Technical Information

Energy Used by Pumps:

Selecting the correct size pump for an application can be difficult and time consuming. However, it is worth doing to avoid the extra cost of buying and installing an oversized pump, and of course avoiding the extra energy use. Click Pumps to download a free 20 page booklet that explains a math formula I invented that greatly simplifies calculations for sizing pipes and pumps for the desired flow.

Making Hot Water:

Accurately controlling the temperature of hot water while making sure nobody ever gets a cold shower can be difficult, but is worth the effort to avoid scalding and energy waste. Click here (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) to download a series of 4 articles on how to make hot water with an indirect water heater, which is one of my favorite ways. The articles were originally publshed by Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering Magazine, which is a good source of information on how to get mechanical systems to work.
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One-Pipe Steam Heating Systems:

Do the pipes bang? Do the radiators spit at you? Is one room freezing while the other is like a sauna? Many things need to work right to get the system to deliver heat evenly and quietly, but a Gifford Loop is a zero-cost upgrade that can reduce or eliminate these problems. Click Here for More Info.

Two-Pipe Steam Heating Systems:

These systems are usually found in taller apartment houses built before WW2, but are still being installed in some new buildings, and can be found in all sizes of buildings. Most of them deliver heat unevenly, which results in open windows and resultant energy waste. Most of the problems with these systems can be resolved with a system I came up with, which consists of installing radiator inlet orfices and abandoning the radiator steam traps. Here is a letter from someone who measured an impressive amount of energy saving with this method, and an article that explains how to do it: Orifices Article Additional energy saving and occupant comfort can be had by also installing thermostats on each radiator, as explained in this article: Thermostats Article These articles originally appeared in Boiler Systems Engineering, which is a supplement to HPAC Engineering Magazine. For a free subscription, click here: Subscribe

My Favorite Book on Solar System Design:

Click Here for the only book you'll need

Heat Load Calculation:

Performing a heat load calculation for each room in any building that is getting a new heating system is perhaps the most important, and most frequently overlooked step toward improving comfort and energy efficiency.

Heat Load Calculation Sample - screenshot

download MS Excel spreadhsheet - editable