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Raven Supplies New Boilers to the Tong Louie Family YMCA

Raven has supplied two new boilers to the Tong Louie Family YMCA in Surrey. The YMCA had received $250,000 in community gaming grants, which were used to upgrade its aquatic centre including an investment in two new boilers.

Raven Supply and Fulton Endura+ boilers at the Tong Louie Family YMCA
Bennett Lee, VP of Sales proudly supporting Fulton

Working with the contractor Alpha Mechanical, we installed two Fulton Endura+ 3000 ultra high efficiency firetube condensing boilers, alongside Grunfos Magna3 pumps with BACnet communication. These boilers offer great performance and are highly reliable and durable. They also come with a touchscreen control panel, allowing the aquatic centre to quickly configure settings for both boilers at once.

The Fulton Endura+ boilers will not only provide the YMCA with lower operational costs such as fuel savings and decreased maintenance, but they were also eligible for the FortisBC Condensing Boiler Rebate Program. FortisBC provided the owner with a rebate of $27,000 per boiler.

Grundfos Magna 3 Boiler pump
Grundfos Magna 3 Boiler pump

The Community Gaming Grants were created to provide not-for-profits with the necessary funds to purchase equipment and carry out renovations essential to their operations. With the new upgrades including our Fulton boilers, the Tong Louie Family YMCA will be able operate its aquatic centre efficiently and reliably for years to come.

Inside the Fulton Endura+ boiler
Inside the Fulton Endura+ boiler

People of all ages and backgrounds visit the YMCA to lead healthy and active lives and learn to swim, gaining entry into recreational swimming and aquatic sports. Raven Supply is proud to have been a supplier for this project; we look forward to seeing families in Surrey continue to access the aquatic centre and all its programs and services.

Tony Pregal Races for Raven Supply and Room to Read

Since 2017, Raven Supply has been sponsoring race car driver Tony Pregal, who races car #99 in the Sports Car Club of British Columbia (SCCBC). In 2019, Tony ranked first in his class in the Grand Touring Modified Under 4.0, and third in the overall SCCBC Club Championship standings.

Tony races at the Mission Raceway Park road course, which the SCCBC calls home, in a very special car. A Hurricane Katrina rescue, his BMW300i traveled all the way to British Columbia, where it was stripped and transformed into a race car.

Today, this rescued car proudly sports the logos of both Raven Supply and Room to Read, the literacy non-profit we support with the generous help of our vendors. For every discount we receive from a vendor, we match the amount with a donation to Room to Read. Our fundraising goal this year is $30,000 to send 50 girls in Vietnam to school for a year. Tony also supports Raven’s Room to Read projects.

Tony Pregal's BMW300i sponsorship decals

Room to Read creates world change by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Over 18 million children and counting have benefited from Room to Read’s achievements, which include establishing libraries, publishing local language children’s books and running a Girls’ Education Program.

In addition to race car driver and literacy advocate, Tony is talented in more ways than one. Did you know he is also a certified technician for Fulton Boilers? Off the track, he is our go to person when we need technical support for our Fulton products.

Racer or technician, we are proud to be sponsoring Tony. Join us in cheering him on from the stands as he races to win and to support literacy!

Raven Receives Their First Point of Sale Steam Boiler Rebate

In February 2019, FortisBC announced the launch of a new prescriptive rebate offer with the aim of encouraging the adoption of high-efficiency steam boiler technologies in BC’s industrial and commercial sectors. It joins a host of other rebate programs that contribute to FortisBC’s overall objective of improving natural gas efficiency across the province.

We’re thrilled to announce that Raven Supply as FortisBC’s Conservation & Energy Management Commercial Partner delivered its first instant point of sale rebate to a customer using the new steam boiler rebate offer. FortisBC offers several prescriptive rebates that can be used towards the purchase of a new steam boiler or upgrades to existing systems meeting certain eligibility criteria. 

Fulton VMP Steam BoilerThe Commercial Partnership agreement allows Raven to assess customer eligibility during the sales process and deduct the rebate value straight off of our customer’s invoice, so customers can benefit from the savings immediately with zero uncertainty and minimal paperwork. This makes it very easy and approachable for end-users to take advantage of the program.  

This customer chose to purchase a Fulton VMP-49.5 HP high-pressure steam boiler to replace their existing Fulton ICS-60 HP. This vertical tubeless boiler packs 49.5 horsepower into a heating surface area of less than 10 square meters, so the customer is not required to register the boiler plant or employ any Power Engineers under BC laws. This fact alone represents a huge cost-saving for most organizations, making the VMP-49.5 a tremendously popular boiler for process plants in British Columbia.

 Because the Fulton VMP comes standard with parallel positioning controls, the customer’s invoice was instantly reduced by $9,000. In addition to the rebate savings, these features will save the customer thousands more in fuel costs due to higher operating efficiencies and reduced cycling losses. Jermin Hsieh, Conservation & Energy Management Program Manager at FortisBC provided feedback that Raven Supply provided excellent customer service by educating the customer on energy-efficient options and tying in point of sale rebates.

Looking to replace, upgrade, or make additions to your steam plant? Our engineers will work with you to determine the best solutions according to your needs while ensuring that you reap the maximum benefits of the FortisBC rebates. Contact us to get started!

Steam Boiler Rebate Program with FortisBC

Do you use natural gas to power your steam boiler systems as your only fuel during normal operations? Then we’re happy to be the bearer of some great news!

FortisBC is rolling out several prescriptive rebates that are applicable to the purchase of new steam boilers or upgrades to existing steam boilers meeting certain criteria. A policy in place since February 2019,  The new steam boiler rebate structure makes it considerably easier for customers to take advantage of modern steam boiler technologies that can yield reduced operating costs, reduced maintenance requirements, lower carbon emissions, and improved reliability.

Raven Supply is proud to be a FortisBC Commercial Partner. We’re happy to assist you in determining which steam boiler rebates you might be able to obtain in your next steam boiler upgrade, replacement, addition, or new construction project. Call us today for a free consultation! 

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for these steam boiler rebates, you must be a FortisBC customer using natural gas as your only fuel during normal operation. This includes dual-fuel burners used for emergency backup. For a complete list of criteria, visit the FortisBC website or call Raven for more information. 

Fulton Steam Boiler
Fulton Steam Boiler Eligible for Rebates

Eligible Technologies

FortisBC offers rebates for steam boilers for four key technologies that can either be factory fitted on a new steam boiler or retrofitted onto an existing steam boiler as an upgrade: 

  • Parallel positioning burner controls
  • Oxygen (O2) trim
  • TDS (conductivity based) automatic blowdown controls
  • Economizers (condensing or non-condensing).

Parallel Positioning

Steam Boiler Rebate Value – $9,000 – $16,000

Parallel positioning (often referred to as “linkage-less” control) is a precise, repeatable method of controlling the flow of fuel and air through a modulating burner. The fuel control valve and air damper are each moved by their own dedicated stepper motor actuators, each of which is electronically controlled by an air-fuel ratio controller. 

On the other hand, a “linkage” burner uses a single servo motor to modulate both the fuel valve and air damper which are mechanically connected together by a series of adjustable jackshafts and linkage arms. The difference is similar to how modern electronic fuel injection systems compare to carburetors in automotive engines.

When air and fuel flow are parallel position systems, so when these elements are accurately controlled, a well-designed burner can be precisely tuned to minimize leftover oxygen in the exhaust throughout the full turndown range. This leftover oxygen in the exhaust is referred to as  “excess air” and is inversely proportional to combustion efficiency. That means that lower excess air means lower fuel consumption. 

There are many factors that can affect the net fuel savings realized by switching to parallel positioning controls. A typical estimate would be 5%, although savings of 15% or more are quite possible in certain circumstances. Linkage-less platforms like the Weishaupt W-FM and Siemens LMV are generally known to be safer, more reliable, and require less maintenance over time than conventional burner controls. 

Between Parallel Position and Oxygen Trim
Weishaupt Burner Eligible for Steam Rebates

Oxygen Trim

Steam Boiler Rebate Value -$16,000 – $18,000

Oxygen trim is an additional control feature that works in conjunction with parallel positioning. A sensor installed in the flue stack provides the burner controller with continuous closed-loop feedback of the O2 concentration in the flue gas, allowing it to automatically make fine adjustments to the air/fuel actuators as needed for optimal combustion. This makes the burner adaptive to changes in air temperature, atmospheric pressure, or other factors that may affect combustion. Net annual fuel savings of 1-2% are typical when this technology is correctly applied.

Total Dissolved Solids Blowdown Control

Steam Boiler Rebate Value – $4,000

In addition to bottom blowdowns, a commercial or industrial steam boiler needs regular surface blowdowns to be performed in order to flush out excess treatment chemicals, debris, and other impurities that may naturally collect at the water surface during operation. In practice, we associate the concentration of impurities with electrical conductivity, which is relatively easy to measure with current technology. A total dissolved solids (TDS) automatic blowdown system monitors the water conductivity and automatically performs blowdowns only when required. This ensures minimal water is wasted while maintaining good water chemistry, which contributes to both energy efficiency and equipment longevity.  

Economizer
Cain Economizer Eligible for Steam Rebates

Economizers

Steam Boiler Rebate Value- $10,000 – 25,000

A stack economizer is a heat exchanger that extracts additional energy from a boiler’s flue gas and transfers it another medium which could be boiler feedwater, domestic water, or a hydronic heating loop. Economizers are typically found on larger boilers, usually mounted on top of the flue collector outlet. They offer the most energy savings in systems that consume a reasonably high percentage of cold make-up water, or where there is another consistent and substantial demand for water heating, such as a large domestic or process hot water load. Although economizers may add some complexity and space requirements to the system, they can produce significant energy savings when used in the right application. 

 

Boiler Controls- An Overview

Burner/Burner Control Retrofit (existing steam boiler upgrade)

 

Steam Boiler Rebate Value- Up to $49,000

Upgrading your existing steam boiler by upgrading the burner is a great way to increase fuel efficiency, improve reliability, improve overall boiler performance, and reduce maintenance/downtime expenses. Depending on the total project cost, FortisBC will offer up to $49,000 as an incentive for adding parallel positioning and oxygen trim to your existing boiler. In many cases, a burner retrofit can be completed within a few days, with minimal impact on the rest of your operations. Contact us to find out if your boiler is a good candidate for an upgrade!

Does the Fortis Steam rebate apply to your system? Click here for a Steam Boiler Rebate application and get your new steam boiler upgrades on their way today!

Raven Supply Hits the Road (Again)! Making Visits to Our Friends in Michigan and Indiana

Linna and Merinda poise outside the Niles Factory in Michigan

This April, two of our team members headed south to spend time getting know the people behind the products we support.

Inside Sales Engineer Merinda Widmer and Project Engineer Linna Luu hopped on a plane heading to the Midwest of the good ol’ U.S. of A to stop in and visit two of our vendors.

First stop was Niles Steel Tanks in Niles, Michigan. Niles Steel Tanks fabricates custom built pressure vessels for a variety of industries, and we often use their products on commercial and institutional projects throughout BC.

“We were very impressed at just how organized this factory is, especially with so many things going on,” remarked Merinda. A highlight of the visit was seeing the process it takes to make the Ultonium™ glass lining that Niles uses for their hot water applications.

Tanks being manufactured at Niles Steel

“It was fascinating to see the vessels being fired at 1500° F, the melting point of Ultonium™, and then “soaked” at that temperature for a period of time, which bonds the Ultonium™ to the steel substrate,” she says.

Merinda and Linna were also amused by a blast from the past when their guide Terry shared some photos from the earliest days of Niles Steel Tanks. The photos showed tanks being built from the ground up in the back of trucks! Even more remarkable though is previous owner Jerome C. Woods’ legacy of helping to develop the ASME code that is now a standard required of all boiler supplies.

Niles Steel tanks wait to be shipped in Michigan

Next up on the itinerary was a quick road trip south to Peru, Indiana, home of the Byran Steam factory.

Bryan Steam has been in the steam business for more than 100 years, and is the leader in flexible water tubing. In fact, their flexible water tubes were a staple of steam operated tractors- that is, until motors overtook this market.

These days, Bryan Steam has transformed their water tube technology into leading boiler products. Bryan Steam has an advantage over other boiler manufacturers because they manufacture boilers that can be disassembled at the factory and the reassembled at their final destination. This is especially important in locations with restricted space, for example when a contractor needs to replace a boiler in a mechanical room with limited access.

Linna and Merinda stand outside the Bryan Steam factory in Peru, Indiana

“Visiting Bryan was such a good experience,” says Linna. “Witnessing a knock down boiler in person really makes you appreciate all the work that goes into manufacturing a flexible tube boiler.”

But Merinda and Linna weren’t just sightseeing- they were at Bryan Steam with a specific project in mind.

An inside view of the Bryan flexible tube boiler

“Bryan Steam is providing the knock down boiler we’re using in our retrofit project with Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. This is the first time we’ve used one of these knock-down models,” explains Linna. Linna and Merinda were there to learn first hand the ins and outs of knocking down and reassembling the Bryan Steel boiler for this project. To find out more about our involvement in this rural healthcare initiative, please click here.

Their time in Peru, Indiana wasn’t all work though- the Bryan Steam team took our Raven Supply roadtrippers out for a meal.

“For lunch, we enjoyed a favourite local restaurant, where we were introduced to the famous pork tenderloin sandwich,” recalls Linna, laughing.

Now Merinda and Linna are back, and armed with even more knowledge to bring to our projects and customers. Feel free to ask them more about their travels next time you’re in the office.

Toronto Manufacturer Trip

Bennett, Nic, and Ashley went to Toronto for training this week at both the Weishaupt and De Dietrich offices. Raven has recently been appointed the Reps for BC and the Yukon for both product lines. They received in depth product training on Burners and Boilers, their operation and construction. They were very impressed by the high quality engineering and manufacturing of both product lines.

 

Northern Adventure

This past week, Brian and Ashley headed up North to Whitehorse to visit our customers before the snow started falling, with lows of -3, it sometimes felt as if it was snowing! From the beginning of the trip, they were greeted with some great small town hospitality, welcomed by each contractor they were able to visit. They also had the opportunity to visit some old job sites, see the 3rd photo for the Bryan Steam boiler building in the new Whistlebend complex, a project we supplied a Bryan Steam boiler and A-Vent to (note the truck stuck in the mud in the corner of the photo).

With a city of only 20,000 people they were amazed to see the size of the Canada Games Centre located just outside of downtown, an amazing facility with an indoor pool, multiple skating rinks, an indoor soccer field, indoor basketball court, gym, fitness studio & a running track overlooking it all on the 3rd floor. See the view from the Centre in the 4th photo! Ashley couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out this facility and spent the evening here.

Lucky enough to soak in some of the beauty Whitehorse had to offer, they experienced some of the longest most beautiful sunsets. Whitehorse is also known as “The Land of the Midnight Sun” however at this time of year the sun is setting around 9:30 PM. Another sight to see is Miles Canyon, during the gold rush there was a railroad track along the canyon, parts of it can still be seen today! This is one of the larger attractions in Whitehorse, and very popular with hikers and mountain bikers!

Hope you enjoyed an inside look at Raven’s trip to the Land of the Midnight Sun!

Polypropylene – Did You Know?

Recycle chart - post 2Polypropylene is Recyclable! PP is categorized as “Level 5” within the plastics recycle symbols standard. Where accepted, this plastic can be dropped into blue boxes and processed for re-use.

According to the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), Canadians recycled almost 600 million pounds of plastic in 2011.

Over time, scale build-up in boilers and water heaters can cause heat exchangers to lose transfer efficiency. Plugged air filters can cause short-cycling in furnaces leading to over-heating. Problems like these can cause flue gas temperatures to climb beyond the capabilities of the venting material! These facts should be considered carefully when selecting a venting system.

There is more to installing PVC and CPVC pipe than cutting & gluing the pieces together. There is a long list of steps that should be followed while installing solvent welded pipe.

Common pitfalls that lead to problems with solvent welded pipe?

Temp Chart - Post 2

  • Failure to properly cut, debur, chamfer, and clean pipe according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Not using primer, or using the wrong primer/cement
  • Using primer/cement that is too hot or too cold
  • Using primer/cement on pipe that is too hot or too cold
  • Application of too much or too little primer/cement
  • Failure to hold pieces together until they have set
  • Failing to follow directions as to curing time (24-48HR)
  • Failure to follow pipe support instructions

UV Protection Is Required
Like all plastics, polypropylene can be damaged if exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. To prevent degradation, installers should always use Black UV treated PP pipe when terminating.