ANAHEIM, Calif. - Commercial boiler manufacturers displaying their wares at the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition had two basic themes: Offering products that are highly efficient with low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Other enhancements were also shown, but manufacturing environmentally friendly, cost-effective equipment was at the top of most lists.

Aerco International ( introduced the Benchmark, its high-efficiency, gas-fired, low NOx, hot water boiler. These condensing modulating commercial boilers offer seasonal efficiencies of up to 96 percent. Marketing Manager Georgeann Russo said the Benchmark's efficiencies increase under part-load conditions because the system was designed around low-return water temperatures. The small, 12-square-foot footprint allows the Benchmark to fit through a 30-inch doorway, and the small vent size reduces installed cost, the company said.

Aerco also introduced its new low NOx burner for use with its KC1000 high-efficiency, gas-fired boilers and water heaters. With the new low NOx burner, the KC1000 models produce less than 30 ppm of NOx corrected to 3 percent of excess oxygen, making the boilers and water heaters well suited for installations with stringent environmental and emission requirements, said the company.

Ajax Boilers ( revealed its high-efficiency condensing boilers, called the Atlas Series. These premium products offer 97 percent thermal efficiency and 4:1 turndown. Spokesman Scott Graves said these products are durable and stylish, with brushed stainless steel and enameled jackets. These units feature a front removable coil assembly for easy serviceability and a powerful blower, which allows for up to 100 feet of combined horizontal intake and exhaust venting, stated the manufacturer. The Atlas is available as 1- and 1-1/2-MBtu units.

The Clearfire boiler from Cleaver-Brooks ( comes in sizes ranging from 750 to 1,800 MBtuh. This new modular hot water boiler is a fully condensing design with efficiencies up to 98 percent. Director of marketing Steve Connor said these whisper-quiet (less than 70 dB at full output) boilers are great for schools, office buildings, nursing homes, or anywhere else noise levels are an issue. NOx emissions are less than 20 ppm, and the units can utilize both natural gas and propane. The Clearfire's burner assembly is hinged to the top of the boiler and can be raised to reveal the burner components, insulating material, and the pressure vessel unit.

Cleaver-Brooks also introduced its Prometheon line of wetback firetube boilers. These boilers were designed to address the surrounding issues associated with unpredictable fuel availability and cost and environmental pressures to reduce emissions. According to the manufacturer, the Prometheon line offers a variety of boiler/burner packages, which are optimized to deliver the best in fuel-to-water or fuel-to-steam efficiency.

Easco Boiler Corp. ( featured its Series SM5 steel modified firebox horizontal firetube boilers. These three-pass waterbacked packaged combustion systems are manufactured for use in low-pressure steam (15 psig) and hot water (30 to 160 psig, maximum 250 degrees F) applications.

Spokesman Robert Fasullo noted that the SM5 is also called the "push-through" boiler because with a 34-inch diameter, it can be pushed through most doors. Gas, No. 2 oil, and No. 2 oil and gas combination fuel burning systems are available.

Lochinvar has enhanced the high-efficiency line of Power-Fin commercial boilers for greater installation flexibility.
Gasmaster Industries( displayed its new 8,000-MBtuh high-efficiency condensing boilers. Gasmaster is planning to certify the boilers and introduce them to market by fall of this year. These boilers incorporate a patented radial pulsed combustion technology and offer one-pass stainless steel heat exchangers. The new boilers have a compact design for a small footprint, minimum maintenance requirements, and a stainless steel casing. They can have modulating or two-stage operation and run on natural gas, propane, or oil.

Lattner Boiler Manufacturing ( displayed its expanded product line, which includes low NOx boilers for California and Texas. Offerings include Space Saver hot water boilers, electric steam boilers, and electric hot water boilers.

Lochinvar ( announced enhancements for its Copper-Fin II product line. The Copper-Fin II is designed to be two units in one. It features independent dual ignition systems, multiple gas valves, fans, burners, and a gasketless heat exchanger. Gas valves and shut-off cocks are in the upper deck for easier access and all gas, electrical, and building management connections have been moved to the front for easier access and installation, stated the company.

Lochinvar said it has enhanced the high-efficiency line of Power-Fin commercial boilers for greater installation flexibility. All Power-Fin models feature digital temperature control, a gasketless copper tube heat exchanger, multiple venting solutions, and low-NOx operation. The 88-percent-efficient boiler has a fan-assisted burner system, which can be specified as on/off firing, two-stage firing, or infinitely proportional firing, the company said.

The Intelli-Fin line of boilers has been expanded. These boilers utilize LonWorks technology for integration into building management systems via an open network. The Intelli-Fin line has been expanded to include models with inputs of 750,000, 1 million, 1.3 million, 1.5 million, 1.7 million, and 2 million Btuh.

Parker Boiler ( introduced a series of low-NOx boilers that utilize a variable-speed blower and ratio control valve designed to provide the proper gas to air mixture to the manifold and burner system. According to the manufacturer, the new system offers reduced initial cost, reduced electrical cost, reduced maintenance cost, more precise and repeatable gas-to-air ratio control, and reduced noise levels, similar to atmospheric boilers. The variable-speed drive provides motor soft-start and overload protection, as well as digital readout of fan speed, millivolt input, voltage output, and diagnostics.

Precision Boilers ( displayed UBW Boiler Division's MC Series. The MC Series are flex-tube forced-draft watertube boilers with small footprints and high fuel-to-output efficiency exceeding 82 percent. The boilers utilize 1-1/2-inch OD tubes in a serpentine tube configuration designed to absorb thermal shock. They utilize a unique three- or five-pass tube design with upper and lower headers located on the left or right side, stated the company. Standard features include flex-tube design with mechanical or welded tube attachments, and flange-ended lower drum for easy access and cleaning.

Triad Boiler Systems ( showcased its new 1.7 MBtu boiler, which spokesman Kenneth Womack said is a rugged boiler in a small footprint. "Our new boiler fits through a 3-foot-wide doorway, has a low NOx burner, and is designed to last for more than 25 years." The company noted that these steel firetube boilers have lower maintenance costs than watertube or cast iron boilers. In addition, the controls and components are all readily available.

Kevin Michel, president of Xcel Mechanical Systems, Gardena, Calif., examines Rheos+ boiler installation.

Sidebar: Laars Introduces Commercial Boiler, Water Heater

ANAHEIM, Calif. -Laars Heating Systems( introduced its unique new Rheos+ Boiler/Water Heater at the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition. It is a fully modulating commercial boiler/water heater, which the company called "a breakthrough in commercial heating system design."

According to the manufacturer, Rheos+ models 1200 and 2400 provide industrial grade performance for hydronic and volume water applications with up to 97 percent combustion efficiency. The company said the units have infinite variability of modulation between 100 percent and 25 percent of the input rate to precisely meet heating loads from 600 to 2400 MBtu with the 2400 model, and from 300 to 1200 MBtu with the 1200 model.

The company said the boiler's secondary heat exchanger transfers exhaust heat to warm water before it reaches the primary heat exchanger. At peak efficiency, water vapor produced in the combustion process condenses back into liquid form to release latent heat, it said. Also, its sealed combustion, positive-pressure design "assures that the boiler can be installed in many environments," the company said.

According to the manufacturer, the new Rheos+ is "one of the ‘greenest' and most environmentally sound heating systems on the marketplace with NOx levels of under 10 ppm and low CO greenhouse gas emissions." It can fit through a standard 36-inch door, and can be used in vertical or sidewall venting.

- John Hall

Publication date: 03/08/2004