Question: What is the difference between the Grundfos Magna 1 and Magna 3 circulators? Also, is it worth the price difference for the 3 model?
Answer: The Magna 1 and Magna 3 both have energy-saving high-efficiency ECM’s (electronically commentated motors) and share some common control options but they are both designed for specific applications and worlds apart in functionality, It really all depends what type of system that you are looking to install the pump on and what you want to get out of it.
If you are already familiar with the industry changing Alpha circulators, the Magna 1 is very similar but without the Grundfos AutoAdapt® automated logic control. It is an excellent option for small boiler feeds or where logic and BMS compatibility are not required. It offers the options of three constant speeds, constant pressure and proportional pressure controls.
This highly efficient ECM is an excellent alternative to standard asynchronous motors in regards to energy savings and maintenance costs. Many states in New England offer energy incentives to lower the cost which make it more attractive for upgrading.
The Magna 3 series including the recently re-launched 32-60,(P/N 98126820 CI, P/N 98126822 SS) and 32-100 (P/N 98126824 CI, P/N 98126826 SS) models has the same wide range of features that the larger models have and are worth every penny extra.
Having been designed with the exact dimensions as the Grundfos UPS 26-99 or a Taco 1400/2400 series, they makes it an effortless energy upgrade swap out.
These two Magna 3 models (32-60 & 32-100) are very popular as the best strategy for efficient hot water re-circulation pumping in facilities that are looking to reduce energy with a quick ROI. This is due to the constant temperature control mode option eliminating having pumps run 24/7 and relaying on jacked up aquastats to 160°.
As an example, I have seen results such as a bank six of standard asynchronous B&G 60 series DHWR pumps at fairly new Science building all running at a full 746 watts each on conventional ancynchronous circulators and lowering the consumption to 17 watts each by replacing it with the ECM Magna 3 32-100 on set constant temperature mode with a standard return temperature setting of 110 degrees .
Upgrading to either is a no-brainer for any building owner for a low-cost upgrade with instant payback. Many utility companies/utility consultants such as Eversource, Efficiency Vermont etc. are offering instant Upstream rebates at point of purchase (no forms to mail in) on the Magna’s lowering the cost close to that of standard circulators.