You’ve already determined that hydronic heating is what you need. And you probably agree that a high efficiency condensing boiler is a no-brainer. You may have even decided that you want a top-of-the-line product backed by a name you can trust. But what other things should you consider when selecting a high-efficiency boiler for your commercial applications?
You may find a scruffy old-timer still out there who longs for the old days when equipment in mechanical rooms was a mass of gurgling, lurching, belt-driven noise. But today, most equipment technicians and engineers prefer the sleek hum of equipment with reduced voltage starters, variable frequency drives and, most recently, Bluetooth connectivity to the Internet. These days, mechanical rooms more closely resemble the polished deck of the Starship Enterprise over the lackluster metal of a turn-of-the-century factory.
That’s a question we get pretty often here in the parts department. These customers quickly become my personal favorites because they are planning ahead. I love customers who plan ahead! It means no one has to go crazy when a pump seal goes or an ignitor needs to be replaced in a boiler. All they have to do is replenish their spares and we can roll on – easy peasy.
I’ve been in the commercial HVAC rep business for over 15 years now and have helped many people design and select boiler systems for their buildings. Yet, the sizing of these systems is most always derived from a load calculated by a mechanical engineer (which I am as well, by the way – see my other blog “Is Your Commercial Boiler System Oversized”). As we run into bitter-cold days here in the Carolinas, (what we in the engineering field call “Design Days”) I cannot help but wonder, how close were we in sizing these systems for actual conditions?
If you are a building owner or have designed systems for owners, on these really cold days, have you ever checked the boiler plant to see how it is running? On Design Days, which present the worst-case conditions your building should see throughout the year, is your boiler plant running at 100% capacity? If you have multiple boilers, are all of them firing at 100%? Are your variable speed pumps running at 60-Hz (100% speed)? And, if the answer is “Yes" or the answer is “No," is that a good thing? The point is to learn what we can about a system from this answer.
It may be the scariest place in your building. More dreaded than the hut at Camp Crystal Lake, scarier than that little girl with the vacant eyes, worse than any house of horrors. The groans, the slamming sounds, the darkness….
While steam may not be the first choice for heating a modern, efficient building, steam is still an excellent heating method. Steam is a mainstay in industrial processing and already exists in countless installations. Don’t write off that old existing steam system; there is a huge opportunity in getting the most out of it.
James Kastigar, District Sales Manager with Raypak, offers a general overview for the MVB including component locations and their functions. The video is for MVB Models 503A-2004A.
Sometimes, it’s a lot more comfortable to stay in your little work bubble and forget about those insidious corporate buzzwords: networking, professional development, training, face time, mission critical, best practices, sustainability. The list goes on and on and on. And certainly, the last thing on your mind is attending a vendor-sponsored function where you’re pretty sure someone will be at your elbow with a sales-pitch while you’re trying to eat a free sandwich.
James Kastigar, District Sales Manager with Raypak, offers a brief training overview for Raypak's XTherm boiler.