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Old 27-09-2021, 08:43   #1
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Location: Alaska for work , the Passoa is stranded in NZ
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connecting a summer and winter loop for hydronic heating

Hi I could use some help / ideas. I am trying connect two hydronic loops together when needed. A summer loop ( motor- water heater) and winter ( hydronic heating loop )

The boat had a very complicated systems where you could choose , the motor, a M10 hydronic heater, generator , or the water heater to heat the loops. There was 12 valves.

I have simplify it to two loops the Motor to water heater and the hydronic heating loop

On the hydronic heating loop I have removed the m10 and am adding a reflex ( with circ pump) and expansion tank and one more radiator ( hyrdonic towel rack to the head). I am keeping the ebersapcher radiators with fans.

What is the simplest way to connect the two loops lets ay for the winter.

Can I put T’s at the water hear and run lines to a T with a Ball Valve on the hydronic loop. The hydronic loop passes very close to the water heater?

Any experience with bleeding hydronic loops? Can I put an extra t with a ball valve to burp or let air escapes? Ideas on this.

All input welcome?
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Old 27-09-2021, 09:07   #2
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Re: connecting a summer and winter loop for hydronic heating

Why exclude possibility of motor (instead of hydronic heater) providing heating while motoring? We find this option very (!) useful outside of July/August.

(Sorry, this response does not answer your specific questions.)

Our heating/water heating system is completely separate from the engine coolant system. We have the engine coolant circulate through a heat exchanger, which heats the heating/water heating fluid. The hydronic heater is part of this heating/water heater system. When running, the hydronic heater provides pump to circulate fluid. When motor (and not hydronic) providing heating, a circulation pump in system circulates fluid.

The summer setting (water heater only) is a set of 2 valves in the heating/water heater system that diverts the heating fluid away from the radiators in the boat, so that heating fluid is effectively only circulating between hydronic heater (which may or may not be in use), the circulating pump (only on when motoring and hydronic off) and the heat exchanger with the engine coolant.

Hope this helps.
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Old 27-09-2021, 09:25   #3
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Re: connecting a summer and winter loop for hydronic heating

Quote:
Originally Posted by sv_pelagia View Post
Why exclude possibility of motor (instead of hydronic heater) providing heating while motoring? We find this option very (!) useful outside of July/August.

Hope this helps.

i guess i wasnt clear , thats what i am trying to do , in the winter or when needed, be-able to circulate coolant using the motor. Right now the motor just circulates coolant to the water heater.

ok that makes more sense, so the heat exhanger heats the hydronic loop and you can just divert that with a set of valves.


ld
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Old 27-09-2021, 20:57   #4
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Re: connecting a summer and winter loop for hydronic heating

I have a hydronic system linked to a boiler or several engines. Valves are the easy way. If you don't like using the valves you can buy 12v solenoid valves you can operate remotely.
Bleed valves can be installed at any high spot.
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Old 28-09-2021, 10:41   #5
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Re: connecting a summer and winter loop for hydronic heating

I’ve been planning my hydronic system for a little while now. currently glassing and setting up the new water heater cabinet, which is the heart of my system.

for what your describing you have a couple options
1) use a heat exchanger for one of the loops, and/or between the loops.
probably your easiest way forward. id run the engine to the water heater and a heat exchanger on the inlet side of the hydronic heater. another heat exchanger from the output of the hydronic heater to the inlet of the water heater. if i am thinking on this correctly, the engine heats the water heater directly and hydronic loop via heat exchanger, the hydronic heater heats the hydronic loop directly and the water heater via heat exchanger.

2)get a dual coil water heater.
this is more expensive, unless you need a new water heater anyway. harder to find in the US. i have found several euro brands where these are more popular. i believe European canal boats use engine or diesel hydronic heaters regularly. researching these units they may be be a higher quality than US brands, jury is still out on that but evidence is pointing that way. the euro models are cheaper than the US brands, but then you have to have it shipped.
Regardless of where you’re getting it, connect one loop to the engine, and the other loop to the hydronic heater, easy peasy. The water heater is the heat exchanger for both loops/systems.

Both ways you can add a 3 way valve and check valve just after the water heater to shorten the system in summer. This just keeps the engine and hydronic heater heat concentrated into the water heater.

you may have to replace the hydronic water pump with a better one and put a pair of relays in there to turn on the hydronic circulating pump when the engine or hydronic pump is on. Been seeing that the water pumps that come with the hydronic heaters are not that good. it would also be a benefit to add a 10w hot water circulating pump and pipe insulation to your hot water system.

Another alternative option is to use a “Open Hydronic System”. There are several different piping diagrams at https://www.radiantcompany.com/system/opensystem/. Essentially the hydronic heat and domestic hot water are connected. There is some controversy here with similar house systems built the system works well with boats. This requires the use of a dual coil hot water heater or exchangers. Some of the diagrams/systems are complicated, but there aren’t a lot of use cases to get a realistic comparison of performance.

If you do a search here there is another system, that probably doesn’t work for you since you already have your system. Essentially it’s a reverse hydronic system. The engine and hydronic heater both heat an insulated header tank. There is a 50ft+ coil of copper water pipe inside that domestic hot water goes through. The tank essentially stores hot coolant and you ae only heating domestic hot water that you use, kinda like an instant water heater. You would run a separate loop and pump out of this tank for the hydronic heat system. People have made their coolant tank out of metal and with fiberglass. Epoxy is good to 300 degrees, which is good enough for engine and hydronic coolant, had been in use for several years with no issues.

Tank and pipe insulation is an important element to all of these systems.
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Old 28-09-2021, 11:00   #6
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Re: connecting a summer and winter loop for hydronic heating

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamadriver View Post
Hi I could use some help / ideas. I am trying connect two hydronic loops together when needed. A summer loop ( motor- water heater) and winter ( hydronic heating loop )

The boat had a very complicated systems where you could choose , the motor, a M10 hydronic heater, generator , or the water heater to heat the loops. There was 12 valves.

I have simplify it to two loops the Motor to water heater and the hydronic heating loop

On the hydronic heating loop I have removed the m10 and am adding a reflex ( with circ pump) and expansion tank and one more radiator ( hyrdonic towel rack to the head). I am keeping the ebersapcher radiators with fans.

What is the simplest way to connect the two loops lets ay for the winter.

Can I put T’s at the water hear and run lines to a T with a Ball Valve on the hydronic loop. The hydronic loop passes very close to the water heater?

Any experience with bleeding hydronic loops? Can I put an extra t with a ball valve to burp or let air escapes? Ideas on this.

All input welcome?
I installed a REAL 5014 Hydronic Heater in my boat's salon in 2019 in preparation for our voyage to Alaska at my wife's request...she was concerned about the cold; she loves the heater. It runs off the diesel engine and only took about an additional six feet of hose to connect. For bleeding I just kept the engine expansion tank full and closed the heater valve when the antifreeze came out; tested it a few times afterwards to make sure. The heater is connected all the time but the fan turned off until heat is needed; just like a car.

The boat fresh water heater is also heated by the boat's diesel engine.

I don't have any on/off valves to contend with.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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