Effective hydronics, like many things in life, is about maintaining balance. Learn more about achieving the three key conditions necessary for giving your modern controller a fighting chance to do its job.
This large complex is welcoming a host of new arrivals, from new boilers and chillers to an
overhaul of its hydronic strategy. Avoiding a whole lot of drilling was one benefit of their new design choice. Balancing first cost, maintenance costs, and the system itself were additional positives for keeping all 225 units comfortable and affordable.
system experts see flow as a key step to optimizing system efficiency. Cutting
down required tubing size, insulated PEX for district systems, and
variable-speed pumps to pin down a chiller’s exact needs are three points of
attack in the modern campaign against waste.
Having lived with an ancient heating system and no cooling for years, a
Pennsylvania congregation now sings the praises of the updated
hydronics and new mini-splits that brought a mechanical renaissance
to the church’s various spaces.
From checking out valve chatter to maintaining optimal condenser water flow, consider a few quick reminders from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for a proactive, preventive O&M strategy to keep your water distribution system quiet and efficient.
Chicago’s Michael A. Bilandic Building has 21 stories, one for each year since the previous retrofit. Recently, an open-minded project team paired modular chillers and hydronic gas boilers with pumps and VFDs to conquer some upgrade challenges, bring the mechanical system into the 21st century, and knock 15% off the tower’s measured energy use.
From sidewalks to hospital entrances and helipads, these systems are becoming a more common part of a project’s mechanical infrastructure. Examine differences between ASHRAE’s old and updated classifications, then review design considerations such as heat of evaporation, heat loss to the atmosphere, and back and edge losses. Tubing, spacing strategies, and controls round out the primer.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.