Conversion to gas? ? ?

Page 1 of 3  
We live in a six-unit coop apartment building with an oil-fired boiler which supplies radiator heat throughout the building.
We installed a new boiler in 2006 at a cost of $28,000. At the time we considered switching from oil to gas, but were told that we likely would have to run new gas supply lines from the street to the building, and this could cost as much as $20,000. So we opted to continue with oil.
Based on current prices, gas costs only about half as much as oil to produce the same heat. So we are reconsidering switching to gas.
Leaving aside the cost of installing new gas-supply lines, can anyone give me a ballpark figure on how much it would cost to switch the new furnace from oil to gas? Or possibly even have a dual supply system so that we could switch to gas or oil depending upon the costs at a given time?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ray wrote:

...
The installer of the boiler, perhaps???
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

In STL, or Manhattan?

Well, I wouldn't ask that guy again.
How far is the street?

WAG... as much as a new gas furnace of similar output. Or, you could check one of the auction sites, if you're of that persuasion. The market is flooded with everything from a-z, mostly commercial and industrial grade stuff as smaller businesses are giving up and larger ones continue to downsize.

Or availability. I like the idea. Here, I don't have that kind of space.
In MT though, I use (free) wood with propane backup. I wonder how long it might be before more oil users start to consider wood... Damn! -----
- gpsman
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

20000 to run a gas line? the gas co might do it free, and all you will need is the indoor line and a new burner with controls.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My gas company was happy to run the line free if I heated the house and water with it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

My residential boiler is certified for both oil and natural gas and I chose this particular model for this reason. I'm told that all they have to do is replace the current burner head with the equivalent gas version. Perhaps this is possible for you too.
Cheers, Paul
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Our gas company (Central Illinois) only charges for new lines for the amount more than 60 feet. Check your supplier for similar fees.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The boiler installer should be able to give you a close estimate on the phone. The burner head and some controls have to be replaced. When figuring in the cost difference, include the lower maintenance costs too. Gas burns much cleaner so you save a few hundred bucks a year there too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

You aren't suggesting that they can skip the annual service on the boiler are you??? Gas may not need to have a nozzle and filter changed like oil, but it certainly needs an annual service just like oil, particularly for a commercial sized unit like the OP has. The cost of that annual service isn't going to be any different since a nozzle and filter account for about $10 worth of materials.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We run two 125 HP boilers fired with gas. They are checked for efficiency every two months. We are, in fact, putting on controls at $45,000 to gain just 2% in efficiency. They get opened and cleaned once a year and the fire side gets a quick brushing. Takes one person about an hour
We used to run a smaller (40 HP) oil fired boiler. It had to be opened every three months and it took two men about 4 hours to clean, vacuum, dispose of the soot, dispose of their now filthy coveralls, breathing apparatus, and then another hour to clean up the boiler room.
Now you say the cost of annual service is not going to be different?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When having to spend that much money, I'd start looking at Solar energy. Or you can keep paying out the monthly fees to the different power companies. Lou
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Solar, at his size might cost 200,000.00 minimum
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Might, might not. You won't know if you don't find out. Yes it probably will cost more, but what is the recovery time? Lou
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The boilers have input of 5,500,000 Btu each. Tell me how many acres of solar I'll need to convert 350 to 450 gallons of water per hour (at 60 degrees) to steam at 100 psi, especially running at night.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know and neither do you. What I'm saying is that if I had no choice but to spend that much money on heating just one thing I would at the very least, get a quote instead of complaining about it. Lou
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

First off, I'm not complaining, I'm looking at reducing fuel costs. Just stating a fact
The magnitude of steam that we use would probably need a few thousand acres of solar panels in Arizona, not New England. Then we'd need accumulators capable of holding massive amounts of high pressure steam during the dark hours. There are NO industrial process boilers powered by solar because of the utter impracticality of it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

11,000,000 btu whats your gas bill 100,000.00 a year, well maybe 2,000,000 of solar might do it, just pocket change, just curious are those 83% efficient, how about condensing add ons do they work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

A building the size that would house such boilers and the process equipment using their output probably has enough roof area to hold a reflector array and collector tower to generate the daytime steam. Not going to help at night, but assuming constant three shift use could cover 30% of the energy needs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

To run at 50% capacity of 5,500,000 Btu it is not practical. A very efficient solar panel can produce 20 watts per hour per square foot at noon on a sunny day . I'd need 80,000 sq. ft. of the 30,000 sq. ft. available to do it for even a portion of the day. Factor in cloudy day, winter sun hours, loss of transmission and conversion, heat storage and anything else, you see the practicality of it.
Anyone know what 80,000 square feet of solar collection is worth? Now we have to store surplus energy to be used at other times of the day.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

You're thinking of the wrong technology. You don't use solar PV or solar hot water thermal, you use a concentrating steam boiler setup, like used at a few CA commercial solar utility generating stations. An array of tracking reflectors concentrating the energy on a single central collector-boiler. For your application there are no transmission and conversion losses since you directly generate the steam you need above the plant that is using it. You do not bother trying to store any of the energy for night use, you simply ramp the oil / gas fired boilers back up for the evening. 30% energy savings using existing roof space. Think tax credits too...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.