Discover Copper Online

Fall 1997

More Copper Makes More Space

Small-footprint boilers from Raypack (left) and Lochivar (right) are compact enough to slide through conventional doors for installation. Their compactness is attributable to highly efficient heat exchanges fabricated out of copper finned tubing as shown in the boiler (center) with its cover removed.

Small-footprint, high-efficiency boilers based on copper heat exchangers offer architects, builders and building owners major benefits.

For instance, architects can design new or renovated buildings with low-ceiling boiler rooms because even the largest compact boilers are no more than 7 feet high; conventional fire-box boilers require rooms with ceilings as high as 18 feet.

The public high school in Taylor, Michigan, is a showcase for the advantages of compact boilers. Two old, leaky, often-repaired boilers installed in the basement of the school when it was built in 1956 were condemned as beyond repair at the beginning of the 1993 fall term. Lochinvar Corporation, Nashville, Tennessee, came to the rescue. Six of its Model 2070 "Copper-Fin 11" boilers were delivered and installed before the cold weather set in.

Higher Efficiency Pays For Itself

According to Don Wheeler, sales and service manager for the installer, Mortz Brothers Corporation, Farmington Hills, Mich., the $116,650 cost of the six new boilers has already been recouped through energy savings. "The new boilers are 84% efficient, compared to less than 70% for the old ones. In addition, the new boilers provide more heat, enough to keep the school warm when the weather outside plunges to -20 F, which the old boilers could not do. Comfort levels are also higher because the new boilers can be activated one by one to match heating needs, whereas the old boilers could only be timed on and off together."

Because the school is supplied by non-aggressive water from nearby Detroit, copper-finned (C12200) heat exchangers were specified. For localities with more aggressive, corrosive water, Lochinvar provides finned heat exchangers made of copper-nickel alloy C71500. These more durable exchangers add only 5% to the cost of boilers.

Cost-cutting Locations For Boilers

There are other ways in which small-footprint boilers benefit building owners, according to Lou Falzer, vice president of marketing, Raypak, Inc., Westlake, California. Because the boilers weigh only a fraction as much as conventional boilers, they can be installed on the roofs of buildings. Besides saving space, this also eliminates the need for exhaust vents rising from the basement to above the roof.

When the boilers are installed outdoors alongside the buildings they service, vents can be very short. in addition, because of their 1-dgher efficiency, compact boilers can be equipped with narrower-cross-section vents, another cost saving.

In some instances, rooftop or outdoor installation enables owners to avoid the high cost of dismantling and carting away bulky old boilers installed during construction of the buildings they served and, are therefore, very difficult to remove. It's even possible to seal spaces containing old boilers insulated with asbestos rather than contracting with specialists to remove the asbestos, another big saving.

In addition to boilers, Raypak, a subsidiary of New York based Rheem Manufacturing Company, also makes pool and spa natural gas heaters, spa electric heaters, heat pumps, and gas booster heaters for washing dishes in restaurants. All Raypak products use copper, copper-nickel or red brass components. The finned copper (C12200) and copper-nickel (C70600) tubing in the heat exchangers is from Wolverine Manufacturing, Decatur, Alabama. The cast red brass is C83600 from Martin Brass Corp., Torrance, Calif.

Lochinvar Corp: 615/889-8900
Martin Brass: 310/320-0641
Mortz Brothers: 248/478-2090
Raypak: 818/889-1500
Wolverine Mfg.: 800/1635-3342

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