Matrix Total Home System

Matrix Total Home System

Credit: NTI, Inc.

What makes this product green?

  • Energy-conserving equipment
  • Prevents moisture or air quality problems

Description

NTI’s Matrix incorporates a gas-fired condensing boiler and furnace, condensing on-demand water heater, and heat recovery ventilator into a single unit, and it is pre-configured for air conditioning. To aid evaluation against stand-alone appliances, NTI used simulations to estimate the efficiency of individual system components for an AFUEAnnual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Widely-used measure of the fuel efficiency of a heating system that accounts for start-up, cool-down, and other operating losses that occur during real-life operation. AFUE is always lower than combustion efficiency. Furnaces sold in the United States must have a minimum AFUE of 78%. High ratings indicate more efficient equipment. of 94 for forced-air and 92.7 for hydronic heating, and an energy factor of 0.85 for water heating. According to NTI, the Matrix's integration and controls provide provide 10%–15% energy savings over high-efficiency units operating separately. The Matrix can deliver five gallons of water per minute at 110ºF (43ºC) without a tank or standby energy loss. Features include efficient, variable-speed, electronically commutated motors (ECM); a microprocessor that adjusts heat output based on the home environment; and a sealed-combustion system that draws in outdoor air and directly vents exhaust. Compared with standard products, the efficient combustion results in less cycling, improved efficiency, and less noise, and it can be vented using conventional plastic piping. The Matrix exceeds Canada’s new P10-07 standard for integrated mechanical systems.

Manufacturer Information

NTI, Inc.
30 Stonegate Dr
Saint John, NB E2H 0A4
Canada
Phone: 506-657-6000
Fax: 506-432-1135
Toll-free: 800-688-2575
www.nythermal.com

Listed in: Air-to-Air Energy Recovery Ventilation, Residential Heating Boilers

 


4.
Mar 13, 2009 1:17 PM ET

Matrix Furnace AND your services
by Peggy Deras

WELL Martin!

I take back everything I wrote about your services and will cheerfully eat my words. Thank you!

Now that I've got the Matrix out of my system I can concentrate on more viable furnace options that will suit my needs better...Any suggestions?

I probably would not have made the leap anyway, because of the dearth of good information. But I always would have wondered whether I made a mistake in not buying the most green furnace on the market.

I will also be spreading the word about Green Building Advisor on my blogs and telling potential subscribers not to hesitate to post if they don't find what they are looking for.
http://kitchen-exchange.blogspot.com/
http://appliancenotes.blogspot.com/

Thanks again,
Peggy

P.S. You need to have a tracking system/check box that notifies subscribers, by email, when you have responded to a post of interest to them.


3.
Mar 13, 2009 9:58 AM ET

EBN February 2009 Product Review
by Kelly Lucas

Environmental Building News published a review of the Matrix System in the February 2009 issue.

GreenBuildingAdvisor.com members can access that full article (which is usually behind a log in) from a link on this page:
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/node/12340


2.
Mar 13, 2009 8:58 AM ET

More information on the Matrix
by Martin Holladay

Peggy,
At GBA, we do our best to meet your needs. Thanks for your comment. I am including information on the Matrix from an article from the May 2007 issue of Energy Design Update. While some of this information may be out of date, I am providing it in case it is helpful.
Martin Holladay, senior editor, GBA

“A Combo Appliance Called the Matrix”
Reprinted from Energy Design Update, May 2007.

A Canadian boiler manufacturer, NY Thermal, has developed a new integrated heating appliance called the Matrix. In one unit, the Matrix combines the functions of a boiler, a furnace, a water heater, and a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV). These features make the Matrix comparable to the family of appliances developed under the EkoComfort label; however, NY Thermal is not participating in Canada’s EkoComfort program.

The heart of the Matrix is a low-mass condensing boiler. The natural-gas-fired boiler has a fully modulating forced-draft sealed-combustion burner. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the boiler’s input rating ranges from 16,000 to 100,000 BTUs, while its output ranges from 15,000 to 90,000 BTUs.

Not Quite a Furnace
Although the Matrix marketing literature describes it as “an ultra-quiet forced-air furnace,” the unit is boiler-based. Its “furnace” is actually an air handler with a hydronic coil in the supply plenum. According to NY Thermal, this hydro-air system has an efficiency equivalent to a 94% AFUE furnace.

Most US homes choose either forced-air distribution or hydronic distribution; few homes need both. “If someone was going to do their entire home with hydronic, this would be the wrong appliance,” admitted NY Thermal representative Rob Alexander. “It would be more economical to go with a boiler and a stand-alone HRV. This is more for the guys who have forced-air heat but maybe have a basement slab or a garage floor they want to keep warm with in-floor radiant.”

An Indirect Water Heater
The Matrix produces domestic hot water by circulating boiler water through an external flat-plate heat exchanger. Assuming a 65 F° temperature rise (from 55°F to 120°F), the Matrix can produce up to 4.2 gallons of domestic hot water per minute. (If the cold water temperature is lower than 55°F, then the hot water flow will be reduced.)

One possible disadvantage of the Matrix is explained in the unit’s owner’s manual: “When there is no call for domestic [hot water] the unit is off. From a dead stop the unit will detect flow and start providing heat in 15 seconds, and be up to capacity by 25 seconds.

Once running, the unit can provide an endless amount of hot water. If the flow is momentarily turned off for whatever reason, the unit will turn off. Once off, the unit must relight, and not provide heat for 45-75 seconds. This will cause cold unheated water to pass through the unit, and advance through the domestic plumbing between the previously heated (hot) water, and the new (hot) water.”

To some extent, this problem is shared with most instantaneous water heaters. As Alexander explained, “Because of the hot-surface ignition feature, it takes a little while for the boiler to light.”

Inside the Cabinet, a Heat-Recovery Ventilator
The Matrix includes an integrated 200-cfm HRV with a heat-recovery efficiency of 65%. Fresh air is introduced into the air handler’s supply plenum before the heating
coil. The HRV has two air flow rates: a low continuous speed and a high (override) speed that can be controlled by a dehumidistat, timer, or a wall switch.

The HRV can be ducted one of two ways: it can draw exhaust air from the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry area, or (if simplified ducting is chosen) it can draw exhaust air from the return plenum.

A Handful of Motors
The Matrix includes five motors:
* An efficient ECM to drive the air-handler blower;
* An efficient motor (incorporating EC technology) to drive the draft-inducer on the burner;
* Two variable-speed PSC motors to drive the HRV’s supply and exhaust fans; and
*A circulator motor to pump boiler water through the heating coil and the flat-plate heat exchanger.

The Matrix pipes have solenoid valves that prevent boiler water from circulating through the plenum-mounted heating coil when the boiler is satisfying a call for domestic hot water. Conversely, solenoid valves isolate the flat-plate heat exchanger when the thermostat calls for space heat. If there is a simultaneous demand for space heat and domestic hot water, priority is always given to the hot water demand.

Although the Matrix does not include a cooling coil, it is “pre-wired for air conditioning.” According to Alexander, the unit’s controls allow adjustment of the blower speed for cooling mode.

The Matrix is distributed in Canada and in the northeastern US. The cost of the unit to a US homeowner is about $5,500 to $6,000 (US dollars). So far, few units have been sold. “A lot of people don’t really know that this product exists, and the people that do know it exists are fearful that they will be guinea pigs,” said Alexander. “But once people know about it and can see one, sales will take off.”

For more information, contact: NY Thermal, 31 Industrial Drive, Sussex, New Brunswick E4E 2R7, Canada. Tel: (506) 432-1130 or (800) 688-2575; Fax: (506) 432-1135; E-mail: jhayes@nythermal.com; Web site: www.nythermal.com.


1.
Mar 12, 2009 5:47 PM ET

Matrix System
by Peggy Deras

I have been looking at this system for my own home. I'm pleased to see it mentioned here, but the information available on it is downright sparse. Just as everywhere else.

How about some real life reviews from people who have installed and/or lived with a Matrix System?

If you editors expect people to pay for your web service, you need to provide us with more in depth information than we can get by researching on our own.

I signed up for a free trial of Green Building Advisor because I have been trying to find out more about the Matrix system and I figured, if the information I was looking for was here, it would be worth the annual fee.

My conclusion, so far, is that I already know more about it than you.

That doesn't say much for my chances of continuing with my subscription, now does it?