Hydronic Heating Systems

Hydronic Heating Systems
Drain-tempering valves limit discharge temperatures

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Space-saving combination boiler provides heat, hot water

Problem: A 2,000-square-foot single-family home in southern New Hampshire had a forced air heating system. The homeowner decided to upgrade to hydronic heat but needed a system that was compact and easy to install.

Solution: Buderus panel radiators and a Greenstar floor-standing gas-condensing combination boiler from Bosch Thermotechnology Corp. provide heat and on-demand hot water. The combination units are designed for applications where wall-mounting options are not available or a floor-standing unit is preferred. All models have a 95 percent ENERGY STAR Most Efficient rating.

Result: “I’ve installed a lot of Buderus oil-fired floor boilers, but this is my first Greenstar installation,” says installer Jason Wetherbee. “I’m impressed with how compact and relatively easy to place it is. The integrated low-loss header is pre-piped so there’s no need for primary/secondary piping, and venting is simplified with polypropylene, PVC or CPVC.” 800/283-3787; www.boschheatingandcooling.com.

Smart circulators improve energy efficiency by 85 percent

Problem: When St. John University in Minnesota set out to retrofit its heating system, part of the project involved replacing the old heat pumps in the Peter Engel Science Center.


Solution: Local wholesaler, Ferguson Enterprises, recommended installing Grundfos Pumps MAGNA3 smart circulators to both increase energy efficiency and improve building comfort. The circulator pumps learn the varying energy-usage patterns of an application and operate only to the extent required. The intelligent technology improves energy efficiency up to 85 percent and saves utility costs by continuously fine-tuning power consumption, discharge head and flow rates to meet the system’s dynamic needs.

Result: Operators anticipate $693 in annual energy savings and a system payback in less than three years. After the coldest winter in 20 years, facility managers noted the circulators were operating at 25 percent of the total head of the old pumps, while maintaining comfort levels. In other words, the circulators are running at the original flow rate, using less power, less energy and at less cost. 800/921-7867; us.grundfos.com.

Drain-tempering valves limit discharge temperatures

Problem: Balboa High School, part of the public school system in San Francisco, California, needed new low-pressure steam boilers that limited maximum drain discharge temperatures.


Solution: Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers designed the project, with Tünde Munz, P.E., LEED AP and Principal of G&B, initiating the solution. As required by code, these low-pressure boilers must have relief valves. Due to safety concerns about venting steam near where students are congregating, the designer chose to vent the relief valves into suitably sized piping, which runs to a floor drain inside the boiler room. To comply with plumbing codes limiting maximum drain discharge temperatures, the designer chose to add self-operating, thermostatic, drain-tempering valves that only inject cold water into the vent lines when the relief valves activate. These drain-tempering valves from ThermOmegaTech automatically detect when the drain temperature is above allowable levels and discharge just enough water to temper drain flow below the allowable 140 degrees F.

Result: The drain-tempering valves require no outside power or signal, which made the installation efficient, clean, relatively simple and cost-effective. 877/379-8258; www.thermomegatech.com


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