Purchase made - Froling S3 with dual 240 gal Storage

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,783
Northern MN
The Grundfos Alpha is also an ECM circ. Variable speed. I would highly recommend one for a zone circ that would see varying flow conditions depending how many zones are calling for heat. But an ordinary 3 speed circ works pretty good as a boiler circ.
What's the Btuh rating of the Froling you are installing?
 

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
The Grundfos Alpha is also an ECM circ. Variable speed. I would highly recommend one for a zone circ that would see varying flow conditions depending how many zones are calling for heat. But an ordinary 3 speed circ works pretty good as a boiler circ.
Well the way i see it is that even a variable speed circ will still only ever get up to the max speed of a regular 3 speed circ....unless im missing something. So if thats the case the only advantage is running slower when no need to run a max RPM. From an energy consumption point these things are low power anyway so not really a big consumer of power.
 

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
What's the Btuh rating of the Froling you are installing?
Its the S3 with 30Kw trim so 102,500 BTU's. My heat load is 42,000 BTU/hr. Like i mentioned above i am heating this home fine with a 35 year old NYer WF100 thats about 50% efficient at best so Im guessing this one will be fine.
 

jebatty

Minister of Fire
Jan 1, 2008
5,783
Northern MN
Its the S3 with 30Kw trim so 102,500 BTU's. My heat load is 42,000 BTU/hr. Like i mentioned above i am heating this home fine with a 35 year old NYer WF100 thats about 50% efficient at best so Im guessing this one will be fine.
I was concerned with the 1" copper piping as to its capacity to handle the Froling rated output. I think 1" is OK for a 30Kw system.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,012
Northern NH
FWIW, my `100K BTU system ancient Burham seems to do fine with 1" piping.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,012
Northern NH
I have a Taco pump that came with my Burnham and may be 40 years old, My guess is if I had bit more flow I could charge up my 500 gallons of indirect storage a bit quicker but expect I would run out of heat exchanger area on my coil so it may not make a lot of difference.
 

chew72

Member
Oct 27, 2009
63
NS, Canada
First question what are your heat emitters?
Second question "instrumentation and controls tech" So am I kinda.. More Automation and controls / electrician. Do you have any plc experience?
(plc = programmable logic controller) if anyone's wondering

I ask because I didn't plan on having a PLC at home, but as I was plumbing the system I started thinking with everything I wanted to do, I'd be silly not to.
I still need to clean up the screen or make it into multiple screens but to give you an idea.
PXL_20210215_214531922.jpg

At a glance I can see exactly where my storage is at.

You know the saying "if all you have is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail" well the PLC has become my hammer.
Irrigation system, plc. Leaving the compressor on in the shop, contactor / 4-Hour timer. There are other examples but you get the idea.
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,710
Nova Scotia
Well the way i see it is that even a variable speed circ will still only ever get up to the max speed of a regular 3 speed circ....unless im missing something. So if thats the case the only advantage is running slower when no need to run a max RPM. From an energy consumption point these things are low power anyway so not really a big consumer of power.
They really shine with varying loads. As more of my zones open, the circ pumps faster. And vice versa as they close. Keeps each zone in a good consistent spot all the time re. fps and heat delivery.
 

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
First question what are your heat emitters?
Second question "instrumentation and controls tech" So am I kinda.. More Automation and controls / electrician. Do you have any plc experience?
(plc = programmable logic controller) if anyone's wondering

I ask because I didn't plan on having a PLC at home, but as I was plumbing the system I started thinking with everything I wanted to do, I'd be silly not to.
I still need to clean up the screen or make it into multiple screens but to give you an idea. View attachment 274648
At a glance I can see exactly where my storage is at.

You know the saying "if all you have is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail" well the PLC has become my hammer.
Irrigation system, plc. Leaving the compressor on in the shop, contactor / 4-Hour timer. There are other examples but you get the idea.
My emitter's are fin type baseboard rads, nothing special.

Yes I have PLC experience but honestly I dont thing i will need any extra control installed, the Froling software likely has all i will need, I just need to cough up the cash for the Touch Display which allows the connection to the parameters anywhere there is internet.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,012
Northern NH
I did what I could to avoid a PLC. I was burned too many times at work running into odd ball PLC's that needed software that was no longer available or not supported on a current version of windows. I have real nice GE Fanuc system with plenty of IO cards stored away that is useless to me as I dont have access to software that will talk to it. Yes the PLC would add a lot of options for control but not much use if I cant program it.
 

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
They really shine with varying loads. As more of my zones open, the circ pumps faster. And vice versa as they close. Keeps each zone in a good consistent spot all the time re. fps and heat delivery.
Yes I agree and like i mentioned the Froling will have compete control of the heating pump as it has the ability to make and conventional pump variable speed.

1613434137857.png
 

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
I did what I could to avoid a PLC. I was burned too many times at work running into odd ball PLC's that needed software that was no longer available or not supported on a current version of windows. I have real nice GE Fanuc system with plenty of IO cards stored away that is useless to me as I dont have access to software that will talk to it. Yes the PLC would add a lot of options for control but not much use if I cant program it.
Yes thats the issue, the software is difficult to access. Most of my experience is with Siemens Step 7, Allen Bradly, and some Omron a long time ago.
 

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
So guys there has been a few comment on this post now and its much appreciated but can anyone really take a look at my piping design and comment if there are any major design flaws. It was a basic design i seen in one of the many documents ive read over the last 2 years and basically just redrew it in ACAD drafting software to make it my own. I've used ACAD for almost 25 years now but the latest versions are something else. You can pretty much import any type of file (drawing, picture, pdf) and ACAD will convert it to a vector file that can be modified within ACAD......which is what I done with this one.

Someone mentioned above that i dont have any check valves and they were correct but i honestly dont see anywhere to install them to improve things but sometimes you cant see the forest for the trees lol. The circ pumps all have built in checks. Im looking for new eyes to review this for errors or improvements.

I know there is a possibility that I may get some ghost flow through the wood boiler when i heating from storage, anyone else see this as a maybe.....or is it most likely. The flow would have to overcome the restrictions of the 3 way loading pump so im guessing it might not be much go through that but not 100% certain. Im really trying to keep this design as simple as possible, I can add zone valves to close off certain paths but that only brings more components to the system, i really dont want any extra if i can avoid it. Thoughts?
 

chew72

Member
Oct 27, 2009
63
NS, Canada
I've looked over your piping layout and everything looks good to me. I'm guessing that's why people aren't commenting on it. You got it right the first time.

I agree and don't see where check valves would help any. Also my froling is 30kw and runs about 9gpm, so the 1" pipe should be fine. As for the ghost flow. Now when you say loading pump, is that the circulator and boiler protection all in one? If so I believe it may have a built-in check valve. This is meant to act as a bypass if the circulator / power fails and will allow the boiler to thermosiphon. I'm not sure if this would be a problem or not, and I'm kind of curious to hear has ever been an issue for someone.
 
Last edited:

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
I've looked over your piping layout and everything looks good to me. I'm guessing that's why people aren't commenting on it. You got it right the first time.

I agree and don't see where check valves would help any. Also my froling is 30kw and runs about 9gpm, so the 1" pipe should be fine. As for the ghost flow. Now when you say loading pump, is that the circulator and boiler protection all in one? If so I believe it may have a built-in check valve. This is meant to act as a bypass if the circulator / power fails and will allow the boiler to thermosiphon. I'm not sure if this would be a problem or not, and I'm kind of curious to hear has ever been an issue for someone.
Well I hope your right lol.

Yes correct its a ThermoBloc 281, and it does have a built in check but it also has a screw that you can leave in place so the check wont be able to operate. I know this is not recommended for reasons you mention but that same safety feature can also cause some ghost flow in a situation where the froling is not firing and that pump is off but im pulling heat from storage. That's the only concern i have so far.

What storage do you have and how many square feet you heating? I'm on the low side i know with only 480 gal but I will be happy if i do a evening burn i can at least get until early morning from storage. We dont get crazy cold temps here, anywhere from 5 to -10 deg C is the norm for a few months in winter. Whats your thoughts?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,012
Northern NH
John Seigenthaler the hydronics guru has a couple of courses on hydronic design on Heatspring.com and a book on hydronics design. Amazon product I took his paid course a few years back. He also has some great hydronics software that the course covers https://www.hydronicpros.com/downloads/ there are some trial versions that may be worth looking at. They are powerful tools but expect a bit pricey for a homeowner doing a single system.

Subsequently he did a course sponsored by NYSERDA on biomass heating for free. If you get his book and watch the NYSERDA video you will get a lot of ideas https://www.heatspring.com/courses/hydronics-for-high-efficiency-biomass-boilers-sponsored-by-nyserda/ .

One of his recommendations in the paid course is to write a detailed functional write up of how the system will work in all operating modes. If done correctly it forces you to figure out the controls. Its also is the first step for any future technician to diagnose the system in the future. We all may want to live forever but its likely that the system you install will outlive you or your ability to repair it. That can be liability in the future if you have to sell your home.

With respect to ghost flows, John is major fan of hydraulic separators. I think its detail that many of us miss.

The trade off for John's approach is he designs to commercial standards. This means more money up front on the installation but better control , system efficiency and diagnostics in the long run.
 

chew72

Member
Oct 27, 2009
63
NS, Canada
Well I hope your right lol.

Yes correct its a ThermoBloc 281, and it does have a built in check but it also has a screw that you can leave in place so the check wont be able to operate. I know this is not recommended for reasons you mention but that same safety feature can also cause some ghost flow in a situation where the froling is not firing and that pump is off but im pulling heat from storage. That's the only concern i have so far.

What storage do you have and how many square feet you heating? I'm on the low side i know with only 480 gal but I will be happy if i do a evening burn i can at least get until early morning from storage. We dont get crazy cold temps here, anywhere from 5 to -10 deg C is the norm for a few months in winter. Whats your thoughts?
5 to - 10 describes this winter here perfectly. The avg over night low has been - 6 to - 8C

I'm heating roughly 1500sq feet to 22C on the main level of the house with 1000sq ft left unheated on the second level. Plus a 500sqft detached shop where the boiler and storage live. The 1500sqft is primarily heated via water to air heat exchanger operating around a 45* delta t

For storage I have two 500gallon propane tanks installed vertically and plumbed in parallel. During the shoulder seasons I valve one off and just use one 500 gallon as DHW becomes half the load.

( forgive the switch to Fahrenheit. I always think of heating systems in Fahrenheit)
My routine looks like this: come home at 5 p.m. Top of storage is at 110 or 140*F. The rest of the tank is at 100-110. I ballpark my storage hitting 110* water between 3:30-6pm ( I can still heat the house comfortably off of this for another 16 hours) I make a fire at 5pm typical output temp is 150-160. Around 7-8pm I'll fill it again this will bring me to roughly 3:30pm any wood added after this will carry me past 3:30pm. Also this is 80-90% softwood. Hardwood would have me sail past 5pm.

With your system I suspect (I'm not an expert just my opinion) you will find you make a fire in the morning that will heat all day. If you keep it going by the time storage is charged I don't think that will quite carry you all night. A lot of variables there. The other scenario is making fire in the morning that will heat the house all day and let it go out . Then in the afternoon make a second fire, that one you keep going and will charge the storage carrying you overnight.

( also this is all assuming you don't let the boiler idle trying to obtain maximum efficiency) oh and if you wood is dry it takes me 5-10mins tops, to make a fire and walk away.

Last thing. I'm trying not to be too long winded. You have me intrigued about 500 gallons of storage. One of the reasons I parallelled my system is if a tank develops a leak, I can valve it Off. As a test I think I'm going to setup some trends on the tank storage and valve one tank off to see what 500 gallons of storage does for me. I'll post the results on here once I get them.
 

chew72

Member
Oct 27, 2009
63
NS, Canada
The tough part with your setup is the the fin type baseboards. Do you happen to know if they are oversized for the rooms at all? Also what is the current operating temperature that you would typically get comfortable heat out of the system.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,710
Nova Scotia
My emitter's are fin type baseboard rads, nothing special
You might find that to be holding you back when it comes to time between burns, especially with that amount of storage (on the small side). Any chance of adding more of it, or maybe some cast iron rads in spots?
 

Newfiestang

Member
Jan 5, 2017
112
NL
John Seigenthaler the hydronics guru has a couple of courses on hydronic design on Heatspring.com and a book on hydronics design. Amazon product I took his paid course a few years back. He also has some great hydronics software that the course covers https://www.hydronicpros.com/downloads/ there are some trial versions that may be worth looking at. They are powerful tools but expect a bit pricey for a homeowner doing a single system.

Subsequently he did a course sponsored by NYSERDA on biomass heating for free. If you get his book and watch the NYSERDA video you will get a lot of ideas https://www.heatspring.com/courses/hydronics-for-high-efficiency-biomass-boilers-sponsored-by-nyserda/ .

One of his recommendations in the paid course is to write a detailed functional write up of how the system will work in all operating modes. If done correctly it forces you to figure out the controls. Its also is the first step for any future technician to diagnose the system in the future. We all may want to live forever but its likely that the system you install will outlive you or your ability to repair it. That can be liability in the future if you have to sell your home.

With respect to ghost flows, John is major fan of hydraulic separators. I think its detail that many of us miss.

The trade off for John's approach is he designs to commercial standards. This means more money up front on the installation but better control , system efficiency and diagnostics in the long run.
Yes ive read some of Johns stuff and watched some of the youtube videos, maybe ill take that course, surely cant hurt.

And yes a complete operating manual is definitely in the "to do list". Will need that as my mind ages as well lol, already finding my memory not what it was 10 year ago and im not 50 yet.