Hydronic heating system books websites etc.

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ross, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Can anyone recomend any reference material regardign hydronic heating system designs and controls? I have a system to install here and while I do have profesional help to guide the whole instal, I'd like to know more myself.
     
  2. jasper

    jasper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    293
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    I have quite a bit of experience with hydroponics but on a small scale. i have grown organically and non organic. i have an ebb and flow system and would love to try to answer questions

    as far as heating, how much water are you trying to heat?

    if you go to gardenweb, i believe they have hydro gardeners there

    i came back to edit as i should have said that there are heaters that you can drop into the resevoir tank that heats the water much like an aquarium, most plants like a temp of of around 65-68 any warmer in a hydro system and they don't uptake nutrients well
     

  3. critter

    critter Hoo Doo Man

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    sw Mississippi
    Ross, is this an in-floor system, radiator, or forced air? The controls are a lot different for each type system, as well as each manufacturer.
     
  4. jasper

    jasper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    293
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    oops maybe i gave a strange answer

    i thought he was talking about heating his water system not his grow environment
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,324
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    I have to do a bit of work to my hydronic system (hot water heating system) too, so I look forward to the replies.

    --->Paul
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    I'm interested in all topics regarding hydronics but the system we're installing is (groan) a combonation of an air handler with short run duct work, Trane convectors and slantfin radiators in distant hard to service corners, if we must. The air handler is the least favored component and may be omited in favour of more convectors and rads. I've already been told it's going to be overly complicated.
     
  7. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Central MN
    I did some research on this and finally spent the money for Modern Hydronic Heating . I just received it last week and am 4 chapters into it, it is excellent. It also includes some design software which I haven't looked at yet. It is spendy but I wanted to get this done right. I can turn around and sell it and recoup most of the cost . My BIL is a HVAC/plumber and will be helping me out, but.... many of the professionals get their knowledge and training from their suppliers and its based on the products they are selling, and not necessarily the best product for the application.

    I'm in the process of installing an indoor wood boiler, a water heat storage tank, and a backup electric boiler. I have in-floor tubing and an air handler as well.
     
  8. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Central MN
    A couple more resources:

    The author of the above mentioned book is John Siegenthaler, and his website is at HydronicsPros .

    He also writes a column for PM Magazine . You have to register but there is some great info on the site. I get my BIL's copy when he's done with it.
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks Jackpine I was hoping someone had that book. I'm sure its a mail order book for me too, so it's good to hear its worth it! I'll check out the links too.
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Oh I meant to ask an electric boiler!? What make? I'm finishing installing our outdoor wood boiler but am going to add an oil fired boiler to back it up next year or the year after.
     
  11. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Central MN
    It's a Electro Boiler . It came with the house so I really haven't done any research on it. Our Electric Co-op sells them for off peak heating.
     
  12. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Ordered the book Modern Hydronic Heating off Amazon, I would have bought off the authors site but he used UPS, so I would have been tagged with a brokerage fee crossign the boarder, which adds 20-30 bucks on top of shipping! Should be here next week.
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    Why at this site http://www.hydronicpros.com/whatishydronicheating.php where they show the schematic of the system do they install the circulation pump on the hottest side of the system? If the pump was after the heat was rendered the pumps would hold up longer. I have had 2 water furnaces and the circulation pumps were the main cause of failure as they could not tolerate the heat. I now have a geothermal heatpump and I would never ever consider using electricity to directly heat a boiler due to costs per KW.
     
  14. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    You put them on the hot side (reliable supply) so you can throttle them back without risking cavatation and so you don't overly presurize the boiler.
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    Ross, one of the outdoor boilers I had had the oil burner option. It was a fuel hog. What are you using in your outdoor boiler as treatment to control rust in the water? I understand since you brought it to my attention about the cavitation but I do not see how it could over pressure the boiler.
     
  16. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Easy a restriction within the system means the pump pushes against the boiler. Not important in an open system but it'll trip the T+P valve on a closed boiler. I have seen the oil burner stuck into the fire box combo units. I can't see how they ever got certified! Oil burners I know something about there's no way you'd ever get the fuel air mix right in something like that, no combustion chamber to reflect heat back into the flame or keep it retained. Draft would be wild at best certainly uncontrollable. I don't doubt the thing was a fuel hog! How many GPM did it use? 3? I am thinking of adding an oil fired boiler and using the outdoor boiler as a storage tank if not firing on wood. My boiler is an Empyre 450 and its made of nonmagnetic stainless steel. it's not supposed to need additives but I can't see them doing harm. There is the rest of the system to consider.
     
  17. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  18. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Certainly looks better than the ones I've seen. Riello F5 burner, nice touch, especially in a combo unit.
     
  19. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Central MN
    I just finished the chapter in the book on circulating pumps and Ross covered it pretty well. I'm not sure you need the book Ross :) . The author emphasized making sure the expansion tank is close to the inlet of the circulating pump, otherwise the system pressure can actually drop below atmospheric pressure ahead of the pump causing cavatation and could suck air into the system if that's where the air vent happened to be. He also mentioned overpressuring the boiler and tripping the relief valve.

    He did say that in years past that pumps were placed on the cooler return side because of issues with pump packing and seals. But most systems are now using the wet rotor pumps that don't have packing and seals and are rated at continuous operation at higher temps.

    I see quite a few electric boilers installed around here, especially with in-floor heat. Many of the electric companies offer off peak rates and the boilers are pretty cheap. I haven't looked at it recently but a few years ago the higher cost of the geo-heatpump system took about 10 years to get to the breakeven point.
     
  20. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Hot side cold side.......... with an average delta T of 20 you're still pulling 160 degree water through the pump on the return side and if you have a bypass line pulling 180 degree water back into the return to raise the return temp (prevent thermal shock) then that pump isn't really running in "cool" water. I have a license for oil fired boilers but just to the circ pump. Beyond that is a hydronic fitters/plumbers ticket.