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Joined on May 27, 2011

Last Post on September 13, 2014

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@ August 17, 2014 6:57 PM in gas condensing boiler recommendation

area would that be Matt ?

Minimal Effects

@ August 17, 2014 4:05 PM in System's Architect

in a building which is close to passivehaus and NZE standards is nonsense . MEs in my opinion have no business getting involved or opining on Physical things , if they were qualified to do so they would be PEs .We are not talking about a mechanical reaction but more of a physics thing .  I once had an engineer tell me and I can provide written proof of discussions , that because a radiantly heated overpour had such mass that a 230K boiler installed in a 100+K home would not short cycle . Now I agree that upon initial heating of the mass this is so but what about the other 150+ days of the heating season ,120 of them being shoulder season days ?  Why did he make the WM Ultra 230 , because it also would make the DHW , guys like this should ask for a refund from the institute of higher education which they attended . Mechanical engineers will hurt you proving your concept save for a select few who get it . 
I can agree with the ICF walls exterior but what you are going for as described by yourself will not benefit or prove concept my friend besides adding monstrous first cost . I am not saying to build a cheap building but more that spend the money wisely or the very guys you are trying to appeal to will chew you up and spit you out like a bad clam .
 The people in that community are deaf , dumb and blind and use such screwed up calculators figuring ROI instead of energy efficiency , thermal comfort , exergy , efficacy that I cannot believe they are regarded . As Joe L said , " It's about the energy Stupid "   I recently read a highlighted article about what a good job some builder in Mass did by installing 2 ductless mini splits totaling 23,000 BTUs in a 10,000 BTU home . Why was he so smart , because it was cheap .
  Whatever you end up with they will kill it unless the first cost , comfort , life cycle cost and everything is better . What it boils down to is when hydronics enters the picture it may very well expose the fact that ducting for anything other than ventilation and removing latent load creates problems in any building , without those problems the whole home performance industry that has evolved rapidly within the last couple of years will become null and void .
These guys have created a whole industry to combat the problems associated with and / or created by systems that are outside the thermal envelope directly being connected with the living space .
They will spend 1000s upon 1000s of dollars to make a house tighter than practical to the point where anything you install is oversized and they wholly discount true passive strategies because they try to use 2-3 solar thermal panels for DHW and still spend money on fuel . If they would adopt the idea that if you put 10 solar thermal panels or a panel like you speak of they could do all the DHW and space heating using a storage system and a couple watts of pumping power they would really be able to shout from the mountain top . But if they do that they will just showcase the fact that they have been doing it wrong for awhile now , that won't happen .  
  Here is a spirited discussion right up your alley ,

Throw Rugs

@ August 17, 2014 10:08 AM in System's Architect

will NEVER not influence performance .  Since you are building this system why don't you consider getting out of the floor and going to the ceilings ? Never seen anyone put anything on a ceiling that can effect performance .  You could save lotsa money and not worry about rooms overheating by means of solar heat gain in a passive haus standard . You quite likely won't need half as much mechanical assistance either .

400 '

@ August 14, 2014 8:24 PM in System's Architect

ground loops with a low head loss like you state can be a scary thing , have seen many shorted ground loops end up with disastrous results . Longer loops with higher flow have a higher Reynolds number and provide better heat transfer . Don't doom your hard work on the thermal storage aspect by cheaping out on tubing and drilling . If in fact you will use the thermal storage tanks why even bother with the ground loops to begin with ? You could simply charge the tank/s with the solar possibly up to 160* and mix down to a real nice number for the HP and when the sun is not out you still have a monster mass of fluid quite possibly still at a higher temp than the loop field would have given you .  Is it a must to locate the tanks below ground ?  These tanks are sweet , , support the drainback approach also . 
 The investment and PITA of 3/4 tubing over 1/2 bypasses the point of diminishing returns by a good amount . Keep the loops shorter and tighter and the SWTs low . 

Heat Loss

@ August 14, 2014 6:09 AM in Is 100k BTU the right size of boiler (or HTP heater) for both baseboard heating and indirect DHW

Has anybody done one yet to determine if your baseboard is sufficient at 70' using 160* fluid ? This would need to be a room by room heat loss .
  How did you come to find out about Versa Hydro ?  Swei is correct in all he has stated but the Versa (PHE130-55) would be a good fit for your project if in fact 160* is sufficient . The Versa is a water heater that uses the stored mass of water in the DHW tank for space heating . When there is a call for heat the Variable speed pump pulls water from the tank and through a flat plate heat exchanger , it will not short cycle when programmed correctly . Your installer should know how to do the proper math to accomplish this , that is the main concern .  This unit quite simply enables a system to operate as if there were a mod / con boiler , indirect water heater and a buffer tank which is what most would specify , the only sticking point would be , do you have enough installed radiation for the 160* temp .  Along with whatever equipment you use a Delta T circ will help you insure that you are matching the load at any given time .
  Like Swei said , the low end is what you need to be concerned with , so does everyone now . Properly designed systems should be able to match the load at a given point in time without overshooting fuel usage . As far as equipment and space / labor saving go your mentioned choice is a sound one .
In the future if you decide to or need to replace that furnace you can just use an air handler with a hot water coil and that too can enjoy the outdoor reset feature by changing the water temps to the coil . remember a house doesn't change size , the load does

Passive / mechanical

@ August 12, 2014 8:51 PM in Indirect heating system

Have a blower door test performed on the home .  Have whomever does the test convert from ???cfm50 to ???cfm nat . This will give you your ACH at worst case .  Just an idea .

No pix

@ August 11, 2014 11:30 AM in Indirect heating system

can you attempt to attach them again ?


@ August 11, 2014 11:06 AM in System's Architect

he stated capacities between 4 and 5,000 gallons with an R value around the tanks of R150 .  What I believe will be missed in this set up as opposed to other Thermal Battery systems is a latent capability and the initial investment .  This really does exploit how much better Solar PV panels should perform though . Seems that lately much stuff is rearing its head showing how our industry can enhance and outperform what everybody else has been peddling in this game that seems to be run by Duie ,Cheatem and Howe . 


@ August 11, 2014 7:28 AM in Alpine 80 trouble-red screen

Dennis Foley to go over every bit of this system . After that contact an attorney and start litigation against the installing contractor and anyone else who stepped through your front door .  Cannot believe you are still having issues with this brand new system even after freezing in your home this past winter and the certain case of carpal tunnel syndrome you must have suffered from the 500+ post thread about it .

Good ideas

@ August 10, 2014 11:33 PM in System's Architect

Please visit this group , . If you have an aversion to LinkedIn contact James Schenck from Thermal Battery Systems Inc , Energy Dynamics in Bozeman Montana .
Here is a short list of others that could certainly help , Robert Bean , Mark Eatherton , Rod Hyatt , Unless of course you are Rod . This is a well thought out paper you have provided and some will ask who you are , let me be the first . Your ideas are sound , I just wish there was even less dependency on mechanical equipment , it is possible you know ?

Less is more

@ August 10, 2014 2:03 PM in Homeowner replacing gas with electric, seek input

Swei & Zman have both touched on some really good points . You should listen , there's a reason you sought advice here . Incase you decide to go witout P&S piping get rid of the air eliminator , Y stariners , and the P&S stuff and just use a caleffi 5461 Discal (magnetic dirt and air eliminator . If you must use the P&S for whatever reason still do away with the unnecessary clutter and use the newer Sep4 from Caleffi also ( #5495) , this is all of the above and a hydraulic separator to boot . Also , use a 10* ^T for a slab floor application , you'll experience a more even feel from the panel .


@ August 7, 2014 5:50 AM in How many heat zones can I afford?

I guess you could put a price on it but when you design for comfort efficiency follows . Yeah , the TRVs will be a bit more expensive but control over all areas even within a single room can't be beat .  The Taco bumble bee is not an expensive item per say , recoup could be 1 - 2 years mathematically .

That sucks

@ August 6, 2014 7:12 AM in Help...I bought a foreclosure

Single combi unit but not like a wall hung low mass piece of garbage .  Check availability of this  . It won't disappoint you .  PHE130-55 , also comes in 80 and 119 gallon storage . Don't know how much DHW you require


@ August 6, 2014 7:03 AM in How many heat zones can I afford?

for your radiators would be the best option considering your concerns .  Every room / rad would operate independently of the others , comfort would be optimal and should you decide to keep rooms at different temp ranges when you change the setting the response time is nice . Wireless zoning and efficient as hell .  TRVs and bypass fittings are relatively inexpensive and require a bit of elbow grease maybe to retrofit but feel worth the investment in time and funds . You should be able to utilize an ECM circ also really lowering your electric usage .You get to keep that old house style and have modern efficiency ratings system wide . We cannot really throw out numbers here but check the following for price and availability .

 Are you in Jersey or Pa ?

Tom C

@ August 6, 2014 6:54 AM in choosing (1) Integrated Boiler Hydro-Air and baseboard, vs (2) Separate Furnace and Boiler

I read the newer discussion you started and must say In my opinion what you are thinking of is gonna be 1 giant pain in the butt . Whoever performs this work will have to charge a large fee for all the repiping and controls to make it work . There is equipment available that offers mass , modulating / condensing technology , outdoor reset and that is versatile and won't short cycle w/o all kinds of extra components . You would save yourself much time and added expense by installing the new stuff now and gathering your data . The time , money and effort you are thinking of would just be throwing money away , but hey , if you can throw money away who am I to deter you . 
Indirects , boilers and furnaces , OH MY !  Have a look at the provided links and watch the videos by the owner of this Mass Company and READ what theses units capabilities are .  My suggestion would be to purchase and install these , not use ANY furnaces but instead just AHUs and be done with it . 
  Boiler component  :  .  This is a 55 gallon mass space heating appliance that will not short cycle and is very efficient .
Heat for the AHUs and DHW  :  .  This water heater is modulating / condensing also and we have used it many times for DHW and AHUs  combined without fail , it works great .   


@ August 5, 2014 8:13 PM in Need help on a complete system overhaul!!

What others are you entertaining ?  What kind of boiler , hot water system ? If they are bad like getting rid of rads maybe we can show you why they may or may not be mistakes .  You should definitely KEEP the RADS .Even if someone where you are is telling you they are no good he is misinformed . As a matter of fact if you are thinking of a high efficiency wall hung they may be your best bet by far .

Little Kids

@ August 5, 2014 5:44 PM in How would you....? (daycare mixing)

are tender , not tough like us leathery old bastards yet .  In discussions with many that write the ASSE standards that water above 106* causes pain in most people period . Yeah yeah Iknow but we are leathery old guys after all .  Little kids and =

150K ?

@ August 4, 2014 12:48 PM in choosing (1) Integrated Boiler Hydro-Air and baseboard, vs (2) Separate Furnace and Boiler

Tom,  something is wrong with this heat loss . If you are doing the upgrades you mention I cannot imagine the load being anymore than 110,000 at design . I am in Jersey and design to 0* and take steps to make sure the equipment does not short cycle while ta the same time is able to provide my clients with ample heat on those record cold days . Mass is not much different than what I design to .  This may be a matter of a block load calc like you have done as opposed to a room by room .  The system you are describing will require some kind of thermal mass on the equipment side , this will allow your equipment to run optimally at ALL times . I doubt any of the folks you have had there as of now even considered such things . Before you make an unwise decision that seems wise let us help you for a bit .  

water quality

@ August 4, 2014 12:41 PM in Buderus failure at HW output

Look at the SuperStor units . They are stainless and have a lifetime warranty . These units are as close to bulletproof as it gets .


@ August 4, 2014 11:43 AM in Navien CH240 drawing intake air from basement?

the possibility that if the house is tight where will the unit gets it's makeup air from then after inside air is exhausted ?  Not a good install in my opinion .


@ August 4, 2014 11:38 AM in TriangleTube Install

you have to determine the highest head loss zone , all segments must be added . That is the head loss you must overcome and as for GPM it would be the total required flow when all rads are calling

Smallest load

@ August 4, 2014 10:19 AM in TriangleTube Install

what do you expect it to be ?  P & S may be necessary but can be done in a better fashion for your particular application . Hydraulic separation for what you are doing would be more beneficial with a small buffer tank . Constant circulation on the emitter side and a small circ on the boiler side . This will provide the situation where your TT can really perform to it's capabilities while preventing short cycles .
Where in Maine are you located ?
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