Replacing non-functioning boiler systems — pressurized vessels placed in a facility to heat water — can take quite a bit of time. Enter the boiler-bypass system: a non-pressurized system that sits outside a facility or building. It heats up hot water, which then goes through the heat exchanger inside the building. Such units can be deployed rapidly and are scalable.

Different heating needs call for different heat exchangers. The following tips provide a reference list to guide your decision-making when this need arises.

1. Know How It Works

The plate heat exchanger, combined with a central heating module, is an option for delivering heat on a multi-storied project while still keeping the heat source at ground level. Plate heat exchangers can circulate heat transfer fluid up to 70’ above the central heating module’s elevation.

The plate heat exchanger provides a fluid distribution system that is separate from the central heating module. The central heating module provides a fluid hot loop. The plate heat exchanger transfers heat from the central heating module hot loop to the separate plate heat exchanger fluid-distribution system.

With a hydronic heater, a central heater placed and vented outside warms a heated transfer fluid, typically propylene glycol. The heated fluid pumps through a fluid-circulation system loop to remote heat exchangers, or fan coils, that remove heat from the fluid to the area to be heated. The heat transfer fluid returns via the closed loop to the central heater for reheating.

2. Move Quickly to Find a Right-Fit Temporary Equipment

Many buildings, especially older buildings, need to carry out planned maintenance activities or provide emergency heating if the facility’s own heating system fails.

A boiler bypass, or hydronic heater, provides reliable temporary heating for both potable and non-potable heat exchanger water applications. Such interim heating systems can be deployed rapidly to minimize disruption and inconvenience for the building’s occupants.

3. Ask About Anticipated Response Time

When a building’s boiler goes offline, it is important to resume normal services quickly. Be sure to ask rental providers about rapid site assessment, heat exchanger system design and deployment times to minimize downtime and discomfort.

4. Consider the Possibility of Direct Interface with Permanent Systems

A temporary boiler-bypass system with a plate heat exchanger can tie directly into the plant’s water system. These systems can directly interface with the facility or building’s permanent distribution systems, or vents and radiators.

Scalable BTU heat exchangers

Scalable BTU heat exchangers such as these can be used for hot water boiler-bypass applications.

This tie-in is particularly helpful if the building’s distribution system is down due to fire or flood damage, interface issues or other causes. The ability to directly tie into the permanent distribution systems makes it possible to get things back up and running and ensure uninterrupted service.

Normal heat exchangers allow for heating water in non-potable water situations. Properly sizing and scaling potable heat exchangers for applications where potable water is a requirement is possible as well.

5. Ask about Open Ventilation to Protect Workers

Hydronic heaters are designed to vent to the atmosphere rather than venting back into the work environment. Venting to the atmosphere eliminates the need for ventilation of noxious fumes from the workplace.

Because the hydronic heater is placed outside of the building, the actual heat exchanger is placed inside the building. Typically, it is placed close to the existing boiler that is down, allowing the rental boiler to tie in to the facility’s existing water supply system.

6. Know the Safety Impacts of Each Suggested Option

Boiler-bypass systems are inherently safe. As such, they do not require compliance steps like obtaining boiler certification tickets and 24-hour, third-party certified boiler technicians that are necessary when using other boiler heating systems. The same can be said for the heat exchangers that are sized and engineered to the hydronic heaters — no extra boiler technicians are required.

7. Factor in Space Requirements

While the boiler is being repaired or replaced, it is critical that the temporary heating equipment not take up too much space on site. Hydronic heaters require a small footprint, particularly in relation to the amount of BTUs they can generate.

8. Inquire about Scalability

To meet the specific needs of a facility or building, boiler-bypass systems with heat exchangers are scalable and can be configured in multiple combinations to meet size and space requirements. Depending on the total required BTUs for the given application, multiple hydronic heaters placed outside and multiple heat exchangers are placed inside the building, allowing for the proper scalability.

9. Be Wise about Equipment Choices

Boiler-bypass systems with heat exchangers are a cost-effective temporary heating approach. Many can operate on fuel sources of either propane, natural gas or diesel. These systems are inherently fuel efficient and they include smart controls to optimize temperature control and minimize fuel burn consumption.

Boiler systems

Boiler systems with separate heat exchangers can be used for both new and existing facilities.

10. Realize Cost Savings through Fuel Efficiency

A temporary heating solution should not be punitively costly. A well-designed boiler-bypass system is suited for use when emergencies arise and for planned maintenance work. When a boiler-bypass system is properly paired with an appropriate heat exchanger, the result can deliver more than heat. It can deliver savings from fuel efficiency and simultaneously reduce the operation’s carbon footprint.

In conclusion, a boiler-bypass paired with the appropriate heat exchanger provides a safe option for temporary heating needs as well as for sourcing heated potable and non-potable water.