value for the conductivity of the wall.

    Thermal resistance is given by this equation:
    R = d/k where d is thickness and k is conductivity constant

    I combined the resistances by simply adding them together (can I do this??)
    [sum]R = d/k + d/k + d/k
    [sum]R = 0.02/0.059 + 0.15/1.3 + 0.07/0.71
    [sum]R = 0.504067

    Then I rearrange the formula
    R = d/k
    Rk = d
    k = d/R
    k = (0.02 + 0.15 + 0.07)/0.504067
    k = 0.476127 for the entire wall

    Now that I got a k value for the entire wall, I just fill in for
    Q = kA[del]Tt/d

    Can I do the stuff I did with the adding of resistances like that or did I just do a bunch of voodoo math that is totally wrong?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 14, 2003 #2
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2003
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook