There are a number of different types of hydronic heating terminal units that have been called “radiators” or “baseboards”. The most common form of radiator in North America are properly known as “baseboard convectors” or “fin-tube, baseboard convectors”. Common in apartment buildings and office buildings, residential use of fin-tube convectors has also been widespread from the early 1940′s through to today. These types of radiation units will work very well when connected to an IBC boiler.
A common misconception is that baseboard convectors must be supplied with very hot water in order to deliver sufficient heat. While this may be true in the very coldest weather, they will work just fine at lower water temperatures for the majority of the heating season, allowing the IBC boiler operate comfortably in the condensing mode. When a new baseboard system is designed for use with a condensing boiler like the IBC, astute designers are now using lower water temperatures in order to maximize the efficiency of the boiler. In retrofit situations, upgraded building insulation and windows often allow for reduced water temperatures as well.
Many baseboard systems are heavily zoned and the amount of heat needed can vary greatly. IBC boilers are the best choice for matching the heat output as the load requirements change. The VFC 15-150 for example can operate from an input of 15,000 Btuh when only a few zones are required all the way up to 150,000 Btuh when a full load like domestic hot water is required.
IBC boilers also have built-in logic that will operate your baseboard system on “cruise control”, slowly changing the water temperature based of information it receives from an outdoor temperature sensor, which is included as standard equipment.
If you are interested in upgrading a commercial building with baseboard, multiple IBC boilers may be your best choice. We have many examples of stunning energy savings. Go to our commercial section for some case studies, and a discussion of the advantages of using this technology in your buildings, and please read our attached essay on baseboard heating systems for more detailed information.