Solar Thermal Energy: Why the wait?

 

In 2012, Johnson Controls, Inc. published a white paper I wrote titled “Solar Thermal Energy: The Time Has Come.” In it, I stated “Solar heating, often overshadowed by photovoltaic systems, is the most cost-effective on-site renewable energy resource. It presents a vast opportunity for public and private organizations to save on fossil fuels, cut costs, and reduce carbon emissions”. What’s changed? These facts are truer today.

In the white paper I discussed the technical potential for solar water heating in the United States valued at about one quadrillion Btu of energy savings per year, worth billions of dollars in energy cost savings and 50 million to 75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. (The Technical Potential of Solar Water Heating to Reduce Fossil Fuel Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Technical Report NREL/TP-640-41157, March 2007)

These figures may be merely theoretical, but they illustrate the vast possibilities for solar thermal technology to displace fossil fuels, counteract climate change, and save building and business owners and industrial processes money. (Hundreds of thousands of dollars)

For those of you who only know solar energy as Photovoltaics (PV) there is another solar technology that has the potential to significantly reduce Green-House-Gas emissions often referred to as the other solar “White Meat” basically ignored by most of the State and DOE, Federal Energy and R&D programs except Solar Thermal Electric Generation (CSP). Common uses of the other white meat or I should say the other solar technology include: swimming pool heating, boiler water preheating, domestic water and space heating, air conditioning, and high temperature heat for a wide range of commercial and industrial processes such as Industrial Process Heat (IPH).

De Bortoli Wines Australia
De Bortoli Wines Australia

 

A recent study titled “Initial Investigation into the Potential of CSP Industrial Process Heat for the Southwest United States” (Initial Investigation into the Potential of CSP Industrial Process Heat for the Southwest United States Parthiv Kurup and Craig Turchi, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Technical Report NREL/TP-6A20-64709, November 2015) by Parthiv Kurup and Craig Turchi of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory looked at the technical potential and the applications of the different CSP technologies based on solar delivery and facility temperature requirements.

The assessment for California indicates a technical thermal energy potential of almost 23,000 TWhth/yr. significantly more than the estimated demand of about 48 TWhth/yr for the industrial sectors in California that utilize mostly natural gas for IPH. The report validates the contributions and opportunities for commercial Solar Industrial Process Heat (SIPH) plants which is becoming a growth industry and opportunity to re-establish the contributions of solar thermal heating.

The report also states “After significant interest in the 1970s, but relatively few deployments, the use of solar technologies for thermal applications, including enhanced oil recovery (EOR), desalination, and industrial process heat (IPH), is again receiving global interest. In particular, the European Union (EU) has been a leader in the use, development, deployment, and tracking of Solar Industrial Process Heat (SIPH) plants.

De Bortoli Wines Australia
De Bortoli Wines Australia

 

In the nonresidential sector, users of solar thermal technology include hotels, hospitals, prisons, restaurants and cafeterias, government buildings, universities and schools, athletic facilities, manufacturing plants, and laundries.”

These are all growth markets which are not limited to Europe and the Southwest US. These applications are in every community and city in the nation. Industry, Universities like the University of California Merced Solar Lab and National laboratories continues development of high temperature concentrating technologies that are capable of temperatures from 230 F to 350 F or higher and the US DOE are investing in R&D for advanced Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies up to 1200 F.

In today’s renewable energy market Solar Thermal Collection Systems provide lower Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) than any other solar energy technology due to technological efficiencies and cost advantages, therefore making a better business case than any other technology for broader market acceptance. When the LCOE, the relatively low US market penetration, and manufacturing demand needs of the Solar Thermal market are collectively considered, a tremendous investment opportunity is revealed.

Most high temperature thermal technologies in the market, require large surface areas and tracking systems adding significant hardware and O&M costs.

These concentrating technologies also need direct beam radiation which limits their applications to the desert and dry environments and generally have significant production losses in diffused radiation which makes up the majority of the US and all of the Caribbean. Some of the Evacuated Tube collectors which can be mounted on either the roof or ground use both Direct Normal irradiance and Global Horizontal irradiance to generate the efficiencies for high temperatures without tracking. And they generating up to 400oF temperatures for use anywhere in the US or Caribbean.

The solar thermal collection technologies are field-proven. In the past 15-20 years, product research and development and improved manufacturing have created a new generation of simple, reliable, efficient solar water heating systems. Modeling tools are available to predict system performance, costs, energy savings and return on investment based on local sun and weather conditions.

At present, solar thermal technology faces some headwinds, but longer-term trends appear to work in its favor. For the time being, the price of natural gas—the main fuel solar heating displaces—are at low levels as hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations dramatically increase domestic supplies.

At the same time, commodity prices for glass, copper and aluminum used in solar thermal collectors are rising as the economy improves. There is also a shortage of contractors trained in solar thermal installations, and the same financing obstacles exist as for solar thermal as for many types of renewable energy. Finally, prospective users of solar thermal energy may not fully understand it or appreciate its versatility and value.

All these conditions are likely to be temporary. Fuel and commodity prices are cyclical by nature. In 2008, prior to the great recession, natural gas prices stood near historic highs. Prices may rise again as the U.S. exports more gas, as utilities add gas-fired peaking power plants and replace older, polluting coal-fired power plants used for base load with smaller gas turbines. Also with potential to tip the scale are the increased production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export and wider acceptance of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel for buses, taxis, cars, and a wide assortment of fleet vehicles.

Growing numbers of states and utilities offer incentives and rebates for renewable energy installations. In addition, renewable portfolio standards (RPS) or some kind of Renewable requirements have been passed in about 40 states, requiring utilities to derive specified percentages of their power from renewable sources of those about 16 allow solar thermal to meet the goals.

Electric utilities, municipalities and some state legislatures have developed incentives and marketing campaigns using photovoltaics to meet RPS requirements. As I just said, the 16 States that include Solar Water Heating, 13 states allow Solar Space Heating and 11 states include Solar Industrial Process Heat to qualify for the RPS. Much more could be done to develop Solar Thermal incentive programs for residential, commercial and industrial applications.

A simple and reliable metering technology would enable conversion of solar thermal energy to its kilowatt-hour equivalent, allowing solar water heating or cooling to count toward RPS compliance, as well. A growing number of states now allow solar thermal projects to qualify for utility incentives or may qualify for renewable energy credits (RECs) under their RPS programs.

The California Energy Commission, again leading the way to Energy Independence, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to reduce carbon emissions has issued a RFP for Advanced Water Heating System Demonstrations, Advanced HVAC and Building Envelope Demonstrations, Integrated Natural Gas System Demonstrations, and Applied Research Strategies for Appliances, Zero Net Energy Buildings, and Codes and Standards.

UC Merced XCPC array Sept 2014 1 copy
UC Merced XCPC array

 

The State of California has set aggressive goals demonstrated by this RFP for increasing energy efficiency in buildings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, they say recent events at Aliso Canyon in Southern California emphasize the urgency in identifying, demonstrating and deploying technology solutions and strategies that can reduce natural gas consumption in these building sectors while overcoming other barriers associated with using new and/or emerging natural gas reducing technologies.

This is a big step in accelerating the applications and demonstrations of advanced solar thermal heating technologies. And a big win for the “other white meat” let’s hope it’s a start to increased funding and market deployment for Solar Heating and SIPH.

More opportunity than meets the eye
The principle behind solar thermal energy is simple: A solar collector absorbs heat from the sun, and fluid warmed by passing through tubes in the collectors is distributed to the appropriate system. The basic technology has existed for more than 100 years, and systems have been proven to last more than 25 years—longer than a conventional water heating systems—at a fraction of the life-cycle cost. Solar collectors can be installed anywhere on a facility with adequate access to unobstructed sunlight. Estimates show that tapping the United States’ full potential for domestic and commercial solar water heating could:

• Save 578 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year—2.5% of the nation’s usage.
• Save 35 billion kWh of electricity per year, just under 1 percent of U.S. consumption.
• Prevent 52 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to the emissions from 13 coal-fired power plants or 9.9 million cars. (3 Smart, Clean and Ready to Go: How Solar Hot Water Can Reduce Pollution and Dependence on Fossil Fuels. Wisconsin Environment Research & Policy Center, March 2011.)

The most widespread solar thermal application is water heating. A typical residential-sized solar water heating system produces 7 to 10 kWh per day, or 3,400 kWh per year, depending on local conditions and type of collector and the system design. On average, for each such system installed in place of an electric water heater, 0.5 kW of peak demand is deferred from the utility’s load. When a utility solar water heating program like Hawaii’s has thousands of solar water heaters installed displacing electricity, the demand reduction is measured in megawatts.

So, what’s the problem in Florida? I refer to it as the land of the electric water heater and little potential for natural gas expansion. It is also a state with a huge coastline, barrier islands and water shortages that are being ignored by the pro-business electric utility legislature. It’s been documented many times in the past, solar water heating in Florida is a net revenue loss to the electric utilities. Isn’t less electricity generation using fossil fuels one of the solutions to climate change and rising sea levels? Who has the most to lose; the electric utility industry, the coastal businesses and homeowners or possibly the whole Florida economy? What are the long term plans for rising waters and drinking water shortages? That is a stupid question. Why make plans when you deny there is a problem. Climate change plans would have a negative impact on future political contributions for those in office who support studying the problem.

A commercial solar water heating system with 500ft2 of collector will displace the hot water generated by a small natural-gas-fired boiler, generating 2,281 therms per year and offsetting more than 26,825 pounds of CO2. On a larger scale, solar thermal energy creates economic development and local jobs in manufacturing, installation, operations and maintenance.

Commercial SIPH plants will provide the necessary energy for:
• Industrial Process Heat
• Desalination,
• Food and Beverage processing,
• Solar Cooling & Refrigeration systems,
• Oil & Gas extraction,
• ORC or Stirling electric generation

Space heating
Similar to solar water heating systems, these systems generally use more solar collectors, larger storage units, and more sophisticated designs. Concentrating or tracking solar thermal technologies are required to meet space heating loads. For the higher temperatures needed for hydronic forced air heating systems (180oF) temperatures, Flat Plate collectors and most Evacuated Tube systems cannot consistently operate at those temperatures.

Cooling
Here, solar heating systems are coupled with absorption chillers and use a thermal-chemical sorption process or ammonia to produce air-conditioning without electricity. The process is like that of a refrigerator except that there is no compressor. The absorption cycle is driven by a thermal transfer fluid—heated water or glycol mixture—from the solar collector. Water cooled to about 44 degrees F runs through copper piping, and forced air passing over the piping produces air conditioning. Options include replacing electric chillers or injecting chilled water generated by a solar absorption chiller into a building with a large cooling load.

Despite the high potential, solar thermal capacity in the United States lags behind much of the world. For example, on a per-capita basis, the nations’ ranking has dropped from 35th to 50th globally in solar water heating (excluding swimming pools)(Werner Weiss and Franz Mauthner, International Energy Agency, Solar Heat Worldwide: Markets and Contributions to the Energy Supply 2008, 2010.) – although such installations increased and grew by 10 percent in 2009,(Solar Energy Industries Association, U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review 2009, April15, 2010.) and increased by another 5 percent in 2011 despite a slow economy with historically low natural gas prices.(SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight 2010 Year in Review.) Bad news is the solar heating industry is experiencing a steep downturn in the residential solar heating market not just in the US but the industry is down globally by an average of 15% since 2013 as reported by the SH&C Program of the International Energy Agency (IEA)

Most (94%) of the solar systems installed worldwide provide domestic hot water (small-scale and large-scale systems). However, megawatt-scale solar thermal applications for district heating and solar heating and cooling in the commercial and industrial sector is a growing market. The two largest solar thermal systems are in Denmark and supply heat to district heating networks. The two largest solar cooling systems are in Singapore and the United States. And, the world’s largest solar process heat system is installed in Chile at a copper mine.

Jobs
The number of jobs in the fields of production, installation and maintenance of solar thermal systems was estimated to 730,000 worldwide in 2014. The worldwide turnover of the solar thermal industry was US$ 24 billion.(Solar Heat Worldwide, IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme, May 2016: Franz Mauthner, Werner Weiss, Monika Spörk-Dür) The Solar foundation has recently documented the growth of the US solar Industry and a majority of those new jobs are in the PV industry but imagine the thousands of new jobs a robust National Solar Thermal Initiative would create.

Catching the sun
Many organizations fail to benefit from solar thermal energy largely because they do not know the many possibilities it offers. There are three basic levels of solar thermal energy:
• Low-temperature (80 to 100 degrees F) for purposes such as swimming pool heating and boiler water preheating.
• Medium-temperature (100 to 160 degrees F), largely for domestic/service hot water heating and space heating.
• High-temperature (180 to 350+ degrees F) for industrial processes and air conditioning and hybrid HP desalination.

Evacuated tube systems do the same basic work as flat-plate collectors but perform better in cold climates when not buried under snow because the vacuum inside the tubes reduces heat loss from conduction and convection. The basic structure includes a glass tube made of borosilicate glass that allows sunlight to pass through, and a black-coated copper or aluminum absorber inside the tube.

The performance advantage over flat-plate systems is not significant in warmer climates, except where users desire very hot water and are not buried in snow, for a commercial process.(It is proven that flat-plate collectors perform better than evacuated tubes in areas with snow in winter, as the insulated evacuated tube does not re-radiate heat to melt the snow off the collector.

The typical heat loss of a flat-plate collector will melt snow and start generating energy on clear days, Typically, a flat-plate collector is the first thing on a roof to become free of snow.) Installed costs are about the same as or higher than for flat-plate systems that have been around for more than 100 years.

Micro-trough systems, use parabolic reflectors to focus sunlight on a receiver, can achieve temperatures from 160 to 350+ degrees F. They are used mainly for space heating, industrial process, and solar air conditioning (when coupled to absorption chillers). Micro-troughs depend on direct-beam radiation as in the desert southwest and track the sun in a single axis (east to west) for maximum heat generation.

XCPC Collector copy

XCPC or External Concentrating Parabolic Collector is the new technology in the market, manufactured by Artic Solar in Jacksonville, Florida. The patented XCPC Non-Imaging Concentrating Collector is a non-tracking high temperature collector capable of +350oF temperatures for SIPH applications and more importantly for Advanced HP integrated Desalination systems as demonstrated by WaterFX for cleaning up subsurface agricultural waste water in California. (Pilot demonstration of concentrated solar-powered desalination of subsurface agricultural drainage water and other brackish groundwater sources, Matthew D. Stuber, Christopher Sullivan, Spencer A. Kirk, Jennifer A. Farrand, Philip V. Schillaci, Brian D. Fojtasek, Aaron H. Mandell October 2014) Imagine if clean water was made available to the 1 in 10 people in the world without access to clean water. Solar thermal is making progress and is here to stay. The XCPC is proving to be a game changer.

Flat-plate or evacuated tube systems actually perform better in areas with hazy sunlight or diffused radiation such as the Gulf Coast. Knowing the technologies and their limitations is important in selecting the right technology for the job.

When is solar thermal attractive?
Solar water heating systems can be highly cost-effective in facilities that have constant or even intermittent hot-water demands. Other forms of solar heating can be economical in a wide range of settings, depending on heat requirements, local climate and sun conditions, and other factors.

Nonresidential solar heating systems generally require professional design and sizing. A key step is to determine the heat or cooling load to be met. In particular, sites like manufacturing plants, food processing, commercial laundries, hotel kitchens and restaurants require higher temperatures and appropriate sizing. Determining the feasibility of solar thermal for a given application is largely a straightforward site audit process.

Once the audit is complete, commercially available modeling tools can accurately predict the cost of the system, the thermal output, and the economic benefit, measured in time to achieve positive cash flow. Most off-the-shelf solar collectors have been tested by an independent laboratory and certified by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) or Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) to specify what their energy output should be under specific local sun conditions. If a solar collector doesn’t have IAPMO or SRCC Certification, don’t buy it.

Advances in thermal or seasonal storage will have significant impacts on Net-Zero Energy buildings. There are low cost methods to integrate seasonal storage into buildings which will improve the economics and significantly reduce the energy required to heat buildings and homes in the winter. Years ago heating buildings with large solar thermal systems in the winter caused problems in the summer. Too much heat, stagnation and over-heating were common problems. Drainback system designs solved the over-heating issues but the economics were upside down using the system only in the winter. Today, new technologies allow us to heat the building in the winter and drive absorption chillers for cooling or ORC electric generators in the summer. These systems can easily couple to thermal storage if necessary so the economics for year-round solar thermal systems are significantly improved but unfortunately under-utilized.

Making the move
Opportunities for solar thermal energy are available to almost any organization. A company with expertise in solar energy can help evaluate the possibilities, select the most appropriate technology for the site, model the costs, savings and cash flow.

It is prudent to select a project partner that understands not only solar energy but also how to integrate a thermal system with the existing building heating system, cooling system, or process, and with the building or process controls. A well-qualified supplier will also have access to innovative financing programs and will be able to help secure rebates and other incentives from utilities and federal and state governments.

Solar thermal is a highly cost-effective way to deploy renewable energy, reduce long-term operating costs, and make progress toward sustainability, reducing GHG or green building goals.

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 12.55.22 PMWilliam T. Guiney is President of Artic Solar, Inc., a certified Veteran Owned Small Business in Jacksonville, Florida. He has close to 34 years’ experience in the solar industry as a contractor, educator, distributor and manufacturer, has provided renewable energy and energy efficiency training programs, and is an instructor for solar thermal energy systems at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technologies Center and the Florida Solar Energy Centers. He has served on the solar thermal technical committee of the North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals (NABCEP) and was chair of its Thermal Entry Level Committee. Guiney is currently a serving on the advisory council for the Solar Heating & Cooling Alliance (SH&C) of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

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Building owners and commercial system designers and installers now have a bigger ally in Taco. The company has broadly expanded the capabilities of its iWorX control platform to provide an updated graphical user experience.   A tablet, PC or smart phone now acts as the local control interface for monitoring, system diagnostics and the new … Continue reading Taco’s expands iWorX building automation platform capabilities

Aspen, Colorado high-end home features high-end hydronics

When the owners of a 10,000-sq.-ft. new construction high-end residential home in Aspen, Colo. was looking for a reliable company with extensive experience in hydronic heating and high-end residential plumbing, they looked no further than Top Gun Plumbing & Heating, Glenwood Springs, Colo. In addition to battling the elements, the design of the project presented … Continue reading Aspen, Colorado high-end home features high-end hydronics

Carlson-Holohan Award finds permanent home at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York

Right across the street from the Harvard Club of New York, funded by notable members such as Andrew Carnegie, sits the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York. Founded on November 17, 1785 the aims of the General Society were to provide cultural, educational and social services to families of … Continue reading Carlson-Holohan Award finds permanent home at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York

Caleffi releases new idronics: Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Water is the essential fluid in all hydronic systems. Its quality affects the system’s overall efficiency, reliability, life expectancy and the effectiveness of chemical additives. The 18th edition of idronics™ discusses problems that can develop within hydronic systems when water quality is ignored. It lays our procedures for converting raw water into high quality water … Continue reading Caleffi releases new idronics: Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Lochinvar names January VIP program winners

Lebanon, Tenn. — Lochinvar has announced its monthly VIP Contractor Program winners for January. The company rewards VIP Contractors throughout the heating season for impressive installations submitted in the VIP Installation Showcase and holds a monthly drawing for VIP Contractors who register qualified products. Of all the entries posted in January’s VIP Installation Showcase, which … Continue reading Lochinvar names January VIP program winners

Coffee with Caleffi™: Siegenthaler Examines Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Many installers simply fill their newly installed hydronic systems with water that’s available on site. Sometimes they’re “lucky” to have water with relatively low dissolved solids, stable pH and low turbidity. Other times they may not be so lucky. Although problems may not appear right away, the life of their new system could be significantly … Continue reading Coffee with Caleffi™: Siegenthaler Examines Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Taco introduces the Dan Holohan Comfort Award at AHR Expo

At this year’s AHR Expo, Taco CEO Johnny White Jr. presented the Dan Holohan Lifetime Contribution to Comfort Award to Dan Holohan. The award’s inaugural presentation to its namesake, Dan Holohan, was called, by White, “just one small token of appreciation for a lifetime of tireless commitment to improving the trade and — in no … Continue reading Taco introduces the Dan Holohan Comfort Award at AHR Expo

2016-2018 Carlson – Holohan Industry Award of Excellence Inductee – John Goshulak, P.Eng.

At the RPA party at this past AHR Show in Orlando, the next chapter in the Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence was revealed as John Goshulak, P.Eng., was announced the next torch bearer of said biennual award, which is bestowed upon an individual who is selfless and gives his/her time to raise the benchmark of … Continue reading 2016-2018 Carlson – Holohan Industry Award of Excellence Inductee – John Goshulak, P.Eng.

Must Own: Lessons Learned Servicing Boilers by Ray Wohlfarth

Ray Wohlfarth, international author of Lessons Learned in a Boiler Room and Lessons Learned: Connecting New Boilers to Old Pipes, has a new book on the service of hydronic and low pressure steam boilers, entitled, Lessons Learned Servicing Boilers. The book is filled with almost 300 pages of tips, rules of thumbs, formulas, and jobsite … Continue reading Must Own: Lessons Learned Servicing Boilers by Ray Wohlfarth

Product Review: Viessmann Vitocrossal (CU3) boiler

Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc. is a very diversified company offering comfort and efficiency using geothermal systems, solar thermal sstems by and plumbing, piping and HVAC systems. Godbout provides service for the entire coastline of Maine from York to Freeport. Including: Biddeford, Saco, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Portland, South Portland and everywhere in between. The Hub … Continue reading Product Review: Viessmann Vitocrossal (CU3) boiler

WaterFurnace introduces HydroLogic, a simple solution for radiant heating

WaterFurnace International, Inc. introduces HydroLogic, a turnkey solution for radiant heating that integrates seamlessly into a WaterFurnace geothermal system. It is a cost-effective product that takes the complexity and time out of radiant system installations. The main component of HydroLogic is a pre-piped, pre-wired modular mechanical panel designed to simplify installation. The panel supports cooling, … Continue reading WaterFurnace introduces HydroLogic, a simple solution for radiant heating

Boiler primer: Bosch Thermotechnology Corp.

Bosch Thermotechnology is a leading source of high quality cooling and heating systems, including tankless, point-of-use and electric water heaters, floor-standing and wall-hung boilers, Bosch and FHP geothermal heat pump systems as well as controls and accessories for every product line. Bosch Thermotechnology is committed to reinventing energy efficiency by offering smart products that work … Continue reading Boiler primer: Bosch Thermotechnology Corp.

‘Caleffi Excellence’ grand prize winner announced

The year-long contest — Caleffi Excellence — which is a platform where designers and installers of hydronic or plumbing systems can showcase their work and receive national recognition, has culminated in the announcement of the grand prize winner. Bill Olschewski of Tip Top Plumbing (Manitoba, Canada) and a guest of his choice has won a … Continue reading ‘Caleffi Excellence’ grand prize winner announced

tekmar snow & ice melting app & online design tool

tekmar unveiled its new app and online tool to assist users in designing their own snow & ice melting solutions. Contractors, engineers, and distributors can use the app and online tool to enter their design parameters and instantly receive the specific information they need to specify the correct control solution, prepare a quote, and successfully … Continue reading tekmar snow & ice melting app & online design tool

Coffee with Caleffi: Boiler Component Selection

December Webinar Completes Component Selection Series In the webinar, Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr, training and education manager, completes a two-part boiler component selection series on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 12 noon CST concentrating on key components used in renewable energy hydronic systems. Please visit www.caleffi.com for registration details. The complimentary educational series, Coffee with Caleffi™, … Continue reading Coffee with Caleffi: Boiler Component Selection

Advances in boiler construction and design

Contractors, architects, engineers and others who specify commercial and industrial boilers continually seek systems that are more cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally-friendly. The boiler industry has responded by making significant advances in both construction and design, with new systems offering greater efficiencies, cutting-edge technologies, advanced controls and the ability to integrate with renewable energy. Condensing … Continue reading Advances in boiler construction and design

Lochinvar names first 2015-2016 VIP Contractors Program winners

Lochinvar has announced the first winners in its 2015-2016 VIP Contractor Program, which offers more prizes than ever before. From October through April, a total of four VIP Contractors are rewarded each month for their installations of Lochinvar’s residential boilers. Three of the monthly winners are selected among participants in the VIP Installation Showcase, an … Continue reading Lochinvar names first 2015-2016 VIP Contractors Program winners

Solar thermal/condensing boiler project addresses multiple loads, earns energy offset

  In Eagle County, Colorado, local authorities not only promote energy sustainability, but insist on it. Any residential project that incorporates more than 200 square feet of snow melt, for example, must mitigate the load with an offset the draws upon a renewable energy source. So the county required owner to mitigate snowmelt energy draw … Continue reading Solar thermal/condensing boiler project addresses multiple loads, earns energy offset

SlimFit™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boilers

With a number of innovations, Weil-McLain® now offers an enhanced line of its popular SlimFit™ high-efficiency condensing gas boilers. New features include improved boiler-to-boiler communication, Modbus® and BACnet® for linking with BAS (building automation systems), express set up wizard, 10 preset typical heating systems, and updated controls interface for simpler navigation, at-a-glance boiler status, diagnostics … Continue reading SlimFit™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boilers

Watts Radiant’s R-flex Pre-insulated PEX Piping System

Watts Radiant’s R-flex is a pre-insulated, flexible, energy-saving PEX piping system with a durable, waterproof outer cover. It provides cost-effective distribution for heating, cooling, and snow melting applications in schools, universities, resorts, housing developments, and other residential facilities. R-flex consists of a long-lasting PEX carrier pipe or pipes surrounded by thick insulation layers, all contained … Continue reading Watts Radiant’s R-flex Pre-insulated PEX Piping System

Boiler, tankless install solves homeowner’s hot water concerns

  Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in Denver since 2012 with a 534% growth rate. Susan Frew, president and William Frew, vice president, are a husband and wife powerhouse ownership team whose company just won the 2015 ‘Fastest Growing Company’ award for the Denver Business … Continue reading Boiler, tankless install solves homeowner’s hot water concerns

Caleffi DISCALDIRTMAG magnetic separation

Caleffi expands its solutions to problems caused by ferrous oxide debris within hydronic systems. Ferrous oxide debris, which is abrasive and often microscopic, is created from the oxidation of iron or steel materials. It can deposit onto heat exchanger surfaces and accumulate in other components including circulators, causing reduced thermal efficiency and premature equipment wear. … Continue reading Caleffi DISCALDIRTMAG magnetic separation

Viega provides design and product transition assistance for PEX applications

•  New Make the Switch program helps customers keep PEX installation projects on schedule. Wichita — Viega offers technical experts to assist with system design and product selection for switching to Radel® R-based PEX products. Known as a leader in press technology and training for the commercial, residential and industrial plumbing, heating and cooling industries, … Continue reading Viega provides design and product transition assistance for PEX applications

Plumbing apprentices shine at PHCC Connect

  With a program chock full of heavy hitting seminars, a straight-from-the-heart keynote and a trade show floor that featured some of the newest products and services, it was the plumbing apprenticeship contest that turned heads at this year’s PHCC-National Association’s Connect show in Hollywood, Fla. Some of the future’s brightest competed for bragging rights—and … Continue reading Plumbing apprentices shine at PHCC Connect

Viessmann celebrates 25 years in the U.S. with VIP/Open House event

Early last month at its U.S. headquarters in Warwick, R.I., Viessmann held a two-day event in which the company celebrated its 25 years of operation in the states. The first day, September 9,  was a special VIP event where more than 150 guests attended the anniversary day of celebration with speeches, gourmet luncheon and a … Continue reading Viessmann celebrates 25 years in the U.S. with VIP/Open House event

Avanti Plumbing and Heating, Inc. moves ‘forward’ with hot water recirculation

The Italian word, “Avanti” means “forward.” In the sense of motion, it’s a fitting description of young business owner Anthony Tosco and his three-man company, Avanti Plumbing and Heating, Inc., just west of Philadelphia. Currently, the company offers plumbing, heating, hydronics and air conditioning to customers all over eastern Pennsylvania. Most work consists of residential … Continue reading Avanti Plumbing and Heating, Inc. moves ‘forward’ with hot water recirculation

California wastewater agency wins with radiant technology

When most people think of radiant heat or hydronic snow melt, the usual applications come to mind: warm floors, heated sidewalks and snow-free driveways. The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency (BBARWA) in Big Bear, Calif., contacted Viega Radiant Design Services with a project that needed an innovative solution. A byproduct of the water treatment … Continue reading California wastewater agency wins with radiant technology

White House recognizes Bosch Thermotechnology for commitment to energy saving solutions

Londonderry, New Hampshire – Bosch Thermotechnology has been recognized by President Obama for its ongoing efforts to provide innovative low-cost energy solutions across the building spectrum, to include use of renewable technology solutions like geothermal heat pumps. The Bosch recognition by the President comes as part an executive order in conjunction with the EPA’s Clean … Continue reading White House recognizes Bosch Thermotechnology for commitment to energy saving solutions

BOSCH THERMOTECHNOLOGY INTRODUCES FLOOR STANDING MODEL

BOSCH THERMOTECHNOLOGY INTRODUCES FLOOR STANDING MODEL WITH AFUE 95% RATED EFFICIENCY Bosch Thermotechnology’s Greenstar gas condensing boiler for residential applications is now available in a floor standing (FS) version for all eight regular (heat) and combi (heat+hot water) models. With its sleek appliance-like design and small footprint, Greenstar FS models are ideal for use in … Continue reading BOSCH THERMOTECHNOLOGY INTRODUCES FLOOR STANDING MODEL

Navien named APR’s Innovation Partner of the Year

Lebanon, Pa.  — At their annual awards dinner in Hershey, PA, APR Supply Co. named Navien their Innovation Partner of the Year. Jeff MacDowell, VP of Marketing and Emerging Markets presented the award to Gary Eklof, president of Harry Eklof & Associates, Navien’s area representative.   In his presentation, MacDowell noted that “Navien distinguished themselves … Continue reading Navien named APR’s Innovation Partner of the Year

Bell & Gossett releases Q3 Little Red Schoolhouse schedule

Bell & Gossett announces its 2015 third quarter Little Red Schoolhouse seminar schedule for in-person training. The training center’s seminars provide systems design training to engineers, wholesalers and contractors in the plumbing and hydronic heating and cooling industries. Little Red Schoolhouse Opened in 1954, the Little Red Schoolhouse offers seminars covering a wide range of … Continue reading Bell & Gossett releases Q3 Little Red Schoolhouse schedule

Coffee with Caleffi™: August Webinar Explores BIM in Hydronic System Design

A new speaker to our Coffee with Caleffi™ webinar series, Jim Meseke, Director of BIM Content at ENGworks, will share his 21 years’ of AEC expertise on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 12 noon CDT discussing How to Utilize BIM in Hydronic System Design. Meseke will walk the audience through what BIM is and its capabilities, … Continue reading Coffee with Caleffi™: August Webinar Explores BIM in Hydronic System Design

Weil-McLain Evergreen™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boiler

Weil-McLain® now offers its most advanced high-efficiency condensing boiler. The new 95% AFUE Evergreen™ boiler features cutting-edge technology with simple controls, flexible functionality for multiple applications and a durable design, and is easy to install, use and maintain. The unit is adaptable for most heating needs including light commercial or large residential applications and for … Continue reading Weil-McLain Evergreen™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boiler