By: Dan Chudecke
For over a decade, the Lochinvar CREST has been an efficient and reliable source of hydronic heat. The product line has been improved over the years to take advantage of new technologies and components.
The latest Crest innovation is the Hellcat Combustion Technology system that continuously adjusts based on real time O2 data to improve operation (aka O2 trim). A common challenge for peak condensing boiler operation is maintaining the proper fuel-to-air ratio, especially considering the wide range of ambient conditions we experience. Excess oxygen in natural gas and liquified Propane combustion prevents a boiler from condensing and capturing 10-12% of energy an owner paid for. Some systems just accept a certain amount of variability in operation. However, if a boiler is to constantly maintain peak performance, the adage of “measure to manage” must be applied. Unlike very large industrial boilers, no cost-effective opportunity for adaptation and improvement existed for smaller commercial-sized systems until now.
Given that heating plants are a CRITICAL system in our region, Mulcahy will only recommend products and options to our customers that operate reliably with minimal attention. In the past, O2 trim systems required frequent sensor replacement and testing. Lochinvar engineers set out to create a system that provided efficient operation but not at the cost of excessive maintenance. A recent visit to a Hellcat installed in the fall of 2021 proved that they were successful.
There is a significant amount of data logging functions inherent to the standard Crest boilers (both with and without Hellcat). A good indicator of proper operation after a system has been online for a while is comparing run times and cycles. Long average run times are good to see and can only happen if all the control elements are properly set for the system. On this project, the boilers operated approximately 18 hours per successful ignition. It would likely have been longer if not for the code requirement that boilers cycle off at least once every 24 hours to test the controls. (See Figure 1)
Another piece of data available on Hellcat units is the is how much life remains on the O2 sensor. At this installation, only 9% of the sensor’s life had been used over two full winters. (See Figure 2). It will be years of operation before the sensor will need service.
There is no better test of a product than the real world and the Lochinvar Crest with Hellcat Combustion Technology has met the challenge. For more information contact Mulcahy Company for any questions.
By: Dan Chudecke
Mulcahy Company has found that a key element of success is to partner with manufacturers that are always innovating to meet the demands of the marketplace. From efficiency improvements to customizable controls, the best always strives to be an industry leader. One new request from customers has been to serve domestic hot water (DHW) loads without using fossil fuels. This is part of an overall trend amongst building owners and tenants to lower their carbon footprint.
Lochinvar has responded to this market demand with the introduction of the Veritus air source heat pumps. These 100% made in America air source heat pumps are specifically designed to satisfy domestic hot water loads without consuming fossil fuels on site. The initial product release will include 60,000 and 140,000 BTU/hr size units. These individual modules can be banked together to meet the larger loads of commercial buildings with redundancy. These high Coefficient of Performance (COP) heat pumps utilize low Global Warming Potential (GWP) R-513A refrigerant.
One unique capability of the Veritus Air Source Heat Pumps is that they can be ducted to capture the waste heat from spaces in need of cooling. The units are deployed in a typical Lochinvar fashion where water is heated separately from the storage tank (‘The Better Idea ‘). This allows for design flexibility and superior energy efficiency. Example – Install the Veritus unit in or near a room with constant heat rejection and circulate the water to a DHW tank. The space is cooled, and potable hot water loads are satisfied. The DHW tank does not need to be near the area being cooled. This design approach could be utilized in new and existing buildings. Such systems are prime candidates to achieve energy consumption targets and are often eligible for utility rebates.
Lochinvar has once again come up with an innovative solution to satisfy the needs of our customers.
For more information visit:
On February 6th, 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey, leaving thousands without homes or belongings. This happened just as winter storms were peaking with below freezing temperatures. Mulcahy employee Ben Justman and his wife Ela Justman reached out to friends, family, and coworkers to start collecting donations. Ela has family in Turkey, so it was important to do what we could here. They received an overwhelming response; all of the donations were brought to Mulcahy to be packed and will be shipped where they are needed the most.
Thank you to everyone for your generous donations.
Everyone here at Mulcahy was in love this past Valentine’s Day – with Quincino’s Pizza that is! Quincy Williams brought back Quincino’s in the office for the first time since the pandemic, and boy oh boy it was a day you did not want to miss! He ended up making EIGHT of his famous steak, bacon, and egg breakfast pizzas! Thank you, Quincy, for sharing your wonderful talent with us – our bellies thank you as well!
Author: Dan Chudecke
The 2023 AHR Expo was held this year in Atlanta, GA and the well-attended event was the stage for several exciting product announcements. Here are a few of the highlights.
Bell & Gossett (B&G) added to their pump offering with the introduction of the e-90E Smart Pump . The e-90 pump is a versatile in-line pump offering wide hydraulic coverage well suited for the small commercial HVAC market. Available in horizontal or vertical installations, the close coupled build of the Series e-90 pump makes it an ideal solution for heating and cooling applications where space is a concern.
The latest improvement comes from the addition of an Ultra-Premium IE-5 motor and variable speed drive to the already efficient hydraulics of the e-90 pump. This improvement in efficiency expands the range of operation beyond what is available with a standard asynchronous AC motor.
Beyond the inherent pluses of variable speed operation, the e-90 Smart Pump built in control options that allow the pump to capture all the benefits without needing external controls.
The Baltimore Air Coil Company showcased the innovative Trillium Series of adiabatic fluid coolers with their wide offering of heat rejection options. The modular hybrid unit utilizes high efficient ECM fans to draw air across the coil to reject heat while keeping the water/glycol isolated from the air stream. The Trillium can operate dry when conditions allow, but the best efficiency is attained via precooling at the air inlets. The internal pumps circulate water over the adiabatic pads to gain the benefits of evaporative cooling and the water management systems periodically drains the unit to prevent mineral buildup. The complete system requires no external controls to stage, modulate, and rotate the fans and pumps. The Trillium controls will also occasionally reverse the air flow to blow off anything that may be lodged in the air inlet. There is so much more to this unit than can be described in a simple bulletin. For and AR tour for this innovative design follow the link.
Cemline Corporation announced the addition of an electronic mixing valve to complement their wide offering of unfired water heaters. The Cemline® Digital Tempering Valve (DTV) is designed to provide consistent tempered water to institutional and commercial facilities. The digital controller wired to the stainless-steel control valve can accurately maintain set point within +/-2°F from 0.5 gpm to full flow.
The DTV Series can be used for domestic hot water, or heating/cooling for industrial applications. The controller can remotely communicate with the building management system with options of BACnet (IP or MSTP), Modbus, or Internet. The digital tempering valves include a controller, stainless steel valve, and temperature sensor. The valves are available from 1/2″ to 2-1/2″. The valve conforms to ASSE 1017, California Lead Free Plumbing Law, CSA B 125 (NSF /ANSI 61 Section 8), and UL listed.
This month, Jesse Charpentier shared some of his favorite cocktails with us!
2 oz your choice of whiskey
2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
.5 oz unsweetened lime juice
.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz Skrewball peanut butter whiskey
1.5 oz sweet and sour mix
4 dashes each angostura and orange bitters
1 cocktail cherry – muddled
Warm up this winter with some chili, enjoy this recipe Dave Duncan has shared with coworkers!
Brown 1lb of hamburger and chopped onion, drain fat.
15oz tomato sauce
15oz whole tomatoes – with juice
15oz kidney beans – rinse and drain.
1 can sliced mushrooms – drained.
1 TBSP chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
pepper to taste
Set in crockpot on high for 3-4 hours.
As the temperature quickly plummets, our attention turns from sunny summer weekends at the lake to football, apple picking, pumpkins and for many Minnesotans, hunting. Although there are many scattered throughout the US, hunters are rapidly dwindling in numbers. A pastime lasting throughout generations has been steadily declining since the early 1960s. Hunting encourages comradery, safety, food, and fun. For those that are intrigued by the idea of hunting or are looking for a fun weekend, I would recommend giving pheasant hunting a try this fall. Grab an orange vest, a shotgun, and some comfortable boots and you are ready to go. Although a dog can be beneficial for flushing birds, it is not a necessity. The only caveat is that you can only harvest male pheasants if you are not hunting on a private game farm. You can tell a male pheasant from a female pheasant by their bright beautiful colors (see below for reference). Below are some areas to key in on when looking for pheasants.
Public Land: Minnesota has thousands of acres of public land designed for Minnesotans to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to check the regulations before you go. In many of these locations, you can hunt pheasants free of charge and on your own time.
Tall CRP Grass: Pheasants live in tall prairie grasses where their beautiful colors keep them hidden from predators. Areas both big and small will hold pheasants if there is enough cover. Look for some hip-high grass and go for a walk. You never know what you might kick up!
Corn Fields/Agriculture: Tall prairie grass alongside corn fields or agriculture fields will increase the chance you will see pheasants. The grain provides food and grass provides cover.
Game Farm: A game farm is a plot of land where the landowner releases pheasants for the hunters to harvest. A game farm is great for beginners as it increases the number of birds you will see and harvest. For roughly $15 per bird, a group of friends can go out and harvest dinner for everyone to enjoy. On a game farm, both male and female pheasants can be harvested.
Author: Joe Mozeika
To me, nothing represents American cuisine quite like BBQ. It can be found from coast to coast with each region putting their own flavor spin on it. In North Carolina they slow-smoke a whole hog on an open-pit cooker, while across the border in South Carolina, a mustard-based sauce covers everything. Memphis does dry rub ribs while Alabama’s got smoked chicken with white sauce. Across Texas, you can find Mesquite wood BBQ out west, brisket in Central Texas, and beef ribs in the north. In Kansas City, they mix it all together with sweeter, thicker sauces!
In addition to the variety of flavors, I find the culture of BBQ to be fascinating. There are no set rules for how you cook your food, what spices—if any—you use, or what you cook your food with. It’s all about patience and the love of meat. Most smoked meats take a while to cook, often up to 14 hours for the larger cuts. Most pitmasters choose to spend that time socializing with friends, family, and even passersby drawn in by the smell of your smoker. You’ve got 14 hours ahead of you so you might as well spend them with some fun people! The majority of pitmasters choose to not keep secrets, rather they share their experience and methods of cooking with anyone that asks. They’ll tell you how they prep their meat, how they make their fire, what type of wood they use, what temperatures they cook at, how to know when the meat is done, and really anything else you want to know. The culture of BBQ is all about sharing, both knowledge and food, which I think is one of its best attributes.
Once you’re ready to try your hand at BBQ you’ve got a few things to figure out first, like what you’re going to cook and what you’re going to cook it in, however, with the rising popularity of backyard BBQ there are many ways option for you to jump in.
Let’s start with what you’re going to cook. If it’s your first go at slow-cooked BBQ, I would suggest Pork Butt. Despite its name, the pork butt comes from the front shoulder of the pig so there’s no need to worry about what you’re cooking, even if the name is a little gross. The pork butt has a high fat content which helps prevent it from drying out during the cook. Additionally, the high fat content and tender muscles of the pork butt make it best suited for shredding. Once shredded, it becomes what is commonly known as pulled pork. Pulled pork can be used in several dishes, from sandwiches to tacos and anything in between! As for what spices to put on your meat, there are some great premade rubs (a rub is the seasoning you cover the meat with prior to putting it on the smoker) that you can find at any supermarket. Read the description or the list of spices on the container to see if it is near the flavor profile you’re hoping for. They can be sweet, smokey, spicy, etc. so be sure to check that it’s going to be right for you before you buy.
Once you have your ingredients you will need to figure out what you’re going to cook your meat in. Here’s where things might take a little more thought. You’re going to have to figure out the smoker that is right for you based on ease of use and cost. There are some inexpensive models that require very little understanding of fire management, such as electric or propane smokers. These will cost less than $200 and all you need to do to start cooking is add wood chips and set them to the temperature you want. From there the next step up would be a Pellet Smoker/grill. These are a little bit more expensive but often they aren’t just smokers, and most will double as grills as well. Like the electric or propane smoker, all you have to do is set the smoker to your desired temperature and fill the hopper with fuel, in this case pellets, from there you’re ready to start smoking your meat. This type of smoker will likely cost anywhere between $500 and $2000 depending on the size and how many features you want. Finally, if you’re like me and like to play with fire something like a Big Green Egg (ceramic smoker) or a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) is a fun and challenging way to get you started. These require a little bit more work, as you have to find just the right amount of charcoal and wood chips to get the temperature and flavor profile you want but they offer much more consistent temperatures and smoke once you dial it in versus an electronically controlled smoker. Something like the two I mentioned above will have a price tag from $500 to $1200 depending on size. Ultimately there is no wrong smoker, just the one that works best for you!
In the true spirit of BBQ culture, I’ve chosen to share my own method of cooking pork butt. Always buy your pork butt bone in. Personally, I feel it adds extra flavor to the final product. To start rinse and dry your meat. After that, I rub the meat with a very light coating of Siracha sauce. This will give the slightest amount of heat on the back end and function as a binder for the rub too. Once the meat is covered with siracha I rub it with spices (Included below is my personal spice mix). Wrap in cling wrap and put it in your refrigerator overnight. Once you’re ready to start cooking, start your smoker and set it to your desired temperature. I always target 225°-250° for my cooking and I prefer a of lump charcoal with oak chunks in my drum smoker. Make sure to let it stabilize for about 30 min or so once it has reached the temperature you’ve chosen. While your smoker is heating up, take the meat out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature. After your smoker’s temperature has stabilized quickly place the meat into the smoker and close it up. From there once every hour you will spray the pork with a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. This keeps the outer layers of the meat from drying out as well as adds a little bit of sweet flavor. Do this for anywhere between 4-6 hours, just until the internal temperature of the meat is 165°. It may reach this a little sooner or a little later than anticipated depending on many factors, but in any case, we are looking to cook for a target temperature, not a time. Once your meat has reached 165°, pull it out of the smoker and wrap it tightly in tin foil. Then place it back in the smoker, keeping the temperature of the smoker between 225°-250°, and wait for the internal temperature of the meat to reach 205°. This should take about 3-4 hours, but again it’s all about cooking until the meat has reached the correct temperature, not a time. Once the meat’s internal temperature is at 205°, remove it from the smoker and allow it to sit for an hour or so. After it’s done sitting, grab some large forks and start shredding. If you’ve done it right, you likely can shred with just your hands. Once shredded, it’s time to indulge any way you like! There is no wrong way to enjoy your BBQ!
Author: Eric Yost
Over the past couple of decades, we’ve recognized a steady improvement in the efficiency of motors used for both mechanical and plumbing systems. Instigated by regulations from the Department of Energy and design improvements, AC induction motor efficiencies have improved across the board to what is accepted as the practical limit for this style motor.
The ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) is a new type of motor that is commercially available. This new style of motor transcends the efficiencies of traditional motors with each style of ECM being unique. Most ECMs utilize a form of magnetic rotor and/or an engineered metal core to reduce losses. These new motors are so efficient that new ratings had to be created to categorize them. The current NEMA Premium chart (Equivalent to IE-3) does not capture how effective these motors are, so the IE-4 “Super Premium” and IE-5 “Ultra Super Premium” levels have been introduced to help categorize these them.
The EC Titanium motor from ABB is one of these new commercially available options. It is a Ferrite Assist Synchronous Reluctance (FASR) motor that exceeds the highest industry standard of IE-5. (See table below). Available with up to 20 hp in multiple frame sizes, these Ultra Super Premium Efficient motors possess a few unique advantages over other motor styles.
EC Titanium Motors have a proven history of installations that prove their efficiency. Mulcahy worked with a large university to retrofit the new motor to fit an existing air handling unit that had been re-sheaved for higher output. The increase in fan capacity necessitated an increase in motor horsepower. This usually means also changing the wire size and VFD, but due to the efficiency and low amp draw of a titanium motor, nothing else needed to be changed.
The EC Titanium motor and ACH-580 combination are a major improvement over the status quo in our industry. Both products have proven real-world applications. Contact Mulcahy if you have any questions or applications.