Effective network management relies on robust connectivity and continuous feedback on various parameters such as ambient temperature and consumption. This valuable insight enables you to proactively manage the network and anticipate your heating systems’ maintenance needs.
However, while connectivity is critical to the network, it cannot replace the products that play a fundamental role in ensuring water quality.
But why is good water quality so important? Water acts as a thermal factor, efficiently transferring energy. Excellent water quality is therefore essential for optimal energy efficiency.
Good water quality: contributing factors
How much air enters the network
In order to understand the impact of air intake on water quality, Aalberts hydronic flow control carried out an in-depth study. Its aim was to determine the solubility of oxygen in water under certain pressure conditions. Extensive calculations were carried out focusing on a volume of water of 3m3 in order to accurately assess the potential impact on water quality. See the findings below.
|Litres of oxygen potentially dissolved in water*
|Amount of magnetite potentially produced by corrosion
💡 This is the standard pressure in a radiator network
*Calculated in liters for 3m3 of water under normal temperature and pressure conditions, and for an O2/N2 gas mixture matching that of air (21%/79%).
Preventing air and dirt in low-temperature systems
Proper water treatment through air removal is crucial when operating low-temperature systems, since a higher concentration of dissolved oxygen can accelerate corrosion of your heating system components, as illustrated above.
With the increasing use of underfloor heating, heat pumps and forthcoming technological advances, it is imperative that air-related challenges are addressed and managed. Neglecting these issues will lead to an increased occurrence and complexity of problems in the future.
There are two approaches to tackling this issue and reduce corrosion:
- Preventive approach: design your network to minimise the presence of air.
- Curative approach: use a dirt separator to treat the problem.
“A full dirt separator is perceived as a good indication that it is working effectively. However, it is a negative signal, as it implies the presence of air problems within the network. A well-designed network with no air problems will have minimal dirt accumulation.”
Technical Training Manager – Aalberts hfc
Which products can be used?
Air and dirt separators
At Aalberts hfc, we have developed the XStream range for small installations, and the SMART range for larger installations.
In the case of a low temperature network, such as those with underfloor heating and heat pumps, we recommend a specialised vacuum degasser such as VacuStream and Vacumat Eco.
Ultimately, it is important to select products that are specifically tailored to the temperature and size of your network.
Water distribution: tools and strategies
Maintaining the correct pressure and ensuring good distribution are crucial aspects of water distribution in the network. Maintaining the right pressure helps to avoid the presence of air in the network and reduce the risk of corrosion. The expansion vessel should be sized correctly to facilitate this.
To ensure effective water distribution, the following elements should be considered:
- Pumps — one pump or more should be installed to facilitate water movement throughout the system.
- Balancing strategy — implement a balancing strategy by using static/dynamic balancing valves that are carefully selected, positioned and adjusted.
- Tubes with oxygen barriers — it is important to use tubes with oxygen barriers, such as PER 5, which consist of 5 layers.
In any renovation or construction project, it is crucial to consider the use of these related products to ensure the longevity and efficiency of the network, especially in the case of a low-temperature network. Finding the right products, tailored to the specific requirements of your heating system, both in terms of functionality and size, is essential. By carefully selecting and implementing these products, you can guarantee a durable and reliable network that will meet the needs of the project for years to come.