Fire-Tube Boiler Key Contributor in Cold-Climate Condo Conversion

Fire-Tube Boiler Key Contributor in Cold-Climate Condo Conversion

For domestic hot water, space heating, and makeup air, Larry Stefanec, president of Parsons Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Co., selected Lochinvar equipment.

In 2014, a six-story office building in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, was converted to a mixed-use condominium complex. With the exception of the concrete floors and walls, the renovation extended to all parts of the building, including the plumbing and HVAC system.

Winnipeg-based MidCan Hydronics worked with Winnipeg-based Parsons Plumbing & Heating Ltd. Co. to line up equipment for the building. For domestic hot water, space heating, and makeup air, Larry Stefanec, president of Parsons, selected Lochinvar equipment.

Stefanec and his team split plumbing and HVAC into separate systems. A 400,000-Btu/hr Knight heating boiler was chosen for space heating. The Knight also provides domestic-hot-water heating for all five condominium units through a Squire stainless-steel indirect water heater. At the time of the renovation, Lochinvar had just released its new FTXL fire-tube boiler. Fernando Carreiro of MidCan Hydronics worked with Lochinvar to secure a 500,000-Btu/hr FTXL that would serve as the sole heat source for the building’s makeup-air unit.

The 500,000-Btu/hr FTXL fire-tube boiler installed at the office building turned condominium complex.

The FTXL is capable of delivering up to 10:1 turndown and up to 98 percent thermal efficiency, the best in its class. This turndown range allows the FTXL to adjust its heat output to meet demand, minimizing fuel use. Lochinvar’s variable-speed pump integrates seamlessly with Smart System multitemperature loop control to maintain boiler-temperature rise. Because Winnipeg’s climate can range from extremely cold during winter to warm during summer, the FTXL’s ability to meet variable loads optimizes efficiency throughout the year.

Prior to the arrival of the FTXL boiler, the makeup-air unit was working off of the Knight boiler temporarily. Once the FTXL became available, the Parsons team took the air handler off of the space-heating loop and hooked it directly to the FTXL.

The FTXL boiler is designed for maximum space efficiency and flexible placement in a mechanical room. Its small footprint made it an ideal fit for the building’s mechanical room.

“We’ve been installing Lochinvar equipment for years, and we’ve become very familiar with Crest, Knight, and Armor,” Stefanec said. “We had heard about Lochinvar’s upcoming launch of the FTXL fire-tube boiler, and we were excited to have the opportunity to check it out firsthand for this job. The installation for FTXL was similar to Knight, so the setup was simple and turnkey.”

FTXL proved to be a flexible solution for the project, offering the capability to overcome some construction challenges. For example, the boiler allows for direct venting up to 100 ft, which proved to be helpful, as the site includes a long venting application.

With the job scheduled for completion in the spring, the team did not expect to have much time to test the FTXL. However, Winnipeg’s winter weather continued well into spring and even summer, which allowed the team to see the FTXL in action for a couple of months.

“We couldn’t have been more pleased with how well the FTXL was able to meet the challenges of this job and operate smoothly in Winnipeg’s frigid temperatures,” Stefanec said. “When all you see is a nice plume exhausting the FTXL vent pipe, you know things are going well. We’re looking forward to seeing it continue to exceed expectations next winter, especially once we tap into its remote-connectivity capabilities.”

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