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Company Information

The boilers- two Slant/Fin 80-S-2250 units with Power-Flame gas burners. Only one was needed to heat the entire complex.

The largest of the nine venting stations. This one uses five Gorton #2 vents.

All Steamed Up, Inc. 310 Centre Avenue
Towson, MD 21286Specialty Steam heating specialist License Gordon Schweizer, Master Plumber #20365, Stationary Engineer (second grade) #12607

Contact Information

Frank Wilsey Phone 410-321-8116 Fax 410-321-6353

All Steamed Up, Inc.

We specialize in Steam, Vapor and Hot-Water heating. We will treat your system as if it were our own.

Calvert Court Cooperative Steam System Rehab

Challenge

Built around 1915, this beautiful five-building complex has a one-pipe steam system that inhaled $35,000 worth of natural gas thru the 2004-05 heating season while leaving half the complex freezing unless the boilers ran for several hours. Running them this long would make the occupants of the other half open their windows, wasting even more gas.

Approach

We went back to the basics. We measured the lengths and diameters of all the steam mains, which took long and tortuous paths thru the basement. We then counted up all the radiation in the buildings and discovered that the system could run on just one boiler to heat the buildings- and even one was a bit oversized. Both boilers had been fired at the same time for years. The complex always had two boilers, but one was supposed to be a spare.

Solution

We called in a welder to add thread-o-lets in the proper places, and installed main vents at these points. We used a total of 23 Gorton #2 vents and two Gorton #1s.
We set up the boilers so only one could be fired at a time, and downfired the burners slightly to more closely match them to the connected load.

January, 2006 update:

The system\'s increased efficiency is obvious. The entire building is being heated instead of just one-third of it, but the gas consumption as measured in therms per degree-day has not gone up. It hasn\'t gone down either, but we can see they are getting three times the results from the fuel they use.

We just replaced the old, ailing Honeywell CentraTherm reset controller and (misplaced) sensors with a Tekmar #269 and properly placed sensors. It will be interesting to see how this affects fuel consumption.

Stay tuned!

March, 2007 update:

We have now vented the steam risers, which extend four stories, with Gorton #D vents, and fine-tuned the venting on the steam mains a bit.

The current main vent count is 25 Gorton #2, 1 Gorton #1 and 2 Hoffman #75, in eleven venting stations of various sizes from one to five vents.

At the start of the season, this building was using 7.8 therms per degree-day. At the end it was using 5.3, which is a 32% reduction.

Couple this with the fact that the whole building is properly heated now, with no one having to open their windows or use portable heaters, and we can see what a dramatic improvement this was.

Interestingly enough, the seasonal average therms per degree-day was 6.4 - the same as the previous season. The higher consumption at the start of this season was probably due to the bad reset controller (which we replaced with a tekmar 269), which meant the boilers had to be turned on and off manually."

I wish we could include more photos ;-)