© Photo | HTP

Pioneers in heating tech­nology

Heat Transfer Prod­ucts manu­fac­tures highly effi­cient heaters applying the latest tech­nolo­gies. And it is the first company in the world to employ an elec­tronic control for gas combus­tion from ebm-papst.

Saving energy starts at home. that is why Dave Davis also tests new equip­ment himself: “A Lamb­da­Con­stant system has been heating my own pool for years now and it works superbly!” Davis has been Managing Director of Heat Transfer Prod­ucts (HTP) since 2006. Ever since it was set up, the company has been committed to effi­ciency on the Amer­ican heating tech­nology market. The Mass­a­chu­setts-based company started to develop and produce heat exchangers for heating boilers and for the solar industry in 1974. in the late 1990s, the company intro­duced condensing boiler tech­nology from land­shut to the Amer­ican market — trig­gering a devel­op­ment that has continued until today. HtP has since become a pioneer in the field of ultra­ef­fi­cient water heating. “the people from Heat Transfer Prod­ucts are true pioneers in heating tech­nology,” stresses Manfred Kratzer of Export Sales at ebm-papst Land­shut.

At the turn of the century, HTP was care­fully moni­toring what the engi­neers at the lower Bavarian ebm-papst loca­tion were devel­oping: a control model that auto­mat­i­cally adjusts the burner for different types of gas and which requires less instal­la­tion time for commis­sioning. in 2005, a dele­ga­tion visited Land­shut and was quickly taken by the Lamb­da­Con­stant system. “We are committed to Euro­pean tech­nology to make our prod­ucts even better and to advance the Amer­ican market. For that reason, we quickly indi­cated to ebm-papst that we were inter­ested in working on and with Lamb­da­Con­stant for use in our heating systems,” explains Davis. HTP spent the last three years conducting extreme field tests on 25 units in different parts of the USA to deter­mine the effi­ciency, flex­i­bility and robust­ness of the Lamb­da­Con­stant system. Some units were fitted to a jeep and driven through the moun­tains of Colorado. others were installed in log cabins and others were tested at camping sites. “We had units at eleva­tions of 3,000 metres and we had units at sea level,” explains Dave Davis.

HTP engi­neers main­tained constant contact with ebm-papst throughout the tests. “Both compa­nies bene­fited from this,” explains Manfred Kratzer. The learning effects of the extreme tests constantly made the Lamb­da­Con­stant system even better. In return, the two models from HTP’s Elite plus line were scru­ti­nised and contin­u­ously improved at Land­shut. the engi­neers regu­larly exchanged infor­ma­tion in fort­nightly tele­phone confer­ences, frequently even more often. “We were working on effi­ciency and on improving indi­vidual compo­nents right to the very end,” stresses Kratzer. The small number of compo­nents is a char­ac­ter­istic of the Lamb­da­Con­stant system that Dave Davis also high­lights: a fan with a mass flow sensor, a gas burner, a control unit and a display. Done.

But what Davis likes best about the gas blower with elec­tronic control is that it auto­mat­i­cally adjusts to suit the type of gas and the gas content. That is espe­cially impor­tant in some parts of the USA, where propane and other types of gas are used to increase the gas pres­sure. “There is a large market for this in the USA. You don’t need measure­ments or addi­tional jets or complex config­u­ra­tion work to convert Lamb­da­Con­stant from one type of gas to another,” stresses Davis. The adapt­ability is made possible by a mass flow sensor that measures the gas/air mixture flowing through the unit.

This inge­nious device makes Lamb­da­Con­stant flex­ible for other influ­ences such as differ­ences in eleva­tion and fluc­tu­a­tions in pres­sure in the piping system, as Dave Davis stresses. “At higher eleva­tions, Lamb­da­Con­stant has one great advan­tage: the heating systems work just as effi­ciently even at eleva­tions up to 3,000 metres.” The system doesn’t just monitor the flow rate, it actu­ally regu­lates the gas flow. This means that differ­ences in pres­sure in long systems of pipes are no longer of signif­i­cance. that is a char­ac­ter­istic that cannot be under­es­ti­mated in the large private house­holds typi­cally found in the USA.

Despite only having a few compo­nents, Lamb­da­Con­stant has lots of inno­va­tion. Another major advan­tage of the system is the extra­or­di­nary modu­la­tion of 1:10. “We had to recog­nise that the ability of today’s effi­cient heating boilers to respond quickly is both a blessing and a deter­ment,” explains Davis. If only a small load is demanded from a heating system, conven­tional burners with a modu­la­tion of 1:4 switch off. In order to supply hot water without delay when demand is increased, they work by storing the energy in an inter­me­diate reser­voir. The burner inter­mit­tently heats up the reser­voir content, switching on, off, on again — and in doing so it burns gas unnec­es­sarily. By contrast, the fine modu­la­tion of the Lamb­da­Con­stant allows the burner to continue running at an extremely low level when demand is low. Nobody else offers a system that is compa­rably inno­v­a­tive in the USA.

Despite the diffi­cult economic situ­a­tion, there is a major move­ment in the USA towards the use of energy-effi­cient, low emis­sions tech­nolo­gies. These ultra-effi­cient prod­ucts currently enjoy a market share of about 12-15 percent. “Previous tech­nolo­gies have an effi­ciency factor of about 85 percent. Our prod­ucts have a factor of up to 98 percent, and they are winning ever more market share,” Davis is certain. But growth will be a slow process: “Ultra-effi­cient prod­ucts are expen­sive in their initial procure­ment, and home owners don’t have much money right now, so at the moment they are tending not to choose more effi­cient systems.” However, the heating pioneer is convinced that the two Elite plus units that will be launched in mid-2010 will conquer the market in the same way as the first condensing boiler systems did 15 years ago. “Lamb­da­Con­stant simply gives us a huge market lead over all of our competi­tors.”

What is special about this system for condensing boiler heating systems is the combi­na­tion of an intel­li­gent gas blower and a control unit. A sensor measures the mass of the gas/air mixture and the combus­tion is auto­mat­i­cally adjusted. In addi­tion, Lamb­da­Con­stant has a modu­la­tion of 1:10. This means that combus­tion can be reduced to just one tenth of full power, not just to one quarter, the level that is currently stan­dard on the market. If only a small amount of heat is needed, the burner runs on low power instead of constantly being switched off and back on again. The system ensures optimum combus­tion, regard­less of the type of gas, the eleva­tion of the place of oper­a­tion and the heat required.

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  • tomislav on said:

    itlooks very effi­cient, saving! nice for todays life;)