As we ready ourselves for the challenges of a new heating season we do so with cautious optimism. The political climate both domestically and abroad continues to spur concern and uncertainty with respect to the cost of energy.
Our history is riddled with stories ranging from energy rationing during World War’s I & II to the gas lines of 1976 to the most recent hurricane dilemma whereby people virtually lived on gas lines just to keep their generators running.
We are a vulnerable society when it comes to energy and we have never been more dependent on our energy resources than we are right now! That vulnerability does not serve us as long as we continue to rely on non-domestic sources for our energy needs.
Our domestic energy sources do not come inexpensively either as every BTU is saddled with various tariffs and taxes that steadily increase on par with our national debt. Growing environmental legislation puts further constraints on energy as the cost of low emission technology is often offset by a corresponding drop in efficiency.
So….what do we do? We get smart as quickly as possible for starters. Well, OK….most of us agree with that philosophy but what does that really mean???
For starters it means coming up to speed on all of the technologies that are available to us with regard to energy utilization in our buildings. This includes becoming aware of your local codes and standards, becoming familiar with what energy legislation is on the horizon, what technologies are available to make your boiler plant run as cost effectively as possible, how those measures will affect other components of the building, etc..
We have all been exposed to the advantages of utilizing condensing boiler technologies in our buildings. That measure has made a significant positive impact on our energy utilization but what about steam plants? What about our connected systems? What about the way we control our plants?
These are all good questions and I am happy to say there are viable solutions to address all of these issues. As an example, there are many things you can do to effectively modernize your steam boiler plant to ring out efficiency that may have been overlooked. Water chemistry is perhaps the single most important systemic preventative measure you can take to prolong the vitality of your steam plant and keep it operative a maximum efficiency.
Economizers are another underutilized solution whereby sensible heat from stack gasses are recaptured and put back into the system.
The correct piping application and design is too often overlooked and can greatly affect system efficiency in both steam and hot water systems. Steam accumulators are a viable cost effective solution for high pressure process plants as an example.
We have spoken at length about combustion solutions including parallel positioning fuel/air ratio Linkageless controllers and O2 trim systems that increase combustion efficiency on burners. We have been utilizing sequenced draft control systems for years which are still very important in the broad scope of performance and efficiency for many boiler systems.
While there are so many other points to add to this set of examples, probably the MOST important and underrated/under-utilized technology is an effective boiler room controller.
We all know condensing boiler save energy but did you know your savings can effectively be doubled simple by employing the appropriate control algorithm for that specific application? The same goes for steam boiler systems.
At ATI, we pride ourselves in having the expertise and the products to employ any and all of these solutions and more. Never in our history have we had such an outstanding line-up of products and services as we now bring to market.
We look forward to providing you with personalized customer service with true and trusted mechanical room energy solutions.
Please contact your ATI representative for more information. We are dedicated to serving you.
Frank D. Morgigno