As might be expected of a school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, a reliable and efficient heating system is almost as important as desks and books. At École Henry Kelsey, a public school offering French-immersion education to 250 students in kindergarten through the eighth grade, the system that provided heat to entrance ways, classrooms, and the perimeter was far from reliable and nowhere near efficient. Because of cycling and standby losses associated with the non-condensing and non-modulating boiler, overall operating efficiency was a mere 50 percent to 60 percent.
To determine the best replacement solution, Saskatoon Public Schools contacted Cypress Sales Partnership, which has offices in Saskatoon and nearby Regina. Gordon Nagus of Cypress Sales Partnership thoroughly evaluated the existing system and met with school administrators to discuss their goals. Based on his analysis, he recommended a system anchored by two Benchmark Platinum 1000 commercial condensing boilers from AERCO International.
With up to 96-percent thermal efficiency, the Benchmark Platinum series improves operational efficiency with technologies and features including:
- Dual returns. Most traditional boilers have a single return, which limits design to a generic system that blends hot and cold water. The result is a smaller heat-exchanger condensing zone and lower efficiency. Benchmark Platinum’s dual returns allowed Nagus and his team to take advantage of diverse load demands and design a customized system that maximizes operational efficiencies up to an additional 7 percent.
- Oxygen- (O2-) trim technology. Because of AERtrim O2-trim technology, which monitors actual conditions and self-adjusts combustion to ensure optimal O2 levels and peak system efficiency, an additional 1-percent to 2-percent gain in seasonal efficiency is expected.
- Remote monitoring. Proactive performance and health-of-system monitoring through onAER Remote Monitoring allows school representatives to ensure uptime reliability and track performance and efficiency. The onAER solution can be set to provide alerts to local trained technicians, offering additional peace of mind, not only ensuring uptime reliability, but helping to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on equipment and premature failure.
Return on Investment
Integration of the Benchmark Platinum boilers allowed the coils of the existing makeup-air handler to be retrofitted from steam to hot water. This allowed the school to eliminate the steam-to-water heat exchangers and pumps that previously fed perimeter radiators. The removal of these components means there are fewer system elements to maintain and fewer points of potential failure.
Another benefit of the boilers concerns their compact footprint. Measuring only 79 in. high by 28 in. wide by 25 in. deep, the units fit easily through standard-size doorways and in the existing mechanical room. Thus, installation was simpler and more cost-efficient.
With the Benchmark Platinum 1000 boilers, the students at École Henry Kelsey have comfortable classroom settings. School administrators are comfortable with the 40-percent operational savings created by a 30-percent decrease in fuel usage and dramatically reduced maintenance requirements resulting from the elimination of steam components. Additionally, once cooler return water from the makeup-air handler is brought to the low-temperature return port of the boilers, the dual returns boost efficiencies by another 7 percent.