Performance Verification for a Nursing Home’s Hot Water System


Courtesy of Courtesy of CAS DATALOGGERS

CAS DataLoggers has provided the performance verification solution for an HVAC provider monitoring the efficiency of its solar collector water heating system installed in a nursing home. The company’s solar collectors are commonly used to heat residences, pools and hot tubs to provide cheaper hot water. The facility’s kitchen sees a lot of usage, so a 1,000- gallon heating tank heats up the water to 150°F to provide residents with enough hot water all day. This system saves the home considerable energy costs since it’s more efficient to store and heat the water from 150 to 180°F instead of taking water from the ground at 50°F and then heating it to 180°F. The HVAC company wanted a monitoring system to prove this with documented post-installation data. This would show verification of savings for future presentations to governmental and residential customers and for inclusion on their website.

After the caller described this application, a CAS DataLoggers Applications Specialist provided the company with a dataTaker DT80 Universal Input Data Logger which was installed in a utility closet and then connected to 2 thermocouples connected to the storage tank’s pipe fittings. The DT80 was also connected to a 4-20mA flow sensor attached to a heat exchanger loop running between the hot water tank and the storage tank.

Throughout each day, the standalone DT80 continually monitors the water temperature from the thermocouples and the pulse signals from the flow sensor. The dataTaker’s 128MB user-defined memory assures extended logging with independent control of schedule size and mode. Using the dataTaker’s USB port, users collect the data once a month and upload it into their office PC for later organization and analysis, which is performed in the built-in dEX graphical interface. Likewise, the DT80’s Ethernet port allows users to view the software and configure the device from their web browser.

This data enables users to view the system’s water flow rate and the inlet/outlet water temperature so they can now calculate heat gain and the BTUs the solar collector is getting. All this is accomplished in dEX, and these functions were simple to execute after users had gotten some familiarity with the data logger.

The HVAC provider found their all-in-one system with the dataTaker, which samples from the thermocouples while reading the pulses from the flow sensor so users can measure the water temperature before and after it heats up as well as the flow rates within the heating system. The DT80 is able to not only record but also calculate the heat gain and the solar collector’s BTUs which the customer can collect in its entirety and advertise as a demonstration of cost savings. The HVAC provider is confident that their tank installation will pay for itself after a few years, and the dataTaker is their way to prove it.

For more information on the dataTaker DT80 Universal Input data logger, designed as a single solution to monitor nearly any value, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Specialist at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at

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