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New Condensing boilers comming out soon,,,

Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
I keep the perspective that the US market is merely semi attractive to hydronics folks.

When one considers that the US average hydronic adoption rate is something like 7% versus 90+% for the scorched air side, one quickly realizes that there are far more market opportunities even in the growing EU, considering that 99%+ of their heating systems rely on hot water.

Yes, the adoption rate in the US is growing. On the other hand, the US also features a wild patchwork of local, state, and federal codes. Getting US-wide approval is more tedious, expensive, etc. than for the entire EU, which offers a comparably-sized population. I'm sure that bizarre states like MA will continue to balk at adopting national standards, all in the name of safety (see the potable-use PEX debacle is a particularly egregious example).

Let's move on to emitters. Condensing boilers don't make much sense in homes with hydro-air coils or marginal baseboard installations. Condensing boilers will require a re-think of traditional emitters in the US, while being a boon to those that have an excess of emitting surface.

Coming full circle, what will the effect on the US market be? I agree that condensing boiler applications will induce some head-scratching, bad installs, etc. on the part of the US installer population. But, by parallel, the US car mechanics are going through the same process, where more and more is a function of on-board diagnostics and closely following factory-approved shop manuals than "winging it".

As I see it, the biggest downside to condensing boiler installs is folks sticking to the "old ways". Let's say they're convinced pri-sec is the way to go because they've been installing CI boilers like that for years. Well, a condensing boiler won't like that all in terms of efficiency, though it will still run. Etc.

In my mind, the big market opportunity in the US is the new construction market. Few folks will want to go through the time and expense of retrofitting a house for hydronic or radiant heat once they have a perfectly functioning air-based system. If the new construction cost of installing a radiant or even baseboard system can come down, I'd suggest that more people will adopt it.

Radiant floor heating is the big trump card the hydronic industry has for the high-end market. Perhaps having more manufacturers spread the knowledge re: proper installs, etc. is excatly what's needed to get the installers to take notice. More importantly, perhaps even more efficient means of installing radiant heat can be found so more folks adopt it.


  • My thoughts on NEW Condensing boilers;

    Very soon, the condensing boiler market will be OVER saturated with every worldly manufacturer bringing to the North American market it's own version of a wall hung (or other) boiler. Unfortunately, there will not be nearly enough companies/technicians worthy & well qualified to properly apply them in the field. CBT is a very small percentage of the whole hydronics market & unfortunately I expect it to remain that way for some time to come.

    With the introduction of new condensing machines from the likes of Buderus, Geminox & DeDetrich to name a few, will we be ready as hydronicians to capture and apply these low-E machines properly? OR will we fall once again to scorched air?

    Gary Wallace

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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Those 3 manufactures

    you mentioned are not NEW to the condensing market. From what I understand the HX used in all those brands have been around in Europe for many years.

    HOWEVER, it seems most were built for some type of DHW use. I'm wondering about longevity when placed in hydronic heating applications. Will they cross over well?

    It's one thing to have a steady 60 psi, consistent gpm flow of domestic water through a HX. Much different when circ pumps are added, and mixed into the equasion.

    Flow, temperature rise, water quality, natural gas quality, installers knowledge, I feel, will be the biggest unknowns.

    I agree contractor education is critical to the performance and life expectancy with these products.

    It's not the bullet proof cast iron block they we are most familar with :)

    I think it is the right direction for hydronics, especially low temperature radiant systems. I expect a learning curve not unlike the early condensing FA equipment! I can think of a handful of swings and misses in that industry with condensing technology :)

    hot rod

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    initial hi-e hot air

    furnace installations came back to take major bites out of our arses. But, we stuck with thaty emerging technology and the manufacturers did work out the bugs. Today, it's a rarity to install the 80+ models.

    Same must and will happen within the hydronics industry. As for installer errors - especially in proper setup of combustion? That will soon be a thing of the past. As I understand it, we'll be seeing boilers (and furnaces) that are self adjusting. Once that happens, we'll be seeing efficiencies climb even higher.

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  • Nron_9
    Nron_9 Member Posts: 237
    Boiler -Furnace

    Some of the new high end furnaces now have multi stage burners and drives for the forced air systems , but there will always be a difference between , radiant floors and a forced air sysem in comfort and durability , most high end frunaces are done at the 10 yr mark or are extremmly expensive to fix at this stage of life and difficult to trouble shoot , causeing most people to simply rip and replace , This is what most companys are doing here anyway
  • larry
    larry Member Posts: 91
    Condensing boilers & Hydro Air...

    Why do you say these two don't mix? I'm considering doing such a combination and found from a spec sheet perspective that there are hydro-air AHers that should provide both warm enough supply air temps and still operate with water supply temps down to 130F and have a 20-25F temp drop across the coil so the return water is in the 110F+ range. The AHer I'm looking at is from Ecologix in Canada, and it also has a variable speed blower which will modulate the blower speed from 40% to 100% always trying to keep the air speed as low as possible (and hence the register temps higher) and still satisfy the demand. Such a setup is certainly not real low temp, but it should still take good advantage of condensing technology.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    I stand corrected!

    Just goes to show, you never stop learning... Based on sample piping diagrams I saw earlier, I was under the impression that hydro-air would require temps of up to 180°F. I fully agree with you that if the return temp from a hydrocoil is less than 130°F that the boiler should condense happily away.

    All the more reason to consider having one boiler and 7 air handlers instead of 7 furnaces in some trophy homes I've seen. Get your hot air, hot water, and do it with excellent efficiency. Maybe even less maintenance (only one combustion appliance instead of 7), assuming the consumer is willing to do the media filter exchanges on their own.

    Or, even more radically, the possibilities associated with only one coil unit per AH and running a hot-water/chilled water loop through each with a central heating and cooling plant. Combine all that with a big buffer and a GHSP and you could be offering some sweet efficiencies. Ah, the possibilities...
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322

    Check out the air handlers from Nu-Tech. They are sized as you describe, to work with low to medium water temps. They are also available with ECM blowers and have a built in circulator and 100CFM HRV besides. The whole nine yards in one box. They work great with 140 or less water temp!
  • Henry_9
    Henry_9 Member Posts: 57
    Nu tech online?

    > Check out the air handlers from Nu-Tech. They are

    > sized as you describe, to work with low to medium

    > water temps. They are also available with ECM

    > blowers and have a built in circulator and 100CFM

    > HRV besides. The whole nine yards in one box.

    > They work great with 140 or less water temp!

  • Henry_9
    Henry_9 Member Posts: 57
    Nu tech online?

    When I google Nu-tech I get lots on hits but nothing on air handlers, where can I find info on their airhandlers?

  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Try the following web-site:

    Lifebreath.com, where you can take a look at some of the products that Nu-Tech is offering. While it is the official site, not all the info is up to date, and navigating it can be a bear also.

    For example, at ISH Boston, they introduced their latest product line, the -TRV series. These units are similar to the DCS line in that they contain two HX cores. The major improvement though is that the TRV line incorporates an HRV in one core and an ERV in the other core. Perfect for places like Boston where both ERV's and HRV's make sense, depending on the time of year.

    Their dual-HX HRV line (DCS) is still the market leader in terms of efficiency, as far as I know. They also seem to stand behind the product and my mum has had no issues with her Lifebreaths since installing them years ago. Just remember to wash the HX core at least once a year (depending on where you live) and exchanging filter elements more often than that. This is true for any HRV/ERV so don't mount one in an inaccessible location.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322

    The product you want to check out is called the Clean Air Furnace. Call Pete Kendall at 519-457-1904, tell him who you are and who sent you. I'm sure he'll be happy to send whatever info you'd like to see. Great folks to work with.
    There's a place in Ohio also 937-439-6676 but I don't know anyone there. London (Ontario) is closer to me.


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