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Con Edison Steam

bovide_4 Member Posts: 161
Oil to gas conversions are the rage in NYC now.

I have three proposals to prepare, and one of them is for a huge office building. I thought it would be a no brainer using Con Ed district steam to heat the building: less maintenance, space, regulation, and violations. Also can get you LEED points. I spoke to a fellow in the finance end of things yesterday who told me of a building manager for a huge building who is doing away with the Con Ed steam and installing a boiler because the rates are too high. Does anyone have experience with Con Ed steam, including for a smaller building?


  • nicholas bonham-carter
    nicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,573
    no brainer?

    I don't know how you will compare the installation cost for each scenario, but with it's own boiler, the building could be guaranteed to have just enough pressure, and capacity to run economically.

    maybe the district steam is too much of a one size fits all, in regard to pressure. do a search here and see if any posts come up with comments about con Ed. if this is the type of district steam where the condensate is being wasted down the drain, then their pricing will include the btu's left in the condensate, although you could do some dhw with the leftovers.--nbc
  • bovide_4
    bovide_4 Member Posts: 161

    The pressure reducing valve station should provide the required operating pressure, so I don't think that is the problem. You only pay for the steam that passes through the steam meter.

    I will call the con Ed steam rep tomorrow to discuss this. I think the rates may be high to pay for infrastructure improvements. How would you do the math to do a comparison? Each pound of steam = 1,200 btu's.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,065

    It can be complicated but you can actually do better than 100% efficiency. Sort of anyhow. Companies like Croll-Reynolds and Schutte&Koerting, now Ametek I think, can provide a thermocompressor setup. The idea is to use high pressure steam to suck some energy from condensate.

    Complicated as recrompressing steam may be, it is still simpler than maintaining a steam boiler in my opinion. For one thing there's no air quality permits and the b&m policy should be less expensive.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    HP steam

    can also run an absorption chiller if you want...
  • bovide_4
    bovide_4 Member Posts: 161

    The Con Ed guy met with the landlord who, after meeting with him, wanted no part of it. He wants a gas fired steam boiler.

    After speaking to different people, I hear that the rates are very high. There are buildings using district steam from day 1, with no chimneys built. Those buildings are stuck with a monopoly for a heat source.

    Too bad, I was looking forward to doing this with district heat, and then making it better by using the heat from the condensate in a heat exchanger for domestic hot water, and even setting up a system to use the condensate as grey water to flush the toilets.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,065
    customer is always right

    This has happened before. Client decides he'd rather distribute gas and electricity instead of steam and chilled water. Only years later do the headaches of multiple units manifest themselves. Nobody promises the landlord what gas versus steam will cost down the road. But maintaining and eventually replacing boiler is a certainty.
This discussion has been closed.