Boston Executive Order Answered with Zero-Emissions Solutions

Oilon P Series Heat Pumps

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Boston’s mayor has come out with an executive order to eliminate fossil fuels in new commercial building construction as well as major building renovations. The Executive Order states:

“On behalf of the City of Boston, this Executive Order asserts Mayor Michelle Wu’s commitment to accelerating climate action by requiring that all new municipal buildings and major renovations operate without fossil fuels, reducing emissions from Boston’s building sector while creating high-quality jobs, improving public health and quality of life and advancing racial and economic justice.

View the full details of the executive order.

This is on top of the recently released “BERDO 2.0” regulations that developed a path towards carbon neutrality in the city.  This presented a lot of challenges for the city to contend with in terms of effectively heating buildings with the grid power currently available.  Of course, with every challenge comes an opportunity. 

Electric Solution: Heat Pumps

Oilon Pumps

One solution for heating without consuming fossil fuels at point-of-use are Industrial Heat Pumps.   Heat pumps use electricity to power a compressor, and through a refrigeration cycle, transfer heat from a lower temperature source or waste heat source, to a higher temperature loop.  Water is still used as a means of heat transfer out in the system, meaning you don’t have to pipe refrigeration throughout your building, like VRF type systems.  The movement towards heat pumps is real, and the market is already headed this way. 

Heat Pump Rebates

Even the utility companies in Massachusetts offer substantial rebate dollars for installing commercial heat pumps. 

Traditionally, the drawback was that heat pumps could only produce low-temperature water when the outdoor air temperature gets really cold – say under 20 deg F.  On those design days, another means of “boosting” the temperature to achieve the required 160 degrees F supply loop temperature for the building is a boiler. 

Electric No Emissions Boiler

Support from Electric Boilers

Frank I. Rounds offers electric boilers as well as high-efficiency natural gas boilers for that.  The gas-fired boiler is efficient at that temperature and offers a back-up energy source.  However, if you’re in Boston, this will require prior approval.  If it’s not allowed, an electric boiler to heat during those cold days in an option. 

High-Temperature water-to-water Heat Pump

Another alternative, which would qualify for rebate dollars, is to use a higher-temperature water-to-water heat pump.  This is where Oilon fits into the picture.  A true industrial size machine in terms of capacity and temperatures.  Oilon was designed in Finland.  How many cooling days are there in Finland?  Not nearly as many as heating days.  So, you can imagine what their focus was when they set out to build an efficient heat pump.

The intent was to focus a heat pump design on heating, not cooling.  With capacities upwards of 7,000 MBH and temperatures to 200 deg F (that’s not a typo, yes, 200 deg F), this is viable option to heat high temperatures without fossil fuel on those colder days – using waste heat in the building, cooling towers, exhaust gas recovery, air-to-water heat pump supply, solar heated water, or geothermal loop water.  When the heat pump can run using waste heat, substituting valuable primary energy, the COP values can climb to between 4-6. 

OIlon Heat Pump Diagram
Oilon Heat Pump Flow Diagram

Learn more about our complete line of Oilon Heat Pump Solutions

These systems are easy to size and select by reaching out to our team here at Frank I. Rounds Company at 800-696-6440 and ask to talk with our sales applications team.  They will ask you some basics and work on an efficient solution for your unique heating needs! 

Frank I. Rounds has been selling, servicing and supporting quality boiler room equipment solutions since 1936 for the New England area.