Which Heating / Cooling Technology Suits My Project?

The operating principle of radiant heating / cooling is independent of the technology chosen and is based on heat transport by means of thermal radiation and convection. All three BEKA product lines for radiant temperature control - capillary tube mats, serpentine copper tubes and single tube technology - are water-based systems. They differ, among other things, in the specific heating / cooling performance, installation options and manufacturing costs. In the following we compare some features in order to facilitate a project-specific selection of the suitable technology.

Material and suitability - plastic or metal

Although metal has traditionally been used in industry for producing pipes, plastics are also now being increasingly deployed. Both plastics and metals, predominantly copper, have been successfully used for many years in heating and cooling ceilings. All these materials have proven themselves on the market over many years.

BEKA produces the capillary tube mats with over 30 years of experience from single-origin polypropylene. The material is easy to recycle and very durable. Since the capillary tubes are manufactured with a wall thickness of only 0.5 mm, the slightly poorer thermal conductivity of plastic compared to metals is not a disadvantage. The large number of parallel, closely spaced capillary tubes generates equally high heating and cooling capacities.

BEKA serpentine copper tubes are bent from soft tempered (R220), Cu-DHP copper pipe to EN 12449 standard. As a material, copper is generally recognized to have lasting value and excellent thermal conductivity.

While plastic pipes have clearly dominated underfloor heating for many years, the use of equivalent and sometimes even higher quality plastic pipes in cooling ceilings is still not widespread. BEKA single pipe technology uses modern PE-RT 5-layer composite pipes, diffusion-tight according to DIN 4726 ISO 24033/22391/21003.

Advantages of Plastics

  • Very high resistance
  • Easy to work with
  • Simple plug connections
  • Good cost / benefit ratio
  • Well recyclable


The decision is made in the project

That’s why there are differences

Whether BEKA capillary tube mats, BEKA serpentine copper tubing or BEKA single pipe technology should be selected for a heating and cooling ceiling can only be clarified by considering the project-specific conditions. In addition to the actual cooling output that needs to be provided by the system, issues relating to the ceiling design, use of space and, of course, the specific costs of the investment also need to be clarified. The three product groups differ in regard to these three aspects. However, it is precisely these product-specific differences that enable a conscious decision in favour of a technically and economically optimised solution. As a manufacturer of the three product lines, we can offer effectively neutral advice purely aimed at optimising the required solution. BEKA’s technical support will be happy to provide you with the product-specific information you require.

BEKA heating / cooling technologies

Icon heating / cooling systems with capillary tube mats
Capillary Tube Mats

Working principle of the capillary tube technology

Icon heating / cooling systems with 10 mm PE-RT single pipe
Single Pipe Systems

10 mm PE-RT pipe technology

Icon heating / cooling systems with copper pipe
Copper Pipe Systems

Meandering copper pipes for metal cassettes or in drywall

Our recommendation - your decision

In addition to these more technically and economically justified comparison criteria, there are definitely also acceptable arguments of the persons acting and decisive in the project, for or against a system solution, which are based on experience or are just emotionally justified. In order to find out, an open consultation between the responsible persons is strongly recommended. Ultimately, it is always a matter of selecting and defining the technical variant that meets the client's wishes and fits within the accepted budget.