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UK Giannoni Heat Exchanger Review

SpeyFitter
SpeyFitter Member Posts: 422
<a href="http://www.gas-news.co.uk/archive/storage/pre-10/2007/comment/1006.htm">http://www.gas-news.co.uk/archive/storage/pre-10/2007/comment/1006.htm</a>

Interesting, Nonetheless...
Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber

Comments

  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I am not a professional, but found this fascinating.

    I was amazed by the complexity of the design of that heat exchanger. I am not qualified to say if it is good or bad, either in terms of heating efficiency, cost to manufacture, or life-time to be expected from such a thing.



    While I do not wish to take sides in a fight about whose heat exchanger is best, or to re-open the aluminum vs. stainless debate, this review of the Giannoni heat exchanger certainly permits a comparison of two different ways of making heat exchangers. If you look at this (older design) Weil-Mclain Ultra-2 advertising brochure, page 5,



    http://www.weil-mclain.com/en/multimedia-library/pdf/weil-mclain-pdf/products/discontinued/discontinued-boilers/ultra-series-boiler/ultratechlit.pdf



    it shows the W-M cast aluminum heat exchanger. I do not know the yield in the aluminum foundary when making these things, but it looks like a lot simpler process that the Giannoni device. Except for the burner itself, the thing is just two pieces of cast aluminum. The fire is at the top and goes down and out the bottom. The cold return water enters at the bottom and the hot (supply) water exits at the top. I suppose condensation starts part way down, depending on the temperature of the return water. The condensate perhaps washes the pins on the way down. The whole thing is less that two feet high, I think. No plastic, not carefully formed tubes that might trap anything...



    It is certainly a very different approach to designing a heat exchanger.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    I wonder if they did the same report for Aluminum...

    Equal rights for boilers :-)



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I wonder ...

    I hope so. I would love to see it.

    It would be way easier to take a w-m ultra heat exchanger apart: you just remove a bunch of bolts. But you might want to wear a respirator to deal with the gasket material and keep it out of your lungs.
  • Unknown
    edited June 2010
    Been looking,,,

    but I can`t seem to find anything negative on the (vertical) TT/ACV SS(self cleaning)  HX design, not to mention the 439SS they use.

    Again Viessmann may be Cadillac, but to most price-savvy customers in my area, it is a HUGE differential concern.

    Easily twice the price, for what longevity, or added efficiency?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,480
    Try looking at the

    Triangle Tube Prestige heat exchanger it really is top of the line with no cleaning required due to the design of the heat exchanger.
  • Your THE MAN Tim,,,

    Affordable quality is there, we just need to seek it out!
  • Larry (from OSHA)
    Larry (from OSHA) Member Posts: 691
    edited June 2010
    but consider this

    The Triangle Tube appears to have a very good design with consideration to the typical maintenance habits of most consumers.



    My Knight 80 is so far so good.  And I hope it continues that way.



    The downside to the TT is the lower input capabilities.  The  heatloss on my 3000 sq. ft. house with 3 zones of fin tube base board is only less than 60K btu's.  My hot water needs are met just fine with this  unit.  So, the point is if a smaller TT were out there, that would be very attractive.



    What I like about the Knight probably most of all is the ease of programing.  I've cleaned it a few times so far and as far as I can tell, so far so good. 



    The UK article is very enlightening.



    Larry
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Smaller input TT

    Hi Larry,

    Triangle Tube does offer a 60mbtu input boiler now which modulates down to 16mbtu. Just FYI. Have a good day!

    Ross
  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    edited June 2010
    vitodens

    the vitodens 100 has the same heat exchanger and efficiency rating as it's big brother and is one of the most inexpensive condensing boilers on the market. the triangle tube prestige is actually quite a bit more than the vitodens 200 these days.
  • Unknown
    edited June 2010
    Respectfully disagree zac,

    While Viessmann is obviously (tilting to the rich), a high quality modcon, there are other manufacturers that have produced (perhaps) better designs that far outweigh their "assumed dominance and endurance" at a much lower price-tag without sacrificing programmability.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Dave Your Off

    On the pricing. The Vitodens 100 WB1B10-35 which in btu's is a Solo PS110 is less money list price wise by 400 bucks. Every boiler comes with an LP kit for simple and easy field conversion, has DHW Priority capabilty and is a simple set the dial heating curve with ODR. Boiler has the same 316 Ti SS HX as the Vitodens 200. They have now released a simple flexible PPS vent kit that rolls out similar to a chimmeny liner. It's a 30' kit so you can easily use a chimmney as a chase. Avail for both the 100 and 200 boiler.



     The equiv Vitodens 200 is just the opposite about 400 bucks list price wise more than the PS110. Boiler isn't just for the rich. The Lamda Pro Burner technology in the Vitodens 200 today far exceeds the tt's.  There is no need of a conversion kit when using LP. Burner constantly monitors incoming gas pressures and mixture to burner clean. Yes even on those sticky LP regulators. Control side far exceeds a MCBA and the boiler gives plug and play capability if additional water temps are needed without having to integrate another mfg control package.



    Both boilers are much easier to service than the TT. Easier access to the exchanger. 5 screws and your in right in front of you. Vitodens also gives the contractor much better flexability when it comes to venting. Many more options.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Tim I Really Think

    That is not a true statement, I think reduced maintenace is a better term. Not bashing just providing facts from the actual manufacturer of the boiler.



    From ACV International: Directly out of the Tech Data Manual which is avail on their site. Alot of good info in this manual. They have so many more options with this boiler that I would love to see adapted to the boilers here in the US.  TDM is attached.

    The stainless steel heat

    exchanger of the Prestige is self -

    cleaning, as the condensate runs

    down the exchanger tubes it

    cleans any possible traces of

    combustion residue. This ensures

    that the boiler continues to

    function at maximum efficiency

    throughout its life, and therefore

    maintenance requirements for the

    heat exchanger are reduced.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • cattledog
    cattledog Member Posts: 60
    TT Prestige HX cleaning

    The installation and maintenance manual links the TT110 heat exchanger cleaning to a high fire flue gas temperature check.



    From Section XIV Maintenance Procedures Prestige Solo 110 (page54)



    "If the measured flue gas temperature is higher than 54F over the supply water temperature, shut the boiler down and follow the procedures listed below to clean the heat exchanger."



    I have been running this boiler for four winters with a low temperature radiant slab, and have not seen more than a few degrees difference between between the water and flue gas temperatures.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited June 2010
    That''s Interesting

    Concerning out conversation about Viessmann. The Viessmann has a fixed high limit of 210 at 140 degree return water temp flue gases are only 155-158 degrees. Boiler flue gas temp should always be 15 degrees higher than return water temp



    I have to give the American marketing of the Triangle their due. They do a great job. The makers manual does although put a dent in the no maintenace issue. I truly believe they make a great boiler but the true facts speak for themselves. In reality they require the same maintenance as the Viessmann Vitodens and that is reduced maintenace due to the quality of the HX  but that is always

    dependent on the installation.

    I reallly find it hard that the great minds that speak highly of it think it is maintenace free. NOTHING is maintenace free. So to bark that is really misleading.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • SpeyFitter
    SpeyFitter Member Posts: 422
    Ease of Maintenance too..

    The question I have is when you do have to clean the heat exchanger of the TT, how easy is it to clean? Is there a way to go down those small tubes with some type of brush to take off any residue?  How are some of the older TT's looking these days?
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    Dave and Tim, your right on

    Looking at both exchangers there is obviously no comparison. TT"s ability to roboticly weld stainless is an art unto itself. Using this technology allows them to build their exchanger into the exact configuration they desire. Just look at the thing, its Beautiful!

    That is why they proudly display polished open units at the training center and in some supply houses. Everyone else is just casting ,bending and stamping...a much cheaper and inferior way to do it. Giannoni used o rings originally because they didnt want the expense of backwelding the manifold, who knows, maybe some units still use o rings. As far as the " Lamda' sensor goes... Big Deal. Thats just a narrow band O2 sensor, they have been using them on autos since the 80's Im sure we've all replaced a few. They are not necessary, these boilers are all capable of 95+ efficiency. Trying to squeeze out a little more by adding another costly sensor is just foolish and will lead to no monetary savings. 
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,480
    Read my posting

    I did not say that the TT did not need maintenance, I said it was pretty much cleaning free. I have been one who for the 60 years I have been in the industry preached that everything needs annual maintenance and combustion testing. The TT does not change that.
  • SpeyFitter
    SpeyFitter Member Posts: 422
    But how is the TT to clean?

    But Tim - there is potential for residue over extended or heavier use, to form in the tubes is there not? I'm not talking like 1-3 years, I'm talking 5+ years. And if residue can form, especially in areas that maybe expierience a bit more sulphur in the gas, is it easy to clean the tubes?
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Lambda

    I'm sorry Tony but you are incorrect. Lamba in the Vitodens is not a sensor. It is the the inonization electrode measuring current. We can't talk price here but it's 4 times less than a Ben Franklin.



    Lambda is the ratio between the gas and air mixture. It makes it possible to control the gas and air independently of each other to always ensure the best combustion on every cycle no matter the fuel quality. During start the air flow is set to the start rate by controlling the fan speed. The gas valve then opens and its flow rate is electronically regulated increasing slowly until the burner ignites. Clean burn on every start no matter nat or lp with no oscillation.



    The advantage from an installers stand point. No burner adjustments, no nusiance lockouts due to a sticky LP regulator and the burner burns clean always. The heat exchanger is also self-cleaning Viessmann just doesn't bark it as loud as others. Lamda Pro is not a new technology for them they have been using it across the pond since 2005.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Hey Chris,,,

    I bet YOU have a Vito,, (fatter wallet than mine). :-)
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    I re-read the post

    You stated, No Cleaning Required. Like I said no bashing and I respect your knowledge and what you do for the industry. The perception that is given here that Triangle is the only self-cleaning mod/con is just getting old. They do a great job of marketing that point but just because certain mod/con mfgs choose to market themselves in a different way and not press on the self cleaning advantage in their heat exchangers doesn't mean that TT is the only guy with it. 
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Dave

    The Vito is no more money than the others. Not yet but I am in the planning stages.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Unknown
    edited June 2010
    OK, OK,,,

    Some people prefer Ford, others Chevy,,, whatever!

    No-one can deny TT has come up with a GOOD design,, Tim is suggesting HX maintenance of any make should be performed annually, but from what he has seen, TT has been better,,, (if perhaps) not the best!

    Marketing is indeed one-thing, time-tested endurance is quite another,, where are the complaints from installers?

    I posted pics of TT HXs after 3 yrs.,,, there was nothing to clean(even the small tubes), and if there was something, a hydrosonic  cleaner could address this easily.

    PS- Hey Scott K,,, lets see some IBC HX`s ,, I know they are relatively new, but their design is similar to TT.
  • REALLY!

    I`ll check again tomorrow,,, if I`m wrong I owe you a cold Canadian beer!! ;-)

    Good sparring with you Chris,,,, til tomorrow!
  • TonyS
    TonyS Member Posts: 849
    Lambda sensor

    No matter how you sense it its still a sensor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_sensor
  • SpeyFitter
    SpeyFitter Member Posts: 422
    Sensor replacement?

    What is the estimate shelf life before this the Lamda Pro system needs some kind of service or some type of sensor replacement?
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Ionization Electrode

    The boiler will tell you and there is never a need for the installer to calibrate. It's not a sensor its an electrode.  I don't know if a multi media flash will attach but I'll try it. It will give you a better idea. It's right at the front of the boiler with nothing in the way. 2 screws.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    Myths of analyzer free sensors....

    I received a sales blurb from one of my local suppliers who is now taking on the the big V line, and in their blurb, they stated that you will not need a combustion analyzer to set one of these boilers up, ever again.



    Well, I ALWAYS use my analyzer, regardless of whether it has a sensor on it or not, and guess what, the first one I fired had a SERIOUS carbon monoxide issue with it.



    Sometimes, if we listen too hard, we might hear what we WANT to hear, and not what we HAVE to hear...



    Just a word of caution. Just because it has a Lambda (Bosch?) sensor on it does NOT mean that you don't have to run an analyzer across it, because the sensor is looking at O2, and not CO....



    Proceed with caution.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,397
    Re: TT heat x cleaning

    The comment that they never need cleaning is bunk. It is a real good design but traps block up with debris from heatx. The top of the tube sheet does get a little build up also, I have been finding that after appx 3 yrs there is some build up, not enough to block it but you still need to take burner head off and clean out a little debris. Trap should be cleaned every year while performing general maintenance.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,397
    Re: TT heat x cleaning

    The comment that they never need cleaning is bunk. It is a real good design but traps block up with debris from heatx. The top of the tube sheet does get a little build up also, I have been finding that after appx 3 yrs there is some build up, not enough to block it but you still need to take burner head off and clean out a little debris. Trap should be cleaned every year while performing general maintenance.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    I agree with you Mark

    The installation manual clearly states that you should still do a combustion test.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,480
    edited June 2010
    To set the record straight

    so I do not confuse anyone. ALL GAS EQUIPMENT requires annual maintenance of some kind. My personal experience with the new technology of Mod/Con equipment some needs more intense maintenance such as cleaning beyond the norm of just dusting things off.



    I have seen Giannoni Heat Exchangers that when opened for annual cleaning needed very little cleaning. Then again some others definitely needed attention. However some other types of equipment using a stainless steel type heat exchangers of a different design when inspected on an annual basis needed no cleaning. Five TT units in particular that I see regularly in different locations which have been in about three to five years have never been in need of extensive cleaning. I think a lot of it has to do with location, quality of fuel, proper installation, and correct setup at time of install.



    As to the Viessman Lamda Pro it uses the flame rod (flame sensor if you will) microamps signal to determine the firing rate of the gas valve. It is a different setup than your typical Modulating concept which uses the blower speed as the determining factor for firing rate. I would hope to see this appear on other equipment in the near future. I do however feel it still requires annual inspection and combustion analysis just to make sure all things are operating correctly.



    IF YOU DO NOT TEST YOU DO NOT KNOW!!



    Let me also address another concern of mine and that has to do with the use of PVC and CPVC  venting on these units. I definitely feel the there is a recirculation of chloride gases back into the units causing contamination of the heat exchanger, that along with improper pump application on the water side does these units some internal and external damage if you will. Two articles that I wrote back a couple of years ago on this subject presented this as a theory on my part. I did however receive a letter from the president of Viessman confirming my findings as more than theory. We need to look at stainless steel venting or polypropylene.
  • SpeyFitter
    SpeyFitter Member Posts: 422
    Catalytic converter?

    So when are we gonna see a Catalytic converter and "Supreme" natural gas on one of these things?

    All kidding aside, what evidence have you found or can you show that points towards CPVC/PVC leeching chlorides into heat exchangers?  I know I "bugged" my local Viessmann Branch about it last year and they contacted "the horse" who told them that their CPVC/PVC was chemically inert and this wasn't an issue.  

    I've run a fair amount of CPVC S636 flue gas vent pipe by IPEX for IBC Boilers (downfiring design flue connection & heat exchanger design, no potential for condensate to back leech chlorides) over the past 3 years and the one thing that interests me are when you install your CPVC/PVC pipe, you obviously file the end to a bevel to help the glue from being evacuated from a fine/sharp male end of the pipe while solvent welding. Subsequently, I am concerned that these little particles that an unconscientious installer would leave in the pipe might be getting backwashed into some heat exchangers where in the hot zone I wonder how they react.

    We also typically ran ABS for intake piping and the same problem would have here. I know on the IBC boilers they have ultra fine reference ports for the Vacuum Diaphragm that can easily get blocked. I even pulled a chunk of ABS out of a swirl chamber once. You really need to shoot some compressed air downwards through these lines before you hook them up to the boiler.
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Very Well Said

    Tim that was a very well said post. I respect your knowledge and what you do for the industry. I too feel that the issue of using PVC as a vent pipe in hydronics will come to the forefront sooner than later. I think that a light bulb should have kicked in installers minds when the manufacturers of PVC came out stating that their pipe is not meant for venting.



    Viessmann just announced a new addtion to the venting for the Vitodens 100 and 200. A flexible PPS 30' vent kit for running down existing chimmney's, Can vent out to well over 100' vertically and piece them together with a coupling if needed. Heck of alot easier than trying to stuff those 10's of CPVC. Still able to take fresh air from the room is there is enough or take horizontally from the outside. Just another choice for venting the boiler dependent on the job.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
This discussion has been closed.