Better Boilers

Environmental Strategy

It has become clear that burning hydrocarbon resources at current rates is unsustainable. IBC’s condensing boilers buy time for the environment, by husbanding resources and at the same time offering a practical economic payback. Cleverly paired with Solar and/or Geothermal heat extraction, a condensing boiler provides cutting edge efficiencies for both space and domestic hot water heating.

Our Environmental Credentials

IBC was founded in September 1994 to pursue energy saving opportunities.

The attractiveness of a modulating condensing boiler was clear to us from the beginning; fuel savings through load matching (by right-sizing of boiler capacity with building requirements), then full energy extraction from each molecule through condensation. We added load separation to the mix, to segregate heating loads by temperature requirement, to maximize run times at the lowest conceivable boiler operating temperature.

Early on in the research stage, IBC was noted for its businesslike innovation. In 1996 BC Gas (now Terasen) nominated IBC for a Canadian Institute of Energy award, which we won. In 2000, Union Energy — major Ontario gas utility nominated us for the National Energy Efficiency Awards where we were national finalists.

We work with leading scientists at Natural Resources Canada in Ottawa in a team effort seeking energy efficiency. IBC led the top-ranked team (amongst 6 industry groups) in the AIMS / ekoComfort™ project — a national industry consortium organized with HRAI & NRCan to improve combined space heating & ventilating plus domestic water (2000-2002). Thereafter, the Company was active in the CSA P.10 national standards setting process for performance measurement of integrated mechanical systems; our key contribution was the incorporation of “part-load” test parameters to reflect the effect of modulation on energy performance.

In 2003, we won support from the Sustainable Development Technologies Canada Foundation, Ottawa for an IBC-led consortium (with Nutech Brands, London ON, Dexon Canada Manufacturing Corp., Calgary AB and GSW Inc, Fergus ON) to advance the boiler within an advanced ekoComfort system. Through this development project, IBC successfully integrated our 10:1 boiler with outdoor reset and 3:1 modulation of the air handler flow to achieve unheard-of 95% efficiency from a water-based gas-fired air heating system.

IBC boiler installations have been reducing energy consumption in significant ways. At many Hutterite Colonies across the Canadian prairies, hundreds of IBC boilers have achieved gas flow savings of up to 60%. More than one Colony has reduced their gas bill from a typical $140,000 to $60-70,000 by eliminating central heating plants in favour of distributed IBC condensing boilers. Similarly, in larger homes to moderate apartment blocks we often achieve 35-45% savings for space heating plus DHW, or 20% on straight DHW service in a commercial environment.

IBC has for several years been installed within geothermal systems as a “balance-of-plant” component. Often system designers will deploy geo-heat for the base load (perhaps 60% of the calculated full design requirement) adding a condensing boiler for (1) peak load capacity, (2) higher temperature needs, and (3) redundancy — compressors can go down. IBC’s initial cost per kilowatt is significantly lower than geo.

Similarly, IBC works with solar contractors to integrate condensing gas with solar-to-water collection. Typically, solar targets to meet 40-50% of the DHW load with lesser contribution to space heating needs. With IBC’s powerful embedded controls, we can ensure coordinated operation of boiler with panels to maximize the carbon-free contribution.

While others talk environmental platitudes we also walk the walk — or rather peddle-the-ride. IBC pays a premium to locate in the centre of Vancouver, within bicycle commuting range of the majority of its staff. Production staff, the engineering manager and the president are all regular bicycle commuters.