The gold standard in hydronic systems │EnVisioneering Exchange podcast ep. 10

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Gust bio

Jae Chon, Director of Strategic Markets for Chesapeake Systems, has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial HVAC industry. Starting in building automation systems, he transitioned into mechanical system designs, planning commercial office spaces, laboratories and clean rooms, and specialized industrial processing facilities. For the past 15 years, Chon has worked in hydronic system sales at Chesapeake Systems, focused on government buildings, schools, and hospitals.


Episode summary

Jae Chon, director of strategic markets for Chesapeake Systems, joins us again in this episode to continue the conversation from episode 9 on hydronic HVAC systems and discuss how a courthouse in the Baltimore, Maryland area upgraded its facility by employing the principles of the synchronized hydronic loop.


Main points

  • After new hydronic systems are installed, many owners feel that what they receive does not match the concept they envisioned.
    • Part of this is due to so many people involved—e.g., engineers, designers, contractors, etc.
  • One example of an improperly balanced system was found in the Towson Courthouse in Towson, Maryland.
    • Some examples of what caused the system imbalances include the exhaust fans being negatively affected by leaf dampening units, air handling units adjusted to prevent the openings from being able to close, and manual balancing valves being locked in the open position.
    • All of these issues resulted in the system sucking in hot air and then overcompensating in an attempt to correct the problem.
    • The pumps were over-pumping, causing premature wear, and with the balancing valves set incorrectly, the pipes became noisy.
    • All of these problems led to the inside of the building being extremely humid and drip pans leaking onto ceiling tiles, leaving some areas unusable.
  • Chon was brought on to help balance the system.
  • Based on the original system design plans, the system should have functioned properly. However, due to tinkering caused from trying to fix misdiagnosed problems, the system began breaking down to the point of barely functioning.
  • Chon’s first step was to adjust controls so that a positive indoor pressure was achieved. Next, he worked to balance the hydronics.
  • However, as more investigation was conducted, Chon discovered that many components had either reached end-of-life or were damaged beyond repair, requiring a complete system overhaul.
  • This new system would be “the gold standard” of synchronized hydronic loop systems.
    • Modular chillers were chosen for better part-load efficiency and heat-rejection capabilities.
    • Sensorless pumps with variable-speed drives were selected that use for more precise control and no need for transducers.
    • Pressure independent control valves (PICVs) were chosen instead of manual balancing valves to adjust to dynamically changing system pressures, increasing efficiency.


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Explore Danfoss’ valve for hydronic balancing and control

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