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New York City's electricfication program for Heat
I began to read just the very beginning and skimmed some other areas and can already see that the fundamentals they are claiming appear to be the latest popular myths without foundation in real life. The report starts out by saying
steam boilers are only 80% efficient and hot water boilers are 95% efficient. We all have steamers that are firing at 82 % efficiencies and up to 86%, with advanced condensing setups around 92% ( such as Chicago's Art Institute), with many equipped with load sensitive modulation in the larger models so they can maintain these efficiencies nearly year round. In addition these numbers ignore the huge increases in electrical usage of hot water systems and other factors.
That district systems are very costly to maintain. I've already seen from personal experience that large scale commercial heat pump systems have an equipment life of about 14 years in northern Indiana, so the majority of the equipment needs to be replaced every 15 years or so. I suspect this is much more costly than maintaining district systems.
The report bases thier pollution reduction on data from 2005 instead of current data. From the reading I've done in the past, New York City overall has been making extensive improvements to the steam infrastruture since 2005......maybe the housing authority has not? Those that regularly work with steam can regularly achieve 15 to 20% reduction in fuel usage ( and the corresponding reductions in pollution) with basic proper maintenance and repair to get system operating properly. With upgrades in control and using up to date technologies ( steam outdoor reset using variable vacuum or pressure reset using Orificed radiators) combined with common sense improvements ( insulating behind radiators and TRV's), large additional reductions are possible. We have a number or buildings that have seen fuel usage reductions of nearly half while still using largely conventional systems.
I didn't see anything about the efficiency of combined heat and power, though I only skimmed through parts of the report. I have seen university studies that placed the efficiency of combined heat and power at about 350% of that of condensing hot water systems. I would say that efficiencies at that scale would cut emissions dramatically at a much lower cost that completely gutting heating systems in the building and replacing them with systems that have a dramatically shorter life cycle.
It will be an interesting read, but the introduction doesn't sound like they have really done thier homework.
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