HVAC Residential Market / HVAC Commercial Market / Boilers & Hydronics

Boilers, Water Heaters’ Efficiencies Rise

Manufacturers Aim for Efficiency, Ease of Use

January 27, 2014
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Water heater and boiler manufacturers are diligently introducing high-efficiency systems into the marketplace with the goal of making life easier for both the contractor and the consumer. Here are some of the latest, most advanced boilers and water heaters to hit the market.

Bradford White Brute Elite Series

Bradford White recently introduced its new Brute Elite™ Series of gas-fired, modulating-condensing boilers and volume water heaters, which features both residential and commercial boilers from 80-850 MBtuh.

The sealed-combustion, low-NOx Brute Elite boilers are rated at 95 percent AFUE and modulate down to 20 percent of full fire (5:1 turndown). The systems can be horizontally or vertically direct-vented with vent and air pipe lengths of up to 100 equivalent feet. They also feature direct spark ignition, vent temperature cutoff, a welded stainless steel heat chamber with no gaskets, electronic PID modulating control, indirect water heater priority with sensor, and outdoor reset operation with sensor.

Eternal Hybrid Water Heaters GU120

The Eternal GU120 provides 20 percent more Btu than the previous model while allowing homeowners the ability to have endless hot water for two applications simultaneously. The GU120 is ideal for residential retrofit and new construction projects due to its ease of installation, lightweight compact design, ½-inch gas line connection, and convenient top-mounted water taps. It features a 100 percent stainless steel heat exchanger with a 2-gallon reserve tank, a digital display for temperature adjustment and self-reporting diagnostics, a 3-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) venting material that eliminates costly installation materials, a patented self-cleaning counterflow design to flush sediments out, and compatibility with low-flow water sense fixtures and most recirculation systems.

Laars MagnaTherm Boiler

The Laars MagnaTherm is a 95 percent thermal MBtuh modulating condensing boiler or volume water heater available in 2-, 3-, and 4-MBtuh sizes. MagnaTherm offers a 5:1 turndown, small footprint, slim vertical de-sign with removable top section, a stainless steel heat exchanger, and multiple voltage options to easily match building service. The boiler features an advanced Vari-Prime™ pump control that seamlessly matches boiler firing rate to pump flow, reducing boiler pumping costs. No other boiler offers on-board control functionality that balances combustion, airflow, and water flow to optimize boiler efficiency. A large, easy-to-navigate color touchscreen display results in quick setup and diagnostics. Up to eight MagnaTherms can be controlled in a cascading boiler bank. The system has a sealed condensate trap that does not need to be primed at startup, can accommodate up to 100 feet of vent, and meets the most stringent NOx emission requirements.

Lochinvar Fire Tube Knight Wall Mount Boiler

The Lochinvar Knight Wall Mount features up to 99 percent efficiency, low-NOx emissions, and a fully modulating burner.

Seven modulating/condensing stainless steel Knight Wall Mount boilers are available with 55,000-399,999 Btuh inputs in a space-saving, wall-mounted design. All are equipped for direct-vent installation with air intake and exhaust runs up to 100 feet using PVC, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polypropylene, or AL29-4C vent materials. This range of choices is ideal for residential or light-duty applications such as small hotels, schools, and office buildings, the company said. For higher-demand applications, up to eight Knight Wall Mount units can be installed utilizing the built-in cascading sequencer to deliver up to 3.2-MBtuh heating capacity. The unit features Lochinvar’s exclusive Smart System control.

Rheem Prestige™ Series Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater

The Rheem Prestige™ Series Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater won the 2014 AHR Expo Innovation award in the plumbing category. It has an Energy Factor of 2.45 and costs less than $18 a month to operate. This product also includes a full-color, backlit touchscreen control, which provides homeowner service alerts as well as detailed text-based diagnostic information for the contractor.

Rinnai Ultra Series Condensing Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai’s Ultra Series condensing water-heating technology combines the benefits of traditional tankless water heaters with even greater energy savings for residential applications. Rinnai’s unique condensing design incorporates two innovative heat exchangers to achieve optimum water-heating value from every cubic foot of natural gas or propane. The down-fired ceramic burner allows condensation to drain from the bottom of the heat exchanger, protecting the primary heat exchanger and burner, as well as maintaining top product performance over time. The unique condensing design maximizes heating value and earns an energy factor (EF) rating of up to 0.96, which translates to significant energy savings.

Taco SelfSensing Pumps with ProBalance

The Taco SelfSensing Pumps with ProBalance feature pump performance curves, which are embedded in the memory of the speed controller. During operation, pump power and speed are monitored, enabling the controller to establish the hydraulic performance and position in the pump’s head-flow characteristic. This enables the pump to continuously identify required head and flow at any point, providing accurate pressure control without the need for external sensor feedback. SelfSensing ProBalance pumps can be run in constant flow mode for chiller/boiler pumps (primary), system curve mode for variable-flow pumps (secondary), and constant pressure mode for booster pumps. All three modes reduce energy consumption. By slowing pump revolutions per minute (RPMs), pump life is increased. ProBalance pinpoints true system resistance without inducing false head, balancing internally and automatically. This means lower installed cost, no errors in set point, a simplified construction schedule, and no risk of sensor failure. The pumps include automatic alerts (with optional shutdown) for no-flow, dry-run, and end-of-curve operation, and are electronically protected for overload and locked rotor conditions. SelfSensing SKV pumps are available in sizes from 1.5-10 hp. The SKS line is available from 1.5-60 hp.

Publication date: 1/27/2014

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