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Some time ago, I was asked by a colleague to comment on a story that was being written about the growth of the geothermal HVAC industry. Across Canada and through the United States, government and private entities have embraced the environmental and financial wisdom of clean heating and cooling. Technical trainings classes, informational programs and Read More

Egg Family in front of Egg Geothermal Systems, Tampa, FL

Some time ago, I was asked by a colleague to comment on a story that was being written about the growth of the geothermal HVAC industry. Across Canada and through the United States, government and private entities have embraced the environmental and financial wisdom of clean heating and cooling. Technical trainings classes, informational programs and trade conferences were being hosted across the U.S. and people like my husband, Jay Egg, were asked to come and share information and knowledge with the mechanical industry. I was asked why I insisted that Jay travel up to New York the day after my first open cranial surgery. Here’s what I remember:

Some people know, but many likely do not that it started back in September 2017 (This is a link to the Egg Family Blog for the whole back-story). I was suddenly diagnosed with multiple brain aneurysms that would require a lengthy and dangerous open-cranial surgery to treat the largest and most dangerous. Once completed, there would be several smaller surgeries scheduled to deal with the remaining aneurysms. The largest surgery was scheduled for the October 16, the day before my husband was scheduled to travel to New York to attend and speak at the 2017 International Energy and Sustainability Conference located near Farmington State College from October 17-19.

Kristy Egg, Before, During and After Surgery

Jay’s first response was to cancel the trip that would require him to fly out early on the morning of the 17th, the day after the brain surgery. I argued with him for days about the trip and eventually, as expected, I won.  I talked him into going up to the Energy Conference with the following arguments:

My surgery started at 7 a.m. and was anticipated to be completed by 3 p.m. on October 16, 2017. Considering an hour or two for recovery, I was expected to be in my ICU room by evening. He would know by then what the prognosis was, and if anything had changed. He could then make the calls to his associates to firm up his travel to New York.

Anticipation of Surgery, October 16, 2017

If something did go wrong, as amazing as he is at being a consultant and mechanical professional, he is not a brain surgeon. Although I have been known to describe the flow of blood to my students using a “water piping system” metaphor, with drains and valves, the truth is that it’s a bit more complicated. Even with Jay’s knowledge of heat transfer and fluid flow, he was unlikely to be able to scrub in and assist in re-engineering my cerebral artery blood flow. He stayed with me in ICU overnight and around  5 a.m., he kissed me goodbye and  asked me to behave and rest. I told him that I would as long as he promised to go to New York and do a good job. And then he headed to the airport, keeping his end of the bargain.

I believe in what the good folks in this industry are doing and striving to accomplish. For the past 20 years I have watched as my husband worked tirelessly to make the Geothermal HVAC industry a more utilized and promoted entity. Now more than ever, I am convinced that I made the right decision; I wasn’t trying to become some self-sacrificing martyr. I just knew that some things are worth doing right. If problems with my recovery did arise, my parents and children were going to be by my side; I needed him to be where he could do the most good.

Jay still travels often; teaching, consulting and often collaborating with other like-minded clean energy organizations. Although it hasn’t always been easy, we also learned a great deal about the compassion and generosity of the geothermal & mechanical community.

Egg Geothermal, Kristy Egg, Jay Egg, goethermal, HVAC

NYSERDA Technical Committee Image circa 2016

I have remained sidelined with continuing and persistent seizures, but my hope shines bright for the future. There are many times that Jay could have taken a position for a company and worked the steadier and less traveled path than we have chosen.

Egg Geothermal, Kristy Egg, Jay Egg, goethermal, HVAC

Bill Nowak with Kristy (r) & Hannah Egg at 2018 IGSHPA Conference

His unwillingness to bend is one of the reasons that I sent him to New York the morning after my surgery. He believes in clean heating and cooling enough to promote its use, even when sometimes that belief causes discomfort in his own plans or desires.

Jay doesn’t work for a specific manufacturer, nor does he endorse one brand over another. He works for the industry, to grow the consumer base and increase uptake & use. He works with whatever brand will best accommodate the project and showcase the best that the geothermal industry has to offer governments, communities, commercial projects and residences that are wise enough to listen.

Kristy Egg is a Registered Nurse, mother of six, grandmother of four.

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristy-egg-38990052/

In an effort to keep up with demand, a bourgeoning east-coast microbrewery sought to significantly increase production, but, to do so, it required a more cost-efficient and effective heating process. After considering options, the brewery decided that the implementation of a new low pressure steam heating system and energy efficient Weil-McLain boiler offered them the Read More

Weil-McLain 88-Series cast iron low pressure steam boiler, hydronics

Weil-McLain 88-Series cast iron low pressure steam boiler installed at Cypress Brewing

In an effort to keep up with demand, a bourgeoning east-coast microbrewery sought to significantly increase production, but, to do so, it required a more cost-efficient and effective heating process. After considering options, the brewery decided that the implementation of a new low pressure steam heating system and energy efficient Weil-McLain boiler offered them the best opportunity to expand their output.

Cypress Brewing, a three-year-old brewery based in Edison, N.J., produces several different varieties of beer including IPAs, stouts and porters. Best sellers include Insane in the Grain, 17 Mile and Runway Model.

As a result of its success, brewery owners decided to increase beer output 10 times—from a two barrel system to a 20 barrel system. Each barrel produces approximately 31 gallons of beer.

“This was a major expansion and adding the much larger vessels required us to move from an electric heating elements system to a more robust and precise steam heating system,” said Charlie Backmann, co-owner of Cypress Brewing.

The Cypress Brewing team tapped Canada-based Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) Brewing Solutions, a recognized leader in the craft beer industry, to specify the requirements for the new system. DME Brewing Solutions offers planning, design, fabrication and management functions, and has handled hundreds of projects for craft brewing customers globally.

Weil-McLain 88-Series cast iron low pressure steam boiler installed at Cypress BrewingDME recommended Cypress implement a steam heating system and provided the necessary BTU ratings and blue prints for the design.

Backmann chose David LaBar, owner of DL Mechanical of Port Reading, N.J., to specify the boiler model and handle the installation of the new steam system. After reviewing the design parameters, LaBar recommended installation of a Weil-McLain 88-Series cast iron low pressure steam boiler—a durable unit that offers ease of maintenance, thermal efficiencies up to 85.7% and is ideal for single or multiple unit systems.

“The boil kettle required about 550,000 BTUs, but we wanted to exceed the heating load requirements to give us some room for future growth,” said LaBar. “The 88 Series boiler is rated at 1,050,000 BTUs.”

LaBar also specified a power plant with gas burner as part of the system.

Steam System Design

In a low pressure steam brewery operation, the boiler converts the water into steam. This steam enters the steam main and travels to the boil kettle and the hot liquor tank, a tank that just holds water, and heats the water. The steam then enters jackets inside the boil kettles where it unleashes its latent heat.

According to Backmann, there are three different jackets inside the boil kettle depending on the amount of beer being brewed.

“The steam starts in the very bottom jacket which makes up about five barrels,” said Backmann. “The next level jacket is five barrels to 10 barrels and the last one on top is 15 to 20.”

A low pressure steam system operates between 10 and 12 PSI. Most breweries require a minimum of 10 pounds steam pressure, which is equivalent to about 240 degrees F. for the boil.

According to Backmann, a major advantage of steam heating is its ability to offer precise levels of heat.

“Many larger breweries use steam versus direct fire or electric,” said Backmann. “Electric heat is very direct and constant, and when crafting beer you can actually scorch some of the wort—the sweet infusion of ground malt or other grain before fermentation—which can alter flavors.”

To add efficiencies to the system, LaBar designed it to feature two five inch steam risers from the boiler into a six inch drop header to provide the dry steam. This design ensures the steam used in the process is extremely dry.

“The dryer the steam, the more efficient the system,” said LaBar.

Once the kettle condenses the steam, it releases the condensate via float & thermostatic (F&T) steam drip traps to a condensate receiver and pump that moves the condensate to a boiler feed pump. The boiler feed pump returns the condensate to the boiler when the water level falls low enough.

A total of seven F&T traps were used, three on the boil kettle, one on the hot liquor tank, one at the end of the steam main drip, one on the kettle riser drip, and one on the hot liquor tank riser drip.

Brewery Cheers Benefits

With installation complete, brewery owners brought in inspectors to approve the work so the manufacturing process could begin.

“The plumbing inspector that examined the system thought the installation was really well done,” said Backmann.

The Cypress Brewing operation is now in full swing with the production process from start to ready-to-drink brews taking about 28 days on average.

The entire process is automated through a computer that manages the temperatures and the solenoid valves which control the steam entering the coils.

Backmann reported that one major benefit of the new process is there is less charring of the beer.

“Before with the lighter beers we sometimes tasted a slight burnt flavor in the background because the electric element came in direct contact with the beer,” said Backmann. “Now that the vessel itself is jacketed there is a much better dispersion of the heat. Everything is very balanced and heats from the bottom all of the way to the top.”

According to Backmann, steam heat also is more cost effective than electric heat.

“The overall cost for boiling is substantially cheaper via steam versus electricity,” said Backmann. “Plus, with steam heat there is no waste which also is a plus.”

And, more importantly, Cypress Brewery customers are now enjoying even more cold brew options.

“We are getting great batches of beer,” said Backmann. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the new steam system and Weil-McLain boiler.”

Navien’s official entry into the commercial boiler market We caught up with Brian Fenske, Director of Commercial Sales to learn about the Navien NFB-C commercial boiler while at AHR Expo. First let us acknowledge that no official press info has been released with delivery date, technical specifications etc at this time. As soon as we Read More

Navien’s official entry into the commercial boiler market

We caught up with Brian Fenske, Director of Commercial Sales to learn about the Navien NFB-C commercial boiler while at AHR Expo.

First let us acknowledge that no official press info has been released with delivery date, technical specifications etc at this time. As soon as we receive that information from Navien, we will be the first to share here and on our social media.

Now for all the details

Here’s what we do know about the Navien NFB-C boilers:

There will be two models available, the NFB-C-301 and 399. Each number corresponding to the Btu input rating. The model name [NFB-C] translates to Naven Firetube Boiler – Commercial. Each boiler will have at its core Navien’s unique in-house design and manufactured stainless steel heat exchanger. For more info on their new firetube click here.

These boilers will have the usual negative pressure gas system and as stated in the video, can be adjoined in cascade [up to 4 units] with common venting. Brian Fenske does a great job explaining all this and more in our video from AHR Expo, please watch below.

Check out more videos like this

Lastly, if you would like to see more videos of new tools and products we learned about please subscribe to our YouTube channel: MechanicalHubTV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm4f9bB_U_w Taco announced their newest pump at AHR Expo, the Taco 0018e ECM circulator with Bluetooth connectivity. John Barba, Taco’s head trainer, shows us how the Taco 0018e pump works when connected to the accompanying mobile app. Press info direct from Taco “The circulator features Bluetooth communication to a mobile app. This provides real time Read More

Taco announced their newest pump at AHR Expo, the Taco 0018e ECM circulator with Bluetooth connectivity. John Barba, Taco’s head trainer, shows us how the Taco 0018e pump works when connected to the accompanying mobile app.

Press info direct from Taco

“The circulator features Bluetooth communication to a mobile app. This provides real time control, diagnostics and reporting, such as installation history, power consumption, performance and runtime. The installer can select between multiple constant speed, proportional pressure, and constant pressure modes as well as activeADAPT™, Taco’s self-adjusting proportional pressure mode.”

You can read the entire press release here on hydronicshub.com

Will the 0018e be the go-to pump for installers?

For the first time here in North America we are looking at a hydronic system pump that can show us what’s happening inside the system. That’s not only cool but, ultimately its one of the most useful employments of modern technology.

With four modes of operation this pump can be optimized for almost any residential hyrdronic system. Operating modes include infinitely variable fixed speed to fine tune any zone, constant pressure for zone valve applications, proportional pressure for panel radiators with thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) or the self-adjusting activeADAPT™ auto mode.

The 0018e, however, is not suitable for chilled water or potable water applications.

Operation modes explained: Taco 0018e Pump

The Taco 0018e is factory programmed for MAX SPEED setting out of the box, initial connection via the mobile app is required to adjust the settings.

Taco 0018e Operation Modes graphicFixed Speed mode:

Fixed Speed ModeFixed speed mode (Zone Circ) allows the installer to fine tune the circulator flow rate to precisely match design load conditions. It is infinitely variable between MIN/MAX settings. This setting is ideal for zoning with circulators.

 

Constant Pressure mode:

Constant Pressure ModeIn constant pressure mode (ZV), the circulator maintains a constant pressure differential (Δp-c) in the system as heating load increases or decreases. Selections options are Medium or High. This mode is best option for zoning with zone valves.

 

Proportional Pressure mode:

Proportional Pressure ModeIn proportional pressure mode (TRV), the circulator maintains a proportional pressure differential (Δp-v) in the system as heating load increases or decreases. Flow will change in relationship to the change in pressure differential. Selections options are Medium or High. This is the best option for panel radiators with thermostatic radiator valves (TRV).

For more info on the Taco 0018e circulator and more products from Taco please visit their site: tacocomfort.com

REHAU, radiant heating, radiant cooling, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics

From preschool through post-secondary education, teachers understand the importance of practicing what they preach. If you’re going to help shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders, it is crucial to demonstrate the daily applications of what you want them to learn. This focus on experiential learning informed the plans for an expansive new trades teaching facility Read More

From preschool through post-secondary education, teachers understand the importance of practicing what they preach. If you’re going to help shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders, it is crucial to demonstrate the daily applications of what you want them to learn.

This focus on experiential learning informed the plans for an expansive new trades teaching facility at Sheridan College’s Brampton, Ontario campus. The Skilled Trades Centre (STC), which opened for fall semester 2017, provides in-school training for apprentices and prepares post-secondary students for careers as electricians, plumbers, industrial mechanic millwrights, tool and die makers, welders, and general machinists.

REHAU, radiant heating, radiant cooling, plumbing, HVAC

As Sheridan College administrators explain, the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology (FAST) provides practical, hands-on learning opportunities that can be carried from the classroom to the workforce. They wanted their new teaching facility to serve as a “living laboratory” in which students and interdisciplinary experts could jointly participate in new technologies and strategies for design that respond to a changing world.

Tomorrow’s Technology Today

Every aspect of STC is designed with sustainability in mind. The building meets the environmental and functional performance requirements of LEED® Gold standards for its overall siting, design and construction. Energy performance, at 100 kilowatt hours per square meter per year (32.2 kBtu/ft2/yr), exceeds the LEED Gold standard.

The new facility features a tri-generation system, which simultaneously produces chilled and hot water, along with electricity output, not only for the three-story, 12,077 m2 (130,000 ft2) building, but also for the district heating and cooling network serving the Brampton campus.

REHAU, radiant heating, radiant cooling, plumbing, HVAC, hydronicsThe building uses REHAU radiant in-floor heating and cooling technology, which designers say was the obvious solution for tackling the challenge of maintaining comfortable temperatures in a structure that requires ceilings high enough to accommodate the industrial equipment used in the curriculum.

Tri-Generation Technology Enhances Efficiency

The radiant system is especially unique in that it is connected to a tri-generation plant, which produces electricity, heat and cooling in one process. This technology can reduce facility energy consumption by up to 30% and provides a level of independence from the grid. Using the radiant system as the primary heating/cooling source reduced the amount of ductwork and rooftop air handlers. A dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) was installed for fresh air ventilation and humidity control.

The college’s request for proposal for the project specified in-floor radiant heating and cooling. While there were other aspects of the RFP that The Aquila Group negotiated out of the project, the request for radiant heating and cooling always made the most sense, Ng says. Mark Euteneier, president of Brampton-based Klimatrol Environmental Systems Ltd. and REHAU’s technical associate, explains the REHAU radiant system uses low-temperature heating and high-temperature cooling to achieve the aggressive energy target. Six dew point sensors were strategically located throughout the building to monitor the automated system and keep the humidity in check.

The facility also employs hydronic technology outdoors in a snow and ice melting (SIM) system that is installed under the perimeter sidewalks and the receiving dock where the welding tanks and specialty gas are delivered. A total of 65,900 ft (20,086 m) of 5/8 in. RAUPEX O2 barrier pipe was used in the in-floor radiant and SIM systems.

Time constraints were tight, says Euteneier. Insight Technologies, the mechanical contracting firm, used a team of four men for 20 days to complete the installation. On-time delivery from REHAU was crucial to staying on schedule. Klimatrol provided engineering design support and on-site application and training assistance for the Insight installation team.

REHAU, radiant heating, radiant cooling, plumbing, HVAC, hydronics

Aquila Group representatives working on site appreciated Klimatrol’s support, Ng says. “We worked closely with Mark. He has a lot of knowledge of the systems and provides a lot of comfort in terms of installation. He’s done this for a number of years, and we consider Klimatrol to be an expert on radiant in-floor heating and cooling. We didn’t have any concerns when we chose to use the REHAU product.”

“The new STC building at Davis Campus combines excellent architectural layout and planning with advanced building technology features to create a facility that allows us to deliver a premier education to our students,” says Dave Wackerlin, associate dean and campus principal for the School of Skilled Trades and Apprenticeships. “With its atrium and learning commons viewing into 50,000 sq. ft. of skilled trades shops, STC has become an important campus gathering space for students in all programs, who can enjoy the benefits of leading building technology features such as the radiant flooring system. STC is more than just a building, it is an educational community hub.”

Project: Sheridan College Davis Campus Skilled Trades Centre, Brampton, Ontario

Type of Construction: Educational facility, opened 2017 Scope of Project: 65,900 ft. (20,086 m) of RAUPEX pipe

Architect: NORR Limited

Mechanical Engineer: The Aquila Group

Mechanical Contractor: Insight Engineering & Construction

General Contractor: Giffels Constructors Inc.

Supplier and Designer: Klimatrol Environmental Systems, Ltd.

REHAU Systems Used: Radiant heating and cooling, snow and ice melting (RAUPEX® pipe, compression-sleeve fittings, PRO-BALANCE® manifolds)