Water Heating: It's a Gas

Sometimes, energy savings alone can dictate the replacement of an older, inefficient building component. That has been the experience at Prince Haven, a 50-unit residential complex for the elderly located near Plymouth, N.H. Built in the late 1970s, each of the 10 buildings on the property received a supply of domestic hot water from its own commercial water heater.

08/01/2001


Sometimes, energy savings alone can dictate the replacement of an older, inefficient building component. That has been the experience at Prince Haven, a 50-unit residential complex for the elderly located near Plymouth, N.H.

Built in the late 1970s, each of the 10 buildings on the property received a supply of domestic hot water from its own commercial water heater. Until recently, these units were 50-gallon electric models—the building's original equipment. Installing electric-powered water heaters made sense 20 years ago because of the low electrical rates in New England. But times, and energy rates, have changed.

The property managers decided to replace all 10 units with new, 80-gallon liquid-propane gas units. Even though the goal was lower energy costs, this new installation actually increased heater tank-storage capacity by 60 percent. It was calculated that the community could increase the supply of hot water, while still providing an economical heater that would consume less energy.

Venting

Because the previous heaters were electric, no chimneys were available to vent the byproducts of the new heaters' gas-combustion process. Some type of direct-vent water heater was in order.

The issue was resolved as the particular heaters installed featured a power direct-vent design that draws fresh makeup air directly from the outside, while moving combustion gases to the exterior. Movement of the intake air and exhaust gases through the dual-pipe system is powered by an integrated blower.

The units, which burn up to 20,000 gallons of propane annually, are expected to provide a major reduction in fuel costs, generating sufficient enough savings to pay for themselves within two years.





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Combined heat and power; Assessing replacement of electrical systems; Energy codes and lighting; Salary Survey; Fan efficiency
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me