Hydronic Products Make a Big Splash
February 18, 2008
NEW YORK - The new products in the hydronics area added up to more than you can shake a stick at, at the 2008 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo). There were a range of product types and companies that offered this equipment, as well.
Aurora (www.aurorapump.com) introduced its 3310 Series of pumps, which are designed to conserve floor space and reduce installation costs. The close-coupled footprint of the pumps can reduce required floor space by 40 percent when used in a horizontal position or 60 percent when used in a vertical position. Installation costs are reduced by minimizing the need for piping supports.
In addition, the 380 Series of inline pumps has a split-couple (SC) option that makes the pump easier to service in the field. “It takes service from a two-person job to a one-person job,” said Steve Ecuyer, Aurora national sales manager.
Bell & Gossett (www.bellgossett.com) introduced its next generation of ZoneTrol II zone controllers with optional outdoor reset control. The ready-to-install controller can be used in both residential and light commercial applications. Features include a microprocessor design that doesn’t need add-on circuit boards or modules. All 10 models are compatible with analog and digital 24-vac thermostats. Four- and six-zone controllers are field expandable for up to 18 pumps and are available with integrated, prewired boiler reset or mix reset controllers.
Burnham (www.burnham.com) introduced the MPC™ cast iron commercial boiler. The Sage Boiler Control™ (SBC) boiler monitoring system provides boiler modification, operating control, diagnostics, multiple boiler lead-lag, and auxiliary device control. It has a combustion efficiency of 89 percent for oil and 86.3 percent for gas. A display provides readouts for all system functions, including supply, return, temperatures, modulation rate, and boiler sequence.
The Beckett burner has a 0.85-gph firing rate and a 1 1/2-inch steel coil double-wall heat exchanger. Other features include ¾-inch water connections, thermostatic mixing valve, and a maximum heating capacity of 55,000 Btuh.
Cleaver-Brooks (www.cleaver-brooks.com) introduced an addition to its Premier Commercial Boiler line, the Clearfire Model CFV-Steam. The company called the Clearfire-V “the new standard in commercial high-efficiency firetube boilers.” Features include full modulation with high turndown via variable-speed blower, low emissions (under 30 ppm NOx and under 10 ppm CO), high efficiency with greenhouse gas reduction, and low-noise operation.
“This new boiler puts us in a market we haven’t been in,” said Robert Riccio, Cleaver-Brooks regional vice president. “We are very excited about this new technology.”
Another new item the company brought to the expo was the Falcon ISD Intelligent Sequencing Device. It is designed for use with the line of Clearfire CFC full-condensing hot-water boilers, but can also be used to sequence and control pumps, variable-speed drives, dampers, and other equipment.
Victor Cerbins, product manager, commercial boilers, de-scribed the ISD’s function this way: “What it does is looks at the supply water to come through the loop, the return water temperature in that loop, and also the flow. So with those three variables, you can determine what your demand really is.” It can control up to 16 boilers.
Comfort-Aire by Heat Controller Inc. (www.comfort-aire.com) unveiled its AHBV Series hydronic air handlers. Depending on the model, they are rated either 13 or 14 SEER, have a nominal heating Btuh of 52,000-98,500, and a nominal airflow of 600-2,000 cfm.
The variable-speed blower motor improves efficiency by adjusting the cfm to match the static pressure of the system. Ready for air conditioning systems of 1.5–5 tons, the hydronic coil has aluminum fin-copper tube construction with manual air vent and drain valves, ¾-inch water connections, and it’s compatible with boilers and water heaters.
Grundfos (www.grundfos.com) displayed the Magna wet rotor circulator. The pump is available in three cast iron models and covers flows of 10-170 gpm. The patented AutoAdapt control function automatically adjusts performance to meet demand and save energy. “The pump actually saves, with the AutoAdapt, 70-80 percent of energy compared to a regular pump,” stated Carsten Nørgaard, product manager, large circulators and business development manager.
Heat Transfer Products (www.htproducts.com) presented the ModCon modulating and condensing commercial boiler with a 94 percent thermal efficiency. The boiler is available in three models with maximum inputs of 300,000, 500,000, and 800,000 Btuh. It features a load-matching gas burner with a 5:1 turndown ratio to meet variable needs for space heating and domestic hot water in a single application. The direct-vent sealed-combustion boilers can be stacked, two at a time, to double capacity while maintaining the same footprint.
Laars (www.laars.com) displayed its Mighty Therm®2 boiler/volume water heater. Seven models can be used for hydronic systems, volume water heat applications, and as commercial-sized pool heaters. Sizes of 500-2,000 MBtuh can be used with natural gas or liquid propane.
One benefit of this line, which is made for the replacement market, is its size. “It will fit through a 30-inch door opening, so that’s why it’s really good for retrofit work, because we can go through the door. That’s the important thing. If you’re fighting to get one out, you should at least have an easy time of getting one in,” commented Douglas A. DeAngelis, Eastern Atlantic sales manager.
Little Giant (www.littlegiantpump.com) introduced a line of shallow pan condensate removal pumps, named 1-, 2-, and 3-ABS. The three fully submersible, in-pan compact pumps automatically remove condensate “quickly and efficiently,” according to the company. The pumps have epoxy-coated, cast aluminum housings for long-lasting performance. All of the models have a new feature: an advanced nonmercury mechanical switch.
“Little Giant changed the switch to accommodate the marketplace,” said Scott Sayton, Little Giant products manager. The switch automatically triggers operation when the condensate in the pan or reservoir reaches a preset level. All of the features of the three pumps add up to convenience for contractors and customers.
Another new product from the manufacturer, the Condalert, is an overflow detection device. It is designed for equipment shutdown or warning when leaks and drain overflow conditions are identified.
Lochinvar (www.lochinvar.com) introduced its Knight XL modulating/condensing commercial boiler. Features include 94.6-percent thermal efficiency, low NOx emissions, and a fully modulating burner with 5:1 turndown ratio. Five models are available, with 399,000-, 500,000-, 600,000-, 700,000-, and 800,000-Btuh inputs.
The boiler is equipped for direct-vent installation with air intake and exhaust runs up to 100 feet. The Smart System control offers control and monitoring functions that are easier to understand and use. Optional software for a PC or Pocket PC offers expanded capability for recording, tracking, and analyzing system data.
The company also enhanced all Power-Fin® boilers and water heaters. Updated features include a standard internal cascading sequencer, the advanced Smart System control, and a fully modulating burner with expanded 5:1 turndown.
Triad Boiler Systems (www.triadboiler.com) introduced the Triad Condensing Boiler, which has efficiencies of up to 99 percent. The boiler’s 28-inch footprint allows it to fit through most doorways, and it has extremely quiet operation. Its high combustion efficiency is complemented by its low NOx emissions, making for very clean operation. “This new boiler will open a whole new market for our company,” said Triad’s Kenneth Womack while he showed off the product on the expo show floor.
Uponor (www.uponor-usa.com) brought its Climate Control™ Multi- function, a hydronic controller for radiant heating and cooling systems, to the expo. The product can control boiler and water temperature, regulate weather responsiveness and snow melting functions - “everything we’ve ever had in independent controls built into one control,” stated David Holdorf, tech field rep East Coast.
Its Cat5 wiring, according to Holdorf, makes it “a lot easier to figure out how to make this thing work - just plug it in here, plug it in over here, and now we have plug-and-play compatibility with the control.”
Victaulic (www.victaulic.com) displayed the Style 107 QuickVic rigid coupling at its booth. Designed for joining steel pipe, these couplings can be used in applications such as distribution piping and HVAC. It can join 2-6 inch (50-150 mm) standard roll grooved and cut grooved steel pipe. The coupling’s angle bolt pad design provides a metal-to-metal bolt pad for visual confirmation of proper installation.
Watts Radiant (www.wattsradiant.com) added the HydroNex™ building block panel line to its product offerings. The modular control panels are preassembled and pre-engineered for quick specifying and installation. Designed for light commercial applications, they can be used to radiantly heat floors, walls, showers, snow-melted sidewalks and driveways, and domestic hot water.
Weil-McLain’s (www.weil-mclain.com) 88 Series 2 commercial boiler offers 85.6 efficiency on the oil products and 83.1 on the gas products. Water and steam options are available. Scott Schreeg, commercial product manager, said the cast iron sections are backwards-compatible, so Series 2 iron can be used to repair Series 1 units. In addition, the jacket on the 88 Series 2 is backwards-compatible if a complete assembly is replaced.
Schreeg commented, “When you look at lifecycle cost, the cast iron really fares pretty well because the initial investment is a lot lower, the product’s not nearly as expensive as most condensing units, and it lasts a lot longer.”
The manufacturer also displayed its hydronic air handlers. The units allow a variety of products to be combined “to satisfy a homeowner’s needs, whether they want to heat with radiant or heat with forced air, and efficiently cool the house,” as well, said Schreeg. The units can be installed in upflow, downflow, or horizontal applications without modification and come in four models that can be utilized with 1 ½-5 ton a/c units.
Wilo (www.wilo-na.com) has added the Wilo IL dry rotor inline centrifugal circulator to its product line. Expo visitors learned about its features, such as a new pump coating that gives it more corrosion protection - a very important feature, since the cooling process includes a lot of condensation. Its conical design makes it easier to service and maintain. The IL is available in sizes from 1 1/4 to 4 inches and has a trimmable bronze impeller, among other features. Wilo has nicknamed the IL “pumpen intelligenz.”
Publication Date: 02/18/2008