skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Thermostatic Radiator Valve Evaluation

Abstract

A large stock of multifamily buildings in the Northeast and Midwest are heated by steam distribution systems. Losses from these systems are typically high and a significant number of apartments are overheated much of the time. Thermostatically controlled radiator valves (TRVs) are one potential strategy to combat this problem, but have not been widely accepted by the residential retrofit market. In this project, the ARIES team sought to better understand the current usage of TRVs by key market players in steam and hot water heating and to conduct limited experiments on the effectiveness of new and old TRVs as a means of controlling space temperatures and reducing heating fuel consumption. The project included a survey of industry professionals, a field experiment comparing old and new TRVs, and cost-benefit modeling analysis using BEopt™ (Building Energy Optimization software).

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions Collaborative (ARIES), New York, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Advanced Residential Integrated Energy Solutions Collaborative (ARIES), New York, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1220422
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO-102015-4586
7025
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
residential; Residential Buildings; ARIES; Building America; Air vent; one-pipe steam; overheating; steam balancing; steam convector; steam radiator; steam retrofit; Thermostatic radiator valve; TRV

Citation Formats

Dentz, J., and Ansanelli, E.. Thermostatic Radiator Valve Evaluation. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.2172/1220422.
Dentz, J., & Ansanelli, E.. Thermostatic Radiator Valve Evaluation. United States. doi:10.2172/1220422.
Dentz, J., and Ansanelli, E.. Thu . "Thermostatic Radiator Valve Evaluation". United States. doi:10.2172/1220422. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1220422.
@article{osti_1220422,
title = {Thermostatic Radiator Valve Evaluation},
author = {Dentz, J. and Ansanelli, E.},
abstractNote = {A large stock of multifamily buildings in the Northeast and Midwest are heated by steam distribution systems. Losses from these systems are typically high and a significant number of apartments are overheated much of the time. Thermostatically controlled radiator valves (TRVs) are one potential strategy to combat this problem, but have not been widely accepted by the residential retrofit market. In this project, the ARIES team sought to better understand the current usage of TRVs by key market players in steam and hot water heating and to conduct limited experiments on the effectiveness of new and old TRVs as a means of controlling space temperatures and reducing heating fuel consumption. The project included a survey of industry professionals, a field experiment comparing old and new TRVs, and cost-benefit modeling analysis using BEopt™ (Building Energy Optimization software).},
doi = {10.2172/1220422},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2015},
month = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2015}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • A large stock of multifamily buildings in the Northeast and Midwest are heated by steam distribution systems. Losses from these systems are typically high and a significant number of apartments are overheated much of the time. Thermostatically controlled radiator valves (TRVs) are one potential strategy to combat this problem, but have not been widely accepted by the residential retrofit market.
  • This research measured the energy savings associated with installing thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) on one-pipe low-pressure steam systems in New York City multifamily buildings. There were three primary objectives: to determine whether fuel consumption was lower in buildings using TRVs; to determine if occupants would accept the TRVs; and to determine if overheating in apartments could be eliminated using TRVs. Eight buildings, ranging in size from 15 to 26 apartments, were monitored for three years. Each building was audited to determine fuel history and quick-payback energy conservation measures. The project covered three phases; phase-1 consisted of installing low-cost energy conservationmore » measures such as pipe insulation, air vents and burner tune-tips; determining each building`s baseline energy use, and recording baseline apartment temperatures. TRV installations occurred in phases 2 and 3. In phase-2, TRVs were installed in half the apartments in four buildings. In phase-3, TRVs were installed in the remainder of the apartments. Experimental results were conclusive. Buildings with overheated apartments achieved energy savings through the installation of TRVs. The authors research shows an average reduction of 9.45% in space heating energy use occurred with partial installation of TRVs, and savings of 15.5% were achieved after full installation. Buildings with the highest average apartment temperatures during the base year showed the greatest energy savings. Simple payback, based on an installed price of $50 per TRV, averaged 3.1 years.« less
  • This research measured the energy savings associated with installing thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) on one-pipe low-pressure steam systems in New York City multifamily buildings. There were three primary objectives; to determine whether fuel consumption was lower in buildings using TRVs; to determine if occupants would accept the TRVs; and to determine if overheating in apartments could be eliminated using TRVs.
  • The objective of the site visit to Hensley's Radiator Service (SIC-7539), Charlottesville, Virginia was to evaluate and document the effectiveness of a control system in reducing exposure to airborne lead (7439921) during radiator repair operations. Each of the three radiator repair stations included a water bath, a work table and two compressed air/natural gas torches for burning and soldering. On average eight to ten radiators were repaired each day. However, during the peak summer season up to 15 radiators could be repaired in a day. Each of the three stations was equipped with local exhaust ventilation consisting of a canopymore » shaped exhaust hood connected to an 8 inch diameter flexible duct that permitted the hood to be moved directly to the work and source of lead fume generation. The ventilation effectively controlled lead emissions during hot weather with radiator repair activity near peak levels. Prior to the installation of the system the personal sampling data showed time weighted average (TWA) lead exposures for the radiator repair mechanics as high as 193 micrograms/cubic meter. The highest TWA after installation was 25 micrograms/cubic meter. The primary disadvantage of the control system was the need to frequently clean the electronic ionizer collectors.« less
  • A study was made to document and evaluate effective techniques for the control of potential health hazards at Sims Radiator Repair Shop, Chamblee, Georgia. This radiator shop repaired automotive and small truck radiators. In July of 1990 the two radiator repair workstations were moved to the south wall of the shop and a ventilation booth was built to enclose them. The booth measured 4 feet deep by 11.3 feet wide by 9.3 feet high. Air was exhausted from the booth directly to the outside. There were no air cleaning devices on the exhaust stream. A fan produced an average airflowmore » of 250 feet per minute (fpm) through the enclosure opening. NIOSH researchers modified the booth by placing a sheet of plastic across the bottom 3.6 feet of the front opening, reducing the height of the opening to 3.75 feet and increasing the face velocity through the opening by about 75fpm to 260fpm. The control booth cost about 1,100 dollars per workstation to construct and make operational. The average time weighted average lead (7439921) concentration prior to installing the control booth was 98 micrograms/cubic meter in 1989. After the control booth was installed this level dropped to 13 micrograms/cubic meter, an 87% reduction. This affordable ventilation control system could be used by most radiator repair shops, but is recommended primarily for locations where the winters are relatively mild. The high volume of air exhausted requires large amounts of heated make up air in the winter months which could be costly.« less