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One of our most trusted brands, Patterson-Kelley, provided us with this great explanation breaking down turndown in commercial boilers.

Boilers are rated on thermal efficiency, which is simply the chemical energy added to the boiler, divided by the energy added to the boiler water. As more energy is transferred from the hot gas into the boiler water, the thermal efficiency increases and the temperature of the hot gas decreases. Turndown ratio plays a key role in this energy transfer. Many engineers and owners have been intentionally mislead regarding turn-down ratio’s and this article will dispense with the misleading information and down right nonsense about turn-down ratios and efficiencies!

Almost all boilers are tuned to add excess air, which ensures ideal combustion of the fuel for proper air-fuel mixing. The excess air can also prevent the burner from overheating by “pushing” the combustion flames off the burner.

When energy from the hot gasses is transferred to the boiler water, the gas temperature dips below the dew point, which causes vapor to become liquid. The energy released from the conversion is picked up by the boiler water and results in a significant boost in efficiency.  Every pound of condensate from flue gases condensing adds approximately 1000 btu’s to the boiler water. However, dry flue losses and loss of vapor can result in energy loss.

Energy loss can be readily calculated if the amount of CO2 and O2 in the flue gas and the stack temperature is known.

 With the evolution of boiler technology, manufacturers have found a way to offer units with multiple firing rates, and units that can modulate seamlessly between fixed low fire rates and fixed high fire rates. The fixed fire rates are defined as the boiler turndown capacities, and modulation is accomplished by reducing the air and gas flow into the boiler.

The benefit of this modulation is threefold; it reduces cycle losses, it reduces the wear on the components, and it can potentially lead to higher thermal efficiencies.

Impact of Turndown

This begs the fundamental question – wouldn’t a boiler with extreme turndowns be much more efficient than one with 5:1 turndown?  The answer to that is ‘NO’! And the proof of that is a simple engineering calculation that anyone can verify for themselves (shown below).

To achieve high turndowns the boilers are tuned to deliver greater amounts of excess air at low firing rates to keep the burner from overheating. The additional excess air will significantly reduce the dew point of the water in the flue gas and alter the losses in the dry gas.  To illustrate this effect, the example used in Figure A is updated to reflect a 20:1 turn down where the O2 is set to 11% (corresponding to a CO2 of 5.6% and 97% excess air).  The results are highlighted in Figure B below.

Note that the dew point has been lowered from 130.6° F to 117° F  and the boiler is no longer in the condensing range.  This represents a 3.7% DECREASE in overall efficiency and this is just the beginning of the bad news! 

When excess air well above 50% is used in the boiler, it impacts the stability of the combustion flame which can lead to excessive flame failures, nuisance trips and cycle losses.

The P-K Analysis

Realistic boiler modulation rates have helped improve the overall boiler system efficiency from reduced cycle losses and increased thermal effi­ciencies. Extreme turndown produces the opposite effect. Boil­er plant designs must factor in actual (not extrap­olated) boiler efficiencies through the firing range of the equipment and matching the expected plant loads with the right boiler size selections.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to us at sales@buymeinc.com

Going to be at the 2019 AHR Expo?

Dave Connors, Patterson-Kelley’s Trainer and National Accounts Manager will be giving an exclusive presentation at the 2019 AHR Expo. Be part of his “The Dirty Little Secret Associated with High Turndown” presentation to get a new perspective on the controversial topic.

Join Dave Connors on Wednesday, January 16th between 1:45 PM and 2:05 PM at Theater A – Room C101 of the Georgia World Congress Center. 

One of our most popular product lines, Taco, is a member of the Hydronic Industry Alliance – Commercial which is a non-profit alliance of hydronic equipment manufacturers and partners operating in North America. The alliance operates under the principle that water is the most efficient and greenest energy transfer medium on the planet, and they serve as a resource within the HVAC and Service Water Heating industry. Their mission is to educate, integrate, and communicate the advantages of Hydronic System Solutions.

As part of that mission, they have launched a new campaign targeting rejecting VRF systems. In an ongoing effort to expose building owners, architects and design teams to the multitude of issues that can arise by choosing to install VRF systems, the Hydronic Industry Alliance has created a website, supported by an advertising campaign in popular industry publications and websites, which highlights the major concerns and presents first-hand experiences of those brave enough to come forward to speak about their poor VRF experiences.

The VRF industry is spending millions of dollars advertising the falsely-claimed superior energy efficiency of their systems. They are changing the business model of how systems get designed and are trying to change codes and safety protocols to allow for even greater amounts of refrigerants to be piped throughout a building.

The Hydronic Industry Alliance wants the design community to think twice before blindly choosing a VRF system over the many other viable HVAC options, like hydronics, that will almost always better meet the design, budget, safety, comfort and performance goals of the building. The hydronics industry deserves a seat at the design table, before an HVAC system type is chosen, to tell why water always wins – for everyone.

In the coming months, we will see additional information, support materials and case studies coming out of the Hydronic Industry Alliance in regards to VRF systems, the benefits of hydronics, and new design tools to make it even easier to choose the right HVAC systems. As we get this information, we will pass it along to you. In the meantime, make sure to visit www.VRFrejected.org to learn the truth about safety, energy costs, efficiency, and the proprietary nature of VRF systems.

While we support our customers with any of their needs, we encourage you to look at alternatives to traditional VFR systems when designing and building your next hydronic system. If you have any questions on this, please give us a call to discuss at 800-355-7061.

Don’t wait for it to get cold! Mechanical Equipment is offering a limited time 20% discount on our Patterson-Kelley Boiler Annual Maintenance Kits (part #BP-0000-0345). This special offer will be applied to maintenance kits orders starting July 10, 2018 through September 30, 2018.

As we approach the fall maintenance season, the importance of annual maintenance will help ensure optimal performance of your Patterson-Kelley Boilers and frankly, all of your equipment. Annual maintenance work provides your company with additional service revenue, gives you an opportunity to get in front of your customers again, and keeps them happy with superior service.

Orders of 15 or less maintenance kits will usually ship within 5-7 days. For orders, greater than 15, please call us to get the estimated ship date.

To order or learn more about our Patterson-Kelley Annual Maintenance Kits, just contact our office at 800-355-7061.

Nexus Valve just released this video which demonstrates the installation process for the NexPress crimp piping connection system engineered for hydronic HVAC systems. It’s a little over a minute long but we think you’ll find the information valuable.

Let us know if you have any additional questions on installation or on the NexPress crimp piping connection system in general. We’re happy to answer any questions. You can reach us at 800-355-7061.

Nexus Valve has announced the addition of the HLA UltraFlex™ hose NexLok union adapter. This hose adapter can handle 250 psi of water pressure and temperatures of 32 – 200 degrees.

Made of solid brass, these adapters provide superior connectivity between Nexus UltraFlex female swivel hose ends and NPT pipe fittings or copper tubing. The UltraFlex hose end, where the hose adapters can be threaded in, has swivel fitting with NPSH (straight pipe) threads and gasket.

All threaded ends (including NPT) have faces that are machined true and flat for maximum sealing performance against gaskets.

Available in 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ sizes.

Call us for more information or learn more here. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) has made some changes that affect commercial and industrial pump systems. To stay up to date and compliant, you might be interested in registering for this free webinar. Taco, one of our most popular manufacturers, is hosting “DOE Commercial Pump Regulations and Labeling” on Oct. 25th at 1 p.m. CST.

Did you know that 25% of currently available pumps will not be saleable as of January 27, 2020 due to new energy efficiency levels being implemented by the DOE. This webinar will cover the scope of pumps affected by the new Commercial & Industrial Pump rules, the new rating system, test methods and performance requirements. It will also explore the industry’s efforts to implement a new Energy Rating labeling program, which is similar in look-and-feel to the Energy Star appliance labels and can easily be used by utility incentive programs to incentivize the purchase of high-efficiency pumps.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the scope of products covered under the DOE rulemaking
  • Pump Energy Index (PEI) is the new DOE metric – what it means and how it’s applied
  • Learn the compliance timelines
  • See what the new pump label looks like and how it will help affect purchases of higher efficiency equipment

Register Here

Nexus Valve has launched a new product, the Flamco Pressure Step Deaerator (PSD) and we’ve got it for you.

A new and innovative tool, the unit utilizes vacuum technology to deaerate entrained air in hot or chilled water hydronics systems.

The compact design allows the PSD to be installed in almost any mechanical situation. The PSD is an efficient low-power consumption unit requiring only 110v and 3 amps to run, and is easy to program through simple LED readout controls.

Key Features

  • Password protection for parameter entry
  • Pressure settings in 1 PSI increments
  • Service reminder option (12 months)
  • Pump exercising option (2 second pulse if inactive for 60 days)
  • Event logging for pump start, pump run hours counter, electrical
  • Interruption and common alarm
  • Auxilary contacts for common fault
  • Pump fault, pressure transducer
  • Vacuum deaerating, turbo and normal interval modes
  • Pump inlet strainer and pump check valve
  • Glycol mixture up to 50%
  • Vacuum cylinder
  • Adjustable diff erential
  • MODBUS and RS485 connectivity
  • Will deaerate system volumes up to 39,625 gallons
  • Two year warranty

If you are interested in learning more about this product, download the brochure or give us a call at 800-355-7061. We’re happy to answer any of your questions or help design a system for your client.

Choosing a manufacturer’s representative for the industrial or commercial equipment needs, is an important decision. You want to pick a company that is not only reliable, offers high-quality products from the very best manufacturers and truly cares about their customer needs, but you also need to get competitive pricing. Finding a great manufacturer’s rep, will keep everyone happy, from the owner to the engineer and the installing contractor.

So why choose Mechanical Equipment (or as most call us, ME)? Integrity defines ME. We work hard to make sure we have all of the qualities listed above, which is why we stand out from other manufacturers. Let’s take a look at how we do that now.

  1. ME Represents A Small Number of High-Quality Manufacturers

There are a lot of firms out there that have line sheets with over 50 manufacturers on them. It’s hard to believe a rep can be good at what they do when they have that many manufacturers. It’s also unlikely that a rep firm can be exceptional at what they do when they try to serve to many “masters”.

At ME, we choose to represent only the highest-quality manufacturers. These manufacturers, including Sterling Commercial Hydronic Products, Nexus and Taco Pumps, are leaders in their industry and craft exceptional equipment. Since ME works with such a small number of manufacturers, we have close ties with each of them and know their products from the inside out. We are proud to be the “go-to guys” for all of the product types we represent.

But just because ME only represents a handful of firms doesn’t mean we offer a small amount of products. We have everything from flow control valves and hydronic equipment to heat transfer equipment and water circulation pumps. You can take a look at our full product/line card here.

  1. ME Has Competitive and Fair Pricing

We know that contractors want the best deal for their money, and the smart ones know that the lowest price, doesn’t always mean the best deal! That’s why we promise to be competitive with any comparable quotation and product. ME never puts a price on our equipment that doesn’t also reflect its quality. All of our prices are fair and reasonable, benefiting both our  customers and our manufacturer’s; and ME too! There’s an old saying about quality; “If you want good, clean, fresh oats. You have to pay a fair price. However, if you can live with oats that have already been through the horse, those come a lot cheaper!”

ME is built on integrity, and we hope this integrity shines through in our attitude, service and our pricing.

You can find the best deals available in the Garage Sale section of our website. We stock this page with items that are substantially lower than normal market prices. We suggest that you check out our Garage Sale often to see if we have any new items that will work for your next project. This page is updated regularly, and will help add savings to your bottom line.

  1.     ME is Committed to Serving Our Customers

Unlike others in the sales industry, ME isn’t afraid to give our customers the honest truth. We are known to be straight-talkers with refreshing candor. We believe that this is the best way to serve customers, and are much more concerned about our customers’ needs than our own. After all, where would we be without our customers?

Everything we do is designed to respond to each of our customer’s specific questions, needs and services. We adapt to you.

  1.     ME Treats its Employees Right

If you treat your employees well, they’ll want to work hard for your company. We have found these words to be true throughout our 15 years of existence. As soon as we were big enough, we started a 401K matching program and an employee profit sharing program.

Why? Our employees deserve it.

Our goal was and continues to be creating a working environment that people are excited to come to every day. We do this because we genuinely care about our employees and their families. In fact, our employees are like an extended family, treating each other with respect and sensitivity. We wouldn’t exchange that for any amount of money.

At ME, we make it our goal to benefit our customers, manufacturers and employees as much as we can. And, from what we hear from the people we interact with every day, we’ve done a pretty good job at it. We’ll never stop trying to be even better.

If you’re interested in learning more about us or speaking to us about any of our products or services, feel free to give us a call at (800) 355-7061. We would love to help you get the best products available for your project.

Mechanical Equipment, Inc wins TACO Pump “Quota Buster” Sales Award for first full-year representation in 2011 as well as “New Rep Of The Year” award.

taco pump parts

E-Entertainment Lab
taco pump parts

Mechanical Equipment, Inc hits the 2-Million Dollars Sales mark in 2011, for Nexus Flow-Control Products. Nexus Valves are the #1 selling Flow Control Valve in Illinois!