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  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    @ The Steam Whisperer

    Most of what you are talking about is only available in the commercial space. Do they make a residential power burner? or residential steam outdoor reset? It sounds like you have some good solutions to make steam more efficient. That is great. Keep up the good work. You have some solutions I am not aware of and sound like they work well.

    The big point I would like to make sure sticks in everyone's head is how drastically different real word efficiencies are. There is lots of room for improvement. This should be good news to everyone in this forum because we are the ones that can profit from these improvements. Also the average person believes AFUE. So they think there isn't much that can be done. When you tell somebody that a piece of equipment has a afue of 85% they think at most they can gain is 10% if they go with the absolute best. When you think of real world seasonal efficiencies you can easily cut someone's fuel bills in half. Real world seasonal efficiencies are much more drastically different. 5% efficiency for that uninsulated hvac system in the uninsulated and ventilated attic is not a unrealistic number. And yes if Durkin is saving 80% a year in fuel on one of his steam to hot water conversions than the old system is less than 20% efficient. When you account for losses Durkin didn't or cant address in the boiler room that real world efficiency number is even lower because Durkin's project isn't 100% efficient either.

    So go look at my past comments in this thread at the quoted efficiency and fuels savings from real world studies. Use this as a baseline to fix or improve existing buildings and heating systems. Go out there save our planet and make some money!!!

    I'm running a outdoor reset for residential steam boilers.
    One of very few, unfortunately.

    I was lucky enough to be involved in testing the product when it was being developed and it's fantastic.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 1,215
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    John

    Residential power burners have been in use for decades for steam and hot water boilers. The Honeywell universal outdoor reset control we use is the same one that is used for hot water. The weak spot is residential modulating power burners, they have been made for quite some time ( Powerflame's model can go as low as 20,000 btu/hr input IIRC), but are pricey.
    Everything that is listed, except the mod burners and steam condensors, we use regularly for residential steam systems from 1400 sq foot bunglows to big 10,000 sq ft homes.
    Atmospherics tend to be the mainstay for small resdential boilers. However, when the radiators are orificed to the current heat loss, then the boiler is downsized too to the heat loss. In addition, the huge standby losses of an atmospheric can be reduced with a stack damper, that is typical of all new residential atmospherics. For most of the larger 2200 sqft home we work with, we are only putting in about 110,000 btu/hr input boilers. They are heavily loaded then and run much more efficiently than the typical older boiler with no stack damper that runs about 65% seasonal efficiency ( though rated at 80% firing efficiency)
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,321
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    A little challenge here for @John Ruhnke . I would like to know the actual efficiency of three mechanisms for converting energy in the form of fuel (I don't care -- oil, gas, LP) to output in terms of a heat transfer fluid: steam, air, and hot water (for air and hot water, kindly measure both condensing and non-condensing conditions). All three energy converters -- steam boiler, hot water "boiler", and hot air furnace -- must be strictly comparable -- that is, recent equipment properly set up and tuned.

    I don't want to hear about building efficiency. I don't want to hear about other controls (e.g. ODR). I don't want to hear about pumping or blower losses. I certainly don't want to hear about saving the planet. I don't want to hear about field experience. All I want is a single efficiency number for each case: BTU/hr output in the heat transfer medium vs. BTU/hr input in the fuel used.

    Can you provide that?

    Then, maybe, we can talk some more.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJJakeCK
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    A little challenge here for @John Ruhnke . I would like to know the actual efficiency of three mechanisms for converting energy in the form of fuel (I don't care -- oil, gas, LP) to output in terms of a heat transfer fluid: steam, air, and hot water (for air and hot water, kindly measure both condensing and non-condensing conditions). All three energy converters -- steam boiler, hot water "boiler", and hot air furnace -- must be strictly comparable -- that is, recent equipment properly set up and tuned.

    I don't want to hear about building efficiency. I don't want to hear about other controls (e.g. ODR). I don't want to hear about pumping or blower losses. I certainly don't want to hear about saving the planet. I don't want to hear about field experience. All I want is a single efficiency number for each case: BTU/hr output in the heat transfer medium vs. BTU/hr input in the fuel used.

    Can you provide that?

    Then, maybe, we can talk some more.

    Would you stop digging your heals in and just listen, this is all clearly above your head.

    Jeez.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    STEVEusaPA
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited September 2019
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    @noran01

    I'm sorry we've gone on a tangent.............
    Were you able to make a decision? I'm sure @Danny Scully can help regardless of the path you decide to take. He does excellent work and stands by it.

    I'll be honest, if you go with him, I'm sure he'll come up with a recommendation and you should stick with that regardless of what we've said on here.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
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    As @ChrisJ stated how much more does that modcon cost at the price of two installed over the life time of a single CI boiler? Unless we're talking about a massive mansion I can't see a property owner ever recouping the costs. Take a look at my graph of energy usage of my home. That is 6 years worth of real world data. The highest gas bill never even hit $250. I will admit that in the 3 years since I've updated it I hit $250. But, BIG but, I've been keeping the house warmer because of a having a small child in the house and will soon start lowering it again. That month we also had the polar vortex drop down on us... that happens what? once every couple decades?

    So what does a modcon install cost over a CI? Quick guestimate of maybe $2000 more then conventional CI? Then the fact you are lucky to get 15 years out of the modcon so times the install cost by 2X over the CI. I know you guys don't like numbers thrown out but these are hypotheticals and its needed to show the difference in ROI. So lets say its X for a homeowner to have a simple replacement of the boiler and near boiler piping with a modcon and maybe Y for a CI. Not taking into account inflation and assuming 25 years life expectancy for the CI and 15 for the modcon. You'll spend 2X on equipment replacement in 15years vs Y. X-Y difference. Say the average gas bill for the 7 months of the heating season is $170, or $1190/yr and this still includes the other gas appliances. Now assuming one can cut the homeowners bill in half by replacing the heating plant they'll now be paying $595 a year for heat. $18k for 15yrs with their old system will now be $9k. 9000-(2x)=Z. Is Z a negative number or positive. If its positive you've saved money. If not, you're in the hole. Even best case scenario with no replacement with in 15 years and no major break downs in that time and not taking into account increased PM to maintain warranty you're still cutting it real close to break even. This is assuming NG, not 'propain in the wallet'. The last assumption is that inflation of materials, labor, and fuel costs keep in line with one another. They probably wouldn't but there isn't an expert in the universe who can predict energy prices, inflation and technology advancements over 20yrs. Remember in the early 00's they said gas prices would only increase, ALOT, and house prices would only appreciate. Neither held true... not even close.
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
    edited September 2019
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    In the field we measure performance in HDD or some modified version of it. The heatloss of the building stays the same before and after so we don't need to worry about that. Just measure the fuel used mid summer to mid winter or vise versa. Then measure the hdd over the same period. You can collect prior hdd from weather stations on the internet. Just ask the client for old fuel bills. Figure the average fuel use per hdd before and after. divide one number with the other. Convert that by moving the decimal point and you have the percentage you saved the client in fuel. Other calculations are a bit tricky.

    Check this out for any fuel to btu conversions.
    https://coalpail.com/fuel-comparison-calculator-home-heating

    I have two work deadlines. One tomorrow and the other next Monday. I am going to be busy until then. When the deadlines are over we can continue this discussion. I will start a thread and call it Energy Efficiency in Heating and Cooling Systems. We can share results, calculations and some very good past studies. We can all learn from each other. I'm a low temp hydronics and radiant guy. I might be a bit biased in that direction. Steam Whisperer has a lot of knowledge to reduce fuel consumption in steam systems. Together we can all work to save our client a lot of money, make ourselves a lot of money, reduce co2 and save our planet for the next generation. Our Kids!!!!!
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    An example of the typical neglected steam system:
    One pipe system in a 100+ year old church;
    1-2006 gas used per degrees days, 1388 CCF for 936 HDD=1.48 factor.
    1-2007 gas 1506 ccf for 1396 HDD= 1.08 factor.
    1-2008 gas 1318 ccf for 1446 HDD= .91 factor.

    You could say the bill for the same HDD month went from $1480 down to $910 per month. This was noticed immediately by the gas supplier.
    So the 910 divided by 1480 = 67% of previous bill.
    Are we 33% more efficient?
    The building has not changed.
    The level of comfort in the building has actually improved.

    This was very low hanging fruit for upgrades.
    T-stat had failed heat anticipator, constant cycling.
    No main vents at all.
    Bad rad vents of all variations.
    And everyone thought it was running normally, hard to convince the admin people that anything needed done....until the bills arrived each month.....even then there was not enough critical thought to realize there was an improvement.
    They are often more concerned with the collection basket than the monthly bills. ;)

    Minimal upgrades were done for probably less than $1K.

    I can well imagine this is the case for may steam systems.



    First steam job I worked on...not sure of what I was doing.

    Over the years since, 1" FG insulation has been added to the steam mains and returns....none previously.
    10 G2 air vents added on return.

    I must get the numbers to run for last winter and see where we are now.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
    edited September 2019
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    JUGHNE said:

    An example of the typical neglected steam system:
    One pipe system in a 100+ year old church;
    1-2006 gas used per degrees days, 1388 CCF for 936 HDD=1.48 factor.
    1-2007 gas 1506 ccf for 1396 HDD= 1.08 factor.
    1-2008 gas 1318 ccf for 1446 HDD= .91 factor.

    You could say the bill for the same HDD month went from $1480 down to $910 per month. This was noticed immediately by the gas supplier.
    So the 910 divided by 1480 = 67% of previous bill.
    Are we 33% more efficient?
    The building has not changed.
    The level of comfort in the building has actually improved.

    This was very low hanging fruit for upgrades.
    T-stat had failed heat anticipator, constant cycling.
    No main vents at all.
    Bad rad vents of all variations.
    And everyone thought it was running normally, hard to convince the admin people that anything needed done....until the bills arrived each month.....even then there was not enough critical thought to realize there was an improvement.
    They are often more concerned with the collection basket than the monthly bills. ;)

    Minimal upgrades were done for probably less than $1K.

    I can well imagine this is the case for may steam systems.



    First steam job I worked on...not sure of what I was doing.

    Over the years since, 1" FG insulation has been added to the steam mains and returns....none previously.
    10 G2 air vents added on return.

    I must get the numbers to run for last winter and see where we are now.

    Nice work, @JUGHNE - especially for your first try!

    That's about the same savings @Gordo and I got on our first big job, which you can see in our Find a Contractor ad at the link in my signature. This job had already been insulated so we couldn't document savings from that.

    And yet, people still push these dubious steam-to-water conversions. Here's one such thread, properly debunked:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/145002/actual-savings-over-steam-heating

    and another:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/109960/should-we-convert-from-steam-to-hot-water

    and yet another:

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/90787/steam-to-warm-water-conversions-cost-3-times-less-to-operate

    We still don't have answers to the questions posed in these threads.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    Living in a very small town of about 600, we actually own the NG, electric, water, sewer and trash collection systems. (about 10 local employees for this...think of the ratio to population.)

    The NG company has given me a meter for the school project I am working on. It now has a campus meter covering about a block of buildings. Hard to clock the old boiler. So I have to install this gas meter just for the old boiler. This winter the old system can be measured for consumption. And hopefully next winter the new boilers will be installed. The HDD/CCF can be calculated as for the church above. So my feet are to the fire with the new install as far as savings go.

    Also the water department is up grading all meters to WIFI remote read outs and have offered working reclaimed water meters to install on each boiler, piping and CI rads are 70 to 100 years old.

    It is really great to live in such a small town with cooperative departments! The meter readings and bills are available to me for all projects I am working on.

    So by spring of 2021 numbers may be available to see, hopefully, improvement in efficiency.

    Input from this wall is guiding me in the right directions and I thank all of you for all input.
    STEVEusaPAratioAlan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    @ jughne
    Low hanging fruit!!!

    The fact that average joe public and the politicians think a system is judged by afue means nobody realizes how much improvements to existing systems can be made at a low cost. So everyone thinks systems are running at 80 to 95% efficient.

    There is lots of money in the energy efficiency space. In order for us as contractor's to tap into that market we need to look at Real World Energy Efficiency. Which is a lot less then AFUE. Which shows we have a huge room for improvement. Over twenty years ago I developed a energy efficiency standard around a mathematical formula I got a patent on. I have come up with a new name to help it catch on. I registered a domain name today with the initials RWEEBS.com. It stands for Real World Energy Efficiency Building Standard.

    So Jughne did a $1000 worth of upgrades and saved his client 33% in fuel. That is a real fast payback. That is a huge reduction in co2 and helps to save our environment. This is a untapped business. Lots of low hanging fruit because nobody except us know what is possible.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited September 2019
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    @ jughne
    Low hanging fruit!!!

    The fact that average joe public and the politicians think a system is judged by afue means nobody realizes how much improvements to existing systems can be made at a low cost. So everyone thinks systems are running at 80 to 95% efficient.

    There is lots of money in the energy efficiency space. In order for us as contractor's to tap into that market we need to look at Real World Energy Efficiency. Which is a lot less then AFUE. Which shows we have a huge room for improvement. Over twenty years ago I developed a energy efficiency standard around a mathematical formula I got a patent on. I have come up with a new name to help it catch on. I registered a domain name today with the initials RWEEBS.com. It stands for Real World Energy Efficiency Building Standard.

    So Jughne did a $1000 worth of upgrades and saved his client 33% in fuel. That is a real fast payback. That is a huge reduction in co2 and helps to save our environment. This is a untapped business. Lots of low hanging fruit because nobody except us know what is possible.

    Out of curiosity, and always interested in learning, can you share the patent number?

    Interesting thing.
    My 150 year old house lacks insulation, and it's original windows are terrible. I don't need any formula to figure that out. However, I did quickly figure out if I spend money to fix it's problems it'll only take me 30 years to break even with the money I'll save on natural gas.

    Guess what I decided to do?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    JakeCK
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
    edited September 2019
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    @ChrisJ

    I attached the patent to this comment. I also attached the mathematical formula the RWEEBS is based on.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,842
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    @noran01 , have you talked to @Danny Scully yet?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
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    I've installed many mod/con boilers. In the right application they can and do save fuel. I have also heard of many installs falling apart due to improper install, set up and maintenance. In the case of LPG which cost is usually based on usage, cost per gallon goes up, savings go out the window..
    Everything has it's good and bad. If I knew going in I had to spend what it cost's for an install in 15 years or lesser cost upfront for 30 years.. I'm going cast and doubt I'll see you again..
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,321
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    I'm still waiting for my 5 numbers. Which, incidentally, have very little to do with AFUE. Just 5 straight numbers.

    I quite agree that there is tremendous room for improvement in some structures. Much less in some others. This, however, is not a matter of efficiency (which has quite a specific definition in physics and engineering). Further, I might point out that I have designed and built a number of 100% passive solar houses and other structures in New England which were and are quite successful.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJ
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
    edited September 2019
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    @Jamie Hall

    What numbers? The numbers you posted before? What do you need the numbers for? I don't understand what you are asking for or why?
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Danny Scully
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,356
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    > @ChrisJ said:
    > (Quote)
    > Out of curiosity, and always interested in learning, can you share the patent number?
    >
    > Interesting thing.
    > My 150 year old house lacks insulation, and it's original windows are terrible. I don't need any formula to figure that out. However, I did quickly figure out if I spend money to fix it's problems it'll only take me 30 years to break even with the money I'll save on natural gas.
    >
    > Guess what I decided to do?

    Couldn't have said it better my self. I will admit that as I remodel rooms and rewire them I add dense pack cellulose. My kitchen is now fully insulated and air sealed and it was so comfortable in there compared to my dinning room and its 5 large windows last winter.

    Most energy upgrades on houses end up not being worth it with the exception of maybe insulation. Comfort should be the deciding factor, not money. My favorite is the replacement window sales men and women who claim they can cut my energy usage in half and save me a boat load of money... I admit I have a lot of windows, 30 if I include the basement and attic.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    Referring to the +100 year old church;
    My first low hanging fruit actually cost $2030.00, for that all 400'+ of main and return was rehung with proper supports,
    15 rad vents changed, (most from the original coal system),
    2 Hoffman 75 added on abandoned take offs.
    HW setback T-stat.

    Since then; insulating all +400' of steam main and returns and adding vaporstat, cost $3510.00.
    Separating dry return to 2 drops and adding 8 G-2 vents was another $2000.00.

    These were the only major changes to the system since install in 1915.

    But now: Feb, 2019-- 1463 HDD used 1094 CCF to get to the .75 ratio. 2018/2019 was the coldest winter of 8019 HDD total, the average here is 7151 HDD. (1978/79 was the last highest of 8037 HDD)
    The average for this last years season was a .47 ratio.

    The heating requirement ratio peaks in Jan/Feb.
    I feel this is because of the solid masonry mass of the building losing heat and then regaining solar input as days lengthen. Just like the earth.
    Shortest day may be Dec 21 but coldest day is in Jan/Feb because of the delay of heat loss of the earth.
    Wind speed is also a major factor here on the plains, often correlates with HDD numbers.

    So we are now improved from the 1.48 ratio to the .75 ratio, is this a 50% improvement.....I did not cook any numbers to make this result be an exact 50%....I know it looks suspicious.
    This last .75 is a conservative one.

    So it took $7540 to get to this point.
    Half of that was the insulation which you would have put on a hot water system anyway......these are steam only CI rads so that option was out.

    The rest was just repairs to 50 to 100 years of neglect.
    No money had been spent on the delivery system other than Natural Gas! :'(
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    @Jamie Hall

    I will give you an example of something close to what you are asking for. You can install a flow meter on an oil line. Oil has 139,000 btu per gallon. That can differ depending on the quality of the fuel. Then you can insert one flow meter and two temperature meters with one on each of the feed pipe leaving a boiler and return pipe going to a boiler. By measuring the flow and delta tee you can come up with the btu's that leave the boiler. You can use this to measure the energy in through the fuel and energy out through the water that leaves the boiler.


    Is this something you are looking for? It is easy to do with water and high pressure steam. Tougher to do on a condensate return and low pressure steam. It can be done on air too. The efficiencies differ depending on the boiler or furnace used. It is more accurate than AFUE.

    Energy can be transferred from any fuel source. It cannot just disappear. It goes some where. It goes from the fuel to the flame in combustion. Then to the combustion air that mixes with excess air. Some energy is lost through the chimney. With any fuel source the amount of energy lost up that chimney differs. Every boiler or furnace has a different designed combustion chamber. They all lose energy up the chimney at different rates. It is the design of the combustion chamber and how well it captures the energy from the combustion air that determines efficiency at that point. It does not matter what fuel source was started with or what heat transfer fluid the energy gets transferred into. After that there are more losses. There then are jacket losses from the boiler. Ducts leak air at the joints. Steam vents leak hot air in one pipe radiators. The air was made hot by energy losses in the steam. losses from the pipes or ducts. Finally there are losses from the heat emitters them selves to the outside wall. The goal to saving money in fuel is to reduce these losses as much as possible. As the energy flows around the building some energy is lost inside the building envelop and some outside the building envelop. The fluid returns to the boiler with less energy than it started with. If you measure the heatloss of the building over the same amount of time and hdd. Then compare that to the energy in the fuel used to replace what was lost over same time period. Subtract one from the other then you know how much was lost outside the building envelop.

    Heat loss of a building is constant at the same delta tee if everything else remains the same. It can differ with solar gain or wind speed. As a building ages gaps in the structure can open up and increase the air infiltration rate. Air infiltration changes, solar gain and wind are measurable changes. Also electricity used in a building gives off heat to that building. The enegy in the electricity transfers to heat in the building.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,321
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    You're not telling me a thing I don't already know...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    @Jamie Hall

    You asked "A little challenge here for @John Ruhnke . I would like to know the actual efficiency of three mechanisms for converting energy in the form of fuel (I don't care -- oil, gas, LP) to output in terms of a heat transfer fluid: steam, air, and hot water (for air and hot water, kindly measure both condensing and non-condensing conditions). All three energy converters -- steam boiler, hot water "boiler", and hot air furnace -- must be strictly comparable -- that is, recent equipment properly set up and tuned."

    I answered. " Every boiler or furnace has a different designed combustion chamber. They all lose energy up the chimney at different rates. It is the design of the combustion chamber and how well it captures the energy from the combustion air that determines efficiency at that point. It does not matter what fuel source was started with or what heat transfer fluid the energy gets transferred into."

    Let me try to explain again. 100% of the energy from any of the fuels you mentioned gets transferred to the combustion air. From that point some goes out through the chimney. Some goes into the metal that surrounds any of the transfer fluids you mentioned.

    Your question cant be answered because it all depends on the design of the combustion chamber. For me to give you a single efficiency number is impossible. Does that make sense to you?
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    @JUGHNE

    Those numbers sound realistic to me. Saving 50% on neglected equipment happens a lot. I think it is important to spread this information around and make others aware of the possibilities.

    We were hired to replace the boiler at the Unitarian Church in Westport. We replaced a old oversized cast iron boiler with two mod/cons and Tekmar ODR. We cut the fuel bills by 2/3 or 67%!

    That boiler we replaced was in bad shape.

    There is a lot of money to be made in some of these energy efficiency improvements.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,321
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    Mr. Ruhnke: your non-answer makes sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't answer my question.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    Mr. Ruhnke: your non-answer makes sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't answer my question.

    He's not going to answer your question just like he ignored my comment about ever actually saving money if I do work on my house. Sure new windows, insulation, sheathing etc will save me an absolute ton of fuel. But it'll never save me actual money in my life time. The dirty little secret.

    It also doesn't make my steam heating system any less efficient and converting my system to hot water would never gain me more than 10% absolute best case and I'm betting 5% is more realistic considering electric use and maintenance costs.

    And believe me, I would love nothing more than to compare my single pipe atmospheric steam system to a modcon system UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    @Jamie Hall

    You are asking for an answer to a incomplete question. That's like asking What is 4 + 3+?=X

    Without knowing what ? is you cannot answer X

    Enough
    The direction you are going in is pointless.


    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,062
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    JR, was your church a steam to water conversion or simply replacing a water boiler?
    If steam conversion what is the ROI?

    I have installed modcons and dread the day some part fails in January and it is 2-4 days away.
    All 5 of the old steamer moving/electrical parts would fit in a shoe box....most of which I have in stock.
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    The Church was a hot water boiler replacement. It was not a steam conversion. I like cast iron too. I have a Buderus Cast Iron oil fired boiler in my house. At the time we didn't have gas in the street. I have radiant heating throughout my house. It is 13 years old and very reliable. Still going strong.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
    edited September 2019
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    The Steam Whisperer saved something like 60% on a steam upgrade and improvement. You can make some big efficiency gains improving old steam systems too. Dan Holohan and Johny NY made some improvements to the Mechanical and Trades Building and saved something like 40% and they don't even have a boiler to lose combustion efficiency with. High Pressure Steam comes into the building.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited September 2019
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    The Steam Whisperer saved something like 60% on a steam upgrade and improvement. You can make some big efficiency gains improving old steam systems too. Dan Holohan and Johny NY made some improvements to the Mechanical and Trades Building and saved something like 40% and they don't even have a boiler to lose combustion efficiency with. High Pressure Steam comes into the building.

    Yes.
    The difference is they aren't misleading people by saying "You can cut your fuel bills by 68% on average switching from steam to water "

    On average!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    @ChrisJ

    Misleading? Did you even read the article I posted? I attached the link when I quoted the 68%.

    That 68% is a average of 10 steam to hot water conversion projects. This was done by Durkin. He is a P.E. This was published in the ASHRAE journal. This was PEER reviewed.

    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    @ChrisJ

    Misleading? Did you even read the article I posted? I attached the link when I quoted the 68%.

    That 68% is a average of 10 steam to hot water conversion projects. This was done by Durkin. He is a P.E. This was published in the ASHRAE journal. This was PEER reviewed.

    I do not need to read the article to see what you told a homeowner on here.

    If I hire you to convert my single pipe steam system, and do absolutely nothing to the house.

    I am to understand I will see a 68% drop in fuel usage from the heating system?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • PMJ
    PMJ Member Posts: 1,265
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    ChrisJ said:

    The Steam Whisperer saved something like 60% on a steam upgrade and improvement. You can make some big efficiency gains improving old steam systems too. Dan Holohan and Johny NY made some improvements to the Mechanical and Trades Building and saved something like 40% and they don't even have a boiler to lose combustion efficiency with. High Pressure Steam comes into the building.

    Yes.
    The difference is they aren't misleading people by saying "You can cut your fuel bills by 68% on average switching from steam to water "

    Right. Thank you @ChrisJ .

    No one replaces a well running system. So when a contractor is called it is to fix/replace a poorly running one. Replacing it with a well running one of any type will likely have a large improvement in fuel efficiency. The % of that improvement that is due to which type of system replaced the poorly running one is relatively small. So it is at best very misleading to cite a large efficiency improvement number and imply that it is due to the system being a mod-con or anything else.
    1926 1000EDR Mouat 2 pipe vapor system,1957 Bryant Boiler 463,000 BTU input, Natural vacuum operation with single solenoid vent, Custom PLC control
    ChrisJ
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    @ PMJ

    Now go look at the other paper I posted about the much larger Euro Study. I attached a link to that one too. Huge sums of money went into this study. The study went deep. That Euro study which the new standards in Europe are now based on shows the average new Mod/con to be 72% efficient and the average new atmospheric to be 40% efficient.

    So there you go. Same average condition to same average condition. All equipment was new in the study. This study is even more precise than the Durkin one.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
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    That works out to be 44.45% .72/.4 = .5555. So the ModCon will cost 56% of the 100% price. This is a savings on average of 44.45%!! Same age and same condition.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
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    That works out to be 44.45% .72/.4 = .5555. So the ModCon will cost 56% of the 100% price. This is a savings on average of 44.45%!! Same age and same condition.

    If I hire you to convert my single pipe steam system to HW.
    Can you guarantee me a 68% drop in fuel usage?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
    edited September 2019
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    @ChrisJ

    You cannot take an average savings of 68% and turn that into a guaranteed savings. You cannot guarantee an average savings because half the time you are higher and half the time you are lower.


    I did guarantee my clients in writing a range. This guarantee came with money back if the minimum in the savings range wasn't hit. So for a upgrade from standard atmospheric to Mod/Con with Tekmar ODR a typical range was 33% to 64% fuel savings.

    Not one of my clients ever complained they didn't hit the minimum fuel saving guarantee. Not one!!!
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,700
    edited September 2019
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    @ChrisJ

    You just love to twist the facts to try and prove your point.
    See how you took an average savings of 68% and tried to turn that into a guaranteed savings? You cannot guarantee an average savings because half the time you are higher and half the time you are lower.


    I did guarantee my clients in writing a range. This guarantee came with money back if the minimum in the savings range wasn't hit. So for a upgrade from standard atmospheric to Mod/Con with Tekmar ODR a typical range was 33% to 64% fuel savings.

    Not one of my clients ever complained they didn't hit the minimum fuel saving guarantee. Not one!!!

    I didn't twist anything.
    You said in your first comment that you can get an average savings of 68% simply by converting steam to hot water.

    "You can cut your fuel bills by 68% on average switching from steam to water as described in this attached paper. You can keep the radiators. You just need to add another pipe and get that down to the basement. You could also do radiant or baseboard. A mod/con boiler, competent installer and quality outdoor reset controller would be needed to hit those numbers in the study."


    I do not see why there would be such a huge range on converting the heating medium and you never told the homeowner this in your first statement.

    Now that said,
    Are you saying if you do the work for me, I will see no less than a 33% savings just by converting my single pipe steam system to a modcon with ODR? Would I have that in writing and what would happen if it doesn't play out?

    I am confused as to why you couldn't get me 68%...........

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • John Ruhnke
    John Ruhnke Member Posts: 882
    edited September 2019
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    That quote with a standard atmospheric was for hot water atmospheric to mod/con. Yes the range I give would be higher on a steam to hot water mod/con conversion.

    The guarantee wasn't for the total amount of the entire job. It was a lump some of money guaranteed in writing if the minimum of the range wasn't hit.

    Go back to the Durkin study. On the hot water side you will see ten jobs quoted. The range was 33% to 64%. That is where I got my range from.
    I am the walking Deadman
    Hydronics Designer
    Hydronics is the most comfortable and energy efficient HVAC system.