904 E. Pearson Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(414) 276-4822

Smart Energy Library

Providing the tools to choose the best equipment for the project

McCotter Energy Systems is committed to providing the highest efficiency products and the most comprehensive information available to choose the right equipment.

Condensate Neutralizer Kit

Specifications may not specifically call out for neutralizers but it is strongly recommended to protect boiler condensate drain piping and /or building drains from corrosion and deterioration.

The Condensate Neutralizer Kit is ideal for neutralizing condensate from condensing boilers and furnaces operating on natural gas or propane.

The condensate is acidic and has the potential to harm the environment and the sewer system. The Condensate Neutralizer will raise the pH of the condensate to a more neutral level before it is discharged to drain. If the drain is used, in some portion of its run, solely for the purpose of condensate removal and the drain material is subject to damage from acidic condensate then the use of the Condensate Neutralizer is advisable and if applied properly and regularly maintained can avoid damage associated with a leak in your drain piping.

McCotter Energy Systems offers Condensate Neutralizer kits in many sizes. Call the office to order. Top

Condensing Boiler Venting Solution

When designing a common-vent type exhaust system for multiple condensing boilers, it’s important that you take condensate removal into account. When venting into a common stack, the condensate drains back to the boilers just like any other system. The difference is the fact that if the necessary precautions aren’t taken to remove the large amounts of condensate created by multiple condensing boilers operating at once, some issues may arise that can cause equipment failures that may not be covered under warranty by the equipment manufacturer.

When designing a common-vent exhaust system, a good practice is to install vertical inline condensate drains in each boiler stack. The integral condensing boiler condensate drains are only designed to remove condensate  from the individual boiler exhaust manifold and the individual exhaust stack associated with that boiler. In many cases, when multiple boilers are vented into a common stack, a large volume of condensate will drain back to the first boiler or the boiler closest to the outside termination. Boiler failures, faults and other issues may arise as a result. By installing secondary vertical inline drains in each individual boiler drop, you can ensure that the boilers combustion chamber drain does not serve as the vent condensate removal system. It is also good practice to install a horizontal condensate drain in the common vent between the outside termination and the closest boiler to the outside termination.

It is also very important to calculate the exhaust stack sizing properly, as it is imperative that these exhaust systems are under negative pressure at all times.   

We  always recommend individual exhaust systems for each condensing boiler, but recognize that this is not always possible. By taking a little extra time during the design process, you can provide your customer with an added insurance policy against failures and nuisance faults, as a result of an undersized condensate removal system.

If you or anyone in your organization would like to discuss proper venting design for your next project, please feel free to contact one of our Sales Engineers and they will be happy to assist you.    


Smart Energy Savings with Riello Burners

Lakeland School District in Minocqua, WI is geographically one of the largest school districts in the State of Wisconsin.  The Lakeland High School is over 283,000 sq. ft. and serves 840 students with a staff of 125. The High School has 2 separate boiler rooms.

Both boiler systems were older, but were well within their usable “life cycle”. One of the boiler rooms contains (1)Kewanee 400 HP wood burning boiler that had been converted to natural gas 19 years ago.  The other plant has (2) 250 HP Iron Fireman scotch marine boilers. Both plants had reasonably modern, modulating burners that provided approximately 4:1 turndown.

Boilers systems are designed by code to meet “Design Conditions” or the worst case scenario heating load. For Lakeland High School this is -20 ° Fahrenheit. However, when you look at the BIN data (degree days), Lakeland experiences these conditions less than 1% of the heating season.  The majority of the heating the loads are 20% to 30% of design condition.  Coupled with the internal heat load gains from lighting, equipment, and people, Lakeland High School had a significant opportunity to save energy and precious dollars by finding a solution to boiler cycling inefficiencies.

Lakeland High School explored options to increase the efficiency of its heating plants. Options included:

  • Installing smaller tracking boilers to reduce cycling during lower load conditions.
  • Upgrade the existing burners with “linkageless retrofit kits” to increase efficiency and turndown.
  • Replace the existing burners with Riello high efficiency burners.



Installing tracking boilers is an excellent option, however, the costs compared to “upgrading” an existing boiler is often very expensive. Upgrading the burners with Linkageless controls was a viable option; however, the efficiency and turndown did not match that of replacing the burners with new high efficiency Riello burners. Although slightly more than linkageless upgrades, the Riello option was less than 1/3 the cost of installing tracking boilers. The Riello burners are designed to operate efficiently at 15% excess air throughout the complete 10:1 firing range providing peak efficiency.  The burner heads are heavy gauge stainless steel and the flame pattern is designed to direct the heat away from the head which is crucial for low load conditions.

Lakeland High Schools installed Riello high efficiency burners and the savings have been remarkable. In the first six months of operation (the burners were installed in November of 2009) the District saved 26,751 therms over their seven year average usage equating to $28,089 in savings. The return on investment will be under 3 years.

The District has benefited from efficiency gains and reduced maintenance costs. It takes considerable less time to maintain a linkageless burner due to the elimination of “slop” in the linkage and the required adjustment to ensure efficient fuel-air mixture.









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2.5 years