“The next big thing in commercial boiler technology.” That’s what Mike Lahti, vice president of sales, marketing, and business development at Lochinvar, called the company’s latest release. Unveiled during the 2021 Lochinvar Reveal virtual event on June 2, the Crest Condensing Boiler with Hellcat Combustion Technology featuring RealTime O2 Trim is designed to automatically adjust combustion to surrounding conditions.
A cutaway view of the Crest Condensing Boiler with Hellcat Combustion Technology. (Courtesy Of Lochinvar)
The combustion technology includes Feed Forward, Feed Back, Commissioned Trim, and Learned Trim to allow the user to set tailored parameters, so the unit can run at peak performance around the clock without the need to make manual adjustments.
“It’s more than just O2 trim,” explained Robert Wiseman, commercial boiler product manager at Lochinvar, at the virtual event. “Let’s start with the Feed Forward. We're going to look at the combustion air temperature, at the barometric pressure. This includes the environment in which the boiler’s installed. So the boiler is going to constantly see what's going on around it as it performs. Then we have Commissioned Trim. When this unit is installed, you will tell the unit what target O2 you want the unit to run at.
“Then there's Learn Trim,” he continued. “As conditions change, the unit's going to constantly adjust to see what it needs to get to achieve that target O2 — it will log this in its memory bank for future reference. Lastly is our feedback, which is via our O2 sensor. This wet O2 value, which is truly indicative of the fuel/air ratio, is going to let the Hellcat combustion technology system know whether it achieved the optimal target O2.”
Additionally, the boiler features an O2 sensor exclusively designed for a condensing hydronic boiler.
“The O2 sensor is located in the combustion chamber to accurately read the fuel/air ratio to provide users with a real-time response,” Wiseman said. “In addition, the system is also calibrated, so every time the unit fires, it makes sure the O2 is reading accurately to give you a real-time and continuous response throughout the modulation range. Anytime the boiler is running, it is aiming for the optimal O2 to ensure peak performance.”
“We located this in the boiler combustion chamber, really for two reasons,” added Brian Iske, vice president of engineering. “One, the higher temperatures are actually beneficial for the sensor itself. And two, there's no risk of condensation happening, which could actually damage the sensor.”
Also featured is Lochinvar’s Smart Touch operating control that adapts to rapidly changing environmental conditions. The new technology accounts for seasonal changes, shifts in weather patterns, and altitude, which can affect both the boiler’s combustion air supply and the gas supply. The control platform records the optimal settings and logs that information, and when those same environmental conditions arise, the combustion system automatically adjusts.
Lochinvar Crest Boiler. (Lochinvar Reveal Live Stream)
Crest boilers with Hellcat Combustion Technology come in eight models, ranging from 1 million to 6 million BTU/hour, with up to a 25:1 turndown, a wave fire tube design, and CON-X-US® Remote Connect capabilities.
Other features include independent air and gas dampers, universal control boards that work on any size model, six venting options that permit direct-vent air intake and exhaust runs up to 150 equivalent feet, and an integrated controls platform featuring five boards and coded LED lights.
Lochinvar’s new release features an integrated controls platform with five boards and coded LED lights. (Lochinvar Reveal Live Stream)
“A yellow light means the unit is running or trying to fire,” said Weisman. “If it's flashing, a demand is present in the field. If it's a solid line, it's firing. And on the pump board, the LEDs will tell you which pumps should have power to them. This is not only for your benefit in the field to know what's running, but also for field diagnosis after the fact.”