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Proposed New DOE Standards for Commercial Boilers

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently proposed new efficiency standards for commercial boilers, commonly used to heat office buildings, hospitals, schools, and other commercial and industrial buildings. http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/03/f30/Commercial%20Packaged%20BoilersNOPR0.pdf

Commercial boilers either use oil or gas as the fuel source, and many provide both hot water and space heating. According to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, the current standards for commercial boilers require a minimum efficiency of 77% to 84% depending on the specific type, size, and fuel. The new proposed standards would raise the minimum efficiency levels to 81-88%. The DOE is scheduled to publish a final rule for commercial boilers later this year, and the new standards would take effect three years later. Appliance Standard

Commercial boilers are generally used to heat buildings with a central system, where boilers provide hot water or steam for heating and chillers provides cold water for cooling. Hot water produced by a boiler is pumped through pipes and delivered to equipment throughout the building, including hot water coils in air handling units. Steam boilers produce steam that flows through pipes from high pressure areas to low pressure areas. Steam can be used directly by equipment or by a heat exchanger and tube bundle that supplies hot water to equipment.

Boilers are one of the largest energy users in a building, and the new standards are designed to reduce consumption by about 2-6% compared to current standards. Some commercial boilers already meet the proposed standards.

The proposed standards will not require building owners to replace commercial boilers, but there are ways to improve the energy efficiency in your current boiler. For example, install a high efficiency heat exchanger, either proactively or when the current heat exchanger begins to fail. The heat exchanger transfers energy from an outside source into usable heat, and some heat is lost during the process. Reducing the amount of wasted heat increases the boiler’s efficiency and reduces energy costs.

To increase the energy efficiency of your current boiler without replacing the entire unit, upgrade to a higher efficiency heat exchanger (link to https://www.emergentcoils.com/applications/10-heat-exchanger). Heat exchangers can be fabricated to your specifications or cross-referenced with your current make and model for specs. Contact Emergent Coils at sales@emergentcoils.com or 1-855-Coil-Now for more information.

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