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Do I want a smart ECM pump for my boiler loop?

rsilvers
rsilvers Member Posts: 112
I am redoing a system with a G215-5, It was one loop with a mix of undersized 1-1/4 and even 1 inch shared pipe, but I am making it primary/secondary with a 1.5 inch Caleffi hydro-seperator.

This is a 180,000 BTU system, and the burner kit came with a Grundfos 3-speed pump just barely capable of up to 18 GPM (at basically no head).

Presumably, if I install this free pump, I would set it to the highest speed so that it can try to do 18 GPM such that it can move 180,000 BTU at a 20 degree drop.

If I instead used an Alpha smart pump, would it ever know to reduce wattage and save power? If so, would the power savings pay for the $165 pump? (we have 0.29 electric rate).

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,552
    It’s an ECM motor, so it will use 50% less electricity in any fixed speed mode also.
    Does the pump curve show it can move the flow you need?
    Do you need 18 gpm?  There is no requirement to run a 20 delta. Allow a wider delta and gpm requirement drops.
    what is the heat load you are designing to?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    rsilversmikeapolis
  • rsilvers
    rsilvers Member Posts: 112
    Ok, I will do it. I might stick the fixed motor on zone that is not used much.

    Alpha1 says it can do 21 GPM and 12 GPM at 7.5 ft head, whereas the free included pump says 18 GPM and 12 GPM at 2 ft head.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,954
    rsilvers said:

    I am redoing a system with a G215-5, It was one loop with a mix of undersized 1-1/4 and even 1 inch shared pipe, but I am making it primary/secondary with a 1.5 inch Caleffi hydro-seperator.

    This is a 180,000 BTU system,

    If I instead used an Alpha smart pump, would it ever know to reduce wattage and save power? If so, would the power savings pay for the $165 pump? (we have 0.29 electric rate).

    Thats a lot of BTU's!
  • rsilvers
    rsilvers Member Posts: 112
    10,500 square foot house.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 739
    rsilvers said:
    10,500 square foot house.
    Wow
  • rsilvers
    rsilvers Member Posts: 112
    Plus a 3500 square foot pool house, but that has its own propane furnaces and gas fireplaces. 
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 739
    edited April 3
    I have a Alpha2 on my system; performs very well and the status display for GPM and wattage are very useful. Make sure you put a Caleffi DirtMagPro on the return side of boiler to capture the magnetite before it hits the Alpha2 (assuming the pump is on supply side in a pumping away  configuration). The magnetite vigorously stick to the rare earth magnets in ECM will reduce performance over time if not cleaned from the system. 
  • rsilvers
    rsilvers Member Posts: 112
    edited April 3
    I have a Dirtmag on one system.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 739
    rsilvers said:
    I have a Dirtmag on one system, but the magnets seem awfully weak.
    The pro added a axial magnet to the previous generation so now two mags. 
  • rsilvers
    rsilvers Member Posts: 112
    edited April 3
    Wow that is fantastic. I want. Only issue is the cost and I am putting thermometers on every return. I was going to just change the Delta-P mode until I saw about a 25 degree drop on the return.