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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4

    Help me decide! Buderus vs Energy Kinetics...

    I'm looking to make a decision this week on one of these systems. It looks like they are going to be in a relatively similar price range and now I just need to decide what is best! I found some feedback through the search function that seems to say Buderus is the way to go, but would love to get some final feedback before making the final decision. Also, if I go with the Buderus, I definitely want the logomatic, right????

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4
    just to clarify.. it's the EK System 2000 (figure you all assumed that)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    The EK2000 boiler is made of steel, the Buderus is solid cast iron.....'nuff said.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    If you can get

    The buderus G215 with the Logamatic controls, indirect tank and a Riello burner for the same price or less: go for it! If your house it tight. I'd suggesting getting a BF3 or BF5 burner with the outside air intake. The housing on the BF burner helps quiet the burner and the fresh air intake is the best for a clean burn. It will cost more to pipe in, but worth it. The S2000 has an air box around the Beckett AFG for fresh air intake. I'd only go with the S2000 if space were an issue. Abd even then, I'd ask for a real indirect, not the booster tank and flat plate heat exchanger they push to keep the price from getting even higher.

    I had a BF5 put on my Burnham LE and it's a great running combo.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    If it were my boiler there is no way I would put a system 2000 in.
    I service enough of them to know. When they are about 20 years old they are ready to replace.
    They are crap that need a lot of attention once they get about 10 years old. Most parts are OEM and are expensive.
    Some companies like selling them because you can't buy parts at the supply house. You have to be a dealer. And anybody that is a dealer gets to sell to whoever they want. We buy our parts from a local company that is a dealer.
    So after we make our profit the prices are very expensive to the customer.

    Go with the Buderus there is much less that can go wrong with it. No combustion chamber needed and alot easier to service. The buderus swing out door makes cleaning simple. And burn so clean there is little residual ash.
    If you like ash, pick the system 2000. they are the king of ash.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    Get the the BLUE BEAST Buderus!!
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    116
    or.......you could go with the best oil boiler there is, The Viessmann Vitola

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    I saw one of those SWEET,but BIG BUCKS!!where we are I do not know anyone that sells nor installs them.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    116
    HP Guru,

    Where are you located?

    Maybe you should be the 1st to install them in your area.

    I have one in my house. Real quiet, no min. return tmps.

    Buderus' are nice , but they dont compare to this baby!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    In SE PA outside of Philly.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    Quote Originally Posted by hvac64 View Post
    or.......you could go with the best oil boiler there is, The Viessmann Vitola
    Disagree. The best oil boiler is one that can be purchased locally AND maintained locally. I don't know anyone in my area that installs this somewhat obscure boiler so finding a qualified individual to fix it is sure to be difficult.

    See what your local oil company sells, very likely its an American made product, should be cast iron, and having readily available repair parts. I like Peerless, Burnham MPO, and Weil McLain boilers. Burner of choice is the Carlin Elite, the cleanest running oil burner hands down.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    110

    Cast Iron

    Could someone please educate me on the advantages of cast iron for a boiler as opposed to steel? It would seem that because steel is more resilient and doesn't need to use any gaskets or push nipples that it would be a superior choice. My limited knowledge tells me that the biggest concern with either metal is air in the system. Am I wrong?

    I've checked on Kinetic Energy in the past and am confused by the statement that most parts are OEM and difficult or expensive to obtain. Can you be specific? Was I misled?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4
    I went for a factory tour today to check out Energy Kinetics and was impressed by the company and people. Note that I am NOT an HVAC contractor - I have an engineering background and my specialty is energy efficiency consulting, focussed on HVAC systems. I am independent and have no financial interest in this company or its products.

    Based on comments I'd seen here previously, I asked them some pointed questions about repair parts/maintenance. According to them, there are very few proprietary parts in the system, and those parts are affordable and available.

    While you won't be able to go to your corner supply house to get a new electronics controller for the unit, they have these in stock for fast shipment. Moreover, the unit can be bypassed to run in a basic mode should it fail. You can't say this about the other units out there.

    The units combustion chamber/heat exchanger is rock solid. This is a thick steel chamber, rolled and welded at their factory, then pressure tested for over a week. Return rates are exceptionally low.

    The design of the system is very simple for easy maintenance/repair. The front panel folds down for easy chamber cleaning. They can use one of several off-the-shelf burners. The plate heat exchanger that is used is nothing unique and threads easily on/off the system if it ever needs repair.

    As for repairs, they have a very affordable kit that their installers can keep around for the unique spare parts. Or, if an end user is nervous about future service, they could keep them for emergency. Any competent HVAC technician would have no problem working on the system. Energy Kinetics uses off the shelf components in every area except for the control electronics and the combustion chamber, making it no different than any other unit out there except for totally generic boilers which are very inefficient in practice.

    From what I've seen in the industry, much of the nay-saying you're seeing about this unit is that they don't work through exclusive dealers. Any qualified installer can buy a unit from EK. This annoys contractors because they like having products that only they sell in a territory.

    As for the steel vs. cast iron debate, this is like a religious debate where everyone thinks they're right. I'll give you some of the science and you can judge for yourself.

    A conventional cast iron boiler has a lot of mass - both iron and water. Heating up that thermal mass takes time and energy. When you're running at steady-state (i.e. the dead of winter where the system is running frequently), keeping the system at temperature isn't too bad. But if the system cycles on/off, every time it cycles off, that thermal mass loses its heat to the surroundings, and wastes those BTUs. Some will argue that those BTUs go into heating the house. If the boiler isn't direct vented, that's not true as the boiler room has to be vented to the outside to allow for combustion air. Even if it is direct vented, it's fine in the winter, but what about the summer, where that heat then has to be cooled by the air conditioner? It's a double loss.

    The low mass steel chamber, in contrast, provides a large surface area for efficient heat transfer between the combustion and the water bath. It also extracts significant heat from the flue gases, so the basic efficiency is high. The low mass heats up fast, so there's less wasted energy as well.
    After the system shuts down, the System 2000 extracts the remaining energy in the spiral chamber, distributing it to the area which had the last call for heat. Because of the low thermal mass of the chamber and its low water content, it is unlikely to lead to overheating of the zone - it just gives the zone a last little 'kick' and prevents the heat from being wasted where it's not needed. If it were a high thermal mass iron boiler and you tried to run it in this way, then you would have big problems, as there would be something like 10kBTUs in the system that would be shed. The design of the System 2000 - low mass and intelligent electronics controller, minimizes the energy lost and prevents heating of the house during the summer.

    There are many discussions of cast iron vs. steel durability. Here's one, albeit from a manufacturer of a steel boiler
    http://www.apimaine.com/steelvsiron.html

    The fact is, steel is resilient, iron is brittle. If made properly, a steel boiler will be more durable/less prone to cracking.

    Beware of comparisons that merely instill FUD.
    The EK has a good warranty, including a lifetime warranty on the main component - the steel pressure vessel with labor credit of various amounts after 10 years. Same as the Buderus.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by astro1; 01-11-2008 at 03:54 PM. Reason: minor edits and clarifications

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