When More Is Less: Boiler Cascade Systems

At Ideal Heating we have led the way in commercial heating for our customers by ensuring our heating products use the latest technology and design to deliver high efficiency and low running costs.  We’ve always been the market leader for wall hung cascade solutions and we were at the forefront of the transition from atmospheric boilers to exclusively condensing products, and saw emerging trends from traditional floor standing boilers towards large wall hung arrangements. 

Our forward thinking, solutions-driven approach is not just confined to our products, but is also applied to the service and support we provide our customers with quicker, simpler, more efficient ways of working.  Our Cascade Configurators, for example, make the design and specification of a cascade boiler system very straightforward. 

How to use the configurator

The Cascade Configurator makes sure you have everything you need for cascade arrangements for either the Evomax 2 wall-hung boiler or Imax Xtra 2 floor standing boiler. By answering some simple questions about the installation, the Configurator will list all the products needed for that cascade; download as a PDF or have it emailed directly to you for maximum convenience.

Read on to find out why you should consider using a cascade of smaller boilers rather than one large boiler.

Sharing the load

When it comes to commercial applications where demand for heating and hot water can vary considerably over a day, and often in an unpredictable manor, a cascade of smaller boilers is often the better option than one single beast of a boiler. 

With changing heat and hot water demand patterns, a single boiler will regularly cycle on and off as that demand changes.  This is not an efficient approach in terms of energy usage or equipment longevity.

When multiple boilers are installed in cascade, they work together to achieve the same output, but in a far more efficient way.  Each boiler is allowed to modulate up until the demand requires output from a further unit, and so on, until the demand is met. Because the modulation ratio is increased, there is less need for each individual boiler to cycle on and off.  Work is shared equally between the boilers in operation. Ultimately, this makes for a more reliable, efficient and long-lasting system.

Avoiding downtime

In addition to energy efficiency, a further bonus to a cascade system is reduced downtime, which is often more problematic in a non-domestic situation; you wouldn’t want to lose heating and hot water in a hospital, for example.  If you have a single boiler and it breaks down or has to be switched off for maintenance, all your heating and hot water have gone.  In a cascade system, if a single boiler fails, the system as a whole remains in operation with the remaining boilers taking up the slack.  When it comes to routine maintenance, each boiler can also be taken offline independently of the others, again allowing for continuation of supply.

Space invaders

Large boilers take up space.  Installing several smaller boilers in a cascade can create space in a plant room by taking up a smaller footprint.  It often also makes it easier to get the boilers into the plant room in the first place.

Configuration made easy

Whilst a single boiler installation might seem a lot easier to design and install, at Ideal Heating we have designed several tools and kits to make cascade systems uncomplicated.

Our Cascade Configurators – available for Evomax 2 and Imax Xtra 2 – make choosing what you need straightforward. Simply answer a few quick and easy questions covering: height and how the boiler will be hung; gas type; number of boilers and output; type of hydraulic separation, if required; insulation.  The work is done for you, and all you need do is download the information as a PDF or get it emailed to your inbox.

To see how our cascade configurators work click here or if you would prefer to speak with someone, please contact your local Ideal Heating Commercial Business Development Manager.