Intellicon HW discussion / debate

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Old 12-10-09, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by esalman View Post
since the intellicon delays firing the burner at the lower limit.
Just to clarify... the Intellicon will widen the differential based on what it perceives as the boiler's 'load'. It bases this perception on the rate of change of the supply water AFTER the boiler hits a high limit of 170 degrees. This, and knowledge of whether or not the thermostat is calling for heat, is the ONLY data that it knows, and it does NOT store this data. It starts a fresh calculation every time the boiler hits 170.

If the heat call ends before the water hits 170, the Intellicon will take no action.

If the heat call does last long enough for the boiler to go to 170, the burner will shut off on high limit, and the Intellicon will begin measuring the rate of temp change of the still circulating water.

If it sees the temp falling (ahem) "Fast", it will use a narrower diff because it thinks the load is "Heavy".

Vice versa, if the temp falls (cough) "Slowly", it will widen the differential to a maximum of around 30 degrees or so...

This is based on observed behaviour. YES, I do have one on MY system.

I didn't want to start this discussion again, but since you have expressed a desire, I thought you should know what I have observed with mine. Your mileage may vary.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 08:19 PM
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Cool Intellicon HW discussion / debate

Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
Just to clarify... etc etc etc.... Your mileage may vary.
Just to ensure the facts are indeed the facts, I have corrected some of your thoughts about the workings of the Intellicon HW

Intellicon will widen the differential based on what it perceives as the boiler's 'load'. It bases this perception on the rate of change of the supply water AFTER the boiler hits a high limit of 170 degrees (it is actually based on the temp that the water reaches or what the high limit of the aquastat is set for not necessarly 170, it will also use the overshoot temp which occurs after the high limit is achieved. This could be an additional 5 or so degrees.). This, and knowledge of whether or not the thermostat (The Intellicon does not see the T-Stat call directly, the call comes from the Aquastat which is controling the boiler water temp.) is calling for heat, is the only data that it knows, and it does not store this data. It starts a fresh calculation every time the boiler hits 170.(It is the high limit setting so it could be 170 , 160, 180, 190 or whatever the aquastat is set at not 170 degrees fixed you refer to).
If the heat call ends before the water hits 170, the Intellicon will take no action.( there is nothing magic about the 170 number that you are referrring to. The Intellicon control will not shut the burner down it only will delay the start)
If the heat call does last long enough for the boiler to go to 170, the burner will shut off on high limit, and the Intellicon will begin measuring the rate of temp change of the still circulating water. (It would be unusual for the high limit to be set below the aquastat set point ie the 170 you keep referring to)

If it sees the temp falling "Fast", it will use a narrower diff because it thinks the load is "Heavy".

Vice versa, if the temp falls "Slowly", it will widen the differential to a maximum of around 30 degrees or so...(The heating low limit can be set down as low as 90 degrees F so the maximum will be determined by what low limit the installer sets on the aquastat.)

So that is the accurate depiction on how the intellicon works Bottom line 10% heating cost savings achieved using the Intellicon or the money is refunded, that simple not even Tekmar offers that
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-15-09 at 09:45 PM. Reason: removed most of quote
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Old 12-15-09, 09:23 PM
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North Man, I've moved this post out of the other thread so as not to 'hijack' or otherwise impede the flow of info there...

Can you explain why the Intellicon HW+ I&O manual says this?:

To ensure maximum savings, it is important that the aquastat be set to a minimum of 170°.
This says to me that the Intellicon will NOT 'economize' if the boiler does not reach at LEAST 170 during it's cycle, and this is proven to me by the behaviour of MY personal unit over the course of last year's heating season. It NEVER 'economized' except for a very few occasions when it was 0° outdoors, and the boiler did actually fire up to limit.

What will the unit do if the heat call ends with the boiler at 160? My answer... NOTHING. What can it do? The heat call has ended, the circ is stopped!

What happens if the aquastat does happen to be set to 160? and the heat call does run long enough to run the temp up to 160 and the burner shuts down, and the heat call continues?

My answer: NOTHING. The Intellicon will take NO ACTION.

OK, so let's say that we DO follow the directions, and set the aquastat at 170 or above... what about the 95% of the heating season when a well designed system may not even hit the high limit before the heat call ends? How can these systems be guaranteed to save 10% ?

The beauty of this guarantee (for the manufacturer) is that any claims of NOT saving 10% are virtually impossible for 99% of homeowners to prove. Or, is this guarantee a 'no questions asked' deal? Homeowner wants his money back and the check is in the mail... right? What onus is on the homeowner that feels they have not saved 10% to PROVE that they have not saved 10% ?

I have said this many times before, and I will say it again:

My OPINION, which is based on observed behaviour of the device, is that these devices CAN save fuel, when installed on systems that are designed such that nearly every heat call runs the boiler up to high limit. These would be systems that are OVERSIZED, and UNDER-RADIATED. It is these conditions that would allow the most 'economizing' by this control.

I recently received an email that said this:

the HW+ is not working for me at all... zilch, nada, zero. It has been cold enough around here (20s) but my boiler does not receive calls for heat to be able to fire while the water temperature is 140F or above (hence the HW+ not working).
Will this person be able to prove that he hasn't saved 10%? No... because there is no data to back up his claim.

My bottom line feeling is this: This control DOES have a use. Any system that short cycles will benefit, because it will widen the differential and stop the short cycling. It's still a 'band-aid' to a poorly designed system in any case.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 09:31 PM
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Another facet I'd like to 'pick bones' on... and this is THEORETICAL, because I have no data to back up my beliefs... but it's up for discussion here anyway.

I do not believe that the 'rate of temperature change' of the supply water from a boiler that is still being pumped on a heat call after the burner has gone off on high limit is a reliable means of determining 'load' on the boiler.

The boiler will be pumping hot water into a CONDITIONED SPACE. The 'rate of temp change' will be nearly the same no matter if the outdoor temp is 0 or 50. The radiators are in a nearly constant temperature environment, thus the driving force is nearly the same, and the 'rate of temperature change' will be also.

The only time this might NOT be true is when the system is recovering from a deep setback.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 10:49 PM
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Trooper, did you ever try to get your money back for your unit? I agree it would be hard for most homeowners to prove they didn't achieve a 10% savings but it would be equally hard for the manufacturer to prove that they did.

Out here we have lots of window replacement companies and some of the claims made have got to be considered totally bogus. One company claims that if they replace all the windows in a house the homeowner can save 40% on their heating bill. I actually have one of their windows and a patio door but I couldn't swing the cost of doing the entire house. They do have a good product but the hard sell is overwhelming to most people.

I asked someone, I don't remember if it was this particular company or another, how they could make these claims of fuel savings without detailed records. The response was that they took the fuel consumption of the previous year and subtracted the summer months (this is with gas along with a gas water heater) consumption from all the bills to come up with a figure that was representative of the heat only. I don't know what they did if the house also used gas for cooking, maybe they have a fudge factor for that.

Anyway, they made various assumptions, hoped that the winter under consideration was warmer than the winter before the windows were installed AND put a limit on how much they would rebate back to the customer if the windows did not achieve the 40% savings. If I remember correctly the maximum rebate if they didn't achieve a 40% reduction was $300.

Well, heck, if I was selling a window job for $20k (or more) I could afford to set aside $300 just in case the customer figured he wasn't getting the advertised saving. And $20k for a window job was not out of the ordinary, my patio door and small double-hung window (about 22x34 inches) was five grand, I shudder to think what my entire house would have been.

I suspect the same is done with the Heat Miser, the company figures that very few people will complain about not saving and the few that do it is easier to just pay them off. I think that I read somewhere that only about 10% of dissatisfied customers (regardless of the product) ever complain long enough and hard enough to where they actually get their money refunded. That leaves a lot of room for a company to make outrageous claims about their product and laugh all the way to the bank.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 08:21 AM
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I am by far no expert on these types of controls but....... Here's my 2 cents.
I do not believe that the 'rate of temperature change' of the supply water from a boiler that is still being pumped on a heat call after the burner has gone off on high limit is a reliable means of determining 'load' on the boiler.
I also do not think it can determine the load of the boiler but it can do some calculation on the heat loss and the load on the system. As the OD temp changes the heat loss changes which also means the infiltration changes.If the heat loss changes (more air leaving the building) than more air has to come into the building. This means the cooler air ends up at the floor and therefore cooler air passes over the radiation. This will change the output of the radiation. All radiation has a certain output per ft at a given water temp and a given air temp. The air temp will be cooler (surly not dramatic) crossing over the elements. We also have cooler floors and air leaks around the pipes where the home sits on the basement. So the rate of change will also be affected. The greater the temperature difference the greater the transfer of temperature. When it gets colder out the heat runs longer and comes back on quicker. After boiler shutdown on limit the retrun water temp will drop quicker as it is colder outside.
This makes sense in my feeble mind.....any one else's?????
 
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Old 12-16-09, 06:09 PM
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did you ever try to get your money back for your unit?
No, because I didn't pay for it. It was kindly donated for 'scientific evaluation' by a board member who also did not find that it was doing anything for him. I suppose it would be somewhat amusing to see if I could though! (albeit somewhat unscrupulous)

only about 10% of dissatisfied customers (regardless of the product) ever complain long enough and hard enough to where they actually get their money refunded.
I believe that... I read somewhere that the same is true with 'manufacturers rebates'. It seems that the majority of people who purchase a product with a promise of a 'rebate' never file for it! Apathy? Laziness? who knows?

The greater the temperature difference the greater the transfer of temperature.
Right... that's the 'driving force' that I referred to.

This makes sense in my feeble mind.....any one else's?????
Yep, mine too. I can't believe that it is RELIABLE though. All houses are obviously constructed differently, and all will suffer more or less from insulation and infiltration problems. And that's why I said 'reliable', and used the word 'nearly' several times. There's just so much variability.
 
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Old 12-16-09, 06:18 PM
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There must be a 'best case' / 'worst case' for the device to operate within.

I feel that the BEST case for this control would be as stated earlier, an oversized boiler, in an under-radiated home. Adding some of rbeck's input, this home would also be poorly insulated, and leaking air like a sieve.

Worst case, just the opposite... properly sized boiler, maybe somewhat OVER-radiated, good insulation, tight construction.

Agree / disagree? why?
 
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Old 12-16-09, 06:43 PM
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Not that I know much about this subject, but I agree with NJ Trooper. It seems like this thing is a poor man's ODR. In a system that is oversized and lacks a real ODR, the intellicon allows the system to heat with lower temperatures on warmer days by making the differential really wide. On the cold days, it shortens the differential, effectively raising the temperature the system runs at. It's not as accurate and still needs the system to hit the high limit, but seems like it could have an effect on savings.

This thing keeps track of when it "economizes" right? Does that info get lost when the power is disconnected? My thinking is that if it stays, perhaps that could help prove if it saved 10% or not.
 
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Old 12-17-09, 04:15 PM
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This thing keeps track of when it "economizes" right? Does that info get lost when the power is disconnected? My thinking is that if it stays, perhaps that could help prove if it saved 10% or not.
As far as I know, it does save the data in NonVolatile Ram memory.

Thing is, the 'eononmizing' time does not directly relate to fuel savings. All that data is is an accumulation of time that the control 'thinks' the burner would have been firing, and the control prevented it from doing so because it widened the diff.

Understand though that when the burner DOES fire, it's going to fire that much longer, because it's firing a cooler boiler. The longer run cycles are a GOOD thing. This is where the control has it's moment in the spotlight... stopping short cycling.

What I am not sure of at the moment is whether or not the control keeps track of burner RUN time. THIS parameter could be used to determine savings, IF historical run time data were available that could be correlated to Degree Days, and compared.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 03:08 PM
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What about oversized and over radiated?

What would this thing do for me in this case?
Over radiated by a factor of 2 according to slant /fin.
Not sure what brand my fin tube is but Iused the lowest rated slant/fin version for my calcs.

Heatloss calc come in around 67,000BTU/hr
Arcoliner was rated at 164,000BTU originally with 1.5 gph firing rate. Not sure what it is doing now.
 
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Old 12-18-09, 03:42 PM
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Hard to say without a bit more info.

When your boiler gets a heat call, will it normally fire up to the high limit setting before the heat call is satisfied? then the burner shuts down, and the pump continues to run? then the burner fires up again in a short while and runs up to high limit again? etc etc ...

If it does act that way ( short cycling ) then it will probably help to calm that behaviour down somewhat... it will still fire up to high limit, but it will then delay the firing the second/third/etc time... it will extend the time that the burner is off AFTER it fires up to limit. This is a good thing, because ideally you want longer burn cycles. and longer off cycles. The subsequent burn cycles will be longer because the boiler is cooler when it refires...

Even with the home being over-radiated, a boiler of that size could theroetically hit high limit before the t'stat satisfies.

However, if your boiler pretty much most of the time fires up to 150-160 and then satisfies the thermostat heat call, and shuts down, burner AND pump, and then is off for some time before firing up and doing the same thing, it won't be _as_ helpful.

This is just what 'could/might' happen... only way to know for sure is to try it and see. By observing the behaviour of the system for some time before your purchase, you can have a general idea though.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 11:12 AM
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Over-radiated

As far as I can tell, call for heat from thermostats only turns on circulators ( 3 zones)with a White-Rodgers line voltage cut out that was set at 120 Degrees. I bumped it up to 140 deg

Boiler runs off the hi limit switch with approx 20 degree differential. Kicks in around 160 degrees. It always runs to hi lim whether heat call or not.

It is the original Old Detroit Lubricator adjustable that cuts line voltage to burner.
Real dif is probably closer to 25 degress because it coasts 5-10 degs above cut out (180 Deg)

Outside temp is currently 17 deg so I can not see any point to increasing the differntial with fin tube

I posted specs in post titled "Boiler Wiring Question two days ago because I do not think it is wired optimally.
The aquastat in the tankless well is normally closed all the time and removing the wires (24volt) does not seem to do anything. No shortage of hot water. It is wired in parallel (not series) in a junction box
which then tees to TT on r8184 controller on burner and to a jumble in a a switch box which I have yet to decipher.
Still a little confused about that part. hence my questions in other post.
 
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Old 12-19-09, 11:48 AM
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OK... I see your other post now, I missed it first time around... was in a rush yesterday to 'be prepared'...

I'm not sure the Intillicon will even be adaptable to your system then... without some major re-wiring, re-controlling...

Let's carry on in your other thread:
 
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Old 12-21-09, 02:15 PM
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Proving Energy Related Improvement for Guaranteed Savings

Originally Posted by furd View Post
Trooper, did you ever try to get your money back for your unit? I agree it would be hard for most homeowners to prove they didn't achieve a 10% savings but it would be equally hard for the manufacturer to prove that they did.

Out here we have lots of window replacement companies and some of the claims made have got to be considered totally bogus. One company claims that if they replace all the windows in a house the homeowner can save 40% on their heating bill. I actually have one of their windows and a patio door but I couldn't swing the cost of doing the entire house. They do have a good product but the hard sell is overwhelming to most people.

I asked someone, I don't remember if it was this particular company or another, how they could make these claims of fuel savings without detailed records. The response was that they took the fuel consumption of the previous year and subtracted the summer months (this is with gas along with a gas water heater) consumption from all the bills to come up with a figure that was representative of the heat only. I don't know what they did if the house also used gas for cooking, maybe they have a fudge factor for that.

Anyway, they made various assumptions, hoped that the winter under consideration was warmer than the winter before the windows were installed AND put a limit on how much they would rebate back to the customer if the windows did not achieve the 40% savings. If I remember correctly the maximum rebate if they didn't achieve a 40% reduction was $300.

Well, heck, if I was selling a window job for $20k (or more) I could afford to set aside $300 just in case the customer figured he wasn't getting the advertised saving. And $20k for a window job was not out of the ordinary, my patio door and small double-hung window (about 22x34 inches) was five grand, I shudder to think what my entire house would have been.

I suspect the same is done with the Heat Miser, the company figures that very few people will complain about not saving and the few that do it is easier to just pay them off. I think that I read somewhere that only about 10% of dissatisfied customers (regardless of the product) ever complain long enough and hard enough to where they actually get their money refunded. That leaves a lot of room for a company to make outrageous claims about their product and laugh all the way to the bank.
The only practical way that I know of to determine if a particular home improvement actually does save money with energy costs is using a “Heating Degrees” calculation; it is the standard that most experienced and knowledgeable HVAC engineers use to determine the return on investment with any particular home improvement with regards to heating. US News and world report had an article several years back from which I refer to often. I paraphrased the following from the article:
To calculate the heating degree days for a particular day, find the day's average temperature by adding the day's high and low temperatures and dividing by two. For instance, if the number is above 65, there is no heating degree days that day. If the number is less than 65, subtract it from 65 to find the number of heating degree days. For example, if the day's high temperature is 60 and the low is 40, the average temperature is 50 degrees. 65 minus 50 is 15 heating degree days.
Heating Degree days are a way to obtain this information that can be used it to see if investments in improvements such as more insulation, windows or a new furnace, boiler or efficiency controls are paying off. You would simply compare heating degree days with your energy bills, or the amount of energy you are using — such as therms of natural gas, gallons of heating oil, or kilowatt hours of electricity. All you would need is to note the dates when the gas or electric meter was read and then find the number of degree days during that period.
To find the heating degree days, go to the National Weather Service's list of local offices and click on the name of the office nearest to you. Once on the office's Web site, look on the left side of the page for a heading "Climate." and under it something like "Past weather data."
You need to find the form used to keep track of each month's weather, day-by-day. It's the NWS F-6 form, and might be labeled "monthly report."
On this form, the first column is the day of the month, and the next five are: the day's maximum, minimum, average, departure (or difference) from the day's normal, heating degree days (HDD) and cooling degree days (CDD). The month's heating degree total is at the bottom of the sheet in the HDD column.
Now, say you filled your heating fuel oil tank on Nov. 5, and on Dec. 5, you needed 100 gallons to fill it again. In other words from Nov. 5 to Dec. 5, you needed 100 gallons of oil to heat your house. You'd get the November heating degree day total and then subtract the total for the first five days. You'd then add the total for the first four days of December for the total of the degree days during the time you used the 100 gallons of oil.
Let's say that this adds up to 800 heating degree days. If you divide this into the 100 gallons of oil, you get 0.125. In other words, you used 0.125 gallons of oil per heating degree day. The longer the time you use for this calculation, the better your baseline figure is going to be.
Since each weather office Web site I've looked at has the F-6 forms going back at least a couple of years. You could get the heating degree days for the last heating season. If you have records of how much fuel you used during that season, you'd be able to calculate how much you used for each heating degree day.
So let’s say you added an Energy Efficient Control such as the Intellicon HW, Beckett Heat Manager or Tekmar or for that matter replaced your entire boiler or all your windows, you could then compare this year's fuel per heating degree day figures with last year's to see if the device is saving you money.
The beauty of using heating degree days for energy usage calculations is that it makes no difference whether this winter is colder or warmer than the last. So as long as you use the heating degree days as a basis for energy consumption and knowing and documenting the deliveries of the same it is argument proof to any manufacture making claims of guaranteed savings. I have spoken to Beckett about the 10% guarantee they offer for the Heat Manager and presented my case for which they agreed with without hesitation. Since The Intellicon HW and Beckett Heat Manager are both made by the same manufacture, Intellidyne, I am highly Confident that both would honor the guarantees, but since I have seen savings beyond 10% I have not had to pursue the guarantee, a good thing. I am planning to replace my windows in 2010 for which I will take the same approach and believe me if a vendor is claiming 40% savings I will see 40% or I will have free windows. I suppose a win-win.
Beer 4U2
 
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Old 12-21-09, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
No, because I didn't pay for it. It was kindly donated for 'scientific evaluation' by a board member who also did not find that it was doing anything for him. I suppose it would be somewhat amusing to see if I could though! (albeit somewhat unscrupulous)
How about I GIVE you free of any charge the Intelicon HW that I was supposed to install at my mother in laws house before she left to Fla. Since the Intellicon has LCD as opposed to the Beckett Heat Manager you currently have installed it will allow you to more easily determine what it is or is not doing. All I ask is keep track of your degree days and offer an objective comparison. Whatever your opinion is, it is. And I shall never bring up the subject again. That simple…I am an engineer by trade and build computer systems for a living and I have personally concluded the Intellicon (or Heat Manager) has saved me 12% on heating costs based upon my 3 year comparison of energy usage. For the couple of hundred of bucks it costs and the guarantee given, it’s really an easy lift. It’s all yours, no strings attached with nothing expected in return except your honest opinion. If interested send me an email. BTW for the record I do not work For Beckett or Intellidyne.Beer 4U2
 
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Old 12-22-09, 05:33 PM
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I'd like to add a few points to NMH's post about degree days:

1. Always use degree day data from the SAME LOCATION. I know this should go without saying, but I'm saying it anyway...

2. Instead of dividing Gallons by Degree Days, going the other way and dividing DD by Gall yeilds what oil delivery companies call "K Factor" and this will be a whole number rather than a fraction.

If you want to go a step or two further and derive a 'constant' that you can compare with your friends who burn gas OR oil, you can convert to BTUs used, and add the square footage of your home to the equation.

Fuel oil is 139000-140000 BTU per gallon. So, once you know your gallons (you will need to keep good records, or 'clock' the oil valve on your burner) you can derive the BTUs...

Then, divide that by your Degree Days, and divide again by your square feet.

To do this with gas is a bit more difficult, because clocking your gas meter will record ALL gas used, cooking, water heating, etc...
 
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Old 12-22-09, 05:40 PM
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How about I GIVE you free of any charge the Intelicon HW...
That's a very generous offer ... at this time though, I have to say that I just simply don't have the ambition to go through the whole process... I got really burned out on taking data. I wouldn't want to take your offer and then not follow through, and I know that's what would happen... so thanks, but I'll pass.

If you feel inclined to provide the data sets that you used to determine your savings, I would be interested in studying those though...
 
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Old 12-22-09, 09:01 PM
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my take...

more wood on the fire...

i have the HW+ installed on a mid-efficency boiler running two zones; dhw (primary) and cast-iron radiators - 3-bedroom house located north of the 47th.

i got the HW+ because august is the only month it has not snowed around here.

my boiler (crown awi095) is very well sized for the house - lots of calcs, professionals, and the whole works to reach the BTUs needed.

does the HW+ work?

i have played with all kinds of numbers:

i "ranged" my highlimit from 155F to 175F.
i "ranged" the HW+ HLOLIM parameter in the unit from 90F on up...

i have probably tried at least two-dozen combinations of temperatures to see what would happen - i am a stay-home dad, an engineer, and throughout my system, i have 5 temperature gages.

so does it work?

i have to say no, it does not... for me it does not.

there are only two instances when does;

when there is a call for heat from the dhw tank, the water temp (supply) will get up to 160F, 170F if i have taken a bath and done the dishes.

if i have a call for heat from the house as soon as the boiler is done with the dhw tank call (i forced this many, many, many, times), the unit will economize as the water temp drops to the HLOLIM number set in the unit.

this economizing time has never reached a minute. since this summer, the unit has 'economized' a grand total of 0.1 hours... i think that would be 6 minutes.

the other instance of 'savings' has happened when i dropped the HLOLIM to around 90F or 100F. this however opens another can of worms;

if there is a call for heat from the house, i am pretty sure i could transfer heat to the house with 100F temp - the unit does economize.

however, if there is a call from the dhw tank and the HW+ kicks the pumps on, i am actually 'robbing' heat from my tank. with the pumps on, the unit will run until the tank temp drops down to the 100F or 90F or whatever low number. am i wrong saying this?

if the tank temp is 110F, and the HW+ is set for 100F, would not the system temp go above 100F and then go back down to 100F while the pumps are running? and after it reaches 100F, the boiler kicks on and brings the tank temp back to 130F or whatever you have it set at. that's dumb.

but regardless of the highlimit and HLOLIM settings, my calls for heat are so spaced apart (totally independent of thermostat settings of allowed number of calls per hour) that my water temp drops to 100F/90F just about every single time between calls. there is not a window for the HW+ to really ever operate.

my night time temp is 61 and it goes to 67 in the morning (that's my biggest house call); the boiler return temp reaches 150F but it takes a long time to get there.

currently however i am working on a boiler/system by-passes because my boiler return temperature is really low 99% of the time. we'll see what the HW+ will do after i get this done. based on my calcs, it will be a little better but not much.

as i get more savings i spend more gas/money maintaining that 140F to avoid condensation. it's like getting a tax credit after you spend money.

i hope i am wrong here but i have a really hard time with the "HLOLIM = high-limit - differential - 15F".

the data it collects seems only to create an equation based on temp drop to know when to fire the boiler (based on the pre-purge time) so it's at full-blast close to when the temp reaches the HLOLIM setting.

seems to me setting the high limit just under, or over, the often reached temp in 'heavy load' days and seeting the HLOLIM to about 140F (so no condensation) is the way to go.

and as far as the 10% savings goes:

sorry, can't be claimed. it's impossible... however, it's statistics, it can be truth and lies all in the same sentence.

but hey, don't get me wrong, i love tinkering and i don't at all feel cheated. but if you are looking into getting one, do lots of temp measuring on the supply and return of your boiler to see if the unit would work at all for you.

i wish i had come accross the HW+ when i had my 1951 sunray; a super oversized coal-converted-to-gas gravity boiler.

good luck.

kiko
 
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Old 02-09-10, 06:54 PM
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Thumbs down Help!!!

i have fried four sensors on two intellicon hw+s' and no one can figure out why.. i decided to buy a unit and test it before installing it for my customers and it has turned into a nightmare has anyone had this problem? Intellydne has no idea what is going on and they are not very consumer oriented anyway.. Help!! Hey trooper now's your chance!!
 
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Old 02-09-10, 07:33 PM
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I always say everything has it place, a boiler for every application and a control for every job.
As I stated earlier the more zones and the more over sized the better it works. Properly sized boiler with over sized radiation also is not the best application. To get these products to work the boiler must be over sized and short cycling. It will stop the short cycling and avoid bouncing off limit every 3 minutes.
Also make sure the sensors are located in a turbulent area like after an elbow. If it is a laminar flow area it should be installed between 2 & 10 on the pipe.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 08:25 PM
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Hey trooper now's your chance!!
Chance for what?

I've never heard of the sensors frying... They're nothing more than two dissimilar wires spot-welded together at the end... no electronics in there... if they are failing, it's likely a mechanical issue related to the manufacturing process... maybe they're buying 'off-shore' now?
 
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Old 02-09-10, 08:30 PM
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I installed it on my Crown CSC-200 sealed combustion boiler, it has a six circulator zone taco exp with an outdoor reset controlling 5 zones including my prioritized Crown 40 gallon horizontal megastore. Though it seems redundant, i expected to see a savings when my priority kicked in and brought my makeup water to it's high limit of 180 degrees. Thereby giving me that additional 15 degree differential they claim. It worked great, I even saw a calculated savings; till about 2 days after the install. The unit went into bypass and displayed "H sensor fault". I noticed the sensor seemed warped, like it had "overheated". I replaced the sensor with an extra i had and two days later the same thing happened. I notified intellidyne and after reviewing all the details they sent me a new unit and the new unit did the same thing again. My ODR sensor is right next to where the intellicon sensors were installed and it has never had a problem. I'm currently renovating my home, so two of the four heating zones are offline. I am only running two, two inch monoflow mains feeding 1 inch branch offs to standing radiators. The system is a slow flowing, large volume system in respect to those two loops. So there are no rapid temperature changes except for when the water heater kicks in, and that is piped separately off the end of a two inch steel manifold. If my aquastat were to drift, it would only go beyond ten degrees to 190.. There are no signs of overheating, no signs of jacket or lining damage.. i'm dumbfounded..
 
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Old 02-09-10, 08:42 PM
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Trooper i was referring to your cynicism surrounding this product, and my presence here as a rare dissatisfied customer. there is a circuit board with in the sensor so it is a bit more involved than just two spot welded wires. Anyway I agree with you about the possibility of a manufacturing defect, intellidyne admitting that they do outsource but dismissing any quality control issues. Sadly, I can't get an answer and i'm reluctantly removing the intellicon and returning it. They are very close to me and my situation should have warranted a closer look by one of their field personnel.
 
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Old 02-09-10, 09:45 PM
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My only real cynicism is with their blanket claim of 10% GUARANTEED. That it will work on every heating system ever invented... But can it core a apple? Ho HO! can it core a apple!

I'll have to look more closely at the sensors that I have here... and now that I think about it... they are not J/K thermocouple sensors, they are NTC THERMISTOR sensors... so there may in fact be a small PC board which the thermistor mounts on, with solder pads for the connecting cable.

When those things fail, you should be able to measure with an ohmmeter... I'm betting they will fail open... probably the heat/cool cycles are stressing a connection inside the assembly.

Or maybe an insulator is breaking down and shorting... if you have an ohmmeter and the defective ones lying around, and feel like checking, I would be interested to know what you find.
 
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Old 02-10-10, 09:51 AM
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I gotta admit when I installed my heat manager at the old house I did not do much follow up. I got oil from the oil company used to work for and the "K" factor change showed a 17% savings over the period of a heating season. The branch manager was gathering the data. I had a properly sized boiler but had 5 zones of heat. One radiant floor in the kitchen, baseboard zone, cast iron rads on second and third floor, cast iron rad in basement and an IDW.
They started installing them for customers and said the fuel savings averaged 10 - 12%. The best saved 21% and the worst was 2%.
I do believe they work but the results depend on systems types, # zones and near boiler piping.
I had a low water volume boiler with a boiler bypass. The boiler hit temp and shut off. The zone pump still running and the increased differential kept the boiler off longer. I do believe the bypass helped the savings. If I sensed system got to temp the savings would have been much less.
 
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Old 02-10-10, 12:57 PM
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Thank you trooper for your rapid response. i'm gonna try what you suggested. I am very curious to see what type of reading I get from the damaged sensors. Although, this morning i decided to look at the damage from a different perspective; what if the excessive heat originated from within the sensor or it's wiring. In intellidyne's haste to deal with the problem they never sent my new 20' cord so i reused mine, figuring it was just a regular phone cord with an RJ11 male connector on either end. i hooked up a new cord this morning to a sensor and it's been fine since this morning. i'm going to test the individual leads on the cord as soon as i get a chance and look for a short.
I just wanted to say that I agree with your stance on their 10% savings claim, It's preposterous. There are far too many variables in play when you consider all the different types of equipment, installations and heatload/loss circumstances. As I recently wrote in an email to intellidyne, I would like to one day see a more mainstream company like Tekmar incorporate it's technology into it's product line; maybe they could develop some sort of "Smarter" ODR with a "sliding" burner hold off (i know.. it's just a additional monitored 15 degree differential based on an aquastat high limit minus it's differential). Or quite simply develop an "Intellicon type" of device that would adjust it's HLOLIM according to an ODR's current operating curve.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
No, because I didn't pay for it. It was kindly donated for 'scientific evaluation' by a board member who also did not find that it was doing anything for him. I suppose it would be somewhat amusing to see if I could though! (albeit somewhat unscrupulous)



.
That was me. I knew you would have fun tinkerin' with that Heat Manager Trooper.

BTW the my Tekmar 260 is working great.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 12:52 PM
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NJ Trooper
I noticed that my sensors are showing some heat distortion.
They now have permenent imprints from the zip ties I use to attach to my output pipe.
Plastics engineers most likely speced the right stuff but once it is outsourced overseas, ya never know what they are really using.
Still seem to measure correctly.

I am having a different issue.
If MR Hammer is correct
" First of all, the counters are just that, they add up seconds (units of time). Whenever the relay in the HW+ is de-energized and there is a call signal present on the yellow lead, the RT (run-time) counter, counts up. When there is a call on the yellow lead, and the HW+ is inhibiting the burner from firing, the ET (economizer timer) counts up."
than mine is not functioning correctly.
Started getting suspicious when it starterd recording ET, RT and ASAVE every 12 hours 6;30 AM and 6:30 PM
I was getting 9-11 RTs with 1hr ETs every 12 hours. ASAVE 19.2%
No way was my burner running 18-22 hrs a day.
Unfortunately I am not home to witness except on weekends but my TT's were only recording a total of 4-5hrs call for heat per day. I set back to 60 deg in AM after 7:00AM and after 8:00PM.

Now I know that this is really only a measurement of circulator time not actuall burner run time.

But factor in that some of this was concurrent ( I have 3 zones and 3 TTs) the RT should have been around 5-6 hrs at most per day.

Yesterday, i hooked up an Hour Meter to my burner. Reset my HW+
As I suspected. This AM RT =10.2 ET=0 ASAVE Pending (of course)
Hour meter showed 3.1 hours of actual burner run time.
If RT on HW+ is correct than ET would have to be 7.1 hrs.

I am also waiting for email feedback from Intellidyne.
Everthing else seems to function correctly. It does economize and wiring has been checked with meter just to be sure.
I also notice that the RT calc is not done as it happens but seems to do a delayed calc unlike my hour meter which adds realtime.

I am starting to think that I fall into Rbeck's catagory of
"Properly sized boiler with over sized radiation also is not the best application."

But the thing should at least add correctly.
Maybe I got a "BAD" one.
 
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Old 02-11-10, 03:04 PM
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Does this even make sense?

"Whenever the relay in the HW+ is de-energized and there is a call signal present on the yellow lead, the RT (run-time) counter, counts up. When there is a call on the yellow lead, and the HW+ is inhibiting the burner from firing, the ET (economizer timer) counts up."

I reread this and can not for the life of me make sense of the first sentence. It is a quote from Mr Hammer copied from an earlier thread.
What is RT a measurement of?

I originally interpreted it to mean the total run time of the burner plus the ET time.

Not sure now. When the relay is de-energized is that due to the aquastat being between the hilim and differential.
Why track that? There ia nothing to gain.
 
  #31  
Old 02-11-10, 08:59 PM
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Hi Joe, yes, it was you! and I remember that, just wasn't sure if you wanted to remain 'anonymous' or not... so, thanks for your donation to scientific cause!

Jaws, Tekmar does have a parameter in their units that is 'similar' to the HW stuff... " AD " or Auto Differential ... and it calculates the diff as it runs... not sure what they base that on... but it's there. You can also shut the auto off, and program a fixed diff if your system runs better that way (having a buffer tank might be a case for a wide fixed diff).

excessive heat originated from within the sensor or it's wiring
There shouldn't be any heat being generated within the sensor itself... that would of course throw any chance of an accurate temperature measurement right out of court. The amount of current passing through the thermistor in order to measure the resistance of it is nil... but a cable problem? sure, that's more than possible!

fred, thanks for that info... interesting... let us know what response you get from Intel...

What is RT a measurement of?

I originally interpreted it to mean the total run time of the burner plus the ET time.

Not sure now. When the relay is de-energized is that due to the aquastat being between the hilim and differential.
Why track that?
I don't think RT includes ET... at least it shouldn't...

The relay that Jack is referring to is the relay in the HW that disables the burner during ET time. If the relay is de-energized, it means that the burner can fire normally. When the YELLOW wire is hot, the HW knows that there is a) a heat call, and b) the burner is firing, and not at high limit. That seems like a reasonable way to track the 'RT' of the burner.

Once the boiler drops below the diff after hitting HL, Yellow wire goes high again (it's after the HL switch), and if the HW decides to hold off the burner, it will energize it's own relay to prevent the burner from firing. So, ET then would be the amount of time that the burner WANTS to fire, but HW isn't allowing it.
 
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Old 02-12-10, 06:54 AM
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NJTrooper,

As on this AM
Total elasped Time as of Wed 1:00PM 31.5 hrs

Hour Meter= 6.2 hrs actual run time of burner

HW+
RT=28.2
ET=.7
ISAVE=Invalid
ASAVE=Pending

Still can not understand how RT relates to burner runtime.
Hopefully Intellidyne will have some insight.
I am relieved to confirm that I am burning a lot less than I originally thought.
 
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Old 02-12-10, 10:02 AM
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trooper.. I chose the taco odr (tekmar guts anyway) instead of the straight tekmar because of it's compatibility with my pump zone control, but it too has an auto differential setting but i was referring to a feature that would make the ODR's auto diff monitor and take into consideration any residual heat and adjust accordingly as well. Or maybe even... core an apple!!!.. ho ho.. an apple!!
 
  #34  
Old 02-12-10, 05:46 PM
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Still can not understand how RT relates to burner runtime.
Looking at the data you have, neither can I! My understanding what that which you had quoted Mr. Hammer (can't touch this) from the earlier post... but in light of your data, his statement doesn't make sense at all.

28.2 hours of run time in appx 2 days? It will be interesting to see what the 'savings' read when the 72 hour probationary period is up!

Jaws, now ya got me thinking about what criteria the Auto Diff on the Tek stuff uses to calculate what the diff should be. Is there any explanation in the I&O manual? I'm gonna look later myself...
 
  #35  
Old 02-13-10, 02:23 AM
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Trooper.. according to my taco/tekmar ODR's instruction manual proper differential setting is determined by the flow rate through the system pump relative to the heat output of the boiler. Differential=

BTU/hours input
_____________________
System US GPM x 500

When set to "Auto Diff" it continuously calculates the differential and varies as the heating load changes.

It probably utilizes it's temperature readings and calculates a rate of drop, relating that data to a temperature to flow rate conversion formula thus determining heat flow through the system pump. Along with counting up the firing rate of the burner, it should be able to establish a pattern and utilize that data as a basis for differential adjustment. I guess..
 
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Old 02-15-10, 04:22 PM
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Lightbulb More HW+ Data

NJ Trooper,

120hrs since HW+ reboot. At same time installed ENM self powered ac motor digital hour meter with remote sensor on burner.

Replaced my worn aquastat switch with White-Rodgers 11d31
w/adjustable differential.

Set my Honeywell L6006A in tankless well to 130 degree with 10 deg differential. Replaced the taco circulator on booster tank.
It was seized solid. Never really gets that low according to my
DOM sensor on tankless supply pipe. Usually 138 deg. FYI Intellidyne tech recommended putting it on tankless outlet instead of booster outflow as indicated in install directions.

Previous 9 days:

average 16hrs RT per day
average .88 hrs ET per day
ASAVE=19.6%

After reboot 120hrs total
total Burner Run Time 20.9 hrs
total RT= 79.9hrs
total ET=21.hrs
average 15.98hrs RT per day
average .42 hrs RT per day
ASAVE=0%

low and behold, I got distracted and hung out watching my DIYer neighbor do a brake job on a sunny 30 degree afternoon.
Just took another look.

Total burner run time 21.7hrs
RT=80.8
ET=2.3
ASAVE=22.9%

I am really saving now. wow boy.
Wife just got home with kids.
Have to unload groceries.

Just looked again. Now this gets better.
I am not making this up. Started writing this email at 2:30 EST. It is now 6:02. Programmable tt kicked in in a while ago.

Total burner run time 22hrs
RT=81.1
ET=2.6
ISAVE =38.8%
ASAVE=34.2%

One of my observations, which you can see in the last two data recordings above and which I viewed twice today.

When burner is running, hour meter measure in real time, HW+ provided calculation at end of cycle and matches hour meter.

As I said previously, can not for the life of me figure out what else RT is measuring because it is something in addition to actual burner RT.

Coincidentally, Intellidyne tech has not responded to my last two e-mails even though I know that he has read them.(the beauty of technology). Last question was how come RT and actual burner run time do not correspond.

I guess with my latest savings???, I am supposed to shut up and just be HAPPY.
 
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Old 02-16-10, 11:19 AM
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HW+ UPDATE. Mystery solved

NJ Trooper,

Mystery solved. Talked to tech today.

My unit is going back to the factory to get a free software update.

Seems that in some software versions (mine it seems), after 180 min of Standby the HW+ relay releases burner and assumes burner is running and starts counting.
Due to my two long setbacks (AM and PM) it thinks my burner is running but it is not for two long periods in every 24hr period.

That accounts for correct counting when I am watching burner run and compare against the Hour Meter. It would also account for my RT not being the same as my Hour Meter reading.

Unit will go back in next day or two.
I guess I will need to start data collecting all over again.

Meanwhile, contractors from Conservation Group just finished sealing house yesterday. Cellulose will be blown in Friday and then they will follow up with Thermal Imaging for final inspection. Got a free draft test and CO2 reading of 13% with a gross stack temp of 450 deg. Net is 385 deg.
This is with two firebricks. Is this getting too low?

Unfortunately, my last two years of usage records will no longer be a valid baseline to test HW+ energy savings.
But with a tighter envelope at least I am guaranteed to save money anyway.
I will update when I have new data.
 
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Old 02-16-10, 04:49 PM
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I wouldn't let the CO2 that high. I like it no more than 12.5%. What was the OF draft?
 
  #39  
Old 02-16-10, 06:46 PM
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Stack temp looks good though...

I wonder what they used to test CO2 with? if it's been calibrated recently?

My unit is going back to the factory to get a free software update.
They're sending you shipping label, right? IOW, they are paying the freight?
Both ways?... Tellya the truth, my opinion only, they should have sent you a new one,
in a box, with a prepaid shipping label to return the old one.

I wonder how many others are out there with that 'bug' ?
 
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Old 02-16-10, 06:58 PM
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rbeck,
I do not know what OF draft is.
I do know that they had a digital analyzer which is more than my oilman used. I think he used the old eyeball.

They used a long plastic tube/ hose with a metal nozzle which he wedged in an outside door.
Than he took a "worst case" reading with every exhaust fan in the house on.
Then he ran his probe around the damper and said that it was working properly with no CO leaks.

This was after they had done a negative pressure test on the house to measure the reduction in air leakage.

I think he was more concerned with safety than efficiency.

When I asked him about the 13% reading, he said that it was good. I am not knowledgeable enough yet to question or even have an in depth discussion but would like to learn.
Curious, what would you say are preferred or optimal reading for my AS Arcoliner. That way if I hire an HVAC guy to tune it up, I will have some idea if he knows what he is doing.

Thanks
 
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