Making the Environment—Inside and Out—Healthy
The KN-20 Plays a Specific Role in a Renowned Museum’s Green Design
Known not only for its dedication to studying and educating society about the natural world, but also for its efforts to protect it, the California Academy of Science planned for major renovations to its facilities. It was the Academy’s hope to build a unique learning environment that made a statement about both the history of the natural world and the things we can do to improve it.
Established in 1853, the California Academy of Science’s original 12 buildings were located in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, and housed an extensive collection of specimens, a leading research facility, a planetarium, and an aquarium. It had long been one of the world’s largest museums of natural history, but the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake caused extensive damage to many of the buildings, forcing the closure of several of them to the public.
As renovation planning began, it was decided that the new facility would consist of a single structure, uniquely designed to complement and flow with the natural beauty of the surrounding Golden Gate Park. Additionally, because of the museum’s commitment to sustainability, it would also be designed to achieve the highest LEED certification standard possible—Platinum.
The new structure would house a variety of exhibits, including an improved aquarium and planetarium, a man-made rain forest, and the natural history museum, as well as a new research laboratory. The result was an immense diversity of environments throughout the building that requires constant control of humidity and temperature to help preserve fragile specimens, as well as to keep plant and animal life (including humans) comfortable. Central to the project were the boilers and while the boilers selected had to handle the massive load the multi-faceted heating system required, they also had to reflect the Academy’s environmental stewardship and be in line with today’s exacting standards for efficiency.
To meet these high standards—and to address the building’s specification for a cast-iron boiler system made by an American-based manufacturer— the mechanical team of Karl Lyndon (Mechanical Engineer, ARUP Engineering, San Francisco, CA) and Armand Kirjain (Mechanical Contractor, O’Brien Mechanical, San Francisco, CA) contacted the experts at California Hydronics Corporation of Hayward, CA, a leading manufacturer’s representative for Hydrotherm Boilers and ultimately selected the Hydrotherm KN-Series, specifically the KN-20 (2000 MBH). “It was the natural choice for this project,” stated Karl Lyndon. “The KN-20 has numerous attributes that make it the perfect fit for heating the California Academy of Science.”
The system consists of six KN-20s all interconnected and controlled through HeatNet, its internal boiler management system. The series of boilers provide ace and radiant floor heating throughout the structure, as well as heating for the aquatic exhibits by way of plate and frame heat exchangers. The KN-Series was the clear choice for numerous reasons, including its control and application flexibility. “First and foremost, however,” said Armand Kirjain, “is its efficiency. The Academy is focused on green thinking and the KN-Series’ ability to operate at an efficiency of up to 99% at full turndown really makes a difference in terms of energy consumption.”
Lyndon indicated that being able to design a multiple-boiler configuration using six KN units allows for greater system control and resiliency which is a necessity when dealing with heating needs as diverse as those of the California Academy of Science. “And of course,” he added, “the KN-20 is an American made, cast-iron condensing boiler, which means we met the boiler requirements specified.”
However, there were other attributes of the KN-20 that made it appealing to the Academy team. For example, the Academy used a substantial amount of recycled materials in its construction, something that is also true of the KN-Series of boilers. Lyndon, elaborated: “When completely finished, all units in the KN-Series are made up of more than 80% post-consumer recycled materials. The unique cast-iron heat exchanger alone—the core of the KN technology—is made up of more than 90% post-consumer recycled materials.” Kirjain added, “The KN-Series not only reduces waste through energy efficiency and low NOx and CO2 emissions, but also by using so much recycled material in its manufacturing. No matter which way you look at it, the KN is a truly a green solution.”
Even Kirjain had his own reasons to be pleased with the KN-20. “The design of the KN-20 boilers made them simple to install. The units’ components were easily accessible and the compact footprint allowed for flexibility with the final positioning and piping process.” From start to finish, the complete system installation, including piping, setting the boilers, and coordination with other trades, took roughly two months. “Everyone involved with the construction is very pleased with the system we put in place,” said Kirjain. “It’s really exciting to know that these six boilers are an important part of what is quickly becoming one of San Francisco’s iconic landmarks.”
With finished costs for the amazing structure totaling $488 million, the California Academy of Science reopened its doors on September 27, 2008 and is considered to be at the forefront of “green” building design. From its 2.5-acre natural roof lined with photovoltaic cells to the aquatic environments heated by the KN-20, the Academy successfully delivered the environmental and architectural message it set out to make and has received several design awards including the Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence, the Holcim Silver Award for sustainable construction projects and of course, LEED Platinum.
A Space Saving Solution for the Westin Diplomat
The Westin Diplomat is, perhaps, the best and most luxurious hotel in the Hollywood, Florida area. Rich in history, the Diplomat is a restoration of the older hotel that once was host to the stars including members of the famous ‘Rat Pack’ Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.
The original hotel fell on hard financial times and in 1998, five hundred pounds of dynamite were used to implode the historic hotel. In 2002, a new era for the Diplomat began as a brand new 1,000 room luxury hotel opened in its place and is now leading the way for an apparent regeneration of the Hollywood oceanfront.
Less than 10 years after construction was completed, leaking hot water pipes buried under the main A1A roadway between the Westin Diplomat Hotel and
its boiler room across the street plagued the hotel, damaging the roadway. The road had been repaired numerous times and yet it continued to crack and threaten collapse. The cost to repair the roadway and piping were estimated to be in the millions of dollars. It was not only a huge expense for the hotel but also a safety hazard.
Something had to be done to fix the problem and unfortunately compounding the situation aside from the costly repair estimates was that the hotel could not afford to shut down to allow for the substantial construction project to be completed. The hotel needed a new boiler system and they needed the system to be completed quickly, in an alternative location, so that a seamless changeover could occur.
ESI Consulting Engineers, Inc. of Doral, FL was brought in to assess the application. They recommended abandoning the old mechanical building which included two 250 hp hot water boilers. In its place, they recommended constructing a new boiler room on the fourth level of the parking garage. With space at a premium, however, the proposed new boiler room would need to be substantially smaller than the original 40,000 square foot mechanical building. It was determined that a space of only 5,000 square feet would be carved from the hotel parking garage to house the new boiler equipment, a substantially smaller area than the original layout.
Working closely with Hydrotherm manufacturer’s rep, Al Karch Energy Systems, ESI designed a system that would include nine Hydrotherm KN-20 boilers with accommodations for two additional units should the heating requirements of the hotel increase in the future. The high capacity, small footprint, and ultra high efficiencies of the KN-Series condensing cast-iron boilers were an ideal solution. The new system would provide domestic hot water, kitchen and laundry hot water, hydronic heating, pool heating and re-heat/ humidity control for the hotel.
Installation costs of the KN units were kept to a minimum as the compact size of the KN-Series units allowed them to be transported up to the fourth level of the garage via a forklift, eliminating the large expense of a crane and rigging.
With no chimney available, the ability of the KN to be direct vented through a sidewall was critical. The KN20’s are direct vented inconspicuously out the front of the building with an Exhausto Chimney Automated System.
All nine boilers in the system are controlled in a master/ member network utilizing Heat-Net, Hydrotherm’s proprietary integrated boiler management system which provides precise system control maintaining peak efficiency thru continuous system monitoring and firing rate modulation. The Heat-Net System is tied into the hotels’ Modbusbased building management system allowing for constant performance communication for ultimate system control.
The boiler system, in fact, has surpassed the client’s expectations and has seen annual fuel savings of 18 – 20% over the previous systems fuel consumption. Management of the Westin Diplomat is thrilled with their new KN-Series’ based heating system which has not skipped a beat since installation.
KN-20 Boilers Keep BMO Field Healthy and Green
BMO Field is Canada’s premier soccer field. It is the home to Canada’s National Soccer Team as well as Toronto FC (TFC), Canada’s first Major League Soccer team. When BMO Field opened in 2007, it was equipped with the latest FieldTurf synthetic grass surface. At the time, the “state-of-art” synthetic turf was thought to be a solution that would mimic grass without incurring the heavy maintenance costs tied to natural grass. The players, however, gave harsh criticism to the synthetic turf.
When the TFC repeatedly encountered clubs that refused to play on synthetic grass, frustration levels escalated and stadium officials were forced to reevaluate their decision. In August of 2009, TFC owners, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd, (MSLE) paid $250,000 for a temporary natural grass surface in order to host Real Madrid, Spain’s top professional soccer team. It was only a ten day solution but it was required to attract a top notch team.
While it was clear that natural grass was a necessity in order to play with the top teams, the cold conditions of Toronto and a season that runs from March through November, presented a significant challenge. MSLE decided upon an innovative turf conditioning system similar to those used in other cities where the weather can be as harsh as Toronto’s. The system would ensure the field would remain in top, playable condition throughout the year.
At the heart of this innovative system are four (4) Hydrotherm KN-20 boilers that supply the necessary 8 million BTUs of heat that not only keep the grass healthy and green, but also prevent the ground from freezing, reducing the chance of player injury. The system circulates a warm, water-and-glycol solution through loops of PEX tubing buried below the surface. The heat then radiates into the root zone beneath the grass, so that the playing surface remains soft and forgiving to falling players, even at sub-freezing temperatures.
Sensors, grouped in zones, monitor the soil conditions. The need for warmth varies, so temperature sensors communicate back to boilers. HeatNet, Hydrotherm’s proprietary integrated boiler management system monitors the system demands and modulates boiler firing rates to provide the ideal flow of warm water from the KN-20 boilers, all while maximizing turndown ratios for peak efficiency. As the outdoor temperature falls, the system automatically boosts the water temperature in the tubing to protect the turf root system.
The Morgan Group, a manufacturer’s representative located in Markham, ON, was brought in to consult on the project. According to company representative Brian Morgan, the Hydrotherm KN-Series boilers were an ideal fit for the system for a number of reasons. First, with the mechanical room located under the stands, space was very limited. The compact KN20’s fit easily, even leaving some valuable extra space. Second, the ability of the KN-Series boilers to be common vented was absolutely mandatory as they simply did not have any other way to vent the boilers.
However, it was the ultra high efficiency of the condensing KN boilers that was of paramount importance. “It takes a lot of heat to warm an entire field in November and that can be costly for the owners,” said Morgan. He also noted that MSLE management was quite impressed with the 21 year thermal shock warranty. “There is a high temperature differential on this type of system and the water can return to the boilers fairly cold. The KN boilers handle the low temperature return water with ease,” said Morgan.
The stadium with its new natural grass surface reopened in April 2010. Authorities, who were hoping that the natural grass would prove to be a game changer, are already seeing the payoff. In fact, BMO field hosted the MLS Cup 2010 in November. It was the first time the championship event had been held outside the U.S.
Chicago Housing Authority
Goes Green & Turns Up The Heat
With winter fast approaching, The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) decided to move forward on a proposal to update the 35-year-old heating system at the James “Major” Adams Community Center to avoid yet another heating season of headaches and inconvenience. Mike Hollub, Jr. of Mid-Lakes Distributing, an HVAC equipment supplier serving the Chicago area since 1928 and Cyril Regan of Regan Heating were brought in to offer their expertise and tackle this tough heating system upgrade.
Housed in a very small mechanical room accessed through only a 27" elevated door on metal risers, sat the original system, a bank of 13 Triad Boilers operating at maximum capacity of 350 MBH each. Two of the units were used for the domestic hot water supply and the 11 other units provided heat to the building thru fan coils placed throughout the facility.
The boiler room configuration led to constant concerns due to the amount of fresh air needed to provide clean combustion to 4550 MBH of equipment. The outside air dampers were properly sized for optimal combustion, however when temperatures dropped below 32º, the open dampers caused a host of other concerns including equipment damage and frozen pipes. To limit such damaging factors, the room was left tight and the boilers choked. This resulting poor combustion, caused sooting and additional boiler ignition problems. The sooting was so prevalent that the walls, the equipment and anyone who entered the maze of pumps and piping were covered in black.
After the demolition and removal of all of the old equipment, the small mechanical room received a fresh coat of white paint and was now ready for the new high-efficient heating equipment as recommended by Mike Hollub, Jr. and Cyril Regan. Three Hydrotherm KN-10 (100 MBH) condensing cast iron boilers were recommended for the community center. The KN Series of boilers were chosen not only for their high efficiencies but also for their small footprint and the longevity associated with a cast iron boiler.
The challenge: getting the boilers into the existing mechanical room with the elevated 27" doorway. The solution: as proposed by Mid-Lakes Distributing involved removal of the wall louvers, located 20 feet off the ground outside, and inserting the (3) KN-10 condensing cast iron boilers thru the opening with the help of a large fork lift to lower them into place.
The KN Series boilers were safely set in place in the tiny mechanical room. To solve the combustion issues that had previously plagued the building, the KN boilers were piped utilizing their sealed combustion option. This allowed fresh outside air to be brought in through a separate air intake piping system that was connected directly to the existing wall louver. The threat of poor combustion or freezing air entering the mechanical room was eliminated.
The community center now had a reliable heating and domestic hot water application. Additionally, the small footprint of the KN Boilers coupled with the reduction from the original 13 units down to only 3 KN units provided far more space in their freshly painted mechanical room for annual maintenance of the equipment.
The James “Major” Adams Community Center now contains ultra efficient environmentally friendly equipment. Hydrotherm boilers utilize up to 80% recycled material during their manufacturing process. Additionally, Mike Hollub’s green-friendly utilization of all the original pumps, expansion tanks, air separators and other equipment resulted in an environmentally friendly mechanical room and resulted in savings of over $15,000 to CHA.
From start to finish, the project was accomplished in an amazing 30 days during September and October of 2008. All of the units are set to run at optimal condensing efficiencies resulting in a radical drop in fuel consumption for the CHA. The occupants, who regularly went with insufficient heat are now warm and comfortable even when the temperature drops below 0º. The James “Major” Adams Community Center is the “Crown Jewel of the many KN projects in Chicago” says the local manufacturer’s representative Callahan Mechanical Sales. KN-10 boiler installation at The James (Major) Adams Community Center in Chicago. For more information about Hydrotherm KN Series Boilers call 413-564-5515 and in Canada call 905-6672-2991 or visit www.hydrothermkn.com.
All KN-Series boilers by Hydrotherm have certified testing through AHRI and carry thermal efficiencies of 92.7% qualifying the family of boilers for full incentive rebates in most locales. Please veryify local jurisdiction efficiency requirements to insure compliance. All KN-Series boilers have been rated in accordance with applicable federal testing methods and verified by AHRI as capable of achieving the energy efficiency and performance ratings as tested within the prescribed tolerances. All corresponding certificates can be found by visiting the AHRI Directory at:
All KN-Series boilers by Hydrotherm have certified testing through AHRI and carry thermal efficiencies of 92.7% qualifying the family of boilers for full incentive rebates in most locales. Please veryify local jurisdiction efficiency requirements to insure compliance.
All KN-Series boilers have been rated in accordance with applicable federal testing methods and verified by AHRI as capable of achieving the energy efficiency and performance ratings as tested within the prescribed tolerances.
All corresponding certificates can be found by visiting the AHRI Directory at:
MERIDIAN, ID - The School District of Meridian, Idaho, serves over 30,000 students, and is the largest and fastest growing school district in the state. The district’s newest school, Hunter Elementary, opened in the fall of 2005. Hunter Elementary is home to nearly 800 students.
When it came to the school’s boiler needs, the school district required a high efficiency system that is also easy to maintain. The schools new HVAC system was designed by Charles Paulin (PE), of Musgrove Engineering PA of Boise. The low-temperature hydronic system design would be ideal for condensing boilers. Condensing boilers eliminate the need for low water temperature protection inherent with non-condensing boilers, and offer higher operating efficiencies. This is a deviation from the standard boiler system design used throughout the School District where two boilers were enabled/disabled (on-off fired) by a building automation system rather than using a modulating system. Buss Mechanical Services, also of Boise, was awarded the mechanical work for the project and owner Lenny Buss selected two HydroTherm KN-10 boilers for the job. The KN-10 from HydroTherm is a commercial gas-fired cast iron condensing boiler featuring unique “Tru Flow” technology to control the fuel-air mixture at all firing rates and venting conditions. The combustion air is constantly measured to fine-tune the fuel gas flow for maximum efficiency. In addition, the boiler takes full advantage of the condensing feature by allowing it to operate at system return water temperatures of less than 128° F with no return water temperature limitation. These boilers are capable of maintaining temperature differentials of up to 100° F, and offer one of the best warranties in the market.
“The KN-10 was the natural choice for this project,” said Trevor Thompson of Columbia Hydronics Company, a manufacturers’ representative firm with offices in Boise and throughout the West. “The KN-10 offers many unique features that go above and beyond the project requirements that will benefit the School District for years to come.”
For Hunter Elementary School, one of the key elements of the KN-10 is that the boiler comes standard with full modulation, resulting in reduced utility expenses for the life of the boiler. Although the KN-10 can be fired on-off, full modulation offers the opportunity for the boiler to operate at higher efficiencies. As an example, the KN-10’s efficiency is approximately 88% at high-fire, with return water temperatures near 60° F as they will be in the heat pump loop.
With the same water temperature, but with the boiler at 1/3 input, the operating efficiency jumps to nearly 98%!
“Modulation is now an integral part of the system,” said Thompson of Columbia Hydronics“ and using the KN-10 boilers did not require any changes to the original system design by Musgrove Engineering.
“The BAS is still only enabling/disabling each boiler as required by the building’s heat pump loop temperature. However, each KN-10 boiler includes an independent, factory-wired controller that smoothly modulates the boiler via a PID algorithm.”
The KN Series, with models from 600 up to 2000 MBH ratings, offer 5:1 capacity modulation, low CO and NOx emissions of less than 20 ppm to meet SCAQMD and whisper-quiet operation – in a compact footprint of less than 29-inches wide.
School officials are completely satisfied with the new KN-10 boilers and their performance, earning the KN-10 and everyone involved with this project an A+. The expectation of course, is to see honors-level grades for years to come.
Read the attached .pdf document for more information.
When the original boiler in the Danvers facility started showing signs of aging, Flatley knew that it had to solve the problem before the winter heating season arrived.
The original heating system was comprised of a copper fin boiler connected to a heat pump loop that forced hot water through the various zones to provide baseboard heat throughout the building.
The new boiler had to be compatible with the existing heat pump system, require a minimal amount of plumbing and provide higher efficiency to minimize fuel consumption. Lastly, the new boiler also needed to fit into the small 12 x 12 foot boiler room.
Flatley turned to Sweeney-Rogers Corporation of Franklin, Massachusetts, a manufacturer’s representative firm serving the plumbing, heating and HVAC industry. The company specializes in commercial applications that require high efficiency solutions.
“After a thorough analysis of their system and needs, we recommended that they go with two HydroTherm KN-6 cast-iron boilers,” said Mike Rogers of Sweeney-Rogers. “This would provide Flatley with the same 1.2 million BTU of heating capacity, which was what the old system offered.”
Most importantly, the new boilers are much better suited for the application and low water temperature in the existing system.
“Water temperature was really what killed the old system,” said Rogers. “In a typical hydronic system with the old type of boiler, the water temperature would be in the 130° to 190° F range, depending on the actual heating requirements of the building and the outside temperature. The problem was the temperature was much lower, around 80° F, which required a condensing boiler for the system to work properly.”
Unlike the previous boiler, the KN-6 is a condensing or high efficiency boiler that operates with lower flue gas temperatures, lower flue gas emissions and reduced fuel consumption by recovering the heat that would otherwise be lost up the flue.
With a small footprint of less than 27-in. wide, Sweeney-Rogers was able to specify two boilers that had the same general footprint as the original boiler, and provided the owner with the added reliability and peace of mind of a redundant system.
High efficiency boilers typically operate at efficiencies of 85 to 95%, or about 10 to 15% higher than traditional boilers. This boiler design was ideal for The Flatley Company property and promised to provide an estimated 15% to 20% higher efficiency rating than the old boiler, resulting in significant potential fuel savings.
The Legacy Management Group, Inc. (LMG) of Wellesley, Mass., an integrated property management company that specializes in HVAC, general maintenance and janitorial services, was hired to install the new boilers for Flatley.From start to finish, the job went very smoothly and was completed in October before the weather turned cold, and the start-up, supervised by Sweeney-Rogers, went without a hitch.
Read the attached .pdf document for more information.
INTUITIVE and INTELLIGENT
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