Measuring Thermal Energy in Hydronic Systems

So you’ve decided to track how much energy your HVAC system consumes in order to increase the system’s energy efficiency — great! But how will you do it? There are multiple methods that can be used to measure thermal energy in hydronic systems. We’ve outlined several methods below to make it easier for you to select the best technology for your application.  

Measuring thermal energy requires three components: a fluid flow sensor, two temperature sensors (one for inlet temperature, one for outlet temperature), and a calculator. Although thermal energy can technically be measured without a calculator, doing an energy calculation by hand is very complex and can introduce manual calculation error into the measurement. For that reason, we recommend incorporating a calculator into your system for the most accurate energy measurements. This calculator can be either an independent BTU controller, part of your building management system, or integral to a complete thermal energy system. A complete system includes a flowmeter, temperature sensors, and a calculator that are all calibrated together, eliminating the need for multiple pieces of equipment.  Continue reading “Measuring Thermal Energy in Hydronic Systems”

How the Dwyer Series IEF and IEFB Overcome Typical Sources of Error

There are a wide variety of technologies that can be used for fluid flow measurement, such as differential pressure, paddlewheel, electromagnetic, and ultrasonic. Furthermore, each technology has multiple installation configurations. It is important to understand the nuances of different technologies and installations in order to pick the right flowmeter for your application. 

When purchasing a flowmeter for an HVAC application, such as boiler feed water monitoring or chilled/condenser water monitoring, we found that our customers value the ability to hot-tap (or pressure tap) a pipe to install an insertion flowmeter. This is done by installing an isolation valve in a pipe, allowing an insertion flowmeter to be placed into and removed from a live system without having to drain it. Draining a system is time consuming, costly, and generally not a good option for HVAC systems in buildings because it requires the entire system to be shut down. Permanently installing a hot-tap valve followed by an insertion flowmeter (with hot-tap capability) is an ideal alternative to a costly inline meter. 

When considering an insertion flowmeter for an HVAC application, there are four key sources of error to be aware of:  Continue reading “How the Dwyer Series IEF and IEFB Overcome Typical Sources of Error”

Decrypting Thermal Energy Meter Accuracy

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo da Vinci

These days, energy conservation is on everyone’s mind. From cost savings to environmental concerns, there are many well-known benefits to conserving energy. But understanding exactly how to do so can be confusing. In order to conserve energy, you must know precisely how much energy you are using.

There are many different methods and tools that can be used to measure your energy consumption, depending on your application. In this post, we will focus on thermal energy measurement and management in hydronic systems. In keeping true to Da Vinci’s quote, we will keep our explanation as simple and straightforward as possible.

Continue reading “Decrypting Thermal Energy Meter Accuracy”

Gas Mass Measurement

Energy costs are rising around the world. In the United States, the cost of electricity, natural gas, and coal are all expected to increase in 2020.[1] As oil prices increase, energy costs are rising in Britain, and in Australia, the cost of electricity has skyrocketed.[2] It will become increasingly necessary to manage costs by maintaining efficient operation of energy systems as energy prices continue to rise.

Steam is a common byproduct of energy generation in boiler systems. When energy is generated in a boiler system, heat energy is transferred to water, which generates steam used for heating. Measuring the steam produced by a boiler is the most logical way to measure boiler output, but it is extremely difficult to measure steam output accurately.[3] In a world where energy costs are only expected to increase, it is imperative that boiler output be measured accurately in order to conserve both money and energy. Continue reading “Gas Mass Measurement”

The Key to Energy Efficiency

“In the real estate industry you always hear this phrase, ‘Location, location, location.’ I think for energy management systems the key is ‘Execution, execution, execution.'”[1]

— Sara Lisauskas, Energy Management Systems: Maximizing Energy Savings

What comes to mind when you think of the phrase “energy efficient?” Perhaps you think of LED light bulbs, electric cars, Energy Star appliances, or LEED-certified buildings. But energy efficiency isn’t limited to “green” products or certifications. Continue reading “The Key to Energy Efficiency”