The world’s most advanced Heating controller got even better and more capable with the introduction of the Heat-Timer® Platinum Series. With Internet connectivity available as an upgrade, building owners and managers are now able to monitor, and adjust their heating controls from the comfort of a mobile app, or via our website accessible to any device connected to the internet.
The software is designed to present information integrated from many different Platinum controls, housed in many different boiler rooms, buildings, or multiple addresses. If you are a building management company with many buildings in your portfolio, it is possible to see all your properties neatly organized into a hierarchy that allows you to drill down into individual controls, or get summary reports on your buildings or properties. You can also set alarms that notify you of a wide variety of conditions in the building before they become critical. All remotely accessible, with frequency and thresholds all perfectly under your control.
While all this software and connectivity is impressive and a massive convenience, many users of platinum controls don’t realize that internet connectivity is only half of the BuildingNet upgrade. The rest of the upgrade goes beyond the internet, and deep into your building where the real money is being wasted.
BuildingNet Connectivity also enables wireless sensor connectivity inside your building
The real value of BuildingNet in terms of payback, comes from the internal network of sensors that it enables inside your building. This is the second half of the connectivity provided by the upgrade, and is not an IP network but a completely separate wireless network.
When you upgrade your Platinum control to BuildingNet, you also enable a proprietary internal 900MHZ wireless network, similar to those used in your home for wireless handsets on your landline. By using our MSI Hub and wireless repeaters as necessary in your building we are able to create a sensor network that feeds our platinum controller real-time information on hot and cold spots in the building. The sensors used to send this information are known as our Wireless Space Sensor.
Why Does Using Space Sensors Save Me So Much Additional Money on Fuel Costs?
The short answer to this question is simply that by having specific building data points, more precise boiler control is enabled. Every building loses heat differently, sun/wind exposure, drafty windows, etc. The control is now able to learn the heat loss characteristics of your building adjust itself automatically. Please note that this is all in addition to the data provided by standard outdoor reset features which are important, but not enough to get building owners that last 20 or so percent of fuel savings through improvements in the efficiency of managing boiler firing cycles.
Typically, installers will specify a certain amount of room sensors based on the layout and configuration of your building. Once enabled, these sensors send back temperature information that allows our control to create detailed performance curves for every area of your building. These curves inform the control with data on heat loss and hot spots in every area of your building. With a more detailed understanding of building heating profiles, our controller software can keep all areas of your building comfortable for the least amount of money possible. All while increasing tenant comfort!
Consider Upgrading Your Platinum Control Today
There are even more powerful functions and features available through BuildingNet than we can cover here. For instance, there are other wireless sensors, like water meters, gas sensors, boiler lockout, flood alarms, and more, that are enabled by the BuildingNet upgrade and then visible via the website or mobile app.
With BuildingNet, you have a true building management system, for your heating system and related components, without the huge expense of integrating one.
If you own a Platinum control or are considering one, Heat-Timer® strongly recommends the upgrade to BuildingNet. To learn more, visit our website at: https://www.heat-timer.com/
Original blog posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/understanding-remote-connectivity-buildingnet/
What is Outdoor Reset?
Outdoor reset is a feature of heating controls that optimizes the efficiency of steam and hot water boilers used for building heat based on the temperature outside the building. For hot water boilers, it will raise the boiler water temperature as the outside temperature drops, for steam boilers it will adjust the on-off cycling length of the boiler.
Outdoor Reset Can Help Prevent Overheated Buildings
Building codes require that the heating systems in residential and commercial buildings be sized to keep the interior warm at the location’s “Design Temperature.” Design Temperature is defined by ASHRAE as the minimum outdoor temperature that the location is statistically expected to experience for 99% of the year based on a 30-year average. This means that 1% of the time that the outdoor temperature is above the Design Temperature, the building heating system is oversized for the conditions.
In a typical single-family home this is not an issue. On mild winter days the thermostat continually cycles the heat from full on to full off. Because the home heating system is small, it responds in only a minute or two when the thermostat calls for heat, and when the thermostat is satisfied the boiler shuts off and the residual heat in the system dissipates quickly, causing a only small temperature overshoot.
A commercial building is very different. The hundreds of feet of pipe and hundreds of gallons of water in a commercial heating system have a lot of thermal mass that takes a long time to heat up and cool down. If a thermostat calls for heat in a commercial steam building, it can sometimes take up to 20 minutes just to make steam in the boiler. Then due to the size of the building and the condition of steam traps, air vents , etc. it can sometimes take an “additional” 10 to 20 minutes to fill the system with steam. During this time, the building is still cooling down. Once all that mass is hot and the thermostat is satisfied, the steam or hot water remaining in the system will continue to give off residual heat into the radiators, significantly overheating many rooms in the building. Because of this lag in heating the thermal mass, and then having it give up its residual heat, the thermostat is always playing catch-up, overheating the building, and wasting energy.
Outdoor reset solves this problem by allowing the boiler controller to predict how much heat the building requires based on the actual outdoor temperature. During the 99% of the time that the outside temperature is above the Design Temperature, the boiler controller adjusts the boiler output to match the anticipated need.
How Outdoor Reset works with Hydronic Heating
The advantage of outdoor reset is easiest to understand in a hydronic heating system. A properly sized hydronic system will keep the building warm at the Outdoor Design Temperature when the circulating water is maintained at the boiler’s maximum operating temperature. However, this is too much heat for the building 99% of the time. With outdoor reset, the boiler controller will lower the operating temperature of the boiler in a ratio with the outside temperature. This ratio, called the reset ratio, varies from building to building based on various factors. For example, if the boiler operates at 180° at the Design Temperature, the controller will use the reset ratio to reduce the boiler temperature to a lower temperature on a mild winter day. This reduces the amount of residual heat in the system and eliminates overshoot when the thermostat calls for heat. With a condensing boiler, the controller can lower the water temperature much lower in the spring and fall, delivering exactly the amount of heat the building needs.
The savings of lowering boiler temperature are significant. For every 4°F the boiler water temperature is reduced, there is 1% energy savings. This alone can result in a cost savings of 15% or more during the heating season.
How Outdoor Reset Works with Steam Heat
For a steam system, outdoor reset is even more important, because condensing steam can release almost 7 times the energy into the building as an equivalent weight of hot water, leading to large temperature overshoots and overheated rooms. Outdoor reset allows the boiler controller to predict ahead of time how much heat is needed in the building and how long the boiler’s on-off cycle needs to be.
When the outdoor air temperature drops, the boiler controller turns on the heat source. During the first part of the logic the boiler controller fires the boiler until the heating system sensor, a temperature sensor located at the far end of the heating system, indicates that steam has reached the entire system. This is often called “establishing heat.” Once heat has been established in the system, the boiler controller will calculate how long the boiler needs to stay on based on the outside temperature. At the end of the calculated time period the boiler will shut off, and the residual heat in the system will heat the building.
Because of the energy savings from outdoor reset, basic outdoor reset functionality on new commercial construction and renovations has been required by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and IRC since 2015. To comply with these requirements, basic outdoor reset is now included standard with many new boilers.
Basic Outdoor-Reset is Only One Factor in Building Energy Conservation
While basic outdoor reset saves energy, it is only a first step in reducing a building’s energy costs. A full-featured premium boiler controller like the Heat-Timer® Internet series boiler controller with wireless space sensors, offers several other energy saving features, which working together have been shown to save an additional 20% of energy costs over outdoor reset alone.
It turns out that the most important feature of a premium boiler controller is the ability of the controller to use the information from multiple space sensors placed throughout the building to optimize the boiler response. Buildings have different heat loss characteristics due to age quality of insulation, quality of windows, etc. So the Heat-Timer control offers various reset ratio options, to try and match the heat loss of the various types of buildings. The difficulty with tweaking selecting the correct reset ratio is that you need to get accurate feedback from the building. This is usually accomplished by asking tenants or occupants. So now you are left to make energy saving and comfort decisions based on the personal preferences of a few.
When using a Heat-Timer® control with space feedback, the control uses an additional piece of information. It is a reset control, but now you can give the control a desired space temperature target that you are trying to maintain. The control analyzes the actual space temperature vs the desired target space temperature and automatically adjusts the reset curves to try and attain your desired space temperature. It does not just do this at one point in time, but is constantly adjusting to maintain your desired space target. This not only saves energy , but also dramatically increases building comfort.
All outdoor reset systems include a single heating system sensor either on the condensate return line in a steam system or on the supply in a hydronic system. That single sensor doesn’t tell a basic system what is happening in the rest of the building. A Heat-Timer internet control with wireless space sensors can use the temperature data throughout the building to optimize its heating curves. Monitoring heat in multiple areas of the building has been shown in DOE studies to significantly increase resident comfort and local heating code compliance.
Heat-Timer makes Energy Savings Easy
It has been reported that 53% of people with programmable thermostats don’t use the programmable features, which makes it clear that even if a full-featured boiler controller can reduce energy costs, the controller can only do so if the energy saving features are actually used. That is why Heat-Timer® makes system set-up and maintenance easy, with simple, easy to follow display menus, detailed, easy to find online manuals, and outstanding technical support.
Best of all, many of these energy saving features can be monitored and optimized from anywhere with BuildingNet, Heat-Timer’s exclusive remote management website and mobile app that allows building managers and HVAC professions to access the Heat-Timer controllers from any device with internet access. Why just settle for basic outdoor reset, when you can have the energy saving features and remote connectivity of a Heat-Timer® Internet boiler controller?'
For more information, visit https://www.heat-timer.com/
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/how-outdoor-reset-works-in-heating-systems/
Your New High Efficiency Condensing Boilers are Still Leaving Money on the Table
Provocative article title isn’t it? Perhaps, but let us reassure you that it is based on a set of data that is 100% factual, and almost 100% misunderstood or misrepresented.
If your building has a boiler system more than 10 to 15 years old, then you are probably looking at investments in newer boiler designs now, or in the near future. These new boiler designs will probably carry a number of new features that make them more energy efficient, more maintenance free, and provide more stable temperatures throughout your building.
One of the ways new boilers achieve this, is by the introduction of boiler control features like outdoor reset, built directly into the boiler (on board control). As the USA’s largest and longest manufacturer of heating controls, it turns out that we know something about this. Indeed if outdoor reset features are designed into the boiler correctly, this can help the boiler make more intelligent firing decisions based on the outdoor temperature. Visit the Heat-Timer® website for more information on outdoor reset, and how it works.
Got Outdoor Reset Features in my New Boiler, so I’m Good Right?
Well you’re definitely better off than you’d be without it, but the problem is that this isn’t the end game when it comes to fuel savings. Outdoor reset is just one factor in efficient boiler operation in your building. It turns out that the use of more sophisticated multi-point indoor sensor usage, and the incorporation of advanced “learning” algorithms that assimilate outdoor temperature readings with even more building sensor data, have been shown to achieve another 20% in fuel savings in a typical single or multiple condensing boiler configuration. This is true even with new boilers that already incorporate an outdoor reset feature.
If you’re a building owner/manager who just made a significant investment on new boilers and piping for your apartment building/complex, we get that this news may be a bit depressing. However, let us assure you that if you replaced boilers more than 10 or 15 years old, you did the right thing on principle. Furthermore, it turns out that additional savings are still possible for you, and can be achieved for far less investment than you made to buy and plumb all those boilers. Here’s how a sophisticated heating system can help your new boilers reach their full potential.
How Can So Much Additional Money Be Saved On Fuel on a Brand New Boiler System?
In one sense, a heating control that uses only outdoor temperature as a heat regulation system, still has the potential to be inefficient. This has to do with many factors including the fact that all areas of your building will not lose heat at the same rate. Nor will heat be delivered to all areas of your building at exactly the same temperature. In a multi-unit, multi-floor building using hydronic heating delivered with a condensing boiler system, other factors come into play as well like heat loss up the stack, transfer loss, system pressure, and most importantly different tenant comfort thresholds.
In a system that uses a more sophisticated control like the Heat-Timer® Multi-Mod, all these factors and more are used to determine and even anticipate optimal boiler firing schedules and durations. Essentially this system “learns” how to heat your building and all its units, over time. One set of key datapoints comes from the Heat-Timer® space sensors that are placed strategically around your building. These sensors are our agents in the field, reporting actual temperatures from all areas of your building. They are wireless so installation is a breeze and they communicate with the control to allow decisions in real time. Over time, heating patterns are recognized and heating curves are adjusted based on the heat loss characteristics of that specific building. Thereby maintaining the comfort of your residents while using the absolute minimum fuel while doing so. Outdoor reset is certainly part of these calculations but the total picture is so much more complex than just knowing the outdoor temperature. The Heat-Timer® Multi-Mod algorithms understand this and customers using our control in apartment complexes in exactly these conditions have reported over 20% savings on fuel bills. While not sacrificing resident comfort in the process!
Another consideration is that a sophisticated control like the Heat-Timer® Multi-Mod gives you all this data remotely on every manner of wireless device or internet device. Our BuildingNet portal puts control and management at your fingertips, including the readout’s of space sensor’s, real time reports on system status, alarms and much more. The ease with which building managers can remotely oversee and modify the operation of multiple boilers, multiple boiler rooms, and multiple buildings is a whole different kind of efficiency and cost savings that can only be achieved with a dedicated control backed by decades of control infrastructure development.
Heat-Timer – Still Saving Building Operators Money
The moral of this story is simple: don’t settle for being a one-trick pony when it comes to heating controls. Whether you use our controls for a few units, or thousands of units, we scale into any configuration you can imagine to bring you the most energy savings possible.
For more information, call the team at Heat-Timer® today. Or visit us today at: https://www.heat-timer.com/contact-us.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/your-new-high-efficiency-condensing-boilers-are-still-leaving-money-on-the-table/
Large heating systems for multi-unit or commercial buildings are designed to heat the building, and then keep temperatures as close to the set-point as possible. To do this using the least amount of energy possible maintaining heating system efficiency is key. Energy efficiency guarantees that the heating system will use the least amount of energy while keeping the building and all its tenants comfortable. Since the amount of heat a building loses to the outside changes considerably as the outdoor conditions change, it makes sense that the heating system should adjust as well. Weather activated heating controls adjust how a heating system functions to meet the heating demands of a building in the most efficient manner possible.
Outdoor Air Reset (Outdoor Reset Controls)
The most widely used weather activated heating control is commonly known as “Outdoor Reset”. Outdoor reset is really just a sensor that monitors the outside temperature as a way of adjusting the boiler set-point down as the outdoor conditions warm. This dynamic change of the set-point is referred to as “reset”, and since the basis for the change is the outside conditions, the whole process is referred to as “outdoor air reset”. By decreasing the boiler set-point, load is taken off the boiler without compromising the system’s ability to meet the heating demands. Control valves in the system will open more, allowing higher flow at the lower temperature, but the fuel savings far outweigh the slight increase in pumping energy. All told, for every 4℉ the boiler set-point is adjusted up, a 1% gain in efficiency can be realized.
A heated building is always losing heat through the doors, windows and walls. The colder it is outside, the faster this heat flow occurs. Systems are typically engineered for worst case, and therefore use boiler set-points of around 180℉, which would meet the heat load when it is very cold outside. When heat is still required but the outdoor conditions are more mild, the boiler set-point can be set as low as 120℉, which would yield an average efficiency gain of around 15%. The trick is to carefully pick the temperature where this reset starts, and how quickly the set-point changes.
The start of the outdoor air reset is usually called “Offset” and varies from 0℉ for older radiator / baseboard systems and goes up to 20℉ for forced air heating systems due to the different way these systems heat the space up. How quickly the set-point should be adjusted is called “Reset ratio”. It is typically expressed in the number of degrees the outdoor air needs to change before the system should change by one degree. The reset ratio is mostly dependent upon the building materials and how well insulated and sealed the envelope is. For heavy construction such as concrete forms a reset of 4:1 is common, whereas most lighter construction uses a ratio of 2:1 or 1:1.
An example of a robust method of implementing outdoor air reset is Heat-Timer’s® Multi-MOD control system. This package utilizes a multiple input sensors and allows for quick update of reset ratio and offsets to allow fine control of the reset. The ease of use inherent in this control is extremely important since contractors are often not able to test out systems in a large range of outdoor conditions at point of installation. Heat Timer Controls are designed to be easy to control, providing internet access and mobile apps that expose all settings related to outdoor reset and other parameters. This means building operators can easily be taught to adjust these parameters down the road, from the comfort of their living rooms.
Heating Professionals Trust Heat-Timer® Valves
Heat-Timer® is dedicated to providing the highest quality heating control solutions on the market. Our team of technical experts can help you pick out the right equipment for the job, be it a school, apartment complex, retail center or hotel. You can rest easy knowing your systems are being reliably controlled for occupant safety and maximum energy savings.
Contact us today and speak to a technician or visit our website at https://www.heat-timer.com.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/what-are-weather-activated-heating-controls/
Heat-Timer® corporate office and manufacturing facility is conveniently located in Fairfield, NJ. Here, Heat-Timer® manufactures its electronic controls, sensors, valves and actuator products using specialized computer controlled equipment and automated testing systems.