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In Hot Water Yesterday
by Robert Fortunato on December 7th, 2011 2 Comments

Many thanks to Gary Klein for sharing his genius with us yesterday.  In two hours Gary took us through all the water related systems that are so crucial for us in hitting our net zero energy goals.

Gary is great at debunking myths about things like tankless water heaters and solar thermal (hot water) systems.  He even found a couple of areas where we could improve the performance of the baseboard radiant heating system!

Thank you to those in attendance for your active participation and great questions.  The dialogue was very helpful.

Gary Klein leading the tour at the Green Idea House

Gary demonstrating the Powerpipe shower drain heat exchanger

Master bath plumbing layout to accomodate D'mand HW recirc system

Uponor radiant basebord heating system manifold

Kitchen plumbing layout to accomodate D'mand HW recirc system

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2 Responses to “In Hot Water Yesterday”

  1. Greg says:


    Can you share some of his comments or link to them



    • Robert says:

      Hi Greg,
      I hope you and Louisa are enjoying the new house. Thanks for your inquiry.

      I wish you could have been there. You would have enjoyed the dialogue. It is a bit hard to summarize Gary’s comments because he went from a policy and code level conversation to the details of how everything is to work together as a system in our house. Nonetheless, here are a few of the things we discussed during the tour:

      – The house is a set of interconnected elements, with an objective of getting to net zero energy. The design of every part of the system needs to reflect that
      – After the thermal envelope is sealed correctly, heat gains from the appliances, lighting and people need to be accounted for in the energy model. Gary is more concerned with overheating than not enough heat for our house. I have assured him that the thermal chimney would take care of any cooling needs.
      – He generally liked the work on the plumbing and the baseboard radiant heating system we are installing. For the tubing that is coming through a chase and connecting to the heat pump hot water tanks, Gary recommended separating out the bundle and insulating some of the critical outgoing tubes. The contact with the other tubes in the bundle that are on the return side of the system lowers the temperature by conduction.
      – Gary expected the Powerpipe drainwater heat recovery unit to pay for itself quickly as well as the pushbotton D’mand HW recirc system.

      There was lots more and I’ll contact Gary and see if he has a moment to comment further.



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