Web Case Study-Montana Community Uses Danfoss Zone Control Panels with Hydronic Heating Systems
Located in the heart of the picturesque Rocky Mountains, Bozeman, MT, is truly a remarkable community. From cattle ranchers to high tech engineers, the area is home to those who appreciate an unmatched quality of life. Construction in Bozeman covers a wide range of projects, from smaller custom-built homes to upscale $10 million residences in the surrounding mountain areas. Due to its severe climate and limited need for air conditioning, Bozeman became a strong hydronic market.
Life in a cold climate can be challenging. Therefore, it is critical for a homeowner to select a heating system that will provide efficient and trouble-free distribution of heat. Hydronic systems are ideal for the Bozeman climate and are highly recommended by the local heating professionals, but there is a shortage of manpower in the area to develop a proper system design. Typical hydronic heating systems are a maze of controls and piping. Jobs that involve on-site engineering and fabrication result in extended installation time, and often, additional unexpected costs. Control wiring and testing often require the services of additional trades and are a prime reason for callbacks. By the time the whole system has been fabricated and wired, a lot of valuable wall space has been consumed.
Danfoss makes it simple by offering pre-fabricated, pre-engineered and pre-wired zone control panels (ZCPs), allowing reduced installation time and improved bottom lines. ZCP panels are used in applications such as floor warming, add-on radiant heating, residential heating, commercial heating, snow/ice melt, multi temperature systems and hybrid systems. They are easy to install and allow for flexibility in designing the system.
Faced with limited manpower, Scott Horning of Summit Mechanical and Dave Morrel of Ferguson Enterprise, a plumbing and heating wholesaler in Bozeman, were looking for a way to cut installation time and cost. They were invited to visit Danfoss ZCP training and production center in Calgary, AB. After receiving some in-depth training on Danfoss panels and controls, Summit Mechanical started ordering panels for their first projects.
"The feedback from contractors and homeowners was astounding. The space required to install a multiple zone system with outdoor reset was reduced by 75%, which is critical in today's smaller mechanical rooms. The panels were inconspicuous and had a small white cabinet to hide the intimidating pipework from the end user. The job was completed within a day or two, allowing the contractor to move on to another project," said Morrel.
Smitty's Plumbing, through its affiliation with Ferguson, also realized the potential for Danfoss panels and replaced an on-site engineered system to manufactured ZCP panels on a condominium project. "Smitty's realized it is difficult to control labor costs on a project when compared to a fixed appliance price," said Morrel. When purchasing a pre-manufactured panel, many expenses associated with building the heat system can be eliminated. These expenses include worker's compensation, labor, overtime, travel, warranty, troubleshooting, electrical, design and liability.
"From a wholesale standpoint, the panels have been an excellent opportunity. For years, customers have brought me plans asking for heat loss calculations and system designs for projects. Each time, I would have to provide a material list and a drawing of how to pipe the system. The problem was, not everyone would pipe the system the way they were guided, and I was consistently receiving calls from electricians asking questions about how to wire the controls. These problems have disappeared," said Morrel.
The Danfoss Zone Control Panels provide a completely packaged, ETL-listed, UL-approved, modular approach to near boiler piping in the radiant and hydronic heating systems. In the past three years, Dave Morrel of Ferguson has provided his contractors with over 200 ZCP panels, piece of mind and profit.
For more information on Danfoss Zone Control Panels, visit www.danfoss.com.