In the 1920’s, there is no doubt that steam heating was king in apartment buildings and high rises throughout New York and other parts of the country. The boilers were all fired by coal which was abundant, and cheap, if not a dirty and back breaking affair when it came to shoveling it into the boiler or cleaning out the ashes.
But in the 1930’s the cost of coal soared and the switch to oil heating was on. Oil was cheaper, cleaner to deal with (relatively speaking), no damper regulator was required to control the fire, and it worked with this amazing thing called a thermostat, that controlled the firing of the boiler automatically! Magic!
The problem was that in all those buildings designed with vent-work for coal heated systems, oil (and gas) heating behave differently. Coal burns for hours and hours, creating a slight pressure that is constant. With this near-constant pressure, steam was always pushing at the air, nudging it from the main vents and the radiator vents. The only time the pressure dropped was when the coal fire died down which it only did very gradually (if at all). But with oil heating, the thermostat could shut the burner off almost instantly when target temperatures were reached. It shut the burner off before most of the air was out of the steam mains, preventing the ready flow of steam into the system leaving buildings with hot and cold spots.
Fast forward 90 years, and steam heating is still going strong in many older urban buildings across the country though almost all have converted to oil or natural gas or city steam heating at this point. The original problems of coal fired buildings were solved by many innovators with the introduction of concepts like “dry steam,” enlarged main vents, and master venting. With these innovations steam was able to move through these old buildings at high speed, and the resulting systems were balanced with only a few ounces of pressure at the boiler, and the burners did not short cycle.
Taking Steam Heating Efficiency to the Next Level
While hot water may be the preferred heating method for new buildings, recent studies show that over 82% of NYC buildings over 50,000 square feet use a form of steam heating*. Getting these steam systems to work efficiently was (and still is) a long and slow evolution, but now these systems can be made to work well with both fuel oil and natural gas sources. The challenge is that for a given heating load, a steam-based system will consume much more fuel than a hot water system even though it uses both a boiler and external pumps, producing more greenhouse emissions as a consequence.
Thus the next frontier for steam systems, is undoubtedly boiler control using an advanced heating control like the Heat-Timer® Platinum Series MPC, to take boiler and fuel management to the next level while maintaining comfort.
What does the Heat-Timer® Platinum MPC Do?
The MPC Platinum control Series can be configured to operate a steam boiler or a steam valve to using both steam outdoor reset and multiple wireless space sensor feedback. Utilizing the steam cycle concept and the outdoor temperature, the control varies the duration of the steam supply to the building in a cycle based on the outdoor temperature as well as aggregate analysis of space sensors in all areas of the building. The advanced computer hardware and software in this heating control actually “learns” the thermal loss characteristics of all areas of the building and its control software synthesizes this into anticipatory boiler control signals that run them far less often and more evenly than any other heating control system available today. The control also acts as a reporting hub for other sensors like feedwater, sump pump and stack sensors, allowing even better management of alarms and heating issues, heading off problems before they become big problems.
Another major benefit of the internet enabled Platinum MPC, is its complete ability to be monitored and controlled remotely. Preprogrammed alarms hit your email inbox or phone text message. All heating set-points can be easily changed through our internet portal, or mobile app. Reports and tiered alerts can be configured to be delivered to both technicians and management. Standardize your property portfolio around Heat-Timer® controls and you can have one central website portal that shows you all your building locations, boiler rooms, and boilers. Best of all, the control is future proof in the sense that it embraces industry standard BACnet and Modbus protocols for integration to a 3rd party building management system.
Customers using the Heat-Timer® Platinum MPC Control with Internet features have shown monthly savings of 15% to 30%. For a mid-sized apartment building, that can translate into tens of thousands of dollars a month, as well as allowing you to preserve and extend the life of your steam based heating system in a way that is much greener, and lowers carbon emissions significantly.
Bring your steam heating into the 21st century. Contact a Heat-Timer® expert today.
A special thanks to Dan Holohan of Radiant & Hydronics for his wonderful history of advancements in steam heating. You can read his treatment here.
* From the Greener Greater Buildings Plan at http://www.nyc.gov/html/gbee/downloads/pdf/greener_greater_buildings_plan.pdf
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/single-pipe-steam-heating/
Heat-Timer Corporation, a leading manufacturer of energy management systems, boiler room controls and domestic hot water solutions, has been approved by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) as a RTEM (Real Time Energy Management) System Provider. RTEM systems transform the way you manage, consume and buy energy by consistently monitoring and retrieving your building’s performance data into one location through a cloud-based system. Approved NYSERDA vendors can provide, install and repair these systems to building owners and leaseholders in the state of New York.
NYSERDA offers objective information, innovative programs, technical expertise and support to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce the overall usage of fossil fuels. As a public benefit corporation, NYSERDA has been advancing energy management solutions and working to protect the environment for over 40 years.
As an approved vendor under NYSERDA, Heat-Timer has access to their new construction initiatives, cost-share funding, technical guidance documents, case studies and other promotional materials to successfully serve as RTEM system providers for residential and commercial buildings in NY. For landlords and businesses looking to take advantage of RTEM systems in their multi-family buildings and commercial office buildings, NYSERDA is offering between a 20-33% cost-share incentive for RTEM project expenses. This would include the actual hardware, installation and at least three years of ongoing support and maintenance from RTEM vendors, like Heat-Timer.
When to consider RTEM for your business or property
RTEM systems can be a great enhancement to your business or property in New York, if you are looking to…
To find out more about how Heat-Timer’s new certification applies to your RTEM needs in New York, please give us a call today at (973) 575-4004.
You could also visit our website to learn more about how our Heat-Timer Platinum Series Control can reduce costs and improve the overall user experience for your building’s energy management system: https://www.heat-timer.com/energy-management-systems/
Original blog posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/nyserda-certified-rtem-vendor/
As an HVAC industry professional, its important to know where to put your limited time and resources when it comes to learning and adopting new strategies that will grow your businesses. It turns out that big national industry trends related to energy usage and technology do eventually trickle down to the guys on the service trucks. If you’re not up to speed, you’ll never be able to service the bigger more lucrative fish in your pond. But in 2020, what energy management strategies will make a difference in the commercial markets served by most commercial HVAC contractors?
What Is Hot in Energy Management?
It’s no secret that the manufacturing and industrial sectors have generally paved the way when it comes to energy management strategies. The reasons for this are fairly obvious as energy usage has a huge impact on their operating costs. Solutions to high energy costs have included the usual cast of characters including:
What is interesting however is that non-industrial, commercial businesses have finally gotten on board with at least 2 out of three of these strategies. Consider that in 2019 according to the EPA, commercial businesses accounted for 35% of US electricity usage, a full 8% more than industrial and manufacturing sectors. But the commercial sector is more fragmented and not all energy strategies available to say, General Motors, are available to small businesses, restaurants and other retail operators.
Thus with so many smaller commercial enterprises feeling the pinch, and the larger energy management players still focused on the big fish, the time is right for players in the energy industry to offer practices and systems that can benefit an emerging, but as yet underserved light commercial market.
Selling HVAC Solutions to Light Commercial Businesses
So what does all this means for the average commercial HVAC company trying be the best solution for smaller companies with increasing energy awareness? Here’s a few thoughts from the heating experts at Heat-Timer®
Here’s to the New Decade
At Heat-Timer® we think it’s a great time to be in the energy management industry. The challenges are great but the innovation going on is also tremendously exciting. A new generation is rising into leadership, and they value solutions that will both challenge our industry, but that bring a better roadmap for energy consumption and the planet.
We’re proud to be part of it. Have a great 2020 and beyond.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/2020-hvac-trends-commercial-energy-management-is-getting-hotter/
As a commercial building owner/operator you know that operating budgets are being pinched at the same time that volatile fuel pricing in the marketplace compound the issue. All this has the effect of squeezing your profit margins. Energy costs quickly get out of control, and it can be difficult to pinpoint what is driving them upwards. Experts at Heat-Timer® have been at work on the bleeding edge of energy cost reduction and energy efficiency for over a century and below we share some perspective and a few simple tips to help monitor and react to rising energy costs.
Energy Cost of Building Heating Systems
The cost of heating in the colder climates of the USA is often the most significant energy expenditure in your building’s portfolio. Therefore, small gains in performance can translate into big financial savings. While much of heating system optimization is in the realm of professional HVAC technicians, there is some low hanging fruit for building operators. Below are a few easy observations in your building and the boiler room that can help keep you on top of problems before they cost you big dollars.
Items to keep track of for the building are:
More and more in 2019, building operators are installing some form of energy management system for their HVAC. An Energy Management System (EMS) can diagnose and even predict issues throughout the building.. Modern digital control systems can be easily scheduled, and reset back to unoccupied set-points. Short-cycling might not be obvious if you enter a boiler room for only a few minutes a day, but a quick plot of the system status that is available from your heating control system, will show how the unit has performed over time. A more integrated system can provide an output of all valve positions with temperature rises across the coils they serve, which can quickly show which valves are leaking and may need to be replaced.
Heat-Timer® boiler controls are an example of a robust heating control solution that can provide a these useful streams of data. Heat-Timer® controls can operate at a “heating system only” energy management system and can even be integrated to common industry EMS or BMS systems through standardized interfaces. Through a series of remote wireless sensors, and motorized valves, complete multi-room information is available in one place. Add to that the ability to receive all this information, alarms and settings on your cell phone, iPad, or desktop computer, and you have a completely modern solution to heating control.
Building Operators Trust Heat-Timer®
Heat-Timer® is dedicated to providing the highest quality heating controls on the market. Our team of technical experts can help you choose the right controls package for your building that will optimize heating performance and will reduce energy costs and hot/cold calls to the maximum extent possible. Our controls are the most sophisticated in the market. When you speak to your HVAC contractor about heating automation, ask for Heat-Timer®
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/why-your-buildings-energy-costs-are-so-high-and-what-to-do-about-it/
In the United States, commercial energy use accounts for almost 19% of the total energy consumed in the country. At the top of the list are office, retail, educational and healthcare buildings as well as large apartment complexes. One of the most significant opportunities commercial buildings have for reducing their consumption is the implementation of intelligent energy-efficient HVAC control systems.
Here’s a quick guide to energy efficiency ratings for commercial heating systems from the commercial heating systems specialists at Heat-Timer®.
Energy-Efficiency Regulations for Commercial Heating Systems and Boiler Systems
In heating systems, efficiency is measured by Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which measures how effective the equipment is in converting fuel into heat. In a 90% AFUE commercial boiler, for example, 90% of the fuel consumed by the boiler is turned into heat, so the higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the product is.
The Department of Energy recently issued a pre-publication Federal Register final rule that requires commercial packaged boilers larger than 300,000 BTU/hr meet a minimum of 84% thermal efficiency by 2021.
While Federal incentives seem to be on the decrease, different states and local utilities are on board with offering rebates and incentives to assist in making the move to a more efficient heating system, one example in our home state is through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program. Other states may have similar programs
In this program, financial incentives and rebates are offered to industrial and commercial businesses to upgrade their heating systems, HVAC equipment, lighting and lighting controls, motors and variable frequency drives. These incentives are available to new building construction projects as well as existing buildings. A Local Government Energy Audit is also available to determine how your building can benefit from these upgrades.
In some state, heating controls like those offered by Heat-Timer® can also qualify as energy efficiency upgrades. In a large commercial installation, boiler efficiency is important, but if your boilers are not managed consistent with environmental, and energy load and building thermal characteristics, then optimal system efficiency will never be achieved. Arguably, the control system for your heating system is actually the single most important factor in achieving a high overall AFUE.
Upgrade Your Commercial Heating Systems and Save
If you have a single or multi-boiler system servicing a commercial building, chances are there is an affordable Heat-Timer control that can improve the efficiency of your building. The cost of the control and installation by a qualified professional, is easily recovered with a few months of energy savings in most buildings. From that point on, its just your bottom line that benefits.
For more information on our products, which also include domestic hot water valves and controls, please contact us today and speak to a qualified technician or visit our website at https://heat-timer.com
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/energy-efficiency-in-commercial-heating/
While “green solutions” are often looked at as renewable energy or recycled materials, in the building heating controls industry, this includes solutions that save the customer in overall energy consumption. Less energy used typically means less energy produced which means lower carbon footprint, less pollution from dirty energy sources, etc…
And incidentally, the other meaning of “Green” applies too. Heat-Timer Controls save building operators money, usually big money on yearly heating costs.
The need to maintain heating system efficiency is key creating a green solution. Heat Timer® control systems can offer just that, putting the customer’s mind at ease knowing they’re participating in a green movement, decreasing energy consumption, and extending the life of their boiler and associated subsystems by lowering maintenance and replacement costs.
Why is my Heating System Not Already “Green”?
After a building has been designed and commissioned, there are a number of ways a control system can become inefficient or be forced out of calibration. Many systems even those with newer more efficient boilers, lack the central brain to control and manage a large distributed system, resulting in midnight visits to the boiler room after irate tenant phone calls, just like it was 100 years ago.
Normally, a system will undergo a retro-commissioning or recommissioning effort every 5-10 years. This includes a full building energy audit study of a facility, finding places in the system where inefficiencies have developed over time. This can include: boiler control resets, boiler lockouts, outside air resets, domestic hot water storage leaks, and the list goes on. The point is, this is a lengthy, time consuming and costly endeavor that could easily be avoided through the use of a modern Heating Control system.
Some ways you could save energy using an automated control system:
To find a Heat-Timer® contractor near you, use our national contractor finder, or call our team today.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/why-heat-timer-controls-are-considered-part-of-a-green-heating-solution/
r.Let’s face it: comfort in your apartment complex or commercial building is driven by the proper operation of your HVAC system. But HVAC is often the largest component of your building’s energy bill. As a result, new trends and technologies in HVAC are turning their focus toward efficiency. And for complex, distributed boiler systems to be efficient, its all about computer controlled automation.
Here’s a few of the trends that the professionals at Heat-Timer® think are shaping our industry in the coming years.
The Move to Smart HVAC Controls
It was common for heating controls to be pre-programmed based on a building’s schedule, but today’s controls are now being built with more precise sensors. In modern implementations these sensors are out in spaces gathering information about what’s actually going on in various areas of a building. Sensors accurately detect the level of activity that’s actually occurring in the building in real-time and then modulate the equipment accordingly.
Add to this, that many of the sensors like those used in Heat-Timer® Platinum Control systems are actually wireless, making installation into existing buildings much easier and quicker.
Integration into a BMS
Building automation is a programmed, computerized, intelligent network of electronic devices that monitor and control the building services and systems in a facility. The aim is to create an intelligent,efficient building and reduce energy and maintenance costs for the building
A heating control system like our HWRQ Platinum can function independently acting like an energy management system for your heating equipment. But forward looking building managers are bringing in BMS systems that handle the automation of things like lighting and alarms, sprinkler systems, and more. In this case, a system like our Platinum series heating controls can act like the heating control subsystem for the BMS, sending it data through an industry standard interface, while allowing the BMS to take advantage of the industry leading control algorithms in our system.
Better Variable Speed Controls
Although HVAC equipment is traditionally designed to operate at peak load – the biggest expected heating or cooling load – it spends most of its time operating at part load. As a result, there’s a lot of heating and cooling systems that may be fairly oversized because those peak loads are only happening a really small portion of the year.
To combat the issue, manufacturers are developing more efficient variable speed controls. Newer equipment is more right-sized for the applications, and has become very efficient at operating at those variable load conditions resulting in higher efficiency and less waste.
Heat-Timer® is Riding the Automation Wave
With features like self-learning controls, wireless sensors and alarms, and control algorithms that understand virtually any boiler configuration, our HVAC control systems are trendsetters, saving building owners more money on their energy costs than ever before.
Contact your HVAC professional today, and ask for Heat-Timer®
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/trends-in-energy-management-systems/
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.