A recent article in Engineered Systems magazine is a great example of why it’s important to have both expertise and experience in your engineering and construction firm for central plants. The article, titled Boiler Design & Selection: What Engineers Should Keep in Mind, highlights the wide number of boiler and system design considerations, many of which will vary based on the building owner’s goals and even the current state.
A key point the author makes is that the system design should “meet or exceeds the owner’s expectations for sustained energy efficiency over the decades-long life that today’s modern boilers can provide.” That’s an important point, because even just a slight decrease in efficiency can lead to a significant cost differential over the life of a system.
Decisions made during the design and construction phase will last for years and may prove more costly than needed if the proper system isn’t identified and constructed. While the article focuses on system design and selection, the construction element is just as important – even the best-designed system won’t operate at peak efficiency if it isn’t constructed properly.
The article is a great read for building owners, because it highlights how building and distribution factors can impact overall construction and operational costs. For example, in-floor radiant heat systems typically require lower boiler operating temperatures, meaning lower ongoing costs. Another example is whether you retrofit an existing central plant facility or construct a new building. If you have more or better use of space that can open options such as using cascading condensing boilers instead of a single high-mass boiler.
Boiler design and selection is much more involved than the engineers perspective, which is one of the reasons we believe it’s important to have a construction company that understands the engineering, the design, the owner’s needs and the construction process. Firms like Greenland Enterprises have the experience to help guide a full solution that will provide decades of efficient operations, leading to the best possible return on investment.
You can read the article, here. If you have questions about the design considerations for your central plant project and what options should be considered for boiler selection and plant construction, give us a call at 757-864-0640.