Articles by John Siegenthaler, P.E.

Combining outdoor reset control and heat pumps

Don’t overcook it.

In past columns, we’ve discussed geothermal water-to-water heat pumps and air-to-water heat pumps via hydronic heat sources. Both can be a great match to low-temperature hydronic distribution systems.


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Some ways to simplify hydronic systems

Less is best when it comes to hydronic heating systems.

After completing a hydronic installation, especially one that’s taken you a few days longer than expected, do you ever ponder that there is just too much “stuff” in some of these systems?


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T and ∆T pumping when it comes to wood-gasification boilers

One application that leverages both control capabilities.

The market for wood-gasification boilers is growing in North America. Most are used in rural areas where natural gas in not available, and thus the cost of firewood is often very competitive against the alternatives of No. 2 fuel oil or propane.


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Parsing a number

Differences exist between rules of thumb and precise calculations.

 

Differences exist between rules of thumb and precise calculations.


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Nature vs. math

Formulas and assumptions don’t always predict what happens.

 The following formula has been around the North American hydronics industry for a long time:  


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Trade-offs in boilers

Two boiler characteristics that need to make a comeback.

 North American hydronic professionals can now choose from dozens of modulating/condensing (mod/con) boilers. Many are designed for wall-mounting. Those who design these boilers strive for small enclosures and low weight.  


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The basics of radiant ceiling cooling

No drips allowed.

 For decades, well-designed and -installed hydronic heating systems have earned a reputation for superior comfort. Still, potential customers who understand and desire the benefits of hydronic heating often ask, “But how does this system provide cooling?”  


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Biomass heating systems can use both big and little tanks

How they can work together in a wood-fired heating system.

 

Interest in biomass heating systems continues to rise, especially in rural areas of the United States and Canada. Although plenty of devices are available that burn wood to heat water, the state-of-the-art device is a wood-gasification boiler.


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Solar Thermal Report- Spring 2013: If I Made the Tanks, Part 1

What would an ideal pressurized thermal storage tank for a solar combisystem look like?
Residential solar combisystems provide domestic water heating and some percentage of space heating. Although less known than domestic hot water-only systems, combisystems can be practical and efficient if properly sized and designed.
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Smoke Gets in your Eyes

It’s time to do wood-fired heating right.
Every August, I make a short trip to a local event call the Woodsmen’s Field Days. This gathering is all about cutting down trees and then slicing them up into either firewood or lumber.
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2014 Truck of the Month

PM has featured so many great plumbing service trucks! See plenty of them here in our Truck Of The Month Archives page. Are you proud of your truck? Go to our Truck of the Month page to find out how your service truck could be chosen!

9/16/14 9:00 am PDT

Free Webinar: Acoustical Isolation

HOLDRITE will be hosting a free webinar for Acoustical Isolation on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.

Plumbing and Mechanical

PM September 2014 cover

2014 September

In this issue you’ll find The NY Red Bulls soccer team’s radiant system and incoming PHCC President Kevin Tindall.

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Back to School

It’s back-to-school time, how do you stay knowledgeable on the industry:
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2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

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