Greenhouse growers seek higher efficiency in boilers

Greenhouse growers seek higher efficiency in boilers

In the last 15 years, there have been sweeping changes to boiler systems for greenhouses. When you think of a boiler, you may picture a large piece of equipment that looks similar to a locomotive, mostly made of steel and cast iron. This design evolved from the Industrial Revolution, and has stuck around for a long time.

Those types of boilers still exist and work well for many operations. However, a new, emerging trend is modular condensing boilers, also known as modcon. Jim Rearden, CEO of BioTherm, says many innovative companies are producing low-mass boilers, having replaced the steel and cast iron with noble metals, such as copper, stainless steel, and aluminum.

“Companies have created solutions that look more like a file cabinet,” Rearden says. “Now growers have this opportunity to buy equipment that is much more efficient.”

Condensing Boilers Offer Higher Efficiency

Jack Smit, Heating Technologist for Westbrook Systems, says condensing boilers are trending for growers looking to gain efficiencies. In the past, all boilers were non-condensing, meaning that since they run at a higher temperature, they cannot condense the flue gas. If boilers keep the temperature of the flue gases high enough, the moisture, and therefore the BTUs in it, go out the stack. However, if they allow for cooling of the gases to a low enough temperature, growers can recover heat from the act of condensation, allowing the boiler package to be more efficient.

Continue reading.

Photo: These small, wall-hung condensing boilers are from Westbrook. Courtesy of Westbrook Systems.



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