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Multiple Boiler Controllers

jmontgomjmontgom Member Posts: 2
I am working on the design where we are putting in (3) new steel fire-tube steam boilers, each 86 boiler hp. The Owner is interested in having the successful temperature controls contractor (TCC) provide the controls and programming to stage the (3) boilers to maintain a steam header pressure and to rotate the boilers. Does anyone have an opinion on whether it is better to have the TCC provide the controls or if it is better to specify a "pre-made" mutiple boiler controller that can then tie into the building temperature controls (i.e. Heat Timer, Preferred Instruments, etc.)? My concern is that the TCC will not have the expertise to properly control the multiple boilers and have problems after startup. I would think that a "pre-made" controller has most of the bugs worked out and would be a better solution. I would like to hear your experiences of what has worked well on other projects and also what has not worked well.




  • meplumbermeplumber Member Posts: 678
    OK, here's one opinion for you.

    I feel that prepackaged staging controls from the boiler manufacturer are more reliable.  Most all of them are BacNet compatible, so incorporating them with the existing or future Building Automation System is easy.

    Have a conversation with the manufacturer's rep for the boiler you have chosen, they can usually point you in the right direction.

    Good Luck.
  • Mac_RMac_R Member Posts: 117
    Boiler Staging

    If you use a Tekmar control that should do the job.  a tekmar 275 should do fine. You can then use outdoor reset and indoor reset.  I like indoor reset over outdoor reset for multiple reasons.  That control will also rotate the boilers.  I used its little brother on two MPO-IQ boilers and the customer loves their new heating system. I used four room temp sensor for house averaging.  With their cast iron rads the house could not be more comfortable. 
  • meplumbermeplumber Member Posts: 678
    Tekmar is a great control, but..

    Judging from your description of the project, this is heavy commercial or even healthcare.  Correct?

    While the Tekmar is an excellent residential or light commercial control, they are not normally integrated with a full BMS or BAS system.  (I.E.,they don't speak the same language.)  Again, talk to the boiler manufacturer about what packaged staging controls that they have. 
  • jmontgomjmontgom Member Posts: 2
    RE: Tekmar is a great control, but..

    This is a project for a High School and the controls have to tie into their existing BACnet temperature control system. I am gathering from the replies that using a package multiple boiler controller has had more success than letting the temperature controls contractor provide the boiler controls.
  • meplumbermeplumber Member Posts: 678
    That has been my experience.

    As long as the boiler manuf. knows going in, what your intentions are.  Maybe I have just been working with the wrong controls guys, but it seems that they are always trying to "make something work."  Where the boiler manuf.'s stuff is designed to work with their packages.
  • hydronicsmike_2hydronicsmike_2 Member Posts: 6

    the beauty about today's reality is that there are choices.

    I would always recommend to work with a controls manufacturer that you are comfortable with and one you know understands your needs and applications.

    Boiler manufacturers controls are often capable to handle a situation, but one needs to remember that those are designed for common applications and not always built to handle your requirements if they differ.

    Personally, I'm a big fan of BACnet System Controls that are customizable to handle any application.


    Twitter: @hydronicsmike
    Hydronic Heat is Beautiful!


    Twitter: @hydronicsmike
  • michael_43michael_43 Member Posts: 11
    Staging control

    How about a HT HWR-Q Platinum controller. It will do everything you need, it's user friendly and can be upgraded remote internet access.
  • michael_43michael_43 Member Posts: 11
    Staging control

    How about a HT HWR-Q Platinum controller. It will do everything you need, it's user friendly and can be upgraded remote internet access.
  • Tim_DTim_D Member Posts: 35
    i Worx

    Take a look at the i Worx from Taco. It is BACnet, LON, capable. Has a simple set up routine, and many other features including the ability to integrate all of the building HVAC systems.

    Tim D
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