Heating & ventilation: Intelligence by design

  • 16 Mar 2016

Chris Goggin, associate director at continuous flow water heating product manufacturer, Rinnai, looks at how intelligence by design future-proofs product and installations against rising energy prices and any forthcoming legislation…

Energy efficient continuous flow condensing gas fired water heaters offer a tankless form of hot water delivery that can have huge ongoing financial benefits to building owners and tenants. This is even before the advanced energy saving technologies of the units themselves are taken into account.

Chris Goggin

Chris Goggin of continuous flow water heating product manufacturer Rinnai.

Manufacturers know that major investment in the latest energy saving technologies for their products is the only way to ensure energy efficiencies that future-proof against rising fuel prices and any new legislation coming up.

Technologically advanced and renewables-ready heavy-duty condensing continuous flow units are now on the market that guarantee the highest efficiencies and, therefore, the lowest running costs of any commercial water heater.

One current model has shown an impressive energy performance of 107% net efficiency while another has turned in 105% net efficiency in tests.

For large commercial operations, a recently-launched premium condensing continuous flow water heater is pushing boundaries, having been tested to below 20ppm NOx, producing the lowest emissions on the market, with 107% gross efficiencies.

This unit is a prime example of intelligence by design. The renewables-ready low NOx series is the first heater of its kind to utilize this patented pre-mix burner technology. The newly developed down-firing burner allows increased efficiency and reduces NOx gases. It has a 13-1 turn down ratio – the largest on the market – of 58.4-4.5kW and is ultra quiet in operation – so quiet that you wouldn’t know it was on unless you glance at the number on the display.

By taking a longer view, far beyond the parameters of the product itself, looking at the environments in which they are put to work, these advanced units meld technology with practicality to ensure the best possible performance in operation.

Heating and hot water account for more than one third of UK business energy consumption, so having firm control over this area via BMS gateway technology can really help to reduce energy bills and achieve all-important CSR environmental requirements on carbon reduction.

And as we continue to look for greener solutions, it is reassuring to know that the hot water produced by one of these clever condensing continuous flow water heaters can also be utilised as a secondary heat source for a solar or ASHP-boosted hot water delivery system. This is unequivocally one of the most energy efficient of all methods available today.


A gas fired condensing unit, used as a gas booster for solar systems, maximises solar gain, as it only consumes energy when the renewables gain cannot achieve the desired temperature.

A gas fired condensing unit, used as a gas booster for solar systems, maximises solar gain, as it only consumes energy when the renewables gain cannot achieve the desired temperature. The rest of the time the unit is inactive. It is also the only booster that ensures never-ending hot water – no matter the demand, so people can shower or bath any time of the day or night. Energy is only used when the renewable thermal energy store is below its set-point, thus reducing the dependency on fossil fuel and reducing CO2 emission.

The appliance will maximize performance and minimize energy input at this point, as it will only apply the precise amount of energy to boost the temperature, taking full advantage of the turn down ratio discussed earlier.

By utlising products that incorporate energy saving technology and have access to building management systems – and which have the capacity to boost renewables performance – all means that end users are now in a position to really take advantage of all the benefits of intelligence by design.

Not only will building owners be able to slash running costs and reduce carbon related to hot water services, they will easily meet – and surpass – the demands of CSR requirements and current and future legislation.

Find out more in the March issue of ABC+D Magazine

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