Hydronic-Based Biomass Heating Systems


Length: 10 weeks

Instructor: John Siegenthaler

Subjects: Renewable HVAC: Biomass, Renewable HVAC: Hydronic Heating

Student Rating

Rating: 9.4/10 (view ratings)
55 students have taken this course


Learn advanced techniques and strategies for designing and installing biomass heating systems with industry legend John Siegenthaler. This comprehensive, ten-week online course is designed for engineers, installers, designers, and professionals looking to take their skills to the next level. Developed in partnership with the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC), this is a unique opportunity learn directly from an industry expert**

During the course, you will learn:

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Hands-On Learning, Limited Seating

You'll get deep into the numbers with John Siegenthaler and know for sure that you're designing the best systems possible.

Self-Paced Online Course

This online course is both self-serve and self-paced. You can begin instantly upon enrollment.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible for as long as the course is offered on the HeatSpring.com marketplace, with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn a Certificate of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our one-click LinkedIn integration.

Earn Continuing Education Credits

Self Report with Certificate: 11.5 Building Performance Institute (BPI) CEUs

I had only limited knowledge of biomass boilers prior to taking this course. Now I feel like I have what it takes to design great residential biomass heating systems. Thanks to HeatSpring and John Siegenthaler!

- Vincent Montambault, ÉcoFlamme Énergie

Thank you for offering and facilitating such a rich course. This was an excellent, very informative and educational course; I loved the fact that it provided flexible hours accommodating our work schedule and commitments nowadays. My feedback reflects your excellence and I would recommend this to anyone not only in the biomass heating industry, but also to anyone interested in hydronics even if it is servicing cooling systems. Simply, many of the concepts are very beneficial to projects where a fluid is going in a pipe or tank, it is that simple.

- Khaled Yousef, Pyramid Energy Engineering Services

I thought this is a great course that effectively combined biomass and hydronics. I have a strong background in hydronic systems and mainly took the course for the biomass aspects. This course held my attention throughout and provided some insight into things I will take into future designs. It was a perfect mix of theoretical and practical information. John delivered the course very well and I would recommend it to anyone interested in hydronics, biomass systems, or even just as a refresher of both.

- Nicholas Rowe, Clean Energy Consulting

Your Instructor

John siegenthaler .jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

John Siegenthaler

Principal, Appropriate Designs

John Siegenthaler, P.E., is a mechanical engineer and graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a licensed professional engineer, and Professor Emeritus of Engineering Technology at Mohawk Valley Community College. “Siggy” has over 32 years of experience in designing modern hydronic heating systems. He is a hall-of-fame member of the Radiant Professionals Alliance...[more]

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Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after registration, and you will have access to all of the online materials forever (or as long as the course is offered, minimum one year of access).

Week 1 - Introduction and Course Overview - Why Wood and Why Hydronics?

Topics Include: Instructor introduction, course structure, overview of wood-based fuel options, overview of wood fueled heat sources, Thermal energy in wood, Cost of wood-based fuels relative to other options, environmental benefits of wood-based heating, realistic expectations.

Week 2 - Wood Gasification Boilers (Operating Characteristics & Design Details)

Topics Include: High efficiency attained at high rates of heat production, typical operating cycle, why thermal storage is critical, why boilers require protection from low water temperatures, overheat protection options, how to provide that protection, how to size a wood gasification boiler, boiler maintenance requirements, European hydronic wood stoves, overview of an example system.

Week 3 - Pellet-Fueled Boilers (Operating Characteristics, Fuel Conveyance, and Design Details)

Topics Include: Time to initiate heat production, ability to modulate output, why storage is important, why pellet-fired boilers require protection from low water temperatures, how to provide that protection, automatic cleaning systems (pneumatic and mechanical scrapers), bulk pellet storage and conveyance options, maintenance requirements, how to size a pellet-fired boiler, auxiliary boiler integration, multiple boiler systems, overview of an example system.

Week 4 - Wood Chip Boilers (Operating Characteristics, Fuel Conveyance, and Design Details)

Topics Include: fuel characteristics and specification, time to initiate heat production, ability to modulate output, when and where should wood chip boilers be considered, wood chip conveyance systems, why wood chip boilers require protection from low water temperatures, how to provide that protection, Automatic cleaning systems (pneumatic and mechanical scrapers), maintenance requirements, how to size a wood-chip boiler, small scale systems, auxiliary boiler integration, multiple boiler systems, overview of an example system.

Week 5 - Thermal Storage Options & Sizing

Topics include: Pressurized versus unpressurized storage, code requirements, space considerations, volume calculations, piping connections to tank, determining storage size for wood gasification boiler systems, determining storage size for pellet-fired boiler systems, stratification & temperature stacking, heat scavenging, standby heat loss, examples of available hardware, maintenance requirements.

Week 6 - Low-Temperature Heat Emitter Options & Distribution Systems

Topics include: Low temperature radiant panel options for floor, wall, and ceilings, panel radiators, fan-assisted panel radiators, low temperature fin-tube convectors, homerun distribution systems, parallel distribution systems.

Week 7 - Building Blocks for Modern Systems (Part 1)

Topics include: High efficiency circulators, distribution efficiency, air & dirt separation, hydraulic separation, auxiliary boiler integration, expansion tanks.

Week 8 - Building Blocks for Modern Systems (Part 2)

Topics include: Outdoor reset control, staging, mixing options, on-demand domestic water heating sub-assembly.

Week 9 - Example Systems (Residential Applications)

Topics include: Piping design, control design, descriptions of operation. Examples include: 1) A combisystem using a wood gasification boiler, auxiliary boiler, unpressurized storage, floor heating. 2) A combisystem using pellet-fired boiler, mod/con auxiliary boiler, pressurized storage, radiant ceiling heating. 3) A combisystem using a European hydronic wood stove, pressurized storage, panel radiators

Week 10 - Example Systems (Commercial / Municipal Applications) and Course Summary

Topics include: Piping design, control design, descriptions of operation, course summary. Examples include: 1) Small-scale wood-chip boiler system, floor heating. 2) Multiple pellet-fired boiler system, low temperature convectors. 3) Pellet-fired boiler, mod/con auxiliary boiler, floor heating.

After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to this course and all updates we make to it forever (or as long as the course is offered, minimum one year of access). Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

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Temperature Stacking in Thermal Storage for Biomass Heating Systems

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Hydronics for High Efficiency Biomass Boilers - Sponsored by NYSERDA

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