Boiler install, Low Mass Biasi 10/Energy kinetics


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Old 05-05-09, 08:34 AM
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Boiler install, Low Mass Biasi 10/Energy kinetics

Hello all members! At present I use heating oil. It is a hot water gravity system from the 1950ís and I must replace it. I drained all the water out of the system because the heat exchanger is cracked and leaking water (may it rest in peace). It is vented by the chimney going through the center of the house.

I am considering 2 low mass oil boilers, Energy Kinetics EK-1 or the Biasi 10. (although I am leaning toward the Biasi 10). The boiler will be heat only (no domestic hot water). Both of these systems can be converted to natural gas (Reillo gas burner) if ever I decide to use the convert option in the future. (based on fuel prices).

My home (at least 100 years old), Boston, MA is a two story (1900 sq. ft. heated living area) with an attic (not heated) and a basement (some heat because of the network of 3Ē and 2 Ĺ ď dia. cast iron feed pipes coming off the boiler. Old type cast iron radiators (4 on the 1st floor, 5 on the 2nd floor). Total EDR 86,020 BTU/HR.

The old boiler has 2 (3Ē dia.) risers/feeds coming off the top. One goes to the north side of the house with its own return the other goes to the south side of the house with its own return. Dividing the EDR for the north side and the south side (lots of sun exposure in the winter) I calculated an average of:
North EDR 39,780 BTU/HR
South EDR 46,240 BTU/HR
I donít know if you would call this a one zone system or a two zone system. I did a heat loss calculation and:

Heat loss calculations based on slant/fin software.
Outside design Temp. 0 F.
Elevation 21 ft.
Sys. design water temp. 180 F.
Heat loss calculated readout 75,000 (btu/hr)

The Biasi 10 Model B-4 (d.o.e rating 97,000 btu/hr, i.b.r rating 84,000 btu/hr) seems like a good fit. Iím going with the i.b.r rating because of heat loss due to the cast iron piping.

Important points I am looking for in a boiler set up to save energy cost and for boiler protection are:
1. An outdoor reset (eg. Tekmar 256)
2. Boiler bypass piping with a thermic bypass valve to reduce boiler shock from cold return temperatures. (eg. Danfoss)
3. A low water cutoff (eg. Taco lwco)
4. A device that will post purge the remaining heat in the boiler after the burner shuts off.

I donít know if I covered all my bases. Are there any other items worth considering? eg. Pre-purge, variable speed circulators, one circulator or two, zone valves, heat manager, draft sensing safety switch, built in combustion air connection, type of efficient oil burner (Beckett, Carlin, Riello), ect.?

In other words if you were setting up a system like this how would you do it?

Another question is can a low mass boiler be compatible with my cast iron radiators or would I be better off with a system like a Buderus G115 3 pass high mass cast iron system.
I know there is a lot of information to digest. I want to be prepared when contractors put in their bids and to determining which contractor will be the right choice.

I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.
 
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Old 05-05-09, 01:28 PM
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This is a lot of questions but here goes.
The amount of zones is how many thermostats are in the home. Sounds like a single zone.
If the heat loss is 75,000 that is your number. Do not add anything for piping. Look at the DOE rating of the boiler IBR net.
Three of the four of your concerns are good ideas. The ODR, boiler protection and LWCO. The last one is OK if it is done on temperature and not time. I know there is one boiler company which pushes the idea to the hilt. It may not be the best thing to do on time due to how long does it post purge and what is the water temperature at that time. There comes a time when it is just a waste of electric. It is dependent on venting, size of system and type of radiation.
The Thermic valve as boiler protection is a good idea if you are doing p/s piping. Another good way to do boiler protection is variable speed pump still requiring p/s piping. Even a properly installed and adjusted boiler bypass does a good job.
As much as I love oil heat is there natural gas in the street? This would be a good application for a mod/con boiler. You will benefit from the condensing side of the boiler most of the season and achieve the higher efficiency.
For info on boiler protection see the attached link.
Bypass_Piping_Explaination
 
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Old 05-05-09, 06:29 PM
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What rbeck said, plus use a smaller boiler. Outdoor design temp per ASHRAE for Boston is 9F, not 0F. And Manual J is typically a 15-30% overestimate anyway. Use DOE rating not IBR to size boiler.

If you get the impression from the above that there is a lot of overestimation and fudge factors in the heat loss calculation, you're right.

With cast iron radiation, a gas modcon would be really good, but any of the boilers you're considering (and also look into the Burnham MPO) will do well for oil.

Some of the best hydronic heating guys in the country in Boston. Take your time and shop the installer. It's a good time of year to be doing this, too.
 
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Old 05-21-09, 12:44 PM
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Mod/Con with cast iron radiators

Thank you very much for your suggestions (rbeck and xiphias). I am considering a Mod/Con gas boiler. I played with the design temp in the slant/fin software and brought it down to 4 degrees Fahrenheit (I compromised eg. ASHRAE 9 degrees for BostonÖ. Slant/Finn told me 0 degreesÖSo I went with 4 degrees because the last couple of winters it got that cold (1-3 degrees Fahrenheit).

New heat loss figures 70,500 btu/hr for 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

Iíve narrowed down to three nat/gas boilers, with stainless steel heat exchangers. Just heat (no domestic hot water)
1. Burnham Alpine model alp105, net ibr 83,000 btu/hr
2. Munchkin (Heat Transfer Products-right here in Massachusetts)
Munchkin gives D.O.E modulation figures and DOE heating figures
The T80 (17,000 to 80,000) DOE heating (17,000 to 74,000)
The 80M (27,000 to 80,000) DOE heating (25,000 to 74,000)
3. Triangle Prestige Solo 110, DOE heating (99,000)

I believe these models all have outdoor rest.
The condensate will have to be neutralized because I have cast iron waste pipes.

I would like to use my chimney as a chase rather them cutting a hole in the side of my house. Reasons are:
1. Last year I had my chimney rebuilt from the floor of the attic to the roof (with cage on top)
2. I donít care for the periscope look on the outside wall.
3. I remember the blizzard of Ď78í, snow drifts as high as 10-12 feet.

My focus questions are:
1. What boiler model would you recommend?
2. The issue of direct vent (using the chimney as a chase) eg. Flue liner or AL29-4C stainless pipe or PVC piping, concentric flue piping ect?
3. What should I look for when my contractor explains how he is going to pipe the boiler to make it as efficient as possible and boiler protection to prevent boiler shock. (or does boiler shock only manifest itself in cast iron oil boilers)?

Should I focus on these add ons?
a. An outdoor reset (eg. Tekmar 256)? (This one a definite yes)
b. Boiler bypass piping with a thermic bypass valve to reduce boiler shock from cold return temperatures. (eg. Danfoss)
c. A low water cutoff (eg. Taco lwco)?
d. A heat sensing device that will post purge the remaining heat in the boiler after the burner shuts off?
e. Room heat sensors for the north side and the south side. (considering I have more EDR radiation on the south side of the house?

Again I know this is a lot of information, I appreciate your time and help.
Thank you very much for your help and suggestions.
When considering a contractor should I go with Angies List?
 
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Old 05-21-09, 06:45 PM
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I would go with the Prestige. The other two use a high-resistance Giannoni heat exchanger that will require a separate boiler pump. The Prestige can likely be piped with one pump.

With the modcons, you don't need a separate ODR. It is included with these boilers' controls. No need for the tekmar.

You also don't need bypass piping. Pipe following the installation manual.

Post-purge is unnecessary with the modcons. They will modulate the burner to maintain the lowest fuel input possible to meet the heat load.

Thermostats for zoning should be fine.

Boston has some great hydronics guys, including a number who install the Triangle Tube boilers. Shop around.

Read the install manual, even if you don't fully understand it. The installer should describe how he follows the installation instructions....

Venting will be PVC, per manufacturer instructions. Running AL29-4C up a chimney would cost a small fortune.
 
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Old 06-12-09, 12:10 PM
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Hi Xiphias

Hi Xiphias. Using the slant/fin software I put in a range of common winter outside temperatures in the Boston area. I would appreciate your thoughts in determining the Prestige Triangle Tube boiler size. I'm thinking the Model 110.
I run the inside temperature between 63-65 degrees fahrenheit.

0 degrees (75,100 btu/hr heat loss)
4 degrees (70,500 btu/hr heatloss)
9 degrees (64,700 btu/hr heat loss) ASHRAE
20 degrees (52,000 btu/hr heat loss)
28 degrees (42,750 btu/hr heat loss)
39 degrees (30,050 btu/hr heat loss)

If I'm going with the IBR Net...

Model 110 has an IBR Net... 99 MBH
modulates from 30 MBH to 110 MBH

Model 60 has an IBR Net...54 MBH
modulates from 16 MBH to 60 MBH

I think the model 60 is a bit undersized.
Although if the software overestimates by 15-30%???

Thanks for your help.
 

Last edited by Beezee; 06-12-09 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 06-13-09, 09:35 AM
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Hello Xiphias

The figures for IBR Net I gave you in the previous thread are wrong. Those figures are for DOE heating capacity.

The Prestige Triangle Tube specifications for Net IBR:
Model:
Solo 60 Net IBR 47 MBH

Solo 110 Net IBR 86 MBH

If I go with the Net IBR readings as was mentioned by rbek in a previous thread, the Solo 110 seems like the best fit. I appreciate your opinion.
 
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Old 06-13-09, 04:01 PM
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rbeck usually says use DOE not IBR. I agree. His note above is missing the word "not" before "IBR net".

If it were my house, I'd go with the Solo 60. The two days a year you need more output, put on a sweater or have a party (people are good for a couple hundred BTU/hr each).

Failing that, the Solo 110.

Find a good installer. Lots of guys in Boston do the Triangle Tube products.
 
 

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