Hydronics Technology Zeros in on Energy Savings
Using a systems approach results in greater efficiencies
ORLANDO, Fla. — Driven by energy costs, the hydronics market has seen substantial growth over the past few years as customers place greater emphasis on energy efficiency, said Derek Bower, product director, metal press systems, Viega LLC. “To support this growth, enhanced product and tool technologies that deliver efficiency and comfort have become a large focus.”
Reducing energy consumption is a goal of commercial building owners and managers, and the way to do that is to take an overall systems approach when designing HVAC systems, said Mark Handzel, vice president of product regulatory affairs and director of HVAC commercial buildings, Xylem Inc. “Using a systems approach is vital, because even a highly efficient component can only operate at its best when all parts of the system are working together. This approach maximizes energy and water efficiencies and optimizes life cycle and cost savings for an entire commercial building. We are committed to helping engineers design efficient systems through a highly integrated approach, including developing energy-efficient pumps and energy-saving system solutions for HVAC and plumbing applications in commercial buildings.”
Two of those new energy-efficient pumps are the Series e-80 close-coupled inline centrifugal pumps and Series e-80SC split-coupled vertical inline centrifugal pumps, which are a comprehensive redesign of the Bell & Gossett legacy Series 80 and 80SC pumps. Integrated Technologic Sensorless Control (ITSC), and Integrated Technologic sensored (IT) variable frequency drive options are available on both Series e-80 close-coupled and Series e-80SC split-coupled vertical inline pumps. ITSC combines the energy savings of variable flow with sensorless technology to eliminate the cost and time of using wired transducers while IT combines the energy savings of variable flow with the system application flexibility of differential pressure and flow sensors as well as control with a building management system signal.
The expectation for improved operational efficiency (components and systems) never seems to end — the ongoing challenge is delivering smart and efficient products that do not require rocket scientists to install and setup, said Steve Thompson, senior vice president of product management, Taco Inc.
To that end, Taco introduced the OOe 3452, a high-efficiency, self-sensing, electronically commutated motor (ECM)-powered, wet rotor, variable-speed circulator for closed-loop chilled and hot water applications, offering up to 34 feet of shut-off head and 52 gallons per minute (gpm) flow. All settings are accomplished with the user-friendly interface, and the permanent magnet ECM motor saves up to 85 percent of the electrical energy compared to conventional pumps.
The 3452 provides ease of startup and comes with standard flange-to-flange dimension, a replacement cartridge for easy replacement of key parts and attractive features for end users and installers, said Thompson. “We feel we have satisfied the current needs of the customers — the challenge is anticipating what the future customers’ needs will be, and that is where the fun continues.”
Armstrong Fluid Technology introduced the DE 4200H Series of horizontal end suction design envelope (DE) pumps, which feature sensorless integrated controls for greater energy savings. “Drawing on the strength of design envelope technology, this horizontal DE pump can reduce pumping costs and lower installed costs.” says Lex van der Weerd, CEO of Armstrong Fluid Technology.
Some of the other features of the DE 4200H Series include integrated controls, which eliminate the need for VFD [variable frequency drive] wall space or mounting with extra cable runs; built-in harmonic mitigation, soft start, and motor adaptation; and easy maintenance due to outside seal and split coupling.
HEATING AND COOLING
Bosch Thermotechnology unveiled its hydronic air handlers, which create a more efficient, compact, and advanced home heating system. By pairing the new air handler with Bosch Greentherm condensing tankless water heaters, homeowners can benefit from a more efficient heating system with a virtually endless supply of domestic hot water. The new air handler can replace furnaces with a ducted system, eliminating the need for a gas pipe, venting, and the necessary fresh-air in-take for furnaces. It can also be used with 3-inch-diameter high-velocity mini-duct systems in retrofit applications and new construction.
Grundfos showcased its UPZC single- and multi-zone controls for zone pumps and zone valves. According to Terry Teach, executive vice president for Grundfos, these zone controls are ideal for single- and multi-zone hydronic heating systems, whether using zone pumps or low-voltage zone valves. “All multiple zone controls are expandable to handle any size of job. Boiler pumps, domestic hot water pumps, and system pumps, as well as assigning priority can be controlled from the UPZC control.”
The side-mounted terminals provide easy access and ease in wiring, and the front-facing, easy-to-read LED indicators on the front panel provide essential operation status, said Teach. “The controls are simple to operate, easy to install, versatile, and expandable. Our multi-zone units are expandable to an unlimited number of zones.”
SpacePak’s Solstice Extreme low-ambient, air-to-water heat pump provides primary heating and cooling even in severe weather climates. Its environmentally friendly design uses enhanced vapor injection (EVI) technology and the clean, efficient characteristics of hydronics as its primary energy source to deliver perfectly conditioned air to any occupied space.
EVI technology and the high-efficiency condenser used in SpacePak low-ambient heat pumps provides improved efficiency, reliability, and heating capacities, said Janine Pedro, marketing specialist, SpacePak Hydronics. “EVI increases heating capacity, making it the perfect compressor for severe ambient conditions (0°F) in cold climates while maintaining the ability to cool during the summer months.”
Legend Hydronics introduced its M-8100 manifold, which is manufactured from a high-performance polymer that is designed to withstand pressures and temperatures well beyond what is needed for the most demanding heating or cooling project. The manifold has built-in loop isolation, balancing, and flow meters for easy setup and optimization. The M-8100 is packaged ready to install, pre-assembled, and mounted on brackets.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Uponor Inc. announced it has expanded its commercial piping products to include 2 ½- and 3-inch PEX pipe and ProPEX® fittings along with the new Milwaukee® M18™ FORCELOGIC™ 2- to 3-inch ProPEX expansion tool.
The new 2 ½- and 3-inch offering includes PEX pipe, ProPEX fittings, pipe support, and tools, while the pipe offering includes Wirsbo hePEX™ in both coils and straight lengths. The fitting offering includes a complete line of ASTM F1960 tees, elbows, couplings, and transition fittings, as well as a flange adapter kit. And the tools include pipe cutters as well as the new Milwaukee M18 FORCELOGIC expansion tool.
“This product offering will provide our commercial customers with a large, comprehensive PEX pipe and ProPEX fitting offering, giving designers and installers the ability to specify and install even more hydronic piping and commercial plumbing applications with PEX,” said Mark Hudoba, director of heating and cooling, Uponor Inc. “Engineers and mechanical contractors are recognizing that a PEX system provides them a more durable and better-performing product at a lower cost than copper and other piping alternatives. I suspect it is just a matter of time before the commercial building industry converts hydronic piping from copper to PEX, just as the residential building industry has done with plumbing pipe.”
Publication date: 2/22/2016