Lochinvar® Simplifies Front End Loading With Built-In Controls


by Lochinvar Marketing Department | 01/22/2013

A boiler or water heater plant comprised of condensing and non-condensing appliances offers the benefits of high-efficiency, modulating equipment with a lower upfront investment. Until now, this type of “front end loaded” system has required an external control that can be expensive to add on and complicated to setup and service. Providing a simplified, cost-effective approach to front end loading, Lochinvar’s SMART SYSTEM™ and SMART TOUCH™ operating controls now have the ability to achieve this hybrid setup without the need for an additional controls, sequencers or a building management system.  

All high-efficiency Lochinvar product lines equipped with a SMART SYSTEM or SMART TOUCH interface are capable of communicating with each other using their built-in cascading sequencer to achieve a front end loaded plant. For example, CREST® Condensing Boilers can communicate directly with Power-Fin® Boilers, and ARMOR® Water Heaters can interact seamlessly with Copper-Fin II® Water Heaters using their standard controls. 

Sequence of Operation
In order to maximize the efficiency of equipment in a front end loading installation, the condensing models are brought online first and non-condensing units are enabled only when demand significantly increases. If the system is comprised of appliances with differing inputs, the smallest condensing until in the plant acts as the lead. Once the load is greater than the capacity of the smallest model, the cascade enables the larger condensing and non-condensing units sequentially to meet the load. This approach allows fractional loads to be met with the precise amount of power needed.

Seasonal Loads
Water heating and building loads are highly variable and based on many factors such as percent of building occupancy for water heaters and outdoor air temperature for boilers. Water heating plants are designed for maximum occupancy of the facility but in a resort style hotel or a school, the load will change based on the seasons or school year. In a heating system, as outdoor temperature drops, the heating load increases; conversely, as outdoor temperature rises, heating load decreases. Heating plants are typically sized for the coldest temperature expected during the course of the year, despite the fact that such extreme weather occurs infrequently during the season. 

Not only do Lochinvar’s SMART SYSTEM and SMART TOUCH controls offer built-in front end loading, they also offer outdoor reset capabilities. Outdoor reset is designed to lower heating water temperatures as the outdoor temperature rises and load decreases. Designing a boiler or water heater plant with front end loading coupled with outdoor reset allows for the most frequent loads to be met with maximum efficiency. Condensing units are operated during times of fractional load, and non-condensing units are fired as load increases.

“Although front end loading is not a new concept, we’re introducing a simplified new approach that offers expanded possibilities for high-efficiency systems without the high upfront costs,” said Stirling Boston, director of marketing. “Our advanced controls are designed to deliver Lochinvar’s proven performance for any system setup. This seamless integration is yet another example of our ‘Better Idea’ philosophy for engineering smart solutions for our customers.”