Electrification Improves High-Rise Hot Water Design

Electrification Improves High-Rise Hot Water Design

This piece was originally published in the January 2018 issue of electroindustry.

David Shepard, PE, President, G.A. Fleet Associates, Inc. and Bob Silva, Raychem Marketing Manager, Pentair Thermal Management

New York City is a city of modern, energy-efficient, and increasingly narrow skyscrapers. This is driving engineers to innovate their system designs to bring more services up to greater heights while simultaneously saving energy and space.

Plumbing codes require potable hot water to be maintained at a minimum delivery temperature by either recirculating the unused water back to the water heater or utilizing electric temperature maintenance systems. Traditional plumbing system designs place independent heaters and recirculation piping systems in each pressure zone (approximately every ten floors).

A hot water temperature maintenance self-regulating heating cable system is an electric technology alternative to recirculation pump methods.

Bruce Jaffe, a principal at MG Engineering, rethought the standard potable domestic hot water generation and distribution by utilizing electric temperature maintenance hot water heat trace cable in lieu of the industry standby recirculation pump method for plumbing code compliance. MG Engineering’s innovative designs result in cost-efficient construction and reduced mechanical shaft requirements, mechanical and electrical room space, building fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, and water waste—all while supplying instant hot water for building tenants.

According to Mr. Jaffe, electric temperature maintenance cable systems decouple the zone pressure from the water heater pressure.

“This permits us to create a master hot water plant, which minimizes overall space and BTU requirements. The system is simplified by eliminating equipment and its associated installation requirements,” he concluded.

By replacing inefficient recirculation plumbing technology with cost effective and energy saving electrical heat tracing technology, tenants get instant hot water, no matter how loaded or unloaded the building is, and that’s all they need to know.

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