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    Why Is the US Always Last (18 Posts)

  • Chris Chris @ 7:46 PM
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    Why Is the US Always Last

    I was poking around Viessmann's British site knowing this has been available for some time across the pond wanting to keep up and it got my wondering, why is the US always last? The Vitotrol Showcase app is pretty cool. Simple for a homeowner and could be a great service tool for a contractor if the installer can actually get error codes and can get into the coding.

    http://www.viessmann.com/com/en/products/Vitotrol-App.html
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • bill nye bill nye @ 10:36 PM
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    Chris

    Because oil, gas, or energy is too cheap here. When it goes up to $10 bucks a gallon the maybe efficient equipment will become popular. Last week I serviced three 1725 burners and this week one 1725 burner. One guy asked me what the efficiency was ? I told if he really cared or if it mattered he would have replaced his boiler 20 yrs ago.

    I don't think many foreign boiler companies sell a sufficient volume of equipment here to make the U.S. market a priority for releasing technology or equipment.
  • SpeyFitter SpeyFitter @ 1:53 AM
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    Forced Air/Hydronics

    Plus, the hydronics market here is relatively quite small compared to that in Europe. Damn Furnaces!
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • Chris Chris @ 7:35 AM
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    You Would Think

    The segment of the boiler market that's growing is the condensing boiler. This is not new for them been around a couple of years and its nothing more the putting the same control face on the Vitodens 200 and Vitotronic controls that are here now.

    If Viessmann really wants to explode in the US market this platform in my eyes gives them an opportunity to get US consumers what they love, Gadgets. We all pretty much have a love relationship with our IPhones and the ability to show a neighbor "look what I can do."
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • scott markle scott markle @ 2:19 PM
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    Viessmann

    Chris,

    After checking out the iOS app I spent some time last night flipping through the euro Viessmann catalogue. Wow!

    There are so many options I think it would actually be a bit overwhelming if all this stuff was available here. It's hard enough to explain indoor/outdoor feedback and variable water temperature distribution via a mod-con, imagine adding Sterling engine micro CHP to the mix?

    I think that part the problem with the i-phone app is that Viessman control stratagies are so different from what most americans are used to. Here we associate a high end hydronic systems with lot's of zoning. When I did my first Vitodens in 04 I really tried to wrap my head around how the native controls were designed to work. I ended up with a single well balance zone, using the Sun/Moon dials on the boiler as the primary user interface. It was difficult to explain the benifits of this configuration to people raised on multiple T87 wall stats, but the low fuel consumption and even heating made converts.

    I think the original Vito had trouble here because it was designed to run so differently from the way most guys build systems here in the USA. We see a lot mod-cons these days but how many are doing true full reset ? Not many. Most just run a default reset curve that's 10-20 degrees hotter than it needs to be and then get connected to conventional zone relays with a bunch of unsyncronized bing bang stats. This is very different from the global "zone" full reset, TRV ballencing systems that dominate residential heating in germany.

    Here in the US most mod-con systems still hide the ability to shift the reset curve from the end user. Unless we are using open therm or some other communication protocol our thermostats are just dumb on/off switches. When you turn down a Vitotrole or como OT wall "stat" you are shifting the reset curve, when you turn down a T87 you do nothing to the reset curve, you just shorten the run time. Obviously on a condensing appliance lowering the operating temperature is superior to just making a shorter demand.

    I recently looked at a Rinnia boiler which was nicely plumbed (except for the unnecessary circulator zoning) but showed a complete lack of understanding of the boilers control capacities. The instaler had disconected the outdoor sensor to run the boiler at a fixed temperature, probably because the reset curve could not provide hot enough water for DHW production. I studied the wiring diagrams and not very well translated literature and installed an ice cube relay to close the DHW demand contact (labeled as an optional DHW sensor but which acts as a high temp demand when "shorted") then I dialed in a very low .5 reset curve, which apparently enough for this all radiant well insulated structure.

    This particular instal was done at a friends new house, he had chosen an installer he believed would be less expensive than me with my fancy tastes in german hardware. After a year of holding a grudge I decided to have a look at what he ended up with, in all likelihood without my curiosity this system would have run as connected for the next 20 years, I charged him $350 for the relay which will probably pay for it's self in the first year.

    Getting back to the iOS remote, I think this would be a great thing to be able to offer some customers, but I have a feeling there are going to be some big differences in how europeans are used to controlling their heating systems and I'm not sure this device is going to be able to bridge this divide. Honestly as much as I like the capacities of the Vito 200 series , I'm reluctant to have homeowners navigate the boiler interface, the Vitotrol with it's simple analog Celsius adjustment dial solves this but this even throws some people off. Most of the high end customers that we would market this equipment may feel short changed by a one zone or two temperture system, they may also think that TRV's are ugly. Not sure were really ready for the best the world has to offer.
  • Jean-David Beyer Jean-David Beyer @ 3:01 PM
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    Here in the US most mod-con systems still hide the ability to shift the reset curve from the end user.

    I am an end user. Luckily for me, my mod-con does not hide the ability to adjust the reset curve. Or if they do, it is badly hidden; it is right in the instruction manual. Perhaps they hid it from the technicians who never read the manual. I know both my former contractor who installed it, and the new contractor who now maintains it do not know anything about warm weather shutdown, so when they do all the maintenance, and try to test it, they cannot get the boiler to fire unless they raise the setting on the indirect hot water heater. It is trivial to do it right, but the forget from one year to another that it is even in there.

    For the reset curve, they just left it at factory default, which might have "worked" for the baseboard zone, but it would not have worked for the radiant slab zone. I saw what they did, and set it all up myself. Instead of using 180F max for the baseboard zone, I use 135F. Instead of 140F for the radiant zone, I use 120F.. At the other end of the curve, I have it level off when it is 50F outside instead ot the default 70F. It took me a long time of trial and error to pick the slope. I thought it would be easy because I had calculated the heat loss for each zone. That was better than the defaults, but not great. My heat loss was off. It seems my house leaks much less heat than my calculations showed, and the heat that comes in the windows is more than I guessed, and the heat my computers put out (about 400 watts for one and about 150 watts for the other) does a lot of the necessary heating during the warm weather days. 

    If I had to call the contractor to diddle the curve each time I got a useful measurement, it would have cost a fortune. They would have had to charge me their one-hour minimum each time they did 5 minutes work. And I cannot complain about that; their overhead and the time to drive out here and back have to be paid for.

    It is my impression that the homeowner is really the only one who can set up the reset curves at a reasonable expense. And with the other homeowners I know, they cannot even program a thermostat, so I would not trust them with reset curves, etc.
  • scott markle scott markle @ 2:24 PM
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    Viessmann

    Chris,

    After checking out the iOS app I spent some time last night flipping through the euro Viessmann catalogue. Wow!

    There are so many options I think it would actually be a bit overwhelming if all this stuff was available here. It's hard enough to explain indoor/outdoor feedback and variable water temperature distribution via a mod-con, imagine adding Sterling engine micro CHP to the mix?

    I think that part the problem with the i-phone app is that Viessman control stratagies are so different from what most americans are used to. Here we associate a high end hydronic systems with lot's of zoning. When I did my first Vitodens in 04 I really tried to wrap my head around how the native controls were designed to work. I ended up with a single well balance zone, using the Sun/Moon dials on the boiler as the primary user interface. It was difficult to explain the benifits of this configuration to people raised on multiple T87 wall stats, but the low fuel consumption and even heating made converts.

    I think the original Vito had trouble here because it was designed to run so differently from the way most guys build systems here in the USA. We see a lot mod-cons these days but how many are doing true full reset ? Not many. Most just run a default reset curve that's 10-20 degrees hotter than it needs to be and then get connected to conventional zone relays with a bunch of unsyncronized bing bang stats. This is very different from the global "zone" full reset, TRV ballencing systems that dominate residential heating in germany.

    Here in the US most mod-con systems still hide the ability to shift the reset curve from the end user. Unless we are using open therm or some other communication protocol our thermostats are just dumb on/off switches. When you turn down a Vitotrole or como OT wall "stat" you are shifting the reset curve, when you turn down a T87 you do nothing to the reset curve, you just shorten the run time. Obviously on a condensing appliance lowering the operating temperature is superior to just making a shorter demand.

    I recently looked at a Rinnia boiler which was nicely plumbed (except for the unnecessary circulator zoning) but showed a complete lack of understanding of the boilers control capacities. The instaler had disconected the outdoor sensor to run the boiler at a fixed temperature, probably because the reset curve could not provide hot enough water for DHW production. I studied the wiring diagrams and not very well translated literature and installed an ice cube relay to close the DHW demand contact (labeled as an optional DHW sensor but which acts as a high temp demand when "shorted") then I dialed in a very low .5 reset curve, which apparently enough for this all radiant well insulated structure.

    This particular instal was done at a friends new house, he had chosen an installer he believed would be less expensive than me with my fancy tastes in german hardware. After a year of holding a grudge I decided to have a look at what he ended up with, in all likelihood without my curiosity this system would have run as connected for the next 20 years, I charged him $350 for the relay which will probably pay for it's self in the first year.

    Getting back to the iOS remote, I think this would be a great thing to be able to offer some customers, but I have a feeling there are going to be some big differences in how europeans are used to controlling their heating systems and I'm not sure this device is going to be able to bridge this divide. Honestly as much as I like the capacities of the Vito 200 series , I'm reluctant to have homeowners navigate the boiler interface, the Vitotrol with it's simple analog Celsius adjustment dial solves this but this even throws some people off. Most of the high end customers that we would market this equipment may feel short changed by a one zone or two temperture system, they may also think that TRV's are ugly. Not sure were really ready for the best the world has to offer.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 4:51 PM
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    TRV alternatives

    do exist, but are hardly common here.  I can buy a Belimo CCV with a modulating actuator and 2-10V input for about what a Honeywell zone valve costs.  I control them using distributed DDC via software which can look at setpoints all over a building, read multiple outdoor sensors, wind speed, and factor in historical trends to decide where the reset curve should be.  There may be a packaged residential system which can do this, but even a stat with a proportional output would be a good start.  Keeping the control valve separate from the stat allows the temp sensor to be placed optimally (away from the heat source and out of the sun, etc.), looks more familiar to a US customer, and allows system logic to handle setback, home/away, etc.
  • meplumber meplumber @ 7:59 AM
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    Approval Process

    Chris, if you talk to any of the European executives, they will admit privately that the North American approval process is a significant deterrent to bringing new products over. I had that very same conversation with an executive of one of the companies last month.

    The UL/CSA approval process, while necessary, creates a lot of product overhead with redesign and modification. It frankly gets expensive. When you factor that cost into the package, then the very small amount of the American and Canadian market that Hydronics occupies, makes it less attractive.

    I will try and find the article that I read in one of the Trade Business magazines recently. It had the breakdown in percentages of US households and heating method. Hydronic was small and shrinking. With the advancements in heat pump technology and the simplicity of dual fuel (gas/heat pump) systems, hydronics is behind.

    By the way, we will see this gadget very, very soon. Or something very similar.
  • Chris Chris @ 6:26 PM
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    2013

    ME my source told me, heating season Sept 2013. Scott I hear ya. I too rumage thru the german site every once in while to drool. Its only a matter of time before the American boiler manufacturers plug into the honeywell red link might as well beat them to the punch.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • meplumber meplumber @ 9:59 AM
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    Same time frame here.

    Ditto. I was told late summer 2013.
  • Robert O'Brien Robert O'Brien @ 10:00 AM
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    Tell me about it!

    Check out the Vitoladens300W on page 13.

    http://forum.oiltechtalk.com/attachments/ppr-vitola-vitoladens.pdf
  • Chris Chris @ 12:21 PM
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    So Far Ahead

    Viessmann is so far ahead of even their competition over there. Rumage around other sites such as ACV (Triangle) Bosch and Baxi Group and yo don't see this stuff. Love to see that wall hung condensing oil make its way over.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • gennady gennady @ 12:43 PM
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    deleted

    Gennady Tsakh

    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.
    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
    This post was edited by an admin on May 6, 2012 6:52 PM.
  • NYplumber NYplumber @ 6:49 PM
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    Multiple

     "imagine adding Sterling engine micro CHP to the mix"
    Where can I learn more about these great options that we dream of?

    "I told if he really cared or if it mattered he would have replaced his boiler 20 yrs ago."
    The thought process. New car, check. New kitchen appliances, check. New boiler, nah.

    "may also think that TRV's are ugly"
    Just the other week a client (originally from the UK), stated how he would trade his steam rads for the panel rads w/ trv's. Good to know someone enjoys balanced comfort. 
    :NYplumber:
  • hot rod hot rod @ 8:27 PM
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    same reason

    Our streets are not lined with 45 mpg diesel powered cars. No market! Fuel costs have a lot to do with what we drive!


    I agree the cost of listings and certification can be a huge factor. Freight cost, Dollar to the Euro concerns also.

    These seem to be the biggest hold up on getting gasification wood and pellet boilers over here. Also the smaller European manufacturers, and there are hundreds of them across Europe, will not afford the process and are frightened by the implications of our legal system if a product fails from improper installation and or use.

    hr
  • SWEI SWEI @ 8:35 PM
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    pellet boilers

    KWB makes truly impressive condensing pellet/chip boilers, but has no interest in importing them here.  They won't even consider licensing (I tried) to a domestic manufacturer.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 8:35 PM
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    Sell him

    some steam TRVs!
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
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