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St. Paul’s Towers Upgrades Burners, Saves 30% on Fuel Bill and Reduces NOx Emissions

Case Study

  • Company: St. Paul’s Tower
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Location: Oakland, California
  • Profile: The 213-room senior living space requires reliable heat.
  • Challenge: The state regulations mandated the boiler emit less than 15 ppm NOx.
  • Solution: Retrofit the existing boilers with Cleaver-Brooks ProFire® MTH burners with premix, surface burning technology for ultra-low NOx emissions performance.
  • Results: Only one of the two boilers is typically needed to supply the required hot water 30% decrease in fuel cost. NOx is reduced to single digit levels.

St. Paul’s Towers, located in Oakland, Calif., is part of the Episcopal Senior Community network. The 213-room senior living community requires reliable heating and hot water 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To accommodate this need, St. Paul’s Towers counts on two Cleaver-Brooks, gas-fired, flextube hot water boilers, each with an input of 6.0 MMBTU per hour. When new state regulations mandated that boilers emit less than 15 ppm NOx, St. Paul’s Towers contacted its service provider, R.F. MacDonald Co, in Hayward, Calif., to upgrade its equipment.

After analyzing the equipment and reviewing the emissions requirements, Don Patten, a sales representative of R.F. MacDonald Co., recommended retrofitting the facility’s existing boilers with Cleaver-Brooks ProFire MTH series burners. The ProFire MTH series burners incorporate premix, surface burning technology for ultra low-NOx emissions performance. The MTH burners are fitted for full modulation with parallel positioning control, and offer both low NOx and low CO emissions without flue gas recirculation (FGR). These state-of-the-art boiler-burner packages also include automatic tuning to achieve accurate water temperature under changing conditions, as well as network connectivity for remote operation and control.  

The two new MTH burners were installed in less than one week without interrupting service to the Towers’ residents. Following the installation, Bob Reagan, facility manager at St. Paul’s Towers, immediately noted an increase in energy efficiency. In fact, the new burners were optimized so effectively that under normal conditions, only one of the two boilers was typically needed to supply hot water for the building. As a result, the gas bill at St. Paul’s Towers decreased by 30 percent. Before the burner retrofits, the facility was paying $38,000 per month for gas. Today, the facility pays less than $27,000 per month for gas usage.

In addition to saving a significant amount of money in fuel costs, the burners more than met the 15 ppm NOx requirement set forth by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) regulations. By retrofitting the boilers at St. Paul’s Towers with ProFire MTH burners, NOx emissions were reduced to single-digit levels.