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Title: Technology Solutions Case Study: Advanced Boiler Load Monitoring Controls, Chicago, Illinois

Most of Chicago’s older multifamily housing stock is heated by centrally metered steam or hydronic systems. The cost of heat is typically absorbed into the owner’s operating cost and is then passed to tenants. Central boilers typically have long service lifetimes; the incentive for retrofit system efficiency upgrades is greater than equipment replacement for the efficiency-minded owner. System improvements as the “low-hanging fruit” are familiar, from improved pipe insulation to aftermarket controls such as outdoor temperature reset (OTR) or lead/lag controllers for sites with multiple boilers. Beyond these initial system efficiency upgrades are an emerging class of Advanced Load Monitoring (ALM) aftermarket controllers that dynamically respond to the boiler load, with claims of 10% to 30% of fuel savings over a heating season. In this project, the Building America team Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR) installed and monitored an ALM aftermarket controller, the M2G from Greffen Systems, at two Chicago area multifamily buildings with existing OTR control. Results show that energy savings depend on the degree to which boilers are oversized for their load, represented by cycling rates. Also, savings vary over the heating season with cycling rates, with greater savings observed in shoulder months. Over the monitoring period,more » oversized boilers at one site showed reductions in cycling and energy consumption in line with prior laboratory studies, while less oversized boilers at another site showed muted savings.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Research Org:
Partnership for Advanced Residential
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B) (Building America)
Country of Publication:
United States
residential; Residential Buildings; PARR; Building America; Central Heating; Hydronic Boiler; Low-Rise Multifamily; Outdoor Temperature Reset; Load Monitoring