Objects naturally expand and contract as they are exposed to heat and cool down. It's Mother Nature at work. It can't be avoided, and it certainly should not be ignored....
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Welcome to “Peril,” a series focused on vertical firetube condensing boilers. Largely based on the “fire” generated from the original whitepaper, “The Perils of Firetube Condensing Boilers”, published January of 2020 and available HERE .
Each addition will provide more detail regarding marketplace trends, competitive products, and assertions from the article. It seems there are many others out there experiencing “Peril”, questioning the vertical firetube condensing design and wondering where to go to next.
Peril’s First Lesson : Change always comes
The KC 1000 condensing boiler appeared in 1988 and 9 years later the Benchmark surfaced in 1997 establishing the “standard” characteristics of what condensing boilers must posses. Oddly the market remains focused on traits of 1st condensing products steeped in “marketing” less pressure drop, variable primary piping, and footprint. This is the high end of the market, 23 years of the same thing is a long time. History shows in the move to higher efficiency, this model has peaked and is under siege from better performing products. Products that combine desired waterside characteristics of 1st models with stress-releasing designs providing longevity and common sense access for service & repair-ability those 1st models (and largest condensing players today) neglect. This should come as no surprise, products get smaller, faster, better, smaller all the time, condensing boilers are not immune to this change.
Let’s start with commercial steel and cast iron folks this past century. Water tube and firetube boilers were constructed and many buildings were built around them. When those boilers needed replacing cast iron sections could be easily hauled in assembled on site and gained favor. These two guys battled each other for decades with cast iron controlling a majority of lighter commercial applications and steel folks moving into larger applications until Mr. Copper boiler showed up representing better efficiency and smaller footprints. (hmmm does this sound familiar?) In about a decade, copper took nearly half of the boiler volume that was previously enjoyed by the steel and cast iron folks and stood atop of the high efficiency boiler market.
The move to copper signifies a market shift to higher efficiency products, a sign of times ahead. Commercial Copper appeared in the late 1980’s and dominance peaked in 1st decade of the 2000’s. Once again (funny how history repeats itself) in about a decade or more, condensing products displaced copper as the high end solution.
This bring us up to today, commercial condensing units (300mbh and up) have surpassed all non- condensing unit volume and are largely still based on the “benchmark” introduction of 1997. History tells us the current run of condensing products based on the introduction 23 years ago is ripe for major change. History tells us the next product of choice within condensing is already here and is displacing units from the top two condensing competitors still “out marketing” their same old message. Look at the ad spend these two giants have, have you seen a trade rag without both of them? A ton of relentless spend that has engineers believing there is no other option, no other choice, no better product….
Are we not at that same moment in time when copper displaced steel & cast iron? Are we not at the same point when condensing took from copper?
The products are here. They are watertubes. They use the same size pumps and the same piping arrangements. They are smaller, they are serviceable, they are repairable, and they are better. Are you ready for change?
Yes, this dragon is amazing!
Sonia Frush created “Peril” based on the “fire” generated from the original whitepaper, “The Perils of Firetube Condensing Boilers”, published nationally January of 2020 and available at https://www.thermalsolutions.com/the-perils-of-firetube-condensing/. The article showcases the “me too” movement in the industry of similar vertical designs and the “Peril” placed upon engineer, contractor, and owner by using the “accepted” standard. “We can do so much better than unserviceable and throw away commercial condensing boilers,” states Ms. Frush. The T-shirts were a huge hit and we are getting requests for other items to feature Peril.
Thermal Solutions proudly displayed the AMP condensing boiler and water heater series from 1000-4000mbh and the Arctic Condensing Series from 1000-6000mbh at AHR Orlando. Both products eliminate peril and are serviceable, unlike any other condensing products in the industry. Follow @ThermalSolutionsProducts on LinkedIn to get the latest updates on “The Perils of Vertical Firetubes”!
Copper replaced cast iron and condensing firetubes replaced copper, but what's next? How about a condensing boiler designed to move naturally with exposure to heat. A condensing boiler built around the thought of service AFTER the sale. A condensing boiler that is field repairable...the Arctic Series by Thermal Solutions. 1000-6000 MBH with natural, LP and dual fuel options, the Arctic delivers features based on common sense, not the common crowd.
Click HERE to learn more about the end of vertical firetubes.
PHCP Pros, your professional plumbing, heating, cooling & piping community, highlights the Burnham Holdings Inc. Center for HVAC Technology Grand Opening on April 10, 2019. The Burnham Holdings Center for HVAC Technology is the newest edition to Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology located in Lancaster, PA. The HVAC Center gives students hands on experience with systems donated by U.S. Boiler Company and Thermal Solutions...
Learn more about the collaboration here.
Available on the Arctic 3500-6000MBH Condensing Boilers, Tru-O2 delivers reliable turndown without the gimmicks.
- Constant O2 at highest and lowest fire setting
- Consistent dew point throughout turndown range
- Independent ignition position
- 9 point curve for adjustment