US20080179416A1 - Modulation control of a hydronic heating system - Google Patents

Modulation control of a hydronic heating system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080179416A1
US20080179416A1 US11949314 US94931407A US2008179416A1 US 20080179416 A1 US20080179416 A1 US 20080179416A1 US 11949314 US11949314 US 11949314 US 94931407 A US94931407 A US 94931407A US 2008179416 A1 US2008179416 A1 US 2008179416A1
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Prior art keywords
boilers
boiler
heating system
system
hydronic heating
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Abandoned
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US11949314
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David E. Johnson
William A. Steinmeyer
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Thermodynamic Process Control LLC
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Johnson David E
Steinmeyer William A
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D12/00Other central heating systems
    • F24D12/02Other central heating systems having more than one heat source
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01KSTEAM ENGINE PLANTS; STEAM ACCUMULATORS; ENGINE PLANTS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; ENGINES USING SPECIAL WORKING FLUIDS OR CYCLES
    • F01K17/00Using steam or condensate extracted or exhausted from steam engine plant
    • F01K17/02Using steam or condensate extracted or exhausted from steam engine plant for heating purposes, e.g. industrial, domestic
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D19/00Details
    • F24D19/10Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices including control or safety methods
    • F24D19/1006Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices including control or safety methods for water heating systems
    • F24D19/1009Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices including control or safety methods for water heating systems for central heating
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D19/00Details
    • F24D19/10Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices including control or safety methods
    • F24D19/1006Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices including control or safety methods for water heating systems
    • F24D19/1009Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices including control or safety methods for water heating systems for central heating
    • F24D19/1012Arrangement or mounting of control or safety devices including control or safety methods for water heating systems for central heating by regulating the speed of a pump
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D2200/00Heat sources or energy sources
    • F24D2200/04Gas or oil fired boiler
    • F24D2200/043More than one gas or oil fired boiler
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/08Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] relating to domestic heating, space heating, domestic hot water heating [DHW] or supply systems
    • Y02B30/10Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] relating to domestic heating, space heating, domestic hot water heating [DHW] or supply systems using boilers
    • Y02B30/108Modular boilers, i.e. connecting different sections within a boiler or cascading multiple boilers
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/08Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] relating to domestic heating, space heating, domestic hot water heating [DHW] or supply systems
    • Y02B30/14Central heating systems having more than one heat source
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/08Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] relating to domestic heating, space heating, domestic hot water heating [DHW] or supply systems
    • Y02B30/16Central heating systems using steam or condensate extracted or exhausted from steam engine plants
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/70Efficient control or regulation technologies
    • Y02B30/74Technologies based on motor control
    • Y02B30/745Speed regulation of pumps in flow control systems

Abstract

A hydronic heating system for a building includes condensing and non-condensing boilers in a hybrid arrangement. A control apparatus receives information from one or more condition sensors, such as air temperature or water flow, and calculates heating load requirements. The control apparatus then independently selects and operates the various boilers of the system to optimize boiler efficiency and operating characteristics. The independent operation of said first and second boilers is modulated as a function a comparison of a heat load assignment for the and second boilers to a heat output of the first and second boilers.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/627,739, entitled “Hydronic Heating System” and filed Jan. 26, 2007, and priority and the benefit of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/627,739 are claimed in the present application to the extent the subject matter of this application is found in the previously filed application. The content of that application is incorporated herein by reference.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present disclosure generally relates to modulation control of various systems utilizing one or more energy sources for a particular purposes, such as, for example, systems utilizing natural gas, oil, coal, gasoline, steam, water and/or electricity for purposes of providing heating, cooling, pumping, current output and/or mechanical energy. The present invention specifically relates to a load based modulation control of such systems.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Commercial hydronic heating systems are used in buildings to supply heat via hot water that is circulated by a pump. One type of traditionally common heating system utilizes non-condensing boilers in which a portion of the input heat is lost via the boiler flue. A more modern type of heating system increases overall efficiency by employing condensing boilers. A condensing boiler recovers a large amount of heat from exhaust gases that would otherwise be lost via the flue. Through the use of heat exchangers, the temperature of the gases exiting the flue may be reduced from a range of 300° F.-450° F. to a range of 90° F.-130° F.
  • Although it is becoming more of a standard practice to employ hydronic heating systems that utilize high-efficiency condensing boilers, many existing heating systems employ one or more non-condensing boilers of an age or condition that does not justify replacement of those boilers from an economic standpoint, as associated radiators, heat exchangers, or other end user heat transfer or transmission devices would require replacement as well. The result is that many buildings may have both non-condensing as well as condensing boilers, thereby forming what is known as hybrid heating systems. Although the overall efficiency of a condensing boiler system is higher than a non-condensing system, each type of boiler has certain advantages over the other depending upon factors such as outside air temperature and the heat load on the boiler. The present disclosure is directed to an arrangement for controlling a hybrid heating system in which each type of boiler can be realized to its particular advantage.
  • SUMMARY
  • It is therefore an object of the present disclosure to provide a hybrid hydronic heating system in which the operation of condensing and non-condensing boilers is controlled to optimize the efficiency and life of each boiler based on heating load requirements.
  • It is a further object of this disclosure to control the operation of each boiler independently based on a variety of factors, including the type, size, cycle time, efficiency, and use history of the boiler.
  • Further objects, embodiments, forms, benefits, aspects, features and advantages of the present disclosure may be obtained from the description, drawings, and claims provided herein.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic and block diagram of an embodiment of the present disclosure, illustrating a hybrid heating system having two boilers.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic and block diagram of an embodiment of the present disclosure, illustrating a hybrid heating system having four boilers.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic and block diagram of the main control circuit used in a heating system constructed in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 4 is a schematic and block diagram of condensing boiler control circuitry used in a heating system constructed in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 5 is a schematic and block diagram of non-condensing boiler control circuitry used in a heating system constructed in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 6 is a schematic and block diagram of a pH measurement control circuit used in a heating system constructed in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 7 is a schematic and block diagram illustrating a number of temperature sensor circuits, as well as a user interface circuit used in a heating system constructed in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 8 is a flowchart representative of a process modulation algorithm in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 9 is a flowchart representative of a rate-of-change modulation scheme in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 10 is a schematic and block diagram of a single system controller for a plurality of devices constructed in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • FIG. 11 is a schematic and block diagram of a system administrator and corresponding device controllers for a plurality of devices constructed in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the disclosure, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the disclosure is thereby intended, and alterations and modifications in the illustrated examples, and further applications of the principles of the disclosure as illustrated therein are herein contemplated as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which the disclosure relates.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a hydronic (i.e., hot water) heating system 20 that includes boilers 21 and 22 for heating water that is circulated in order to heat a building. Boilers 21 and 22 may both be condensing or non-condensing boilers, or one boiler may be a condensing boiler while the other is a non-condensing boiler. Boilers 21 and 22 are respectively associated with pumps 23 and 24 that act to provide circulation of the heated water throughout the building. Controller 36 is operably connected to boilers 21 and 22 via connectors 42 and 43 respectively. Connectors 42 and 43 are illustratively shown as being a cable or wire, but connectors 42 and 43, as well as other connectors described and shown herein, may take the form of an apparatus or functionality consistent with any technology known to those skilled in the art and appropriate for the purpose and application described (e.g., wireless transmission technology). Controller 36 provides signals that control the operation of boilers 21 and 22, including the operation of their respective boiler pumps 23 and 24. A temperature sensor 25 is located to measure the water temperature in boiler inlet or return water line 27 of boiler 21. Temperature sensor 25 is operably connected to controller 36 via connector 32. Temperature sensor 26 is located to measure the water temperature in outlet or system supply water line 28 of boiler 21 and is operably connected to controller 36 via connector 33. Similarly, a temperature sensor 29 is located to measure the water temperature in inlet or return water line 31 of boiler 22. Temperature sensor 29 is operably connected to controller 36 via connector 34. Temperature sensor 30 is located to measure the water temperature in outlet or system supply water line 32 of boiler 22 and is operably connected to controller 36 via connector 35.
  • Water lines 27, 28, 31 and 32 are connected to the main circulating water line 37 that circulates heated water through heat transmission devices 18 and 19 (e.g., heat exchangers, radiators, or air handlers) located at various points throughout the building to heat the building. Auxiliary pumps 38 and 39 are connected to main water line 37 to assist the water flow. Pumps 38 and 39 are connected via connectors 40 and 41, respectively, to controller 36 to provide control of pumps 38 and 39. Water flow direction in heating system 20 is indicated by arrows 95 in FIG. 1.
  • Additional temperature sensors 44, 45, and 46 are located along main water line 37 to measure the temperature of the water at that location, and return the temperature data via data lines 47, 48, and 49, respectively, to controller 36, although it is understood that temperature data may be returned in a non-wired manner, e.g., wireless transmission, as would be known to those skilled in the art. Sensor 44 is illustratively shown as being located in the vicinity of the outgoing heated water from boilers 21 and 22, respectively. Sensor 45 is illustratively shown as being located in between boilers 21 and 22 to measure water temperature in the return portion of main water line 37. Sensor 46 is illustratively shown as being located in the return water flow from heat transmission devices 18 and 19 to boilers 21 and 22. An outside air temperature sensor 50 is connected to controller 36 via data line 51 to provide measurements of outside air temperature to controller 36 of heating system 20.
  • Air temperature sensors 80 and 81 are illustratively shown as being connected to controller 36 via connectors 82 and 83, respectively. Air temperature sensors 80 and 81 are illustratively located in rooms or areas of the building to be heated, and provide data to controller 36 regarding the ambient temperature of those rooms or areas.
  • Dampers 52 and 53 are illustratively shown as being controlled via connectors 54 and 55, respectively, by controller 36 for controlling outside air flow to boilers 21 and 22, respectively, in order to provide free air make-up to boilers 21 and 22. Flow valves 56, 57, 58, and 62 are illustratively shown as being connected to and controlled by controller 36 via connectors 59, 60, 61, and 63, respectively. The rate and quantity of soft or conditioned water supplied to flush by-pass or sidestream water line 64 via incoming water line 70, in order to maintain calibration of pH meter 67 located in sidestream water line 64, is controlled by way of flow valves 57 and 58. Water is drained from main water line 37 via drain line 17 by way of flow valves 56 and 58. pH meter 67 measures the pH of the water within main water line 37. Main valve 75 is located within main water line 37 and is illustratively shown as being connected to controller 36 by connector 76 to force water flow through sidestream water line 64. Connector 71 connects pH meter 67 to controller 36. Flow measuring device 65 is mounted to main water line 37 and provides flow data via connector 66 to controller 36. A user interface 90, e.g., computer input screen, is illustratively shown as being connected to controller 36 by way of connector 91.
  • It will be understood that the system of FIG. 1 is illustrative in nature and is not limited to any specific number of boilers, any particular piping arrangement of the various water lines, valves, sensors or controls shown in the drawings, which will in operation depend upon particular building requirements.
  • To further illustrate the non-limiting nature of the present disclosure, reference is now made to FIG. 2 which illustrates a heating system 120. Heating system 120 illustratively includes non-condensing boilers 121 and 122 and condensing boilers 123 and 124 connected to a main water circulation line 147 by inlet or boiler return water lines 126, 127, 128, and 129, respectively and outlet or system supply water lines 130, 131, 132, and 133, respectively. Boilers 121, 122, 123, and 124 are respectively associated with pumps 134, 135, 136, and 137 which are mounted on the boiler return water lines 126, 127, 128, and 129, respectively. Pumps 134, 135, 136, and 137 are preferably enabled with variable frequency drive circuitry that allows the pumps to be operated at variable speeds, i.e., pumping rates. Similar to heating system 20 of FIG. 1, heating system 120 of FIG. 2 includes temperature sensors 138, 140, 142, and 144 mounted on the outlet or system supply water lines 130, 131, 132, and 133, respectively, and temperature sensors 139, 141, 143, and 145 mounted on the inlet or return water lines 126, 127, 128, and 129, respectively. Boilers 121, 122, 123, and 124 are operably connected to controller 146 via connectors 221, 222, 223, and 224, respectively. Pumps 134, 135, 136, and 137 are operably connected to controller 146 via connectors 234, 235, 236, and 237, respectively. Temperature sensors 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, and 145 are operably connected to a controller 146 via connectors 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, and 245, respectively. While FIG. 2 shows controller 146 connected to the various components herein described via hard wired control or connection lines or wires, it will be understood that various wireless connections are envisioned including, but not limited to, IR, RF, and optical links. In addition, control and sensor data may be communicated via various network interfaces and protocols including parallel or serial data buses, Ethernet, Bluetooth, IEEE standard control interfaces, or other computer or data networks that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art both now and as may be developed in the future.
  • Boilers 121, 122, 123, and 124 include air dampers 148, 149, 150, and 151, which are also operably connected to controller 146 via connectors 248, 249, 250, and 251, respectively. Controller 146 may independently control the operation of air dampers 148, 149, 150, and 151 via switching or control signals, e.g., digital signals, sent to dampers 148, 149, 150, and 151 via connectors 248, 249, 250, and 251 to control the outside or free air make-up to boilers 121, 122, 123, and 124, respectively. Auxiliary pumps 152 and 153 pump or circulate water through secondary water line 154 of main water line 147 and are operated by controller 146 via connectors 252 and 253, respectively. Auxiliary pumps 155 and 156 pump or circulate water through secondary water line 157 and are operated by controller 146 via connectors 255 and 256, respectively. Water flow direction through system 120 is illustratively shown by arrows 200.
  • Valves 167 and 170 are connected to and controlled by controller 146 via connectors 267 and 270, respectively, to provide soft or conditioned water via inlet line 168 to flush sidestream 185 as necessary to maintain the calibration of pH meter 172. Controller 146 is also operably connected to sidestream valves 166 and 169 via connectors 266 and 269, respectively, to control the flow of water from main water line 147 to a pH measurement sidestream water line 185. A pH meter 172 is provided to measure the pH of the water circulating throughout system 120. pH meter 172 is shown as being mounted in pH measurement sidestream 185 and operably connected to controller 146 via connector 272. Main valve 165 is mounted within main water line 147 and is also operably connected to controller 146 via connector 265. Controller 146 operates main valve 165 to force the flow of water through pH measurement sidestream 185. A weak acid pump 195 and a weak base pump 196 are illustratively shown as being coupled into main water line 147. Acid pump 195 and base pump 196 are shown as being operably connected to controller 146 via connectors 295 and 296, respectively. Controlling the pH of the water circulating through main water line 147 is important to prevent premature failure or wear with respect to the components of heating system 120 due to overly acidic or basic water. Through the operation of valves 165, 166, 167, 169, and 170 by controller 146 by signals via connectors 265, 266, 267, 269, and 270, respectively, periodic checks of the pH of the water in main water line 147 can be made by diverting some water into sidestream 185 and measuring its pH by pH measurement sensor 172 and returning that data to controller 146 via connector 272. If the water requires an adjustment of its pH, controller 146 can initiate the operation of weak acid pump 195 or weak base pump 196 by signals sent via connectors 295 or 296, respectively, as needed to restore the pH of the water in main water line 147 to a satisfactory level.
  • Temperature sensors 160, 161, and 162 are mounted to main water line 147 to measure the temperature of the circulating water at various locations along main water line 147. Sensors 160, 161, and 162 are shown as being operably connected to controller 146 via connectors 260, 261, and 262, respectively. A flow measuring device 163 is shown as being mounted on main water line 147 to provide water flow information to controller 146 via connector 263. An outdoor air temperature sensor 164 is mounted outside the building and is operably connected to controller 146 via connector 264. Air temperature sensors 180 and 181 are located in rooms or areas of the building and are also operably connected to controller 146 via connectors 280 and 281, respectively, to provide information with respect to the ambient temperature of the rooms or areas in which the sensors are located. FIG. 2 illustratively shows heat transmission devices 201 and 202 located within system 120. Devices 120 may be end user heat distribution apparatus, such as radiators, heat exchangers, or air handlers, for only a few examples. A user interface device 190 is also operably connected to controller 146 via connector 290 to allow a user of heating system 120 to select or change various input criteria, e.g., desired room temperature, or the manner in which heating system 120 is operated. User interface device 190 also provides a means for information regarding the status or condition of the components of system 120 to be communicated to the user.
  • The piping configuration of main water line 37 shown in FIG. 1 and main water line 147 shown in FIG. 2 locates the condensing boilers 123 and 124 upstream from the non-condensing boilers 121 and 122 such that during the time the condensing boilers are enabled, their operation will pre-heat the water flowing to the non-condensing boilers, thereby increasing the efficiency of the non-condensing boilers and acting to prevent the non-condensing boilers from condensing, thereby protecting the non-condensing boilers from the detrimental effects of condensation.
  • As previously described, the present disclosure does not limit the number or types of boilers that can be used within a heating system. For purposes of explaining the operation of a heating system constructed in accordance with the present disclosure, reference will be made to FIGS. 3-7 which, for example only, illustrate elements of a hydronic heating system that includes two condensing and two non-condensing boilers in an arrangement such as that shown in FIG. 2. Reference will therefore be made primarily to FIG. 2, although it is understood that the principles of operation to be described apply equally to heating systems having different numbers of boilers, including but not limited to the system of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates the presence of a main system controller and its associated input and output signals and functions. FIG. 4 illustrates the presence of a condensing boiler controller and its associated input and output signals and functions. FIG. 5 illustrates a non-condensing boiler controller with its associated input and output signals and functions, and FIG. 6 illustrates a pH measurement controller and its associated input and output signals and functions. It is understood that While separate or individual controllers can of course be used, a unitary controller, such as controller 36 or 146, may comprise the functionality of each of the controller elements shown in FIGS. 3-6 in the physical embodiment of a single device. Therefore, for purposes of simplifying the following explanation, each of the controller devices in FIGS. 3-6 will be identified by reference number 146. Additionally, while FIGS. 3-7 may illustrate elements that contain language that suggests a function or type of information, that element may be identified by a reference number that corresponds to the physical device shown in FIG. 2 that performs such function or provides such information. FIG. 7 illustrates a representation of the functionality within heating system 120 of user interface 190 as well as a number of representative temperature sensors, e.g., sensors 160, 164, 180, and 181.
  • Through the use of user interface device 190, the type of each boiler 121-124 (e.g., condensing or non-condensing) will be inputted by the user. Minimum and maximum return and supply temperatures for each of boilers 121-124, as defined by the boiler manufacturer, will be inputted by the user as well. The outdoor air temperature switch point, i.e., the temperature above which a condensing-type boiler is initially selected, may also be provided to system 120 via user interface device 190. Using data provided by interface device 190, and the outdoor air temperature provided by sensor 164 via connector 264, controller 146 will enable at least one of pumps 134-137 via their respective connectors 234-237. After a user defined delay (e.g., 1 to 10 minutes), a flow reading using flow sensor 163 in the main water line 147 will be taken. Using this flow data provided via connector 263, as well as other initializing data, controller 146 calculates an initial building heating load for system 120. Based on this calculated load and the outdoor air temperature switch point, controller 146 will determine which type of boiler (e.g., condensing or non-condensing) to initially enable. For example, if the outdoor air temperature calls for a condensing boiler and there is more than one condensing boiler available in system 120, then the first boiler selected can be based on which one has accumulated the least hours of operation. This may be done by comparing timers linked with each boiler's respective output enable circuits, unless a particular boiler in the system has been designated a dedicated lead boiler, in which case it will always be enabled or fired first. Since controller 146 also knows the output capability of each boiler on the system, controller 146 may also select for operation the boiler having an output that is most closely matched to the building load. If the condition should exist that a particular boiler is in an alarm state (i.e., the boiler is not working properly), controller 146 will not enable that boiler until the condition causing the alarm is remedied. For purposes of this example, condensing boiler 124 is initially enabled by controller 146 via connector 224. After an initial period of low fire output of boiler 124, the building heating load will be recalculated to obtain a real-time heating load. This low fire time delay, e.g., 30 minutes, is used to ensure that the initial calculated heating load is accurate so as to avoid overshooting the desired building temperature by overfiring the initially enabled or fired boiler or boilers. If the recalculated heating load indicates that heat is still required, the initially enabled boiler 124 will thereafter by operated in its normal or real-time mode, e.g., via proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control, by controller 146 via connector 224.
  • The operation of the PID mode of controller 146 will be constantly monitored. If controller 146 causes the output of boiler 124 to remain above a user defined output percentage (e.g., 25%-100%) for a given user defined time period (e.g., 5-60 minutes), then a second boiler, e.g., condensing boiler 123, will be enabled via connector 223 and controller 146 will split the real time heating load between the two enabled boilers 124 and 123 in a manner that operates both boilers as efficiently as possible. The heating load distribution between boilers 124 and 123 is monitored often (e.g., once per second) to ensure boilers 124 and 123 continue to be operated as efficiently as possible. If the heating load increases, this pattern of sequencing will continue until all boilers of a particular type (e.g., condensing or non-condensing) that exist in a given heating system have been enabled or fired. Should the outdoor air temperature remain above the condensing/non-condensing switch point and all condensing boilers, in this case boilers 124 and 123, have been operating at a user defined maximum output for a user defined period of time and a user defined heating load percentage (e.g., 1-10%) has not been reached, a non-condensing boiler, e.g., boiler 122 will then be enabled by an enabling signal via connector 222. Once non-condensing boiler 122 has been enabled, condensing boilers 124 and 123, that are still enabled, will be reset to cover that portion of the heating load that still allows non-condensing boiler 122 to maintain its minimum recommended return water temperature. Non-condensing boiler 122 will operate under PID control to cover the balance of the heating load. Should the heating load increase, the non-condensing boilers will follow the same sequencing control described above to enable and control additional non-condensing boilers, e.g., boiler 121, and boiler pumps, e.g., pump 134. During the run cycles of both condensing and non-condensing boiler reset loops, building zone temperatures will be polled by network temperature devices, e.g., sensors 180 and 181, to determine if the output (i.e., supply temperature) of system 120 is meeting the heating load. Based on this information, boiler reset temperatures will be increased to supply more heat if needed, decreased to increase efficiency of boiler operation, or left the same. This polling enables controller 146 to know how much energy has been used to heat the building and, based on the calculated heating load, enable only the boiler or boilers needed to most efficiently meet the remaining heating load.
  • Once the heating load covered by condensing boilers 124 and 123 has been satisfied, condensing boilers 124 and 123 will be shut down by controller 146 by signals provided via connectors 224 and 223, respectively. Condensing boilers 124 and 123 will be enabled again only if the return water temperature of non-condensing boilers 121 and 122 (if enabled) falls below a user defined limit (e.g., 130° F.) and remains there for more than a user defined period of time (e.g., 5-30 minutes), or if the outdoor air temperature rises above the condensing/non-condensing switch point, or if all the non-condensing boilers, in this case boilers 121 and 122, are operating at a user defined maximum output for a user defined period of time (e.g., 15-60 minutes) and have failed to adequately satisfy the heating load. As the heating load is satisfied or reduced, a non-condensing boiler will be shut down by controller 146. The boiler selected for shut down is chosen based on hours of operation. As the heating load continues to decrease, additional boilers will be shut down.
  • Boiler operating regulations require that a boiler must be shut down at least once every 24 hours. In order to comply with this requirement and to even wear across boilers, system 120 operates such that each boiler 121-124 is shut down at least once every six hours. This process allows controller 146 to regularly compare hours of accumulated operation and enable or fire the boiler of a given type with the least operating hours first. If the heating load of the building is determined to be less than the minimum operating range of all the available boilers 121-124 on system 120, controller 146 will select and enable the boiler having the lowest operating range. This functionality of controller 146 will help to eliminate as much as possible the efficiency losses and significant wear effects of short cycling on boilers 121-124.
  • When the switch to non-condensing boilers occurs because outdoor air temperature has dropped below the switch point, all of the heating load will be assigned to non-condensing boilers 121 and 122. Once a non-condensing boiler has been enabled or fired as described above and the return water temperature is equal to or greater than a user defined limit (e.g., 130° F.), any condensing boilers (e.g., boiler 123 or 124) that is enabled will be shut down, although its main pump will continue to operate for a period of time that is calculated as a percentage of the boiler's just-concluded run time in order to extract additional heat from that boiler and reduce the effects of boiler precipitation on scaling of the boiler tubes. The total load will then be assigned to the running non-condensing boiler and the reset of the supply or output temperature will be defined by an equation having a slope which is designated for non-condensing boilers.
  • The inlet and outlet temperature difference, i.e., ΔT, is a user defined value (e.g., 10° F.-45° F. or within the boiler manufacturer's limits) that can be selected via user interface device 190. This ΔT, measured by temperature sensors 144 and 145 for boiler 124, for example, is maintained to the extent possible via operation of controller 146 by providing control signals to the variable frequency drives of the boiler's respective pump, e.g., pump 137 in the above example. Pump 137, for example, will then be modulated or operated to increase or decrease water flow so as to maintain the measured ΔT with the user selected value. By modulating or controlling the flow rate of the boiler pumps, the pumps can put out less water at higher temperatures, thereby increasing boiler efficiency.
  • It can be seen from the previous explanation with reference to the drawings that system 120 provides microprocessor control of differing types of boilers in a heating system through the use of a variety of sensor inputs to optimally sequence and operate each boiler in the heating system to maximize efficiency of the boilers. The system is suitable for controlling multiple boilers of different sizes and of different types within the same heating system. By calculating real time heating load and using that information to select and operate boilers, efficiency losses and detrimental effects on equipment life due to short-cycling of boilers are prevented or eliminated. The system disclosed herein effectively prevents non-condensing boilers from condensing while condensing boilers are allowed to condense. The system offers the ability to reset and control both condensing and non-condensing boilers on the same system. With two unique and user definable reset temperature slopes, both types of boilers can be utilized seamlessly.
  • The controllers shown in FIGS. 3-6 were described in the context of implementing a PID version of a process modulation algorithm of the present invention for purposes of controlling a hybrid boiler system. In practice, the process modulation algorithm is applicable to many types of systems including, but not limited too, systems employing devices using energy sources (e.g., natural gas, oil, coal, gasoline, steam, water and electricity) for any purpose (e.g., heating, cooling, pumping, current output and mechanical energy). To facilitate further understanding of the process modulation algorithm of the present invention in the context of any system and to introduce a rate-of-change modulation version of the process modulation algorithm, a description will now be provided herein of a flowchart 300 representative of the process modulation algorithm as shown in FIG. 8 and a description of a flowchart 400 representative of the rate-of-change modulation version of the process modulation algorithm as shown in FIG. 9.
  • Referring to FIG. 8, a stage S302 of flowchart 300 encompasses a system load calculation that is dependent upon one or more operational conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, power consumption, motion, etc.) of an applicable system (e.g., heating, cooling, pumping, current output and mechanical energy). For example, in the context of a hybrid heating system including one or more condensing boilers and one or more non-condensing boilers, the following equations [1] and [2] can be utilized for purposes of calculating a system load for the hybrid heating system that is dependent upon a set-point temperature of the hybrid heating system:

  • L=((T SP −T R)+(T SP −T S))*(GPM*WLG*MPH)  [1]

  • L=((T SP −T R)+(T SP −T S)+(CTL−T R))*(GPM*WLG*MPH)  [2]
  • where (1) L is a calculated system load (BTU/H) for the hybrid heating system,
  • (2) TSP is the set-point temperature (° F.) of the hybrid heating system,
  • (3) TS is the supply water temperature (° F.) of the hybrid heating system,
  • (4) TR is the return water temperature (° F.) of the hybrid heating system,
  • (5) GPM is the number of gallons per minute flowing through the hybrid heating system past a flow sense point,
  • (6) WLG is the pounds of water per gallon within the hybrid heating system,
  • (7) MPH is the minutes per hour the hybrid heating system is expected to be operational for an hour time period, and
  • (8) CTL is a condensing temperature limit (° F.) of the hybrid heating system.
  • Equation [1] is utilized for fall condensing operations and for non-condensing operations whereby the return water temperature TR is equal to or greater than the condensing temperature limit CTL. Conversely, equation [2] is utilized for non-condensing operations whereby the return water temperature TR is less than the condensing temperature limit CTL. As previously described herein, a hybrid heating system can be switched between condensing operations and non-condensing operations based on a comparison of the outdoor air temperature to a switch temperature point whereby condensing operations primarily occur above the switch temperature point and non-condensing operations primarily occur below the switch temperature point.
  • A determination of the set-point temperature is also dependent upon whether the hybrid heating system is in condensing operations or non-condensing operations. For example, a condensing reset temperature slope is derived from a graph of a water temperature range and output air temperature range for the condensing boiler(s). For this slope, one endpoint is plotted as the maximum water temperature/minimum outdoor air temperature and the other endpoint is plotted as the minimum water temperature/maximum outdoor air temperature whereby the set-point temperature is the water temperature on the slope corresponding to a sensed outdoor air temperature. Similarly, a non-condensing reset temperature slope is derived from a graph of a water temperature range and output air temperature range for the non-condensing boiler(s). Again, for this slope, one endpoint is plotted as the maximum water temperature/minimum outdoor air temperature and the other endpoint is plotted as the minimum water temperature/maximum outdoor air temperature whereby the set-point temperature is the water temperature on the slope corresponding to a sensed outdoor air temperature.
  • Still referring to FIG. 8, a stage S304 of flowchart 300 encompasses a device load assignment that is dependent upon the output capacities of the device(s) (e.g., boilers, chillers, pumps, dampers, etc.) of the applicable system (e.g., heating, cooling, pumping, current output and mechanical energy). For example, in the context of a hybrid heating system including one or more condensing boilers and one or more non-condensing boilers, the following equations [3] and [4] can be utilized for purposes of assigning a device load for each boiler Y of a total of X enabled boilers of the hybrid heating system:

  • BY IL=(OY MAX /ΣOX MAX))*(L)  [3]

  • BY IL=(OY MIN /ΣOX MIN))*(L)  [4]
  • where (1) BYIL is a load assignment (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (2) OYMAX is the maximum output (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (3) ΣOXMAX is a summation of all maximum outputs (BTU/H) for the enabled boilers X,
  • (4) OYMIN is the minimum output (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (5) ΣOXMIN is a summation of all minimum outputs (BTU/H) for the enabled boilers X, and
  • (6) L is the previously calculated system load (BTU/H) for the hybrid heating system.
  • Equation [3] is utilized whenever all of the control signal(s) (e.g., analog or digital, voltage or current) of the enabled boiler(s) X are to be modulated as subsequently described herein. Conversely, equation [4] is utilized whenever less than all of the control signal(s) (e.g., analog or digital, voltage or current) of the enabled boiler(s) X are to be modulated as subsequently described herein. As previously described herein, the determination of which boiler(s) to enable at any given moment is a function of the operational state of the system (i.e., condensing or non-condensing) as well as the operational state of each boiler in terms of at least an online/offline status of the boiler, and an operational time status of the boiler.
  • Stages S302 and S304 are initially executed prior to the conclusion of the low fire time delay of the hybrid heating system and thereafter are continually executed on a periodic basis to maintain a dynamic efficient control of the hybrid heating system.
  • Still referring to FIG. 8, a stage S306 of flowchart 300 encompasses a device output error calculation that is based on a comparison of an assigned device load and a device output for each enabled device (e.g., boiler, chiller, pump, damper, etc.) of the applicable system (e.g., heating, cooling, pumping, current output and mechanical energy). For example, in the context of a hybrid heating system including one or more condensing boilers and one or more non-condensing boilers, the following equations [5]-[10] can be utilized for purposes of calculating a device output error for each enabled boiler of the hybrid heating system:

  • BYSP≈BYIL  [5]

  • BY HL =OY MAX +DB  [6]

  • BY LL =OY MIN −DB  [7]

  • DB=OF*(OY MAX/100)  [8]

  • O BY=(V CON −V MIN)*((OY MAX −OY MIN)/(V MAX −V MIN))+OY MIN  [9]

  • E Y =BY SP −O BY  [10]
  • where (1) BYSP is the boiler output set-point temperature (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (2) BYIL is the previously calculated load assignment (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (3) BYHL is a high limit for the boiler output set-point temperature BYSP,
  • (4) BYLL is a low limit for the boiler output set-point temperature BYSP,
  • (5) OYMAX is the maximum output (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (6) OYMIN is the minimum output (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (7) DB is a deadband based on an output percentage factor OPF of a particular boiler Y whereby the output percentage factor OPF can be designed to range from 1 to 100,
  • (8) OBY is a calculated heat output (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y,
  • (9) VCON is an analog control voltage signal for a particular boiler Y that controls the fire level of that boiler Y,
  • (10) VMAX is a maximum of the analog control voltage signal VCON (e.g., 10 volts),
  • (11) VMIN is a minimum of the analog control voltage signal VCON (e.g., 0 volts), and
  • (12) EY is the calculated error for a particular boiler Y.
  • While equations [5]-[10] can be executed during the low fire time delay of the hybrid heating system, it is only essential for equations [5]-[8] to be executed or processed during the flow fire time delay and all of the equations [5]-[10] to be executed continually on a periodic basis upon completion of the low fire time delay.
  • Also note that the boiler output set-point temperature BYSP is a function of the calculated load assignment BYIL that can dynamically vary between the low limit BYLL and the high limit BYHL. As such, those having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate the purpose of utilizing the deadband DB to establish the low limit BYLL and the high limit BYHL is to limit the dynamic variable nature of the calculated load assignment BYIL. For a hybrid heating system, the output percentage factor OPF is preferably 1 for stage S306.
  • Furthermore, during the low fire period, it is best to ramp the analog control voltage signal VCON at a fixed rate in the appropriate up or down direction based on the calculated error EY in an attempt to reach the boiler output set-point temperature BYSP during the low fire period in a controlled manner. Thereafter, the control voltage signal VCON is modulated in the appropriate positive or negative direction based on the calculated error EY in accordance with stage S308 of flowchart 300.
  • Specifically, stage S308 encompasses a modulation of an output of a device (e.g., boiler, chiller, pump, damper, etc.) based on the calculated device output error in accordance with a modulation scheme chosen for an applicable system (e.g., heating, cooling, pumping, current output and mechanical energy). For example, in the context of a hybrid heating system including one or more condensing boilers and one or more non-condensing boilers, a modulation of an output of an enabled boiler based on a calculated device output error of that enabled boiler is in accordance with PID modulation scheme previously described herein. In another exemplary embodiment, the chose modulation scheme is a rate-of-change modulation scheme as represented by the flowchart 400 shown in FIG. 9.
  • Referring to FIG. 9, a stage S402 of flowchart 400 encompasses a calculation of a modulation control variable. For example, in the context of a hybrid heating system including one or more condensing boilers and one or more non-condensing boilers, the following equations [11]-[17] can be utilized for purposes of calculating the modulation control variable:

  • IF EY↑ and E Y >+DB, THEN CV Y =CV Y+2  [11]

  • IF EY↑ and E Y <−DB, THEN CV Y =CV Y−2  [12]

  • IF EY↓ and E Y >+DB, THEN CV Y =CV Y+1  [13]

  • IF EY↓ and E Y <−DB, THEN CV Y =CV Y−1  [14]

  • IF EY<DB and E Y >−DB, THEN CV Y =CV Y+0  [15]

  • CV LL=(ADCF)*V MIN  [16]

  • CV HL=(ADCF)*V MAX  [17]
  • where (1) CVY is the modulation control variable for a particular boiler Y that varies between a low limit CVLL and a high limit CVHL (initially equal to low limit CVLL upon the enablement of the boiler),
  • (2) EY is the calculated error for a particular boiler Y, and
  • (3) ADCF is an analog-to-digital conversion factor corresponding to a number bit states of a digital analog voltage signal ANY divided by the maximum voltage VMAX for the analog control voltage signal VCON.
  • Again, those having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate the purpose of utilizing the deadband DB to control the calculation for the modulation control variable CVY is to limit the dynamic variable nature of the calculated error EY, which is a function of the dynamic variable nature of calculated load assignment BYIL. For a hybrid heating system, the output percentage factor OPF is preferably 1 for stage S402.
  • Furthermore, the following equation [18] can be utilized to prevent an oversaturation of the modulation control variable CVY:

  • IF EY<DB, THEN CVY=ANY  [18]
  • where ANY is the digital conversion of the analog control voltage signal VCON that will be further explained subsequently herein. Preferably, the output percentage factor OPF for deadband DB is 50 for the oversaturation protection of the modulation control variable CVY.
  • A stage S404 of flowchart 400 encompasses a calculation of a control signal for each enable device (e.g., boiler, chiller, pump, damper, etc.) of the applicable system (e.g., heating, cooling, pumping, current output and mechanical energy) as a function of the previously calculated modulation control variable CVY. For example, in the context of a hybrid heating system including one or more condensing boilers and one or more non-condensing boilers, the following equations [19]-[21] can be utilized for purposes of calculating an unbiased digital control voltage signal ANY of Z bits (e.g., 12 bits):

  • IF CVY>ANY, THEN AN Y =AN Y+1  [19]

  • IF CVY<ANY, THEN AN Y =AN Y−1  [20]

  • IF CVY=ANY, THEN AN Y =AN Y−0  [21]
  • The following equations [22]-[27] can be utilized for purposes of calculating a biased ramp down of digital control voltage signal ANY of Z bits (e.g., 12 bits):

  • R PG1=(V G*10*B E)/(OY MAX/1000)/10  [22]

  • RPG2=2RPG1  [23]

  • IF CVY>ANY, THEN AN Y =AN Y+1  [24]

  • IF CVY<ANY AND E Y <−DB, THEN AN Y =AN Y −R PG1  [25]

  • IF CVY<ANY AND E Y >−DB, THEN AN Y =AN Y −R PG2  [26]

  • IF CVY=ANY, THEN AN Y =AN Y−0  [27]
  • where (1) RPG1 is the base biased ramp down variable for a particular boiler Y,
  • (2) VG is the water volume of a particular boiler Y in gallons,
  • (3) BE is a maximum rated efficiency of a particular boiler Y,
  • (4) OYMAX is the maximum output (BTU/H) for a particular boiler Y, and
  • (5) RPG2 is the amplified biased ramp down variable for a particular boiler Y.
  • Preferably, the output percentage factor OPF for deadband DB is 5 for the biased ramp down of digital control voltage signal ANY.
  • To modulate the rate-of-change of the unbiased or biased ramp down of digital control voltage signal ANY, the following equation [28] can be utilized to control a timer gate that counts up to allow a calculation of digital control voltage signal ANY and is thereafter reset to begin a new count up sequence for the next calculation of digital control voltage signal ANY:

  • IF E Y <+DB and E Y >−DB, THEN TGPV Y =PA*TGF  [28]
  • where (1) TPGVY is a timer gate preset value,
  • (2) PA is a process acceleration scale value, and
  • (3) TGF is a time gate factor inversely correlated to a chosen output percentage factor OPF for deadband DB.
  • The inverse correlation of the timer gate factor TGF and the output percentage factor OPF is a function of the timing specification of the timer gate and one or more designed output percentage factors OPF for deadband DB. For example, the following table illustrates an inverse correlation designed output percentage factors to a timer gate factor TGF in terms of the number times per second the timer gate should allow for a calculation of the digital control voltage signal ANY:
  • OUTPUT PERCENTAGE
    FACTOR OPF TIMER GATE FACTOR TGF
    1 8 (10 times/8 seconds)
    2 7 (10 times/7 seconds)
    5 6 (10 times/6 seconds)
    10 5 (10 times/5 seconds)
    20 4 (10 times/4 seconds)
    30 3 (10 times/3 seconds)
    40 2 (10 times/2 seconds)
    50 1 (10 times/1 seconds)
  • The benefit of equation [28] is as the calculated error EY of stage 306 decreases, the rate-of-change of the modulation of the digital control voltage signal ANY is decelerated in view of a corresponding increase in the timer gate preset value TPGVY. Conversely, as the calculated error EY of stage 306 increases, the rate-of-change of the modulation of the digital control voltage signal ANY is accelerated in view of a corresponding decrease in the timer gate preset value TPGVY.
  • Please note flowchart 400 is designed to execute digital calculations of the modulation control variable and digital control voltage signal and thus the requirement for equations [16] and [17]. Those having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that, in order to drive an analog circuit of a boiler, the digital control voltage signal has to be converted back into the analog control voltage signal.
  • Referring to FIGS. 8 and 9, those having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate, the benefits of the process modulation algorithm and various modulation schemes of the present invention. Those having ordinary skill in the art of the present invention will further appreciate how to apply equations [1]-[28] to various systems, in particular how to design the various variables of equations [1]-[28] in view of the particular type of devices to be controlled in accordance with the present invention. For example, FIG. 10 illustrates a system controller 500 for implementing flowcharts 300 (FIG. 8) and 400 (FIG. 9) via a wireline or wireless network with an X number of devices 600 of any type (e.g., boilers, chillers, pumps, dampers, etc.). By further example, FIG. 11 illustrates a system administrator 501 for executing stages S302 and S304 of flowchart 300 (FIG. 8) via a wireline or wireless network to device controllers 502 for executing stages S306 and S308 of flowchart 300 as well as flowchart 400 (FIG. 9) on behalf of devices 600 (e.g., boilers, chillers, pumps, dampers, etc.). Alternatively, administrator 501 can partially or entirely execute stage S306.
  • While the disclosure has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and <foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiments have been shown and described and that all changes, modifications and equivalents that come within the spirit of the disclosure provided herein are desired to be protected. The articles “a”, “an”, “said” and “the” are not limited to a singular element, and may include one or more such elements.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A hydronic heating system comprising:
    at least a first boiler having first operating characteristics;
    at least a second boiler having second operating characteristics;
    at least one sensor measuring a condition and providing an output indicative of said measured condition; and
    a controller, operably coupled to said first and second boilers, comprising:
    a processor, responsive to said sensor output, for calculating a heating load; and
    a control, responsive to said calculated heating load, for independently operating said first and second boilers in a manner that matches said heating load to said first and second operating characteristics, wherein the independent operating of said first and second boilers is modulated as a function a comparison of a heat load assignment for said first and second boilers to a heat output of said first and second boilers.
  2. 2. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said first boiler comprises a condensing boiler.
  3. 3. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said second boiler comprises a non-condensing boiler.
  4. 4. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said first operating characteristics comprises at least a first temperature reset slope.
  5. 5. The hydronic heating system of claim 4, wherein said at least said first temperature reset slope is selectable by a user of said system.
  6. 6. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said second operating characteristics comprises at least a second temperature reset slope.
  7. 7. The hydronic heating system of claim 6, wherein said at least said second temperature reset slope is selectable by a user of said system.
  8. 8. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said condition comprises outdoor air temperature.
  9. 9. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said condition comprises indoor air temperature.
  10. 10. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said condition comprises the temperature of water circulating through said system for at least one location.
  11. 11. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said processor calculates a real-time heating load.
  12. 12. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said control operates at least one of said first and second boilers to maintain a predetermined difference between the temperature of water entering said at least one boiler and the temperature of water exiting said at least one boiler.
  13. 13. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said control operates at least one of said first and second boilers to maintain water circulating through said at least one boiler for a period of time following a time of operation of said boiler, said period of time being calculated as a percentage of said time of operation.
  14. 14. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, wherein said control provides sequencing of said first and second boilers.
  15. 15. The hydronic heating system of claim 14, wherein said sequencing is in response to the accumulated operating time of each of said boilers.
  16. 16. The hydronic heating system of claim 14, wherein said sequencing is in response to the output capacity of each of said boilers.
  17. 17. The hydronic heating system of claim 9, wherein said sequencing is in response to said first and second operating characteristics.
  18. 18. The hydronic heating system of claim 1, further comprising means for measuring and adjusting the pH of water circulating through said system.
  19. 19. A hydronic heating system comprising:
    a plurality of boilers having at least two different operating characteristics;
    at least one sensor for measuring a condition and providing an output indicative of said measured condition; and
    a control, operably coupled to said plurality of boilers, comprising:
    a processor, responsive to said sensor output, for calculating a heating load; and
    a control, responsive to said calculated heating load, for independently operating each of said plurality of boilers in a manner that matches said heating load to said different operating characteristics, wherein the independent operating of said first and second boilers is modulated as a function a comparison of a heat load assignment for said first and second boilers to a heat output of said first and second boilers.
  20. 20. A hydronic heating system comprising:
    a first boiler having first operating characteristics;
    a second boiler having second operating characteristics;
    a control, operably coupled to said first and second boilers, for determining a heating requirement in response to at least one condition and independently operating said first and second boilers to meet said heating requirement in accordance with said first and second operating characteristics, wherein the independent operating of said first and second boilers is modulated as a function a comparison of a heat load assignment for said first and second boilers to a heat output of said first and second boilers.
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WO2008091970A8 (en) 2008-09-25 application

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