December 20, 2012

Nicor Rebate Program helping businesses save

From left to right: DRF’s Scott Schnurr, Dominican University president Donna M. Carroll, and Nicor Gas president Beth Reese pose with the check Dominican University received through participating in the Nicor Gas Business Custom Incentive Program.

 
Through participating in the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program, Dominican University was given the opportunity to upgrade existing heating equipment in its facilities, and save significantly in the process.

Developed to offer large businesses the opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities and save money, Dominican participated in the Nicor Gas Business Custom Incentive Program, which provides financial incentives for the installation of high-efficiency equipment not covered by the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program’s Business Rebate Program. Through the program, businesses can receive up to $500,000 on their gas-savings projects per year.

According to Nicor, incentives are paid based on energy savings beyond baseline energy performances, such as state or federal codes and standards, industry-accepted performance standards, or other baseline energy performance standards as determined by the Nicor Business Custom Incentive Program.

The current cycle of the program is available for projects installed from June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2014, or until funds are depleted. Per Nicor requirements, post-installation inspections must be conducted and final applications must be submitted to the program by June 30, 2014. Businesses seeking to participate in the program must attain pre-approval in order to become eligible.

Detailed information regarding the program can be found in the Nicor Gas Business Custom Incentive Program handbook.

Dominican began working with DRF Trusted Property Solutions of Plainfield, Ill. in 2010 when DRF observed a large amount of gas being used during the summer months. After developing an initial project design that did not qualify for the Nicor Gas Business Custom Incentive Program, nor provide the desired financial benefits, DRF turned to Metropolitan Industries to help provide a custom solution.

The final project design included three individual point of use systems customized to handle specified heating demands.

Metropolitan HVAC salesperson Matt Brickey praised the program’s ability to assist businesses seeking to conduct retro-fit upgrades progress in an expedited fashion.

“In the case of Dominican University, this program not only helped cover some of the costs of the custom equipment and installation, the gas savings realized will continue to give back for years to come,” said Brickey. “Because of the financial benefits the rebate program offers, it can help prospective customers who may be facing budget constraints get projects moving in the right direction.”

For complete information regarding this project, please visit The Chief Engineer, which profiled the project in its December issue.

For information regarding our custom HVAC solutions and how you may be eligible to save through the Nicor Gas Business Custom Incentive Program, please contact a Metropolitan representative at (800) 323-1665 or visit www.metropolitanind.com.

November 15, 2012

Local municipality completes major lift station renovation

With the help of Metropolitan Industries, the Village of Romeoville, Ill. implemented major upgrades to its O’Hara Woods lift station.

 
Metropolitan Industries has extensive experience in the implementation and upgrade of lift stations. For over 50 years, we have provided components and even complete prefabricated lift stations as single-source systems that include all equipment required for operation.

Services such as design assistance and a 24/7 service department help ensure systems are engineered to meet the owner’s specifications in a variety of sizes. For the complete system, a station can be combined with a “MetroFab” custom-designed, prefabricated housed system. Housed systems are factory pre-piped and wired, and are shipped fully assembled for easy installation. Like a prefabricated lift station, these systems can also be customized to meet any specifications you require.

A recent example of a customer’s desire for a significant upgrade to their existing facilities is the work completed at the Romeoville, Ill. O’Hara Woods lift station.

Working with an existing duplex sanitary lift station, the village decided to make many custom upgrades to the site.

“The existing 20-year-old duplex system was still functioning fine, but an upgrade was needed due to village growth and the planning for future development,” said Metropolitan salesperson Keith Girup. “To keep up with the demand, the station was upgraded to a triplex system by utilizing the existing duplex wet well and a parallel existing manhole for a simplex wet well to house the three new pumps. We also supplied three precast concrete enclosures which, when installed on the concrete pad, were made to look like one common building. The three separate rooms make up the building, and house the new lift station controls, standby generator and chemical dosing system all under a common 28-foot by 28-foot roof.”

The previous configuration did not feature enough pumping capacity to keep up with the station’s increased demand.

 
In total, the system now has three eight-inch submersible, non-clog, explosion-proof sewage pumps each with a capacity of 2,084 GPM at 99 feet of TDH. Each pump motor is rated at 125 HP, 1750 RPM, 60 Hz, 480 volt, three-phase.

Control system upgrades were made to replace obsolete equipment not capable of operating the new horsepower and new quantity of pumps. In addition, the prefabricated concrete buildings gave the customer a more secure and attractive solution. Metropolitan supplied the three prefabricated buildings and provided a simulated “Ashlar Stone” finish as an attractive exterior design. Inside walls are painted concrete and the owner chose an aesthetically pleasing metal roof to complete the buildings.

In addition to housing the new controls, another primary benefit of the lift station upgrade was the addition of new variable frequency drives.

“All pumps are variable speed meaning they will speed up or slow down to match the influent rate,” said Girup. “This type of application only uses electrical consumption as needed, thus saving energy.”

Another upgrade included in-place standby power.

“When power loss would occur in the previous configuration, the customer needed to mobilize personnel and a portable generator unit to support the remote lift station,” said Girup. “In the new configuration, the permanent standby 400 kW, diesel-fueled generator will support all three pumps during a power failure automatically.”

An additional advantage of including a permanent generator is phase protection. If any phase of power is dropped at any time, the generator’s automatic transfer switch will recognize the power failure and supply clean power from the generator to the pumps until the full power supply is regained. Because pump motors may burn up during dropped phases, or brown outs, the permanent generator provides further investment protection to the lift station.

In addition to the standby generator, a chemical dosing system was supplied to replace the existing system. The new chemical system provides accurate feeding of treatment chemicals via a dosing pump that paces the total sewage discharge flow rate and reduces the frequency of chemical replenishment by increasing the volume of the storage tank, thus reducing fees associated with chemical delivery. The implementation of a chemical tank was deemed necessary per customer specifications. The chemical is used for odor control and to start the biological process of the sewage, assisting in the treatment process.

Surveillance cameras and anti-graffiti coating were also part of the new control and SCADA system upgrades.

New equipment was needed to monitor flow and tie in the third pump. A polyurea-coated, prefabricated meter and valve vault with measurements of 16 feet in length and 8 feet in diameter was also included to connect the new simplex pump system with the existing duplex system and also includes flood-proof hatches. Flood-proof hatches were provided due to the fact the lift station is located directly next to a large pond. The hatch elevations now all exceed the 100-year flood event elevation, however, if the customer does encounter significant rainfall, the hatches are water tight and will not allow water into the wet well, valve vault or meter vault.

A number of accommodations were made for the customer while upgrades were taking place, the most important being the need to keep the station functioning during construction.

Among the many upgrades provided to the O’Hara Woods lift station was the addition of new controls.

 
“A great deal of planning was done ahead of time to make the field installation, start-up and integration into the SCADA system seamless,” said Girup. “All of the buildings were pre-wired and all controls were programmed before arrival on-site, making the transition as efficient as possible. The prefabricated components of the project allowed the contractor to save on bypass pumping due to the expedited nature of prefabricated system installation.”

An existing control enclosure also needed to be moved to a strategic location for installation to occur simultaneously with the existing lift station still in service. The existing control box was located close to where the prefabricated buildings would be installed. The contractor and supplier made sure the entire transplant of controls remained reliable and the customer did not miss a beat in regards to system operation, data acquisition and potential alarm notification.

“The prefabricated buildings were chosen for a variety of reasons, including cost and security,” said Girup. “Alternatives such as a large steel traffic box enclosure would have been nearly as costly, but would not have provided the same level of security that the buildings provide.”

The project reflects Metropolitan’s commitment and ability to meet the customer’s needs with ease of installation and peace of mind while making a smooth transition to an upgraded system.

A large upgrade project such as the Romeoville O’Hara Woods job is a large undertaking for all involved not only financially, but in regards to keeping the existing system in operation while upgrades are taking place. Metropolitan’s expertise, customer service and fabrication abilities helped to ensure the best possible transition from the old existing system to a first class facility.

The new improvements include a total of three sewage pumps, and provide housing along with surveillance cameras and anti-graffiti coating for further protection.

 
Project engineer, Jon Zabrocki, P.E., of Robinson Engineering, LTD praised Metropolitan’s ability to supply and support all of the equipment needed for this installation.

“When you’re dealing with a project as complex as this, it’s comforting to know you’re working with a single-source provider who is willing to take on the responsibility of supplying and supporting anything you might need throughout the job,” said Zabrocki. “The end result is that the new system has exceeded our expectations and it shows what can be done when owner, contractor, supplier and engineer are all on the same page.”

Village of Romeoville, Ill. wastewater superintendent Bob Stoppenbach credited the village’s confidence in all parties involved for establishing a strong level of comfort throughout the entire rehabilitation process.

“We’ve worked with Metropolitan on many projects and knew they were very capable of delivering the quality of upgrades that we required,” said Stoppenbach. “We were very pleased at the project’s conclusion and look forward to working with them again in the future.”

For more information, please contact Keith Girup at 800-323-1665 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

November 1, 2012

Metropolitan teams up with LAARS®

Metropolitan customers now have access to a new line of boilers, water heaters and combination units.

 
Metropolitan Industries, Inc. is officially a representative of LAARS® Heating Systems Company, giving us a new line of residential and commercial boilers, water heaters and combination units.

LAARS® regional manager Van Culberson has held training at Metropolitan on separate occasions over the past month to ensure Metropolitan’s sales and service divisions are fully equipped with the information needed to maximize the partnership and best serve customers.

“This partnership will give Metropolitan access to our full line of residential and commercial products, which can be used in a variety of ways,” said Culberson. “We have units sized from 50,000 BTUs all the way up to 2.4 million BTUs that can be used in residential, commercial and industrial applications.”

Residential products include boilers, water heaters and combination heaters for indoor use.

“Some of our offerings on the residential side include our Mini-Therm gas-fired hydronic boiler and Endurance combination boiler, which are both 85 percent AFUE rated products,” said Culberson. “Another exciting item is our NeoTherm water heater, which is 95 percent efficient in operation and sized for both residential and commercial uses.”

Products such as the 95 percent efficient NeoTherm are now available from Metropolitan.

 
Commercial products include an assortment of boilers and water heaters for indoor and outdoor uses.

Much like residential merchandise, commercial systems are energy-efficient and sized to meet a number of challenges.

Culberson said company structure, customer service and an array of products help LAARS® distinguish itself from others within the marketplace.

“Today, customers require instantaneous solutions and at LAARS®, we can provide them,” said Culberson. “We operate in a flat company structure which ultimately allows us to service customers in an adept and timely fashion.”

Much like Metropolitan, LAARS® employs a full service department for premier reliability when issues arise.

“Our customer service is as good as, or even better than, anyone else,” said Culberson. “Our technical support, both pre and post-sale, is outstanding and we have full-time service managers that assist customers in remedying problems whenever they arise.”

Lastly, its full range of products and diverse uses give LAARS® the ability to service many needs.

“With products that range from 82 percent to 95 percent efficient and sized from 50,000 to 2.4 million BTUs, we’re able to serve a large market of customers and fill a wide range of needs,” Culberson said.

In regards to the partnership with Metropolitan, Culberson cited our company structure and personnel as primary factors as to why the joint venture makes sense for LAARS®.

“We can now develop packaged systems thanks to Metropolitan’s manufacturing abilities, which is something we’ve never had access to in the Chicagoland market,” said Culberson. “Metropolitan’s in-house service department is very beneficial to us as well. Keeping all capabilities under one roof makes servicing equipment efficient.”

Metropolitan president John Kochan Jr. believes the LAARS® line brings further diversity to Metropolitan and can allow our company to move into new markets when combined with our manufacturing, fabrication, sales and service departments.

“At Metropolitan, we’ve never been afraid to expand our horizons and we believe representing the LAARS® line can introduce us to new markets of customers,” said Kochan Jr. “The LAARS® line, combined with our manufacturing, fabrication, sales and service divisions, make us a good match.”

For more information regarding the LAARS® line please visit www.laars.com or contact a Metropolitan representative at 800-323-1665 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

September 20, 2012

Navien training seminars beneficial for all involved

Our commitment to providing training to industry professionals is one of the many reasons why Metropolitan makes an ideal business partner. By sharing our expertise with engineers, water/wastewater operators, city officials and more, those working in the field are fully prepared to best meet needs and challenges.

With this goal in mind, we recently held a Navien tankless water heaters training course at our facility. Metropolitan is the representative of Navien tankless water heaters, which are 98 percent efficient in operation. For residential applications, Navien heaters can lead to increased gas savings, save space, and provide an instant/endless supply of hot water. These features have led to increased popularity and demand of Navien heaters, making training for installers more and more pertinent.

Navien America’s David Hoskyn was on-hand to conduct training during our most recent course. Hoskyn, who has been involved in the wholesale business for nearly 20 years and has conducted Navien training throughout the Midwest for over a year, said all sides of the business benefit from training courses.

“Training is very important to Navien America since we understand the benefit to all of us, including Navien, the representatives, distributors and the contractor,” said Hoskyn. “This helps the contractor be more profitable by reducing callbacks due to misapplied or incorrectly installed products. It will also reduce service time due to a greater understanding of the components, their function and operation. Lastly, it helps everyone understand the service and warranty process, and how we as a company handle support and warranty issues.”

Hoskyn said the most recent training fostered the type of learning environment he strives for as an instructor.

“The most recent training that we held at Metropolitan was another example of a well-coordinated, well-executed class,” said Hoskyn. “The people attending the class were involved and interested in attaining a better understanding of the product. The class was not only a great mix of both installers and service technicians, but also people that have installed the product before and those who have not. This makes for a great variety of questions and comments, which helps everyone in the class, including myself.”

Overall, Hoskyn credits Metropolitan’s commitment to training as a primary reason why it makes a model partner in business for customers and suppliers.

“Metropolitan is an extremely valuable partner for Navien America,” said Hoskyn. “They understand the importance that training holds to not only our product, but all of the lines they carry. The sales and support that they provide to their customers are keys to the success we have in the market.”

For more information regarding Navien tankless water heaters or to inquire about Metropolitan trainings, please visit www.metropolitanind.com or contact 815-886-9200.

September 14, 2012

Energy-independent facility a win-win for Metropolitan

Metropolitan’s MetroGreen energy-independent facility features the latest advancements in Green technology.

 
At Metropolitan we’ve always said we’re committed to developing “Green” technologies, but nothing demonstrates this dedication more than our MetroGreen energy-independent facility. Located on-site at our headquarters in Romeoville, Ill., MetroGreen serves as a facility where both Metropolitan employees and visitors can learn basic and advanced concepts of Green technologies.

“We conceived the idea to develop MetroGreen around three years, with the end goal of not just educating visitors, but ourselves as well,” said Metropolitan’s Dick Harned. “We discussed acquiring Green products from some of our distributors via donations to use in the facility, and the idea was well received. Just a few months after we constructed the idea, everything was in place and we were conducting tours.”

Some of the energy-independent features of our MetroGreen site include:

Rainwater harvesting system: Water from the gutter system fills a 1500-gallon harvest tank needed for storage. A booster pump runs on either AC power or solar power depending on the homeowner’s preference. The system also includes a filter system, which removes 99.9 percent of contaminants before entering MetroGreen.

Solar and/or wind powered water well: Water well operates by using either wind or solar power, completely off the electric grid. Water well is only used when rainwater is not available.

Wastewater treatment system: A 500-gallon per day, three-step treatment system:

• Step one: Waste moves through trash tank for removal of any non-biodegradable materials.

• Step two: Tank allows for 3.5 CFM of diffused air that promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria that breaks down waste.

• Step three: Pump tanks to drip irrigation system located in field for release – drip line allows ½ gallons per hour into soil about 8 inches to 10 inches below the surface.

The wastewater treatment system feeds directly into the drip irrigation system.

 
Solar heating system: Solar bulbs turn sunlight into usable energy to heat water. Solar system heats water tank for distribution to fixtures and radiant floor heating system, if needed.

Standby natural gas boiler: Backup system for radiant flooring and domestic hot water heater. Boiler is high-efficiency, condensing-type and provides supplemental heat to solar system.

Automatic charging sink and fixture: When motion is sensed, sink will run and automatically charge battery that runs the motion sensor. Sink saves hundreds of gallons of water per year. Water-saving toilet uses less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

Sump and Sewage Backup System: Powered by SUMPRO® backup system.

In addition to these products, we have recently added new features MetroGreen, including a solar-heated hot tub, LED lighting and products from our Ion|StormPro® product line.

Harned said the recent addition of products reflects the changing nature of the Green market and that alternations will continue to be made to MetroGreen as new technologies are introduced.

“From the time we developed the concept to present day, this project has always been a work in progress in learning about Green products,” said Harned. “As new innovations are commenced, we will continue to update MetroGreen as a training module for the Metropolitan family and for our customer partners.”

While this development has been a monumental commitment for Metropolitan, it has given our employees a plethora of knowledge of Green products to work with, allowing us to expand our product base and expertise into new areas to better serve our customer partners.

“Our employees have certainly been big beneficiaries as MetroGreen’s development has progressed along the years,” said Harned. “We’ve been able to attain a great deal of knowledge regarding Green products, which has assisted us in developing a product line of applications designed to save energy and utilize renewable sources of energy.”

The other primary beneficiaries have been our customer partners and visitors.

“Many of the visitors we’ve had taking tours have a knowledge base of Green technology that only scratches the surface,” said Harned. “Our facility and sales staff can help visitors leave more informed and may ultimately assist them in deciding what Green products to invest in. It has been a win, win project for us.”

Full tours of our MetroGreen energy-independent facility will be available during our Open House on October 11, 2012.

For more information regarding MetroGreen, facility tours and Metropolitan’s Green products, please contact 815-886-9200 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

August 23, 2012

SUMPRO® Battery Backup, Because Flooding is Not an Option

Continuing our residential flood control series, the name SUMPRO® has been synonymous with dependability for over 20 years. UL recognized and a favorite among contractors, plumbers and homeowners around the country, the SUMPRO® battery backup system is the premier fully-automatic auxiliary power source available.

Performance tested for optimal functionality, SUMPRO® systems can be used in conjunction with pumps of the published horsepower ratings.

“What makes SUMPRO® such a high-end piece of equipment is its ability to take DC battery power and convert it into 115 VAC power,” said Metropolitan salesperson Brian Drafke. “This allows users to eliminate unreliable 12 VDC powered pumps and continuing using a standard 115 VAC pump without any modifications or piping changes.”

SUMPRO® systems install in minutes as users simply plug units into a standard wall outlet. Once detected, SUMPRO® will continue to use utility power until a power failure is detected. When a power failure is detected, SUMPRO® will instantaneously begin to supply standard household electricity to any connected appliances. Once utility power is restored, SUMPRO® automatically switches your appliance back to utility power and immediately begins to recharge its internal batteries in anticipation of the next power failure.

“Unlike some uninterrupted power supplies, SUMPRO® is designed to handle inrush power demanded by pumps,” said Drafke. “Without proprietary programming, SUMPRO® can start pumps even in long power outages when the battery power has diminished. The testing we’ve conducted has shown significant additional run times due to this feature.”

The typical installation of a SUMPRO® battery backup system.

SUMPRO® has input levels of 60 Hz, 120 VAC and 12 AMP, and output levels of 120 VAC and 15 AMP at a .80 service factor. Units can be shipped anywhere and come with a full one-year guarantee.

For premier performance, SUMPRO® can be combined with Metropolitan’s maintenance-free AGM Power+ batteries. By adding an extra set of Power+ batteries, users can double or triple their run times.

In addition to SUMPRO®, Metropolitan’s residential division offers full packages which include battery backup systems, pumps, float switches and pump controllers needed for complete flood protection.

For more information regarding the SUMPRO® battery backup system and our residential division, please visit the official website of SUMPRO® or call 800-323-1665.

July 11, 2012

Metropolitan Engineers Retrofit Upgrade to Commercial Building with Self-Priming Sewage and Sump Pump System

Self Priming Pump System

At Metropolitan, we can supply all equipment needed to keep your pump system functioning as efficient as possible. Our adaptability and knowledge of new technologies give us the ability to supply the most cutting-edge equipment, which can extend the life of a system, save end users funds and make maintenance easier than ever before.

A premier example of this technology is demonstrated by the work done at a large commercial building located in Lake County, Ill. At the request of the owner, the building name and location will remain confidential.

Metropolitan completed a retrofit application in which a total of eight self-priming sewage and sump pump systems were installed to replace aging equipment that was over 25 years old. Metropolitan was the supplier and designer of the retrofit project, crossing over the old style of pumps with the new of style pumps.

“We upgraded the customer to our new model 35-45 MPC self-priming pump system where they had been previously using the older 30 MPC model,” said Metropolitan Commercial Salesperson Kent Swanson. “The new system is more efficient, incorporates new and improved changes to the design of the impeller and provides larger housing for the pump among many improved features from the previous model.”

Swanson said Metropolitan was contacted at the project’s inception at the end of 2010 and that pumps officially went into operation in August of 2011. Swanson said the systems were built and shipped to the job site at once, accommodating the customer’s installation date request and ultimately assisting in the installation process.

“It helps coordinating with the customer when all systems are built and shipped before installation,” said Swanson. “With this type of approach, the plumber knows what materials they have to acquire and if any changes need to be made to the system design, we’re not finding out the day of the installation.”

Among the many improvements the new model 35-45 MPC provides in comparison to older models, Swanson named a few in particular that were illustrated in this project.

“The new design of the impeller makes it much easier to service the pump, so it’s more maintenance-friendly than the existing configuration,” said Swanson. “With the old style, you had to make more adjustments to the impeller to ensure the system would function properly. The new model system also provides for a more efficient operation, low installation cost and low repair cost.”

Swanson said the systems were installed in a number of locations at the facility.

An interesting aspect of the project was the utilization of stainless steel basin covers for systems installed in the facility’s parking garage pump rooms.

“Parking garages have a tendency to get a lot of water, often times just water seepage on the ground,” said Swanson. “We noticed the old covers were rusting away which is dangerous because anyone could fall right through and sustain a serious injury. What we did was incorporate stainless steel basin covers on the new systems with the benefit being corrosion resistance. Stainless steel will not rust and the customer will no longer have safety issues looming.”

In all, the customer made the choice to conduct a retrofit upgrade due to the advancements the new model provides.

“The customer was happy with the old pumps and the existing configuration,” said Swanson. “However, the pumps were aging and the new technology our new model provides made the decision to upgrade practical for the customer to make.”

Are Your Storm and Sewage Water Removal Capabilities In Need of an Upgrade?

Learn more about how our self-priming pump systems can vastly improve storm and sewage water management for your infrastructure.

July 5, 2012

Equipment Upgrades Bring Pump Station Efficient Operation

In addition to the equipment we supplied to the Joe Orr Road Lift Stations of Chicago Heights, Ill., Metropolitan was also chosen to supply equipment to the 71st Street Stormwater Pump Station in Bridgeview, Ill.  The control and power distribution equipment was housed in a prefabricated concrete building with outside dimensions of 10’6” in length and 10’4” in width.

The addition of variable frequency drives will provide the pump station with efficient operation, which will lead to energy savings for the customer.

 
Three Hydromatic model S12L4000 non-clog pumps with 100’ cords and silicon carbide seals were supplied.  Each pump has a capacity of 3142 GPM at 29.2’ TDH for a total pumping capacity of 9,426 GPM when operating in parallel.  Each motor is rated at 40 HP, 1150 RPM, 460 volts, 60 Hz and three phase.  A 125 kW natural gas, sound attenuated Caterpillar generator was also included in the equipment package.

Metropolitan’s Keith Girup said Metropolitan was contacted to take part in the project at its inception, and that the eventual place where the building would be placed and function had much to do with its overall design.

“This pump station is on the southwest side of Toyota Park on 71st Street in Bridgeview where an IDOT viaduct is being constructed so that traffic can flow under the railroad tracks,” said Girup.  “The pumps will displace stormwater during rain events to prevent the viaduct from flooding.”

Girup said additions of variable frequency drives and enhanced controls with SCADA components will provide the municipality with both energy efficient operation and alarm notification if procedure encounters a malfunction.

Control upgrades were made at Metropolitan and the building was shipped fully assembled and ready for installation.

 
“This station has been designed with variable frequency drives which will vary the speed of the pumps to match the rainfall event,” said Girup.  “By varying the speed of the pumps, the motors will only consume the amps needed to match the influent rate, thus saving on electrical costs.”

For more information, please contact Keith Girup at 815-886-9200, ext. 264 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

June 13, 2012

Metropolitan Goes Back To School

In its distinctive role among the many institutions of learning in America, Iowa Wesleyan College adheres to the ideals of its founding vision of social justice and human welfare on the local and international level by seeking to decrease its carbon footprint. In an attempt to bring a cleaner, greener and a more cost efficient heating system to their school, Iowa Wesleyan, in conjunction with Energy Systems Group, decided to replace their existing, centralized hydronic heating system with several more efficient, complete packaged boiler and primary piping pump systems from Metropolitan Industries.

ESG designed a system so that each building’s heating system would have equipment pre-assembled and manufactured for ease of installation. ESG decided Metropolitan Industries, the leading manufacturer of complete boiler and primary piping pump systems, was the right supplier for equipment development and construction. The campus upgrades also included additional geothermal heating/cooling facilities.

“After a few discussions about the design, we decided to provide high-efficiency, pre-packaged hybrid boiler systems assembled on prefabricated skids with the associated primary piping and pumps,” said Metropolitan’s HVAC Sales Manager Matt Brickey. “This type of design would allow for ease of installation by the contractor and reduce installation time dramatically. We realized moving the prefabricated system through the tight hallways and doorways posed a challenge, so the system was designed so that it could be manufactured in a way that split the skid in three different spots allowing for easier moving and maneuvering around tight spaces.”

The custom designed and engineered boiler systems were installed in five campus buildings: The McKibbin Dormitory, Student Union, Science Hall, Campus Library and the newly-renovated Chapel. In the McKibbin Dormitory and Student Union, hybrid boiler systems with heat exchangers were also packaged on the systems to satisfy the domestic hot water load.

High efficiency air separators manufactured by Spirotherm® were utilized to remove unwanted air that may have found its way into the system during the installation process. Spirovent® technology is designed to address all forms of air (entrapped, entrained and dissolved) that can be found in closed loop systems and remove nearly all of it. The coalescing medium creates a low velocity area inside the Spirovent® that allows air bubbles to rise and dirt to sink. There are no strainers, filters or replacement parts that can potentially become clogged. The flow always remains constant, without a high-pressure drop.

The end result is increased distribution efficiency, component life and heat transfer capabilities, along with decreased oxygen-based corrosion and pump cavitation, and the elimination of air related noises within the entire piping system.

Pictured are the new hybrid boiler system package and the primary piping pump system recently installed at Iowa Wesleyan's Science Hall.


How can you benefit using two different boilers?

In regards to Iowa Wesleyan’s energy consumption concerns, the primary reason for utilizing a modulated conventional boiler AND a condensing boiler is simple–together they are more efficient, have a lower initial cost and last longer.

For Iowa Wesleyan, the implementation of the hybrid boiler system was the ideal solution for their new heating system. They were able to save some upfront costs by purchasing a “standard” efficiency boiler, but were still able to benefit with the energy savings through the use of the high efficiency condensing boiler when conditions would allow.

Combustion air temperature also affects the net efficiency of the combustion process. Cold combustion air will absorb more energy released from burning the fuel than warmer combustion air; meaning colder combustion air reduces the efficiency of the appliance.

Lower return water temperatures and lower flue gas temperatures provide the best condensing operation. The condensing boilers recover the latent heat that is usually lost by harvesting the energy that is created when the water vapor in the flue gas is turned into a liquid.

When a customer’s boiler system is more efficient, it will not only save the customer money each year, it will also decrease their carbon footprint. The efficiency of the boiler system in part depends on the temperature of the return water. When the return water temperature is 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius) and above, the control system will run the conventional boiler. At 129 degrees Fahrenheit (53.9 degrees Celsius) and below, the control system will run the condensing boiler. The savings are maximized in temperate climates where winters are cold and summers are warm.

When the system uses the condensing boiler, the amount of usable, sensible heat that is generated is significantly larger than that of a conventional boiler system–creating true system efficiency.

Why not just use condensing boilers?

It may seem as if the perfect boiler system would simply use condensing technology. But if return water temperatures are too high, the condensing boiler will be only as efficient as a conventional type boiler. In a condensing boiler, when the temperature of the return water is too high and the air temperature is too cold, it will not allow a condensing boiler to operate in condensing mode. Initial capital costs can be reduced with a hybrid system by combining a lower cost conventional boiler with a premium efficiency condensing boiler.

Due to Iowa Wesleyan’s upgrades, carbon emissions are expected to reduce, which will translate into savings in total energy costs.

Every customer’s needs are unique and Metropolitan can tailor the solutions to meet your needs.

“What’s nice about these systems is that they’re completely customized to the client’s needs,” said Brickey. “Metropolitan Industries can configure the piping, boilers and system components in any manner to ease the installation process for a new or retrofit application.”

In the case of Iowa Wesleyan College, the savings are significant.

For more information regarding HVAC products, please contact Matt Brickey at 815-886-9200, ext. 266 or sales@metropolitanind.com.

November 17, 2010

Reduce Boiler Fuel Consumption by 50 Percent

Boiler Reduces Fuel Consumption 50%

HVAC Sales Engineer Matt Brickey operates the new boiler system during start-up of the system.

The life blood of any commercial building is the mechanical systems running behind the scenes that include domestic water booster systems, fire suppression pump systems and HVAC systems.

Of the three mechanical components, HVAC is by far the largest consumer of energy due to the sheer nature of how they are specified and designed. The school of thought in the HVAC community is size everything for peak demand without considering demand fluctuates, especially during warmer months when demand is at the lowest.

The biggest misconception when specifying a boiler system is, “If I specify a boiler at 90% efficiency then the plant will operate at 90% efficiency.” This is false because during light load conditions, such as during warm months, boiler efficiency becomes random which results in poor overall, “cycle” efficiency. In other words, “Seasonal Efficiency,” is only 50-80% of measured efficiency resulting in no realized energy savings during the warm months when your boiler runs less.

Metropolitan Industries, Inc., located in Romeoville, Ill., has a solution that reduces boiler fuel consumption by 20-50% using a patented procedure that addresses seasonal efficiency, which increases cycle efficiency therefore reducing fuel consumption dramatically.

Case Study – Multi Occupancy Condominium

A great example of this technology was demonstrated by the work done at a 139 unit Condominium located in Will County, Ill. At the request of the owner, the building name and location of the project is to remain confidential.

To address the leaking heating pumps located in the ceiling, Metropolitan had the contractor move them to floor level for easier inspection and service.

The existing system had two problems the first being the plant ran inefficiently due to the boilers being the sole heat source for the domestic water. Due to this, they operated all year round, even during the summer months. The inefficient design operated by pumping city water and boiler water through a shell and tube heat exchanger mounted near the ceiling. Since there was no way to prevent gravity flow of hot water through the heating system return lines, the radiation caused the building to stay warm all year, even in the dog days of summer. This resulted in increased fuel consumption and increased electrical consumption as well because air conditioners witnessed an additional load imposed by the uncontrolled flow of unwanted heat from the boiler plant and needed to run overtime.

The second problem was the existing heating pumps were leaking and had been since day one. There were eight zone pumps serving four zones. Three zones were for space heating and the other zone for domestic hot water heating. The reason why they leak was because they were mounted near the ceiling without the proper supports. This made it difficult to service the pumps given a technician need to perform the work on a ladder.

Green Performance Solution

To solve the inefficient operation of the plant, Metropolitan Industries installed a “summer boiler,” sized to the requirements of the domestic hot water heating system. This allows the owner to turn off the boiler completely when a heating load is non-existent. The result is energy savings up to 50% because the new boiler system handles the small summer loads efficiently and eliminates short cycling and cycle losses.

The summer boiler is so efficient that the owner can run it year round for more efficient domestic water heating meaning the building can now be heated with only one boiler in all but the most severe weather promotes more efficient boiler loading for improved energy performance.

Green Distribution Solution

To address the issue of the leaky heating pumps, Metropolitan moved the domestic water heat exchanger and blending valve to floor level for easier inspection and

Pictured is the variable-speed, duplex domestic water booster system with total system capacity of 220 GPM at a system pressure of 95 PSI.

service Workers no longer needed to climb on ladders when servicing the heat exchanger or blending valves. This not only improves staff and contractor safety but reduced maintenance costs overall due to the easier and less expensive service.

One of the biggest benefits is the control over domestic hot water temperatures. No longer will they have spikes or drifts of temperature irregardless of no load or light load conditions. The elimination of spikes in temperature was important given residents were at risk for being injured.

There were benefits as well with the relocation of the heat exchanger and blending valves to the floor. For one, it reduced the safety hazards associated with working on ladders when servicing the heat exchanger or blending valves improving contractor safety.  Also with the new pumps, the constant leaking was eliminated.

Realized Energy Savings

With the installation of the “summer boiler”, new heat exchanger and blending valve, the building owner realizes a 20-50% reduction in fuel consumption on any given day depending on load conditions. The entire package combines indirect water heating, condensing water heating and the blending valve function all into one complete system. Metropolitan Industries is the only company currently providing this technology. For more information, contact Matt Brickey at 815-886-9200 ext. 266 for a complete analysis of your system.