Advanced controls fueling boiler industry growth
Boiler manufacturers are re-gaining HVAC market shares by offering systems with more powerful and advanced controls. Condensing boilers feature significant advancements in ease of installation and controls when compared to traditional non-condensing boilers.
Setup wizards offer simple, intuitive controls that help walk the contractor through menus during the installation process, according to a release from Weil-McLain, producer of commercial and industrial boilers.
Multiple preset systems are another popular new boiler control feature. Units feature pre-set heating systems for typical operating conditions built into the controller so installers don’t have to enter specific supply or return temperatures during installation. The contractor only inputs the specific application – such as radiant heat, snow removal or domestic hot water – which reduces installation costs and time while increasing reliability.
In addition to ease of installation, condensing boilers feature significant advancements in boiler control that include remote control and diagnostics, boiler-to-boiler communications, modulating from maximum input to minimum input, rotating lead lag and integration with building automation systems (BAS).
Facility managers, according to the Weil-McLain release, want immediate access and control of a mechanical room no matter the location. Boilers today can be controlled through a smart phones, computers and tablets, allowing an operator to change and optimize settings, review alarms and adjust parameters to changes in weather.
Many institutional buildings, such as schools, churches or hospitals, have multiple boiler setups for redundancy and reliability. Other facilities have installed or retrofitted to multiple, modular boilers for various reasons like cost or space restrictions. In such cases, installation of an intelligent boiler sequence control can provide significant energy savings.
Weil-McLain’s SmartSequencing, for example, maximizes energy across all boilers on a system, reducing energy costs. SmartSequencing controls an algorithm that runs as many boilers as possible at the minimum input, therefore maximizing efficiency.
Modern condensing boilers also have the ability to communicate with building automation systems. The benefits of building automation are improved occupant comfort, efficient operation of building HVAC systems and reduction in energy consumption and operating costs.
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