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FieldReport


Saving additional energy costs through convenient methods


(Continued from page 164.)


electric water-to-water heat pump, de- pending on the required radiant floor water temperature and depending on which source is cheaper to run. “The awesome advantage of drop-


ping the tank water temperature that low is that, as soon as the sun hits the solar panels the next morning, we al- ready have enough temperature differ- ential to start heating the four solar storage tanks. This allows us to switch from boiler mode to water-to-air heat pump mode (while we continue to raise the solar storage tank tempera- ture). Once the tanks are hot enough, we change to solar mode and, once again, heat our radiant floor directly from the tanks.” According to McTavish, even at


currently low prices for natural gas, as long as the storage tanks are above 40°, it is more efficient to draw heat


the house directly via the forced-air system.”


Control convenience “Out of the box, Network will do an


occupied and an unoccupied mode,” Blum said. “To further meet Mc- Tavish’s needs, we were able to add a vacation-occupancy mode with a little extra custom programming.” The vacation-occupancy mode


helps save additional energy costs for the McTavish residence. For example, when McTavish is away for two weeks in February or March, the Net- work System in vacation mode acti- vates the solar to heat the house to 80° during the day. Consequently, it never cools down to the 55° set point at night. The only energy expended to keep the house warm is running a few circulators during the day. When McTavish puts the house in


Mechanical room scene: At the upper right are Uponor zone valve controls and Uponor digital zone control module, which control the flow of warm water to the various parts of the radiant floor heating system.


at the heat coming off the solar panels, check to see how long the boiler’s been running, observe the outside tempera- ture and monitor the swimming pool temperature. It’s nice to be able to track all that in real time.”


Better than DDC According to Blum, who has com-


missioned seven Climate Control Net- work Systems in the greater Denver area and has a background in DDC (di- rect digital control) systems, Network offers residential contractors several advantages over DDC. “My first DDC project was a home


In front of the Viessmann 200F solar panel installation’s 64 panels are (l-r): Al Wallace, president of Energy Environmental Corp.; homeowner Tim McTavish; and Ray Blum, heating manager at Dahl of Denver.


from the solar storage tanks than to use the gas forced-air system. When it comes to heating the pool,


McTavish can use a combination of four options, depending on the heating demand and which is the most energy- efficient: • Deck pavers with a hydronic ra-


diant system underneath • Solar hot water panels • The 5-ton water-to-water GSHP,


which runs against either the pond or heat-extraction pavers • Two other GSHPs (the 4-ton or 3-


ton water-to-air unit). “In the summer, the heat pumps


cool the house by dumping the heat to the pool,” explained Wallace. “That process is 800% efficient. For $1 of electricity, they’re getting $4 of cool- ing in the house and $4 hot water heat- ing in the pool. In the winter, the heat pumps can run directly against the solar hot water storage tanks to heat


vacation mode, he can do so at a single point in the system, but it affects everything on the Network; that is, it drops set points, shuts off recirculation pumps, etc. What’s more, all of this is accomplished with minimal interac- tion from the homeowner. Switching to vacation mode — or


any other — can also be done re- motely. If vacation plans change, the user can extend or abbreviate the va- cation mode. “McTavish was able to make


changes to his system while on a dif- ferent continent,” said Blum. “When he was in Africa on a mission trip, guests came to stay at the house, and he was able to set the temperatures for the time the guests were there and change them back after they left.” McTavish added: “Having Internet


accessibility is the best feature of all. I look at my system on a daily basis — whether I’m at home or away. I look


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west of Boulder,” he recalled. “Several VPs from Honeywell wanted to tour the home to understand why a residen- tial structure would need DDC. For McTavish, as far as integrating a sys- tem with this level of complexity, you’re really looking at a DDC plat- form. “The nice thing about Network is


that it’s preprogrammed to do different functions, but a DDC is typically blank. While the Network is com- pletely customizable, the only pro- gramming required is what you want


above and beyond what the system al- ready has.” This preprogramming delivers an-


other advantage — time. According to Blum, programming a “blank” DDC must be done from scratch: “If we had to run all the McTavish programming from scratch, it would have taken about four times as long as the Net- work took.” Blum said that Network’s “finished


look” is another benefit as well. “It’s hard to get consumers to spend money on things they don’t see,” he remarked. “With Network, we can produce really nice graphics in an interface that is comfortable for homeowners. This way, they really get to see what they’re paying for.” Wallace concurred: “When you’re in


a price war over a commodity like GSHPs, offering an integrated control package with a user-friendly interface like Network can give contractors a competitive edge. I think consumers are looking for this kind of system, and it would be in contractors’ best inter- ests to learn more about total system integration controls. It’s not that hard to learn, yet it’s very powerful.” n


•THE WHOLESALER® — MARCH 2011


Ray Blum (left), heating manager at Dahl of Denver, and Al Wallace, president of Energy Environmental Corp., in the McTavish mechanical room with a laptop computer showing the CCN interface display on its screen for monitoring and controlling the system. Switching the system to vacation mode — or any other mode — can be done remotely with a laptop.


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